Tag Archives: USCIS

EB-5 Regulations Summary

As previously blogged (see EB-5 Regulations Published for Public Inspection), the EB-5 regulations have been published as of July 24, 2019, as final, to take effect Nov. 21, 2019.  Below is a summary of the changes that will impact the EB-5 program: Priority Date Retention: Generally, priority date retention can be retained from an approved I-526 petition if … Continue Reading

USCIS Determines Adjustment of Status Filing Dates for August 2019

On July 16, 2019, USCIS determined that for August 2019, the Dates for Filing chart must be used for family-based preference filings, and the Final Action Dates chart must be used for employment-based preference filings. In the F2A category, there is a cutoff date on the Dates for Filing chart. However, the category is “current” … Continue Reading

I-539 Applications are Treated as Stand-Alone Applications and are No Longer Eligible for ‘Courtesy’ Premium Processing with I-129

There is no premium processing available for any nonimmigrant status requested using a stand-alone Form I-539. Until recently, however, the USCIS would traditionally grant courtesy premium processing for I-539 applications (H-4, L-2, E-2 or O-3 applicants) that were filed concurrently with the principal’s I-129 petition if the I-129 was filed using premium processing. The USCIS … Continue Reading

USCIS International Offices to No Longer Accept Form I-407 Starting July 1, 2019

Starting July 1, 2019, international offices of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Residence Status. On that date and going forward, all I-407 forms must be sent by mail to the address below. USCIS anticipates that processing of the form, from receipt … Continue Reading

Presidential Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens – Stakeholder Message

USCIS Acting Director Cuccinelli tweeted June 14 that “@USCIS took action to further @POTUS directive to enforce the legal responsibilities of sponsors. Self-sufficiency is a principle that has been enshrined in our laws since the 1800s & we must ensure that immigrants who become part of our country abide by this principle.” His multiple tweets … Continue Reading

USCIS Announces Cap Reached for Additional H-2B Visas for FY 2019

USCIS announced June 7 it had received sufficient petitions to reach the recently allocated 30,000 additional returning worker H-2B visas (see our related May 8 post here). Some commenters had noted that the returning worker and the “irreparable harm” attestation requirements required under the additional allocation might suppress utilization. Even with the additional requirements, U.S. employers maintained … Continue Reading

New Leadership at USCIS; Former VA AG Ken Cuccinelli Named Acting Director

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been appointed acting director of USCIS, replacing Acting Director Koumans. Director Koumans replaced Director Cissna on June 3 as acting director.  Below is the USCIS release: WASHINGTON— Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan today announced that Kenneth T. (Ken) Cuccinelli will serve as the new acting director of … Continue Reading

USCIS Names Acting Director as Director Cissna Exits After Posting Metrics Report

USCIS Deputy Director Mark Koumans has been appointed acting director following L. Francis Cissna’s departure. Mr. Koumans has experience in Custom Border Protection and the U.S. Foreign Service. Prior to his exit from USCIS, former Director L. Francis Cissna released a report highlighting agency programs, workload and accomplishments, in which he states the following: The 2018 … Continue Reading

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

On May 17, USCIS announced completion of data entry for all fiscal year 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in its computer-generated random selection process. USCIS will now begin returning petitions that were not selected. USCIS will issue another announcement once it has finished returning all petitions that were not selected. As has been the case in … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Israel to Join Countries Qualified for E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

As previously announced on our blog, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa will soon be available to Israeli nationals wishing to make a substantial investment in or set up a business in the United States. USCIS announced on April 22 that eligible Israeli nationals already in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, as well … Continue Reading

USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY2020 and Reaches the Advanced Degree Exemption Cap

On April 10, 2019, USCIS announced it used a computer-generated random selection process to select enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated regular cap and U.S. advance degree exemption (Master’s cap) for fiscal year (FY) 2020. USCIS received 201,011 petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree … Continue Reading

Phase One of Premium Processing for FY 2020 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions Begins May 20

On May 20, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions that were filed (1) requesting a change of status; and (2) with a Form I-907. To manage high demand during the initial surge of premium processing requests for H-1B cap petitions and to … Continue Reading

Key Changes to this Year’s H-1B Cap that You Should Know

Premium Processing Available U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions on April 1, 2019, for employment start dates effective Oct. 1, 2019, the start of the 2020 fiscal year. Rather than suspending premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS announced that it will implement a two-phased approach to requests for … Continue Reading

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for all H-1B petitions

Effective immediately, USCIS has resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions. The resumption applies to new petitions as well as those that are currently pending with USCIS. This means that, for the first time in recent history, premium processing will likely be available for petitions filed during the annual H-1B cap-filing season in April. It … Continue Reading

USCIS moves EB-5 Modernization Rule to OMB

On 2/22/19, USCIS forwarded the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization final rule (RIN 1615-AC07) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – AGENCY: DHS-USCIS RIN: 1615-AC07 Status: Pending Review TITLE: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization STAGE: Final Rule ECONOMICALLY SIGNIFICANT: No ** RECEIVED DATE: 02/22/2019 LEGAL DEADLINE: None OMB will now begin assessment of … Continue Reading

USCIS to Revise Form I-539 and Implement New Form I-539A

On Feb. 11, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will revise Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and publish a new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Currently, Form I-539 is used by certain nonimmigrants extending their stay or changing to another nonimmigrant status; CNMI residents … Continue Reading

USCIS Reports Increased Processing Times

USCIS released telling data containing average processing times per form and petition type for fiscal years 2014 to 2018. While the normal pendency period for almost every type of case has increased since 2014, there have been significant delays for certain types of petitions. Foreign nationals seeking green cards have experienced longer wait times than … Continue Reading

How the USCIS changed its Advance Parole Policy – An Inside Look

On February 8, 2019, the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (Ombudsman’s Office) provided an inside look at its innerworkings with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Created by section 452, of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Ombudsman’s Office assists individuals and employers who need to resolve a problem … Continue Reading

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Petitions

Starting on Monday, Jan. 28, USCIS will resume premium processing for all fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption (the Master Cap). This applies to any H-1B cap petition filed in or before April 2018. Any petitioner who has received requests for evidence (RFEs) regarding their pending … Continue Reading

OMB Completes Review of H-1B Preregistration Rule

On January 25, OMB posted on Reginfo.gov that it has completed review of a USCIS regulation- Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions (RIN 1615-AB71). OMB review of this Final Rule is the last step in the regulatory process before final agency action by USCIS. Please check back as we will continue monitoring this … Continue Reading

USCIS’ Policy Memorandum on ‘Revised Interview Waiver Guidance for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence”

USCIS’s Policy Memorandum on ‘Revised Interview Waiver Guidance for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence” went into effect on Dec. 10, 2018. The memorandum fully replaces the June 24, 2005, “Revised Interview Waiver Criteria for Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence.” These guidelines apply to I-751 cases filed as a joint petition … Continue Reading
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