Monday, August 14, 2017

USCIS Investigation Results in Guilty Plea from Former Airline Staffing Executive

From USCIS News:

LOS ANGELES—Thanks to the investigative efforts of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Eleno Quinteros Jr., the former vice president of operations for two airline mechanicstaffing companies, plead guilty yesterday to charges of making false statements in support of lawful permanent resident petitions for dozens of the companies’ mechanics.

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has zero tolerance for those who try to fraudulently misuse our country’s lawful immigration system,” said Susan Curda, director of the USCIS Los Angeles District. “We are proud of our role in uncovering this scheme and bringing the perpetrator to justice.”

Quinteros admitted he falsely certified that he had received no payments, when in fact he had demanded and collected hundreds of thousands of dollars


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Visa Bulletin October 2017 Predictions

For the official September 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-september-2017.aspx

Please see October 2017 Visa Bulletin Predictions below (for both Family Based and Employment Based):

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F122MAY1022MAY1022MAY1001MAR9615FEB07
F2A01NOV1501NOV1501NOV1522OCT1501NOV15
F2B22NOV1022NOV1022NOV1022JUL9601FEB07
F301AUG0501AUG0501AUG0522APR9508MAR95
F422JAN0222JAN0201FEB0201OCT9708JUL94
"Date for Filing Application" is the date when you can submit I-485/NVC applications to USCIS/DOS. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F108SEP1108SEP1108SEP1101MAY9601NOV07
F2A22APR1622APR1622APR1622APR1622APR16
F2B15SEP1115SEP1115SEP1122AUG9601SEP07
F308DEC0508DEC0508DEC0508MAY9522MAR95
F401DEC0401DEC0415JUL0401FEB9801APR95


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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Visa Bulletin September 2017

For August 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-august-2017.aspx

September 2017 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from September 1 to September 30 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 01MAY10 01MAY10 01MAY10 01FEB96 01JAN07
F2A 01OCT15 01OCT15 01OCT15 22SEP15 01OCT15
F2B 01NOV10 01NOV10 01NOV10  01JUL96 01JAN07
F3 08JUL05 08JUL05 08JUL05 08APR95  15FEB95
F4 01JAN02 01JAN02 01JAN02 15SEP97 01JUN94
"Date for Filing Application" is the date when you can submit I-485/NVC applications to USCIS/DOS. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 22JUL11 22JUL11 22JUL11 01APR96 08SEP07
F2A 08APR16 08APR16 08APR16  08APR16  08APR16
F2B 01SEP11 01SEP11 01SEP11 08AUG96 22JUL07
F3 01DEC05 01DEC05 01DEC05 01MAY95 01MAR95
F4 15NOV04 15NOV04 22JUN04 08JAN98 08FEB95


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Customer Service Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Sunday, August 6, 2017, from 5 am to 6 pm (Eastern).

During this time, our online tools may be unavailable, including:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address Online
  • Check Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • FOIA Status Check
  • Office Locator
  • Forms by Mail

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Stamford Resident Admits to Operating Extensive Immigration Fraud Scheme

From USCIS News:

USCIS Assists in Investigation

HARTFORD, Conn.— Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that David Nikolashvili, 52, a citizen of the Republic of Georgia residing in Stamford, pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to engaging in an immigration fraud scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Nikolashvili operated an immigration fraud scheme through which he obtained false immigration status from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for approximately 50 to 60 citizens of European countries. The foreign nationals paid Nikolashvili between $12,000 and $16,000 to arrange sham marriages with U.S. citizens in order to obtain immigration benefits. The U.S. citizens were paid to enter into the sham marriages.

Nikolashvili pleaded


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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

USCIS Announces Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Opportunities

From USCIS News:

Grants will support citizenship preparation services for lawful permanent residents

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now accepting applications for two funding opportunities under the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program. These are competitive grant opportunities for organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents for naturalization and promote civic assimilation and assimilation through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics. The two programs will provide up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. Applications are due by Aug. 6.

USCIS wants to expand availability of high-quality citizenship preparation services throughout the country with these two opportunities:

  • C

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Petitions

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective immediately. The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap” of 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.

Premium processing will resume for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is:

* An institution of higher education;

* A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or

* A nonprofit research or governmental research organization.

Premium processing will also resume for petitions that may also be exempt if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organ


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Monday, July 24, 2017

TPS Re-registration Deadline for Haiti is July 24

From USCIS Alerts:

The deadline for eligible nationals of Haiti (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) to re-register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is Monday, July 24, 2017. The limited 6-month extension of the TPS designation for Haiti runs from July 23, 2017, through Jan. 22, 2018.

During this 6-month extension, Haiti TPS beneficiaries with no other immigration status are encouraged to prepare for their return to Haiti in the event Haiti’s designation is not extended again. This preparation includes TPS beneficiaries ensuring they have current, valid Haitian nationality documentation issued by the Government of Haiti (such as a passport) that will allow them to return to Haiti. Beneficiaries are encouraged to contact a Haitian consul


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Friday, July 21, 2017

Customer Service Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Thursday, July 20, 2017, from 9 p.m. to midnight (Eastern).

During this time, our online tools may be unavailable, including:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address Online
  • Check Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • FOIA Status Check
  • Office Locator
  • Forms by Mail

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

USCIS Returns Unselected Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS announced on July 19, that it has returned all fiscal year 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in our computer-generated random selection process.  USCIS previously announced on May 3, that it completed data entry of all selected cap-subject petitions. 


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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

DHS Provides Relief to American Businesses in Danger of Suffering Irreparable Harm

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON — U.S. businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary nonagricultural workers will be able to hire up to 15,000 additional temporary nonagricultural workers under the H-2B program under a final rule that the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor submitted to the Federal Register today. To qualify for the additional visas, petitioners must attest, under penalty of perjury, that their business is likely to suffer irreparable harm if it cannot employ H-2B nonimmigrant workers during fiscal year (FY) 2017.

After consulting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly determined there are not enough qualified and willing U.S. workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural labor to satisfy the needs of some American b


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Revised Form I-9 Now Available

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, on July 17. Instructions for how to download Form I-9 are available on the Form I-9 page. Employers can use this revised version or continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 N through Sept. 17. On Sept. 18, employers must use the revised form with a revision date of 07/17/17 N. Employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.

Revisions to the Form I-9 instructions:

  • We changed the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

From USCIS News:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017.

These redesigns use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use.

The new card designs demonstrate USCIS’ commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. They are also part of an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enhance document security and deter counterfeiting and fraud.

Th


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Friday, July 14, 2017

Visa Bulletin September 2017 Predictions

For the official August 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-august-2017.aspx

Please see September 2017 Visa Bulletin Predictions below (for both Family Based and Employment Based):

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F108FEB1108FEB1108FEB1101MAR9601DEC06
F2A15OCT1515OCT1515OCT1501OCT1515OCT15
F2B22NOV1022NOV1022NOV1022JUL9615JAN07
F301AUG0501AUG0501AUG0522APR9515FEB95
F401JUN0415JUN0415DEC0301OCT9715MAY94
"Date for Filing Application" is the date when you can submit I-485/NVC applications to USCIS/DOS. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F108SEP1108SEP1108SEP1101MAY9601NOV07
F2A22APR1622APR1622APR1622APR1622APR16
F2B15SEP1115SEP1115SEP1122AUG9601SEP07
F308DEC0508DEC0508DEC0508MAY9522FEB95
F401DEC0401DEC0415JUL0401FEB9801APR95


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USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap. 

The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  However, please keep in mind USCIS suspended premium processing April 3 for up to six months for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions. Petitions filed on behalf of current


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Thursday, July 13, 2017

USCIS Announces Citizenship and Integration Grant Opportunities

From USCIS News:

Grants will support citizenship preparation services for lawful permanent residents

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now accepting applications for two funding opportunities under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. These are competitive grant opportunities for organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents for naturalization and promote civic integration and assimilation through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics. The two programs will provide up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. Applications are due by July 30.

USCIS wants to expand availability of high-quality citizenship preparation services throughout the country with these two opportunities:

  • Ci

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Visa Bulletin August 2017 Special Notes

For the official August 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-august-2017.aspx

Apart from posting current dates, State Department has also added special notes to Visa Bulletin mentioned above. Please see full details below:

D.  OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED SECOND
     PREFERENCE CATEGORY

WORLDWIDE, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, AND PHILIPPINES Employment-based Second (E2) Preference category:  Readers were advised in item D of the May Visa Bulletin number 6, that it was likely that a date would be imposed at some point. High demand for numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for August. This action will allow number use to be held within the Worldwide E2 annual limit. 


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Visa Bulletin August 2017

For July 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-july-2017.aspx

August 2017 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from August 1 to August 31 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 22DEC10 22DEC10 22DEC10 01FEB96 15OCT06
F2A 22SEP15 22SEP15 22SEP15  01SEP15 22SEP15
F2B 01NOV10 01NOV10 01NOV10  01JUL96 08DEC06
F3 08JUL05 08JUL05 08JUL05 08APR95  22JAN95
F4 08MAY04 08MAY04 22SEP03 15SEP97 08APR94
"Date for Filing Application" is the date when you can submit I-485/NVC applications to USCIS/DOS. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 22JUL11 22JUL11 22JUL11 01APR96 08SEP07
F2A 08APR16 08APR16 08APR16  08APR16  08APR16
F2B 01SEP11 01SEP11 01SEP11 08AUG96 22JUL07
F3 01DEC05 01DEC05 01DEC05 01MAY95 01FEB95
F4 15NOV04 15NOV04 22JUN04 08JAN98 08FEB95


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Monday, July 3, 2017

USCIS to Naturalize 15,000 New Citizens During Independence Day Holiday

From USCIS News:

 

WASHINGTON— U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will celebrate the 241st  anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and our nation’s birthday, by welcoming nearly 15,000 new U.S. citizens during more than 65 Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies across the country this year.

“July Fourth marks the birth of our country, and for 15,000 people, it marks the birth of a new chapter as American citizens,” USCIS Acting Director James McCament said. “These new members of our community will add to the diverse fabric of our nation and will now be able to enjoy the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.”

USCIS’ Independence Day activities this year will feature a naturalization ceremony at the


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Friday, June 30, 2017

Celebrating Independence Day with Naturalization Ceremonies

From USCIS News:

On July 4, we celebrate our nation’s 241st birthday and the day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

USCIS marks Independence Day with naturalization ceremonies across the country. This year, we will welcome nearly 15,000 new citizens during more than 65 Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies across the country. A list of highlighted ceremonies is below.

We invite you to share your experiences and photos from naturalization ceremonies on social media, using the hashtags #newUScitizen and #July4th. You can follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/<a target='_


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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

USCIS Introduces Redesigned Form for Green Card Applicants

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today published a revised Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485). The new Form I-485 and instructions have been substantially updated to reduce complexity after collecting comments from the public and stakeholders.

The revised version gives applicants better information to accurately complete Form I-485, including clear navigation to the parts of the form and instructions that are relevant to the applicants’ specific situations. These updates should increase the efficiency of the adjudication process by reducing errors and requests for evidence.

Applicants living in the United States file Form I-485 to adjust their immigration status and become lawful permanent residents, which allows one to live and work permanent


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Monday, June 26, 2017

USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Physicians under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program

From USCIS News:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that starting Monday, June 26, the agency will resume premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers. The Conrad 30 program allows certain medical doctors to stay in the United States on a temporary visa after completing their medical training to work in rural and urban areas that have shortage of physicians.

“This program improves health care access for Americans living in underserved areas, and we are pleased to resume premium processing for these petition


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Monday, June 19, 2017

Estati Pwoteksyon Tanporè pou Ayiti a Pwolonje pou sis mwa

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON— Sekretè Sekirite Enteryè John F. Kelly pwolonje Estati Pwoteksyon Tanporè (TPS) pou resòtisan ayisyen ki kalifye (ak moun ki pa gen nasyonalite ki kalifye epi dènye kote yo te abitye viv se Ayiti) jiska 22 janvye 2018. Apre li te konsilte avèk ajans konpetan gouvènman Etazini an epi analize kondisyon nan peyi a, Sekretè Kelly te detèmine ke sitiyasyon an te merite yon pwolongasyon limite, pou sis mwa. Malgre Ayiti te fè gwo pwogrè pou l rekipere apre tranbleman tè janvye 2010 la ki te motive deziyasyon sa a, kondisyon an Ayiti ki te sipòte deziyasyon an toujou egziste kounye a.

Moun ki benefisye deziyasyon TPS Ayiti kounye a yo ki ta vle pwolonje TPS yo dwe reenskri anvan 24 jiyè 2017. Moun ki benefisye TP


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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Visa Bulletin August 2017 Predictions

For the official July 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-july-2017.aspx

Please see August 2017 Visa Bulletin Predictions below (for both Family Based and Employment Based):

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F115FEB1115FEB1115FEB1108FEB9601NOV06
F2A01OCT1501OCT1501OCT1522SEP1501OCT15
F2B01DEC1001DEC1001DEC1022JUN9608DEC06
F301AUG0501AUG0501AUG0501APR9508JAN95
F401JUN0415JUN0415DEC0308AUG9722MAR94
"Date for Filing Application" is the date when you can submit I-485/NVC applications to USCIS/DOS. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F115SEP1115SEP1115SEP1101MAY9608NOV07
F2A22APR1622APR1622APR1622APR1622APR16
F2B22SEP1122SEP1122SEP1115AUG9608SEP07
F308DEC0508DEC0508DEC0508MAY9522FEB95
F401DEC0401DEC0415JUL0401FEB9808APR95


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Friday, June 9, 2017

Visa Bulletin July 2017

For June 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-june-2017.aspx

July 2017 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from July 1 to July 31 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 22DEC10 22DEC10 22DEC10 15JAN96 15SEP06
F2A 08SEP15 08SEP15 08SEP15  22AUG15 08SEP15
F2B 01NOV10 01NOV10 01NOV10  01JUN96 01NOV06
F3 08JUL05 08JUL05 08JUL05 22MAR95  15DEC94
F4 08MAY04 08MAY04 22SEP03 01AUG97 15FEB94
"Date for Filing Application" is the date when you can submit I-485/NVC applications to USCIS/DOS. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 22JUL11 22JUL11 22JUL11 01APR96 08SEP07
F2A 08APR16 08APR16 08APR16  08APR16  08APR16
F2B 01SEP11 01SEP11 01SEP11 08AUG96 22JUL07
F3 01DEC05 01DEC05 01DEC05 01MAY95 01FEB95
F4 15NOV04 15NOV04 22JUN04 08JAN98 08FEB95


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Visa Bulletin July 2017 Special Notes

For the official July 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-july-2017.aspx

Apart from posting current dates, State Department has also added special notes to Visa Bulletin mentioned above. Please see full details below:

D.  OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE
     CATEGORIES

CHINA Employment-based Third (E3) preference category:  Readers were advised in item F of the June Visa Bulletin number 6, that it would be necessary to impose a date no later than August. The continued high level of demand for E3 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for July. This has been done in an attempt to hold number use within the China E3 annual limit. The China E3 date will return to October 1, 2014 for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.


INDIA Employment-based Fourth (E4) AND Certain Religious Workers (SR) preference categories:  As readers were advised in the June Visa Bulletin number 6, there has been extremely high demand in the E4 and SR categories.  Pursuant to


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Friday, June 2, 2017

Customer Service Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Sunday, June 4, 2017, from 5:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. (Eastern).

During this time, our online tools may be unavailable, including:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address Online
  • Check Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • FOIA Status Check
  • Office Locator
  • Forms by Mail

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Monday, May 29, 2017

USCIS Reaches CW-1 Cap for Fiscal Year 2018

From USCIS Alerts:

As of May 25, 2017, USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the maximum possible numerical limit (the “cap”) of workers who may be issued CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) visas or otherwise provided with CW-1 status for fiscal year (FY) 2018. Although the FY 2018 cap has not been set, it is required by statute to be less than the 12,998 workers set for FY 2017.

We will issue subsequent guidance when the FY 2018 cap is set and when we are able to announce the final receipt date. Because the final receipt date will depend on the FY 2018 cap, it is also possible that USCIS will not accept some petitions received on or before May 25, 2017.

What Happens After the Cap is Reached

We will reject CW-1 petitions we received on or af


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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Temporary Protected Status for Haiti Extended for Six Months

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON— Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Haiti (and eligible individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) through Jan. 22, 2018. After consulting with the appropriate U.S. government agencies and reviewing country conditions, Secretary Kelly has determined that a limited, six-month extension is warranted. Although Haiti has made significant progress in recovering from the January 2010 earthquake that prompted its designation, conditions in Haiti supporting its designation continue to be met at this time.

Current beneficiaries of Haiti’s TPS designation seeking to extend their TPS must re-register by July 24, 2017. TPS beneficiaries who re-register may request a new Employment Authorization Documen


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

USCIS Efforts in Investigating Large-Scale Immigration Fraud Leads to Sentencing

From USCIS News:

TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assisted in an investigation that led to U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell sentencing Rosa Cingari to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison and Domenico Cingari to 8 years and 1 month in federal prison for conspiracy, making false statements in immigration applications and petitions, and mail fraud. The Court also ordered the Cingaris to forfeit real property located at 130 West Park Street in Lakeland, which was used to facilitate the offenses. As part of their sentence, the Court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $740,880, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.

 A federal jury found Rosa and Domenico Cingari guilty on November 9, 2016. They were indicted on July 9, 2015.

According to evidence


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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Customer Service Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 9:00 p.m. – 11:59 p.m. (Eastern)

During this time, our online tools may be unavailable, including:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address Online
  • Check Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • FOIA Status Check
  • Office Locator
  • Forms by Mail

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Visa Bulletin July 2017 Predictions

For the official June 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-june-2017.aspx

Please see July 2017 Visa Bulletin Predictions below (for both Family Based and Employment Based):

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F115FEB1115FEB1115FEB1115SEP9501JUN06
F2A08SEP1508SEP1508SEP1515AUG1508SEP15
F2B22NOV1022NOV1022NOV1022APR9601NOV06
F315JUL0515JUL0515JUL0501MAR9501NOV94
F401JUN0415JUN0408DEC0322JUL9722DEC93
"Date for Filing Application" is the date when you can submit I-485/NVC applications to USCIS/DOS. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F115SEP1115SEP1115SEP1101MAY9608NOV07
F2A22APR1622APR1622APR1622APR1622APR16
F2B22SEP1122SEP1122SEP1115AUG9608SEP07
F308DEC0508DEC0508DEC0508MAY9522FEB95
F401DEC0401DEC0415JUL0401FEB9808APR95


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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Visa Bulletin June 2017

For May 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-may-2017.aspx

June 2017 Visa Bulletin has been released (valid from June 1 to June 30 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 22DEC10 22DEC10 22DEC10 01SEP95  22APR06
F2A 15AUG15 15AUG15 15AUG15 22JUL15 15AUG15
F2B 22OCT10 22OCT10 22OCT10 08APR96 22SEP06
F3 01JUL05 01JUL05 01JUL05 22FEB95 08OCT94
F4 08MAY04 08MAY04 15SEP03 15JUL97 22NOV93
"Date for Filing Application" is the date when you can submit I-485/NVC applications to USCIS/DOS. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 22JUL11 22JUL11 22JUL11 01APR96 08SEP07
F2A 08APR16 08APR16 08APR16  08APR16  08APR16
F2B 01SEP11 01SEP11 01SEP11 08AUG96 22JUL07
F3 01DEC05 01DEC05 01DEC05 01MAY95 01FEB95
F4 15NOV04 15NOV04 22JUN04 08JAN98 08FEB95


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Visa Bulletin June 2017 Special Notes

For the official June 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2017/05/visa-bulletin-june-2017.html

Apart from posting current dates, State Department has also added special notes to Visa Bulletin mentioned above. Please see full details below:

D.  OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF THE CHINA AND INDIA
     EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST (E1) PREFERENCE CATEGORIES

Readers were advised in item D of the May Visa Bulletin number 5, that it would be necessary to impose a date for these two countries in the near future. The continued high level of demand for E1 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for June. This has been done in an attempt to hold number use within the Worldwide E1 annual limit. The E1 date for these two countries will once again become CURRENT for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.

E.  EXTENSION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

An extension of both the Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR) and Employment Fifth Preference Pilot (I5 and R5) Categories was signed in


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Friday, May 5, 2017

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS announced on May 3, 2017, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2018 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, USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions. USCIS asks petitioners not to inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned.

Additionally, USCIS is transferring some Form I-129 H-1B cap subject petitions from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center to balance the distribution of cap cases. If your case is transferred, you will re


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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Customer Service Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 9 p.m. – midnight (Eastern)

During this time, our online tools may be unavailable, including:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address Online
  • Check Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • FOIA Status Check
  • Office Locator
  • Forms by Mail

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Friday, April 28, 2017

USCIS Will Implement New Interpreter Policy on May 1, 2017

From USCIS Alerts:

The policy memorandum “The Role and Use of Interpreters in Domestic Field Office Interviews” became USCIS policy on Jan. 17, 2017. However, to give USCIS customers time to become familiar with and adjust to the new policy requirements, we will not implement the policy until May 1, 2017. 

We remind customers that, beginning on May 1, 2017, they will need to comply with the interpreter requirements set out in the policy memorandum and submit Form G 1256, Declaration for Interpreted USCIS Interview, at their interview. In mid-May, we will hold a public engagement to gather feedback on the public’s experience with the new interpreter policy.

For additional information, please refer to the J


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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Scam Alert: DHS OIG Hotline Telephone Number Used in Scam to Obtain Personal Information

From USCIS Alerts:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a fraud alert on April 19, 2017, to warn the public about a scam using the DHS OIG hotline telephone number. Scammers have identified themselves as “U.S. Immigration” employees and have altered their caller ID to seem like the call is coming from the DHS OIG hotline (1-800-323-8603). They then demand that the individual provide or verify personally identifiable information, often by telling individuals that they are victims of identity theft.

Read the DHS OIG fraud alert (PDF) for more details.

If a Scammer Calls You

If you receive a call demanding personal information or payment, hang up immediately. If you


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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

USCIS Assists in Investigation Leading to Conviction of Imposter Attorney in Marriage Fraud Scheme

From USCIS News:

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assisted in an investigation that led to a federal jury finding Jason Shiao guilty in a marriage fraud scheme. The Santa Fe Springs man, who posed as an attorney as part of an elaborate immigration fraud scheme in which at least 87 foreign nationals – mostly Chinese citizens – paid tens of thousands of dollars to be “married” to United States citizens, was sentenced yesterday to two years in federal prison.

Shiao, also known as “Zheng Yi Xiao,” 67, who operated the Pasadena-based Jason (USA) International Law Corporation, was initially charged in this case in 2015. In January he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and marriage fraud.

As part of the scheme, Shiao falsely claimed to be an atto


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Certain Students Applying for English Language Study and 24-month STEM OPT Extension Programs Affected by the ACICS Loss of Accreditation

From USCIS Alerts:

On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that it no longer recognizes the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency. This determination immediately affects two immigration-related programs: 


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Friday, April 21, 2017

New Direct Filing Addresses for L, O, and P Nonimmigrant Petitions for Beneficiaries in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS has changed the direct filing addresses for where to file certain forms for beneficiaries who will be working or training in Florida, Georgia, or North Carolina. The changes are as follows: 


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Certain Students Applying for English Language Study and 24-month STEM OPT Extension Programs Affected by the ACICS Loss of Accreditation

From USCIS Alerts:

On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that it no longer recognizes the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency. This determination immediately affects two immigration-related programs: 


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Visa Bulletin June 2017 Predictions

For the official May 2017 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-may-2017.aspx

Please see June 2017 Visa Bulletin Predictions below (for both Family Based and Employment Based):

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F108FEB1108FEB1108FEB1122JUN9515MAR06
F2A08AUG1508AUG1508AUG1515JUL1508AUG15
F2B01NOV1001NOV1001NOV1015FEB9608SEP06
F301JUL0501JUL0501JUL0501FEB9515OCT94
F401JUN0401JUN0401OCT0308JUL9715NOV93
"Date for Filing Application" is the date when you can submit I-485/NVC applications to USCIS/DOS. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F115SEP1115SEP1115SEP1101MAY9608NOV07
F2A01MAY1601MAY1601MAY1601MAY1601MAY16
F2B22SEP1122SEP1122SEP1115AUG9601OCT07
F308DEC0508DEC0508DEC0508MAY9522FEB95
F401DEC0401DEC0415JUL0401FEB9815APR95


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Thursday, April 20, 2017

USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

From USCIS News:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017.

These redesigns use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use.

The new card designs demonstrate USCIS’ commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. They are also part of an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enhance document security and deter counterfeiting and fraud.

Th


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USCIS Reminds Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone of May 21 Termination

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS is reminding the public that the designations of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone terminate effective May 21, 2017. 

To provide sufficient time for an orderly transition, the Department of Homeland Security gave beneficiaries under these three designations 8 months advance notice of the expiration by publishing 3 notices in the Federal Register on Sept. 22, 2016 (one for each country). These notices urged individuals who did not have another immigration status to use the time before the terminations became effective in May to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible.</


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Monday, April 17, 2017

Employment Authorization Documents Issued by the Potomac Service Center

From USCIS Alerts:

On April 17, 2017, the Potomac Service Center (PSC) will begin handling corrections to Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) that were issued by the PSC that may have incorrect information due to USCIS error. Previously customers were instructed to send EAD’s issued by the PSC to the Nebraska Service Center to be corrected. 

How to Request an EAD Correction

If your Form I-765 was approved by the PSC and your EAD contains incorrect information due to USCIS error, you must return the original card along with a detailed explanation of the error and supporting documentation to the PSC at:

Potomac Service Center 

U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 

2200 Potomac Center Drive, Stop 2425 

Arlington, VA 20598-2425

In these cases, you do not need to submi


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USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2018

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS announced on April 7, 2017, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.    

USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless th


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USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap. 

The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  However, please keep in mind USCIS suspended premium processing April 3 for up to six months for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions. Petitions filed on behalf of current


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Putting American Workers First: USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse

From USCIS News:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced multiple measures to further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. The H-1B visa program should help U.S. companies recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country. Yet, too many American workers who are as qualified, willing, and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged. Protecting American workers by combating fraud in our employment-based immigration programs is a priority for USCIS.

Beginning today, USCIS will take a more targeted approach when making site visits across the country to H-1B petitioners and the worksites of H-1B employees. USCIS will focus on:

  • Cases where USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially av

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