United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Department of State

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. The USCIS... more +
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. The USCIS performs a broad variety of administrative functions, including processing visa and naturalization petitions, as well as applications for asylum and refugee status.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Additional Movement for EB-2 India Released in Department of State's August 2014 Visa Bulletin

The August 2014 Visa Bulletin was recently released by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). As outlined in our June 10, 2014, legal update on this issue, the EB-2 category for foreign nationals from India pursuing the...more

Immigration Alert: January 2014

I. H-1B Nonimmigrant Season Opens on April 1, 2014, for Fiscal Year 2015 - As most H-1B employers know, there is an annual quota on the number of new H-1B petitions that can be approved each federal fiscal year. The...more

Update: Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Numbers and Priority Date Cutoffs

Department of State’s Visa Office comments on demand in the employment-based immigrant visa categories, indicating an early retrogression of the cutoff date for EB-2 India. Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control...more

Expect Significant EB-2 India Retrogression In December

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority dates that regulate when an individual can begin the final phase of the “green card” process, either through adjustment of status or consular...more

Immigration Alert: October 2013

I. USCIS Instructs on Immigration Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses - On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States ("SCOTUS") held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") was unconstitutional....more

End to Government Shutdown Heralds Resumption of US Immigration Processing

As of October 17, 2013, the government shutdown in effect since October 1, 2013 has come to an end. The shutdown had negatively impacted immigration processing in matters handled by the Department of State, United States...more

Impact of US government shutdown on immigration services

U.S. Congress’s failure to reach a budget deal has caused a partial shutdown of U.S. government offices and services. The full extent to which the government shutdown will impact various aspects of the immigration process is...more

Government Shutdown and Employment-Related Immigration Implications

Effective October 1, 2013, U.S. federal government operations are experiencing a lapse in appropriations due to the inability of Congress to pass a funding bill. Following are implications on immigration-related government...more

Government Shutdown And Processing Of Immigration Benefits

On October 1, 2013, the U.S. Federal Government implemented a shutdown after Congress failed to reach an agreement on appropriations. As a result, several federal agencies involved in processing immigration benefits have...more

Government Shutdown

Here is some preliminary information about what to expect while the government shutdown is in effect: E-VERIFY - The E-Verify system is not accepting cases and will cease processing pending cases for the...more

Immigration Consequences Of A Possible Federal Government Shutdown

If the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate fail to pass a bill financing the federal government, it will likely result in a partial government shutdown on October 1, 2013. The effect of a shutdown will vary among...more

Special Immigration Alert: The Immigration Ripple Effect of a Government Shutdown

The looming prospect of a Government shutdown will have a significant impact on the immigration process. Activities of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be largely unaffected because it is funded by...more

DHS Recommends Changes regarding Application of “Specialized Knowledge” Criteria for L-1B Visas

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a report to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) regarding the implementation of L-1 visa regulations. The report contains various recommendations to...more

CBP awaiting "guidance" to form policy on same-sex marriage derivative admissions

Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services have taken active steps to prepare their agencies to receive applications relating to same-sex couples based on the Windsor decision....more

7,000 Provisional Waiver Applications Received During the First Four Months of the Program

Since March 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) have been able to apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers (I-601A form) before they...more

Snapshots of Big Picture and Meaningful Small-Scale Developments in the World of Immigration

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) E-Verify system will now contact employees directly in the event of a Social Security Administration (SSA) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Tentative...more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Family-based 2A Category Current for August

The waiting line for immigration of family members and those sponsored by their employers moves according to determinations made by the Department of State (DOS) each month....more

DOMA Ruling: Practical Implications of the Supreme Court’s Decision

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in United States v. Windsor. The Court ruled that a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had denied federal benefits to...more

What Windsor Means for Same-Sex Married Couples Seeking U.S. Immigration Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional. This Section of DOMA prohibited the U.S. government from conferring any...more

Incorrectly Filed I-601As Are Being Rejected

Since March 4, 2013, USCIS has been accepting applications for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers (“Form I-601A”). Many of these applications have been rejected, however, because customers did not provide proof that the...more

Immigration Alert: April 2013

In This Issue: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Debate Begins! USCIS Reports That H-1B Cap Is Reached in First Week; New Form I-9 Becomes Effective on May 7, 2013; CBP Announces Form I-94 Automation; DOS Permits Access to...more

Sequestration Likely to Affect Immigration Services

On March 1, 2013, the Budget Control Act, including sections mandating across-the-board budget cuts to federal agencies (known as “sequestration”), went into effect. The sequester is likely to negatively impact immigration...more

Impact of Sequester on Immigration-Related Government Services

The automatic spending cutback is expected to result in diminished immigration-related services. It is anticipated that the sequester (the automatic spending cutback that went into effect on March 1, 2013) may result...more

Sequestration To Delay Consular Visa Processing & Other Effects

According to the Department of State, sequestration will likely reduce the number of officers processing visa applications, which will negatively impact wait times at U.S. consulates....more

New Immigrant Visa Fee Imposed

Effective February 1, 2013, individuals applying for immigrant visas through a U.S. Consulate abroad will be required to pay an immigrant visa fee of $165. This fee is in addition to the Department of State’s application...more

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