News & Analysis as of

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

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

USCIS Implements New Immigrant Fee Starting February 1, 2013

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that, beginning February 1, 2013, the agency will collect a $165 Immigrant Visa Department of Homeland Security Domestic Processing Fee (USCIS Immigrant Fee)...more

DHS Starts New Provisional Waiver Process for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens March 4

On January 2, 2013, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the posting of a final rule in the Federal Register that allows certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are physically...more

Waiting Lines for Family and Employment Categories: When Will I Receive My Green Card?

If you are applying for permanent residence in the United States, how do you figure out how long it will take? This seems like an easy question, but like many things with immigration, it can be complicated. ...more

Fiscal Year 2013 H-1B Cap Reached; EB-2 Retrogresses for All Countries

H-1B Fiscal Year 2013 Cap Is Reached On June 12, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that on June 11, 2012, it had received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the statutory cap for...more

EB-2 IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY BACKLOGGED FOR ALL COUNTRIES OF BIRTH STARTING JULY 1, 2012

On Monday, June 11th, the Department of State published the July 2012 Visa Bulletin, establishing a “cut-off date” of January 1, 2009, for EB-2 applicants born in countries other than India and China. EB-2 immigrant visas...more

FY-2012 EB-2 IMMIGRANT VISAS EXHAUSTED FOR INDIA & CHINA

On Wednesday, May 9th, the Department of State published the June 2012 Visa Bulletin, announcing that immigrant visa numbers are no longer available under the Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB-2) category for applicants...more

EB-2 IMMIGRANT VISAS UNAVAILABLE FOR INDIA AND CHINA UNTIL OCTOBER 1, 2012

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the May 2012 Visa Bulletin reflecting significant retrogression in EB-2 immigrant visa availability under the India and China employment-based second preference...more

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