Tag Archives: immigrant visas

Significant Retrogression – August 2019 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State (DOS) August 2019 Visa Bulleting shows significant retrogression in employment-based (EB) categories. In the EB-1 category, final action dates retrogress to July 1, 2016, for all countries of chargeability except for India. The cutoff date for India’s EB-1 category remains at Jan. 1, 2015. The EB-2 category retrogresses to July 1, … Continue Reading

Immigrant Entrepreneurship: An American Success Story

On June 4, 2019, the Kenan Institute released a timely policy brief, “Immigrant Entrepreneurship: An American Success Story,” on the value of highly skilled and motivated foreign entrepreneurs to the U.S. economy. The brief states, “When looking at the founding of the United States’ largest startups…[t]he immigrant-founded startups employ an average of more than 1,200 workers … Continue Reading

The United States Will Now Require Visa Applicants to Provide Social Media Information

Under a new State Department policy, virtually all visa applicants to the United States are now required to submit information about social media accounts they have used in the past five years. Applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas must use the State Department’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to complete online forms for nonimmigrant (DS-160) … Continue Reading

Visa Bulletin – June 2019

The U.S. State Department has just released the June 2019 Visa Bulletin, and the headline is the significant retrogression in EB-1 India, where the Final Action Date goes back to January 2015. There is slow forward movement in almost all employment-based categories; EB-1 China remains unchanged and EB-3 India remains more advanced than EB-2 India. For more visa … 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

September 2016 – Monthly AILA Check-In with Charlie Oppenheim

After the release of the October 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-1 China and India In the October bulletin, final action dates for India and … Continue Reading

October 2016 Visa Bulletin – Dates for Filing

In October 2015 the Department of State (DOS) visa bulletin saw significant revisions with the addition of a second chart entitled “Dates for Filing.”   The new chart was met with much excitement from foreign nationals who continue to experience significant retrogression as it provided earlier filing dates for adjustment of status applications.  These applications carry … Continue Reading

USCIS Announces It Has Returned All FY 2017 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions Not Chosen Through Random Selection

On July 8, 2016, USCIS announced that it had completed the process of returning all FY 2017 cap-subject H-1B petitions not chosen for adjudication in the random selection process.  Employers that have yet to receive a Notice of Receipt for cap-subject petitions submitted between April 1 and April 7, 2016, should receive them by July … Continue Reading

Dramatic Increase in Wait Times at U.S. Consular Posts Across India

According to a June 13, 2016 practice alert from AILA, appointment wait times for nonimmigrant visa interviews in India have soared.  This dramatic increase is likely the result of a reported increase in visa demand of over 80 percent in the past 5 years.  Unfortunately the AILA DOS Liaison Committee has indicated that they anticipate wait … Continue Reading

House Judiciary Committee to Consider Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016

Today, the House Judiciary Committee will consider H.R.5203, the Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016.  The bill is authored by Representative Randy Forbes of Virginia. The bill’s purpose is to enhance security procedures for the processing of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas.  We provide a sectional summary of the bill below. Section 2 of … Continue Reading

The New STEM OPT Program: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The new STEM OPT program became effective on May 10, 2016, and represents a complete overhaul of how this program has operated since 2008.  For the uninitiated, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics; and OPT stands for Optional Practical Training.  As previously reported, F-1 students with qualifying STEM degrees are now eligible for … Continue Reading

e-Passport Mandatory for the Visa Waiver Program

On May 9, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a statement clarifying that as part of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, those individuals utilizing the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) with an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to travel to the United … Continue Reading

June 2016 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State (DOS) has released the June 2016 Visa Bulletin that includes the “Application Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications.” For both family-sponsored and employment-based filings, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website indicates that the Application Final Action Dates chart must be used for May 2016. Please see … Continue Reading

U.S. Consulate in Toronto Suspends Third Country National Appointments in Summer 2016

Following a trend from past summers, the U.S. Consulate in Toronto has suspended Third Country Nationals’ (non-Canadian Nationals’) visa appointments in the summer months of June, July, and August. This suspension only applies to Third Country Nationals and Canadian citizen applicants. Those Third Country Nationals who are legally living in Canada are unaffected. Third Country … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig’s Ian Macdonald Featured in Law360 Article on O-1 Visas

The Law360 article addresses a draft policy guidance from the USCIS which proposes to add an extra step to the “comparable evidence” petition process for proving extraordinary ability for O-1 visa applicants. While some are in favor of the clearer guidance, some attorneys view the added step as unnecessary and burdensome.  Ian Macdonald weighs in here. … Continue Reading

H-1B Cap FY2017: Effective Immigration Strategies For Employers – Hiring Foreign Professionals

As the US economy recovers, the demand for H-1B visas is skyrocketing.  Please join our experienced immigration attorneys for this seminar which will provide important legislative updates and share effective strategies for succeeding this upcoming H-1B cap season. Topics will include: Lessons learned from the last cap season New fee schedule affecting certain employers Compliance and … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Immigration Attorneys Present as Guest Lecturers to Wharton School of Business

This past week, Greenberg Traurig attorneys, Matthew Galati and Shaun Staller, presented to The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business as guest lecturers for the institution’s “The Law at Work: Employment Law for Managers” class. Galati provided an overview of the immigration landscape in the context of employment and the business-related nonimmigrant and immigrant … Continue Reading

The July 2015 Visa Bulletin Brings Little Change

The Department of State’s July Visa Bulletin announced only a few modest changes in employment-based visa processing. Most significantly, the EB-3 subcategory for professionals and skilled workers will become unavailable for the Philippines. Additionally, Indian nationals seeking classification under the EB-2 preference category will see no change from the month of June.  Those seeking classification … Continue Reading

For a Limited Time! Renew Your Green Card Online

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on its website yesterday that from 10 a.m.EST Nov. 12, 2014, to 10 a.m. EST Nov. 15, 2014, permanent residents may apply to renew or replace their green cards online via the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS). Applications to renew or replace green cards are filed using … Continue Reading

Some Reciprocity Changes Announced by DOS

The Department of State (DOS) announced changes to the Country Reciprocity Tables for immigrant visa cases. Specifically, the DOS update provided the following country-specific updates: Date Country Change 11/3/14 Afghanistan Updated birth certificate information 10/23/14 Ukraine Updated police certificate information, regarding name of document. 10/23/14 Jordan Added information on obtaining a certificate of non-conviction.… Continue Reading
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