Tag Archives: USCIS

USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Petitions Filed under FY2018 Cap

USCIS announced today that it will resume its premium processing service for all H-1B petitions that are subject to this year’s H-1B cap.  This news provides much needed relief to employers and foreign nationals, particularly in those situations where an employee is relying on F-1 optional practical training (OPT) cap gap provisions for work authorization. … Continue Reading

GT’s Ian Macdonald Discusses Advance Parole Denials in Law360

Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Ian Macdonald was recently quoted in the Law360’s article, “Attorneys Sound the Alarm over Advance Parole Denials,” discussing an increase in advance parole (AP) renewal denials. Attorneys have noticed a shift in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) handling of AP applications, particularly with an increase of renewal denials as early as … Continue Reading

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces the Rescission of DACA

On Sept. 5, 2017, Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  DACA is a mode of temporary relief given to children (now college-aged or older) who entered the United States without inspection with their parents and allowed them to apply for temporary work … Continue Reading

Denial of Advance Parole Applications Due to International Travel Adversely Impacts U.S. Companies

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is denying Advance Parole (AP) applications when an applicant travels internationally while the application is pending with USCIS.  This represents a big adjudication shift by USCIS, which has for several years allowed certain AP applicants to travel abroad while waiting for USCIS to approve an AP application.  By making … Continue Reading

Seeking Permanent Residence? USCIS Issues New Interview Requirements Taking Effect Oct. 1

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Aug. 28, 2017, that beginning on Oct. 1, USCIS will begin requiring in-person interviews at local District Offices for adjustment of status applications based on employment, as well as certain refugee/asylee relative petitions. In the past, USCIS did not require an in-person interview adjustment of status applications based … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum to Define “Affiliate” or “Subsidiary for Determining the H-1B ACWIA Fee

On Aug. 28, 2017, USCIS released a policy memorandum that clarified the definition of “affiliate” and “subsidiary” for purposes of determining the H-1B ACWIA fee.  The H-1B ACWIA fee is $1500 for H-1B petitioners who have 26 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, and half that amount ($750) for H-1B petitioners who have 25 or … Continue Reading

Emerging Trends: USCIS Challenging Level 1 Wages and Computer Programmer Occupational Classification for H-1B Petitions

Over the past several months, some trends have developed which pose challenges for employers taking part in the H-1B program: 1. the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) for H-1B petitions that challenge the H-1B position’s level 1 prevailing wage classification, the lowest permitted wage level for H-1B filings; … Continue Reading

September 2017 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State (DOS) recently released the September 2017 Visa Bulletin.  The charts show movement in some employment-based categories, with no movement in other employment-based visa categories. According to the September Visa Bulletin, the following are updates to Final Action Dates: EB-1: The Worldwide EB-1 category for India and China remains stalled at Jan. 1, … Continue Reading

Arizona, Maryland, and Wyoming To Participate in E-Verify Ride Program

As of July 31, 2017, Arizona, Maryland, and Wyoming are official participants in the federal government’s E-Verify enhancement program, RIDE. The Record and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE) verifies the validity of state-issued driver’s licenses and ID card information by matching data entered by employers into E-Verify against state departments of motor vehicles records. … Continue Reading

USCIS Posts Comprehensive Reports Containing H-1B and EAD Data

Under the heading “Transparency for U.S. Workers,” the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uploaded five reports today containing comprehensive data regarding its H-1B and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) adjudications. The H-1B reports “provide information about the hiring practices of employers who petition for foreign national workers.” The H-1B trend report contains statistics about the H-1B program … Continue Reading

USCIS to Resume Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Institutions

On June 20, the USCIS Ombudsman office held a teleconference on H-1B petition processing to discuss various topics, including premium processing.  Premium processing for H-1B petitions had been suspended in mid-March of this year so that resources could be focused on processing current petitions.  During the call, USCIS stated that it would bring back premium … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues New Visa Bulletin Tutorial for I-485 Applications

USCIS has issued a new online tutorial for immigrants that will help determine when a Form I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status, can be filed with USCIS.  For those immigrants who have a family-based or employment-based immigrant petition filed or approved on their behalf, the new Visa Bulletin tutorial details how to determine your priority … Continue Reading

USCIS Releases New Edition of I-9 and Handbook for Employers

On July 17, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  The new Form I-9 contains minor changes to the instructions and list of acceptable documents.  More specifically, the instructions now reflect the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment practice’s new name, Immigrant and Employee … Continue Reading

August 2017 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State’s (DOS) August 2017 Visa Bulletin showed some minor forward movement in some employment-based categories, with no movement or retrogression in other employment-based visa categories. Referring to the Final Action Dates, the following are the updates for the August Visa Bulletin: The Worldwide EB-1 category for India and China remains stalled at Jan. … Continue Reading

USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Physicians under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program

Starting Monday, June 26, USCIS will resume premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers. As background, the Conrad 30 program allows certain medical doctors to stay in the United States on a temporary visa after completing their medical training … Continue Reading

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

DHS Rescinds Memorandum Addressing Expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents

The Nov. 20, 2014 DAPA memorandum, which to date has not been implemented, directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) “to establish a process, similar to DACA, for exercising prosecutorial discretion through the use of deferred action, on a case-by-case basis” to certain undocumented parents who have “a son or daughter who is a U.S. … Continue Reading

USCIS Adopts Policy Clarifying Eligibility Criteria for U.S. Master’s Degree H-1B Cap

On May 23, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adopted as official policy the Administrative Appeals Office’s (AAO’s) decision in Matter of A-T-Inc. Specifically, USCIS announced that to be eligible for the H-1B U.S. master’s cap, an individual must have earned a U.S. master’s degree from a school that qualified as a “U.S. … Continue Reading

June 2017 Visa Bulletin Update: EB-1 Final Action Dates Retrogression for China and India

According to the June 2017 Visa Bulletin released by Department of State and effective June 1, there will be significant retrogression in the EB-1 category for individuals born in mainland China and India. While the current cutoff date for worldwide chargeability in the EB-1 category will remain current, the final action dates for Chinese and … Continue Reading

USCIS to Begin Issuing Redesigned ‘Green Cards’ Starting May 1, 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 19, 2017 that the agency will begin issuing revamped Permanent Resident Cards (commonly referred to as “green cards”) and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD Cards) as a part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project,  a multi-agency initiative aimed at modernizing security measures through advanced biometrics technologies. … Continue Reading

Agencies Open H-1B Cap Season with Initiatives to Combat Fraud and Abuse

The U.S. immigration agency’s busiest day of the year was marked with reminders about the dark side of the H-1B visa program.  Acceptance of H-1B cap-subject petitions started on April 3, 2017. But the flurry of H-1B filings were met with announcements from agencies involved with the H-1B program about measures designed to tighten policies … Continue Reading
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