September 2018 Visa Bulletin shows significant delays in approvals for many employment-based green card applicants

The Department of State has posted the visa bulletin for September 2018. Unfortunately, most employment-based (EB) categories for all nationals are backlogged, representing a slow down of green card approval times. EB-1 Priority Workers final action date is now  June 1, 2016 for all nationals, except those born in India and China who still have a cutoff date of January 1, 2012.   EB-2 and EB-3 final action dates have also moved back significantly for  all  nationals.  Specifically, t...
More

Fact Sheet: How the Government Estimates Application Processing Times

Immigration applicants often want to know how much time it will take to get a decision on their applications.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigraiton Services (USCIS) does publish processing time estimates,  found at https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times. Applicants should keep in mind that the expected processing times are only estimates, which may not be accurate. The USCIS has recently implemented a pilot program to improve the accuracy of its estimates.  The American Immigration Council d...
More

June 2018 Visa Bulletin Green Card Update

The Department of State has posted the Visa Bulletin for June 2018. EB-1 Priority Workers final action date is current for all nationals, except those born in India and China who now have a cutoff date of January 1, 2012.   EB-2 and EB-3 final action dates are  current for all except those born in India and China. Family based visas are moving forward slightly. USCIS has advised that it will accept adjustment of status applications in April for family-based petitions for those with prio...
More

Webinar: Secrets to Winning a Fast-Track EB-1 Green Card

Online Seminar "Secrets to Winning a Fast-Track EB-1 Green Card," Wednesday, May 16, 2018,   11:30 am CST/12:30 pm EST/9:30 am PST.  Highly accomplished and high level professionals can apply for green cards through the EB-1 priority workers categories. Foreign nationals in any industry or occupation can qualify. We have helped doctors, dentists, artists, engineers, business owners, athletes, and many other international professionals win EB-1 green cards. In most cases, EB-1 green cards are ap...
More

H-1B Cap Reached for FY2019

USCIS released the following statement on April 6: USCIS has reached the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2019. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not prohibited multiple filings. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt ...
More

H-1B Employers: Ready for the FY 2019 H-1B Cap Season?

The race for H-1B professional worker visas begins April 2, 2018.  Employers of recently graduated foreign students and others will vie for new visas, which are limited to  65,000 per fiscal year (the “H-1B cap”).   And of these, 6,800 are reserved for citizens of Chile and Singapore under certain free trade agreements, effectively leaving only 58,200 new H-1B visas for other foreign nationals. Employees holding U.S. master’s degree or higher have a slight advantage.  Congress carved out an e...
More

It’s Family Reunification, not Chain Migration

In a recent statement, the government belittled our family reunification immigration laws, adopting the pejorative term  “chain migration.”  It further claimed family immigration “has depressed wages and job opportunities for comparably skilled American workers.” Aside from offering no valid proof of this claim, the current government disregards the objective of keeping families together, which America has long recognized as a core national value. Family-based immigrants simply are not a drai...
More

April 2018 Visa Bulletin Green Card Update

The Department of State has posted the Visa Bulletin for April 2018. EB-1 Priority Workers final action date is current for all nationals, except those born in India and China who now have a cutoff date of January 1, 2012.   EB-2 and EB-3 final action dates are  current for all except those born in India, China, and Philippines (EB-3 only). Family based visas are moving forward slightly. USCIS has advised that it will accept adjustment of status applications in April for family-based pe...
More

Credit Card Payment Now Accepted for Most Immigration Applications

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced recently that it will now accept credit card payments for filing most of its forms, including the I-485 adjustment of status (green card) applications.  Previously, only citizenship (N-400) applicants could pay by credit card.  However,  the credit card option is not yet available for non-immigrant work visa applications filed using form I-129. The new payment option is available for the 41 fee-based forms processed at USCIS Lockbox ...
More

Trump Administration’s Termination of DACA, TPS, and H-4 EAD Immigration Programs Could Leave Employers in a Lurch

Several immigration programs that have authorized over a million immigrant workers are expected to end in 2018 and 2019. The cancellation of these programs will terminate employment eligibility for these workers, making most of them deportable. The loss of these legally authorized workers is likely to destabilize many employers’ workforce and disrupt the economy as a whole. DACA The most publicized termination is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama administr...
More