Premium Processing Now Available for all H-1B Petitions

USCIS announcement on 10/3/2017: WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions. H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day proc...
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Trump’s New Travel Ban

On September 24, 2017, the Trump administration imposed new travel restrictions on foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Starting October 18, 2017, the travel ban  applies to individuals of the designated countries who: (1) are outside the U.S. on the applicable effective date ; (ii) do not have a valid visa on the applicable effective date; and (iii) do not qualify for a reinstated visa or...
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Premium Processing Now Available for Certain H-1B Cap-Exempt Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective immediately. The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap” of 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. Premium processing will resume for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is: * An institution of higher education; * A nonpro...
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USCIS Moves Cases Between Offices to Balance Workload

A recent email from USCIS: From January 5 through March 28, USCIS began sending some cases between service centers in order to balance workloads. We have updated our Workload Transfer Updates page with this information: Some Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, for F, M, and J nonimmigrants went from the California Service Center (CSC), the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) and the Texas Service Center (TSC) to the Potomac Service Center (PSC). Some Forms I-539, Applicat...
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Employers Should Review Form I-9 for Social Security Number Glitch

We received the following email from the USCIS about a form I-9 glitch: If you used Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, that you downloaded between Nov. 14 and Nov. 17, 2016, review them to ensure your employees’ Social Security numbers appear correctly in Section 1. There was a glitch when the revised Form I-9 was first published on Nov. 14, 2016. Numbers entered in the Social Security number field were transposed when employees completed and printed Section 1 using a computer. For ...
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USCIS Reminds Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone of May 21 Termination

USCIS is reminding the public that the designations of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone terminate effective May 21, 2017. To provide sufficient time for an orderly transition, the Department of Homeland Security gave beneficiaries under these three designations 8 months advance notice of the expiration by publishing 3 notices in the Federal Register on Sept. 22, 2016 (one for each country). These notices urged individuals who did not have another immigrat...
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New Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents Starting May 1, 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017. These redesigns use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use. The new card desig...
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2017- 2018 H-1B Cap Has Been Reached but Fewer Applications than in 2016

The government update on H-1B cap visas as of April 17, 2017: USCIS announced on April 7, 2017, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap. USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On ...
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USCIS Steps Up Efforts to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse

Release from the USCIS on April 3, 2017 WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced multiple measures to further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. The H-1B visa program should help U.S. companies recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country. Yet, too many American workers who are as qualified, willing, and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged. Protecti...
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