Monday, April 23, 2018

Substantial Support from USCIS Fraud Detection Unit Leads to Convictions in Two Separate Immigration Fraud Cases

From USCIS News:

LOS ANGELES – This week, two immigration fraud perpetrators were sentenced to prison due to the considerable efforts of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Los Angeles Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit. Los Angeles FDNS immigration officers worked closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to resolve potential fraud, national security and public safety concerns, and to ensure exchange of current and comprehensive information. 

“Convictions in both cases send a powerful message to anyone trying to take advantage of our community or defraud the government,” said USCIS Los Angeles District Director Donna Campagnolo. “Fighting fraud and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system are top priorities for USCIS. We remain committed and vi


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Friday, April 20, 2018

E-Verify Outage and New Features

From USCIS Alerts:

E-Verify, the free system that allows employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States, will be unavailable from April 20 at 9 p.m. until April 22 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, while we implement system enhancements. For more information on how the outage will affect the creation of E-Verify cases see the fact sheet on our website.

On April 23, we will release a modernized version of E-Verify that will help users enter correct information, increase the speed and accuracy of the employment eligibility verification process, decrease Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs), and red


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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New E-Verify.gov Website a User-Friendly Source to Verify Employment Eligibility

From USCIS News:

New E-Verify.gov Website a User-Friendly Source to Verify Employment Eligibility 

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the launch of our new website, E-Verify.gov. This is the authoritative source for information on electronic employment eligibility verification. E-Verify.gov is for employers, employees and the general public.

The user-friendly website provides information about E-Verify and Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, including employee rights and employer responsibilities in the employment verification process. E-Verify.gov allows employers to enroll in E-Verify directly and permits curr


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Monday, April 16, 2018

Visa Bulletin June 2018 Predictions

For the official May 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-may-2018.aspx

Please see June 2018 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
F115APR1115APR1115APR1101JAN9715MAR06
F2A01JUL1601JUL1601JUL1615MAY1601JUL16
F2B01JUN1101JUN1101JUN1101JAN9701JAN07
F322FEB0622FEB0622FEB0622SEP9515APR95
F415OCT0415OCT0415MAR0422JAN9815MAR95
"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
F122JAN1222JAN1222JAN1222SEP9801DEC07
F2A08NOV1708NOV1708NOV1708NOV1708NOV17
F2B22OCT1122OCT1122OCT1115JUN9715OCT07
F301OCT0601OCT0601OCT0601JAN9908AUG95
F415APR0515APR0515DEC0415MAY9801NOV95


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USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2019

From USCIS Alerts:

On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated cap and the U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2019.

USCIS received 190,098 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 2, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS announced on April 6, that it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 and the master’s cap of 20,000. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees unless the petition is a prohibited <a target='_blank' href="https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2018/2018-3-23


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Friday, April 13, 2018

Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Thursday, April 12, 2018, from 9 p.m. until 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, April 12, 2018

USCIS Will Conduct a Lottery for CW-1 Petitions for Fiscal Year 2019

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS has received petitions for more than the number of visas available for fiscal year (FY) 2019 for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program. The cap for CW-1 visas for FY 2019 is 4,999.

As a result, USCIS will be conducting a lottery to ensure that it does not exceed the CW-1 cap. USCIS will randomly select petitions received between April 2, 2018 and April 13, 2018. If USCIS receives your petition after April 13, it will be rejected and will not be considered for this lottery.

For more details on the FY 2019 CW-1 program and what to submit, refer to our March 20 alert. For more information on the CW-1 cap, visit our <a


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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Queens Immigration Attorney Charged With Asylum Fraud

From USCIS News:

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Patricia Menges, Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services New York Asylum Office, announced that yesterday ANDREEA DUMITRU, a/k/a “Andreea Dumitru Parcalaboiu,” an immigration attorney based in Queens, New York, was charged with asylum fraud and making false statements.  The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Andreea Dumitru, an immigration attorney, is alleged to have submitted fraudulent forms for over 180 clients, each containing statements and repr


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Visa Bulletin May 2018

For April 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-april-2018.aspx

May 2018 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from May 1 to May 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 08APR11
08APR11 08APR11 15NOV96 22JAN06
F2A 01JUN16 01JUN16 01JUN16 22APR16 01JUN16
F2B 15MAY11 15MAY11 15MAY11 01DEC96 15DEC06
F3 01FEB06 01FEB06 01FEB06 01SEP95  01APR95
F4 01OCT04 01OCT04 01MAR04 08JAN98 01FEB95
"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 08JAN12 08JAN12 08JAN12 15JUL98 08OCT07
F2A 22SEP17 22SEP17 22SEP17 22SEP17 22SEP17
F2B 08SEP11 08SEP11 08SEP11 22MAY97 08SEP07
F3 08SEP06 08SEP06 08SEP06 22SEP98 22JUL95
F4 01APR05 01APR05 01DEC04 08MAY98 15OCT95


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Visa Bulletin May 2018 Special Notes

For the official May 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-may-2018.aspx

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

D. SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) TRANSLATOR CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY

Given the limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the Department expects to reach the FY-2018 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category early this year. As a result, it has been necessary to maintain a May Final Action Date of April 22, 2012. It is likely that number use will require the SI category to become "unavailable" in the coming months. Once the annual limit of 50 visas is reached, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2018, under the FY-2019 annual limit. The SQ Special Immigrant Visa category for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan is not affected and remains current.

E. OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF THE VIETNAM EMPLOYMENT FIFTH PREFERENCE CAT


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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

USCIS Updates Webpage to Share More Accurate Processing Times

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today launched a pilot to test a redesigned processing times webpage that displays the data for all forms in an easier-to-read format and also tests a new way of collecting data and calculating the processing times for some forms.

The pilot will test four forms using a new automated methodology for calculating processing times. The four forms are:

  • Form N-400, Application for Naturalization;
  • Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card;
  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; and
  • Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

The new webpage makes it easier for anyone to see approxima


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Monday, April 9, 2018

USCIS Reaches FY 2019 H-1B Cap

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS has reached the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2019. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap.

The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not prohibited multiple filings (PDF, 119 KB).

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted


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Friday, April 6, 2018

Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Sunday, April 8, 2018, from 5 a.m. until 6 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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Thursday, April 5, 2018

USCIS Efforts Lead to Sentencing of Former Stamford Resident for Operating Extensive Immigration Fraud Scheme

From USCIS News:

HARTFORD, Conn. — The efforts of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) led to the successful sentencing of a former Stamford resident today. John H. Durham, United States attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that David Nikolashvili, a 52-year-old citizen of the Republic of Georgia residing in Queens, New York, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny to six months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for operating an immigration fraud scheme. Judge Chatigny also ordered Nikolashvili to pay a $12,000 fine. 

According to court documents and statements made in court, Nikolashvili, formerly of Stamford, Connecticut, operated an immigration fraud scheme through which he attempted to obtain false immigration status from USCIS for at least 60 citizen


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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Undeliverable Permanent Resident and Employment Authorization Cards and Travel Documents to be Destroyed After 60 Days

From USCIS Alerts:

Starting April 2, USCIS will destroy Permanent Resident Cards, Employment Authorization Cards and Travel Documents returned as undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service after 60 business days if USCIS is not contacted by the document’s intended recipient to provide the correct address.


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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

USCIS Efforts in Albany Lead to Marriage Fraud Conviction

From USCIS News:

Albany, N.Y. — The efforts of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) led to a successful conviction in a marriage fraud case. After a five-day trial that ended today, a jury voted to convict Yana Potapova, a 29-year-old Russian citizen residing in Schenectady, New York, of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Kevin M. Kelly.

Potapova faces up to five years in prison. She will be sentenced on July 10, by Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.</


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Monday, April 2, 2018

USCIS and CBP to Implement Form I-129 Pilot Program for Canadian L-1 Nonimmigrants

From USCIS Alerts:

From April 30, 2018, to Oct. 31, 2018, the USCIS California Service Center (CSC) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Blaine, Washington, port of entry (POE) will implement a joint agency pilot program for Canadian citizens seeking L-1 nonimmigrant status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This pilot is designed to facilitate the adjudication and admission process of Canadians traveling to the U.S. as L-1 nonimmigrants.

DHS regulations permit an employer to file an L petition on behalf of a Canadian citizen in conjunction with the Canadian citizen’s application for admission to the United States. Petitioners choosing to participate in the joint agency pilot program will be asked to:

  • Submit Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and supporting evidence to the CSC before the Cana

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, from 9 p.m. until 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, March 29, 2018

USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Petitions

From USCIS Alerts:

Starting April 2, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 cap. We will temporarily suspend premium processing for all FY 2019 cap-subject petitions, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. This suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018. During this time, we will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions or making any other premium processing updates.

During this temporary suspension, we will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form


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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

USCIS Will Begin Accepting CW-1 Petitions for Fiscal Year 2019 on April 2, 2018

From USCIS Alerts:

First-time CW-1 Lottery Ensures Fairness to CNMI Employers

On April 2, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions under the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2019 cap. Employers in the CNMI use the CW-1 program to employ foreign workers who are ineligible for other nonimmigrant worker categories. The cap for CW-1 visas for FY 2019 is 4,999.

For the FY 2019 cap, USCIS encourages employers to file a petition for a CW-1 nonimmigrant worker up to six months in advance of the proposed start date of employment and as early as possible within that timeframe. USCIS will reject a petition if it is filed more than six months in advance. An extension petition may request a start date


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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New Home Page and Website Header

From USCIS Alerts:

We’ve created a new look for our website’s home page that will help you easily navigate our site.

The new design includes:

  • An announcement ribbon featuring important or breaking news. Since it’s smaller than the old banner, you will immediately see announcements and popular items on desktop computers and mobile devices.
  • Easy access to our most sought-after tools, such as online filing, check case status, and processing times.
  • Prominent links to information on the citizenship process, immigration data, the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, and documents in the Electronic Reading Room.
  • An educational panel at the bottom of the page that displays videos, multimedia items, and other interactive content such as

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Monday, March 26, 2018

February 2018 Preliminary Injunction on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

From USCIS Alerts:

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Surge in H-2B Petitions Possible for Second Half of FY 2018

From USCIS Alerts:

The U.S. Department of Labor announced it will not begin releasing H-2B temporary labor certifications until Feb. 20, 2018, due to an unprecedented number of applications. As a result of this demand, USCIS may receive more H-2B nonimmigrant worker petitions than there are H-2B visas available in the second half of Fiscal Year 2018.

USCIS is maintaining a flexible approach to this issue, which may include randomly selecting petitions received on the final receipt date to ensure that we allocate H-2B visas fairly and do not exceed the cap. More information will be forthcoming.


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Thursday, March 22, 2018

USCIS is Strengthening Screening for Family Members Abroad Seeking to Join Refugees in the United States

From USCIS Alerts:

On Feb. 1, USCIS and the Department of State implemented new procedures to ensure that all individuals admitted as refugees receive similar, thorough vetting – whether they are principal refugees, accompanying family members, or following-to-join refugees.

A following-to-join refugee is the spouse or child of a principal refugee who lives abroad and wishes to join the principal refugee in the United States.

These measures resulted from the 120-day review mandated by section 6(a) of Executive Order 13780 (PDF), which specifically directed the Department of Homeland Security to determine what additional procedures should be implemented to ensure that individuals seeking admission as refugees do not p


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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

From USCIS Alerts:

Today, on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services joins other U.S. government agencies and the global community in calling for an end to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C).

The United Nations reports that more than 200 million women and girls have undergone some form of FGM/C. On Zero Tolerance Day, the international community breaks the silence around the harm FGM/C causes to women and girls worldwide. We stand together to recognize that FGM/C is a serious human rights abuse that can have a significant impact on women and girls’ health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that more than 500,000 women and girls in the United States are at risk of or have been subjected to FGM/C. Some women and girls


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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Processing Change for Certain Form I-730 Petitions

From USCIS Alerts:

On January 12, 2018, USCIS changed the processing location for certain Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, filings. Previously the Service Center Operations Directorate processed these filings. 

Now, the International Adjudications Support Branch (IASB) in the Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate will process the petitions filed by individuals who were  admitted to the United States as refugees. Petitioners and/or accredited representatives who file refugee-based Form I-730 petitions will receive further instructions when IASB receives their filings. 

Form I-730 petitions filed by persons granted asylum will not be affected by this change. 

The mailing instructions for Form I-730 remain the same. Pe


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Monday, March 19, 2018

USCIS Launches Naturalization and Citizenship Certificate Redesign Pilot

From USCIS Alerts:

On Jan. 22, 2018, four USCIS field offices and one service center will participate in a 10-day pilot to issue redesigned citizenship and naturalization certificates to U.S. citizens. The pilot sites are:

  • Norfolk Field Office
  • Tampa Field Office
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Field Office
  • Sacramento Field Office
  • Nebraska Service Center

The redesign is part of an ongoing USCIS initiative to deter counterfeiting by adding enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to critical documents.

Although the design is new, the process of applying for and receiving naturalization and citizenship certificates will not change. Previously issued certificates will remain valid as proof of citizenship or naturalization, regardless of when they were issued. It is only necessary to replace a certif


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Friday, March 16, 2018

USCIS Will Email Notifications to H-2A Petitioners, Use Pre-Paid Mailers to Send Requests for Evidence

From USCIS Alerts:

Beginning today, Jan. 22, 2018, USCIS will email notifications of receipt and approval to H-2A (temporary agricultural worker) petitioners who file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Also starting today, USCIS will use pre-paid mailers provided by H-2A petitioners to send requests for evidence (RFE) if issued in a case.

These process changes apply only to H-2A petitions due to their highly time-sensitive nature. 

Email Notifications

USCIS will send notifications of receipt and approval to the email address provided by H-2A petitioners in Part 1 of Form I-129 and to any email address provided for their attorney or accredited representative on a valid Form G-28. There is no cha


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Visa Bulletin May 2018 Predictions

For the official April 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-april-2018.aspx

Please see May 2018 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
F122APR1122APR1122APR1115OCT9622FEB06
F2A01JUN1601JUN1601JUN1601MAY1601JUN16
F2B22APR1122APR1122APR1101DEC9615NOV06
F301FEB0601FEB0601FEB0622JUL9508APR95
F422SEP0422SEP0401MAR0422DEC9722JAN95
"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
F101FEB1201FEB1201FEB1201APR9815NOV07
F2A15NOV1715NOV1715NOV1715NOV1715NOV17
F2B15SEP1115SEP1115SEP1115JAN9715SEP07
F301OCT0601OCT0601OCT0601MAR9801JUL95
F401APR0501APR0515JUL0401MAR9801APR95


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Thursday, March 15, 2018

USCIS Announces Countries Eligible for the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State, have published the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to receive H-2A and H‑2B visas in 2018. The notice listing the eligible countries was published on Jan. 18, 2018, in the Federal Register.

For 2018, Secretary of Homeland Security Nielsen and Secretary of State Tillerson have agreed:

  • To add Mongolia to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs, and
  • To no longer designate Belize, Haiti, and Samoa as eligible countries because they are not meeting the standards for the H

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Coming Soon: New Home Page and Website Header

From USCIS Alerts:

In a few days, we’ll release a new look for uscis.gov that will help you easily navigate our site.

The new design will include:

  • An announcement ribbon featuring important or breaking news. Since it’s smaller than the old banner, you will immediately see announcements and popular items on desktop computers and mobile devices.  
  • Easy access to our most sought-after tools, such as online filing, check case status, and processing times.
  • Prominent links to information on the citizenship process, immigration data, the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, and documents in the Electronic Reading Room.
  • An educational panel at the bottom of the page that displays videos, multimedia items, and other interactive content such as citizenship quizzes.
  • An animated

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Re-Registration Period Opens for Syrians with Temporary Protected Status

From USCIS News:

Work permits expiring March 31 are automatically extended through Sept. 27

WASHINGTON—Current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Syria’s designation who want to maintain their status through Sept. 30, 2019, must re-register between March 5, and May 4, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Register and on the USCIS website.

All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary


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Visa Bulletin April 2018

For March 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-march-2018.aspx

April 2018 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from April 1 to April 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 08APR11
08APR11 08APR11 08SEP96 01JAN06
F2A 01MAY16 01MAY16 01MAY16 01APR16 01MAY16
F2B 08APR11 08APR11 08APR11 01NOV96 01NOV06
F3 08JAN06 08JAN06 08JAN06 08JUL95  22MAR95
F4 15SEP04 15SEP04 15FEB04 08DEC97 15DEC94
"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 01JAN12 01JAN12 01JAN12 15JAN98 01OCT07
F2A 22SEP17 22SEP17 22SEP17 22SEP17 22SEP17
F2B 01SEP11 01SEP11 01SEP11 01JAN97 01SEP07
F3 01SEP06 01SEP06 01SEP06 15DEC97 15JUN95
F4 08MAR05 08MAR05 22JUN04 08FEB98 01MAR95


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Visa Bulletin April 2018 Special Notes

For the official April 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-april-2018.aspx

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

D. SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) TRANSLATOR CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY

Given the limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the Department expects to reach the FY-2018 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category early this year. As a result, it has been necessary to maintain an April Final Action Date of April 22, 2012. It is likely that number use will require the SI category to become "unavailable" in the coming months. Once the annual limit of 50 visas is reached, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2018, under the FY-2019 annual limit. The SQ Special Immigrant Visa category for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan is not affected and remains current.

E. OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF THE CHINA-mainland born AND INDIA


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Friday, March 2, 2018

USCIS Completes Random Selection Process for H-2B Visa Cap for Second Half of FY 2018

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON— On Feb. 21, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began receiving H-2B cap-subject petitions for the second half of fiscal year 2018.

During the first five business days USCIS received approximately 2,700 H-2B cap-subject petitions requesting approximately 47,000 workers, which is more than the number of H-2B visas available. As a result, USCIS, in accordance with applicable regulations, conducted a lottery on Feb. 28 to randomly select enough petitions to meet the cap. 

USCIS will reject and return the petitions and associated filing fees to petitioners that were not selected, as well as any cap-subject petitions received after Feb. 27.

In January, the Department of Labor <a target='_blank' href="https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/01/23/2018-01166/labor-certifi


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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Thursday, March 1, 2018, 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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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

USCIS Strengthens Protections to Combat H-1B Abuses

From USCIS News:

Clarifies Policy on Requirements for Third-Party Worksite H-1B Petitions

WASHINGTON—The H-1B visa program generally allows a foreign employee to work for a specific sponsoring American employer. As is true in many employment situations, the location of work can change. USCIS has published a policy memorandum (PDF, 119 KB) making clear that USCIS may request detailed documentation to ensure a legitimate employer-employee relationship is maintained while an employee is working at a third-party worksite.

In publishing this policy, USCIS clarifies existing regulatory


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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna on New Agency Mission Statement

From USCIS News:

“In my short time as director of USCIS, I continue to be impressed by the commitment and dedication that employees throughout the agency have shown toward our common goals. USCIS employees are passionate about upholding the rule of law and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system. I’ve always known this and have seen it confirmed again and again in my meetings with you during visits I have made to field offices and service centers. To reflect these principles, and to guide us in the years ahead, I am pleased to share with you our agency’s new mission statement:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting


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Monday, February 26, 2018

USCIS Finalizes Guidance on Signature Requirements

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON —U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that petitioners and applicants who seek immigration benefits must provide a valid signature on forms submitted to the agency. In an effort to protect and safeguard the nation’s immigration system and those who benefit from it, power of attorney signatures will no longer be accepted. If forms are filed by a corporation or other legal entity, they must be signed by an authorized person. The new policy is effective March 18, 2018.

This final policy memorandum (PDF, 118 KB) updates an <a target='_blank


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Friday, February 23, 2018

Department of Justice Files Complaint to Denaturalize Diversity Visa Recipient Who Obtained Naturalized Citizenship After Failing to Disclose Two Prior Orders of Removal

From USCIS News:

The Department of Justice yesterday filed a complaint in the Eastern District of Michigan to revoke the naturalized U.S. citizenship of Humayun Kabir Rahman fka Md Humayun Kabir Talukder aka Ganu Miah aka Shafi Uddin. The case was referred to the Department of Justice by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and identified as a part of Operation Janus (PDF).

The complaint alleges Humayun Kabir Rahman arrived in the United States in February 1992 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, claiming his true name was Ganu Miah while in possession of a passport that did not belong to him. He was paroled into the United States so he could seek asylum, and his application was referred to the immig


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Thursday, February 22, 2018

USCIS Expands Credit Card Payment Option for Fees

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will now accept credit card payments for filing most of its forms.

The new payment option is available for the 41 fee-based forms processed at USCIS Lockbox facilities. To pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover, applicants will need to use Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transaction (PDF, 252 KB)s.

USCIS will enter credit car


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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Three Individuals Indicted for Visa Fraud Scheme for Profit

From USCIS News:

USCIS Assisted in Investigation of Defendants who Provided Armenian Nationals with Fake Dance Certificates and Staged Photos in Traditional Costumes to Qualify for P-3 Visa Program for Entertainers

NEW YORK - A 15-count indictment was unsealed yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn charging Stella Boyadjian, Hrachya Atoyan and Diana Grigoryan, also known as “Dina Akopovna,” for their roles in a multi-year visa fraud scheme that brought Armenian citizens into the United States for profit. The defendants are charged with multiple counts of visa fraud and with conspiring to defraud the United States, commit visa fraud and illegally bring aliens into the United States. Boyadjian and Grigoryan are also charged with related money laundering charges, and Boyadjian is charged with aggravated


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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

USCIS to Take Action to Address Asylum Backlog

From USCIS News:

Agency Will Focus on Processing Recently Filed Applications

Graph of Asylum Receipts and Pending Asylum CaseloadWASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the agency will schedule asylum interviews for recent applications ahead of older filings, in an attempt to stem the growth of the agency’s asylum backlog.

USCIS is responsible for overseeing the nation’s legal immigration system, which includes adjudicating asylum claims. The agency currently faces a crisis-level backlog of 311,000 pending asylum cases as of Jan. 21, 2018, making the asylum system increasingly vulnerable to fraud and abuse. This backlog has grown by more


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Monday, February 19, 2018

Peryòd Re-Enskripsyon Louvri Kounye pou Ayisyen ak Estati Pwoteksyon Tanporè

From USCIS News:

 WASHINGTON - Sèvis Sitwayènte ak Imigrasyon Etazini (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS) te anonse jodiya benefisyè Estati Pwoteksyon Tanporè (Temporary Protected Status) anba klasifiasyon Ayiti ki vle kenbe estati yo jiska fen dat pwogram nan 22 jiyè 2019, dwe re-enskri ant 18 janvye 2018 ak 19 mas 2018. Nou te pibliye pwosedi pou re-enskripsyon, ak kijan pou renouvle papye otorizasyon travay, nan Rejis Federal la  ak nan uscis.gov/tps.

Tout aplikan dwe soumèt F&ogra


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Friday, February 16, 2018

La période de réinscription est maintenant ouverte pour les Haïtiens bénéficiant du statut de protection temporaire

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON— Les Services de la Citoyenneté et de l'Immigration des États-Unis (l'USCIS) ont annoncé aujourd'hui que les bénéficiaires actuels du statut de protection temporaire (TPS) sous la désignation d'Haïti souhaitant maintenir ce statut jusqu'à la date d'expiration du programme, le 22 juillet 2019, doivent se réinscrire entre le 18 janvier 2018 et le 19 mars 2018. Les démarches de réinscription, y compris les modalités pour renouveler les documents d'autorisation d'emploi, ont été publiées dans le Federal Register (registre fédéral) et sur uscis.gov/tps

Tous les candidats doivent soumettre le formulaire I-821, la Demande de statut d


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Visa Bulletin April 2018 Predictions

For the official March 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-march-2018.aspx

Please see April 2018 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
F115APR1115APR1115APR1101SEP9601DEC05
F2A15APR1615APR1615APR1601APR1615APR16
F2B15MAR1115MAR1115MAR1108NOV9615SEP06
F301JAN0601JAN0601JAN0608JUL9508APR95
F408SEP0408SEP0415FEB0401DEC9701JAN95
"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
F101FEB1201FEB1201FEB1215NOV9715NOV07
F2A15JUN1715JUN1715JUN1715JUN1715JUN17
F2B15SEP1115SEP1115SEP1115JAN9715SEP07
F308DEC0508DEC0508DEC0501JUN9701JUL95
F408FEB0508FEB0515JUL0401MAR9801APR95


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Thursday, February 15, 2018

February 2018 Preliminary Injunction on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

From USCIS Alerts:

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Re-Registration Period Now Open for Haitians with Temporary Protected Status

From USCIS News:

Employment Authorization for Haitians with TPS Automatically Extended Until July 21, 2018

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Haiti’s designation who want to maintain that status through the program’s termination date of July 22, 2019, must re-register between Jan. 18, 2018, and March 19, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Register and on uscis.gov/tps.

All applica


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Re-Registration Period Now Open for Salvadorans with Temporary Protected Status

From USCIS News:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under El Salvador’s designation who want to maintain their status through the effective  termination date of Sept. 9, 2019, must re-register between Jan. 18, 2018, and March 19, 2018.

Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documents, have been published in the Federal Register and on uscis.gov/tps.

All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Ap


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Monday, February 12, 2018

Surge in H-2B Petitions Possible for Second Half of FY 2018

From USCIS Alerts:

The U.S. Department of Labor announced it will not begin releasing H-2B temporary labor certifications until Feb. 20, 2018, due to an unprecedented number of applications. As a result of this demand, USCIS may receive more H-2B nonimmigrant worker petitions than there are H-2B visas available in the second half of Fiscal Year 2018.

USCIS is maintaining a flexible approach to this issue, which may include randomly selecting petitions received on the final receipt date to ensure that we allocate H-2B visas fairly and do not exceed the cap. More information will be forthcoming.


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Visa Bulletin March 2018

For February 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-february-2018.aspx

March 2018 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from March 1 to March 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 22MAR11
22MAR11 22MAR11 22JUL96 15OCT05
F2A 22MAR16 22MAR16 22MAR16 01MAR16 22MAR16
F2B 01MAR11 01MAR11 01MAR11 15OCT96 08SEP06
F3 15DEC05 15DEC05 15DEC05 22JUN95  22MAR95
F4 22AUG04 22AUG04 01FEB04 15NOV97 22NOV94
"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 01JAN12 01JAN12 01JAN12 08SEP97 01OCT07
F2A 01MAY17 01MAY17 01MAY17 01MAY17 01MAY17
F2B 01SEP11 01SEP11 01SEP11 01JAN97 01SEP07
F3 01DEC05 01DEC05 01DEC05 01APR97 15JUN95
F4 22JAN05 22JAN05 22JUN04 08FEB98 01MAR95


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Visa Bulletin March 2018 Special Notes

For the official March 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-march-2018.aspx

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

D. SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) TRANSLATOR CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY

Given the limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the Department expects to reach the FY-2018 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category early this year. As a result, it has been necessary to maintain a March Final Action Date of April 22, 2012. It is likely that number use will require the SI category to become "unavailable" in the coming months. Once the annual limit of 50 visas is reached, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2018, under the FY-2019 annual limit. The SQ Special Immigrant Visa category for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan is not affected and remains current.

E. VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

Continu


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Friday, February 9, 2018

USCIS is Strengthening Screening for Family Members Abroad Seeking to Join Refugees in the United States

From USCIS Alerts:

On Feb. 1, USCIS and the Department of State implemented new procedures to ensure that all individuals admitted as refugees receive similar, thorough vetting – whether they are principal refugees, accompanying family members, or following-to-join refugees.

A following-to-join refugee is the spouse or child of a principal refugee who lives abroad and wishes to join the principal refugee in the United States.

These measures resulted from the 120-day review mandated by section 6(a) of Executive Order 13780 (PDF), which specifically directed the Department of Homeland Security to determine what additional procedures should be implemented to ensure that individuals seeking admission as refugees do not p


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Thursday, February 8, 2018

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

From USCIS Alerts:

Today, on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services joins other U.S. government agencies and the global community in calling for an end to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C).

The United Nations reports that more than 200 million women and girls have undergone some form of FGM/C. On Zero Tolerance Day, the international community breaks the silence around the harm FGM/C causes to women and girls worldwide. We stand together to recognize that FGM/C is a serious human rights abuse that can have a significant impact on women and girls’ health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that more than 500,000 women and girls in the United States are at risk of or have been subjected to FGM/C. Some women and girls


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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, from 5 a.m. to 6 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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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Processing Change for Certain Form I-730 Petitions

From USCIS Alerts:

On January 12, 2018, USCIS changed the processing location for certain Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, filings. Previously the Service Center Operations Directorate processed these filings. 

Now, the International Adjudications Support Branch (IASB) in the Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate will process the petitions filed by individuals who were  admitted to the United States as refugees. Petitioners and/or accredited representatives who file refugee-based Form I-730 petitions will receive further instructions when IASB receives their filings. 

Form I-730 petitions filed by persons granted asylum will not be affected by this change. 

The mailing instructions for Form I-730 remain the same. Pe


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Monday, February 5, 2018

USCIS Launches Naturalization and Citizenship Certificate Redesign Pilot

From USCIS Alerts:

On Jan. 22, 2018, four USCIS field offices and one service center will participate in a 10-day pilot to issue redesigned citizenship and naturalization certificates to U.S. citizens. The pilot sites are:

  • Norfolk Field Office
  • Tampa Field Office
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Field Office
  • Sacramento Field Office
  • Nebraska Service Center

The redesign is part of an ongoing USCIS initiative to deter counterfeiting by adding enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to critical documents.

Although the design is new, the process of applying for and receiving naturalization and citizenship certificates will not change. Previously issued certificates will remain valid as proof of citizenship or naturalization, regardless of when they were issued. It is only necessary to replace a certif


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Friday, February 2, 2018

USCIS Will Email Notifications to H-2A Petitioners, Use Pre-Paid Mailers to Send Requests for Evidence

From USCIS Alerts:

Beginning today, Jan. 22, 2018, USCIS will email notifications of receipt and approval to H-2A (temporary agricultural worker) petitioners who file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Also starting today, USCIS will use pre-paid mailers provided by H-2A petitioners to send requests for evidence (RFE) if issued in a case.

These process changes apply only to H-2A petitions due to their highly time-sensitive nature. 

Email Notifications

USCIS will send notifications of receipt and approval to the email address provided by H-2A petitioners in Part 1 of Form I-129 and to any email address provided for their attorney or accredited representative on a valid Form G-28. There is no cha


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Thursday, February 1, 2018

USCIS Announces Countries Eligible for the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State, have published the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to receive H-2A and H‑2B visas in 2018. The notice listing the eligible countries was published on Jan. 18, 2018, in the Federal Register.

For 2018, Secretary of Homeland Security Nielsen and Secretary of State Tillerson have agreed:

  • To add Mongolia to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs, and
  • To no longer designate Belize, Haiti, and Samoa as eligible countries because they are not meeting the standards for the H

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Texas Service Center to Begin Processing Form I-129 for L Visas

From USCIS Alerts:

On February 12, 2018, the Texas Service Center (TSC) will begin processing certain Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker petitions for L nonimmigrant classification, also known as L visas. The TSC will share this workload with the California Service Center to balance workloads and to provide flexibility as USCIS works towards improving processing times and efficiency. The Vermont Service Center will no longer process any new Form I‑129 petitions requesting L nonimmigrant classification. 

Petitioners requesting an L nonimmigrant classification should file their Form I-129 at the address indicated on the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker page. Starting


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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, from 9 p.m. to 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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Monday, January 29, 2018

The USCIS London Field Office Is Moving

From USCIS Alerts:

The USCIS London Field Office in the United Kingdom is moving to the new U.S. Embassy facility in the Nine Elms area of London. The last day that USCIS will provide services at our Grosvenor Square facility will be January 10. Anyone who has an urgent request while the field office is closed should email USCIS.london@uscis.dhs.gov for assistance.

On January 17, USCIS will reopen at our new location:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Embassy
33 Nine Elms Lane
London SW11 7US
United Kingdom


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Friday, January 26, 2018

Updated USCIS Procedures for Cuba

From USCIS Alerts:

Due to staff reductions at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, USCIS will temporarily suspend operations at its field office in Havana, effective immediately.

Individuals who live in Cuba must follow these filing instructions:

Service/Form

Filing Instructions

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

File your petition by mail with the lockbox facility in Chicago. Y


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Thursday, January 25, 2018

USCIS Updates Policy on Determining Cuban Citizenship for Those Born Outside of Cuba

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS is no longer considering a consular certificate documenting an individual’s birth outside of Cuba to a Cuban parent as sufficient evidence of Cuban citizenship. This policy memorandum aligns with Cuban law and applies to individuals born outside of Cuba applying for lawful permanent resident status in the United States under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA).

The updated policy memorandum rescinds Matter of Vazquez as an adopted decision, which held that a Cuban consular certificate documenting an individual’s birth outside of Cuba to at least one Cuban parent is accepted as proof of Cuban citizenship. Under the updated guidance, USCIS will not consider a consular certificate as sufficient proof of Cuban citizenship. This will be the case even if th


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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

USCIS Electronic Reading Room opens the door to transparency

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS is opening the door to its updated Electronic Reading Room to fulfill our commitment to increase transparency with the American public. In the Electronic Reading Room, USCIS is disclosing cleared policy documents and external correspondence addressed to our leadership along with their responses. This is in addition to providing access to information that had been requested at least three times and had been provided under the Freedom of Information Act.  

Using the USCIS Electronic Reading Room is easy. Simply select a category from the drop-down list and search for topics such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), H-1B Special Occupations, and Temporary Protective Status (TPS). The USCIS Electronic Reading Room includes an addit


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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

USCIS Issues Clarifying Guidance on NAFTA TN Status Eligibility for Economists

From USCIS Alerts:

WASHINGTON —U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it is clarifying policy guidance (PDF, 71 KB) on the specific work activities its officers should consider when determining whether an individual qualifies for TN nonimmigrant status as an economist.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) TN nonimmigrant status allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily enter the U.S. to engage in specific professional activities, including the occupation of economist. The agreement, however, does not define the term economist, resulting in inconsistent decisions on whether certain analysts and f


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Monday, January 22, 2018

Lapse in Federal Funding for Certain USCIS Operations

From USCIS Alerts:

The current lapse in annual appropriated funding for the U.S. government does not affect USCIS’ fee-funded activities. Our offices will remain open, and all applicants should attend interviews and appointments as scheduled.

However, several USCIS programs will either expire or suspend operations, or be otherwise affected, until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress. These include:

  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program. Regional centers are a public or private economic unit in the United States that promote economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program.
  • E-Verify. This free internet-based system all

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Friday, January 19, 2018

USCIS Announces Countries Eligible for the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State, have published the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to receive H-2A and H‑2B visas in 2018. The notice listing the eligible countries was published on Jan. 18, 2018, in the Federal Register.

For 2018, Secretary of Homeland Security Nielsen and Secretary of State Tillerson have agreed:

  • To add Mongolia to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs, and
  • To no longer designate Belize, Haiti, and Samoa as eligible countries because they are not meeting the standards for the H

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Visa Bulletin March 2018 Predictions

For the official February 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-february-2018.aspx

Please see March 2018 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
F115APR1115APR1115APR1108AUG9622SEP05
F2A01APR1601APR1601APR1601MAR1601APR16
F2B01FEB1101FEB1101FEB1101OCT9601AUG06
F301DEC0501DEC0501DEC0508JUL9501APR95
F401AUG0408AUG0422JAN0422NOV9708NOV94
"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
F101FEB1201FEB1201FEB1215DEC9615NOV07
F2A01DEC1601DEC1601DEC1601DEC1601DEC16
F2B15SEP1115SEP1115SEP1115JAN9715SEP07
F308DEC0508DEC0508DEC0515OCT9501JUL95
F401DEC0401DEC0415JUL0401MAR9801APR95


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Visa Bulletin February 2018

For January 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-january-2018.aspx

February 2018 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from February 1 to February 28 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 15MAR11
15MAR11 15MAR11 01JUL96 01AUG05
F2A 01MAR16 01MAR16 01MAR16 01FEB16 01MAR16
F2B 15JAN11 15JAN11 15JAN11 08SEP96 22JUL06
F3 15NOV05 15NOV05 15NOV05 22JUN95  15MAR95
F4 22JUL04 22JUL04 08JAN04 08NOV97 01OCT94
"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 01JAN12 01JAN12 01JAN12 01NOV96 01OCT07
F2A 01NOV16 01NOV16 01NOV16 01NOV16 01NOV16
F2B 01SEP11 01SEP11 01SEP11 01JAN97 01SEP07
F3 01DEC05 01DEC05 01DEC05 01OCT95 15JUN95
F4 15NOV04 15NOV04 22JUN04 08FEB98 01MAR95


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Visa Bulletin February 2018 Special Notes

For the official February 2018 Visa Bulletin, please click here: http://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-february-2018.aspx

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

D. SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) TRANSLATOR CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY

Given the limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the Department expects to reach the FY-2018 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category early this year. As a result, it has been necessary to establish a February Final Action Date of April 22, 2012. It is likely that number use will require the SI category to become "unavailable" in the coming months. Once the annual limit of 50 visas is reached, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2018, under the FY-2019 annual limit. The SQ Special Immigrant Visa category for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan is not affected and remains current.

E. SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES</u


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Monday, January 15, 2018

Texas Service Center to Begin Processing Form I-129 for L Visas

From USCIS Alerts:

On February 12, 2018, the Texas Service Center (TSC) will begin processing certain Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker petitions for L nonimmigrant classification, also known as L visas. The TSC will share this workload with the California Service Center to balance workloads and to provide flexibility as USCIS works towards improving processing times and efficiency. The Vermont Service Center will no longer process any new Form I‑129 petitions requesting L nonimmigrant classification. 

Petitioners requesting an L nonimmigrant classification should file their Form I-129 at the address indicated on the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker page. Starting


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Friday, January 12, 2018

Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, from 9 p.m. to 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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Thursday, January 11, 2018

USCIS partners with Justice Department and Secures First Denaturalization As a Result of Operation Janus

From USCIS News:

On January 5, Judge Stanley R. Chesler of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey entered an order revoking the naturalized U.S. citizenship of Baljinder Singh aka Davinder Singh, and canceling his Certificate of Naturalization, following a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services referral to the Justice Department.

After Judge Chesler’s order, Singh’s immigration status reverted from naturalized citizen to lawful permanent resident, rendering him potentially subject to removal proceedings at the Department of Homeland Security’s discretion.

Singh’s denaturalization is the first arising out of a growing body of cases referred to the Department of Justice by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of <a target='_blank' href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/Mgm


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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The USCIS London Field Office Is Moving

From USCIS Alerts:

The USCIS London Field Office in the United Kingdom is moving to the new U.S. Embassy facility in the Nine Elms area of London. The last day that USCIS will provide services at our Grosvenor Square facility will be January 10. Anyone who has an urgent request while the field office is closed should email USCIS.london@uscis.dhs.gov for assistance.

On January 17, USCIS will reopen at our new location:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Embassy
33 Nine Elms Lane
London SW11 7US
United Kingdom


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Friday, January 5, 2018

USCIS Clarifies Proxy Vote Use for Certain Intracompany Transferee Visa Petitions

From USCIS News:

WASHINGTON —U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued updated policy guidance today clarifying that a proxy vote must be irrevocable to establish the requisite control of a company in an L-1 visa petition.

A U.S. or foreign employer may file an L-1 visa petition to temporarily transfer a foreign employee to the U.S. from one of its operations outside the country. The employer must prove that a qualifying relationship exists between the foreign employer and the U.S. company at the time they file their petition by showing that either the two companies are the same employer or the companies are related as a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate company.

To determine if a qualifying relationship exists, USCIS officers examine ownership and


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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tools Outage

From USCIS Alerts:

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2017, from 5 a.m. to 6 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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