THE OH LAW
Oh Attorney Blog
The Oh Law Firm and its Lawyers are not responsible for reliance
by the reader on this information as each individual situation
may be unique and different. The readers are advised to seek
legal counsel from a qualified immigration attorney. The information
stated here is subject to change.
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it out of context. The laws, policies, and practices of agencies
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05/23/2018: USCIS Policy Alert of 05/23/2018 on CSPA Policy
- This guidance is controlling and supersedes any
prior guidance on the topic.
I-129CW Form for CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Worker
- USCIS has revised new edition of this form
dated 05/09/2018 today. Beginning from July 24, 2018, CNMI stakeholders
must use this revised version of the form.
05/23/2018: DOL Initiates Process of Revision of ETA 9035/ETA 9035E Forms
Plus WH-4 Form for Enhanced Transparency and Tracking of Employer
- The DOL has determined that additional information
is required to be collected through Form ETA-9035/9035E to allow
the DOL to better track employer usage of the program and provide
greater transparency to the public with respect to the employment
of H-1B, H-1B1, and
E-3 nonimmigrant workers in the United
States. With respect to Form WH-4, the Department is modifying
naming conventions for certain data fields, to align them better
with current DOL data systems.
- Proposed revision has yet to be made available
to the public, but the proposal is just submitted to the OMB
for the approval. It is obvious that this change is intended
to implement the Presidential Executive Order of Buy American,
Hire American to restrict and track down abuse of these non-immigrant
visa programs negatively affecting U.S. workers jobs. Stakeholder
entities, including AILA, are likely to participate in this process
once it is published tomorrow in the federal register.
05/21/2018: BIA Ruled Today "Engaging in" or "Agreeing
or Offering" to Engage in Sexual Conduct for "Anything
of Value" as Aggravated Felony
- The Board of Immigration Appeals ruled "today"
that "The term "prostitution" in section 101(a)(43)(K)(i)
of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(K)(i)
(2012), which provides that an offense relating to the owning,
controlling, managing, or supervising of a prostitution business
is an aggravated felony, is not limited to offenses involving
sexual intercourse but is defined as engaging in, or agreeing
or offering to engage in, sexual conduct for anything of value."
See Matter of Shuying DING, 27 I&N Dec. 295 (BIA
2018), Interim Decision #3927.
- Aggravated felony is cause for removal under
the immigration law. Immigrants, behave yourself!
05/21/2018: Reportedly 130 House Bi-Partisan Members Demanded
DHS Secretary in a Joint-Letter to Continue H-4 EAD Program
- As the DHS is scheduled to initiate a rule-making
process probably beginning from June 2018 to rescind the H-4
EAD rule. Jayapal.house.gove site reports that 130
House of Representatives wrote a joint letter on May 16, 2018
demanding not rescind the H-4EAD program. Readers are aware that
H-4 EAD rule is currently under litigation and AG reported to
the Congress its plan on H-4 EAD future to mitigate the pending
litigation. Let's watch development carefully hereon.
05/21/2018: Procedure for "Nepal" TPS Re-Registration
for One Year Before Termination of TPS Effective 06/24/2019
- The Notice was released by the DHS Secretary
earlier but it had yet to be published in the federal register
to comply with the law. This notice will be officially published
in the federal register, 05/22/2018. The one-year
TPS extension re-registration will begin from 05/22/2018 for
60 days. Those Nepalese who are in TPS should make it sure that
they re-register during the 60-day period for them to stay in
this country for one more year from 06/24/2018 and depart on
05/18/2018: Alert for OPTs! "Transfering to Another School" or
"Study at Another Ed Level" Automatically Terminates
OPT & EAD!!
- USCIS announcement confirming automatic termination of OPT for F-1 Students
if they transfer to a different school or begin study at another
educational level. It means that transferring to another school
or beginning study at another educational level (for example,
beginning a masters program after completing a bachelors
degree) automatically terminates their OPT as well as their corresponding
EAD! Such termination of OPT may not lead to out of status. It
states that although authorization to engage in OPT ends upon
transferring to a different school or changing educational level,
students in F-1 status will not be otherwise affected as long
as they comply with all requirements for maintaining their student
status. These requirements include not working with a terminated
EAD, because termination means that students are no longer authorized
to work in the United States.
- USCIS and USICE SEVP have
already taken an action. The announcement states that currently,
ICE SEVP informs USCIS of the termination date, and the OPT termination
is automatic under current regulations. USCIS has updated its
systems and will begin to enter the EAD termination date into
these systems after being notified by SEVP. USCIS will notify
affected students and provide them with an opportunity to correct
any errors in the record via their designated school official
05/15/2018: USCIS Announces FY-2019 H-1B Cap Data Entry
Completed and Started to Return Unselected Cases
- USCIS has released announced that it has completed data entry
for all fiscal year 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected
in our computer-generated random selection process. USCIS will
now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were
not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS cannot
provide a definite time frame for returning unselected petitions.
USCIS asks petitioners not to inquire about the status of their
cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or
an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement
once all the unselected petitions have been returned. Additionally,
USCIS may transfer some Form I-129 H-1B cap subject petitions
between the Vermont Service Center and the California Service
Center to balance the distribution of cap cases. If your case
is transferred, you will receive notification in the mail. After
receiving the notification, please send all future correspondence
to the center processing your petition.
- Please note two important points from the
announcement: (1) For workload balances, the cap cases may be transferred
between California Service Center and Vermont Service Center.
(2) Receipt notices for selected cases and return of unselected
cases cases be sent out in parallel in the mail. Accordingly,
this announcement does not imply that it has completed sending
out notices for selected cases. What would be followed? The announcement
does not tell the cap filers, but it is anticipated that tons
of Request for Evidence (RFE) will start being sent out as well.
05/14/2018: USCIS Recalling Approximately 8,543 Incorrectly
Dated Green Cards
- USCIS announces today, 05/14/2018, that the cards
were printed with an incorrect Resident Since date
and mailed between February and April 2018. The affected individuals
should return their incorrect Green Card to USCIS in the provided
pre-paid envelope within 20 days of receiving the notice. They
may also return their cards to USCIS field offices. USCIS will
send replacement Green Cards within 15 days of receiving the
05/12/2018: USCIS & DOJ Formalize Partnership to Protect
U.S. Workers from Discrimination and Combat Fraud
- Yesterday, 05/11/2018, USCIS and U.S. Department
of Justice signed Memorandum of Understanding to combat immigration
fraud and to protect American workers as part of the Presidential Executive Order of "Buy
American, Hire American." DOJ
and USCIS explained the purpose as follows:
- USDOJ Acting
Assistant Attorney General: In the spirit of President
Trumps Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American,
todays partnership adds to the Civil Rights Divisions
tools to stop employers from discriminating against U.S. workers
by favoring foreign visa workers, and The Division
(DOJ) looks forward to expanding its partnerships with USCIS
to hold accountable employers that discriminate against U.S.
workers based on their citizenship status.
- USCIS Director:
Protecting and maintaining the integrity of our immigration
system remains a key priority for me, and underpins the exceptional
work of the professionals at USCIS, and This agreement
enhances the level of coordination among investigators who often
work on the same issues at different agencies. Breaking down
silos and working with our federal partners to combat employment
discrimination will help ensure that U.S. workers have the advocate
they need at the highest level.
- Employers, beware!
05/11/2018: Important USCIS Policy Memorandum of 05/10/2018
on "Accrual of Unlawful Presence" for F, J, and M Nonimmigrants
- This very and very important
policy memorandum was posted today, 05/12/2018. All the F, J,
and M visa holders and their dependent family members should
immediately read this policy memrandum. USCIS announcement summarizes
the Memorandum as follows:
- Individuals in F, J, and
M status who failed to maintain their status before Aug. 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on that date
based on that failure, unless they had already started accruing
unlawful presence, on the earliest of any of the following:
- The day after DHS denied
the request for an immigration benefit, if DHS made a formal
finding that the individual violated his or her nonimmigrant
status while adjudicating a request for another immigration benefit;
- The day after their I-94
- The day after an immigration
judge or in certain cases, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA),
ordered them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the
decision is appealed).
- Individuals in F, J, or M
status who fail to maintain their status on or after Aug. 9,
2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of
any of the following:
- The day after they no longer
pursue the course of study or the authorized activity, or the
day after they engage in an unauthorized activity;
- The day after completing
the course of study or program, including any authorized practical
training plus any authorized grace period;
- The day after the I-94 expires;
- The day after an immigration
judge, or in certain cases, the BIA, orders them excluded, deported,
or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).
- Individuals who have accrued
more than 180 days of unlawful presence during a single stay,
and then depart, may be subject to three-year or 10-year bars
to admission, depending on how much unlawful presence they accrued
before they departed the United States. Individuals who have
accrued a total period of more than one year of unlawful presence,
whether in a single stay or during multiple stays in the United
States, and who then reenter or attempt to reenter the United
States without being admitted or paroled are permanently inadmissible.
- Those subject to the three-year,
10-year, or permanent unlawful presence bars to admission are
generally not eligible to apply for a visa, admission, or adjustment
of status to permanent residence unless they are eligible for
a waiver of inadmissibility or another form of relief.
05/11/2018: Upcoming ICE F/M Student Pratical Training Reform Rule-Making
Agenda for 2018 (Open
- ICE 2018 Rule-Making agenda indicates that
ICE will propose student practical training rule to improve protections
of U.S. workers who may be negatively impacted by employment
of nonimmigrant students on F and M visas. The rule is a comprehensive
reform of practical training options intended to reduce fraud
and abuse. They plan to initiate in October 2018 in the form
of "Proposed" rule and it will take some time to complete
the rule making process, probably not before Spring 2019, at
the earliest. No details is currently available about, even though
we know the purpose of the rule will be to restrict student employment
programs in a negative direction. Please stay tuned.
05/11/2018: USCIS "Upcoming" 2018
Rule-Making Agenda (Open with Chrome)
05/11/2018: USCIS June 2018 485 Filing Available Charts
Family-Based=Use Filing Date Charts
Employment-Based: Use Final Action Date Charts
05/11/2018: USCIS Plans to Remove Current Requirement of
Decision of EAD Applications in 30 Days Filed by First Asylum
- In order to have more time for the agency
to determine various issues when they receive asylum applications
with the EAD applications, USCIS want to remove this time-line
for their determination of asylum applicant's EAD application.
The USCIS is likely to act very soon to propose a rule to make
this change. Please stay tuned.
05/11/2018: Trump Administration Plans to Push Ahead H-1B
Program Reform in General with Changes of Definitions of "Specialty"
Occupation and "Employer-Employee" Relationship [Correction]
- We want to remove this posting
because the 2018 Rule-Making agenda initially had this item,
but has removed this plan in their agenda.
05/11/2018: Trump Administration Plans to Reform
H-1B Cap Selection Rule Coming Years Selecting Based on
the Most-Skilled or Highest-Paid
- We want to remove this posting
because the 2018 Rule-Making agenda initially had this item,
but has removed this plan in their agenda.
05/11/2018: DHS Plans to Abandon its Proposed Rule to Require
Alien Biometric Data Upon Exit From the United States at Air and
Sea Ports of Departure
- DHS published this proposed rule to push
for exit biometric collection requirement for the aliens on 04/28/2018.
However, they plan to abandon this aggressive exit requirement
reform. They are likely to publish this plan in August 2018.
Please stay tuned.
05/11/2018: Effective Today,
05/11/2018, State Department Implements Revised "Passport" Rule
- This final rule provides various changes
and updates to the Department of State passport rules. The final
rule incorporates statutory passport denial and revocation requirements
for certain convicted sex offenders. It notes that, notwithstanding
the legal bases for denial or revocation of a passport, the Department
may issue a passport for direct return to the United States.
It sets out the Department's procedures for denying and cancelling
Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. Finally, the final rule provides
additional information relating to the conduct of review hearings.
Please read the revised Passport Rule.
05/10/2018: Alert: Trump Administration
to Expand Definition of "Public Charge" Grounds for
Inadmissibility of Immigrants
- On March 29, 2018, USCIS submitted a proposed
rule of "Inadmissibility of Public Charge Grounds"
which is currently under review by the OMB. Current plan indicates
that the draft proposed rule may be published in the
federal register in July 2018. NPR reports that uder this proposed plan,
a lawful immigrant holding a visa could be passed over for getting
permanent residency getting a green card if they
use Medicaid, a subsidized Obamacare plan, food stamps, tax
credits or a list of other non-cash government benefits.
This change is likely to impact in one way or another the health
care for certain non-immigrants and immigrants. Please read the
05/10/2018: Bad News for Mexico Visa Bulletin Ahead and
Negative Impact on Worldwide Category Ahead
- State Department predicts that Mexico is
likely to see the retrogression of the E4 in July 2018 and SR
Final Action Dates. This action will allow the State Department
to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under
the FY-2018 annual limits.
05/10/2018: June 2018 Visa Bulletin Released
- Very depressing Visa Bulletin Employment-Based
India categories. There is no change from May cut-off dates in
employment-based categories other than move of only four (4)
days for EB-2 Final Action date chart. No retrogression in EB
categories for India, though.
05/07/2018: Some I-601A Cases Processed by NSC and PSC,
and NBC No Longer Processes I-601A Cases Hereon
- USCIS announced on May 7, 2018 that the Potomac
Service Center (PSC) will begin processing Forms I-601A, Application
for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. The PSC will share
this workload with the Nebraska Service Center to balance workloads
and to provide flexibility as USCIS works towards improving processing
times and efficiency. The
National Benefits Center will no longer process any Form I-601A
05/07/2018: H-1B Regular Cap Receipt Notices in the Mail
- Very good news for the H-1B regular cap employers
and foreign workers. We started receiving in the mail receipt
05/07/2018: New Versions of Immigration Forms & Date
of Mandatory to Use the New Versions
| Mandatory Date
||New Version Date
||04/12/2018 or 12/13/2016
(USCIS has been revising immigration forms
a lot lately to implement the Trump Administration's new policy
of security and integrity information collections from the forms.
Effective mandatory date, these forms will be rejected unless
the forms show new version date. If you use forms from sources
other than USCIS website, please make it sure the forms you use
are valid and not rejected)
05/04/2018: Seven States (Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana,
Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia) Filed Lawsuit Seeking Declaratory Judgment Against DACA
- On May 1, 2018, Tuesday, these states filed
a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Southern District, Brownsville
Division seeking relief of declaratory of DACA Program unlawfu
and orders to enjoin stakeholder agencies (Defendants) from issuing
new DACA and renewing current DACA. The goal of the Plaintiffs
is to eradicate DACA completely within two years.
05/04/2018: DHS Secretary Announces Honduras TPS Termination
- The Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen
M. Nielsen has determined that termination of the Temporary Protected
Status (TPS) designation for Honduras is required pursuant to
the Immigration and Nationality Act. To allow for an orderly
transition, she has determined to delay the effective date of
the termination for 18 months. The designation will terminate
on January 5, 2020.
05/04/2018: Canada Reportedly
Scheduled to Expand Biometrics Requirements
05/04/2018: USCIS FY-2018 Budget Overview
05/04/2018: USCIS Customer Tools Outage on 05/06/2018 (Sunday)
From 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (EST)
- Beginning 04/08/2018 until now, USCIS has
gone through three lottery programs. First, random selection
process for two H-1B cap cases (firstly U.S. advanced degree
"Master Cap", followed by foreign degree H-1B "Regular
Cap") cases, all completed by 04/12/2018.
- What has then happened? USCIS then ran another
lottery selections, CW-1 visa cases beginning from 04/13/2018,
which USCIS announced that the section was completed and started
sending out Receipt Notices. Accordingly, USCIS focused on processing
of receipting processes for selected lottery cases for H-1B Master
cap cases and CW-1 cap cases, apprently until now. Accordingly,
processing of selected Regular Cap H-1B cases appeared left behind,
according to the lawyers reports for H-1B cases and USCIS report
for CW-1 cap cases.
- It is hoped that the USCIS starts processing
of Regular Cap H-1B cases along with the tool outages during
this weekend such that both winners and losers of the Regular
Cap cases employers and foreign workers get information about
the results of their Regular Cap H-1B petitions as soon as possible.
05/04/2018: OFLC PERM PWD and PERM Processing Times as of 04/30/2018
- PERM Prevailing Wage Determination Processing
Times: 02/2018 (75 days)
- PERM Application Processing Times:
- Analyst Review (clean cut cases): December
- Audit cases: August 2017 (251 days)
- Reconsideration cases: April 2018
05/03/2018: OMB Approved
on 05/02/2018 Proposed Rule of Rescission of International Entrepreneur
- This proposed rule to rescind
International Entrepreneur Rule has gone through an unusual course
of difficulties and delays ever since the Trump Administration
decided to rescind this rule which was enacted and about to take
effect in July 2017. Trump Administration then decided to suspend
this rule, even before it was implemented for a day, and enact
a final rule to delay effective date of the rule to March 2018.
And then, Trump Administration introduced this "proposed"
rule to rescind the final rule in November 2017. Since then it
has taken almost close to six months for the OMB to approve the
proposed rule. Considering the fact that usually OMB takes upto
90 days (three months) to decide any proposed rule, it has gone
through an unusual delay at the stage of proposed rule making.
As readers may recall, not too long ago, OIRA has a meeting with
stakeholders to hear their opinions. Stakeholders strongly opposed
rescission of the rule, but VOILA! OMB approved the proposed
rule yesterday. The Rescission Proposed Rule is expected to be
published in the federal register soon. Please stay tuned.
05/02/2018: USCIS Completes CW-1 Cap Lottery for FY-2019 and Returns All Unselected Petitions
- If you submitted a CW-1 cap-subject
petition between April 2 and April 13 and have not received a
receipt notice or a returned petition by May 16, you may contact
USCIS for assistance.
05/02/2018: USCIS Policy Alert
Reaffirming Continuing CPR Status Pending I-829 Removal of Conditional
Permanent Resident Status for EB-5 Immigrants
- USCIS issued a policy alert
on 05/02/2018 to reaffirm that USCIS provides immigrant investors
documentation of CPR (Conditional Permanent Resident) status
until the Form I-829 is adjudicated or a final order of removal
04/27/2018: Effective Monday,
04/30/2018, USCIS Will Phase in Requirement of Identification
& Signature for Postal Service Delivery of Secure Documents
- USCIS announces today that
USCIS will begin phasing in use of the U.S. Postal Service's
"Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service"
to mail Green Cards and other secure documents beginning April
30, 2018. The first phase will include Permanent Resident Cards
(also called Green Cards), Employment Authorization Cards (EAD),
and Travel Booklets, which have been returned as non-deliverable
and remailed. Those who have changed mailing addresses during
the course of the application process are more likely to have
their secure documents sent with the new delivery method, which
USCIS will expand to all secure documents in the future. USCIS
has decided to use "Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery"
for enhanced security, integrity, and efficiency of document
delivery. For the details, please read the announcment.
04/26/2018: USCIS FY 2017 Annaul H-1B Petition Report to Congress on 04/09/2018
- This annual report covers
the following details during the FY 2017:
- Number of H-1B petitions
filed and approved;
- Number of H-1B petitions
field by institutions;
- Number of H-1B petitions
with waiver of ACWIA fees;
- Number of H-1B petitions
paid with fraud prevention fees.
- Additional information on
FY 2017 H-1B petitions can also be found in the Buy American,
Hire American site of the USCIS website.
04/26/2018: DHS Announcement
of Termination of TPS for Nepal on 06/24/2019
- DHS Secretary released announcement today that DHS
has decided to terminate TPS for Nepal as of 06/24/2019. 12-month
period is granted for departure.
04/26/2018: White House
OMB Director Memorandum to All the Departments and Agencies to Review &
Report Progress of Regulatory and Management Reform of Each Department
and Each Agency per the Presidential Earlier Order
- This Memorandum directs all
the federal Departments and Agencies to submit the progress of
the reform actions by May 21, 2018. OMB will call a meeting of
all Departments and Agencies in June or July of 2018. The Departments
and Agencies are then requited to submit in August 2018 the performance
planning or managment documents for FY 2020 budget planning.
- May 21, 2018 is less than
a month away and it will be very interesting to learn what progress
report and plans the immigration stakeholder agencies will prepare
and submit to the OMB, including DHS (USCIS particularly), DOS,
DOL, DOJ. For the USCIS, the agency has been implementing restrictive
reforms to implement Buy American, Hire American Presidential
Order. We also reported yesterday the USCIS director report to
the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the progress
of the reforms and additional reforms ahead. We are particularly
interested how H-1B program will be reformed and implemented
probably beginning from 2019 (FY-2020). We will keep track of
the movement ahead. We thank the Government Executive for sharing this news.
04/25/2018: Not Too Promising
Signs from Today's SCOTUS Hearing Against Travel Ban Presidential
- New York times reports after the hearing that it
appears the chance for overturning Travel Ban Order not too promising.
We'll see the decision soon.
04/25/2018: SCOTUS to Hear
Arguments on Pending Travel Ban Litigation Today
- Scotusblog reports that today,
the Supreme Court of United States will hear arguments for pending
appeal of Trump v. Hawaii case involving Presidential
Order of Travel Bans for certain natiolities, mostly Muslim countries.
For the summary, please report of the Scotusblog.
- Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, issues a statement on the today's
SCOTUS hearsing and his dedication to defend the Presidential
Travel Ban Order.
04/25/2018: Federal District
Court in D.C. Ruled on 04/24/2018 Against President Trump Executive Order to Repeal
- Politico reports that the court decision is very important
for those who are currently in DACA status since the court hold
that the Trump Administration's decision to rescind the program
was arbitrary and capricious. The Trump Administration reportedly
appealed directly to the Supreme Court of the United Staes, which
was apparently refused by the SCOTUS with its decision that they
should first go to a U.S. Court of Appeals first. Accordingly,
this decision not only keep opened the DACA extensions, but also
opening up the possibility that the Trump administration could
be ordered to take new DACA applications, something no other
judge has required. The judge reportedly said in his decision
on Tuesday that if DHS didnt come up with a new, better
explanation for the rescission within 90 days, the entire program
would be restored. Wow!
04/25/2018: USCIS Releases
Updated Version of I-821 TPS Application of 04/11/2018
- Starting 06/25/2018, USCIS
will only accept the 04/11/18 edition. Until then, the 10/19/17
edition can be used.
04/24/2018: Nebraska Service
Center No Longer Accept Form N-565,
Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document
- USCIS has just announced
that as of April 18, the Nebraska Service Center no longer accepts
N-565 form and forwards N-565 applications to the Phoenix Lockbox.
Those who are scheduled to file this form anew should file it
with the Lockbox facility. The USCIS Phoenix Lockbox facility
is now accepting Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship
- With the transfer to a Lockbox
facility, applicants may now pay the filing fee by credit card
using Form G-1450,
Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. USCIS began accepting
credit card payments for all forms accepted at Lockbox facilities
in February 2018. For more information on paying fees, visit
Paying USCIS Fees.
04/23/2018: USCIS EB-485 Inventory Data as of April 2018
- USCIS has released EB-485
Inventory Data as of April 2018. Inventory Data is important
to assess and predict future movement of Employment-Based 485
backlogs since the data are collected and inventoried based no
receipt date of applications but priority dates of applications.
04/23/2018: USCIS Director Reports in Writing on 04/04/2018 to the U.S. Senate Judiciary
Committe Chairman listing USCIS Current and Future Efforts to
Reform Nonimmigrant Programs to Enhance Integrity
- This report is literally
perfect and complete summary of what the USCIS has done and what
the USCIS will do in the near future in the form of changes with
its practice, policies, and rule-making. The summaries of what
the USCIS has done is also listed in the USCIS wesite on "Buy
American, Hire Ameriran." Readers may review this report
along with the USCIS Buy American, Hire American actions site.
These actions have been undertaken primarily without rule-making.
- For the actions which the
USCIS intends to initiate within this year are H-4 EAD Rescission
proposed rule and Reform of H-1B Requirements including changes
with the definition of "Specialty Occupation" and "Employer-Employee
Relationship." These forthcoming actions will be untaken
in the form of rule-making. As readers are aware of, the proposed
rule for H-4 EAD repeal is scheduled to be published in June
2018 and H-1B program reform including changes with H-1B lottery is scheduled
to be published in October 2018 in the form of proposed rule
and probably timing at implementation of the reformed rule beginning
from FY 2020 H-1B cap season that starts on April 1, 2019. This
reporter will closely monitor the forthcoming rule-making action
of the USCIS hereon.
04/23/2018: ETA-9089 Permanent
Labor Certification Application Form
- The U.S. Department of Labor
previously reported that: It would receive 67,900 applications
per year in connection with the PERM program; DHS would receive
1,300 Form ETA-9089s in lieu of the Form ETA-750 for its National
Interest Waiver (NIW) application process, and 4,200 for Schedule
A and Sheepherder applications combined. The applications received
by the Department in recent years, however, have significantly
exceeded prior projections (see Table 1 below). Recent filing
data suggests a further increase in applications in upcoming
years. The Department and DHS now estimate that approximately
113,304 PERM applications will be submitted, on
average, annually (107,254 submitted to ETA, 1,430 submitted
to DHS via the NIW application process, and 4,620 submitted to
DHS for Schedule A and Sheepherder applications).
- Table 1: PERM Applications
Filed with the Department of Labor by Fiscal Year
FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY
2015 FY 2016
43,984 67,383 69,738 72,462 74,937 87,644 97,504
- For the U.S. Department of
Labor, PERM services are provided on government tax-funds, adding
a financial stress on the Department. For the last several years,
it has attempted to convert the program from tax-funded program
to consumar fee funded program in vain. Report indicates that
the Department intends to try it again. Fee-funded services will
not only help the Department, but also the consumers. We will
see whether they will be able to successfully convert the program
to fee-based services in the next year or so.
04/23/2018: DHS Ombudsman
Case Assistance Form, DHS-7001 and Instructions
- Ombudsman is not a part of
the USCIS but a part of the DHS that provides customers assistance
when the USCIS customers face a problem of their cases with the
USCIS. Some people seek its services fairly often but some not
for the reasons that they are not familiar with the procedure.
Those who seek Ombusman's Office assistance with a case pending
with the USCIS may familiarized with this form, procedure, and
instructions. This form is currently undergoing update procedure
with the OMB. The information collected on this form will allow
the CIS Ombudsman to identify the problem as either a case problem,
which is a request for information about a case that was filed
with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (case
problem). Ombudsman's Office is seeking comments for renewal
of this form.
04/23/2018: I-485 Filing
Availability Dates Charts for May 2018
- Employment-Based 485: Final
Action Date Chart
- Family-Based 485: Filing
Availabile Date Chart
04/22/2018: USCIS Changes
STEM OPT Employment Policy Prohibiting Out-Placed Employment and
- Without a visible notice
or policy memorandum or rule-making or legislation, USCIS abruptly
changed on its website the policy for STEM OPT employment and training,
prohibiting STEM OPT's work or training at site other than employer's
own sites. The justification for change is stated that the ICE
should be able to make site visits for FDNS , but when STEM OPTs
work at sites other than employer's own site, ICE will not be
able to do that. Read the following carefully:
may rely on their otherwise existing training programs or policies
to satisfy the requirements relating to performance evaluation
and oversight and supervision, the students Training Plan
must nevertheless be customized for the individual student. For
instance, every Training Plan must describe the direct relationship
between the STEM OPT opportunity and the students qualifying
STEM degree, as well as the relationship between the STEM OPT
opportunity and the students goals and objectives for work-based
learning. Moreover, a STEM OPT employer may not assign, or otherwise
delegate, its training responsibilities to a non-employer third
party (e.g., a client/customer of the employer, employees of
the client/customer, or contractors of the client/customer).
See 8 C.F.R. 214.2.(f)(10)(ii)(C)(7)(ii) and 2016 STEM OPT Final
Rule (pp. 13042, 13079, 13090, 13091, 13092, 13016).
Moreover, the training
experience must take place on-site at the employers place
of business or worksite(s) to which U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) has authority to conduct employer site visits
to ensure that the employer is meeting program requirements.
This means that ICE must always have access to a students
worksite; if the student is sent to different worksite locations
as part of the training opportunity, ICE must be able to access
such worksite locations. For instance, the training experience
may not take place at the place of business or worksite of the
employers clients or customers because ICE would lack authority
to visit such sites.
For the same reason,
online or distance learning arrangements may not be used to fulfill
the employers training obligation to the student. For instance,
the employer may not fulfill its training obligation to provide
a structured and guided work-based learning experience by having
the student make periodic visits to the employers place
of business to receive training, while the student is actually
working at the place of business or worksite of a client or customer
of the employer. Similarly, the employer may not fulfill its
training obligation by having the student make periodic telephone
calls or send periodic email messages to the employer to describe
and discuss their experiences at the place of business or worksite
of a client or customer of the employer. See 8 C.F.R. 214.2.(f)(10)(ii)(C)(11)
and 2016 STEM OPT Final Rule (p. 13041, 13042, 13049, 13062,
13064-66, 13070, 13071, 13090, 13113)."
- For the details, please read
Please note that according to the NAFSA, even though the revised
page changing the policy is dated at January 24, 2018, but they
have a copy of the page of April 2018 which did not show this
change in the page. There are a number of reports that this started
showing late last week. We
urge the USCIS to clarify its revision date of the page adding
- There is a question as to
whether the agency can make a policy or rule in this way by just
changing its STEM OPT pages without even a notice published in
a policy memorandum, not to mention the rule-making process to
change the rue, but employers and foreign workers in STEM OPT
cannot afford taking a chance and challenge the changed policy
in courts. Accordingly, the employers who have yet to place a
STEM OPT employee for employment with a client worksite should
seek legal counsel immediately. They should do the same if any
of their employees are foreign workers with STEM OPT.
- Obviously, this change should
not apply retroactively affecting those STEP OPT who has been
working at the sites other than the employer's own sites at the
time this revision was published and implemented, which should
also be clarified by the USCIS as soon as possible.
Consumers Are on Alert for Immigration Fraud Activities Out There
- USCIS reported on 04/20/2018
the its Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit detected
and convicted two groups of fraud activities in California for
immigration frauds. One group reportedly stole and used the name
of a licensed immigration attorney and engaged in fraudulent
immigration law practice, committing immigration fraud activities.
The other group set up schools to mislead the students that they
are legitimate schools that could give visa and immigration opportunities
of foreign student visas and related immigration benefits. Please
watch out for such vicious immigration criminals out there!
04/21/2018: USCIS Releases
New Edition of I-360 Form Dated 04/12/2018
- Update to Form I-360, Petition
for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant; New Edition Dated
04/12/18. Starting 06/19/2018, USCIS will only accept the 04/12/18
and 12/23/16 editions.
04/20/2018: E-Verify Outage for Enhancements from Late Evening Tonight through
Late Evening Sunday
- Unavailable from April 20
at 9 p.m. until April 22 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, while they implement
system enhancements. Employers may visit the new E-Verify site
on Monday to learn the new features.
04/11/2018 Version of I-907
Premium Processing Request Form Released
- This new version of I-907
will be mandatory starthing 06/18/2018. Until then, we can still
use the current version of this form.
04/19/2018: Alert of PERM
and iCERT System Interruptions/Degraded Performance During This
- OFLC alerts
that due to planned maintenance, service interruptions and degraded
performance may be possible for both the iCERT and PERM systems
from 8:00 pm EDT on
Friday, April 20, 2018 until 11:00 pm EDT on Sunday, April 22,
04/19/2018: Form I-829 Credit
Card Payment Not Available
- USCIS announces that on February
14, 2018, USCIS announced that it will accept credit card payments
for 41 fee-based forms processed at USCIS Lockbox facilities.
Unfortunately, the announcement mistakenly included Form I-829,
Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident
Status. USCIS has since removed the I-829 from the list because
it is not among the forms processed at a USCIS Lockbox. Please
continue to file the I-829 at the California Service Center.
Please note that service centers are not able to process credit
card payments for I-829 form. See the I-829 webpage for more
04/19/2018: Unusual Pattern
of H-1B Cap Development in FY-2019 H-1B Cap Season
- USCIS announced on 04/06/2018
that the annual H-1B cap for FY-2019 had reached, receiving total
of 190,098. The announcement was followed by its release of the
numbers by Regular
Cap of 94,213 and
Master Cap of 95,885 which they had received. We reported
earlier that these cap numbers between regular cap petitions
and master cap petitions appeared very unusual, considering the
history of the H-1B cap seasons in the past. Remember that Master
cap includes only graduates of foreign students earning Master's
degrees or advanced professional degrees from only the higher
learning institutions in the United States that had been recognized
and accredited by the United States Department of Education.
- Following statistics of the USCIS relect a clear upward increase of potential OPT candidates
with EAD for H-1B over the years:
- F-1 Pre-completion OPT
with EAD: 3,218(2012),
3,515 (2013); 3,584 (2014); 3,955 (2015); 3,351 (2016);
2,345 (2017, only from 10/01/2016 to 06/29/2017)
- F-1 Post Completion OPT
with EAD: 95,504
(2012); 100,777(2013); 109,874(2014); 132,163(2015);
154,120 (2016); 112,890 (2017, only from 10/01/2016 to
- F-1 STEM OPT with EAD: 16,624(2012); 19,115(2013);
21,977(2014); 28,083(2015); 45,184(2016); 33,055 (2017,
only from 10/01/2016 to 06/29/2017)
- This distribution of petition
numbers between the regular cap and master cap raises some concerns
for the foreigners who only have a Bachelor or Master or Ph.
D degree from higher learning institutions in foreign countries
since their future for H-1B visa opportunities in the United
States may turn slimmer in the future. This new development may
be a good news for the graduates with an advance degrees from
the United States (most of whom represent OPTs) may be good news
for their futures, but those with foreign degrees, no matter
how higher degree, including Ph.D. degree, may face slimmer opportunities
to join employment in the United States in the future. We are
concerned that whether these statistics may encourage the Trump
Administration to reform H-1B program into requirement of minimum
of an advanced degree, especially an advanced degree in the United
States, in the future. We will watch carefully the forthcoming
H-1B reform rule-making which is scheduled in October 2018. One
of these reforms of H-1B which we were concerned was President
Trump's announcement earlier that he wanted to reform the H-1B
cap selection based on the highest wage offered. We will watch
carefully how these two potential reforms will affect the future
for foreign high-tech professionals.
04/18/2018: USCIS Policy
Manual Update of 04/18/2018 on "Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship
for Children Born Out of
- U.S. immigration laws allow
certain children born outside the United States to acquire U.S.
citizenship at birth through their U.S. citizen parent(s).3 In
general, these provisions require at least one of the childs
parents to be a U.S. citizen at the time of the childs
birth and for the parent to have been physically present in the
United States for a certain period of time. On June 12,
2017, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Sessions v. Morales-Santana,
held that the different physical presence requirements for an
unwed U.S. citizen "father "and an unwed U.S. citizen
"mother" violated the U.S. Constitutions equal
protection guarantee. In addition, some acquisition of
citizenship cases require the U.S. citizen father of a child
born out of wedlock outside the United States to provide a written
agreement of financial support for the child. Certain requirements
must be met in order for a document to qualify as a written agreement.
For the details, please read the Policy Alert.
04/17/2018: Some I-601A
from Nebraska Service Center to Potomac Service Center
- USCIS announced on April
16, 2018 that some of the I-601A cases have been transferred
from the Nebraska Service Center to the Potomac Service Center:
04/15/2018: Reminder of
Trump Administration to Further Tighten H-1B Nonimmigration Program
to Protect American Workers
- The H-1B nonimmigrant program
has already been tightened up substantially in the form of the
Presidential Order without regulations and legislations. However,
a fundamental restrictions to the H-1B nonimmigration is yet
to come towards the end of this year. There is a pending rule-making agenda which is scheduled to be inititated in October 2018
that will propose to (1) revise the definition of specialty
occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the
brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B program, and (2) revise
the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship
to better protect U.S. workers and wages. In addition, DHS will
(3) propose additional requirements designed to ensure employers
pay appropriate wages to H-1B visa holders. The details have
yet to be disclosed, but employers should beware of forthcoming
further restrictions to the H-1B program down the road. For unknown
reasons, employers reduced substantially the number of H-1B cap
petition filing during FY 2019 H-1B cap season.
04/13/2018: H-1B Cap Counts by Regular and Master Caps
- Thank you, USCIS. The original posting of
FY-2019 H-1B cap petition numbers by Regular Cap and Master Cap
remains valid and correct. The total cap cases received remain
at 94,213 for Regular Cap cases and 95,885 for Master Cap cases.
04/12/2018: OFLC Releases Foreign Labor Certification Applications
Performance Data for FY 2018 Second Quarter Ending 03/31/2018
04/12/2018: USCIS Releases G-325A Form of 03/29/2018 for Deferred Action
- Effective 06/11/2018, USCIS will receive
only the new 03/29/2018 edition and current editions will be
04/12/2018: SHOCKS, SHOCKS! Devastating H-1B Master Cap Random Selection Chances
- USCIS received the following numbers (NUMBERS ARE REAL!!! HOW
CAN THIS BE REAL?):
- Regular Cap: 94,213 (for 65,000 cap)
- Master Cap: 95,885 (for 20,000 cap)
- It means that the second random selection
involving Bachelor degree or Non-U.S. Master or Ph.D foreign
degrees ended upto the number of 170,098 since the U.S. Master
degree cases of 75,885 which failed to be selected in the U.S.
Master cap are added to the non U.S. advanced degree cases.
04/12/2018: FY 2019 H-1B Cap Random Selection Completed
- Total received numbers are 190,098,
including both regular cap and U.S. master cap. The total numbers
received are somewhat lower than speculated. No one should complain,
though, since the odds for selection will be higher than speculated.
04/12/2018: USCIS System Tools Outage Today
- Tools outage from 9:00 p.m. until midnight
04/12/2018: Forthcoming Changes to
I-907 Premium Processing Request Form
- The draft of the changes was published in
the federal register in December 2017. On April 11, 2018, OMB
approved the changed form, which is likely to be published in
the federal register sooner or later. There are two important
changes in the new Premium Processing Service. Firstly, the USCIS
can request an interview or collection of biometric as part of
the premium processing services, which will delay the running
of 15-day processing requiement. Secondly, until now, some legal
representatives have filed I-907 as a "requestor" without
the signature of the petitioner/employer. Because of the foregoing
changes as well as other attestation which will be required,
legal counsels may not file I-907 as a requestor himself or herself.
They may as well file as a "Preparer" and let their
client (petitioner) sign the I-907 as the requestor along with
the signature by the legal representative as a preparer. Please
04/11/2018: Reminder of Immigrant Visa Processing Location Change
from U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to
U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai,
- Effective April 1, 2018, the U.S. Embassy
in New Delhi no longer processed IR5,
IR1, IR2, CR1, or CR2 visas. The U.S.
Consulate General in Mumbai is your interview location if you are in process
for an IR5 (Parent of a U.S. citizen), IR1/CR1 visa (spouse of
a U.S. citizen) or IR2/CR2 visa (unmarried minor child of a U.S.
citizen), AND your interview is scheduled on or after April 1,
2018. Your letter from the National Visa Center will specify
the location of your interview, along with further details about
interview preparation. Just reminder.
04/11/2018: USCIS Lottery for FY-2019 CW-1 Visa Cap of 4,999
- For the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program, CW-1
visa cap for FY 2019 is 4,999. USCIS announces that it has received more than
cap numbers and
will randomly select the cap petitions received between April
2, 2018 and April 13, 2018. If USCIS will reject any CW-1 cap
petitions after April 13, it will be rejected and will not be
considered for this lottery. For the details, please visit the
CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) Cap site.
04/11/2018: May 2018 Visa Bulletin Released
- Oops! Typos in the earlier chart in this
04/10/2018: USCIS Launches New E-Verify Website to Verify Employment
- The new website provides information about
E-Verify and Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, including
employee rights and employer responsibilities in the employment
verification process. E-Verify.gov allows employers to enroll
in E-Verify directly and permits current users to access their
accounts. Individuals with myE-Verify accounts can also access
their accounts through E-Verify.gov. Read announcement.
04/08/2018: Upcoming Decision of the Supreme Court of United
States (SCOTUS) and Fate of DACA Dreamers
- DACA Dreamers one time relied on their fate
on their political supporters to resolve the hurdle to their
legalization through the political push using federal budgetary
negotiation process. Unfortunately, this powerful political tool
is gone and disappeared. Under the circumstances, they will have
to face one sure thing that can determine their fate for good
- the decision of the SCOTUS, which will for sure come in the
future. Considering the fact that the current SCOTUS is a pro-conservative
court, one of two things or both of them should develop very
quickly in the future. One is another deal between the Trump
Administration and Democrats to settle the DACA issue as a bargain
for the Southern border wall funding legislation. There is already
a prediction that this negotiation will be initiated in the near
future. The other key development is the Midterm National Election
in November 2018. Obviously, Dreamers and their supporters have
been pushing hard to add their pressure on primaries and elections
at all levels from the Congressional elections at the top to
local community political elections at the bottom.
- At this time, there is no clear picture or
prediction for the developments in favor of the DACA community.
Considering the time pressure coming from the forthcoming decision
of the SCOTUS as well as the national election, DACA community
should really work hard to achieve one of the two developments
in their favor before the SCOTUS hands down its decision sooner
04/07/2018: FY-2019 H-1B Cap Filing Deadline is Over, Followed
by Scheduled USCIS Computer Random Selection Process
- Contractors and the Service Center employees
will be very busy now to upload cap petitions they have received
during the past five days ending yesterday. What processes are
- The agency first runs computer radom selection
process, first for U.S. Master or higher degree holder cases.
It has nothing to do with the employer's requirement of such
U.S. degrees for the jobs. Inasmuch as the prospective H-1B employees
have a U.S. advanced degrees, they enjoy the privillege of this
priority computer random selection process, even if the job does
not require such a U.S. advanced degree. The numbers are 20,000.
Usually the U.S. Master degree holder cap computer random selection
is complete during a first few days of the following week, usually
by Wednes day or even earlier.
- As soon as U.S. Master degree holder random
selection is over, the agency starts running computer random
selection process for the rest of H-1B cap cases they have received.
These invove two types of cases: Firstly if the agency received
more than 20,000 U.S. advanced degree holder petitions, the agency
adds the U.S. advanced degree holder cases which failed to be
selection in the first run in to this second run process. Accordingly,
as we reported earlier, U.S. advanced degree holders enjoy double
dips. For the reasons, the odds in winning the H-1B cap lottery
process are very high for the two reasons: Firstly, U.S. advanced
degree case candidates are usually not that large in numbers
even if they exceed 20,000. Secondly, some unfortunate cap applicants
of this category can enjoy the second chance of lottery in competition
with Bachelor or non-U.S. Master degree or equivalent education
and experience holders. Here their odds of winning will be no
different from any other non-U.S. advanced degree holders. Exactly
how many cases will they select? Excluding about 6,200 special
cap numbers for Singapore and Chile, the cap limit for this category
will be 58,200 in numbers and not 65,000. Does this mean that
they only select 58, 200 cases? Nope! They usually select more
cases from 10% to 15% of the cap numbers, considering the statisitcs
that these numbers of cases will be either "rejected"
for a number of reasons, or denied for a number of reasons. Therefore,
odds are practically better than 58,200 limit, actually close
to 65,000, including unused Singpore or Chile cap numbers!
- Usually, the whole computer random selection
process, including the non-U.S. advanced degree holder candidates,
are completed before the end of the week following closure of
H-1B cap filing, which was Friday, yesterday, this year.
- This does not, however, mean that the petitioners
will be immediately notified of results of their cases in the
lottery. Some of the employers may find out whether their cases
were selected by checking with their banks to learn whether the
filing fee checks which they submitted have been cleared. This,
however, will take time for most of the employers since their
processing of filing fee checks will also take some time, even
though they should not take any prolonged period of time. What
this means is that employers may start checking with their banks
to learn with their filing fee checks beginning probably from
the end of next week or a little after that. Some of the employers
may get a good news from their banks.
- Employers whose cases were selected will
receive Receipt Notices in the mail. Believe me, it usually takes
a lot of time. What does this mean? The employers whose cases
were not selected will have to go through an emotional pain of
waiting and waiting just to learn whether they cases had been
selected!! Sometime, even close to October 1, 2018!!! All these
periods, they should keep checking with their banks to learn
status of their filing fee checks.
- A lot of the winners of the lottery will,
unfortunately, experience a second level of pains or "bleeding"
hearts: Anticipated challenges by the USCIS in the forms of Request
for Evidence (RFE), Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) or Denials,
probably more intensively than last year when employers had experienced
these pains throughout the year. Thanks to what? You got it -
"Presidential Executive Order of Buy American, Hire American."
- For now, though, lets pray for lottery winning
04/06/2018: USCIS Official Announcement of H-1B Cap Reach Today
- This announcement was published at about
11:00 a.m. (EST) today, but it may mean that at the end of the
day today, H-1B cap will close since it has received more than
04/06/2018: H-4 EAD Statistics by Gender FY 2015 - FY
- Statistics as of December 31, 2017. Understandably,
absolute majority applicants were females.(Oops!)
04/05/2018: USCIS Online Tools Outage on 04/08/2018, Sunday
- Reportedly for system maintenance on Sunday,
April 8, 2018, from 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. (Eastern). Coincidently,
H-1B cap is scheduled to end at the end of the day on Friday,
04/06/2018. One wonders how many H-1B cap cases the USCIS will
receive at the end of the date on Friday. They usually start
computer random selection process for Master cap cases during
04/04/2018: DOL FY 2018-2022 Strategic Plan
- Practical ignorance of foreign labor certification
program in 42-page document. In Page 9, readers see just a tiny
one paragraph that states Congressional legislation will not
be necessary for modernization of the foreign labor certification
program. It is indeed interesting that for four-year strategic
plan of the Department, foreign labor certification program is
04/04/2018: OFLC PERM PWD and PERM Processing Times as of 03/31/2018
- PERM Prevailing Wage Determination Processing
Times: 01/2018 (70 days)
- PERM Application Processing Times:
- Analyst Review (clean cut cases): November
2017 (156 days)
- Audit cases: August 2017 (250 days)
- Reconsideration cases: February 2018
04/04/2018: USCIS Teleconference on Syria
TPS Designation and Extension
- USCIS hosts a stakeholder teleconference
on April 11, from 1 to 1:30 p.m. (Eastern) about Syria's TPS
designation, which has been extended through Sept. 30, 2019.
During this teleconference, USCIS officials will provide an overview
of the information provided in the Federal Register notice, including
re-registration and EAD application procedures.
We encourage you to submit questions in advance. To do so, email:
Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov, by Friday, April 6, at 5 p.m.
Eastern. Put "TPS Syria Engagement" in the subject
- To Join the Teleconference:
On April 11, please use the information below to join the teleconference.
We recommend calling in 10 to 15 minutes early.
Toll-Free (inside the U.S.): 1- 800-988-9761
Toll (outside the U.S.): 1- 773-756-0169
04/03/2018: ALERT! Undeliverable Permanent Resident and
Employment Authorization Cards and Travel Documents to be Destroyed
After 60 Days
- Starting April 2, USCIS will destroy Permanent
Resident Cards, Employment Authorization Cards and Travel Documents
returned as undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service after 60
business days if USCIS is not contacted by the document's intended
recipient to provide the correct address.
- USCIS encourages applicants to report a change
of address within 10 days of relocation using the procedures
outlined at uscis.gov/addresschange.
When your case is pending
involving the cards and move, just filing AR-11 is not enough.
Repeat, filing AR-11 alone is not enough!! You should also
report change of address to the USCIS office where a case
is pending by phone call (800 number) or online, persuant to
the instruction which is linked above.
04/03/2018: Effective 05/01/2018, SAVE to Reject Submission
of Paper Form G-845, Documentation Verification Request
- SAVE announces that as of May 1, 2018, stakeholders
must submit all verification requests electronically and SAVE
will no longer process mailed submissions of Form G-845, Documentation
Verification Request, and Form G-845, 3rd Step Document Verification
Request. Any paper forms received after May 1, 2018 will be returned
without a response.
03/31/2018: Delay in Rule-Making Process for Proposed Rule
to Remove International Entrepreneur Parole Program of Obama Administration
- The International Entrepeneur Paraole Program
was pushed by the Obama Administration as one of the last rule-making
act of the Obama Administration. The Rule was published a few
days before the President Trump was sworn in as the President
of United States. Under the revised rule, the rule was supposed
to take effect in July 2017, but Trump Administration proposed
to rescind this rule. However, for unknown reasons, the rule-making
process has revealed a snag and even after four months, there
has been no action on the rule-making process.
- And "Voila!" On March 29, 2018,
OIRA called a meeting with the stakeholder government agencies
and investment stakeholders. At the meeting, there were presented
a lot of information and statistics to demonstrate that the United
States is behind of other countries, especially China, to take
advantage of international entrepreneurs and their investments,
and investment stakeholders strongly demanded President Trump
to abandon the pending rule-making process to rescind the International
- Interesting development. We will see how
soon the Trump Administration will make a decision on the fate
of International Entrepreneur Parole Program!
03/31/2018: USCIS/CSC and CBP POE
at Blaine, Washington State to Implement Joint Pilot Program
for Processing of Canadian NAFTA L-1 Visa Petitions
- From 04/30/2018, to 10/31/2018, the USCIS California Service Center (CSC) and the
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Blaine, Washington,
port of entry (POE) will implement a joint agency pilot program
for Canadian citizens seeking L-1 nonimmigrant status under the
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This pilot is designed
to facilitate the adjudication and admission process of Canadians
traveling to the U.S. as L-1 nonimmigrants. For details, please
03/30/2018: FY 2018 Omnibus Spending Legislation Authorized
DHS to Double H-2B Non-agricultural Temporary Workers Cap FY-2018
- Report indicates
that the Omnibus spending bill which has been signed into law
included authorization for the DHS to increase H-2B cap numbers
to double of the 66,000 annual cap, should DHS and DOL find there
is such need this year. Thus all eyes are on the stakeholder
agencies decision and announcement sooner or later.
03/29/2018: USCIS Release New Policy Memorandum on "Related Entities"
for Filing Multiple H-1B Cap Petitions for Same Foreign Worker
- The Policy Memoranda adopts Matter of S-
Inc., Adopted Decision 2018-02 PM-602-0159. For purposes of the
bar to filing multiple H-1B cap-subject petitions for the same
beneficiary, Matter of S- Inc. clarifies that the term "related entities" includes petitioners,
whether or not related through corporate ownership and control,
that file cap-subject H-1B petitions for the same beneficiary
for substantially the same job. Absent a legitimate business need to file multiple
cap-subject petitions for the same beneficiary, USCIS will deny
or revoke the approval of all H-1B cap-subject petitions filed
by "related entities" for that beneficiary.
03/29/2018: State Department Proposal to Revise DS-156 and DS-160, Nonimmigrant
Visa Application Forms, to Collect Additional Information
- The State Departments intends to add several
additional questions for nonimmigrant visa applicants. One question
lists multiple social media platforms and requires the applicant
to provide any identifiers used by applicants for those platforms
during the five years preceding the date of application. The
platforms listed may be updated by the Department by adding or
removing platforms. Additional platforms will be added only if
collection is consistent with the uses described in the Supporting
Statement and after Office of Management and Budget approval.
In addition, the applicant will be given the option to provide
information about any social media identifiers associated with
any platforms other than those that are listed that the applicant
has used in the last five years. The Department will collect
this information from visa applicants for identity resolution
and vetting purposes based on statutory visa eligibility standards;
however, the Department intends not to routinely ask the question
of applicants for specific visa classifications, such as most
diplomatic and official visa applicants. Other questions seek
five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses,
and international travel; whether the applicant has been deported
or removed from any country; and whether specified family members
have been involved in terrorist activities. Additionally, some
E nonimmigrant visa applicants will be asked whether the principal
treaty trader was issued a visa. The Sign and Submit
statement will provide applicants additional information related
to correcting records within Federal Bureau of Investigation
databases. Finally, the revised visa application forms will include
additional information regarding the visa medical examination
that some applicants may be required to undergo.
03/29/2018: State Department Proposal to Revise DS-260, Immigrant Visa
Application Form, to Collect Additional Information
- The Notice indicates that State Department
inetends to add several additional questions for immigrant visa
applicants. One question lists multiple social media platforms
and requires the applicant to provide any identifiers used by
applicants for those platforms during the five years preceding
the date of application. The platforms listed may be updated
by the Department by adding or removing platforms. Additional
platforms will be added only if collection is consistent with
the uses described in the Supporting Statement and after Office
of Management and Budget approval. In addition, the applicant
will be given the option to provide information about any social
media identifiers associated with any platforms other than those
that are listed that the applicant has used in the last five
years. The Department will collect this information for identity
resolution and vetting purposes based on statutory visa eligibility
standards. Other questions seek five years of previously used
telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel;
all prior immigration violations; and whether specified family
members have been involved in terrorist activities. The Sign
and Submit statement will provide applicants information
related to correcting records within Federal Bureau of Investigation
databases and additional information regarding the immigrant
visa medical examination. Applicants from countries where female
genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is prevalent will be provided
a link in the DS-260 to an electronic pamphlet that covers the
illegality of the practice in the United States. Further, applicants
will be required to check a box verifying that the link was provided
to them. Finally, the revised required to check a box verifying
that the link was provided to them. Finally, the revised visa
application forms will include additional information regarding
the visa medical examination that some applicants may be required
to undergo. Additional details of the changes are available in
03/29/2018: USCIS Notice of Filing Procedures for EAD and Automatic Extension
of Existing EAD for Eligible Liberians
Before Period of DED Ends on 03/31/2019
- This notice gives details of the procedures
re-registration and EAD application for temporary extension of
their stays in the United States until March 31, 2019 when the
Liberian DED will be permanently ended.
- Liberians who will be affected by their DED
next year should review and follow the instructions in this notice
for extension of their EAD.
03/29/2018: DOL Seeks Comments & Inputs for O'Net System with
Scheduled Implementation of New Occupational Classification in
- DOL released earlier revised Occupation Classification
System with the changes to the current Occupational System which
has been in place since 2010. The OFLC has yet to implement the
new OES/SOC system, but this DOL notice seeking comments and
inputs on O'Net system confirms that the new classification will
be implemented in 2018. OFLC may release the new classification
before July 1, 2018. O'Net and SOC/Onet systems are very critical
for the employment-based immigration in this country and we will
see how it will affect the employment-based nonimmigrant and
immigrant proceedings. Stay tuned.
03/27/2018: Presidential Memorandum Terminating DED
for Liberians on 03/31/2019 With Temporary Extension of Current DED Until 03/31/2019
- The President relased a Memorandum today
allowing current Liberians in the U.S, in the DED status for
one more year as a tansition to the date of termination of DED
on 03/31/2019. Their current DED is scheduled to expire on this
03/27/2018: Omnibus Spending Bill Defeated Trump Administration
Scheme to Expand En Masse Immigration Enforcement
- Government Executive Reports that the Omnibus spending bill which was just
passed by the Congress and signed by the President authorized
only new hiring of just 65 additional criminal investigations
agents. Trumps budget had reportedly requested funding
for 1,000 new agents as part of the his mandate that ICE bring
on 10,000 law enforcement personnel.
03/27/2018: USCIS Initiates New "Pilot" Processing Times Reports
- The DHS Inspector General released earlier
the problem of USCIS releasing inaccurate processing times in
its Processing Times site. Apparently in order to deal with the
problem, the USCIS is initiating a new pilot processing time
reports for the following four mostly used forms:
- Form N-400
- In the pilot reports, visitors are requied
to type in the form number and the name of the field office or
Service Center. It then gives two figures. The low end of
the range for pilot forms shows the time it takes to complete
50 % of cases, and the high end shows the time
it takes to complete 93%. For instance, it you check I-485
processing times for Texas Service Center, it will show 9 months
and 21 months. It means its 50% of I-485 cases processing times
is 9 months, while its 93% of cases processing times is 21 months.
- Meanwhile, for non-pilot forms other than
N-400, I-90, I-485, and I-751, the two same figures will mean
different processing time ranges: The high end for the non-pilot
forms will be adjusted by 30 percent above current cycle times
to reflect the time it takes to complete a majority of the cases.
- Simply put, the USCIS will no longer release
a single date or month of processing times for each form. One
wonders whether the new report formats will help the consumers
any better than the previous formats.
03/23/2018: Senate Concurred to House Omnibus Spending Bill,
Resulting in Passage of Omnibus Bill Yesterday
- No more concurrent resolutions after concurrent
resolutions at least for a while. All sunsetting immigration
programs in the current immigration statute do not have to worry
about government shutdown and CR, CR, CR!!! At the same time,
all the immigration legislatiive and political confrontations
will be also silenced for now. Jeee...............................
03/22/2018: AAO Decision of 03/19/2018 Affecting EB-1C Immigrant
Seekers Leaving the Foreign Employers for Their Nonimmigrant Stay
in the United States for Two Years
- Matter of S-P-, Inc., Adopted Decision 2018-01
(AAO Mar. 19, 2018) clarifies that a beneficiary who worked abroad
for a qualifying multinational organization for at least one
year, but left its employ for a period of more than two years
after being admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant,
does not satisfy the one-in-three foreign employment requirement
for EB-1C immigrant classification as a multinational manager
or executive. On the same day of March 19, 2018, the USCIS issued
a Policy Memorandum adopting this decision as "precedent"
binding decision for any future cases. Read on.
- For the last few years, the number of immigrants
using this EB-1C classification has steadily increased, affecting
EB-1 immigrant visa numbers backlog for Indians and Chinese.
This precedent and binding decision will somehow affect some
of them who stay here for two years after their leaving from
their employers in their home countries.
03/22/2018: House to Pass FY 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill
Today: Whats in and Whats out?
- To avoid government shut down after tomorrow,
the House is scheduled to vote its version of massive spending
bill today. Politico reviews "What's in and What's out." DACA is reportedly
left out as well as massirve border wall spending is also reportedly
left out. There was a speculation that the per country employment-based
immigration limit removal bill would be a part of the spending
bill, but this information has yet to be disclosed. The bill
is known to be thousands of pages and it is possible that a lot
of attachments could have been included in the bill without much
publicity and public notice.
- This bill has to be passed by the Senate,
which remains an open question at this point. Whatever bill they
come out, a spending bill must be passed and signed by the President
before the mid-night of tomorrow to avoid a government shutdown.
The pundits predict that there may be no government shutdown
this time around. We'll see.
03/21/2018: OPT Students, SEVP
Launches the SEVP Portal Effective 03/23/2018
- On March 23, 2018, SEVP will launch the SEVP
Portal, a new tool that allows F-1 students on post completion
optional practical training and M-1 students on practical training
to report certain information directly to SEVP.
Learn more about the SEVP Portal and how to ensure eligible students
can create an account on Study in the States. For more in-depth
information about how to use the portal, visit the SEVP Portal
03/20/2018: Please Visit FY 2019 H-1B Cap Season Site for All Other
Details, Including Filing Tips
03/20/2018: USCIS Suspends Premium Processing Services for FY-2019
H-1B (Regular & Master Caps)
- USCIS has announced that it will temporarily
suspend all the H-1B cap cases for FY 2019 beginning from 04/02/2018
and it is likely remain suspended through September 10, 2018.
Wow, one wonders how many RFEs Service Centers will issue during
this cap season. Worse than FY 2018 cap season? Probably yes.
- The Premium Processing Services for other
H-1B cases will not be affected and the USCIS will keep processsing
such non-cap H-1B petitions without suspension.
03/20/2018: USCIS Processing Times Updated 03/19/2018 and
H-1B Processing Times are as Follows
|| Consular Proc
03/20/2018: Another Potential Threat of Government
Shut-Down After this Friday 03/23/2018 and Alert for H-1B Cap LCA Certifications
- FY 2019 H-1B cap season will open on 04/02/2018
and it is almost certain that the H-1B cap filing will close
after 04/06/2018, Friday since under the LCA rule, the H-1B cap
lottery should close after five (5) business days. Since the
USCIS will start taking in the H-1B cap cases beginning from
04/02/2018, the USCIS will not accept any cap cases after close
of the day on 04/06/2018.
- Should there be another government shut-down
after this Friday, the employers who have yet to file LCA for
cap filing may experience a crisis since, unlike the fee-funded
USCIS, tax-funded U.S. Department of Labor will have to be shut
down, if the Congress fails to pass either another Continuing
Resolution for stop-gap fundung of the government or Omnibus
appropriation bill by this Friday. Friday is only three days
away and the Congress has yet to put the proposed bill on the
floor. Report indicates that Trump Administration may abandon
its earlier position of demanding passage of conservative immigration
reform bill this time around, until the details are disclosed
from the Congress and the White House, nothing is clear at this
time. Stay tuned.
- In earlier years, when the country faced
this kind of crisis, the DHS and DOL accomodatated in some years
to allow filing of H-1B cap cases without the "certified"
LCA inasmuch there was evidence that LCA was filed and pending
before the government shutdown, but we live in a different age
and nothing is predictable.
03/20/2018: Annual Update to Allowable Charges for Agricultural
Workers' Meals and for Travel Subsistence Reimbursement, Including
Lodging, for H-2A & H-2B Labor
- This allowable charges will take effect tomorrow,
03/19/2018: USCIS Announces H-1B Changes in Three (3) Ways
- USCIS announces that USCIS is working on
a combination of (1) rulemaking, (2) policy
memoranda, and (3) operational changes to implement the Buy American and Hire American Executive
Order. USCIS is creating and carrying out these initiatives to
protect the economic interests of U.S. workers and prevent fraud
and abuse within the immigration system.
- When it comes to the rule-making, there has
been some delays in initiating the rule-making process. As for
the policy memoranda, it has released a few new memoranda including
removal of deference of previous decision and contract and itinerary
requirement for outplaced H-1B employees. The really troublesome
means which the USCIS wants to use to restrict H-1B sounds the
last one "Operational Changes." Probably this predicts
its potential expansion of RFEs and denials, especially in the
upcoming FY-2019 H-1B cap adjudications. Beware!!
Edition of I-864, Affidavit of Support Form, Edition of 03/06/2018
- USCIS has just released updaed I-864 form
of 03/06/18 edition. Starting 05/16/2018, USCIS will only accept
the 03/06/18 edition. Until then, you can use previous editions.
03/15/2018: Employers, Effective 03/26/2018, USCIS is Scheduled
to Release Enhanced E-Verify System
- Enhancement includes (1) Ehanced usability
features; (2) Streamlined process for creating and managing cases
to increase the speed and accuracy of verification results; (3)
Modernized data matching process to reduce Tentative Nonconfirmations;
(4) Improved overall data integrity and system compliance; and
(5) Transfer of case data to a new modernized system.
- On Thursday, March 22, from 2-3 p.m. (Eastern),
USCIS will host a teleconference to discuss the upcoming release
of E-Verify system enhancements and modernization.
- Employers cannot miss this teleconference.
For registration, visit USCIS registration page to confirm your participation
" Enter your email address and select "Submit"
" Select "Subscriber Preferences"
" Select the "Event Registration" tab
" Complete the questions and select "Submit"
Once USCIS processes your registration, you will receive a confirmation
email with additional details. If you have questions about the
registration process, or if you have not received a confirmation
email within two business days, please email us at USCIS-IGAOutreach@uscis.dhs.gov.
03/15/2018: I-485 Filing Charts for April 2018
- Family-Based I-485: Use "Filing Date"
- Employment-Based I-485: Use "Final Action
03/15/2018: DOL NPWC Webiner 04/03/2018 on H-2B Filing Tips:
H-2B Survey Concepts and Employer Filing Tips
- As part of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification's
(OFLC) on-going efforts to increase public engagement, OFLC's
NPWC will host a webinar on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 designed to
educate surveyor's, stakeholders, program users, and other interested
members of the public on H-2B surveyor concepts and general filing
tips. The first hour will focus on information to surveyors and
the second hour will have more general information for PWD requestors
- DATE: Tuesday, April 3
- TIME: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
- FORMAT: Webinar & conference call capability
will be provided to maximize participation; Link to Webinar:
- PASSWORD: Welcome!!23
- TELEPHONE NUMBER: 800-779-9039
- TELEPHONE PASSCODE: 6217706
03/15/2018: USCIS Updates 03/14/2018
H-1B Processing Times
|| Consular Proc
03/14/2018: DHS Office of Inspector General Reports Discrepancy
of USCIS Website Report on Processing Times for I-485 Applications
- The report indicates that USCIS regularly
posts information on its website about the time it takes field
offices to adjudicate I-485 green card applications (processing
time). Yet, the information is unclear and not helpful to USCIS
customers because it does not reflect the actual amount of time
it takes field offices, on average, to complete green card applications.
Website reports I-485 applications adjudication times to four
(4) months, but OIG analysis revealed that the average time it
takes USCIS field offices to complete applications has risen
over time. As shown in figure 2, from FY 2011 through FY 2016,
actual completion times for green card applications requiring
an interview rose by 43 days. As of May 2017, the FY 2017
average actual completion time was 282 days or just over 9 months
more than double the goal set by USCIS.
- It appears that the situation has deteriorated
ever since the USCIS determined that all the EB-485 applications
for employment-based foreign worker green cards should be determined
after the scheduling interviews at the local field offices. Unconfirmed
information indicates that for some field offices, such EB-485
interview and adjudications are tremendously delayed because
of the limited resources at the local field offices. Employment-based
485 applicants lately suffers from two delays: One is incredible
backlog of the EB immigrant visa numbers. The other is the USCIS
delays in adjudication after it required an interview mandatory
for the offices to determination EB-485 applications. One wonders
what options the USCIS would have when they have limited resources.
03/14/2018: Extension of Employment Authorization for Syrian F-1 Students
Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of Civil
Unrest in Syria Since
- Effective tomorrow, USCIS will suspend the
applicability of certain requirements governing on-campus and
off-campus employment for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country
of citizenship is Syria, who are lawfully present in the United
States in F-1 nonimmigrant student status, obtained F-1 nonimmigrant
status by September 9, 2016, and who are experiencing severe
economic hardship as a direct result of the civil unrest in Syria
since March 2011. This notice will be officially published in
the federal register tomorrow and the suspension of the employment
limitations will be extended for 18 months from March 31, 2018
until September 30, 2019.
03/13/2018: Announcement of USCIS
Release of New Home Page and Website Header in a Few
- See announcement and samples of redesigned
03/13/2018: April 2018 Visa Bulletin Released
Dancing EB-3 Indian foreign workers. The
final action date chart will move ahead for one year from 01/01/2007
in March to 01/01/2008!! However, filing date chart will move
ahead only for three months. What does this mean? Those who have
filed EB-485 and are waiting for approval will see only three
months moved ahead from 01/01/2008 to 04/01/2008. Good news is
for those who have yet to file EB-485. Since Final Action Date
chart moved one year ahead, there will be a huge number of Indian
EB-3 EB-485 filings in April 2018 because for the EB-485 charts,
Indians had to follow the Final Action Date charts. CONGRATS
TO YOU ALL!!!
03/12/2018: USCIS Schedules a Teleconference on Credit Card
Payment of Filing Fees Options
- Teleconference on Tuesday, March 27, from
2:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern to discuss the expanded options for
paying USCIS fees by credit card. Subject matter experts from
USCIS' Office of Intake and Document Production as well as the
U.S. Department of the Treasury will provide information regarding
this expansion, give helpful tips, and answer a few non-case
To register, please follow these steps:
" Visit our registration page
" Enter your email address and select "Submit"
" Select "Subscriber Preferences"
" Select the "Event Registration" tab
" Provide your full name and organization, if any
" Complete the questions and select "Submit"
Please submit questions in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
by Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Put "Expanding
Credit Card Payment Options Engagement" in the subject line.
03/11/2018: USCIS Discloses All the Names of H-1B Visa (364,584 Approved in FY 2017)
- The total includes extensions and amendments
as well. This list includes average salaries they pay as well.
03/11/2018: USCIS Discloses All the Names of L-1 Visa (36,315 Approved in FY 2017)
- Top 10 employers consumed most of the numbers,
but this list is an eye-opener for the huge number of employers
that have used L-1A and L-1B visas as well.
03/08/2018: DACA March 5, 2018 Rescission Order and DHS
Announcement of Continuous Renewal Application Receipt Per the
- As we reported earlier, when it comes to
renewal of DACA, March 5 rescission order of the President Trump
turned meaningless when it comes to renewal of current DACA holders
because of the court orders. This is confirmed by the DHS in
its press release of March 7, 2018.
03/08/2018: USCIS New Poverty Guidelines of March 1, 2018
03/07/2018: OFLC PERM PWD and PERM Processing Times as of 02/28/2018
- PERM Prevailing Wage Determination Processing
Times: December 2017 (72 days)
- PERM Application Processing Times:
- Analyst Review (clean cut cases): August
2017 (156 days)
- Audit cases: June 2017 (250 days)
- Reconsideration cases: December 2017
03/05/2018: Supposed Death Valley
for DACA "MARCH 5" To Come and Gone, in Part Abandoned by the Leaders
in the Hill
- Currently, Dreamers are temporarily
saved from the death valley of March 5, 2018 for now, thanks
to the actions by the nation's Federal Judiciary Branch, but
the survival is hanging at the clip of the roof with uncertain
futures. Both Democrats and Republicans, as well as the White
House, have disappeared from any action for now to avoid any
potential political blame on their shoulder for using DACA as
a hostage to stall the nation's other important governance. It
is not certain whether another drama of government shut-down
will be displayed as they approach March 23, 2018 when the federal
government money runs out again unless the leaders pass appropriations
before the date. Unfortunately, there is a sign that federal
courts may not take any quick actions either pro or con decision,
and the politics may shy away legislators and the White House
from using DACA as the key tool of hostage for extension of another
stop-gap appropriation legislation on or before March 23, 2018.
03/05/2018: Alert - SAVE Goes
"Paperless" Effective 05/01/2018
- SAVE announces that SAVE is two months away
from paper processing. As of May 1, 2018, SAVE will no longer
process mailed paper submissions of the form G-845, Documentation
Verification Request, or the paper G-845, 3rd Step Document Verification
Request. All verification requests must be submitted electronically
starting May 1st. Any paper G-845 forms received after that date
will be returned without a response.
03/02/2018: OPM Announced All the Federal Offices in Washington
D.C. Areas Closed Today for Wind Storm
- Government Executive reports that the storm moving up the East Coast was
expected to bring sustained winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour
with gusts as high as 70 miles per hour on Friday, potentially
knocking down trees and causing widespread power outages. The
National Weather Service warned that travel could be hazardous.
Further up the coast, the storm was expected to produce flooding
and blizzard-like conditions.
03/02/2018: State Department Massive Updates for Visa Reciprocity for the
Last Several Months
- State Department updated "General, Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce,
Adoption, ID Card, Court/Prison, Police, Military, Travel, Post
Contact, and Visa Services" document
requirements for many and many countries since beginning this
year. Those are applying for the immigrant visas should check
with the State Department's Visa Reciprocity sites urgently to
comply with the changed reciprocities!
03/02/2018: TRS Designation
Extension for Syria Until 09/30/2019
- DHS announces that the Secretary of Homeland
Security is extending the designation of Syria for Temporary
Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from April 1, 2018, through
September 30, 2019. The 60-day re-registration period will start
to run from Monday, 03/05/2018. This notice will be officially
published in the federal register Monday 03/05/2018, but stakeholders
may read the advance copy now and start taking care of
registration process pursuant to the notice.
03/02/2018: iCERT Site Down Alert
- OFLC alerts that iCERT site
may be down from 5:30 p.m. (EST) today, Friday until 03/05/2018
Monday morning for maintenance. Those who need H-1B LCA, especially
for the FY 2019 H-1B cap LCAs, should process them urgently during
the day today quickly.
03/01/2018: H-4 EAD Rescission Proposed Rule Publication
Schedule Changed from February 2018 to June 2018
- It appears the USCIS prepared an initial
draft of its proposed rule with a schedule to publishing in February
2018 as published in the rule making agenda. However, USCIS learned
that it needed to make a "significat economic analysis"
which will take some time. Therefore, the USCIS has changed the
schedule of publication of the "proposed rule" from
February to June 30, 2018. The proposed rule may be published
in the federal register with probably upto 90 days of comment
period. It thus appears that the binding rule may not be published
until next six months or so from now. Please stay tuned.
03/01/2018: DOL PERM "Supervised Recruitment" Webinar of 03/07/2018
from 2:00 to 3:00 PM (EST)
- The number of supervised recruitment is not
that large, but hopefully this webiner can give some guidance
for these unfortunate PERM stakeholders.
03/01/2018: American Immigration Council Won in Litigation
for EB-1C I-140 Petition for its Employee in a Foreign Country
for Nine (9) Years W/O Subsidicary or Affiliate in the Foreign
- This is not a precent and binding decision,
but in this case, AIC reports that AIC and entity brought a
lawsuit for denying EB-1C immigrant petition for the reason that
the company did not have either affiliate or subsidicary in the
country where the company's worker worked for nine years for
the company overseas. Interestingly, AIC reports that the USCIS
has backed down and approved the I-140 petition. For the details,
please read the litigation copy. It is uncertain whether this
record will help other employers to file and win for EB-1C in
similar context, but very interesting case.
03/01/2018: USCIS Completes Random Selection Process for
H-2B Visa Cap for Second Half of FY 2018
- USCIS announces today that during the first five
business days, USCIS received approximately 2,700 H-2B cap-subject
petitions requesting approximately 47,000 workers, which is more
than the number of H-2B visas available. As a result, USCIS,
in accordance with applicable regulations, conducted a lottery
on Feb. 28 to randomly select enough petitions to meet the cap.
Accordingly, USCIS will reject and return the petitions and associated
filing fees to petitioners that were not selected, as well as
any cap-subject petitions received after Feb. 27.
03/01/2018: USCIS Released EB-485 Inventory Data as of January 2018
- Inventory data is an important source to
predict future movement of employment-based immigrant visa cut-off
dates for various countries. India has recorded the most clogged
individual country that has witnessed in the waiting numbers
for pending EB-485 applications until now.
- India waiting
numbers are as follows:
- EB-1: 14,290 at the end of 2017
- EB-2: 18,448 at the end of 2017
- EB-2 total of 7,557 for entire waiting number
of 2008, including 1,323 for December 2008 alone
- EB-2 total of 8,797 for entire waiting number
of 2009, including 1,109 for January, 639 for February,
650 for March, 650 for April, 1,451 for May, and 1,421 for June.
02/28/2018: Sen. Jeff Flake DACA Conditional Provisional
Resident Bill, S. 2464, Failed for Debate on the Senate Floor
Yesterday and Today
- The bill was first read yesterday and could
not get the support and had second read today for debate with
no avail. There was no other immigration bill on the floor thus
02/28/2018: SAVE System Modernization
is Coming This Week, as Early as Tomorrow, March 1, 2018
- The enhancements to the SAVE System will
be available as soon as March 1st. The new features and look
will make the SAVE system more user-friendly. The updates have
only been made to the "Additional" Verification process
at this time, and the "Initial" Verification process
will be updated later this year. Please stay tuned.
- Modernized SAVE System will enhance verification
services, making it easier for you to determine the eligibility
of your benefit applicants.
02/28/2018: Time for Collaboration Between Consulting Service
Providers and Their Clients under the Changing H-1B and L-1 Visa
Environment as Part of Trump Administration's Action of Buy American,
Hire American Executive Order
- The Trump Administration has initiated two
restrictive policies to implement this Executive Order as follows:
- Policy Memorandum of October
23, 2017 on "Rescission of Guidance
Regarding Deference to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in
the Adjudication of Petitions for Extension of Nonimmigrant Status,"
that repealed traditional policy of "deference" of
past decision of the agency in adjudicating H-1B extension petitions.
Ever since this new policy was implemented, the H-1B employers
and H-1B foreign workers have encountered mountain of RFEs and
a lot of denial of extension of H-1B status for the H-1B foreign
- Policy Memorandum of February
22, 2018 on "Contracts and Itineraries
Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites,"
that mandates collaboration of the entities that need the technical
services by consulting businesses and their foreign workers to
provide evidence for their detailed needs for the existence and
need for such "specialty" services, without which the
adjudicators of H-1B petitions would be able to deny H-1B petitions.
- The attacks against the H-1B program will
not end there. Sooner or later this year, the Trump Administration
will implement a reform of H-1B cap selection criteria from current
random selection lottery method to highest wage offer selection
method, that will affect small and medium size employers devastatingly.
02/28/2018: February 2018 Comes and Gone Without Planned
H-4 Repeal Rule Making Action by the USCIS
- Certain H-4 spouses have been going through
a difficult time emotionally for the past several months even
since the Trump Administration released its plan to repeal certain
H-4 EAD programs. Today is the last day of February and there
is no rule-making agenda released for H-4 repeal program. Accordingly,
H-4 EAD community is experiencing a small amount of space to
feel a breathe of temporary relief due to the two developments:
One was the decision of the appeals federal court in D.C. that
rejected the anti-H-1B labor union's demand for the federal court
to rule on the case and has rather given a space of time for
the Trump Administration to act on the H-1B EAD program for the
several months from now. Another news is inaction for the USCIS
today to initiate the rule-making process to repeal the H-4 EAD
program unlike it planned earlier.
- However, this is a temporary and tiny small
relief for the H-4 EAD community. They should not rest on this
development and not take any action to deal with potential relief
of H-4 EAD program down the road. They should keep carrying out
their plan to deal with their future against the repeal of H-4
EAD program in the future.
02/27/2018: OFLC PERM Supervised Recruitment Webinar on 03/07/2018,
- OFLC will host a Supervised Recruitment webinar
on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The objective for this webinar is
to provide general technical assistance that will provide stakeholders
with helpful tips when submitting a PERM Supervised Recruitment
response to the Atlanta National Processing Center.
- TIME: 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM Eastern Standard
- FORMAT: Webinar & conference call capability
will be provided to maximize participation
- TELEPHONE NUMBER: 888-282-0371
- TELEPHONE PASSCODE: 6854311
- Go to or click on: https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e35893c21221a8e89f25a00876613ff74
If prompted, enter the appropriate contact information (first
name, last name, email address)
If prompted, enter the event password: Welcome!24
Click on "Join Now"
- To join and hear the audio, please dial the
toll-free number 888-282-0371 and enter access code: 6854311
to hear the audio portion of the webinar or use the audio function
of the WebEx software to stream audio.
02/27/2018: PERM System Outage for Mainenance, Thursday,
March 1, 2018 from 8:00 pm ET until 11:00 pm ET.
02/27/2018: Approaching Deadline of Student and Exchange
Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Annual Verification Requirement
on March 2, 2018
- SEVP reminds that if a principal designated
school official does not complete the process by March 2, every
school official at every campus associated with their SEVP-certified
school will be locked out of SEVIS on March 3 and will remain
so until the verification process is complete. Read on.
02/27/2018: Effective Today, New Interim Rule Increases Number of Members of EOIR (Board
of Immigration Appeals) to 21
- For two reasons: First, EOIR was managing
the largest caseload the immigration court system had ever seen.
Second, the Department was in the process of hiring a substantial
number of additional immigration judges, which the Department
expected would increase the number of appeals filed with the
02/26/2018: Senate Returned to the Session Showing No Rush
for Any Immigration Reform Legislation
- The U.S. Senate returned to the session today
and gone without any calendar for immigration reform legislative
bills. It appears that at this point, there is no known schedule
for the Senate to go into any debates, not to mention any votes,
for the immigration bills. It is not certain whether both parties
are taking a cautious approach not to take any blame for DACA
legislation matter under the circumstances when DACA emergency
is for the time being pushed away from the table, in part thanks
to decisions on DACA issues by the federal district courts and
the Supreme Court of the United States. March 5 is no longer
considered a point of no return for the DACA community at least
for now. Under the circumstances, Democrats find no motive to
push for DACA legislation, taking away the power of bargaining
chips for the Republicans to push ahead ultra-conservative comprehensive
immigration reform legislation. They sort of lost the power of
bargaing chip, more or less, and at least for now.
02/26/2018: The Supreme Court of United States Refused Trump's
Request to Review Lower's Courts Preliminary Injunctions Against
Trump's March 5, 2018 Rescission of DREAMER Program!
- As we reported earlier, Federal District
Court in San Francisco ruled in January 2018 that the administration
had abused its discretion and had acted arbitrarily and capriciously
in rescinding the program. Another Federal District Court in
Brooklyn, New York also issued a similar ruling this month. Trump
Administration then, bypassing the U.S. Courts of Appeals for
these federal district courts rulings, went upto the Supreme
Court of United States to review and and turn down the lower
- New York Times reports that this morning, the SCOTUS (Supreme Court
of the United States) rejected and turned down the Trump Administration's
requrest. It means that when it comes to renewal of DACAs, the
program will remain in place, allowing much of the program to
survive beyond the March 5 deadline, pursutant to the two federal
district courts decisions. What a blow to the March 5, 2018 deadline
of the Trump Administration's decision of rescission of the DACA
- Politically, this decision shift the buden
on DACAs from the Democrats to the Republicans since there will
be no longer deadline of March 5, 2018 for existing DACAs and
there is no legal hurdle for the President Trump to extend or
renew DACA program beyond March 5, 2018, failure of which can
be taken as the President's action against the Dreamers. Sad
part of this DACA political struggle is that the DACAs more or
less have lost a momentum to use this struggle to achieve their
goal of legalization and eventual citizenship quickly using the
legislative tool of Continuing Resolutions.
02/23/2018: USCIS New Policy Memorandum of 02/22/2018 on Mandatory
Requirement of Contracts and Itineraries
for H-1B Petitions Involving 3rd
- The requirement is mandatory effective 02/22/2018
and any pending third-party worksite H-1B pendings are likely
bound by this new policy. Consulting firms should review this
memorandum and comply with this new mandotory policy. Memorandum
clarifies that this memorandum is issued to comply with Presidential
Executive Order of Buy American, Hire American. Remember that
this memoradum claries that the USCIS can approve the H-1B petition
for less than three years based on the adjudicator's judgment.
- Please read the USCIS announcement.
02/22/2018: U.S. Court of Appeals in DC Issued an Order
Sustaining Trump Administration Motion for Abeyance of H-4
EAD Rescission Process Instead of Court Ruling in Pending
- The Wise Grad reports that the federal appeals
court issued a decision granting the motion for abeyance pending
H-4 EAD rescission rule making and order the Trump Administration
to report the court every 90 days progress of the rule making.
The Court thus denied the union's motion to reschedule the hearing
to decide the case as soon as possible. Accordingly, for now,
the decision has given a good news, albeit temporary, for H-4
EAD stakeholders for a substantial prolonged period time.
- What does this mean to immigration stakeholders?
H-4 spouses have extended period of time to apply for new H-4
EADs and extension of current H-4 EAD for a while without fear
of court's imminent decision against the H-4 EAD rule. Additionally,
this may somewhat unload potential FY 2019 H-1B cap petition
volume in that the number of H-4 EADs may keep staying in H-4
EAD instead of rushing to file change of status from H-4 to H-1B
in April 1, 2018. We previously predicted that the volume of
H-1B cap applications in this cap season may arise substantially
because of H-4 EADs applying for change of status to H-1B in
part as well as Trump Administration's plan to reform the H-1B
cap seletion based in the order of the highest salary offered
instead of random selection in the near future. Another factor
is the growing economy and business markets.
02/21/2018: DHS Ombudsman Office Teleconference on EAD on 02/27/2018, Tuesday
- USCIS official will join the teleconference
to discuss EAD processing times, shed light on current operational
issues, and highlight best practices. It will be one-hour teleconference
from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (EST). Interested people should click
the link above to register.
02/21/2018: USCIS March 2018 485 Filing Charts Released
- Family-Based: Use "Filing Date"
- Employment-Based: Use "Final Action
02/20/2018: USCIS Today Releases Two Updated Forms: I-817
- Form I-817, Application for Family Unity Benefits, New Edition
Dated 11/07/2017. Effective 04/23/2018, USCIS will only accept
the 11/07/2017 edition. Until then, you can use the 12/23/2016
- Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application
or Petition, New Edition Dated 11/01/2017. Effective 04/23/2018,
USCIS will only accept the 11/01/2017 edition. Until then, you
can use the 12/23/16 edition.
02/16/2018: Effective 03/17/2018, USCIS No Long Accept Power
of Attorney (POA) Signature on Forms and Other Documents
- USCIS has released a Final Policy Memorandum
on 02/15/2018 that USCIS will no longer accept applications,
petitions, and others which are signed by Powever of Attorney
efective March 17, 2018. Until now, this has been permitted by
an interim policy memorandom. This interim policy memorandum
is overridden by the just released Final Policy Memorandum of
02/15/2018. For the details, please read the full text of the
02/16/2018: Senate in Recess Until 02/26/2018
- Senate confirmed en masse nominations for
government posts and judges and went into a recess without any
indication as to any agenda or plan for immigration issues before
March 5, 2018 when President Trump's DACA rescission order takes
effect. As we reported earlier, though, because of the federal
district court injunction orders against the President's rescission
order or unless higher courts overrule the lower courts decisions,
the current DACAs will be able to continue their lives without
the fear of deportation. Sad parts include that no new DACA applications
will be available and those who failed to file extension before
September 24 last year will face crisis, even though DHS may
exercise discretion to delay the enforcement actions against
them aggressively. Additionally, since advance paroles will not
be available for the current DACAs, their lives will be affected
negatively for not being able to visit their home countries and
relatives overseas. We'll see what will happen after 02/26/2018.
- It is hopeful that there is some development
very soon. Available options include (1) the Congress passes
legislation when they come back to the sessions, albeit not too
promissing in the near future; (2) the President issues a new
executive order to revive the DACA program with or without revisions.
Under the Constitution of the United States, the President has
a power of prosecutorial discretion on equity in the form of
deferred action ; (3) the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme
Court of United States take time to review and reach decisions
on the government's appeal against the lower courts preliminary
injunctions until the political issues are resolved either legislatively
or administratively during the next several months.
02/16/2018: USCIS Policy Memorandum of 02/15/2018 on "Exemption
to the Temporary Need Requirement for H-2B Workers on Guam"
- This PM pertains to certain H-2B petitions
requesting start dates on or after April 11, 2018, and before
October 1, 2023, for an otherwise qualified H-2B worker to perform
service or labor on Guam pursuant to any agreement entered into
by a prime contractor or subcontractor calling for services or
labor required for performance of a contract or subcontract for
construction, repairs, renovations, or facility services that
is directly connected to, or directly associated with, the military
realignment occurring on Guam. Under the NDAA (National Defense
Authorization Act), an employers need for these specific
types of service or labor is not required to be temporary in
nature if the employment start date is on or beforeSeptember
02/15/2018: Senate Failed to Pass Any Immigration Bills
- There were four bills introduced in the forms
of amendment, including pro-Trump four-plans bill as well as
pro-Democrat proposal excluding elimination of DV lottery and
chain migration from immigration system. They all failed to get
60 votes by 5:00 p.m. today. Trump plan supporting SSA (Secure
and Succeed Act) bill of Sen. Grassley got only 39 yes votes.
- Quo Vadis, Senators? Senate will have no
"voting session" until 02/26/2018, Monday!
02/15/2018: USCIS Updates 02/15/2018
H-1B Processing Times as of 12/31/2017
|| Consular Proc
02/15/2018: USCIS Updates Processing Times on 02/15/2018
02/15/2018: USCIS Announcement to Comply with Injunctions of
Federal District Courts Against Trump's DACA Rescission
- USCIS announced yesterday that the scope
of the preliminary injunction issued on February 13, 2018 in
the Eastern District of New York is the same as the preliminary
injunction issued on January 9, 2018 in the Northern District
of California. Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided
in this web guidance, the DACA policy will continue to be operated
on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017.
As explained in that guidance, USCIS is not accepting requests
from individuals who have never before been granted deferred
action under DACA.
- Both court injunctions apply only to the
curent DACAs, excluding any new DACA applicants. Review the current USCIS DACA implementation.
What does it mean? When it comes to the current and existing
DACAs, there will be no rescission of DACA program on March 5,
2018 "unless higher federal courts overrule these district
courts' injunction orders!
02/15/2018: Here We Go! Senate Scheduled to Vote on Immigration
Reform Bills Beginning from 10:30 A.M. (EST)
- Basically confrontation between two proposals:
Republican (Grassley) proposal incorporatiing Trump's all four
plans (Border Security, DACA, Removal of so-called Chain Migration,
and Removal of DV Lottery Program) vs. Democratic proposal limiting
to the first two programs (Border Security and DACA). Trump has
declared he would veto the Senate Democratic proposal.
02/14/2018: USCIS Updated Form G-1450
- Update to Form G-1450, Authorization for
Credit Card Transactions 02/14/2018 12:00 AM EST. New edition
and separate instructions are dated 01/04/18. As we reported
earlier, USCIS is expanding credit card payment of filing fees
for 41 forms using this G-1450 form.
- Caution. The credit card payment is available
only when they are filed with Lockbox facilities!
02/14/2018: USCIS to Accept Credit
Card Payment for Fees for 41 Forms Which Are Filed with
- USCIS announced today that it will now accept
credit card payments for the 41 fee-based forms processed at USCIS Lockbox
facilities. To pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover,
applicants will need to use Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit
Card Transaction (PDF, 260 KB)s. For details, please click here.
02/14/2018: "Secure and Succeed Act" S. 2579 Bill of
Six Hardline GOP Senators Introduced in the Senate
- This bill is close to the Trump's immigration
reform plan. DHS posted summry of this bill. Better summary is posted by the Senate Judiciary
Committee. This bill is sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee
Chairman Chuck Grassley.
02/13/2018: Federal District Court Judge in New York Issued
Preliminary Injunction Against President Trump
& DHS Rescission of DACA
- New York Law Journal reports that today, the federal judge issued preliminary
injunction that applies nation-wide against DHS Secretary rescission
of DACA program.
- This is a very important decision when the
Senate debate for DACA stalled between the Republicans and the
Democrats not too long after the floor debate and DACA could
have faced a nightmare in the first week of March.
02/13/2018: Senate Voted Yesterday to Debate Immigration
Reform by 97:1 Vote
- The debate will start today and reportedly,
the President Trump demands to pass the immigration reform legislation
including DACA by Thursday, 02/15/2018. It may be considered
a wild dream, but the pressure is mounting on the Congress to
pass immigration legislation before March 5, 2018 when the DACA
02/12/2018: March 2018 Visa Bulletin
- Very depressing charts for EB Indian workers
in both Final Action Date Chart and Filing Date Chart.
02/12/2018: Are You Ready for the Senate Floor Debates and
Actions on Immigration Legislation This Week?
- Yes, this week can be one of the most important
periods for the future of immigration reform for this country
as the Senate launches full-blown debates on comprehensive immigration
reform legislation and DACA legislation, among others. Republicans
hope to push the Trump's immigration reform plans as a bargain
for DACA relief, while Democrats to push DACA legislation upfront
with or without a potential compromise for comprehensive immigration
reform along the line of the Democrats political platform. The
debate will start shortly today. Please stay tuned.
02/09/2018: President Signed the CR as Soon as the House Passed
Bill Early This Morning, Officially Reopening the Government
- White House site just confirmed this, but
his Twitter as reported in Breitbart indicates that he signed 05:39
a.m. this morning. Apparently, he loved the bill.
02/09/2018: House also Passed CR at About 5:30 This Morning
and Government to Reopen After About Six Hours of Shutdown This
- This probably is one of the shortest government
shutdown. What a relief.
- Now wait for a potential huge legislative
development on immigration reform starting from next Monday!
It will be a huge relief for temporary and permanent labor certification
programs for employment-based immigration stakeholders as well
as another stakeholders for FY 2017 sunset immigration programs
which will reopen again at least for now. The USCIS posted alert for these four programs, but just passed
CR will save these sunsetting four immigrations at least until
- The CR does not touch any hot-botton immigration
issues such as DACA as well as comprehensive immigration reform.
However, the legislative debate on the immigraion legislation
is expected to ignite a fire on the Senate floor beginning from
next Monday. Please stay tuned.
02/09/2018: Senate Eventually Passed CR by 71-28 Votes During
- The government temporarily still remains
shutdown, but some progresses have been made in the Congress.
After a reported concession in the CR, the Senate eventually
passed the bill. The House is scheduled to vote for the Senate
passed CR about 4:00 AM this morning.
- Report indicates that the Senate has agreed
to open a huge debate on the Senate floor on immigration reform
legislation next week without any delays.
02/08/2018 11:40 PM: Government Legally Shuts Down at Midnight
12:00 P.M. (EST) Today
- One time, in the Senate, there was a bi-partisan
agreement to fund federal government, but when the Senate went
into the session, Senator Rand Paul of KY started filibuster
on the floor all the way through 11:00 PM and, report indicates that the Senate went into
recess until 12:01. Accordingly, at midnight of 12:00 P.M. (EST),
the federal government legally shuts down. When the Senate comes
back to the session after 12:00 P.M., the Senate Majority Leader
will try to vote for the bi-partisan agreement to reopen the
federal government, but passage of the bill in the Senate would
not easily allow reopen of the federal government since the House
should also vote and the President Trump should sign it into
a law. On the House side, there is another hurdle to pass the
Senate bill since there are two groups of House members who oppose
this bill, including the House Democratic Minority Leader and
her supporters on the one side and ultra right-wing conservative
Republican Freedom Caucus on the other side who also oppose the
bill thus far.
02/07/2018: Alert! USCIS Considers
Random Selection for H-2B Cap Numbers
on 09/30/2018 (Last Day of the Second Half of FY 2018
- USCIS announces today that the U.S. Department
of Labor announced it will not begin releasing H-2B temporary
labor certifications until Feb. 20, 2018, due to an unprecedented
number of applications. As a result of this demand, USCIS may
receive more H-2B nonimmigrant worker petitions than there are
H-2B visas available in the second half (04/01/2018-09/30/2018)
of Fiscal Year 2018. USCIS is maintaining a flexible approach
to this issue, which may
include randomly selecting petitions
received on the final receipt date to ensure that we allocate
H-2B visas fairly and do not exceed the cap. More information
will be forthcoming. For more information, see Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants.
02/07/2018: Here We Go! New York Times Report Confirms Our Earlier
Report of Development on CR
- Government shutdown cannot be taken lightly.
Some people may take that it will only affect government employees
and their families. That is absolutely not true. It can affect
hundreds of thousnds or even more than millions of people, immigration
stakeholders, disrupting their lives because of the close of
the federal government offices.
02/07/2018: Immigration Issues Out of CR Compromise to Avoid
Government Shutdown at Least Until 03/23/2018
- Yesterday, the House passed a temporary government
funding bill (CR) to keep the government temporarily opened through
03/23/2018 without including any immigration reform or DACA provisions
in it. The Senate is likely to revise the House version, but
in order to avoid the government shutdown, the Senate may as
well take out immigration reform from the CR, to leave them as
next compromise agenda during the next CR period. President Trump
threatened that he wanted to see the government shutdown, should
his conservative immigration reform be not part of the CR or
Omnibus Appropriations bill, but he would not dare to do that
since he would be the prime target of blame and attack by the
nation for the government shutdown. For the reaons, this time
around, Democrats also remained silent on attachment of DACA
to the CR for the same reasons. It thus appears that the struggle
for immigration reform legislation including DACA will for now
be controlled and move to the struggle during the upcoming CR
period through March 23, 2018. During the next CR period, the
President Trump is likely to take over a heavy burden on DACA
issue, either from legislative perspectives or administrative
- For the sunsetting immigration programs,
next CR may give a temporary relief, at least through March 23,
2018. Please stay tuned.
02/06/2018: OFLC PERM PWD and PERM Processing Times as of
- PERM Prevailing Wage Determination Processing
Times: November 2017 (81 days)
- PERM Application Processing Times:
- Analyst Review (clean cut cases): August
- Audit cases: June 2017
- Reconsideration cases: December 2017
- It appears as of now, clean cases moved from
August 2017 to September 2017.
02/06/2018: Effective 02/01/2018, State Department &
USCIS Started Screening Family Members of
Refugee Applicants in the U.S.
- On Feb. 1, 2018, USCIS and the Department
of State implemented new procedures to ensure that all individuals
admitted as refugees receive similar, thorough vetting
whether they are principal refugees, accompanying family members,
or following-to-join refugees. A following-to-join refugee is
the spouse or child of a principal refugee who lives abroad and
wishes to join the principal refugee in the United States. For
the details, please see the USCIS announcement.
02/06/2018: Breitbart Reports There is No March 5 Deadline
- Very interesting report. According to the
conservatie media Breitbart report yesterday, "March 5
distinction was vaporized January 9 when a California judge decided
that the government had violated regulatory procedures by quickly
ending the delivery of benefits to the 680,000 illegals still
in the DACA program. In response, the federal government has
begun renewing the expiring work-permits, pending their appeal
to the Supreme Court, which is likely to be decided by June."
In fact, there is no ruling by the Supreme Court of the United
States against the DACA program itself other than preliminary
injunction of the federal district court in Texas against the
"expanded DACA (three-year programe instead of two-year
program) and DAPA program for their parents." Besides, the
Trump Administration issued the decision of rescission of the
original two-year DACA program based on the threat of the Attorney
General of the State of Texas to seek expansion of the three-year
expanded DACA program preliminary injunction to the original
two-year DACA prograam in the Court. In issuing the rescission,
the Trump Administration exercised discretion to extend the deadline
for exising DACA program until March 5, 2018 for the existing
DACA recipients. Under the circumstances, theoretically, the
Trump Administration still has an authority to extend DACA program
as a "prosecutorial deferred action" power of the Executive
Branch under the Constitution of the United States as a part
of common law rule of equity. Accordingly, it is somewhat interesting
how this report of Breibart will affect the dynamics for the
pending FY 2018 budget negotiations between the two parties.
02/05/2018: Do not Miss Teleconference on FY 2019 H-1B Cap
Season and Filing Tips
- Unconfirmed sources indicate that the USCIS
planned reform of H-1B cap will not take place before the opening
of this cap season on 04/01/2018. Another information indicates
that unlike last year, the Premium Processing may not remain
closed for H-1B cap cases almost throughout the season, albeit
a short period of closing as usual for many years in the past.
- The teleconference may add some more details
about the cap filing this season, and H-1B cap employers and
stakeholders may not miss this teleconference. For details, refer
back to our report on 01/31/2018 in this site.
02/05/2018: Latest Progress of CR Negotiations to Avoid Government
Shut Down on 02/09/2018 (Friday)
- Report indicates that Republicans and Democrats
are moving toward direction of passing another Continuing Resolution
to fund the government until March 22, 2018 with the agreements
on increased spending bill for defense and to work on "neutral"
immigration legislation during the period of next CR. Reportedly,
the road block to this movement is the Freedom Caucus of the
House (Ultra Right Wing) that threatens to reject such CR if
the ultra conservative immigration reform legislation is not
passed as part of the another CR. Should that happen, there will
be another government shut down on 02/09/2018 (Friday). The CR
must be passed before Thursday because the House members are
scheduled to leave the Hill for the caucus meeting. The key appears
to remain in the hand of the members of House Freedom Caucus.
If they want to avoid the blame for another government shutdown,
President Trump and Freedom Caucus may have to agree to the ongoing
concessions between the House and the Senate leaderships.
- If there is no government shut down, some
immigration programs that are scheduled to sunset can be extended
again until 03/22/2018. Please stay tuned.
02/05/2018: Some I-601A Applications Transferred from National
Benefits Center to Nebrasca Service Center
- USCIS announced on 01/29/2018 that it transferred
some of the I-601A Applications (Provisional Unlawful Presence
Waiver) to the Nebraska Service Center:
02/02/2018: ICE Directive of 01/10/2018 on Civil Immigration
Enforcement Actions Inside Courthouses
- Breibart reports
that ICE Director issued this "Directive" to enforce immigration enforcement
inside court houses. Reportedly, this immigration law enforcement
will affect Sanctuary cities.
02/02/2018: Expired and Renewal of USCIS Form of Letter-Notification
of Medical Service Requirements for National Interest Waiver Physicians
- This form letter of the USCIS requesting
evidence to complete NIW waiver I-485 applications for physicans
expired on 01/31/2018, yesterday, but the OMB cleared extension
of the form letter without changes to the requirements in the
form letter. Accordingly, the IMGs who filed or who intends file
NIW I-140 and I-485 applications based on the HHS or Veteran
Administration sponsorship may use the expired form, which will
soon be published in the federal register for extension of the
02/01/2018: USCIS Customer Service Tools Scheduled Down
Coming Sunday from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm (EST)
- Well, it means customer tools will be not
available almost whole day.
02/01/2018: Reportedly, President Trump Suggested Today
to the Republican Lawmakers to Delay in Pushing for Immigration
Reform Debate Now
- Breitbart reports
that in today's Republican meeting in Virginia, President Trump
suggested to delay immigration debate rather than push it now.
President Trump must have arrived at a conclution that pushing
the far-right comprehensive immigration reform legislation now
is not for the interest of the Republican party to win the November
2018 midterm national election. Delay until later before the
election would rather help for the party in the November election,
the President thought. Why?
- As we wrote earlier, pushing far-right immigration
reform would not be in the best interest since it may cause another
government shut-down, and unlike previous government shut-down,
the President Trump could be blamed for government shut-down
for pushing the far right immigration reform as the cause for
the government shutdown. Let see what happens next week.
02/01/2018: Approaching FY-2019 H-1B Cap Petition Season
(04/01/2018) and USCIS to Revise I-907 Premium Processing Request
- Attorneys filing I-907 form must have been
confused with Part I of the form requesting the information about
the "Requestor" including name and address. Requestor
means what? Employer or Attorney? Obviously, the USCIS has been
receiving I-907 with confusing answers. USCIS is revising Part
1 of the Form I-907 with some enhancements. For instance, the
revised form may explain more clearly that "company name
and contact" refers only to the company or organization
named in a related case; e.g., a petitioning employer and not
legal representative. Lawyers should complete the "Preparer"
section in the form. The form Another enhancement is the addition
of a Part 5 Name, Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature
of the Person Preparing this Request, If Other Than the Requestor
which requests all relevant information regarding an attorney
or other accredited representative who prepares a Form I-907
on behalf of the person filing the request. USCIS is confident
these changes will improve the efficiency in filing and processing
- USCIS submitted the revised I-907 form to
the OMB yesterday, and it is likely that the revised form may
be published before the start of the FY 2019 H-1B cap season.
One good news is that the USCIS rejected a comentor's suggestion
to increase the fee to $5,000! Good for you, USCIS!
01/31/2018: USCIS Teleconference on Upcoming H-1B Cap Filing
Tips on Tuesday, 03/06/2018, 1:00-2:00 PM (EST)
- USCIS hosts a teleconference on the upcoming
H-1B cap filing period, giving helpful filing tips and answering
questions by the Service Center Directore on Tuesday, March 6,
2018, from 1 - 2 p.m. EST.
- To register, please follow these steps:
" Visit our registration page
" Enter your email address and select "Submit"
" Select "Subscriber Preferences"
" Select the "Event Registration" tab
" Provide your full name and organization, if any
" Complete the questions and select "Submit"
- We advise the participants not to keep saying
"Hello, Can You Hear Me?" or "Thank You For........."
which is usually taken annoying to other participants and causing
waste of time.
01/31/2018: USCIS Asylum Interview Schedules: Give Interview
Priority to the Most Recently Filed Affirmative Asylum Applications
- Starting January 29, 2018, the Asylum Division
have been giving priority to the most recently filed affirmative
asylum applications when scheduling asylum interviews. USCIS
indicates that the INS in old days first established this interview
scheduling approach as part of asylum reforms implemented in
January 1995. This approach was in place until December 2014.
The aim is to deter individuals from using asylum backlogs solely
to obtain employment authorization by filing frivolous, fraudulent
or otherwise non-meritorious asylum applications.
- Giving priority to recent filings allows
USCIS to promptly place such individuals into removal proceedings,
which reduces the incentive to file for asylum solely to obtain
employment authorization. This approach also allows USCIS to
decide qualified applications in a more efficient manner. USCIS
will now schedule asylum interviews in the following order of
(1) First priority: Applications that were scheduled for
an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the
applicants request or the needs of USCIS.
(2) Second priority: Applications that have been pending
21 days or less.
(3) Third priority: All other pending affirmative asylum
applications will be scheduled for interviews starting with newer
filings and working back towards older filings.
- Sounds very odd, but they have a purpose
to achieve. Read on.
01/31/2018: President Trump State of the Union Address Demanding
Merit-Based Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation
- It appears that the country generally agrees
that the country's aged-old immigration systems should be reformed,
considering the change of the world and the country in a cyber
age demanding merit-based immigrants. In fact, the Senate passed
a few years ago a comprehensive immigration reform Act, S. 744,
incorporating this concept of merit-based immigration reform.
Unfortunately, the House rejected and did not even put the Senate
bill on the floor, leading to the death of the bill.
reports that after the President's SOTU address, it was a general
consensus that there was no objection to the immigration reform
based on merit system, but legislators, including Republicans,
revealed that the President reform proposal which reflect's Senator
Tom Cotton's RAISE Act would not be acceptable, not because of
the merit-based immigration reform but because of Sen. Tom Cotton's
bill to use merit-based reform to cut off annual total immigration
to about 40% during the first year after the legislation being
enacted. Democrats themselves also generally admit that the country's
immigration laws should be reformed with introduction of merit-based
immigration as an important part of the new immigration system,
but object to reducing total immigration numbers to about a half
of current immigration system.
- It thus appears that unless this difference
can be compromised between the Republicans and the Democrats,
DACA relief is likely to face a jeopardy and the country may
face another government shut-down. The workable compromise would
keep the family-based immigration system as it is, albeit in
reduced numbers, and reform employment-based immigration system
drastically, removing per country limit and allocating more numbers
for employment-based immigration. It is stunning and embarrassing
to learn that the white supremacist David Duke praised the President's immigration
reform plan in the SOTU, obviously not because of merit-based
reform per se, but
because of the drastic cut-off of
total immigrant numbers, especially immigrants of color, as the
ultimate goal of the immigration reform.
01/31/2018: USCIS Notice of Proposed Revision of I-129S Blanked L Petition
- USCIS has published today a notice in the
federal register seeking comment for its revision I-129S form
with a 60-day comment period. The revised form will require details
of the proposed job and employee's detailed biographic and work
history and other details.
01/29/2018: USCIS Processing Time Update Report 01/29/2018
- Wow, this time around, it took a while before
this report is released.
01/29/2018: USCIS Updates 01/29/2018
H-1B Processing Times as of 11/30/2017
|| Consular Proc
01/28/2018: Senators Hatch and Flake
S. 2344 (I-Squared) Bill to
Increase Annual H-1B Cap and Eliminate Per Country Annual Limit
for Employment-Based Immigration
- This bill has been introduced
by Senator Hatch of Utah for a number of years with minor changes
to help this country to recruit talented high tech foreign workers.
This bill was introduced again on 01/25/2018 in the Senate. One
big change is a proposal to eliminate per country limit for employment-based
immigration annual limit. If this bill is passed, another pending
bill which was introduced over the years by another Congressman
in the House from Utah will turn mute. Indian high tech workers
have been advocating this House bill for many years without success.
- Summary of Immigration Innovation Act, S. 2344:
- H1B Visas:
-U.S. advanced degrees: Uncaps the existing exemption (currently
20,000) for holders of U.S. masters degrees or higher from
the annual numerical limitation on H1B visas for individuals
who are being sponsored for or who will be sponsored for a green
-Statutory cap: Increases the annual base allocation of H1B
visas from 65,000 to 85,000.
-Market escalator: Creates a market-based escalator to allow
the supply of H1B visas to meet demand. Under the escalator,
up to 110,000 additional H1B visas (for a total of 195,000)
may be granted in a fiscal year if certain demand requirements
-Lottery prioritization: Prioritizes adjudication of cap-subject
H1B visa petitions for holders of U.S. masters degrees
or higher, holders of foreign Ph.D.s, and holders of U.S.
STEM bachelor degrees.
-Hoarding penalties: Subjects employers who fail to employ an
H1B worker for more than 3 months during the individuals
first year of work authorization to a penalty.
-Prohibitions on replacement: Prohibits employers from hiring
an H1B visa holder with the purpose and intent to replace
a U.S. worker.
-Work authorization for H1B spouses and children: Provides
work authorization for spouses and dependent children of H1B
-Worker mobility: Increases H1B worker mobility by establishing
a grace period during which H1B visa holders can change
jobs without losing legal status.
-Dependent employers: Updates 1998 law exempting H1B dependent
employers from certain recruitment and nondisplacement requirements.
Raises from $60,000 to $100,000 the H1B salary level at
which the salary-based exemption takes effect. Narrows education-based
exemption to H1B hires with a U.S. Ph.D. Eliminates exemptions
for super-dependent employers altogether.
- Green Cards:
Per-country numerical limits: Eliminates annual per-country limit
for employment-based green cards and adjusts per-country caps
for family-based green cards.
Green card recapture: Enables the recapture of green card numbers
that were approved by Congress in previous years but not used.
Exemptions from green card cap: Exempts spouses and children
of employment-based green card holders, holders of U.S. STEM
masters degrees or higher, and certain individuals with
extraordinary ability in the arts and sciences from worldwide
numerical caps on employment-based green cards.
Worker mobility: Increases worker mobility for individuals on
the path to a green card by enabling such individuals to change
jobs earlier in the process without losing their place in the
green card line.
Employment-based conditional green cards: Creates new conditional
green card category to allow U.S. employers to sponsor university-educated
foreign professionals through a separate path from H1B.
- Student Visas
Dual intent: Enables F1 student visa holders to seek permanent
resident status while a student or during Optional Practical
- STEM Education and Worker
Promoting American Ingenuity Account: Increases fees for H1B
visas and employment-based green cards and directs fees toward
state-administered grants to promote STEM education and worker
- It is interesting to learn
that it turns out that the sponsors of bills to remove per country
will leave the Congress at the end of this session of the Congress.
Senator Hatch and Senator Flake announced earlier that they would
not run for the Senate seats in the U.S. Senate in the coming
Mid-term National Election in November 2018. The House bill sponsor
decided to leave the Congress. This bill is strongly supported
and advocated by high tech industry and U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
but must overcome two hurdles: One is labor union advocate Senators,
including Republican Senator Grassley of Iowa and Democratic
Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. They are two most powerful Senators
in the Judiciary Committee in the Senate who have been strongly
opposing H and L visas and employment-based immigration legislations.
Second hurdle is the President's commitment to Executive Order
of Buy American, Hire American and a strong anti foreign worker
political platform, even though he emabrassed removal of per
country limit in his framework of on-going comprehensive immigration
reform. Currently right wing U.S. Senators and the President
are strongly advocating the comprehensive immigration reform
legislation proposals of Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Bob Goodlatte,
Chairman of House Judiciary Committee as a chip for bargain for
DACA relief legislation before February 8, 2018. Accordingly,
legislation removing per country limit in the employment-based
immigration and other restrictive comprehensive immigration reform
legislation must overcome a strong opposition by Democrats. Unlike
01/20/2018 government shutdown battle which the Democrats were
blamed for it using DACA undocumented immigrant relief legislation,
the upcoming potential government shutdown after 02/08/2018 may
add a heavy burden on Republicans to refute the accusation that
the same was not caused by the Republicans. For the reasons,
Senator Hatch's proposed bill may have a better chance to make
it as a stand-alone bill rather than as a part of the Trump's
comprehensive immigration reform proposals. We will see.
01/25/2018: WHITE HOUSE FRAMEWORK ON IMMIGRATION REFORM &
- As we exactly predicted it, the White House
is scheduling to release this immigration reform proposal on
Monday which reflects the President's restrictive immigration
reform plan. No one should be surprised to learn this proposal.
A dark cloud in the sky with a potential government shutdown
in the next two weeks.
01/25/2018: OFLC Permanent and Temporary
Foreign Labor Certification Applications Processing Fact Sheet Ending 12/31/2017
01/25/2018: Update of I-942P Form
for Income Guidelines for Reduced Fees Released Today
- Effective today, previous
edition will not be accepted and new edition must be used.
01/25/2018: Update of I-912P Form
for HHS Poverty Guidelines for Fee Waiver Request Released Today
- Effective today, previous
edition will not be accepted and new edition must be used.
01/24/2018: Potential Another Government
Shutdown on 02/08/2018 and Advisory for Employers to Take Care
of PERM & Temporary Labor Certification Applications Timely
- As we predicted, after the
reopen of the government, the Trump Administration is reportedly
bringing up again border wall funding and restrictive immigration
reform as part of the renegotiation of DACA relief to extend
CR beyond 02/08/2018. Unlike the previous government shutdown
threat of 01/19/2018, the forthcoming threat from the Trump Administration
will be more forceful considering the imminent expiration of
DACA program in March. Probably this was part of the calculation
of a strategy to pass ultra conservative comprehensive immigration
reform with a goal to cut off the total "legal" immigration
to a half of the current level. Immigration stakeholders will
remember that there was another Republican similar attemp by
Simpson bill in 1980s, which failed at the time. The current
environment is more threatful for the immigration stakeholders
because of DACA as an imminent shutdown of the program in a short
period of time. The critical issue and fight are more related
to "legal" immigration than "undocumented"
immigration issues, which will bring about a long lasting political
and demographic effects for the country for years and years to
come. Immigration community should feel chill as time goes by
during the next three weeks.
01/22/2018: Both Senate and House
Passed CR as Amended to Stop Government Shutdown
- The President is likely to
sign the bill swiftly and the federal government will return
to the normal business. Some immigration program operations,
including foreign labor certification programs, have suffered
for three days, but they are likely to go into a normal operation
beginning from tomorrow.
- The CR will fund the federal
government until Febtuary 8, 2018, but the Congress will face
a difficult task to deal with DACA, either as a stand-alone program
or as a part of Trump's restrictive comprehensive immigration
program reducing immigration numbers to a half of the current
immigration quota. We extend congratulations to the employees
of the federal government and their families. We hope that they
do not face another challenge on February 8, 2018.
01/22/2018: USCIS Launches a Pilot
Redesigned Naturalization and Citizenship Certificate
- On Jan. 22, 2018, four USCIS
field offices and one service center will participate in a 10-day
pilot to issue redesigned citizenship and naturalization certificates
to U.S. citizens. The pilot sites are: Norfolk Field Office,
Tampa Field Office, Minneapolis-St. Paul Field Office, Sacramento
Field Office, Nebraska Service Center.
- Although the design is new,
the process of applying for and receiving naturalization and
citizenship certificates will not change. Previously issued certificates
will remain valid as proof of citizenship or naturalization,
regardless of when they were issued. It is only necessary to
replace a certificate if it is lost or contains incorrect information.
Pending a successful pilot, USCIS will begin to issue the new
certificates nationwide at a future date.
01/20/2018: OFLC PERM System Suspended During
- PERM site Notice: This Web
application is currently unavailable due to the suspension of
Federal government services. It will be available again when
the Federal government resumes operations.
01/20/2018: OFLC iCERT System Suspended
During Government Shutdown
- ICERT site notice: This Web
application is currently unavailable due to the suspension of
Federal government services. It will be available again when
the Federal government resumes operations.
01/20/2018: Government Shutdown and State Department Releases
Notice of 01/20/2018 on its Passport
and Visa Processing Operations
- The notice confirms that
at this time, scheduled passport and visa services in the United
States and at our posts overseas will continue during the lapse
in appropriations as the situation permits. The State Department
website will not be regularly updated until full operations resume,
with the exception of emergency safety and security information.!
01/20/2018: Government Shutdown and USCIS Releases Notice of 01/20/2018 on Lapse in Federal Funding for
Certain USCIS Operations
- With the government shutdown
in pleace, the USCIS releases today special notice on its impact
on USCIS operation during the period of government shut down.
It confirms that USCIS operations and processing of cases will
not be affected other than followings which will either expire
- EB-5 Immigrant
Investor Regional Center Program. Regional centers are a public or private economic
unit in the United States that promote economic growth. USCIS
designates regional centers for participation in the Immigrant
- E-Verify. This free internet-based system allows
businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to
work in the United States.
- Conrad 30 J-1 doctors. This program allows J-1 doctors
to apply for a waiver of the two-year residence requirement after
completing the J-1 exchange visitor program. The expiration only
affects the date by which the J-1 doctor must have entered the
United States; it is not a shutdown of the Conrad 30 program
- Non-minister religious workers. This special immigrant category
allows non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations to
immigrate or adjust status in the United States to perform religious
work in a full-time, compensated position.
- The foregoing four immigration
programs were scheduled to be expired at the end of September
2017, but have been extended temporarily based on the Continuing
Resolutions. Since the government shutdown is in place since
the midnight yesterday, the USCIS releases this notice to alert
the stakeholders of these four programs. However, should the
Congress somehow work out Continuing Resolutions, these programs
will be reinstated.
01/20/2018: Senate to Reconvene Today
for Renegotiation and House Members on Standby in DC Areas for
its Potential Followup Session
- The U.S. Senate failed to
pass Continuing Resolution last night, causing government shutdown
in the midnight. However, it decided to come back sometime this
morning to try renegotiation and to pass another short-term Continuing
Resolution. For the reasons, all the members of the House remain
in the DC area for their follow-up session, should the Senate
be successful in passing another Continuing Resolution. Please
01/20/2018 00:10 AM (EST) SPECIAL
REPORT: Congress Failed to Pass Continuing
Resolution Causing Government Shutdown 10 Minutes Ago
- The U.S. Senate failed to pass motion for
closure to block filibuster after 10:00 p.m. of 01/19/2018 and
failed. Before the midnight, there were reports that the last
minute negotiation had been going on to save from government
shutdown literally at the last minute, but failed to produce
anything by midnight, according to Politico. It is a sad day for the country!
reports that since most government offices won't open again until
Monday, there is time over the weekend for legislators to reach
a compromise, and House members have been kept in Washington,
D.C., in case that happens. At midnight, talks among Senate leaders
were still happening on the Senate floor after a procedural vote
late Friday lacked the 60 yes votes needed to advance a four-week
funding bill that the House passed on Thursday.
- The Oh Law Firm was blessed to receive two
certified LCAs by emails from the U.S. Department of Labor, for
filing of H-1B extension petitions, around 10:00 p.m. EST (two
hours before the government shutdown!) yesterday. For the impact
of government shutdown on immigration proceedings, please read
our report yesterday.
01/19/2018: The Supreme Court of United States Granted Trump Administration's Petition for
a Writ of Certiorari to Review Lower Court's Decision Partially
Lifting Presidential Travel Ban
reports that the petition presented four issues before the Supreme
Court. Today's SCOTUS order is a decision to review lower court's
decision on Trump vs. Hawaii case.
01/19/2018: House Passed Continuing Resolution, but Government
Shutdown Looming Up "Real"
- The House passed yesterday its version of
short-term federal government funding bill (Continuing Resolution)
up to 02/16/2018 without attaching DACA relief bill or Comprehensive
Immigration Reform bill. The underlying strategy of President
Trump and conservative Republicans appears to be to attach Trump's
restrictive Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposal as reflected
in the Sen. Tom Cotton's RAISE bill in the Senate and Rep. Bob
Goodlatte's SAF Act bill in the House, making DACA relief as
part of such comprehensive immigration reform legislation. However,
both of these bills are considered a "death sentence"
for the Democrats in that family-based immigration and other
liberal immigration programs in the immigration law are the critical
base of their political platform. For the reasons, during the
last two weeks, Senate bipartisan Senators prepared a compromise
bill that accommodated the Republican bill by reducing immigration
lottery to a half of current quota, eliminating family-based
immigration petition by the permanent residents for their children.
This bi-partisan proposal was rejected by the President. Under
the circumstances, the strategy of the GOP seems to achieve avoiding
government shut-down by removing any immigration issues from
the stop-gap funding bill and then during a short period after
02/16/2018 but before sunset of DACA program in March, they intend
to add a pressure on the Democrats to accept its Comprehensive
Immigration Reform proposal which will also include the relief
- The two parties are currently totally in
deadlock and the government shut-down becomes more real at the
end of today. Democratic leaders in the Senate hate Sen. Tom
Cotton and Rep. Bob Goodlatte who are taken road blocks against
the compromise between the Domocrats and Republicans when it
comes to DACA and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
- Should there be government shut-down, U.S.
Department of Labor will remain closed and during the government
shutdown, all the employment-based immigration proceedings of
the USCIS will be indirectly disturbed in that labor conditition
applications for H-1B, prevailing wage determination, and permanent
or temporary foreign labor certifications for all the employment-based
immigrant and non immigrant proceedings would be stalled and
employers and foreign workers will face crisis. Additionally,
there are some other nonimmigrant and immigrant proceedings which
are also affected in other ways. Certain EB-4 and EB-5 immigrant
visas will be closed when CR expires. Family based immigration
and other proceedings will not be affected during the government
shutdown because those are fee-based proceedings and USCIS offices
and visa posts will keep processing the applications. When it
comes to non immigrant and immigrant petitions or applications,
USCIS will keep processing them during the period, but new employment-based
non immigrant proceedings and immigrant proceedings will be handicapped
because of the closure of the U.S. Department of Labor that processes
prevailing wage determination and labor certification applications.
(Government shutdown will lead to 14.7% employees in furlough
for DHS and 83.2% employees in furlough for DOL!. See here.)
Clock keeps ticking. Please stay tuned to this website for the
development of government funding legislation in the Congress
before mid-night today.
01/18/2018: Full Text of H.J. Res. 125 (Continuing Resolutions)
to Fund the Federal Government from 01/20/2018 to 02/16/2018
- This government stop-gap funding resolution
was officially introduced on 01/16/2018 and the House is scheduled
to act on this bill today. This bill does not include DACA relief.
Nor does it include any immigration reform legislations. As a
bargain for the Democrats, this Republican bill added Children
Health benefits extensions. For the Republican's platform, obviously
in added increased spending for military and southern border
wall and security.
- DACA is scheduled to be rescinded in March
and Republican strategies are to pressure the Democrats to accept
its restrictive immigration reform legislation as a bargain for
DACA relief in the new Continuing Resolutions or Omnibus Appropriations
bill before February 16, 2018.
- There are some sunsetting immigration programs
which has been temporarily extended. Pending the CR, Visa Bulletin
for February 2018 made immigrant visas unavailable for these
programs, but it clarified that should the Congress pass legislations
extending federal funding beyond 12/19/2018, the involved immigrant
visa numbers will be available pursuant to such legislation.
Accordingly, should the Congress passes the CR before the end
of tomorrow, the immigrant visa numbers for those immigration
programs will be automatically made available. Stakeholders are
advised to review February Visa Bulletin carefully.
- This is a national election year and both
parties are attempting to mobilize all the legislative agenda
in favor of their contituents. The November 2018 national election
is considered one of the most important elections for the country's
01/18/2018: HHS Poverty Guidelines of 2018
- HHS published the Poverty Guidelines for
this year. As for the USCIS and Immigrant Visa Posts, this Poverty
Guidelines do not take effect until the USCIS publishes it as
its own Poverty Guidelines. Annually, the USCIS has been publishing
this sometime around February of early March. However, people
can figuire out it ahead of time by multiflying the HHS Poverty
Guidelines by 125% to get the USCIS Poverty Guidelines. Again
there will be no change of current Poverty Guidelines for USCIS
and immigrant visa proceedings until the USCIS publishes its
01/18/2018: USCIS Announcement of Re-Registration Period Now
Open for Salvadorans TPS
01/18/2018: USCIS Announcement of Re-Registration Period Now
Open for Haitians TPS
01/18/2018: Official Federal Register Notice of Termination
of TPS for Haiti Effective 07/22/2019
and Registration for Temporary TPS Extension and EAD
- This notice is officially pupblished in the
federal register on 01/18/2018. Re-registration started from 01/18/2018 for 60 days period of time. For all other details,
please read the notice.
01/18/2018: Official Federal Register Notice of Termination
of TPS for El Salvador Effective
09/09/2019 and Registration for Temporary TPS Extension and EAD
- This notice is officially published in the
federal register on 01/18/2018. Re-registration starded 01/18/2018
for 60 days. For all other details, please read the notice. Initial federal register had an error
with the state date of registration as 01/19/2018 instead of
01/18/2018. Accordingly, USCIS will publish the correct notice in the federal register Monday,
01/18/2018: USCIS Announcement of List of H-2A and H-2B Eligible
01/18/2018: List H-2A and H-2B Eligible Countries in 2018
- DHS designates the 83 countries for H-2A
program and 82 countries for H-2B program in 2018. This designation
is officially published and implemented from 01/18/2018 to 01/17/2019.
01/17/2018: Wow, Government Shutdown Decision Two (2) Days
01/17/2018: USCIS February 485 Filing Availability Charts
- Family Based 485:
Use "Filing Date" Charts in the February Visa Bulletin
- Employment-Based 485:
Use "Final Action Date" Charts in the February Visa
01/16/2018: Justice Department Filed Notice to Appeal and
Intends to Petition for Immediate Supreme Court Review in DACA
- The Department of Justice announced today that it filed a notice of
appeal in The Regents of the University of California and Janet
Napolitano v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Elaine
Duke seeking review before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit. The Department also intends later this week to
take the rare step of filing a petition for a writ of certiorari
before judgment, seeking direct review in the Supreme Court of
the United States. Readers are reminded that the USCIS just started
to take in DACA "renewal" applications based on the
decision of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Depending
on the results of new development, DACA community may face a
nighmare again. They are already undergoing an extreme level
of anguish because of the deteriorating political conflict between
the President and the Democrats in the Congress potentially leading
to the federal government shutdown at the end of this Friday,
01/16/2018: State Department Prediction
of Visa Availability in Coming Months (Final Action Date Charts)
- FAMILY-Based:: Worldwide Category
- F1: Up to one month
- F2A: Three to five weeks
- F2B: Three to six weeks
- F3: Up to five weeks
- F4: Up to three weeks
- EB-1: Current for all countries
for the next several months.
- Worldwide: C
- China: Several months
- India: Up to two weeks
- Worldwide: Current
- China: Up to five months
- India: One to three months
- Mexico: Current
- Philippines: Up to one month
- EB-4: Current for most countries
- El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: Up to three
- Mexico: Some forward movement
- EB-5: The category will remain Current
for most countries.
- China-mainland born: Little if any forward
- Vietnam: Will become subject to a final action
date no later than April. The China-mainland born and Vietnam
Employment Fifth preference dates would be the same.
- The above final action date projections for
the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely
to happen on a monthly basis through April and May based on current
applicant demand patterns. Readers should never assume that recent
trends in final action date movements are guaranteed for the
future, or that "corrective" action will not be required
at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the
applicable annual limits. The determination of the actual monthly
final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand
and a number of other variables. (See February Visa Bulletin)
01/16/2018: February Visa Bulletin Released
01/16/2018: Written Testimony of DHS Secretary Before Senate Judiciary
Committee 01/16/2018 on "Oversight of DHS"
- This written testimony gives clues of DHS
new policy directions to comply with the President's order to
reform stakeholder agencies and policies, which have been submitted
to the OMB by the stakeholder agencies before October 2017. However,
no details have been released by the OMB or stakeholders agencies
as to the details of the proposals of the stakeholder agencies.
This written testimony will give a window to peek through the
direction the DHS has been and will move ahead. This testimony
covers ten (10) subjects: (1) Protectng Our Open Society in a
New Age of Terrorism; (2) Advance Terrorism Prevension
Efforts; (3) Aviation Security; (4) Vetting &
Screening; (5) Visa Waiver Program; (6) Border Security;
(7) Drugs; (8) Enforcing Immigration Laws; (9) Buy American, Hire American; and (10) Legal Immigration Reforms. Obviously,
the subjects which affect "legal" immigrant community
are presented in (9) and (10) as seen below:
- (9) Buy American, Hire
the issuance of Executive Order 13788, Buy American and Hire
American, the President directed me, along with the Secretaries
of State and Labor and the Attorney General, to propose new rules
and issue new guidance, and revise existing rules and guidance
as soon as practicable, to protect the interests of United
States workers in the administration of our immigration system,
including through the prevention of fraud and abuse. I
take that directive to heart. The Department is fully committed
to eradicating fraud and abuse in our immigration system
in order to serve the interests of Americans. Such a system must
help create higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers,
and protect their economic interests by seeking to ensure that
employment-based visas are awarded to the most-skilled beneficiaries.
DHS is working on a
combination of rulemaking, policy memoranda, and operational
changes to implement this important initiative.
Pursuant to this Executive Order, USCIS announced it will take
a more targeted approach to combatting fraud and abuse in the
employment-based visa programs, including the H-1B program. To
help end H-1B petitioner fraud and abuse, USCIS has established
a Targeted Site Visit
and Verification Program (TSVVP).
Targeted site visits allow USCIS to focus its resources where
fraud and abuse of certain programs are more likely to occur.
TSVVP initially focused on H-1B petitions filed by companies
that are H-1B dependent (as defined by statute), employers petitioning
for H-1B workers who will be placed off-site at another companys
location, or cases where USCIS cannot validate the H-1B petitioners
business information through commercially-available data.
USCIS has also taken great strides to improve transparency with
the public about employment-based immigration programs. The agency
has published new data on its website to give the public more
information regarding the use of nonimmigrant workers in the
H-1B, H-2B, and L nonimmigrant programs. Information about the
use and legal authority for employment authorization documents
has also been published.
In connection with protecting U.S. workers, the Department is
looking at ways to expand and enhance the E-Verify system.
Currently, more than 700,000 employers use the free, web-based
system to verify the work eligibility of their workforce. By
preventing employers from hiring illegal alien labor and displacing
U.S. workers, we can improve job opportunities and raise wages
for U.S. workers by making it more difficult for illegal aliens
to obtain lawful employment. We need Congress to pass legislation
to strengthen the E-verify program and, at a minimum, make it
mandatory for all employers. The Department stands ready to implement
such a directive.
Going forward, DHS will release additional data about immigration
programs that affect employment, and additional policies and
regulations will be revised in accordance with Executive Order
As my predecessors often noted, DHS enforces the laws but has
no power to make them; only Congress can do that. The President
has repeatedly made clear that our immigration system must serve
the national interest, and I ask this Committee to consider legislative
reforms to implement the Administrations immigration principles.
We need Congress to act to make our streets safer, to give our
officials the tools they need to protect American workers, and
provide relief to those who are lawfully eligible for protection
under our immigration laws. DHS remains committed to working
with Congress to achieve these important objectives.
- (10) Legal Immigration
Reforms: The United
States has one of the most generous immigration systems in the
world. Every day, an average of nearly 2,000 people become U.S.
citizens. Our Nation has a long history of welcoming immigrants
who came to this country in search of freedom and opportunity.
Providing lawful permanent resident status based primarily on
meritnot solely on family connectionswould promote
assimilation, financial independence, and upward mobility for
immigrants. By establishing a points-based system for merit-based migration, the predominant system in most developed
countries, we can attract the highest-caliber immigrants, and
begin to roll back decades of policies that have suppressed wages,
contributed to income disparities, fueled unemployment, and strained
state and federal resources.
Therefore, our immigration system must be radically reformed
to meet the economic needs of our country. Most low-skilled immigration
into the United States occurs legally through our immigrant-visa
system, which, unlike many other countries systems, prioritizes
family-based chain-migration. Each year, the United States grants
lawful permanent resident status (green cards) to more than one
million people; two-thirds of that total is based on a person
having a sponsoring relative in the United States, regardless
of the new immigrants skills, education, English language
proficiency, or ability to successfully assimilate. This system
of chain-migration has accounted for more than 60 percent of
immigration into the United States over the past 35 years. We
must end chain-migration, and limit family-based green cards
to spouses and the minor children of U.S. citizens and lawful
We must also eliminate
the diversity visa lottery. Every year, through this lottery, 50,000 green cards
are awarded at random to foreign nationals. Many of these lottery
beneficiaries have absolutely no ties to the United States, no
special skills, and limited education. The random lottery program
has not been adopted by other countries and does not adequately
serve our national interest.
- More or less the DHS directions
sound familiar intending
to implement the President's Immigration Reform Guidance.
01/14/2018: OMB Cleared El Salvador
TPS Termination and Temporary Extension Registration Notice
- As we reported earlier, DHS Secretary released
announcement on 01/08/2018 that Salvador TPS program is terminated
and TPS Savadorans will be given until 09/09/2019 to depart from
the United States and they will be allowed to reregister for
the temporary extension of current TPS and EAD until 09/09/2019.
However, this has yet to be published in the federal register,
and pending the publication in federal register, USCIS has been
alerting that they should not summit registration
and payment of fees pending publication of the notice in the
federal register. USCIS then submitted the notice on 01/11/2018
to the OMB for approval for federal register publication. Voila,
in one day, on 01/12/2018, the OMB cleared the federal register
notice for publication by the DHS. Salvadoran TPS is scheduled
to be expired on 03/09/2018. Accordingly, they are less desperate
for registration than Haitians. But..................................................
- It is thus anticipated that USCIS will soon
publish this notice in the federal register and TPS Salvadorans
will be able to register for renewal of the expiring TPS and
EAD in the near future. Please stay tuned to this website for
the upcoming federal register notice.
01/14/2018: USCIS Announces the Same for its Acceptance of DACA
Renewal Applications Pursuant to the Court Order
- USCIS announces the same notice which the
01/14/2018: Pursuant to Federal District Court Order, DHS
Resumes Accepting and Processing
DACA Renewal Applications
- DHS announces today, 01/14/2018, that due to
a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests
to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA. Until further
notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA
policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded
on Sept. 5, 2017. Individuals who were previously granted deferred
action under DACA may request renewal by filing Form I-821D (PDF),
Form I-765 (PDF), and Form I-765 Worksheet (PDF), with the appropriate
fee or approved fee exemption request, at the USCIS designated
filing location, and in accordance with the instructions to the
Form I-821D (PDF) and Form I-765 (PDF). USCIS is not accepting
requests from individuals who have never before been granted
deferred action under DACA. USCIS will not accept or approve
advance parole requests from DACA recipients.
- If you previously received DACA and your
DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, you may still file your
DACA request as a renewal request. Please list the date your
prior DACA ended in the appropriate box on Part 1 of the Form
- If you previously received DACA and your
DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or your DACA was previously
terminated at any time, you cannot request DACA as a renewal
(because renewal requests typically must be submitted within
one year of the expiration date of your last period of deferred
action approved under DACA), but may nonetheless file a new
initial DACA request in accordance with the Form I-821D and Form
I-765 instructions. To assist USCIS with reviewing your DACA
request for acceptance, if you are filing a new initial DACA
request because your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or because
it was terminated at any time, please list the date your prior
DACA expired or was terminated on Part 1 of the Form I-821D,
01/13/2018: Identification of H-2A and H-2B Eligible Countries
Soon to be Published in the Federal Register
- H-2A and H-2B temporary worker nonimmigrant
programs are available only when the eligible countries are designated
and published in the federal register each year. DHS submitted
the designation and sought OMB approval for the federal register
publication on 01/10/2018. In two days (01/12/2018), the OMB
cleared this notice for federal register publication. Accordingly,
H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant worker industries will soon see the
designation of list of eligible countries in the federal register
very soon. Stay tuned with this website for the update.
01/13/2018: OMB Approval of Federal Register Publication
of Haiti TPS Termination and Temporary Extension Registration
- Haiti TPS expires on 01/22/2018, but temporary
TPS extension notice had yet to be published in the federal register.
January 22, 2018 meant TPS Haitians had only five (5) working
days, excluding Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday on Monday,
two Sundays, and two Saturdays, causing anxiety among the current
TPS Haitians since they were unable to re-register for extended
temporary TPS and EAD extensions. They have a good news. DHS
submitted to the OMB for its approval for notice of TPS Termination
and Temporary Extension of TPS Registration with extension of
EAD on 01/09/2018. Yesterday, 01/12/2018, the OMB cleared for
publication of this notice in federal register on emergency.
It is thus anticipated that this notice will be timely published
in the federal register next week to allow registration of extended
temporary TPS and likely automatic extension of EAD. Stay tuned
with this website for the update.
01/12/2018: Alert! L-1 Petition
Filing Address Change for Current Vermont Service Center Juristiction
- USCIS announces today that effective February 12,
2018, the Texas Service Center (TSC) will begin processing I-129
(L) petitions for workload balance. Vermont Service Center (VSC)
will no longer process any new L-1 petitions. Please check Direct
Filing Addresses for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant
Worker page. Starting
March 12, 2018, USCIS may reject any of these applications that
are filed at the wrong service center.
- If the petitioners primary office location
is not listed in the California Service Center Filings chart,
then you must file the L-1 petitions with the TSC.
01/12/2018: Senate Bi-Partisan Immigration Reform Presented
to the President and Rejected Yesterday, 01/11/2018
- Unlike the House version, which we reported
yesterday, the Senate bi-partisan proposals which were prepared
without disclosure to the public and presented to the President
yesterday who reportedly rejected it and refused to sign it,
according to Politico. The full text is not available,
but the Senate version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform was
very much toned down unlike the House version, eliminating LPR
parent's sponsorship for the adult children, cutting Diversity
Visa numbers to the half, granted DACA legal status and permission
for their parents stay in the U.S., and restoring TPS for Haiti
and Salvador, which Trump Administration terminated last week.
- Well, time is running out for Government
Shut Down. As this reporter speculated yesterday, the chance
is that the government shut down could be avoided by agreeing
another short-term Continuing Resolutions to end before March,
during when the two parties may try to reach a compromise on
DACA and CIR issues. The Continuing Resolution which they may
agree during next week may include some level of border protect
agreements in it.
01/12/2018: State Department Updated 01/12/2018 Reciprocity
for Congo, Kuwait,
01/12/2018: USCIS Alert for TPS El Salvadoran
Not to Submit and Pay for Re-Registration Now
- As we posted earlier, DHS Secretary announced
on 01/08/2018 that she had determined to terminate the TPS for
El Salvador, and for transition she decided to grant renewal
until 09/09/2019 for departure from the United States. USCIS
has just posted an alert that current TPS Salvadoran should
not submit and pay for re-registration for temporary extension
of TPS until the specifics are published in the federal register.
- Yesterday, 01/11/2018, USCIS submitted the
El Salvador TPS Termination and Temporary Renewal notice to the
OMB for its approval and publication in the federal register.
TPS Salvadoran should watch USCIS publishing of the notice in
the near future. Please stay tuned.
01/11/2018: SAC (Securing America's Future) Act, H.R. 4760,
Introduced in the House by Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Other GOP Leaders
- This is a Republican Comprehensive Immigration
Reform Bill which is supported by the Republicans across the
board, including President, DHS Secretary, NumbersUSA, and others as a bargain for DACA
legislation. SAC Act bill includes three-year incrementary DACA
program. This bill cosponsored by House Immigration Subcommittee
Chairman Raul Labrador, House Homeland Security Chairman Michael
McCaul, and House Border Subcommittee Chairwoman Martha McSally.
It proposes to increase
EB immigrant visa annual quota (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Skilled
Worker Only) from about 120,000 a year to about 175,000
an increase of 45%. For the details,
please read the following:
- GOP is pushing this bill to pass with DACA
relief legislation, initially as a bargain for passing another
stop-gap appropriation bill that funds the federal government
beyong January 19, 2018 or alternatively as a separate bill tagging
DACA relief legislation before March 2018. There is practically
no chance that they can achieve the first option, but they will
push hard as part of the second option above.
01/11/2018: Advance Copy of 01/12/2018 Federal Register Notice of FY 2017 Fall (Calendar
Year 2018) Rule-Making Agenda
- We have already published this agenda earlier
but the official federal notice will give some more information
about each of the agencies' rule-making agenda. We would like
to point out two points: Unlike some speculation or fear in the
OPT community, there is no rule-making agenda to remove or restrict
OPT program. ICE will make a rule just to prevent fraud and improve
integrity of the OPT program. Secondly, there is no plan in the
rule-making agenda to remove or restrict AC 21 H-1B exension
beyond the six-year limit, obviously for two reasons. Firstly,
lately reported information on removal of AC 21 H-1B extension
of Trump Administration turned out to be changed that Trump Administration
is not likely to do that. Secondly, AC 21 H-1B extension is a
matter which can be changed only by legislation and not by administrative
rules, and the rule-making agenda, for the reasons, does not
touch on the matter.
- Readers are advised the following pages for
the rule-making agenda of USCIS and USICE:
- USCIS Agenda: P. 268
- USICE Agenda: OPT, P. 328
01/10/2018: Rep. Issa's Announcement Not to Rerun for Congress,
H.R. 170, and Trump Planned Reform of H-1B Cap Selection Criteria
- This Congressman from California has announced
that he will not rerun in November Midterm National Election.
Question remains on its impact on the pending H.R. 170, a H-1B
restrict legislative bill imposing requirement for offer of high
salaries for H-1B petitions. The fate of this legislative bill
may have some indirect impact on the President Trump's H-1B cap
selection reform plan, mandating selection of H-1B cap winners
based on the offered highest salary amount. "Will See!"
01/10/2018: Thank You FOX News for Your Today's Report of
Article: "Trump's Crackdown on Legal Immigration is Hurting
- Readers, please read this report. You cannot
01/10/2018: Approaching TPS Expiration for Haitians on 01/22/2018
and DHS Announcement of Termination of Haiti TPS on 07/22/2019
- Current TPS for Haitians is scheduled to
expire on January 22, 2018. On November 20,
2017, the Acting Secretary of DHS announced that she had decided
to terminate TPS program for Haiti and to allow current Haitians
in the U.S. in TPS to transition to orderly departure, DHS would
temporarily extend TPS through July 22, 2019. Since then, DHS
has yet to initiate the rule-making process for this temporary
extension registration and EAD applications. Accordingly, the USCIS site warns the TPS Haitians not to
submit registration for extended TPS until the registration process
- Yesterday, DHS submitted to OMB its draft
of proposed notice for the temporary extension of TPS with the
detailed information for registration and other details. Accordingly,
it is anticipated that the notice will be officially published
in the federal register before January 22, 2018. Please stay
tuned to this website for the release of the notice in the federal
01/10/2018: Federal District Court in California Issued
Preliminary Injunction Against Rescission of DACA
- Yesterday, January 10, 2018, Judge William
Alsup of the United States District Court in the Northern District
of California issued a "Preliminary Injunction" against
the Trump Administration's rescission of DACA program and order
to restore processing of DACA applications. Politico reports the full text of the Court
01/09/2018: Relocation of USCIS London Field Office Effective
- The USCIS London Field Office in the United
Kingdom is moving to the new U.S. Embassy facility in the Nine
Elms area of London. The last day that USCIS will provide services
at our Grosvenor Square facility will be January 10, 2018.
Anyone who has an urgent request while the field office is closed
should email USCIS.email@example.com for assistance.
- On January 17, 2018, USCIS will reopen
at our new location:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
33 Nine Elms Lane
London SW11 7US
- For contact: USCIS London Field Office Website
01/09/2018: Withdrawal of Our
Report of McClatchy News Report on Alleged USCIS Consideration
of Change of AC 21 H-1B Extension Rules
- We reported this report of McClatchy on 12/30/2017
which apparently has impacted a lot of stakeholder employers
and foreign workers. Unfortunately, we could not confirm the
sources of the report of the media, and for the reason, we have
decided to withdraw our report of 12/30/2017.
01/08/2018: DHS Secretary Official Announcement of TPS Termination for
El Salvador After 09/09/2019
- Please also see a photo of the DHS Secretary with President Trump
for announcmeent of this decision in the conservative magazine
- Another report indicates that there are about 192,700
children who were born in the United States and born of Salvadoran
parents, including TPS parents. These U.S. citizen children may
face a tragic situation of "forced" migration to El
Salvador, a foreign country, not to be separated from their parents
- a tragidy which is contrasted to the DACA children.
ID Alert of 01/08/2018 for Flight Travelers
- Effective January 22,
2018, TSA begins REAL ID enforcement
for passengers boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
As seen from the DHS REAL ID map posted at www.dhs.gov/real-id, there are now 26 states that
have been granted extensions. Two territories are still under
review for either an extension (CNMI and American Samoa) and
are under the grace period that ends on January 22, 2018.
DHS is doing everything it can to expedite the review of these
remaining states and territories. For states and territories
that are already compliant or noncompliant but received an extension
for 2018, their residents can use their existing state-issued
driver's licenses and identification cards, even though those
IDs might not, within themselves be REAL ID compliant.
01/08/2018: Scheduled Announcement of Termination
of El Salvador TPS Program after Current TPS Program Expires
has just reported that the Trump administration will announce
Monday that it will end a temporary immigration status that had
allowed some Salvadorans who fled the earthquake-ravaged country
nearly two decades ago to stay in the United States, according
to two sources with knowledge of the decision. Their current
TPS for Salvador expires on September 9, 2019. That means the
legal status is being extended by 18 months, but will end by
that date. Immigrants from El Salvador are by far the largest
group to benefit from Temporary Protected Status, which allows
foreigners to remain in the United States if their home country
experiences a natural disaster, armed conflict or other extraordinary
event while they're here.
01/07/2018: USCIS Processing Times Update 01/05/2018
01/07/2018: USCIS Updates 01/05/2018
H-1B Processing Times as of 10/31/2017
|| Consular Proc
(No Changes since the last report.
01/05/2018: Remarks by President Trump and Vice President
Pence in a Meeting on Immigration with Republican Members of the
- DACA, Government Shut-Down, and Future of
Comprehensive Immigration Reform are at stake. It sounds not
01/04/2018: "Hire American" Executive Order Keeps
Restricting Non-Immigrant Employment Visas Other than H-1B
- The Trump Administration has gradually focused
on H nonimmigrant visas as part of implementation of Hire American Executive
Order. However, it has also started implementing the Executive
Order in other types of employment-based nonimmigrant visas,
including the followings:
visas for Canadians: For the occupation of economist classification,
it announced on 12/18/2017 that occupations
of financial analysts, marketing analysts, and market research
analysts are no longer eligible for classification as a TN economist.
visas: For qualifying relationship, USCIS announced on 01/03/2018 that the L-1 petitioner
must show the proxy votes are irrevocable from the time of filing
through the time USCIS adjudicates the petition, along with evidence
the relationship will continue during the approval period requested.
Additionally, USCIS has been expanding its site visit program
to include L-1B petitions, initially focusing on employers petitioning
for L-1B workers who will primarily work offsite at another company
or organizations location to ensure that they are complying
with the requirements from the L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004.
- Please watch carefully.
01/04/2018: USCIS Updates I-601A Form of 12/15/2017 Edition
- Starting 03/06/2018, USCIS will only accept
the 12/15/17 edition. Until then, you can use the 12/23/16 edition
01/04/2018: USCIS Updates I-485 Supplement J for Confirmation
of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under 204(j)
- New version date is 12/13/2017. Starting
03/06/2018, USCIS will only accept the 12/13/17 edition.
01/03/2018: USCIS Updates I-485 Supplement A Form
- Starting 03/06/2018, USCIS will only accept
the 12/13/17 edition. Until then, you can use the 06/26/17
01/03/2018: USCIS Updates I-485 Form
- Starting 03/06/2018, USCIS will only accept
the 12/13/17 edition. Until then, you can use the 06/26/17
01/02/2018: Official OFLC Update of PWD
and PERM Processing Times as of 12/31/2017
- Prevailing Wage Determination:
- PERM: October 2017 (taking 69 days)
- PERM Application Processsing Times:
- Analyst Review (clean cases): August 2017
(taking 121 days)
- Audit Cases: May 2017 (taking 243 days)
- Reconsideration Cases: December 2017
01/02/2018: USCIS Announcement of Transfer of Some L-1 Cases from VSC and CSC
- USCIS has just announced that it had transferred
some of the L-visa petitions from the Vermont Service Center
(VSC) and California Service Center (CSC) to the Texas Service
01/02/2018: Another Bad News for H-1B Community: Senator
Orrin Hatch Announcement to Retire at the End of this Term
- Senator Orrin Hatch is not only one of the
longest servicing U.S. Senators, but also one of a few Senators
who have been supporting H-1B program. Indeed, he had introduced
a legislative bill in the past to increase the H-1B annual cap
numbers substantially. For the State of Utah, high-tech foreign
workers community had already lost one of their strongest allies
in the House and now will lose another most powerful and strongest
ally in the U.S. Senate. Mitt Romney is likely to take over the
seat in the coming Mid-term national election in November.
- Record will reflect that Senator Orrin Hatch
has been a force in the U.S. Senate who had advocated H-1B program
against the strongest and powerful anti-H-1B visa program Senator
Chuck Grassley of Iowa for years and years.
01/02/2018: Confusion and Mess on Numerous Executive Orders
& Proclamation of Travel Ban and Various Federal Court Orders,
and State Department Latest Memo of 01/02/2018 for the Visa Posts
to give a Guide and deal with Confusion
- Ever since the first Executive Order was
first issue on January 31, 2017 by the new President, there have
been numerous follow-up Executive Orders and Presidential Proclation
on Travel Ban, followed by the decisions of the federal courts
at all different level, from various District Courts at the bottom
to the Supreme Court at the top of the federal Judiciary. Initially,
the stakeholder agencies including Department of State and visa
posts as well as stakeholder components of the DHS and DOJ could
follow through the changing mandates handed down by the President
and federal courts at different times, but as readers must have
noticed, these agencies have no longer posted the traavel ban
updates for the international travelers, causing confusion not
only for the international travelers but also for the different
level of stakeholder agencies for the detailed information on
state of travel ban information.
- After a long pause and confusion, the State
Department reportedly issued a memo today to give a
guide to the employees of the field visa posts. The DHS and DOJ
have yet to post any guides for the international travelers since
the latest court decision, probably waiting to hear the "last
say" by the SCOTUS. Alas!
For the News Before 01/01/2018,