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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USCIS Issues Updated EB-5 Processing Report for August, 2016

In its report issued in August, 2016, USCIS advises that it is processing initial EB-5 investor petitions within 16.7 months of petition filing, petitions to remove conditions on residence  on EB-5 immigrant investors within 21.5 months of filing, and applications for new regional centers within 10.2 months of application filing.  These times are slightly longer …

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DOS Predicts Visa Bulletin Progress for the Rest of the Fiscal Year

On July 20, 2016, the Department of State’s Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division, Charles Oppenheim, addressed his predictions for visa availability for the balance of this fiscal year when he recently spoke with the American immigration Lawyers Association.  The current fiscal year ends on September 30, 2016.  Note that on October 1, 2016, …

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EB-5 Woes

The EB-5 Regional Center program is undergoing change from every direction: its statutory existence is set to expire in about 2 months absent legislation to extend it; there are long delays in USCIS EB-5 petition processing, and significantly, there is a large EB-5 visa backlog owing to increased EB-5 demand from China to date, a …

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DOL Increases its H-1B LCA Penalties Due to Inflation

On July 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor published notice increasing its civil monetary penalties due to inflation, as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Adjustment Act of 1990 and amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015. Under the proposed, interim rule, DOL will increase the civil monetary penalty …

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