Stating 10/1/2017, employment based green card Applicants will need to attend in person interviews
On August 28, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will start conducting in-person interviews for permanent resident “green card” applications, effective Oct. 1. USCIS will start interviewing the following two categories of green card applicants:
Employment-based adjustment of status applications;
Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant.
USCIS stated the changes is to improve the detection and prevention of immigration fraud pursuant to Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” USCIS is planning an incremental expansion of interviews to other benefit types.
The two categories of immigrants were not subject to in-person interviews before. Employees who are applying for adjustment of status based on qualifying jobs are in the United States with valid non-immigrant status.
American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) confirmed on March 27, 2017 that USCIS will be conducting a lottery for Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B petitions. The process for receiving and receipting H-1B cap cases for 2018 will be the same as with prior years. During the period of April 3-7, 2017, if USCIS receives enough petitions to reach the 65,000 statutory H-1B cap and the 20,000 cap for petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, a lottery will be conducted. As in the past, a random computer selection will be run first the 20,000 master’s cap petitions. Any petitions not selected for the master’s cap will then be included in the random selection process for the 65,000 regular cap.
Good luck to everyone facing the lottery this year.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has brought back premium processing for certain CAP exempt petitions.
On April 3, 2017, USCIS halted premium processing of H-1B visa petitions, for up to six months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129. Prior to the halt, employers can request premium processing of H-1B petitions to ensure that USCIS will review the petition within 15 days at a cost of $1,225. Most non-premium processing types of H-1B petitions are currently averaging 6 to 8 months processing time. This suspension will apply to all H-1B regular cap and master’s cap petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B.
The only option for H-1B employers is that they may submit requests to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the Expedite Criteria. The employer must meet one of these concerns concerns as “severe financial loss,” “emergency situation” or “humanitarian reasons.”
USCIS announced today the current TPS Nepal beneficiaries who want to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from October 26, 2016 (Today) through December 27, 2016. The 18-month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Those who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of June 24, 2018. Some re-registrants may not receive their new EAD in time. USCIS will automatically extending current TPS Nepal EADs with a Dec. 24, 2016. These existing EADs are now valid through June 24, 2017.
To re-register for TPS, current TPS beneficiaries must submit:
In October 2016, the Department of Homeland Security launched a new Study in the States page. Prospective and current international students on F and M visas can use this page to learn about the process and rules for studying in the United States. The website explains a lot of legal and complicated terms, such as STEM OPT Extensions, designated school officials (DSOs), Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and etc.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) also rolled out a new Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student,” in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The new SEVP implement a 10-day turnaround on all DSO update requests.
Effective October 5, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has increased the validity period for initial or renewal Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) for asylum applicants from one (1) year to two (2) years. Applicants with pending asylum claims file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, under category (c)(8). This change applies to all (c)(8)-based applications that are pending as of October 5, 2016 and all such applications filed on or after October 5, 2016.