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Important Immigration Updates and Reminders – January 2017

President Trump’s Executive Orders - Throughout his campaign, and now as President, Donald Trump has indicated that his immigration reform efforts will focus mainly on illegal immigration, as well as tighter immigration...more

2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program Announced

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has announced the opening of the registration period for the 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program enables foreign nationals to apply for permanent...more

Lengthy Delays for Nonimmigrant Visas at U.S. Consulates in India

Applicants for nonimmigrant visas in India are currently experiencing increased wait times for interview appointments at the U.S. Consular Posts. The Consulates in India are dealing with an extraordinary backlog that is not...more

DHS Publishes Final Rule Regarding Certain Immigrant and Nonimmigrants

On January 15, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule in the Federal Register, amending its regulations relating to the programs serving the H-1B1, E-3 and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications and...more

1/18/2016  /  CW-1 , DHS , E-3 , EB-1 , Final Rules , H-1B1 , Visas

DHS Proposes Rule Affecting Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Applications

On December 31, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, entitled “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled...more

2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program Announced

The U.S. Department of State has announced the opening of the registration period for the DV-2017 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program. The DV Lottery Program enables foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence in the...more

USCIS Suspends Final Adjudication of Employment-Based Adjustment Applications Until October 1

Starting today, September 24, 2015, USCIS will suspend final adjudication of employment-based adjustment of status applications filed on Form I-485, because the Department of State reports that the statutory cap has been...more

USCIS Announces New Process for Determining Eligibility to File for Adjustment of Status in Backlogged Preference Categories

On September 9, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a major overhaul of its system for determining adjustment of status eligibility for individuals with family-based or employment-based petitions...more

September 2015 Visa Bulletin: Major Retrogression for EB2 China and India

The U.S. Department of State has published the monthly “Visa Bulletin” for September 2015. The Visa Bulletin is a government publication, the primary purpose for which is to provide an updated waiting list for immigrants that...more

Visa Delays Plague U.S. Consulates and Embassies Due to Technical Issues

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has reported that it is experiencing technical problems with its visa systems, preventing it from issuing visa stamps to foreign nationals. The problem also affects the ability to schedule...more

USCIS Completes H-1B Cap Lottery for FY2016

As previously reported, on April 7, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2016. ...more

4/15/2015  /  H-1B , Lottery , USCIS , Visa Caps , Visas

DOS Establishes Timeline for 2015 Poverty Guidelines

When processing immigrant visa cases subject to the Affidavit of Support Form I-864 requirement, consular posts must use the numbers representing 125 percent of poverty guidelines as the minimum income that a petitioner...more

DHS Will Not Begin Accepting Expanded DACA Applications on February 2015

On February 17, 2015, Secretary Jeh C. Johnson announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not accept requests under the expanded DACA initiative on February 18, 2015, as originally planned, due to the...more

2/19/2015  /  DACA , DAPA , DHS , USCIS , Visas

Time to Get Ready for the H-1B Season

The most common H work visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.” A specialty occupation is one that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specific field of study as a minimum for entry into...more

The United States and China To Extend Visas for Short-term Business Travelers, Tourists, and Students

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that starting November 12, 2014, the United States and the People’s Republic of China will reciprocally increase the validity of short-term business and...more

USCIS Launches New E-Verify Website

E-Verify is the internet-based system through which employers can verify the work eligibility of new hires. Upon hiring a new employee, the employer checks the employee’s information against Department of Homeland Security...more

2016 Diversity Visa Lottery Opens Oct 1

The registration period for the 2016 Diversity Visa Program opened on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT -4). The period will close at noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST), Monday,...more

OCAHO Significantly Reduces Fine After Finding No Unauthorized Employees

On June 30, 2014, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), which is responsible for review of penalties imposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for I-9 compliance violations,...more

9/12/2014  /  I-9 , ICE , Immigrants , OCAHO , Visas

DOS Alert: China EB-5 “Unavailable” for Remainder of FY2014

According to the U.S. Department of State, effective Saturday, August 23, 2014, the China Employment Fifth (EB-5) preference category has become "Unavailable" for the remainder of the fiscal year 2014. This action is...more

What’s Going On With Consular Delays? (Part 2)

As we previously reported, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs has been experiencing technical problems with its passport and visa system causing delays. The Department reports that it has made significant...more

What’s Going On With Consular Delays? (Part 1)

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with its passport and visa system. Consular services are operational, but currently issuing documents at a reduced capacity....more

Duplicate E-Verify Entries

A new feature in E-Verify will now provide a notification to users when a case is entered that includes the same Social Security number as another case entered in the previous 30 days. Oftentimes duplicate cases are entered...more

6/27/2014  /  E-Verify , Immigrants , USCIS , Visas

Revised USCIS Guidance: Form I-693 No Longer Required As Initial Evidence

Generally, all applicants for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident must submit Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, completed by a physician designated by the U.S....more

Surprise Site Visits for L-1 Employers Expected

Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS), a faction of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), confirmed recently in a stakeholder teleconference that the FDNS plans to start making surprise visits to employers...more

5/16/2014  /  Fraud , H-1B , Immigrants , Inspections , L-1 , USCIS , Visas

Chilean Visa Waiver Implementation Accelerated

Recently, the United States announced that Chile would be added to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”). May 1, 2014, was the original implementation date,...more

4/14/2014  /  Immigrants , Visas , Waivers
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