USCIS Announces Suspension of H-1B Petition Premium Processing

In a surprise announcement on March 3, 2017, USCIS advised that it will suspend its premium processing service for all H-1B petitions starting April 3, 2017.  April 3, 2017 is the earliest date that U.S. employers can file cap subject H-1B petitions for FY 2018, which begins on October 1, 2017.  The suspension applies to …

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New I-9 is Now Available On Line

On November 16, 2016, USCIS advised that its new Form I-9 can now be downloaded and used by employers.  The current I-9 version issued on March 8, 2013 can be used until January 17, 2017.  After that date, the new I-9 must be used. Highlights on the newly revised I-9 include drop-down lists and calendars …

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USCIS Extends TPS for Nepal

On October 26, 2016, USCIS announced an extension of designation of Nepal for Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, in the United States for an additional 18 month period, effective from December 25, 2016, through June 24, 2018.  According to USCIS, the extension permits Nepalese citizens to extend TPS status and employment authorization for this additional …

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USCIS to Raise Immigration Filing Fees

On October 24, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security announced new filing fees which USCIS will be charging for immigration benefits.  The new fees become effective on December 23, 2016. USCIS calculates the increases to be a weighted average of 21 percent.  Federal law requires DHS to review its fee structure biennially and make fee …

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Continuing Resolution Funds the Federal Government and Extends 2 Immigration Programs

On September 29, 2016, the President signed legislation which funds the federal government for a short term until December 9, 2016, preventing a government shutdown and extends two immigration programs which otherwise would have sunset on September 30,2016. H.R. 5325 Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika …

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Department of State Announces the 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

On September 16, 2016, the Department of State announced the Diversity Visa (“DV”) Program  for 2018.  The DV program permits citizens from countries, other than those countries from which there were more than 50,000 immigrant in total for the previous 5 years, to register for a random drawing to qualify to obtain lawful permanent resident …

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DHS to Publish Proposed International Entrepreneur Rule

On August 24, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security announced its intention to publish a proposed rule that would permit DHS to use its discretionary parole authority to aid entrepreneurs of start ups whose presence in the United States would be of significant public benefit.  The public will have 45 days after official publication to …

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Predicted Visa Bulletin Progress for the Beginning of Fiscal Year 2017

On August 12, 2016, the Department of State’s Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division, Charles Oppenheim, provided his predictions for visa availability for the beginning of  upcoming fiscal year 2017 when he recently spoke with the American immigration Lawyers Association. Here are highlights of his predicted visa availability: EB-1 China and India: This category …

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