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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