Saturday, May 31, 2014

USCIS Issues New Policy on Form I-693

Starting June 1, 2014, USCIS will limit the validity period for all Forms I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to one year from the date of submission to USCIS.

Applicants must also submit Form I-693 to USCIS within one year of the immigration medical examination. USCIS will also provide additional ways to submit Form I-693.

As outlined in policy alert PA-2014-005, this updated policy applies to any Form I-693 supporting a benefit application that USCIS adjudicates on or after June 1, 2014.


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DOS Alert: Availability of Visa Numbers for EB-3 China

DOS has confirmed that as of 5/9/14 it stopped authorizing visa numbers for EB-3 China cases that will be impacted by the June 2014 retrogression. 

Cases in which a visa number has been requested by USCIS but not authorized by DOS will be placed in a “pending” file until the priority date is current.


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Monday, May 26, 2014

H.R. 2377 - The ENLIST Act

From AILA: On 5/20/2014 the House Rules committee considered which amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would be ruled in order. Ultimately, the ENLIST Act was not included as an amendment that was in order for NDAA and therefore it will not receive an up/down vote on the floor of the House.

Additionally, Rep. Denham signaled that he would want the administration to act on this issue if Congress fails to do so: "I think the Department of Defense has the ability to do this today. And if the military takes the position that they want the best and brightest, and these men and women meet that criteria, then I think it's something the Department of Defense is willing and able to do."

House Speaker John Boehner also said that "there have been discussions" about allowing a standalone vote on the ENLIST Act in the House of Representatives, rather than as an amendment to NDAA.


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Friday, May 23, 2014

USCIS US Citizen I-129F, I-130 & I-485 Processing Statistics As Of 03/31/14


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 6,197 28,773 284,469
Customer action waiting 13,356 3,213 28,668
Completed 17,263 3,730 72,177
New receipts : 158 4,945 51,120

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


CSC VSC National
All Other Pending 4,037 757 14,700
Customer action waiting 1,127 141 1,730
Completed 1,400 337 3,068
New receipts 2,010 120 4,820

USCIS I-485 Processing Statistics: 


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

USCIS FB I-485 & I-130 Processing Statistics As Of 03/31/14

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 2,527 11,350 4 14,815
Pending but adjudication deferred 359,264 126,498 4,397 495,200
Customer action waiting 11,276 4,163 1,321 16,884
Completed 12,043 3,454 1,600 18,098
New receipts 18,525 5,222 719 24,633

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, May 19, 2014

USCIS EB I-140 and I-485 Processing Statistics As Of 03/31/14


USCIS EB I-140 Processing Statistics 


 TSC NSC National
Pending 12,448 8,776 21,276
Customer Action Wait 806 2,513 3,319
Completed 3,672 1,622 5,298
New Receipt 3,790 2,605 6,395

The volume of cases in nearly all categories above increased at both NSC and TSC in the last one month.

USCIS EB I-485 Processing Statistics


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Friday, May 16, 2014

EAD For H4 Visa Holders (Update)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the publication of two proposed rules, including a rule to extend employment authorization to spouses of certain H-1B workers, and a proposal to enhance opportunities for certain groups of highly-skilled workers by removing obstacles to their remaining in the United States.

Proposed Rule to Extend Employment Authorization to Spouses of Certain H-1B Workers

This proposed rule will amend existing regulations to allow H-4 dependent spouses of certain principal H-1B workers to request employment authorization.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as science, engineering or computer programming.  Frequently, employers will petition for an immigrant visa for an H-1B worker, which enables individuals to become lawful permanent residents.  Lawful permanent residents are generally eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens after five years.

Under existing regulations, DHS does not extend employment authorization to dependents (also known as H-4 nonimmigrants) of H-1B nonimmigrant workers. The change proposed by DHS, would allow H-4 dependent spouses of certain H-1B nonimmigrant workers to request employment authorization, as long as the H-1B worker has already started the process of seeking lawful permanent residence through employment.


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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

July 2014 Visa Bulletin Predictions

For June 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/05/june-2014-visa-bulletin.html

Please see July 2014 Visa Bulletin Predictions below (for both Family Based and Employment Based):

Quick Summary:

Please Note: These numbers do not include the 10,000 additional unused visas from FB category to EB category. It should be added in the next visa bulletin.

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 15APR07 15APR07 15APR07 01JAN94 15SEP02
F2A 01MAY12 01MAY12 01MAY12 15MAR11 01MAY12
F2B 22MAY07 22MAY07 22MAY07 22SEP93 08AUG03
F3 08NOV03 08NOV03 08NOV03 08AUG93 22MAR93
F4 22DEC01 22DEC01 22DEC01 15DEC96 01DEC90

Employment Based:


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Monday, May 12, 2014

June 2014 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For June 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/05/june-2014-visa-bulletin.html

Please see below analysis of June 2014 Visa Bulletin:

EB1: All EB1 categories are current and should continue to remain current for fiscal year. Demand continues to be around 1000-1200 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 per month. This is good news for EB2 India and China, as they could get a higher spillover in FY 2014.

EB2 China: EB2 China also moved forward by 5 weeks. It should continue to move forward around 3 to 5 weeks per month. It is finally ahead of EB3 China which is now behind by around 2 years.

EB2 India: There was no change in EB2 India movement. As we had mentioned earlier, there was huge retrogression in EB2 India due to large amount of porting from EB3 India to EB2 India. We have added a blog post exclusive to EB2 India movement in fiscal year 2014. Also please see this blog post for updates in EB2 (India, ROW and China) category.


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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

June 2014 Visa Bulletin

For May 2014 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/04/may-2014-visa-bulletin.html

For June 2014 Demand Data, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2014/05/june-2014-demand-data.html

June 2014 Visa Bulletin has been released (valid from June 1 to June 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 22MAR07 22MAR07  22MAR07 15DEC93 01JUN02
F2A 01MAY12 01MAY12 01MAY12 15MAR11 01MAY12
F2B 01APR07 01APR07 01APR07 01AUG93  15JUL03
F3 01OCT03 01OCT03 01OCT03 22JUL93 08MAR93
F4 15DEC01 15DEC01 15DEC01 08DEC96 15NOV90

Employment Based:


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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

June 2014 Demand Data

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

As most of you know, Department of State has not released demand data since April 2014. They have also removed the demand data link from their website. This could be in error or they may not be planning to release demand data for next few months. Till then, please see March 2014 Demand Data below:

As most of you know, they also did not release demand data from December 2013 to February 2014.




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Monday, May 5, 2014

Arrival/Departure History Now Available on I-94 Webpage

Customs and Border Protection launched a new webpage on May 1 that offers nonimmigrant U.S. visitors access to their I-94 arrival/departure record and their arrival/departure history.

The new CBP webpage allows nonimmigrant travelers to access arrival/departure records going back five years from the request date.

This electronic travel-history function means that travelers may no longer need to file Freedom of Information Act requests to receive their arrival/departure history, greatly speeding their process.

Travelers will have electronic access to the date and port of entry of their arrivals and departures.
When travelers visit the I-94 webpage they can retrieve their I-94 arrival/departure record number and five-year travel history by entering the required name, date of birth, and passport information.

Clicking on “Get Most Recent I-94” will return the I-94 number, most recent date of entry, class of admission and admit-until date.

The information does not reflect changes of status, extension of stay or adjustments of status granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Travelers then have the option to print the record.

Clicking on “Get Travel History” will return their five-year travel history based on their I-94 records, which they also can print.

Travelers can also cancel pending Freedom of Information Act requests for travel history information—after they have received the information from the new website—by adding their FOIA Request Number and clicking on “Request FOIA Cancellation” button.

CBP began the online version of Form I-94 in April 2013. The positive public response to that streamlining prompted the agency to offer travel histories online as well.

If a traveler has lost a paper form I-94 that was issued prior to the online system and the record is not available online, the traveler can file a Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Non-Immigrant Arrival-Departure Document, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Visa Bulletin 2014 Prediction from Charles Oppenheim

On Monday April 21, 2014 Mr. Charlie Oppenheim (CO), Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State spoke to AILA members about latest visa demand and his predictions for the upcoming visa bulletin movement.

General: The National Visa Center (NVC) is now sending out requests for payments 8 to 12 months in advance of the priority date becoming current. The NVC had previously been contacting applicants 12 to 18 months in advance. Applicants processing abroad appear to be waiting until their priority date is current, or almost current, to pay the fees.

This could be to avoid the long delay where the visa fees are held without a visa being issued. Once payment is received, it helps the Visa Office confirm the actual demand overseas.

The Visa Office expects to be able to make predictions regarding F2A Rest of World (ROW), EB3 ROW and EB3 China in May (see below) which could be realized in the July Visa Bulletin, or perhaps sooner.

F2A All Countries:
  • Demand is starting to catch up. F2A Mexico will retrogress soon and more than the ROW reported dates. It appears that the F2A ROW category will also retrogress, perhaps back to 2012 in the June or July Visa Bulletin.
  • Why the retrogression? USCIS seems to be processing more approvals. It is possible that some F2A beneficiaries were holding off on filing for green cards in anticipation of comprehensive immigration reform, and demand is now “catching up” to the posted dates.
  • 85% to 95% of these cases are processed at U.S. consulates.
  • The CO was not able to confirm whether I-601 processing by USCIS had a positive or negative impact on the demand for visa numbers. The NVC may have that data.
F2B All Countries:
  • Demand is down right now, so movement is expected to continue to advance.
  • It is likely the same scenario will occur in the next fiscal year that occurred with WW FB-2A. Specifically, that demand will increase as the category is advanced and then there will be high demand, which will reduce forward movement.


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