Category Archives: Department of State

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USCIS Issues Guidance Regarding Adjustment of Status Application Filing Dates for July 2017

USCIS has determined that for July 2017, the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin must be used for both family-sponsored filings and employment-based preference filings. By way of background, individuals who are present in the United States are eligible to file a Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status in … Continue Reading

Proposed California Law Would Increase Employer Responsibilities When Faced With Immigration Worksite Enforcement Actions

In response to the Trump administration’s stance on immigration enforcement, California is considering legislation (Assembly Bill 450 (Chiu)) which would prohibit employers from providing federal immigration officials with access to nonpublic areas of the workplace without a judicial warrant. While aiming to provide new protections to workers, the bill’s broad language does not eliminate any employer … Continue Reading

Update on DHS Proposed Rules Affecting Employment-based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

As reported, in December 2015, USCIS published a proposed rule on the Federal Register in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks to improve job portability for highly skilled immigrants and clarify issues affecting foreign nationals in employment-based nonimmigrant visa categories like H-1B. The proposed regulations received almost 28,000 comments. On October 24, 2016, … Continue Reading

November 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State released the November Visa Bulletin, which contains some movement of final action dates in certain employment-based categories. The Worldwide EB1-1 category remains current for all categories, including individuals born in mainland China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico and the Philippines. The cutoff date for worldwide chargeability in the EB-2 category … Continue Reading

State Department Issues Cable on Extension of Three Visa Programs

On Oct. 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued an unclassified cable on the Continuing Resolution signed into law on Sept. 29, 2016 that extends several important immigration programs, including the Conrad State 30 Program, the non-minister special immigrant religious worker program (SR visa), and the EB-5 Regional Center program. The House and … Continue Reading

Department of State Issues October 2016 Visa Bulletin

This week, the Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for October 2016. EB-5 Unfortunately, the expected movement as the U.S. government begins a new fiscal year did not materialize for the EB-5 visa category. The date for final action for the EB-5 visa category for mainland China born applicants advanced only one week from … Continue Reading

USCIS Expands Eligibility for Unlawful Presence Provisional Waiver

In July 2016, USCIS announced a final rule expanding eligibility of immigrant visa applicants to provisional waivers of unlawful presence under INA section 212(a)(9)(B). Under the former rule promulgated in 2013, only applicants immigrating as immediate relatives (i.e., spouses, parents, or unmarried children of U.S. citizens under 21) could qualify for the waiver of the … Continue Reading

September 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

This week, the Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for September 2016. Given that visa numbers are issued based on the government fiscal year, we expect to see significant movement again in October 2016; for September 2016, the last month of FY2016, there were only minor changes with regard to movement of final action … Continue Reading

July 2016 – Monthly AILA Check-In with Charlie Oppenheim

After the release of the August Visa Bulletin, Charlie Oppenheim, chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS), provided his predictions on the future movement in the employment-based green card categories.  They are summarized below: EB-2 and EB-3 China The Final Action date of Jan. 1, 2010, will see … Continue Reading

August 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

This week the Department of State released the August Visa Bulletin, which contains some significant movement in certain employment-based categories. In its July Visa Bulletin, which we wrote about here, the Department advised that it would impose cutoff dates for India and China in the EB-1 category.  In the August Bulletin, the Department has imposed … Continue Reading

Export Controls Action by the U.S. Department of State Relating to H-1B Visa Holder

Between December 2009 and June 2010, a Chinese national and H-1B visa holder working at Microwave Engineering Corporation, a U.S. company located in Massachusetts, (Microwave) was provided with technical data which otherwise would have required a license from the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).  Specifically, the technical data to which the … Continue Reading

Upcoming Backlog Risks the Fate of Certain Special Immigrant Juveniles

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is an immigration status through which young people under 21 who meet specific eligibility requirements are able to gain Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) in the United States. This past month, working with Safe Passage Project (a New York City-based nonprofit organization that serves indigent immigrant youth), I secured a SIJS-based … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of State Announces Implementation of New Visa Waiver Program Law

On Jan. 21, 2016, the Department of State (“Department”) announced that it had begun the implementation of changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which were enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.  The Department reiterated that nationals of the 38 VWP countries who had traveled to Iran, Syria, Iraq, or Sudan after … Continue Reading

Over 4.5 Million Are Waiting for Green Cards—Over 100,000 of them are Employment-Based

The Department of State (DOS) recently published its annual report of immigrant visa applicants (2015 Annual Immigrant Visa Report), which tallies up the number of total applicants—including spouses and children—who are waiting for their respective priority date to become current, allowing for them to obtain their green card. The annual report, which totals the number … Continue Reading

DOS Cable Update On Personal/Domestic Employees

The Department of State (“DOS”) issued a cable, which updates a provision of the Foreign Affairs Manual that deals with personal/domestic employees of U.S. citizens on temporary assignment in the United States. The cable advises that the length of stay for a qualified employee is increased from FOUR to SIX years. In general, to qualify, the … Continue Reading

Department of State Issues Final Rule re: Procedures for Issuing Nonimmigrant Visas

The Department of State (DOS) issued a final rule effective November 2, 2015 updating its regulations regarding the nonimmigrant visa format and record retention procedures found at 22 CFR §41.114, which currently provides for the placement of a nonimmigrant visa stamp in the foreign national’s passport. The DOS has now amended the regulation to reflect … Continue Reading

Recent Department of State Guidance on Form I-129S Policy Merits Practical Consideration

On October 8, 2015, the Department of State (DOS) clarified that the endorsement validity dates of a Form I-129S control the period of a worker’s blanket L-1 classification.  In response to this DOS clarification, employers and holders of Blanket L visas are advised to verify the I-129S validity dates as soon as the endorsed form … Continue Reading

Updated Instruction for Using the DOS Visa Bulletin

Previously, GT wrote about the significant revisions to the October 2015 Visa Bulletin (Original Bulletin), and the Original Bulletin’s impact on foreign nationals and employers.  Just five days before the start of October, the Department of State (DOS) published a revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin (Revised Bulletin) that supersedes the previously published Original Bulletin.  The … Continue Reading

All Embassies and Consulates Closed on October 9, 2015, to perform Global Consular Systems Upgrade

On Friday, October 9, 2015, the Department of State will perform a consular systems upgrade at all Embassies and Consulates (Consular Posts).  Because of this upgrade, the Consular Posts will be closed to the public, and any scheduled appointments for this date will be rescheduled by the Consular Posts.  If you have a scheduled visa … Continue Reading
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