Category Archives: USCIS

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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

Premium Processing Begins for Remaining H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions on June 10, 2019

Per its announcement on June 7, USCIS started accepting premium processing requests for all remaining FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions on June 10, 2019. This allows petitioners to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service with the service center processing their cap-subject H-1B petition. Previously, USCIS accepted premium processing requests only for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions … 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

Greenberg Traurig Attorney Courtney Noce is Quoted in Law360*

Courtney Noce, shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Immigration and Compliance Practice, was recently quoted in an April 24 Law360 article titled “New Israeli Visa to Woo Tech Startups.” The article discusses the E-2 investor visa program opening up to Israeli startups. To read the full article, please click here. *Access to this article requires a Law360 subscription.… 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

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

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua

The Department of Homeland Security filed a notice Thursday, Feb. 28 extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for four countries – Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua – as a result of federal court action. The approximately 300,000 affected immigrants in the United States will be allowed to extend their stays until January 2020. Please check back with us for … 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

DHS Publishes Final Rule for H-1B Lottery

On Nov. 30, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security issued the notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its H-1B cap-subject lottery process. On Jan. 31, 2019, USCIS will publish the final rule after a 30-day comment period. The final rule encompasses a pre-registration process and a modified selection process. The registration process will be suspended for FY … 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

Notice of Proposed Rule for H-1B Cap Season: Summary and Real-World Implications

On Nov. 30, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security issued the notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its H-1B cap-subject lottery process that USCIS conducts every year. The proposed rule seeks to amend the way H-1B cap-subject petitions are submitted for the lottery, and also the way H-1B cap-subject petitions are randomly selected. USCIS proposes a … 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

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

DHS Details Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Somalia Beneficiaries

Following the July 20 announcement of the granting of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalian beneficiaries, the Department of Homeland Security published a notice on Aug. 27 with instructions for the 18-month Somalian TPS extension from Sept. 18, 2018 through March 17, 2020. The 60-day re-registration period runs from Aug. 27, 2018 through Oct. 26. 2018. … Continue Reading

September 2018 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) recently released the September 2018 Visa Bulletin. The charts below show movement in employment-based categories. Referring to the Final Action Dates, following are updates from the September Visa Bulletin: EB-1: Mainland China and India had no movement, with a cutoff date of Jan. 1, 2012, while El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam … 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 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
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