The new policy guidelines from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reverse the long standing practice of the agency’s deference to its own prior adjudications (i.e., approvals) of certain immigration proceedings for the purpose of the extension filings review. The newly adopted guidance instructs adjudicating officers to apply the same level of scrutiny to nonimmigrant visa
The November 2017 DOS Visa Bulletin “Final Action” chart for employment-based preference cases contains some important updates as we enter the 2nd month of the government’s new fiscal year (FY2018). All qualified EB-1 Priority Workers immigrant visa eligibility remains current for the second consecutive month. EB-2 “Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons
Following investigation and resulting charges, Asplundh Tree Expert Co. pled guilty to hiring undocumented immigrants and will pay $95 million in criminal forfeiture and civil penalties, which amounts to the largest fine ever assessed in a single immigration case. The government alleged that the higher level management of the company “remained willfully blind” to the
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently resumed expedited processing (Premium Processing service) for all types of H-1B petition proceedings. H-1B petitions can now be filed under the 15-day Premium Processing adjudication program or a Premium Processing service request can be filed on a pending H-1B petition. Importantly, decision to use Premium Processing program
Due to a technical issue, the Diversity Visa (DV) 2019 entry period that began on October 3, 2017, was closed. Lottery entries submitted between October 3 and October 10, 2017, are not valid and have been deleted; resubmission of any entries made during that period is necessary and will not count as a duplicate entry. The
The 2019 Diversity Visa Program registration period will start at noon, EST, on October 3, 2017 and will continue through noon, EST, November 7, 2017. During this registration period, interested applicants should submit entries using the electronic DV entry form (E-DV) at dvlottery.state.gov. The annual Diversity Visa Program provides an opportunity for a U.S. Green
DACA: The Trump administration has initiated a phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Initial requests for DACA and associated applications for employment authorization documents (EADs) are no longer being accepted by USCIS. Note: Initial DACA requests filed by September 5, 2017 will continue to be processed by USCIS.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cap. For an additional government filing fee of $1,225, the premium service guarantees a 15-day processing time. Earlier this year, USCIS resumed premium processing service for certain cap-exempt petitioners. At this time, premium
Reminder to employers: as of September 18, 2017, all U.S. employers must use the most recent Form I-9 edition with a revision date of 07/17/17 N. Employers should continue following existing I-9 retention and upkeep rules for any previously completed Forms I-9, but use the newly revised form for all new hires. Most revisions to
CBP has stepped up scrutiny of foreign nationals entering the U.S. on a visa or without a visa under the U.S. Electronic Systems for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program. Travelers should be prepared for more extensive questioning if a CBP inspector decides that they had not been properly and sufficiently vetted prior to travel.