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Deferred Enforced Departure Deadline Extended for Liberians

Presidential memo issued 3/28/19 extending the wind-down period for Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians for 12 months, through 3/30/20. The memo also includes the continued authorization for employment through 3/30/20 for qualifying beneficiaries. See https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-extension-deferred-enforced-departure-liberians/ for more information.

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USCIS Announces H-1B Employer Data Hub

USCIS has launched an H-1B Employer Data Hub to provide information to the public on employers petitioning for H-1B workers. The data hub is part of our continued effort to increase transparency in employment-based visa programs by allowing the public to…

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USCIS Announces Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions Begins on May 20th

On May 20, USCIS will begin premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status on their Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Petitioners who do not file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service,…

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USCIS Announcement re FY 2020 H-1B Cap Season (including Premium Processing)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the start of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap season, start dates for premium processing of cap-subject H-1B petitions, and the launch of its new H-1B data hub, while reminding petitioners…

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Visa Bulletin – April 2019

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

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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for all H-1B Petitions

USCIS will resume premium processing on Tuesday, March 12, for all H-1B petitions. USCIS has stated that a separate announcement would be made for FY2020 H-1B Cap Cases. Details about the FY 2020 H-1B cap season will be addressed soon.…

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USCIS to Publish Revised Form I-539 and new Form I-539A effective March 22nd

USCIS has revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and will publish the revised form on its website on March 8, 2019. The revised Form I-539 must be used for any petition received after March 21st. Please see https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/update-uscis-publish-revised-form-i-539-and-new-form-i-539a-march-8…

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U.S. Embassy in Tunis Begins Processing Libyan Immigrant Visas

The U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia has been designated as the primary site to process immigrant visas for Libyan nationals residing in Libya. Due to visa restrictions placed on Libyan nationals by the Government of Morocco, The U.S. Embassy in…

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Visa Bulletin Check-In with DOS’s Charlie Oppenheim

In the March 2019 Visa Bulletin, Charlie provides his predictions for monthly forward movement for various categories. FB-3 Mexico moves ahead 3 weeks. FB-3 and FB-4 Philippines advances more than 3 months. EB-1 World is predicted anticipated to move forward…

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U.S. Embassy in Bogota Begins Processing Venezuelan Immigrant Visas

The U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia has been designated as the primary site to process immigrant visas for residents of Venezuela. April 2019 marks the first month the National Visa Center will began scheduling Venezuelan immigrant visa interviews at U.S.…

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USCIS Updates Fee Payment System for Field Offices

USCIS expanded the fee payment system used in field offices to 16 additional offices. See https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-updates-fee-payment-system-used-field-offices for more information.

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Proposed H-4 EAD Rescission Regulation Pending Review at OMB

A proposed rule eliminating the H-4 EAD was sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on February 20, 2019, and is currently pending review. Once OMB completes its review, a notice of proposed rulemaking will be published in…

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Practice Pointer regarding Validity of Medical Exams (I-693)

AILA released a practice pointer regarding the validity of Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Report. USCIS announced that it was updating its policy guidance in Volume 8, Part B of the USCIS Policy Manual. See https://www.aila.org/infonet/practice-pointer-validity-of-form-i-693-medical for…

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Visa Bulletin – March 2019

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

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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Filed On or Before December 21, 2018

USCIS will resume premium processing on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018. See https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-resumes-premium-processing-h-1b-petitions-filed-or-dec-21-2018 for more information.

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USCIS Published Guidance for Spousal Petitions Involving Minors

USCIS announced that it is publishing guidance for its officers to consider when adjudicating spousal petitions involving minors. See https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-strengthens-guidance-spousal-petitions-involving-minors and https://www.aila.org/infonet/uscis-issues-policy-alert-on-afm-update-related for more information.

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USCIS is Publishing a Revised Form I-539 and new Form I-539A

USCIS has revised Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) and will publish the revised form on our website on March 11, 2019. Starting on March 11, 2019, USCIS will only accept the revised Form I-539 with an edition date…

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USCIS is Accepting Negative P Visa Consultations Directly from Labor Unions

USCIS will begin accepting copies of negative consultation letters directly from labor unions relating to current or future P nonimmigrant visa petitions. See https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-now-accepting-copies-negative-p-visa-consultations-directly-labor-unions for more information.

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USCIS Announces Final Rule for Changes to H-1B Visa Program

USCIS has posted for public inspection, a final rule amending regulations governing H-1B cap-subject petitions reversing the order by which USCIS selects H-1B petitions in the lottery. See https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/dhs-announces-final-rule-a-more-effective-and-efficient-h-1b-visa-program for more information.

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USCIS Resume Premium Processing for FY 2019 H-1B Cap Cases

USCIS has announced that it will resume premium processing on Monday, January 28, 2019 for all pending fiscal year 2019 H-1B cap petitions. See https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-resumes-premium-processing-fiscal-year-2019-h-1b-cap-petitions for more information.

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Government Shutdown Ends

President Trump announced that he reached a deal with congressional leadership to sign a short-term funding bill to reopen the government that does not include funds to construct a border wall. EOIR announced that assuming that Congress passes the proposed…

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Routine Visa Services Suspended in Caracas

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas has suspended routine visa services due to the ordered departure of non-emergency personnel. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/20190125_routine-visa-services-suspended-in-caracas.html for more information.

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Visa Bulletin – February 2019

USCIS advised that it will accept adjustment of status petitions for employment-based adjustment of status petitions for February based upon the final action date. USCIS will continue to accept family-based adjustment of status petitions based on their filing date. See…

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Visa Bulletin Check-In with DOS’s Charlie Oppenheim

In the February 2019 Visa Bulletin, Charlie provides his predictions for monthly forward movement for various categories. These predictions are based on current demand trends and are reliable through May 2019. See https://www.aila.org/infonet/visa-bulletin-for-february-2019 for more information.

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USCIS Proposes Changes to the H-1B Lottery System

On January 11, 2019, USCIS sent a final version of the proposed regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Once the OMB has reviewed the final version of the proposed regulations, a final rule must be…

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