Tag Archives: USCIS

USCIS Implements H-1B Registration for Next Year’s H-1B Lottery

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), after publishing the final rule for a new H-1B lottery process in January 2019 has announced that the testing period is now over for the registration process in relation to the H-1B lottery and implementation will go into effect for the  fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap. See the USCIS … Continue Reading

OMB Releases Fall 2019 Unified Regulatory Agenda; DHS & USCIS Expect Active Rulemakings

Twice a year, the Office of Management and Budget, in concert with the General Services Administration and its own Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, publish the Unified Regulatory Agenda (Unified Agenda). The Unified Agenda is a transparency program that publishes federal agency rulemakings in process. It is not a process set in concrete but … Continue Reading

EB-5 Update – New Regulations to Take Effect and Regional Center Program to be Extended Through Dec. 20, 2019 

The EB-5 Regional Center Program was set to expire on Nov. 21, 2019. On Nov. 18, Congress introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government and extend vital programs such as EB-5 through Dec. 20, 2019. Leaders hope to use the additional time to extend current operations and complete fiscal matters and other priorities before … Continue Reading

Washington EB-5 Update

As a reminder to our readers, the Obama-era EB-5 Regional Center regulations – see July post for details – go into effect Nov. 21, 2019. USCIS has published a webpage resource to help explain the implementation of the upcoming regulations here. This is a period of significant change and activity on the EB-5 program. Clients are … Continue Reading

USCIS Announces More Fees and Fee Increases

Nearly 96% of the USCIS budget derives from fees. In our coverage of Congress, appropriations, continuing resolutions, and government shutdowns, we are reminded that USCIS is a fee-driven agency, as it does not depend on appropriations for its operations and, for example, remains open during government shutdowns over appropriations. We wrote last week about a … Continue Reading

$10.00 Fee for H-1B Electronic Registration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration, once it implements the electronic registration system. The final rule, Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens, will be effective Dec. 9, 2019. Upon implementation of the electronic registration system, … Continue Reading

USCIS Announces Premium Processing Fee Increase for Certain Employment-based Petitions

On Oct. 30, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is increasing the fee to request premium processing for certain employment-based petitions.  Beginning on Nov. 29, 2019, The premium processing fee will increase to $1,440 from the current fee of $1,410 for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien … Continue Reading

Extension of El Salvador TPS Wind-Down Through Jan. 4, 2021, Announced

Today, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced on Twitter a one-year extension (through Jan. 4, 2021) of the wind-down period of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 200,000 El Salvadorians working in the United States. Prior to today’s announcement and as previously reported, TPS status for El Salvador was extended in January 2018 through Sept. 9, 2019. Meanwhile, … Continue Reading

Reminder of the Automatic EAD Extension for Certain TPS Beneficiaries

E-Verify released a reminder on Sept. 27, 2019, that certain employment authorization documents (EADs) issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador are automatically extended through Jan. 2, 2020. We reported the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) notice of their action … Continue Reading

Friendly Fire: USCIS Deploys New Definition of ‘Residence’ in Statutory Provisions Related to Citizenship

On Aug. 28, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new policy guidance “to address requirements for ‘residence’ in statutory provisions related to citizenship, and to rescind previous guidance regarding children of U.S. government employees and members of the U.S. armed forces employed or stationed outside the United States.” USCIS has updated its Policy … Continue Reading

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
LexBlog