Visas United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

News & Analysis as of

Planning Ahead: H-1Bs for FY2017

As a reminder to all U.S. employers, H-1B season is almost here! United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will start accepting new H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2017 on Friday, April 1, 2016. As such,...more

Holiday Planning Should Include H-1B Cap Planning

While it may seem early, the holiday season is a good time for employers to start preparing for the H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins October 1, 2016. Demand for the H-1B has steadily increased so that last year,...more

F-1 Optional Practical Training Proposed Rule Released; Work Authorization Expanded for STEM Students

The long-awaited proposed rule on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) was published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The proposed rule is titled “Improving and...more

Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas,...more

DOS vs USCIS: Visa Bulletin Games

Last week USCIS issued guidance stating that it will advise which of the two visa bulletin charts; Dates for Filing Visa Applications or Application Final Action Date applicants should use....more

Immigration Updates: USCIS Announces Yet Another Change to the Visa Bulletin and STEM Graduates Granted a Reprieve by DHS

In our September 16th blog posting, we discussed the updated Visa Bulletin which provided a new chart for would-be immigrants. The new chart provides Dates for Filing Applications, or the earliest dates when an applicant may...more

Visa Bulletin: More Changes Impacting the I-485 Process

As previously reported in our legal update from September 10, 2015, the Department of State (DOS) made a major change to the Visa Bulletin in early September. Then, on September 25, 2015, that Visa Bulletin was rescinded and...more

USCIS and DOS Attempt to Clarify Increasingly Complex Visa Bulletin Situation

Each month, the Department of State (“DOS”) publishes current immigrant visa availability information in its Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin indicates when statutorily limited visas are available to prospective immigrants...more

USCIS Issues Further Guidance on the New Filing Date Visa Bulletin

In September, USCIS announced that some individuals would be eligible to file adjustment of status applications following a separate Dates for Filing Visa Applications (“filing date”) chart. This chart differed from the...more

Public Law 111-230 H-1B, L-1 Additional Fees Expire

H-1B and L-1 petitions filed on or after Oct. 1, 2015, should not include the additional fee that was previously required by Section 402 of Public Law 111-230, as amended by Public Law 111-347, for certain H-1B and L-1...more

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 on April 1, 2016

The filing period for new H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (or H-1B cap) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 will begin on Friday, April 1, 2016. Cap-subject H-1B petitions will have an employment start date...more

EB-5 Legislative Update

While the 10,000 visas that have been set aside for the EB-5 foreign investor program are part of the permanent law, the regional center program, which allows businesses and developers to aggregate the investment proceeds for...more

2017 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Begins Today

On October 1, 2015, the US Department of State will begin accepting requests to register for the 2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2017), also known as the Green Card Lottery. The Diversity Lottery Program provides a...more

State Department Revises October 2015 Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) just issued a revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin. As we noted in our last Alert, the DOS recently changed the format of its Visa Bulletin to add cutoffs for application dates. These are...more

Cruel Joke: Department of State Backtracks on New October 2015 Visa Bulletin: Dates for Filing Retrogress for EB-2 India and EB-2...

In a shocking move late Friday afternoon, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued a revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin that supersedes the Visa Bulletin originally published on September 9, 2015. The most dramatic changes...more

EB Filing Dates Pushed Back in Revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin

On September 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued a revised Visa Bulletin for October 2015 that supersedes the original Bulletin dated September 9, 2015. In the current Bulletin, the dates for certain...more

US Department of State Reissues October Visa Bulletin

The previously announced filing date cut-offs have been rolled back significantly. On September 25, the US Department of State issued a revised October Visa Bulletin that contains new and earlier filing cut-off dates...more

Visa Bulletin 2.0 and its Implications for Early Filing for Adjustment of Status

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Government pleasantly surprised the immigration world by publishing a new type of monthly Visa Bulletin for October 2015 with USCIS announcement about a new approach to the timing of the ability...more

Not So Fast! Department of State Releases Updated Visa Bulletin for October 2015

Earlier this month, USCIS, in coordination with the Department of State (“DOS”), announced that it was revising the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or...more

USCIS Suspends Final Adjudication of Employment-Based Adjustment Applications Until October 1, 2015

Effective September 24, 2015, USCIS will suspend final adjudication of employment-based Adjustment of Status Applications. Cited as the reason is the Department of State’s report that the statutory cap has been reached for...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

A Potential Federal Government Shutdown: The Immigration Implications for Employers

Congress has until September 30, 2015 to reach an agreement on the 2016 Fiscal Year federal budget. If an agreement to fund the federal government is not reached, immigration processes are expected to be impacted as they were...more

The State Department’s Revised Visa Bulletin Opens Temporary Window for Those Applying for Green Cards

Action Item: The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”), in coordination with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), has announced that it has revised “the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants...more

White House Report Offers Roadmap for Modernizing & Streamlining the U.S. Immigration System

On July 15, 2015, in an action that sought to confront a number of the U.S. legal immigration system’s lingering problems, the White House issued a report entitled “Modernizing & Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for...more

USCIS Issues New Procedures for Determining Time for Filing Green Card Application

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) promulgated new procedures for determining the visa availability date for individuals waiting to file employment- and family-based applications for...more

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