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Proposed H-1B Cap Registration Fee Submitted to Office of Management and Budget

The Department of Homeland Security is moving forward with a proposed regulation to charge a fee for filing registrations in the forthcoming H-1B cap online system.  The proposed fee – which has not yet been specified – is now under…

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New Student and Exchange Visitor Fees Effective June 24th

Starting June 24, 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will raise individual application fees on F and M students and most J exchange visitors, as well as the application fee for schools seeking initial certification in the Student and…

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Attorney General Certifies Cases on Post-Conviction Relief

On May 28, 2019, the Attorney General (AG) certified to himself two cases, Matter of Thomas and Matter of Thompson. 27 I&N Dec. 556 (A.G. 2019). The AG has asked the parties and interested amici to "address whether, and under what circumstances, judicial alteration of…

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Summer Travel Planning for Foreign Nationals

Plan for visa issuance delays at U.S. Consulates. During the summer travel season, U.S. consulates overseas are busier and may have reduced hours. If you will apply for a new visa while abroad, check the relevant consulate or embassy for…

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White House Announces Plan for Immigration Reform

President Trump today announced that the White House is drafting a high-level plan to reform the U.S. immigration system, featuring reduced family-based migration, restrictions on asylum, more border security measures and replacement of the employment-based green card system with a…

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DHS Suspends Air Travel Between the U.S. and Venezuela

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan has determined that conditions in Venezuela threaten safety and security and thus is suspending all commercial and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela.  The flight suspension takes effect immediately and will remain…

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Visa Bulletin – June 2019

The Department of State posted the visa bulletin for June today. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-for-june-2019.html for the visa bulletin for June 2019. USCIS advised that it will accept adjustment of status petitions for employment-based adjustment of status petitions for June based upon…

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DHS Preserves and Extends TPS Status for Nepal and Honduras in Compliance with Court Order

Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Federal Register notice that temporarily preserves Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for nationals of Nepal and Honduras, countries previously scheduled by DHS to lose TPS designation. TPS was originally set to be terminated…

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DHS Is Accepting Petitions for Additional FY 2019 H-2B Visas

The Department of Homeland Security is now accepting petitions for an additional 30,000 FY 2019 H-2B visas, according to a regulation published today.  DHS and DOL announced Monday that they would jointly authorize a one-time increase of 30,000 H-2B visas in FY 2019 above the 66,000…

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State Department Selects FY 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery Winners

The U.S. State Department has chosen the winners of the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery. Foreign nationals who entered the lottery can visit the official Entrant Status Check website to learn whether they were selected to submit an application for…

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USCIS Temporarily Blocked from Enforcing New Unlawful Presence Rules for Students and Exchange Visitors

A federal district court judge has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prevents USCIS from implementing a policy under which F, J and M nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors and their dependents automatically begin to accrue unlawful presence if they…

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Social Security Administration began mailing employers notification about social security mismatches

In March of 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began mailing notifications to employers identified as having at least one name and Social Security Number (SSN) combination submitted on wage and tax statement (Form W-2) that do not match its…

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White House Releases Presidential Memo with Changes to How the U.S. Handles Asylum Seekers

The White House released a presidential memo titled, “Additional Measures to Enhance Border Security and Restore Integrity to Our Immigration System,” with changes to how the United States treats individuals seeking asylum, including charging fees to file asylum applications and…

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USCIS and CBP Extend Form I-129 Pilot Program for Canadian L-1 Nonimmigrants at Blaine, Washington

USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are extending the joint agency pilot program for Canadian citizens seeking L-1 nonimmigrant status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) through April 30, 2020. Last year, the USCIS California Service Center and…

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CBP Is Not Currently Accepting Subsequent L-1 Petitions for Canadian Applicants at Ports of Entry

CBP headquarters has issued a directive to the field to cease adjudicating L-1 "extensions or renewals." It is CBP's belief that L-1 "extensions/renewals" are not to be adjudicated at CBP ports of entry and preclearance sites for those seeking admission…

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White House Directs Agencies to Tighten B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa Enforcement

A new Presidential Memorandum directs the Department of State (DOS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to recommend ways to reduce the number of B-1 and B-2 visitors who overstay their authorized period of admission in the United States, including those who…

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Israeli Nationals Eligible for E-2 Treaty Investor Visas

Effective May 1, 2019, a treaty investor agreement (E2 Visa) has been signed  between the United States and Israel will become effective.  Pursuant to the treaty, Israeli citizens will be able to apply for an E2 visa at the U.S.…

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USCIS Reminds Foreign Nationals that Marijuana Violations May Prevent Eligibility for Naturalization (even if not an offense under state law)

USCIS is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify that violations of federal controlled substance law, including violations involving marijuana, are generally a bar to establishing good moral character for naturalization, even where that conduct would not…

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I-94 Numbers Will Be Alphanumeric Starting in May 2019

CBP updated its website with a notice informing stakeholders that beginning in May 2019, I-94 numbers will no longer be solely numeric. In replacement of the current 11-digit numerical format, CBP announced that in May 2019, I-94 numbers will be…

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Matter of M-S – Asylum Seekers Who Enter Between Ports of Entry No Longer Eligible for Release on Bond Post-Credible Fear Interview

On April 16, Attorney General William Barr issued a decision in Matter of M-S ruling that asylum seekers who entered between ports of entry and establish a credible fear of persecution are no longer eligible for release on bond before…

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State of California Remains Blocked from Enforcing Certain Provisions of AB 450

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a July 2018 district court decision that temporarily blocks the State of California from enforcing several provisions of the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) which seek to penalize employers who allow immigration enforcement agents to…

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Visa Bulletin – May 2019

The Department of State posted the visa bulletin for May today. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-for-may-2019.html for the visa bulletin for May 2019. USCIS advised that it will accept adjustment of status petitions for employment-based adjustment of status petitions for May based upon…

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District Court Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Blocking Termination of TPS for Haiti

District Court Judge William F. Kuntz II issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the Trump administration from terminating TPS for Haiti, pending a final decision on the merits of the case. The preliminary injunction is effective immediately and will remain in…

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USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2020 and Reaches the Advanced Degree Exemption Cap

On April 10, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated regular cap and the U.S. advanced degree exemption for fiscal year (FY) 2020. After completing the random selection process for the…

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USCIS Reaches FY 2020 H-1B Regular Cap

USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions projected as needed to reach the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for fiscal year 2020. USCIS will next determine if we have received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the…

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