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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