Friday, May 29, 2015

Revised Form I-765 Now Available

From USCIS: USCIS recently published the revised Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with a 02/13/15, edition date. You can download the revised form and details about who may file and where to file Form I-765 from the USCIS forms page.

The revised Form I-765 contains the eligibility category (c)(26) for certain H-4 dependent spouses to apply for employment authorization.

If you are filing under the new H-4 rule, please provide the receipt number of your H-1B principal spouse’s most recent Form I-797 Notice of Approval for Form I-129.

Please note that you may not apply for employment authorization under the new H-4 rule until May 26, 2015.

While USCIS will continue to accept versions of the form with edition date 05/27/08 or later, H-4 applicants should use the 02/13/15 version of the form to prevent delays or the need for USCIS to issue you a request for evidence.


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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 ROW: Demand for EB2 ROW has increased dramatically in the last few months. For example: Demand increased by 80% between February and March 2015 and more than 100% between February and April 2015. At this time, EB2 ROW category is estimated to remain current for this fiscal year (since it can use the unused visa numbers from EB4, EB5 and EB1 categories).

EB2 India: As mentioned in the earlier blog post, DOS has started moving dates forward in EB2 India starting from February 2015 Visa Bulletin.

Earlier DOS had expected to move dates forward to around July 2009 for FY 2015. This is similar to dates reached by EB2 India for FY 2014. However due to sudden increase in demand in EB2 ROW, there would be a smaller number of unused visa left for EB2 India category; which could impact forward date movement for FY 2015.

In addition, porting continues from EB3 India to EB2 India category; which could further reduce  supply for EB2 India.


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Monday, May 25, 2015

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

From USCIS: USCIS announced that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. 

USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, the time frame for returning these petitions is uncertain. 


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Friday, May 22, 2015

USCIS Partners with City of Atlanta to Support Citizenship Education and Awareness

From USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director León Rodríguez and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed signed a letter of agreement today to begin a partnership to strengthen citizenship education and awareness efforts. The agreement will remain in effect until December 2017.

“Our partnership with Atlanta will strengthen local efforts to help aspiring citizens find the information and resources needed to succeed during the naturalization process,” said Rodríguez. “USCIS is proud to join forces with Mayor Reed to expand citizenship education and awareness efforts and to support permanent residents as they consider the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.”

During today’s signing at City Hall, Rodríguez and Reed highlighted the need to incorporate all sectors of society in a determined effort to support aspiring citizens and create more welcoming communities. They discussed plans to establish “Citizenship Corners” at Atlanta-Fulton Public Library branches to make official USCIS citizenship preparation materials more easily accessible to newcomers. USCIS also plans to train librarians and other city officials about the naturalization process and the free preparation resources available to immigrant library patrons.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

TPS Registration Deadline for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

From USCIS: Wednesday, May 20, 2015, is the deadline for eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) to register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The TPS designation runs from Nov. 21, 2014, through May 21, 2016.

Eligibility

To be eligible for TPS, you must demonstrate that you meet all eligibility criteria, including that you have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014, and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. You must also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS.

Additionally, you may apply for TPS even if you are a Liberian national currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum. If you are a DED-covered Liberian national and your have an EAD or have applied for an EAD, you do not need to apply for another EAD related to this TPS designation.


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Monday, May 18, 2015

Immigration Relief Measures for Nepali Nationals

From USCIS: USCIS has several immigration relief measures that may be available to Nepali nationals who are affected by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015.

Measures that may be available to eligible Nepali nationals upon request include:
  • Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even if the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
  • A grant of re-parole;
  • Expedited processing of advance parole requests;
  • Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate;

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Friday, May 15, 2015

July 2015 Visa Bulletin Predictions

For June 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2015/05/june-2015-visa-bulletin.html

Please see July 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 15SEP07 15SEP07 15SEP07 22NOV94 22MAR00
F2A 01NOV13 01NOV13 01NOV13 08SEP13 01NOV13
F2B 15OCT08 15OCT08 15OCT08 08MAY95 15MAY04
F3 08MAR04 08MAR04 08MAR04 01MAY94 22AUG93
F4 08OCT02 08OCT02 08OCT02 08MAR97 01DEC91

Employment Based:


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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

June 2015 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For June 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2015/05/june-2015-visa-bulletin.html

Please see below analysis of June 2015 Visa Bulletin:

EB1: All EB1 categories are current and should continue to remain current for fiscal year. Demand continues to be around 1650 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 700 per month. 

EB2 China: EB2 China moved forward by 12 months in this visa bulletin. It is likely to continue to move forward around at a fast pace in the next few months.

EB2 India: EB2 India category also got a big jump in this visa bulletin. It moved forward by 5.5  months in this visa bulletin. Per the latest pending inventory, there around 1,000 I-485 pending applications before that date. In addition, there are applicants in EB2 who have not yet filed their application as well as applicants who will be porting from EB3 India to EB2 India.


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

June 2015 Visa Bulletin

For May 2015 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2015/04/may-2015-visa-bulletin.html

June 2015 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 01SEP07 01SEP07  01SEP07 15NOV94 01MAR00
F2A 01OCT13 01OCT13 01OCT13 08AUG13 01OCT13
F2B 15SEP08 15SEP08 15SEP08 08APR95  01MAY04
F3 22FEB04 22FEB04 22FEB04 15APR94 15AUG93
F4 08SEP02 08SEP02 08SEP02 01MAR97 08NOV91

Employment Based:


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Monday, May 4, 2015

Immigration Relief Measures For Yemeni Nationals

From USCIS: USCIS is closely monitoring conditions in Yemen.  Due to the current unstable security situation, USCIS seeks to highlight several available immigration relief measures that may assist eligible Yemeni nationals.

Immigration relief measures that may be available upon request include:
  • Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even if the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
  • Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;
  • Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and
  • Consideration for waiver of fees associated with USCIS benefit applications, based on an inability to pay.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

New Changes Affecting H1, H4, F1 and M1 visa holders

USCIS/DOS issues new guidelines which may affect H1, F1 and L1 Visa holders or their spouses:

1. H1B Visa Holder: Anytime H1B employee relocates to a new location and the standard DOL rule requires that company to file a new LCA, then the company should file this petition before relocating the employee to its new location. Previously the employee can move in different location and employer had an option to amend H1B application with new address.

So people who are on H1B visa and travel to different locations (which may require them to file LCA), may now have to wait for their employer to file the amended application before they can start working at new location.

It is not clear whether this is retroactive or if this ruling applies to new H1B amendments only. However this ruling can severely affect staffing agencies with lots of H1B employees.


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