Wednesday, December 30, 2015

USCIS Offers Civics Practice Test in Spanish

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched an online Spanish-language civics practice test today, joining the English version released earlier this year.

The questions are presented in English with Spanish subtitles and focus on basic U.S. government and history topics.

The goal is to help Spanish-speaking lawful permanent residents studying for the naturalization test with retaining the information and gaining a firmer grasp of English.

The civics test is normally conducted in English; however, certain applicants may be eligible to take the civics test in the language of their choice due to age and time as a permanent resident, a disability, or other exceptions and accommodations.

The practice tests were developed as part of the Task Force on New Americans initiatives and are available at my.uscis.gov, along with other resources to help navigate the immigration process.


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Monday, December 28, 2015

Multiple Processing Statistics

USCIS I-485 Processing Statistics for fourth quarter of FY 2015:

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/Immigration%20Forms%20Data/Adjustment%20of%20Status/I485_performancedata_fy2015_qtr4.pdf


USCIS I-130 Processing Statistics for fourth quarter of FY 2015:

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/Immigration%20Forms%20Data/Family-Based/I130_performancedata_fy2015_qtr4.pdf


 USCIS L-1 Processing Statistics in FY 2015:

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/Immigration%20Forms%20Data/Employment-based/I129-l1b_performancedata_fy2015_qtr4.pdf



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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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


USCIS reminds all approved EB-5 regional centers with a designation letter dated on or before Sept. 30, 2015, that they must file Form I-924A, Supplement to Form I-924, for fiscal year 2015 no later than Dec. 29, 2015.

Regional centers are required to submit Form I-924A every year to demonstrate continued eligibility for the regional center designation. See 8 CFR 204.6(m)(6).
Regional centers may be terminated for:
  • Failure to provide USCIS with required information (which includes failing to file the required annual Form I-924A).
  • Failure to promote economic growth.


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Monday, December 21, 2015

Transferring Forms I-600 Filed on Behalf of Children from the Republic of Korea from National Benefits Center to USCIS Seoul Field Office

Since Oct. 1, 2015, the USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC) no longer issues final approval of Forms I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, filed on behalf of children from the Republic of Korea (ROK).   Instead, NBC will transfer cases that appear to be approvable to the USCIS Field Office in Seoul (USCIS Seoul). This internal change will not impact the processing of these cases.

How You Will Be Affected

Petitioners may continue to file Form I-600 petitions in the United States with the USCIS lockbox for processing by the NBC. Once we receive your Form I-600, the NBC will review it to ensure that it is complete and contains all required documentation, including evidence of legal custody (or guardianship) and compliance with the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012. If necessary, the NBC will issue a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny, and will issue a Denial notice if you fail to establish that the child qualifies for classification as an orphan.

After the NBC completes its review and processing, you will receive a Notice of Transfer letter from the NBC notifying you that the case has been sent to USCIS Seoul. This letter will explain that after you have taken the necessary steps to adopt the child in ROK, you will need to submit the following to USCIS Seoul to continue processing:

  • A legible, certified copy of the Adoption Decree and Certificate of Irrevocable Judgment; and
  • Evidence the single parent, or if married at least one parent, saw the child before or during the adoption proceedings or visa processing in order to obtain IR-3 visa classification for the child.


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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

USCIS Announces Addition of 16 Countries Eligible to Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs


USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State, have added Andorra, Belgium, Brunei, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, Singapore, Taiwan**, and Timor-Leste 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 eligible countries published on Nov. 18, 2015 in the Federal Register. DHS reserves the right to add countries to the eligible countries list at any time, and to remove any country at any time DHS determines that a country fails to meet the requirements for continued designation.

Secretary of Homeland Security Johnson and Secretary of State Kerry have agreed that Moldova will no longer be designated as an eligible country to participate in the H-2B program because Moldova is not meeting the standards in the regulation for the H-2B program participation. Nationals of Moldova may still participate in the H-2A program because Moldova continues to meet the standards in the regulation for H-2A program participation.

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. Typically, 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, however, 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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Monday, December 14, 2015

USCIS Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to Form I-9


USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register on Nov. 24, 2015, to inform the public of proposed changes to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The public may provide comments on the proposed changes for 60 days, until Jan. 25, 2016.

Many of the proposed changes to Form I-9 are intended to help  reduce technical errors and help customers complete the form on their computer after they have downloaded it from uscis.gov. For instance, the form:
  • Checks certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly;
  • Provides additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators;
  • Includes drop-down lists and calendars;
  • Provides instructions on the screen that users can access to complete each field;
  • Includes buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over;
  • Provides a dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form; and
  • Will generate a quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, once the form is printed and can be used to streamline audit processes.
Other proposed changes include:
  • Requiring employees to provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used;
  • Streamlining the certification in Section 1 for certain foreign nationals; and
  • Separating the instructions from the form to bring the form in line with USCIS’ practices.



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Monday, December 7, 2015

January 2016 Visa Bulletin

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

January 2016 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 15MAY08 15MAY08  15MAY08 22DEC94 01JUN03
F2A 01AUG14 01AUG14 01AUG14 01JUN14 01AUG14
F2B 01APR09 01APR09 01APR09 08SEP95  01JAN05
F3 01AUG04 01AUG04 01AUG04 01AUG94 01NOV93
F4 22APR03 22APR03 22APR03 01APR97 22JUL92

Employment Based:


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Thursday, December 3, 2015

AAO Processing Times

From USCIS: The office that issued the unfavorable decision will first conduct an “initial field review” of the appeal. If that office does not take favorable action on the appeal, it will forward the appeal to the AAO and send the appellant a Notice of Transfer to the AAO. The initial field review should be completed within 45 days.

The appellate review should be completed within six months or less from the time when we receive the appeal after initial field review. The AAO is unable to provide case status information on appeals awaiting the initial field review. Appellants may contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center line at (800) 375-5283 (the TTY number is (800) 767-1833) to inquire about a case if, within 75 days of filing an appeal, USCIS has not sent any of the following:
  • An approval notice;
  • A request for evidence;
  • A Notice of Transfer to the AAO; or
  • Any other correspondence or action from the field office.
This chart shows the average amount of time it takes to receive a decision in a particular type of case after the case file is received by the AAO. Processing times are directly related to the volume of cases received. The appellate review should be completed within six months or less from the time when we receive the appeal.


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