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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