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USCIS

Jan 19, 2018

The Weekly Round-Up: H-1B Visa Applications Expected to Surge, DACA Fight Continues Potentially Forcing Government Shutdown, and States and Federal Government at Odds Over Immigration Enforcement

H-1B Visas

The number of applications for H-1B visas – reserved for foreign professionals seeking to work in skilled positions in the United States – is expected to rise this year, and employers need to prepare accordingly.

The law caps the number of available visas at 85,000 (with 20,000 reserved for those with a master’s degree), and the 85,000 recipients are chosen at random through a lottery system. … Read More

Nov 21, 2017

Employers: Beware of Form I-9 Email Scam

In a statement released yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned that employers across the United States have been receiving scam emails requesting information from and copies of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  The scam emails have been sent to employers using various email addresses with the sender’s name masked to reflect the name of the DHS’s application support agency, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). … Read More

Nov 17, 2017

Immigration Weekly Round-Up: Reconsideration of DACA Applications, Immigration Status in Court, ICE Enforcement in Disaster Zones

– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to Reconsider Delayed DACA Applications.  When the Trump Administration announced in September that DACA would be ending, and that the final applications would be accepted no later October 5, 2017, many DACA recipients and their attorneys quickly worked to send out renewal applications.  Recently, the New York Times reported that a little over 100 DACA recipients had mailed their applications well in advance of the October 5 deadline, but their applications had arrived after that date and had been rejected by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. … Read More

Oct 03, 2017

USCIS: H-1B Premium Processing for Certain H-1B Visa Petitions Accepted and Pending Under 2018 Cap Resumes

Following the Administration’s March 2017 halt to premium processing for H1-B Premium Processing services, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the premium processing halt on certain H-1B petitions would resume again for another group of H-1B petitions:  (1) when the visa petition has been accepted under the Fiscal Year 2018 cap (during the five business days in April of 2017); and (2) is still pending. … Read More

Jul 28, 2017

USCIS: H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Research Organizations, Colleges, Universities, Hospitals, and Other Cap-Exempt Petitioners Resumes

Following the Administration’s March 2017 halt to premium processing for H1-B Premium Processing services, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, effective immediately, premium processing would resume for certain petitions that may be exempt from the H-1B annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year.… Read More

Jul 18, 2017

All Employers: Yet Again, USCIS Releases an Updated Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has again changed the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  On July 17, 2017, USCIS published the revised version, which employers are mandated to use effective September 18, 2017.  Until then, employers may continue to use the current Form I-9.  Further, employers must remain compliant with existing Form I-9 storage and retention policies for any previously completed employment verification forms.… Read More

Jul 05, 2017

Venezuelan Asylum Applicants in the United States Double Amid Venezuela’s Political and Economic Chaos

Venezuela’s ongoing political turmoil and near economic collapse have caused thousands of Venezuelans to flee to the United States to seek asylum protection.  United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that in the first three months of 2017, 8,301 Venezuelans sought asylum protection in the United States, compared to 3,507 asylum applicants in the same three months of 2016.  Based on those numbered, USCIS projects that this year’s applications will surpass last year’s 18,155 requests, when Venezuela surpassed China as the country with the most US asylum applicants.… Read More

Jun 27, 2017

Immigration Agency Resumes Necessary Premium Processing for Important Medical Doctor Visa Waiver

Following the Administration’s March 2017 halt to premium processing for Physicians under the Conrad 30 J-1 Waiver Program, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on June 23 that premium processing would resume.  Premium processing allows for USCIS application processing within 15 days at an additional cost.

Given the very short timelines USCIS set for the Conrad 30 Waiver and similar programs, premium processing is necessary to allow many whose time qualified to change status. … Read More

Aug 19, 2015

USCIS Update for DACA Recipients Who Received 3-Year Work Permits

USCIS has accounted for over 99 percent of the approximately 2,600 identified invalid work permits requiring return.  Twenty-two of the approximately 2,600 recipients failed to return their work permits or certify good cause for not doing so by the deadline of July 30, 2015.  As a result, those 22 have been terminated from DACA.

The recall only applied to SOME individuals who received a card after Feb.… Read More

Aug 19, 2015

USCIS Announces Temporary Immigration Relief for Those Affected by Typhoon Soudelor

On August 2, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor caused extensive damage in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). USCIS announced that those affected by Typhoon Soudelor may be eligible for certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief

Eligible individuals may request or apply for temporary relief measures, including:

  • A change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
  • Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and
  • Assistance to lawful permanent residents (LPR) stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).
Read More

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