United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Visas

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

USCIS Updates Its List of 68 Countries Eligible to Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

On December 16, 2014, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in consultation with Department of State, added five new countries to the list of countries eligible...more

Employment-based Visa Petitions: Why Dun and Bradstreet Can Make or Break a Petition

It’s a little known fact that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) won’t approve an employment-based visa petition before checking the company information against the Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) database via the...more

How to Sponsor Same-Sex Spouse for Green Card

Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor in June 2013, in which the Court struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex married couples were not allowed to seek a green card on behalf...more

The Immigration Accountability Executive Actions: Ramifications for Business

On November 20 and 21, 2014, President Obama announced his plan for executive action on the United States’ immigration problems, known as the immigration accountability executive actions. The actions represent the most...more

Why is My I-94 Expiration Date Different from My Form I-797 or Visa?

Form I-94 is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Arrival/Departure Record issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to foreign nationals admitted to the U.S. Form I-94 designates the duration of authorized...more

Visa Restrictions on Foreign Entrepreneurs to Ease Under Obama Immigration Directives

President Barack Obama’s immigration directives, announced on November 20, 2014, include a plan to ease visa restrictions, “mak[ing] it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and...more

President's Immigration Executive Action Will Impact Employers

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced executive action to allow millions of undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States temporarily and apply for work authorization. This executive action also includes...more

Recent Changes in US Immigration Processes and Technology

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented changes recently that affect many individuals seeking to travel to the United States, US employers of H-1B and L-1 workers, and users of some USCIS services. This...more

I-751 Applications Transferred from Vermont Service Center to California Service Center

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that Forms I-751, Petitions to Remove the Conditions on Residence, filed with the Vermont Service Center have been transferred to the California Center. This was...more

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY 2016 on April 1, 2015

The filing period for “new” H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (the “H-1B cap”) for FY 2016 will begin on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Cap-subject H-1B petitions will have an employment start date of...more

DC Circuit Reverses Decision that Fogo de Chao Chef Lacks “Specialized Knowledge”

On October 21, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that it was reversible error for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service ("USCIS"), an agency of the Department of...more

Immigration Corner: Time to Play the Lottery, New myE-Verify Website Provides Tools and an Education, Free Webinar on Form I-9 and...

Applications for the 2016 Diversity Visa Lottery are now being accepted and must be submitted electronically by noon, Eastern Standard Time, on Monday, November 3, 2014, to be considered. Each year, the United States...more

Supreme Court Will Hear Two Immigration Cases in 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court announced this month which cases it will hear in the coming year. Two of such cases are immigration cases that could have significant implications on immigration law depending on how they are ultimately...more

Department of State Releases November 2014 Visa Bulletin

Bulletin shows severe retrogression of cutoff date in EB-2 India category; meanwhile, the cutoff date in all other employment-based categories will advance. EB-3 China will once again move ahead of EB-2 China....more

What Happens If H-1B Worker Changes Work Location?

The H-1B visa is one of the most sought after work visas in the country. Employees sponsored to work in the U.S. on an H-1B work visa are allowed to work in the U.S. for a maximum of six years, but the term can be extended...more

EB-2 India Retrogresses Significantly in November

As predicted in the August/September 2014 issue of the Immigration eAuthority, the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin for November 2014 indicates that the priority date for the employment-based second preference...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

I-94 Errors: How to Address Missing or Incorrect I-94 Cards

Since July of 2014, it has been reported that certain visa petition approval notices (Form I-797s) have been issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) without I-94 cards attached. In addition, U.S. Customs...more

National Visa Center Cases Delayed for 60 days

Due to a recent increase in immigrant visa petitions approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the National Visa Center (NVC) is experiencing a rather significant backlog. The NVC has issued notices to...more

Beware of Scam Targeting H-1B Applicants

Visa applicants are often the subject of scams and other fraudulent activity and the immigration lawyers at Shapiro Law Group have become aware of a new scam targeting H1-B visa applicants that arose over the summer....more

I-9 Blues: A Heads Up for Employers in I-9 Document Review

On September 22, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a notice to the public after their blog posting in the Beacon on September 16, 2014. ...more

India EB-2 Expected to Retrogress

The second preference employment based category for immigrant petitions for Indian nationals is expected to retrogress as early as November. ...more

Reminder: USCIS Reviews All Immigration-Related Documentation in Employment-Based Adjustment Cases

Foreign nationals and immigration practitioners often wonder why USCIS requests all immigration status documents ever issued to an applicant when applying for adjustment of status based on employment. There is a long-standing...more

USCIS 2014 Ombudsman Annual Report Confirms Increased Scrutiny for L-1 Intracompany Transferrees

On June 27, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released its 2014 Ombudsman Annual Report. The Ombudsman Annual Report confirms what employers and immigration attorneys have been experiencing for the past...more

Cap Gap Expiration Approaching: Some Employees' Work Authorization May End on October 1, 2014

Fiscal year 2015 cap-subject H-1B petitions selected and approved by USCIS will be valid starting October 1, 2014. However, as October 1, 2014 approaches, many cap-subject H-1B petitions remain pending at both the California...more

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