Monday, September 30, 2013

USCIS US Citizen I-129F, I-130 & I-485 Processing Statistics As Of 07/31/13

For EB (employment based) statistics, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/09/uscis-eb-i-485-i-140-processing.html

For FB (family based) statistics, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/09/uscis-fb-i-485-i-130-processing.html

Please see below latest US Citizen Beneficiary Statistics released by USCIS as of 07/31/13:

USCIS I-130 - Immediate Relative Category Processing Statistic:


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 3,981 12,525 319,682
Customer action waiting 2,397 1,184 3,581
Completed 1,963 836 30,581
New receipts 73 61 46,042

CSC = California Service Center 
VSC = Vermont Service Center 
    
USCIS I-129F Processing Statistics:


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 6,739 8,405 20,743
Customer action waiting 1,824 2,091 3,915
Completed 2,545 1,758 7,061
New receipts 1,567 1,498 3,838

USCIS I-485 Processing Statistics:


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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Employment-Based Quota Limit Reached for FY2013

The State Department has confirmed to AILA liaison that employment annual limits have been reached, as is often the case at the end of a fiscal year.

USCIS will continue to process pending adjustment cases, and is able to submit visa number requests for all cases which are being finalized. The State Department will place requests in a “Pending Demand” file.

Eligible cases which have been submitted to the State Department that are within the October cut-off dates will be automatically authorized effective October 1, 2013.


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Friday, September 27, 2013

USCIS FB I-485 & I-130 Processing Statistics As Of 07/31/13

For EB (employment based) statistics, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/09/uscis-eb-i-485-i-140-processing.html

Please see below latest FB (family based) statistics released by USCIS:

USCIS I-130 - Preference Category Processing Statistics as of 07/31/2013


 CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 4,823 14,933 27,296
Pending but adjudication deferred 357,201 134,200 498,210
Customer action waiting 9,453 4,536 13,993
Completed 20,642 4,152 26,848
New receipts 15,098 12,659 29,116

CSC = California Service Center
VSC = Vermont Service Center 
 
USCIS FB I-485 Processing Statistics as of 07/31/2013


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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Updates to GC Tracker

Hey everyone, we are excited to release many updates to GC tracker. Here is a quick summary of changes, based on feedback and suggestions in the forum:

NVC Tracker: This tracker have been newly added for both employment and family based categories. Once your I-130 or I-140 application is approved and if you are outside US, you can use this tracker to track your application as it goes through NVC to local US Embassy/Consulate to interview. It also has direct link to check the status of your application.

FB I-130 Tracker: Added  two columns:

1. Case Transferred To
2. Case Transferred Date

FB I-145 Tracker: Added five columns:

1. Case Transferred To
2. Case Transferred Date
3. Interview Notice Received Date
4. Interview Date
5. Interview Location

EB/FB I-485 Trackers: We have renamed two columns and made it more clear (based on request in forum).

All Trackers:

1. Google Maps: Have you sometimes wondered where some countries are located? Now if you just hover your mouse over the country name, you will instantly see a map of that country and surrounding areas. If you click that map, it will load Google Maps where you can learn more about that country.


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Sunday, September 22, 2013

FAQ: National Visa Center / Consular Processing

Since many readers requested more details about consular processing steps, please see below blog post which gives step-by-step details during consular processing for NVC applicants. It also includes latest changes made by State Department on September 2013.

Direct Link: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/09/nvc-consular-processing-steps.html

Note: Consular Processing applies to applicant who live/resides outside US. If applicant is inside US, they can choose to either go for Adjustment Of Status or Consular Processing.

Update (November 2014): National Visa Center No Longer Collecting Original Civil Documents: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/11/national-visa-center-no-longer.html

Step 1: Once your I-130/I-140 application is approved, USCIS sends it (I-797 Notice of Action) to NVC (National Visa Center). It may takes some time for NVC to receive the petition from USCIS (4-8 weeks). After receiving the petition, NVC will create a unique case number for your application.

If your PD is not current, NVC send you a letter informing you that they have received your petition from USCIS and they will hold it till the PD is current. You do not have to take any action. You will have to wait for PD to be current and then NVC will contact you (see below).

If your PD is current, please see steps below.

Step 2: NVC will send I-864 (affidavit of support) processing fee bill to the petitioner. Please also submit form DS-261 online. DS-261 form replaces paper form DS-3032 (Choice of Address and Agent form). Submit form(s) online.

Note: Starting September 1, 2013, all immigrant visa applicants will apply online using Form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration). Applicants will also choose their agent online using Form DS-261 (Choice of Address and Agent). Applicants will access both forms on the web at ceac.state.gov.

These forms replace the paper DS-230 and DS-3032. The National Visa Center (NVC) may instruct some applicants who previously submitted Form DS-230 to submit Form DS-260. Only Diversity Visa and Cuban Family Reunification Parole applicants will continue to use the paper forms. If you have questions or feedback about Forms DS-260 and DS-261, contact the NVC at nvcinquiry@state.gov or 603-334-0700.

Step 3: Once you have paid I-864 fees (in step 2 above), NVC will send I-864 (affidavit of support) form to the petitioner. They can also ask you to download I-864 form from their website.

Also see FAQ for Fee Payment: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3904.html

Tip: NVC will give you one year to pay the fees. NVC will reinstate I-130 after one year, but it may require additional work.

Step 4: Completely fill out I-864 form. Attach any supporting documents and send this back to NVC (do not send it to consulate). Remember to also include the bar code sheet (if applicable).

Step 5: As soon as NVC receives form DS-261, NVC will mail Immigrant Visa (IV) bill to the agent of choice (that you wrote in step 2 above).

Step 6: Once NVC receives the Immigrant Visa (IV) fees, NVC will send Packet 3 to agent of choice. Packet 3 is also called "Instruction Package For Immigrant Visa Applicants". The content of Package 3 will vary slightly depending on the local US consulate (where applicant will be interviewed). Please see FAQ below for typical documents required for Packet 3.


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Friday, September 20, 2013

USCIS EB I-485 & I-140 Processing Statistics As Of 07/31/13


USCIS EB I-140 Processing Statistics as of 07/31/2013


 TSC NSC National
Pending 6,428 1,295 7,769
Customer action waiting 1,646 3,208 4,854
Completed 3,290 2,495 5,785
New receipts 2,749 1,779 4,528

The number of pending I-140 applications at NSC decreased from 1,888 to 1,295 in the last one month.

USCIS EB I-485 Processing Statistics as of 07/31/2013


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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DACA Processing Statistics As Of 08/31/13

If you dont know what DACA is, please read FAQ for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

The following show total receipts and approvals as of 08/31/2013. This update also shows the applicants by country.

Total Received: 588,725 (July 31: 573,404, June 30: 557,412 May 30: 539,128; April 30: 515,922)
Total Accepted: 567,563 (July 31: 552,918, June 30: 537,662, May 30: 520,157; April 30: 497,960)

Approvals: 455,455 (July 30: 430,236, June 30: 400,562, May 30: 365, 237; April 30: 291,859)
Denied: 9,578 (July 30: 7,450, June 30: 5383, May 30: 3816; April 30: 2352)

The following is the trend: Total applications received continuous to show a slow-down. Total number of applications denied continue to increase; number of applications approved continue to decrease.

Data below was generated on September 10, 2013.

Tip: Click image to enlarge.


Top 10 Countries of Origin: Asian countries include India, Pakistan, Philippines and South Korea. Around 76% of total accepted are from Mexico.



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Monday, September 16, 2013

Immigration News Update September 1 - 16

USCIS Seminar On Combating Scams: USCIS invites you to take part in a national stakeholder engagement on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at 1 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss recent immigration scams and learn how USCIS is partnering with agencies to combat this trend through the unauthorized practice of immigration law initiative.

USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas will open the session and be joined by agency leaders, as well as officials from the FTC and the Department of Justice, who will speak about our partnership to combat UPIL through public education, capacity building, and enforcement. In addition partners will provide information on how to identify and report common scams.

For registration and more details, please click here: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=4ae23a432e301410

USCIS Extends I-693 Medical Form Validity: This policy memorandum (PM) temporarily extends the validity of civil surgeon endorsements on Form I-693 for adjustment of status and temporary residence applicants till May 31, 2014. This PM updates the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) by revising Chapter 40.1(c), (AFM Update AD13-13). The guidance contained in this PM is controlling and supersedes any prior guidance on the subject

Full Details: http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2013/September/I-693%20Extension%20PM%20REVISION%20(Effective%209-4-13).pdf


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Friday, September 13, 2013

Same Sex Marriage

After decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly.

To that end Janet Napolitano (Secretary of Homeland Security) have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national. Can I now sponsor my spouse for a family-based immigrant visa?
A. Yes, you can file the petition. You may file a Form I-130 (and any applicable accompanying application). Your eligibility to petition for your spouse, and your spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant at the immigration visa application or adjustment of status stage, will be determined according to applicable immigration law and will not be denied as a result of the same-sex nature of your marriage.

Q. I am a U.S. citizen who is engaged to be married to a foreign national of the same sex.  Can I file a fiancé or fiancée petition for him or her?
A2. Yes.  You may file a Form I-129F.  As long as all other immigration requirements are met, a same-sex engagement may allow your fiancé to enter the United States for marriage.

Q. My spouse and I were married in a U.S. state or a foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriage, but we live in a state that does not. Can I file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse?
A: Yes. As a general matter, the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated determines whether the marriage is legally valid for immigration purposes.  Just as USCIS applies all relevant laws to determine the validity of an opposite-sex marriage, we will apply all relevant laws to determine the validity of a same-sex marriage.


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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Predictions: November 2013 Visa Bulletin

For September 2013 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/08/visa-bulletin-september-2013.html

For October 2013 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/09/visa-bulletin-october-2013.html

For November 2013 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/10/visa-bulletin-november-2013.html

Please see below November 2013 Visa Bulletin Predictions (for both Family Based and Employment Based):

Quick Summary:
  • EB1, EB4, EB 5: Current
  • EB2 Rest Of World: Current
    EB2 China: 6 weeks (still behind EB3 China)
    EB2 India: It could either stay at 15JUN08 (to generate porting demand and apply future estimated spillovers) or retrogress to around 08APR05 (date based on July demand data). Please see article
  • EB3 (ROW, China, Mexico): 0 day. There is 40% chance of retrogression. Please see article.
    EB3 India: 0-2 weeks. There is 10% chance of retrogression.
    EB3 Philippines: 2 weeks.
  • FB categories: 1 week to 5 weeks.  Please see article.
  • F2A: 0 day. Further retrogression possible.

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 21OCT06 21OCT06 21OCT06 01OCT93 01JUL01
F2A 08SEP13 08SEP13 08SEP13 01SEP13 08SEP13
F2B 15MAR06 15MAR06 15MAR06 01APR94 01MAR03
F3 01FEB03 01FEB03 01FEB03 01JUN93 08JAN93
F4 15AUG01 15AUG01 15AUG01 22OCT96 22APR90

Employment Based: 


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Monday, September 9, 2013

Analysis: October 2013 Visa Bulletin

For September 2013 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/08/visa-bulletin-september-2013.html

For October 2013 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/09/visa-bulletin-october-2013.html

As many of you know FY 2014 starts on Oct 1. USCIS does not publish real time data on actual demand by category/country. They do not publish demand data (or I485 pending inventory) for FB category. For EB category, the last demand data published was in June 2013.

Since July 2013 demand data (published in June 2013), they have not released any new numbers (except for I-485 pending inventory with July 2013 data).

EB1: All EB1 categories are current and should continue to remain current. Demand is increasing at rate of around 1000 every month. Though there is very high demand in EB1 India category, it is likely to remain current since it will receives spillover visas from other EB1 categories, also called "fall across" spillovers.

EB2 ROW: This category continues to remain current. Surprisingly demand in EB2ROW is actually decreasing. This is good news for EB2 India and China, as they could get a higher spillovers in FY 2014 compared to FY 2013.

EB2 India: EB2 India did not move at all. There was three possible date movements we had listed for EB2 India. DOS decided to go with option 2 and hold dates steady. This will help them accurately estimate porting demand (people porting from EB3 to EB2) and at the same time apply spillovers in Oct VB (instead of waiting till July VB).

The demand is EB2 India is expected to increase by few thousands as new applicants file I-485 and EB3 India applicants ports to EB2 India. Majority of these movements in EB2 India is due to 18,000 visas spillover from FB category in FY13. Movement in EB2 India in FY 2014 may not be that high if it does not receive enough spillovers.

EB2 China: As expected, EB2 China have started moving forward. It moved forward by 5 weeks and it is likely to move forward by1.5 months in next VB. Due to higher demand, EB2 China will continue to remain behind EB3 China for a while.


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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Visa Bulletin October 2013

For August 2013 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/07/visa-bulletin-august-2013.html

For September 2013 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/08/visa-bulletin-september-2013.html

October 2013 Visa bulletin has been released (valid from October 1 to October 31 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01OCT06 01OCT06 01OCT06 22SEP93 01JUN01
F2A 08SEP13 08SEP13 08SEP13 01SEP13 08SEP13
F2B 01MAR06 01MAR06 01MAR06 08MAR94 08FEB03
F3 22JAN03 22JAN03 22JAN03 22MAY93 01JAN93
F4 08AUG01 08AUG01 08AUG01 15OCT96 22MAR90

Employment Based:


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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

October 2013 Demand Data

Demand data is used by Department of State (DOS) to calculate the monthly visa bulletin dates. If you are not familiar with demand data, please see this article: What is Demand Data?

This blog post is a placeholder in case DOS decides to publish the October 2013 Demand Data. As most of you know, DOS also did not publish the August 2013 and September 2013 Demand Data.

Update: DOS did not release October 2013 demand data.

October is the first month in FY 2014. The annual EB quota would reset back to 140,000 visas per year. Each country in EB1, EB2 and EB3 categories would be limited to max around 2,802 visas per year.

October demand data would be very important for EB2 India. It would give a good idea on how many cases are pending before 2005 and 2006.

Let us assume porting rate to EB2 India for PD till June 2008 is around 4,000. In addition, let us assume there are around 16,000 cases which are preadjudicated till June 2008. Assuming a spillover of around 18,000 visas to EB2 India from other EB categories, there should be around 2,000 cases remaining.


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Monday, September 2, 2013

DHS Inspector General Report for FB and L1 category

USCIS Tracking & Monitoring of Potentially Fraudulent Petitions and Applications for Family-Based Immigration Benefits 

In the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees lawful immigration to the United States. U.S. immigration law grants permanent resident status to aliens who legally marry a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and to certain aliens who are family members of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Immigration benefits may lead to the right to apply for and receive Social Security and Medicare benefits and food stamps, and the opportunity to sponsor alien spouses and relatives for permanent residency.

We performed this audit to determine whether USCIS recorded information about adjudicated family-based petitions and applications suspected of being fraudulent according to agency policy requirements and in a manner that deterred immigration fraud.

U.S.citizens or lawful permanent residents who petition to sponsor a qualifying family member, including a spouse, must file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) with USCIS.  USCIS officers adjudicate I-130 petitions at field offices or service centers. Through the I-130 adjudication process, USCIS must validate that the petitioner is a U.S.citizen or lawful permanent resident. When the petitioner is sponsoring an alien spouse, the petitioner must establish that the marriage is valid. For petitioners sponsoring relatives, USCIS must determine the validity of the relationship before approving the I-130 petition.


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