Friday, January 23, 2015

CBP Announces Reciprocal Arrangement with Germany for Trusted Traveler Programs

From CBP: U.S. Customs and Border Protection announces a reciprocal arrangement with Germany for each nation’s trusted traveler program—the U.S. Global Entry program and the German EasyPASS. Global Entry and EasyPASS allow expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers.

“CBP is pleased to further our partnership with Germany by offering Global Entry to German citizens,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “Global Entry and the German EasyPASS program allow our officers to focus more on travelers we do not know while at the same time efficiently and securely facilitating low-risk travelers.”

Currently available at 42 U.S. airports and 12 preclearance locations, Global Entry streamlines the screening process at airports for trusted travelers. More than 1.8 million members are enrolled in Global Entry and approximately 50,000 new applications for the program are filed monthly. As an added benefit, Global Entry members are also eligible to participate in the TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening program.

EasyPASS is an automated border control system available to registered third-country nationals when entering Germany. EasyPASS uses eGates as a simple, quick and convenient alternative to traditional border controls. The automated border control system is easy to operate and allows for quicker processing at border crossings. The system does not replace manual border checks, but is an additional service.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Revised Form I-129 Now Available

USCIS recently published revised Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The revised Form I-129 is labeled with an Oct. 23, 2014, edition date. You can download the revised form and details about who may file Form I-129 from the USCIS forms website.

Starting on May 1, 2015, USCIS will accept only the Oct. 23, 2014, edition of Form I-129. USCIS will not accept previous editions of Forms I-129 (edition dates: Oct. 7, 2011, Jan. 19, 2011, and Nov. 23, 2010) on or after May 1, 2015.

Monday, January 19, 2015

USCIS Visa Bulletin Predictions From March 2015 - May 2015

Department of State have posted their visa bulletin prediction for the next few months:

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement):

Worldwide dates:
  • F1: Up to three weeks
  • F2A: Three or four weeks
  • F2B: Three to six weeks
  • F3: Up to three weeks
  • F4: Two to four weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement):

Employment First: Current

Employment Second:
  • Worldwide: Current
  • China:        Three to six weeks
  • India:         Four to six months

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Temporary Protected Status Extended for El Salvador

From USCIS: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of El Salvador for an additional 18 months, effective March 10, 2015, through Sept. 9, 2016.
Current TPS El Salvador beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from Jan. 7, 2015, through March 9, 2015. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Jan. 7, 2015.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS El Salvador beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Sept. 9, 2016.

USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EAD until after their current one expires. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS El Salvador EADs that have a March 9, 2015, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs will now be valid through Sept. 9, 2015.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

DHS Announces 18-Month Redesignation and 18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Syria

From USCIS: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has redesignated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extended the existing TPS designation for the country from April 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016. This allows eligible nationals of Syria (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) to register or re-register for TPS in accordance with the notice published today in the Federal Register.

Who is EligibleCurrent TPS StatusWhere to File
Current TPS beneficiaries from SyriaHave TPSTo extend your TPS, you must re-register during a 60-day re-registration period that runs from Jan. 5, 2015, through March 6, 2015.
Syrian nationals and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria, who have:
  • Continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 5, 2015, and
  • Been continuously physically present in the United States since April 1, 2015.
Do not have TPSTo obtain TPS, you may apply for TPS during a 180-day initial registration period that runs from Jan. 5, 2015, through July 6, 2015.

During the past year, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State reviewed the conditions in Syria. Based upon this review, Secretary Johnson determined that a redesignation and 18-month extension of TPS for Syria is warranted due to an ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria that prevent its nationals from returning in safety.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

March 2015 Visa Bulletin Predictions

For February 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here:

Please see March 2015 Visa Bulletin Predictions below (for both Family Based and Employment Based):

Quick Summary:

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 15AUG07 15AUG07 15AUG07 22OCT94 01FEB05
F2A 08JUN13 08JUN13 08JUN13 01JUN13 08JUN13
F2B 15JUL08 15JUL08 15JUL08 22JAN95 08MAR04
F3 08JAN04 08JAN04 08JAN04 08FEB94 01AUG93
F4 08MAY02 08MAY02 08MAY02 08MAY97 08SEP91

Employment Based:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

February 2015 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For February 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here:

Please see below analysis of February 2015 Visa Bulletin:

EB1: All EB1 categories are current and should continue to remain current for fiscal year. Demand continues to be around 1200-1400 every month (per the latest pending inventory).

EB2 ROW: This category continues to remain current. Demand in EB2ROW continues to be very low at an average of around 800 per month. 

EB2 China: EB2 China moved forward by 6 weeks in this visa bulletin. It is likely to continue to move forward around 4 to 6 weeks per month.

EB2 India: As we had mentioned earlier, there was finally forward movement in EB2 India. After careful consideration, Department of State has decided to slowly move EB2 India dates forward starting from February Visa Bulletin, instead of waiting till around July Visa Bulletin (when demand and spillover from other category is better known).

The advantage is that dates would slowly move forward in EB2 India. The biggest disadvantage is who will get the maximum number of visas. Earlier when dates moves forward around July VB there was a 50-50 chance of either EB2 India or EB3 India porting to EB2 India to get the visa.

Now, DOS has decided to move dates slowly in February Visa Bulletin. Most of the EB2 India already would have approved (for PD around 2005). This means majority of visas would go to EB3 India porting to EB2 India (since there are very few original EB2 India remaining at this date).