Tag Archives: USCIS

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

USCIS Continues to Increase Number of RFEs and Denials Issued

Since President Trump issued his “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order in April 2017, USCIS has been issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) at unprecedented rates. While the H-1B visa category was specifically targeted as one requiring stricter scrutiny and reform efforts, USCIS has also focused on other visa types for significant adjudication and approval … Continue Reading

USCIS Publishes a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Remove Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 VISA Holders

As an update (to this recent posting), we clarify that USCIS recently indicated in the Fall Unified Agenda the posting of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in November 2018 (see RIN 1615-AC15) on this regulation. Please check back as this and other H-1B regulatory actions are anticipated in the near future. U.S. Department of Homeland … Continue Reading

November 2018 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) November 2018 Visa Bulletin shows movement in employment-based categories. The EB-1 category remained retrogressed for November 2018. Although it is likely that there will be some forward movement in December 2018 for EB-1 India, it will probably NOT return to “current” this calendar year. The EB-2 India category will likely move … Continue Reading

Proposed Immigration Rule – Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds

USCIS has proposed rules that could deny entry to non-immigrants seeking admission to the United States and adjustment of status to permanent residence to immigrants if they rely on public benefits for food, housing or medical care, and other forms of public assistance. The proposed rule – “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” – is published in … Continue Reading

Challenges with “Function Manager” Positions in the L-1A and EB-1 Multinational Manager Classifications

In today’s world of evolving multinational organizations, from hierarchical to flat structures, and increased scrutiny of the L-1 visa category by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the challenges of the “function manager” position within the L-1A visa and First Preference Employment-based immigrant visa for Multinational Managers or Executives (EB-1 MM) classifications continue to cause … Continue Reading

USCIS Proposes Increase to Premium Processing Fee

On Aug. 31, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a final rule in the Federal Register to increase the premium processing fee for certain visa petitions to $1,410, effective Oct. 1, 2018. Premium processing, a service offered for certain petitions, requires U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjudicate a petition (i.e., approve, … Continue Reading

USCIS Extends and Expands Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

USCIS is extending the temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions and, beginning Sept. 11, 2018, will be expanding this temporary suspension to include certain additional H-1B petitions. The suspensions are expected to last until Feb. 19, 2019.  While H-1B premium processing is suspended, USCIS will reject any request for premium processing filed with … Continue Reading

UPDATE: USCIS Postpones Implementation of New Policy Memoranda on Notices to Appear

As previously reported, on June 28, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum titled “Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens.”  USCIS has announced that because it is waiting for operational guidance on the Policy Memo from … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues Two New Policy Memoranda on Notices to Appear and Denials in Lieu of RFEs and NOIDs – What This Means for You

On June 28, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum titled “Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens.” Later, on July 13, 2018, the USCIS issued a Policy Memorandum titled “Issuance of Certain RFEs and NOIDs.” … Continue Reading

DHS Announces Additional 15,000 H-2B Visas for 2018

Today, Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, announced an additional 15,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural visas will be available for Fiscal Year 2018.  DHS had been under political pressure to release additional H-2B visas by businesses and industry groups citing labor workforce needs.  Groups had been calling for the immediate release of additional H-2Bs to help … Continue Reading

USCIS Announces Termination of TPS for Nepal; Continues Trend with Other TPS Nations

On April 26, 2018, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced, after reviewing country conditions and consulting with various U.S. government agencies, that the grounds for Nepal’s TPS designation on the basis of an environmental disaster are no longer met and as such, termination of the designation is required by statute. As a result, … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues Policy Alert on Revising Policy Manual Regarding Tenant-Occupancy Methodology

USCIS issued a policy alert on May 16, 2018, to announce that it will revise its policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual.  The changes will be effective as of May 15, 2018.  The policy guidance reverses the previous stance on the tenant occupancy economic methodology.  The new policy guidance does not consider the tenant-occupancy … Continue Reading

USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2019

USCIS has announced that it received 190,098 H-1B petitions during the filing period for FY2019, which began on April 2, 2018, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption.  This year’s number of petitions is lower than the 199,000 H-1B petitions filed in FY2018.  Per the regulations, on April 11, USCIS conducted its random lottery … Continue Reading

FY2019 H-1B Cap Met

USCIS announced today, April 6, 2018, that the FY 2019 H-1B cap is now closed because it has received a sufficient number of H‐1B petitions to reach the 65,000 statutory cap as well as the 20,000 advanced degree exemption. The announcement did not provide details about the total number of H-1B petitions filed.  USCIS will … Continue Reading
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