Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Latest USCIS Visa Bulletin Predictions

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently met again with Charles Oppenheim to discuss the current demand and expected movements in various visa bulletin categories.

Charles Oppenheim is the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division within Department of State (DOS). Please see the important details below:

EB2 India: Due to heavy demand (mostly from EB3 India applicant upgrading to EB2 India), DOS had to retrogress dates to February 2005. Date are expected to move forward around July 2015 (when it is expected to receive spillovers from other unused EB categories).

The good news is that DOS is currently considering moving the dates forward earlier in the year instead of waiting till last quarter of FY 2015. The main reason for waiting till Q4 2015 is that it gives DOS a good understanding of demand in other EB categories and help estimate unused visas and spillovers to other categories.


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Monday, December 29, 2014

PERM Processing Statistics As Of 9/30/2014


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Friday, December 26, 2014

DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

From USCIS: Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.

As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at www.uscis.gov/tps.

The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.

To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014.


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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

USCIS Approves 10,000 U Visas for 6th Straight Fiscal Year

From USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved the statutory maximum of 10,000 petitions for U-1 nonimmigrant status (U visas) for fiscal year 2015. This marks the sixth straight year that USCIS has reached the statutory maximum since it began issuing U visas in 2008.

Each year, 10,000 U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcement authorities investigate or prosecute those crimes. A U visa petition requires certification that the victim has been helpful to law enforcement.

Although USCIS has reached the statutory cap of 10,000 U visas, it will continue to review pending petitions for eligibility. For eligible petitioners who cannot be granted a U-1 visas solely because of the cap, USCIS will send a letter notifying them that they are on a waiting list to receive a U visa when visas become available again.

The letter will also inform the petitioners of options available to them while they are on the waiting list. Petitioners and qualifying family members must continue to meet eligibility requirements at the time the U visa is issued.


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Monday, December 22, 2014

Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the EB Category registered at NVC as of November 1, 2014

The following figures have been compiled from the NVC report submitted to the Department on November 1, 2014, and show the number of immigrant visa applicants on the waiting list in the various preferences and subcategories subject to numerical limit.

All figures reflect persons registered under each respective numerical limitation, i.e., the totals represent not only principal applicants or petition beneficiaries, but their spouses and children entitled to derivative status under INA 203(d) as well.





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Friday, December 19, 2014

USCIS Announces 68 Countries Eligible to Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

From USCIS: USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Department of State, has added the Czech Republic, Denmark, Madagascar, Portugal, and Sweden to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs for the coming year. The notice listing the 68 eligible countries published on Dec. 16, 2014 in the Federal Register.

The H-2A and H-2B Visa programs allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural and nonagricultural jobs, respectively. USCIS only approves H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the programs.

USCIS may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries not on the list if it is determined to be in the interest of the United States.


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the FB Category registered at NVC as of November 1, 2014

The following figures have been compiled from the NVC report submitted to the Department on November 1, 2014, and show the number of immigrant visa applicants on the waiting list in the various preferences and subcategories subject to numerical limit.

All figures reflect persons registered under each respective numerical limitation, i.e., the totals represent not only principal applicants or petition beneficiaries, but their spouses and children entitled to derivative status under INA 203(d) as well.





Immigrant Waiting List By Country

The ten countries with the highest number of Family - sponsored waiting list registrants are listed below; together these represent 74.6 % of the total. This list includes all countries with at least 100,000 persons on the waiting list.


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Monday, December 15, 2014

EB-5 Regional Centers Must File Form I-924A by December 29

From USCIS: USCIS reminds all approved EB-5 regional centers with a designation letter dated on or before Sept. 30, 2014, that they must file Form I-924A, Supplement to Form I-924, for fiscal year 2014. Regional centers must submit Form I-924A no later than Dec. 29, 2014.

If a regional center fails to file Form I-924A, USCIS will issue a notice of intent to terminate participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. If a regional center files an incomplete Form I-924A, USCIS may issue a notice of intent to terminate participation.

Notice About Terminated Regional Centers

A regional center that has been terminated from the EB-5 program may not solicit, generate or promote investors or investments for any other EB-5-related projects, or otherwise participate in the Immigrant Investor Program.


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Friday, December 12, 2014

February 2015 Visa Bulletin Predictions

For January 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/12/january-2015-visa-bulletin.html

For the official February 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2015/01/february-2015-visa-bulletin.html

Please see February 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 01AUG07 01AUG07 01AUG07 08OCT94 08JAN05
F2A 15MAY13 15MAY13 15MAY13 08APR13 15MAY13
F2B 15MAY08 15MAY08 15MAY08 01DEC94 22FEB04
F3 01JAN04 01JAN04 01JAN04 01JAN94 22JUL93
F4 15APR02 15APR02 15APR02 08APR97 22AUG91

Employment Based:


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

January 2015 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For January 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/12/january-2015-visa-bulletin.html

Please see below analysis of January 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 4 weeks in this visa bulletin. It is likely to continue to move forward around 3 to 5 weeks per month.

EB2 India: Also as expected, EB2 India category did not move forward after retrogressing in previous visa bulletin to 15FEB05. We had earlier posted a blog post that EB2 India quota has been used up for fiscal year 2014. This category may not move forward for the next few months.

We have added a blog post exclusive to EB2 India movement in fiscal year 2014. As many of you expected, retrogression was expected in November due to large demand from (a) applicants porting from EB3 India to EB2 India  (since they have been waiting in EB3 India category for more than a decade) and (b) applicants who are filing I-485 for the first time.

Also please see this blog post for updates in EB2 (India, ROW and China) category.


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Sunday, December 7, 2014

January 2015 Visa Bulletin

For December 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/11/december-2014-visa-bulletin.html

For January 2015 Visa Bulletin Analysis, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/12/january-2015-visa-bulletin-analysis.html

January 2015 Visa Bulletin has been released (valid from January 1 to January 31 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 08JUL07 08JUL07  08JUL07 15SEP94 22DEC04
F2A 15APR13 15APR13 15APR13 22FEB13 15APR13
F2B 01APR08 01APR08 01APR08 01NOV94  01FEB04
F3 22DEC03 22DEC03 22DEC03 15DEC93 08JUL93
F4 22MAR02 22MAR02 22MAR02 22MAR97 15JUL91

Employment Based:


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Friday, December 5, 2014

Latest DACA Processing Statistics As Of October 2014

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



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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DHS Publishes Final Rule on Notices of Decisions and Documents Evidencing Lawful Status

Department of Homeland Security recently published a final rule amending its regulations governing when USCIS will
  • correspond with,
  • issue a notice of decision to, or
  • provide documents to
an applicant, petitioner, or requester, and/or an attorney of record or accredited representative.

This final rule explains how USCIS will provide notices to applicants, petitioners or requestors. It also explains how they can consent to have such notices and secure identification documents sent directly to their designated representatives.


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Monday, December 1, 2014

Workload Transfer From the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center

From USCIS: USCIS recently began transferring some casework from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center to balance workloads. The affected casework includes:

How You Will Be Affected
If USCIS transferred your case, they will send you a transfer notice. Your original receipt number will not change and the transfer will not delay the processing of your case. Please note:
  • The words “Case Type: CRI89 Approved Removal of Conditions” will be printed on the transfer notice - this refers to your pending Form I-751.
  • The transfer notice may not contain the receipt number of your pending Form I-751. 

How to Track the Status of Your Case
You can check the status by entering your receipt number in Check Status. You can also sign up to receive automatic case status updates by email.


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Friday, November 28, 2014

DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.

As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at www.uscis.gov/tps.

The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.

To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014.


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

National Visa Center No Longer Collecting Original Civil Documents

The National Visa Center (NVC) will cease collecting original civil documents in support of immigrant visa (IV) applications as of November 12, 2014.

Most applicants will be required to submit photocopies of supporting documents (such as birth, marriage, and police certificates) and will be instructed to take their original documents to their interviews for review.

This does not include Affidavit of Support forms, which petitioners will still submit to NVC for initial evaluation.

New Instructions to Applicants:

After applicants and petitioners collect the Affidavit of Support form(s), financial evidence, and supporting civil documents, they are instructed to submit all of the documents to NVC. As of November 12, 2014, applicants at non-electronic processing posts will be instructed to submit photocopies of their civil documents by mail.


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Immigration Reform - Updated Changes

For the original blog post about Comprehensive Immigration Reform, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/04/cir-bill-s744-border-security-economic.html

President Barack Obama announced his plan called Immigration Accountability Executive Action (IAEA) to fix the immigration system.



Here are the brief overview of these changes:

1. Deferred Action For Parents Of USC And LPR: Similar to DACA, allow parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years. They must submit biometric data, pass all the background checks, pay correct fees, and show that their child was born before the date of this announcement.


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Nicaragua

From USCIS: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nicaragua for an additional 18 months, effective Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016.

Current TPS Nicaragua beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from Oct. 16, 2014 through Dec. 15, 2014. 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 Oct. 16, 2014.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS Nicaragua beneficiaries (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of July 5, 2016.

To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee, but they must submit the biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are age 14 or older. All TPS re-registrants must also submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. TPS re-registrants requesting an EAD must submit the Form I-765 application fee or a fee-waiver request. If the re-registrant does not want an EAD, no application fee is required.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

USCIS US Citizen I-129F, I-130 & I-485 Processing Statistics As Of August 2014

Please see below latest US Citizen Beneficiary Statistics released by USCIS:

USCIS I-130 - Immediate Relative Category Processing Statistics:


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 13,683 22,305 264,875
Customer action waiting 4,192 4,394 18,837
Completed 3,788 5,793 47,115
New receipts 587 3,736 41,441

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


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 7,902 1,124 17,732
Customer action waiting 890 75 3,275
Completed 1,368 62 4,368
New receipts 1,642 61 3,616

USCIS I-485 Processing Statistics:


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Monday, November 17, 2014

USCIS FB I-485 & I-130 Processing Statistics As Of August 2014

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

USCIS I-130 - Preference Category Processing Statistics


 CSC VSC NSC National
All Other Pending 4,576 6,894 674 13,017
Pending but adjudication deferred 348,234 141,363 2,884 495,279
Customer action waiting 19,132 2,654 219 22,092
Completed 19,443 3,260 824 24,025
New receipts 13,785 3,663 529 18,117

Volume in Texas Service Center (TSC) is currently low.

CSC = California Service Center
VSC = Vermont Service Center
NSC = Nebraska Service Center
 
USCIS FB I-485 Processing Statistics


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

USCIS EB I-140 and I-485 Processing Statistics As Of August 2014


USCIS EB I-140 Processing Statistics 


 TSC NSC National
Pending 15,501 10,707 26,266
Customer Action Wait 1,761 1,363 3,124
Completed 3,950 3,383 7,333
New Receipt 4,633 3,598 8,231

USCIS EB I-485 Processing Statistics


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

January 2015 Visa Bulletin Predictions

For December 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/11/december-2014-visa-bulletin.html

For the official January 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/12/january-2015-visa-bulletin.html

Please see January 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 15JUL07 15JUL07 15JUL07 08SEP94 01FEB05
F2A 22APR13 22APR13 22APR13 01MAR13 22APR13
F2B 08APR08 08APR08 08APR08 22OCT94 01FEB04
F3 01JAN04 01JAN04 01JAN04 22NOV93 08JUL93
F4 08MAR02 08MAR02 08MAR02 15MAR97 01JUL91

Employment Based:


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Monday, November 10, 2014

December 2014 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For December 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/11/december-2014-visa-bulletin.html

Please see below analysis of December 2014 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 300-600 per month. 

EB2 China: EB2 China moved forward by 3 weeks in this visa bulletin. It is likely to continue to move forward around 3 to 5 weeks per month.

EB2 India: Also as expected, EB2 India category did not move forward after retrogressing in previous visa bulletin to 15FEB05. We had earlier posted a blog post that EB2 India quota has been used up for fiscal year 2014. This category may not move forward for the next few months.

We have added a blog post exclusive to EB2 India movement in fiscal year 2014. As many of you expected, retrogression was expected in November due to large demand from (a) applicants porting from EB3 India to EB2 India  (since they have been waiting in EB3 India category for more than a decade) and (b) applicants who are filing I-485 for the first time.

Also please see this blog post for updates in EB2 (India, ROW and China) category.


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

December 2014 Visa Bulletin

For November 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/10/november-2014-visa-bulletin.html

For analysis of November 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/11/december-2014-visa-bulletin-analysis.html

December 2014 Visa Bulletin has been released (valid from December 1 to December 31 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 22JUN07 22JUN07  22JUN07 15AUG94 15DEC04
F2A 22MAR13 22MAR13 22MAR13 01JAN13 22MAR13
F2B 22FEB08 22FEB08 22FEB08 01OCT94  15JAN04
F3 15DEC03 15DEC03 15DEC03 15NOV93 22JUN93
F4 22FEB02 22FEB02 22FEB02 01MAR97 01JUN91

Employment Based:


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Monday, November 3, 2014

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Honduras

From USCIS: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras for an additional 18 months, effective Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016.

Current TPS Honduras beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from Oct. 16, 2014 through Dec. 15, 2014. 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 Oct. 16, 2014.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS Honduras beneficiaries (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras) who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of July 5, 2016.

To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee, but they must submit the biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are age 14 or older. All TPS re-registrants must also submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. TPS re-registrants requesting an EAD must submit the Form I-765 application fee or a fee-waiver request. If the re-registrant does not want an EAD, no application fee is required.


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Friday, October 31, 2014

USCIS Visa Bulletin Prediction For Fiscal Year 2015

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently met again with Charles Oppenheim to discuss the current demand and expected movements in various visa bulletin categories.

Charles Oppenheim is the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division within Department of State (DOS).

Please see the important details below:

EB1 (All Countries): This category is expected to remain current throughout fiscal year 2015.

EB2 ROW (Rest of World): This category is expected to remain current throughout this fiscal year 2015.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DHS To Implement Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program

From USCIS: Starting in early 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin implementation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program to expedite family reunification for certain eligible Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and to promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Haiti to the United States.

Under this program U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will offer certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of already approved family-based immigrant visa petitions, who are currently in Haiti, an opportunity to come to the United States up to approximately two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current.

“The rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States.  The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system – family reunification.  It also supports broader U.S. goals for Haiti’s reconstruction and development by providing the opportunity for certain eligible Haitians to safely and legally immigrate sooner to the United States,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

“The United States strongly discourages individuals in Haiti from undertaking life-threatening and illegal maritime journeys to the United States. Such individuals will not qualify for the HFRP program and if located at sea may be returned to Haiti.”


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Monday, October 27, 2014

New E-Verify Service Combats Fraud, Protects Identity, Educates Workers

From USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director León Rodríguez announced the launch of myE-Verify—a new website designed for employees.  myE-Verify is a one-stop shop for employees to create and maintain secure personal accounts and access new features for identity protection.

“Since its inception, E-Verify has provided employees with valuable online tools and resources regarding the employment eligibility verification process,” said Director Rodríguez. “myE-Verify signifies a significant step forward for added transparency, features, and identity protection.”

myE-Verify gives workers a free and secure way to participate in the E-Verify process by accessing features dedicated for employees, including Self Check and the Employee Rights Toolkit.  For added security, individuals will have their identities verified through Self Check, in order to create a myE-Verify account.


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Saturday, October 25, 2014

USCIS New Secure Ink

On July 1, 2014, U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began using a new secure
blue ink for many of its secure stamps. The older secure red ink will be retired and no longer
used by USCIS on the effective date.

On July 1, 2014, USCIS began using the following list of stamps with secure blue ink:
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Parole Stamp
  • Temporary I-551 Alien Documentary Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) Stamp
  • Refugee Stamp (Section 207)
  • Asylum Stamp (Section 208)
  • Initial / Replacement Form I-94 Stamp


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

USCIS FB I-485 & I-130 Processing Statistics As Of July 2014

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

USCIS I-130 - Preference Category Processing Statistics


 CSC VSC NSC National
All Other Pending 4,663 7,401 780 13,611
Pending but adjudication deferred 355,393 140,156 3,206 501,949
Customer action waiting 17,077 2,805 197 20,223
Completed 13,865 3,109 1,080 18,676
New receipts 15,745 4,259 544 20,691

Volume in Texas Service Center (TSC) is currently low.

CSC = California Service Center
VSC = Vermont Service Center
NSC = Nebraska Service Center
 
USCIS FB I-485 Processing Statistics


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Monday, October 20, 2014

USCIS US Citizen I-129F, I-130 & I-485 Processing Statistics As Of July 2014

Please see below latest US Citizen Beneficiary Statistics released by USCIS:

USCIS I-130 - Immediate Relative Category Processing Statistics:


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 5,611 23,267 265,213
Customer action waiting 5,398 5,176 21,923
Completed 11,013 5,891 55,515
New receipts 720 4,186 44,080

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


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 4,031 1,066 19,147
Customer action waiting 947 74 2,181
Completed 1,376 98 3,209
New receipts 1,819 87 4,237

USCIS I-485 Processing Statistics:


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Friday, October 17, 2014

USCIS Visa Bulletin Predictions From December 2014 - February 2015

For February 2015 Visa Bulletin prediction, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/12/february-2015-visa-bulletin-predictions.html

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

FAMILY-sponsored categories:

Worldwide dates:
  • F1:   Two to three weeks
  • F2A: Three to five weeks
  • F2B: Six to eight weeks
  • F3:   One to three weeks
  • F4:   Two or four weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories:

Employment First: Current

Employment Second:
  • Worldwide: Current
  • China: Three to five weeks
  • India: No forward movement

Employment Third:
  • Worldwide: Continued rapid forward movement for the next several months. After such rapid advance of the cut-off date applicant demand for number use, particularly for adjustment of status cases, is expected to increase significantly. Once such demand begins to materialize at a greater rate it will impact this cut-off date situation. 
  • China: Rapid forward movement. Such movement is likely to result in increased demand which may require "corrective" action possibly as early as February.
  • India: Little if any movement
  • Mexico: Will remain at the worldwide date
  • Philippines: Will remain at the worldwide date. Increased demand may require "corrective" action at some point later in the fiscal year. 

Employment Fourth: Current

Employment Fifth: Current

The above projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen during each of the next three months based on current applicant demand patterns.

Readers should never assume that recent trends in cut-off date movements are guaranteed for the future, or that "corrective" action will not be required at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits.

The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

USCIS EB I-140 and I-485 Processing Statistics As Of July 2014


USCIS EB I-140 Processing Statistics 


 TSC NSC National
Pending 14,523 11,201 25,786
Customer Action Wait 1,703 1,521 3,224
Completed 4,577 3,325 7,903
New Receipt 5,074 3,756 8,830

USCIS EB I-485 Processing Statistics


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Sunday, October 12, 2014

December 2014 Visa Bulletin Predictions

For November 2014 Visa Bulletin And Analysis, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/10/november-2014-visa-bulletin.html

For the official December 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/11/december-2014-visa-bulletin.html

Please see December 2014 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 01JUL07 01JUL07 01JUL07 22JUL94 01DEC04
F2A 08APR13 08APR13 08APR13 15NOV12 08APR13
F2B 22FEB08 22FEB08 22FEB08 22OCT94 01FEB04
F3 22DEC03 22DEC03 22DEC03 08NOV93 15JUN93
F4 22FEB02 22FEB02 22FEB02 01MAR97 01JUN91

Employment Based:


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Friday, October 10, 2014

November 2014 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For November 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/10/november-2014-visa-bulletin.html

Please see below analysis of November 2014 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 300-600 per month. 

EB2 China: EB2 China moved forward by 3 weeks in this visa bulletin. It is likely to continue to move forward around 3 to 5 weeks per month.

EB2 India: Also as expected, EB2 India category retrogressed exactly to 15FEB05. We had earlier posted a blog post that EB2 India quota has been used up for fiscal year 2014. This category may not move forward for the next few months.

We have added a blog post exclusive to EB2 India movement in fiscal year 2014. As many of you expected, retrogression was expected in November due to large demand from (a) applicants porting from EB3 India to EB2 India  (since they have been waiting in EB3 India category for more than a decade) and (b) applicants who are filing I-485 for the first time.

Also please see this blog post for updates in EB2 (India, ROW and China) category.


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Monday, October 6, 2014

November 2014 Visa Bulletin

For October 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/09/october-2014-visa-bulletin.html

For analysis of November 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/10/november-2014-visa-bulletin-analysis.html

November 2014 Visa Bulletin has been released (valid from November 1 to November 30 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 08JUN07 08JUN07  08JUN07 08JUL94 01NOV04
F2A 01MAR13 01MAR13 01MAR13 22SEP12 01MAR13
F2B 01JAN08 01JAN08 01JAN08 08SEP94  01JAN04
F3 08DEC03 08DEC03 08DEC03 01NOV93 08JUN93
F4 08FEB02 08FEB02 08FEB02 15FEB97 01MAY91

Employment Based:


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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Some Biometric Appointment Notices Issued in Error

From USCIS: Recently USCIS erroneously scheduled some customers for more than one Application Support Center (ASC) biometric appointment (Form I-797C).

If you have already attended an ASC biometric appointment, and received a second appointment notice for the same application type, please call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY for hearing impaired: 1-800-767-1833) to confirm that you do not need to return to the ASC to have biometrics collected again.


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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Deferred Enforced Departure Extended for Eligible Liberians in U.S.

From USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will automatically extend Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for Liberian nationals covered under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Current DED Liberia EADs that have an expiration date of Sept. 30, 2014, will now be valid through March 30, 2015.

This automatic extension of EADs follows President Obama’s announcement today of his decision to extend DED through September 30, 2016, for qualified Liberians and those individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia.

The six-month automatic extension of existing EADs allows eligible Liberian nationals to continue working in the United States while they file their applications. The extension also gives USCIS time to process and issue the new EADs.

Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberian nationals was scheduled to end on Sept. 30, 2014. However, President Obama determined that there are compelling foreign policy reasons to extend DED for eligible Liberian nationals currently living in the United States under the existing grant of DED.


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Diversity Immigrant (DV-2016) Visa Program Announced

The Congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered annually by the Department of State. Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for a class of “diversity immigrants,” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For fiscal year 2016, 50,000 diversity visas (DVs) will be available. There is no cost to register for the DV program.

Applicants who are selected in the lottery (“selectees”) must meet simple, but strict, eligibility requirements in order to qualify for a diversity visa. Selectees are chosen through a randomized computer drawing. Diversity visas are distributed among six geographic regions and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.

For DV-2016, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.


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Friday, September 26, 2014

Latest USCIS Visa Bulletin Predictions

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently met again with Charles Oppenheim to discuss the current demand and expected movements in various visa bulletin categories.

Charles Oppenheim is the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division within Department of State (DOS).

Please see the important details below:

EB2 India: As we had reported earlier, EB2 India category quota has been exhausted for FY 2014 on September 10, 2014. However USCIS will continue to accept applications from EB2 India applicants.

In addition, demand in EB2 India category has also increased due to (1) new filings and (2) upgrades from EB3 India to EB2 India category. This will result in heavy retrogression in EB2 India. Priority dates are expected to retrogress from 2009 to early 2005 in the next visa bulletin.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Sudan

From USCIS: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will re-designate South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extend the existing TPS designation for the country from Nov. 3, 2014, through May 2, 2016. This allows eligible nationals of South Sudan (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) to register or re-register for TPS in accordance with the notice published in the Federal Register.

Current South Sudanese beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from Sept. 2, 2014, through Nov. 3, 2014. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Sept. 2, 2014.

Who’s EligibleCurrent TPS StatusWhen to File
Current TPS beneficiaries from South SudanHave TPSTo extend your TPS, you must re-register during a 60-day re-registration period that runs fromSept. 2, 2014, through Nov. 3, 2014.
South Sudan nationals and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan, who have:
  • Continuously resided in the United States since Sept. 2, 2014, and
  • Been continuously physically present in the United States since November 3, 2014
Do Not Have TPSTo obtain TPS, you may apply for TPS during a 180-day initial registration period that runs from Sept. 2, 2014, through  March 2, 2015.


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Sunday, September 21, 2014

USCIS US Citizen I-129F, I-130 & I-485 Processing Statistics As Of June 2014


Please see below latest US Citizen Beneficiary Statistics released by USCIS:

USCIS I-130 - Immediate Relative Category Processing Statistics:


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 1,257 24,954 276,293
Customer action waiting 5,398 5,176 21,923
Completed 3,936 6,856 47,836
New receipts 690 4,224 44,688

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


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 3,447 1,024 17,930
Customer action waiting 947 74 2,181
Completed 2,048 52 3,565
New receipts 1,667 94 4,055

USCIS I-485 Processing Statistics: 


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Thursday, September 18, 2014

USCIS FB I-485 & I-130 Processing Statistics As Of June 2014

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

USCIS I-130 - Preference Category Processing Statistics


 CSC VSC NSC National
All Other Pending 4,340 8,450 884 14,549
Pending but adjudication deferred 353,025 137,787 3,904 497,907
Customer action waiting 17,077 2,805 197 20,223
Completed 17,363 1,449 866 20,355
New receipts 16,492 4,347 627 21,618

Volume in Texas Service Center (TSC) is currently low.

CSC = California Service Center
VSC = Vermont Service Center
NSC = Nebraska Service Center
 
USCIS FB I-485 Processing Statistics


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Monday, September 15, 2014

USCIS EB I-140 and I-485 Processing Statistics As Of June 2014


USCIS EB I-140 Processing Statistics 


 TSC NSC National
Pending 13,480 10,410 23,951
Customer Action Wait 1,703 1,521 3,224
Completed 4,485 2,872 7,357
New Receipt 4,844 3,782 8,626

USCIS EB I-485 Processing Statistics


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Saturday, September 13, 2014

November 2014 Visa Bulletin Predictions

For October 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/09/october-2014-visa-bulletin-analysis.html

For the official November 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/10/november-2014-visa-bulletin.html

Please see November 2014 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 22APR07 22APR07 22APR07 15JUL94 08OCT04
F2A 08MAR13 08MAR13 08MAR13 15SEP12 08MAR13
F2B 15DEC07 15DEC07 15DEC07 01NOV94 08JAN04
F3 22DEC03 22DEC03 22DEC03 01NOV93 08JUN93
F4 08FEB02 08FEB02 08FEB02 08FEB97 08MAY91

Employment Based:


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Friday, September 12, 2014

October 2014 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For October 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/09/october-2014-visa-bulletin.html

Please see below analysis of October 2014 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 300-600 per month. 

EB2 China: As expected, EB2 China moved forward by 5 weeks in this visa bulletin. It is likely to continue to move forward around 3 to 5 weeks per month.

EB2 India: Also as expected, EB2 India category did not move forward in this visa bulletin. We had earlier posted a blog post that according to Charles Oppenheim, EB2 India quota has been used up for fiscal year 2014. This means no new visas will be allocated to EB2 India between September 10 and September 30, 2014.

We have added a blog post exclusive to EB2 India movement in fiscal year 2014. As many of you expected, DOS has predicted retrogression in November due to large demand from (a) applicants porting from EB3 India to EB2 India  (since they have been waiting in EB3 India category for more than a decade) and (b) applicants who are filing I-485 for the first time.

Also please see this blog post for updates in EB2 (India, ROW and China) category.


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

EB2 India Unavailable For Rest Of Fiscal Year 2014

Mr. Charles Oppeneheim announced yesterday that that quota for EB2 India has been used up and no new visas will be available atleast until September 30, 2014.

However if you have set up interview for consular processing, visa may still be available. The best thing to do is to contact the local embassy where your interview is set up and confirm visa availability. This may change from embassy to embassy in different countries and hence it is not possible to list all (around 200 embassy/consulate) information here.

If you are from EB2 India and your I-485 application is approved between September 10 and  September 30, 2014, please let everyone know in the comment section below.


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Saturday, September 6, 2014

October 2014 Visa Bulletin

For September 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/08/september-2014-visa-bulletin.html

For analysis of October 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/09/october-2014-visa-bulletin-analysis.html

October 2014 Visa Bulletin has been released (valid from October 1 to October 31 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 22MAY07 22MAY07  22MAY07 22JUN94 01SEP04
F2A 01FEB13 01FEB13 01FEB13 22JUL12 01FEB13
F2B 01NOV07 01NOV07 01NOV07 01AUG94  15DEC03
F3 01DEC03 01DEC03 01DEC03 22OCT93 01JUN93
F4 22JAN02 22JAN02 22JAN02 01FEB97 08APR91

Employment Based:


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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Multiple Immigration News

1. Updated Fees Structure: Effective September 6, USCIS is going to change fees for some forms. Please see the link below for  full details:

http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2014-20516_PI.pdf

2. Processing Statistics:



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Monday, September 1, 2014

SEVIS Highlights

WHAT IS THE STUDENT AND EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM (SEVP)?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a program within the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is a part of the National Security Investigations Division and acts as a bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on nonimmigrants whose primary reason for coming to the United States is to be students. On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), SEVP manages schools, nonimmigrant students in the F & M visa classifications and their dependents.

The Department of State manages Exchange Visitor Programs, nonimmigrant exchange visitors in the J visa classification and their dependents. Both SEVP and the Department of State use the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to track and monitor schools; exchange visitor programs; and F, M and J nonimmigrants while they visit the United States and participate in the U.S. education system.

WHAT IS THE STUDENT AND EXCHANGE VISITOR INFORMATION SYSTEM (SEVIS)?

SEVIS is the web-based system that DHS uses to maintain information on SEVP-certified schools and the F & M students who come to the United States to attend those schools. SEVIS also maintains information on Department of State-designated exchange visitor program sponsors and J-1 visa exchange visitor program participants. It is a critical tool in SEVP’s mission to protect national security while supporting the legal entry of the more than one million F, M and J nonimmigrants to the United States for education and cultural exchange.

DEFINITIONS
• Nonimmigrants – Person entering the United States to visit, study or work (depending on the type of visa) temporarily but not to stay permanently in the United States.
• F-1 nonimmigrant students – Nonimmigrant status conferred on a student pursuing a full program of study in a college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, private elementary school, other academic school or language training program in the United States that is SEVP-certified to enroll F and/or M students.
• M-1 nonimmigrant students – Nonimmigrant status conferred on a foreign national pursuing a full program of study at an SEVP-certified vocational school or other recognized non-academic school (other than in language training programs).
• J-1 exchange visitors – Foreign national selected by a Department of State-designated program to participate in an exchange visitor program.
• STEM – Science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs of study.

STUDENTS AND EXCHANGE VISITORS
• There are currently 966,333 F & M students studying in the United States.
• There are currently 232,988 J-1 exchange visitors in the United States.
• Twenty-eight percent of all F & M students in the United States originate from China.
• Seventy-five percent of all F & M students in the United States are from Asia.
• When compared to July 2013, the number of active F & M students and exchange visitors increased eight percent to 87,370.


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Saturday, August 30, 2014

USCIS Customers Can Select Delivery Service to Receive Certain Documents

From USCIS: USCIS customers, whose petitions or applications are processed at a USCIS Service Center or the National Benefits Center and who wish to receive certain documents by overnight delivery service, must include a valid prepaid air bill or shipping label with their filing. We will use your prepaid air bill or shipping label whenever possible.  This option is ONLY available for receiving the following types of documents from certain USCIS facilities:

USCIS Service Centers OR the National Benefits CenterUSCIS Service Centers Only
  • Advance parole documents (does not include combination Employment Authorization Document/Advance Parole Cards);
  • Re-entry permits; and
  • Refugee travel documents.
  • Approval notices; and
  • Notices of denial.

To ensure your overnight delivery requests are not delayed, please remember to:
  • Include a valid prepaid air bill or shipping label when you submit your application, petition or response to a request for evidence. Providing a prepaid shipping label directly from the delivery service is the best way to avoid delivery errors. You will not need to write in an account number if you use a shipping label.
  • Enter your name in both the “to” and “from” fields on the air bill or shipping label.
  • Never list USCIS as the sender and do not mark “bill to sender.”
  • Pay all delivery costs in advance, and include the prepaid air bill or shipping label with your submission.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Updated Visa Bulletin Predictions

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently met again with Charles Oppenheim to discuss the demand and expected movements in various visa bulletin categories.

Charles Oppenheim is the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division within Department of State (DOS).

Please see the important details below as well as notes from another meeting:

EB2 India: This category advanced less than expected in September visa bulletin due to higher demand in EB5, EB1 and EB2 category. Hence the amount of spillovers to EB2 India was less. In addition, demand in EB2 India category has also increased due to (1) new filings and (2)  upgrades from EB3 India to EB2 India category.


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Monday, August 25, 2014

USCIS US Citizen I-129F, I-130 & I-485 Processing Statistics As Of May 2014


Please see below latest US Citizen Beneficiary Statistics released by USCIS:

USCIS I-130 - Immediate Relative Category Processing Statistics:


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 2,950 26,741 276,917
Customer action waiting 6,700 6,003 22,782
Completed 5,011 6,106 52,950
New receipts 803 4,393 46,352

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


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 2,434 799 16,237
Customer action waiting 2,137 98 2,672
Completed 1,948 83 3,062
New receipts 1,798 83 4,038

USCIS I-485 Processing Statistics: 


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Friday, August 22, 2014

USCIS FB I-485 & I-130 Processing Statistics As Of May 2014

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

USCIS I-130 - Preference Category Processing Statistics


 CSC VSC NSC National
All Other Pending 134 8,586 952 10,657
Pending but adjudication deferred 360,276 134,013 3,943 502,358
Customer action waiting 14,542 3,178 276 18,084
Completed 17,039 2,216 966 20,930
New receipts 17,097 4,319 652 22,208

Volume in Texas Service Center (TSC) is currently low.

CSC = California Service Center
VSC = Vermont Service Center
NSC = Nebraska Service Center
 
USCIS FB I-485 Processing Statistics


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