Sunday, May 19, 2019

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

USCIS has completed data entry for all fiscal year 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random selection process, including those selected under the U.S. advanced degree exemption. As in previous years, we will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that we did not select and will issue an announcement once we are done notifying petitioners. Due to the volume of filings, we cannot provide a definite time frame for returning unselected petitions. We ask petitioners to wait to inquire about the status of their cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition that we have returned.

Additionally, we may transfer some Form I-129 H-1B cap-subject petitions between the



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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Five Individuals Involved in Marriage Fraud Scheme Plead Guilty

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that five individuals have pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to charges related to their participation in fraudulent marriages so that non-U.S. citizens would receive U.S. immigration benefits.  The fifth defendant pleaded guilty this afternoon.

According to court documents and statements made in court, four of the defendants are U.S. citizens who entered into one or more fraudulent marriages with non-citizens, and sponsored each non-citizen’s fraudulent application for lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) status, also known as a “green card.”  A fifth defendan



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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Visa Bulletin July 2019 Predictions

For official June 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-june-2019.aspx

Please see July 2019 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
F115MAR1215MAR1215MAR1222AUG9701AUG07
F2A22AUG1722AUG1722AUG1708AUG1722AUG17
F2B15JUL1315JUL1315JUL1315APR9808DEC07
F315JAN0715JAN0715JAN0701MAR9601APR97
F415MAY0615MAY0601SEP0401MAR9815AUG97
"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
F101NOV1201NOV1201NOV1222NOV9908JUN08
F2A22APR1922APR1922APR1922APR1922APR19
F2B01NOV1401NOV1401NOV1401FEB9922JUL08
F322SEP0722SEP0722SEP0701SEP0015JAN98
F422JAN0722JAN0722APR0515DEC9815MAY98



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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hudson County Woman Convicted at Trial of Compelled Labor of Sri Lankan Woman for over Nine Years

NEWARK, N.J. - A Hudson County, New Jersey, woman was convicted last week on charges of forced labor, alien harboring for financial gain, and marriage fraud, announced Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for the District of New Jersey.

Alia Imad Faleh Al Hunaity, aka “Alia Al Qaternah,” 43, was found guilty on all counts of the indictment against her following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court. The jury deliberated for two hours before returning the guilty verdict.

“The defendant took advantage of the victim for years, forcing her to live in terrible conditions, work wit



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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

June 2019 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For June 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-june-2019.aspx

Please see below analysis of June 2019 Visa Bulletin:

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
F1+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month 7 DaysNo Change+1 Month 7 Days
F2A+2 Months+2 Months+2 Months+2 Months+2 Months
F2B+3 Months 14 Days+3 Months 14 Days+3 Months 14 Days+1 Month+1 Month 14 Days
F3+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+7 Days+3 Months 24 Days
F4+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+14 DaysNo Change+3 Months
"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
F1+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+7 Days+7 Days
F2A+1 Year 2 Months+1 Year 2 Months+1 Year 2 Months+1 Year 2 Months+1 Year 2 Months
F2B+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+2 Months 14 Days+1 Month 17 Days
F3+2 Months+2 Months+2 Months+9 Days+1 Month
F4+2 Months+2 Months+1 Month+9 Days+14 Days



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June 2019 Visa Bulletin

For May 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-may-2019.aspx

For analysis of June 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-analysis-june-2019.aspx

June 2019 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from June 1 to June 30 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 15FEB12
15FEB12 15FEB12 08AUG97 22JUN07
F2A 15JUL17 15JUL17 15JUL17 01JUL17 15JUL17
F2B 15MAY13 15MAY13 15MAY13 15MAR98 15NOV07
F3 22DEC06 22DEC06 22DEC06 22FEB96  01FEB97
F4 01APR06 01APR06 15AUG04 08FEB98 01JUN97
"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 08OCT12 08OCT12 08OCT12 15OCT99 22APR08
F2A 08MAR19 08MAR19 08MAR19 08MAR19 08MAR19
F2B 08AUG14 08AUG14 08AUG14 15DEC98 01JUL08
F3 22AUG07 22AUG07 22AUG07 01JUL00 01NOV97
F4 01DEC06 01DEC06 15APR05 01DEC98 01MAR98



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Nearly 100 Charged in Massive Marriage Fraud Scheme

HOUSTON – A total of 50 people are now in custody following the return of a 206-count indictment alleging varying roles in a large-scale marriage fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and District Director Tony Bryson of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The federal grand jury returned the massive indictment April 30, 2019, charging 96 individuals. To date, law enforcement has taken 50 into custody. Of those, nine are set to appear for a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson at 10:00 a.m. today.

The indictment remains sealed as to



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June 2019 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official June 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-june-2019.aspx

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

D. INDIA EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST PREFERENCE VISA AVAILABILITY

Despite the final action date for this country having been held for the past three months, there continues to be an extremely high rate of demand for Employment First preference (E1) numbers, primarily for USCIS adjustment of status applicants. This situation has resulted in the retrogression of this final action date for the month of June in an effort to limit future number use.

Such action will only be temporary with the E1 date for India returning to at least February 22, 2017 for October, the first month of fiscal year 2020.

E. EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIFTH PREFERENCE VISA AVAILABILITY

India: Continued heavy applicant demand is expected to result in the India Employment Fifth preference (E5) category approaching the per-country annual limit during July. This is like



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Monday, May 13, 2019

USCIS Names New Deputy Director

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced it has selected Mark Koumans as the agency’s next Deputy Director, and he will start his new duties on Monday, May 13.

Koumans, a career federal employee, has served since September 2015 in a number of executive positions at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Koumans will replace Tracy Renaud who has served as the USCIS Acting Deputy Director since March 2018. Renaud will return to her previous position as the Associate Director of the Management Directorate.

Koumans previously served for eight years as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security Office of Policy. Prior to that, he was



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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct a widespread system maintenance on Saturday, May 11, 2019, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.(Eastern).

During this time you may experience technical difficulties and many of 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
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS Online Account 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Saturday, May 11, 2019

USCIS Clarifies the Period of Authorized Stay for P-1S Essential Support Personnel of Individual Athletes

USCIS has updated the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) (PDF, 224 KB) to emphasize that, under current regulations, the periods of initial authorized stay are different for individual athletes (P-1A) and their essential support personnel (P-1S). The P-1S classification is for “Essential Support Personnel” who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 nonimmigrant, and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker.

Under existing DHS regulations, P-1A individual athletes have an initial period of authorized sta



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Friday, May 10, 2019

Queens Immigration Attorney Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Operating Asylum Fraud Scheme

NEW YORK — Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Andreea Dumitru, a/k/a “Andreea Dumitru Parcalaboiu,” an immigration attorney based in Queens, New York, was sentenced to five years in prison in connection with her operation of a scheme to submit fraudulent asylum applications to United States immigration authorities.  Dumitru was convicted on November 19, 2018, of asylum fraud, making false statements to immigration authorities, and aggravated identity theft following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who imposed yesterday’s sentence.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  &ld



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Thursday, May 9, 2019

DHS, DOL Publish Joint Rule for Additional Visas for Returning Foreign Workers

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have published a joint rule making available an additional 30,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2019. These supplemental H-2B visas are available only to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years (FY 2016, 2017, or 2018), and availability is restricted by prioritizing only those businesses who would suffer irreparable harm without the additional workers.

Returning H-2B workers have demonstrated their ability to abide by the terms and conditions of the H-2B program and, therefore, are less likely to rem



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Friday, May 3, 2019

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct a widespread system maintenance on Saturday, May 4, 2019, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.(Eastern) and Sunday, May 5, 2019, from 5 a.m. until 6 p.m.(Eastern).

During this time you may experience technical difficulties and many of 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
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS Online Account 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Monday, April 29, 2019

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

USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are extending the joint agency pilot program for Canadian citizens seeking L-1 nonimmigrant status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) through April 30, 2020. Last year, the USCIS California Service Center and the CBP Blaine, Washington, port of entry (POE) announced this pilot program, which was scheduled to run from April 30, 2018, through Oct. 31, 2018, and



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Friday, April 26, 2019

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct a widespread system maintenance on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, from 9 p.m. until 12 a.m.(Eastern).

During this time you may experience technical difficulties and many of 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
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS Online Account 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Tampa Woman Indicted for Immigration Fraud Scheme Stretching from Tampa to Chicago

TAMPA, Fla.  United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging Erika Paola Intriago (44, Tampa) with four counts of wire fraud and three counts of wrongfully using government seals. If convicted, Intriago faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each count of wire fraud and up to five years in federal prison for each count of wrongfully using government seals.

According to the indictment, Intriago portrayed herself as an immigration attorney and personal representative offering immigration-related services. She advertised her services on social media, targeting immigrants and immigrant families



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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

USCIS is Ending Forms Request Line

Starting June 1, we are ending the Forms Request Line service that allows you to order forms by phone. This is part of our continuing effort to modernize our processes and promote our online products and services.



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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Israeli Nationals Eligible for Treaty Investor Visas

Certain Israeli nationals who are lawfully present in the United States will soon be able to request a change of status to the E-2 treaty investor classification. Beginning May 1, eligible Israeli nationals already in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to request a change of status to E-2 classification, or a qualifying employer can file the petition on their behalf. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of treaty investors and employees who are already in the United States may also seek to change status to E-2 classification as dependents by filing <a target='_blank' href="https://www.uscis.gov/i-539"



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Friday, April 19, 2019

USCIS Issues Policy Guidance Clarifying How Federal Controlled Substances Law Applies to Naturalization Determinations

USCIS is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify that violations of federal controlled substance law, including violations involving marijuana, are generally a bar to establishing good moral character for naturalization, even where that conduct would not be an offense under state law.  The policy guidance also clarifies that an applicant who is involved in certain marijuana-related activities may lack good moral character if found to have violated federal law, even if such activity has been decriminalized under applicable state laws.

Since 1996, some states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to decriminalize the manuf



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Thursday, April 18, 2019

USCIS Commemorates Second Anniversary of Buy American and Hire American Executive Order

WASHINGTON— Since President Trump signed the Buy American and Hire American executive order in April 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented it through rules, policy memoranda, and operational changes that protect the economic interests of U.S. workers and prevent fraud and abuse in employment-based visa programs. Later today, USCIS will host a U.S. worker listening session covering the past two years’ worth of policies and rulemaking in support of the Buy American and Hire American executive order.

“USCIS is achieving the president’s goal of putting U.S. workers first



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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Visa Bulletin June 2019 Predictions

For official May 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-may-2019.aspx
Please see June 2019 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
F101FEB1201FEB1201FEB1222AUG9722JUN07
F2A15JUN1715JUN1715JUN1701JUN1715JUN17
F2B01APR1301APR1301APR1322MAR9822OCT07
F301DEC0601DEC0601DEC0601MAR9601DEC96
F401APR0601APR0615AUG0401MAR9808MAY97
"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
F108SEP1208SEP1208SEP1215NOV9901MAY08
F2A15JAN1815JAN1815JAN1815JAN1815JAN18
F2B08NOV1408NOV1408NOV1415NOV9808JUN08
F315JUL0715JUL0715JUL0722AUG0015DEC97
F422NOV0622NOV0622MAR0508DEC9801MAY98



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Sunday, April 14, 2019

USCIS Strengthens Guidance for Spousal Petitions Involving Minors

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced additional guidance (PDF, 222 KB) regarding the adjudication of spousal petitions involving minors, following up on the agency’s February update to its policy.

The guidance, published as an update to the USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM), instructs officers to conduct an additional interview for certain I-130 spousal petitions involving a minor. Generally, the bona fides of the spousal relationship are assessed in person by USCIS when the alien spouse applies to adjust status, or by the Department of State when the alien spouse applies for an immigrant visa. Howe



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Saturday, April 13, 2019

USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2020 and Reaches the Advanced Degree Exemption Cap

On April 10, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated regular cap and the U.S. advanced degree exemption for fiscal year (FY) 2020. After completing the random selection process for the regular cap, USCIS also determined that it has received a number of petitions projected as sufficient to meet the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.

USCIS received 201,011 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS announced on April 5 that it had received enough petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-1B regular cap of 65,000.

In accordance with the <a target='_blank' href="htt



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May 2019 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For May 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-may-2019.aspx

Please see below analysis of May 2019 Visa Bulletin:

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
F1+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month 7 DaysNo Change+1 Month 7 Days
F2A+2 Months 14 Days+2 Months 14 Days+2 Months 14 Days+2 Months 14 Days+2 Months 14 Days
F2B+3 Months 10 Days+3 Months 10 Days+3 Months 10 Days+2 Months 14 Days+2 Months
F3+1 Month 16 Days+1 Month 16 Days+1 Month 16 Days+7 Days+4 Months 7 Days
F4+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+17 DaysNo Change+9 Months
"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
F1+1 Month 21 Days+1 Month 21 Days+1 Month 21 Days+7 Days+7 Days
F2A+24 Days+24 Days+24 Days+24 Days+24 Days
F2B+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+3 Months+2 Months 14 Days
F3+2 Months+2 Months+2 Months+7 Days+1 Month
F4+2 Months+2 Months+1 Month+7 Days+1 Month



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May 2019 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official May 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-may-2019.aspx

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

D. CHINA-mainland born AND INDIA EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST (E1) PREFERENCE VISA AVAILABILITY

Despite the final action date for these two countries having been held in recent months, there continues to be an extremely high rate of demand for E1 numbers, primarily for USCIS adjustment of status applicants. This situation may require the retrogression of this final action date in an effort to limit future number use.



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May 2019 Visa Bulletin

For April 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-april-2019.aspx

For analysis of May 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-analysis-may-2019.aspx

May 2019 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 08JAN12
08JAN12 08JAN12 08AUG97 15MAY07
F2A 15MAY17 15MAY17 15MAY17 01MAY17 15MAY17
F2B 01FEB13 01FEB13 01FEB13 15FEB98 01OCT07
F3 08NOV06 08NOV06 08NOV06 15FEB96  08OCT96
F4 15FEB06 15FEB06 01AUG04 08FEB98 01MAR97
"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 22AUG12 22AUG12 22AUG12 08OCT99 15APR08
F2A 08JAN18 08JAN18 08JAN18 08JAN18 08JAN18
F2B 01AUG14 01AUG14 01AUG14 01OCT98 15MAY08
F3 22JUN07 22JUN07 22JUN07 22JUN00 01OCT97
F4 01OCT06 01OCT06 15MAR05 22NOV98 15FEB98



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Friday, April 12, 2019

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct a widespread system maintenance on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, from 9 p.m. until 12 a.m.(Eastern).

During this time you may experience technical difficulties and many of 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
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS Online Account 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Thursday, April 11, 2019

USCIS Partners with Joint Task Force-West to Stop Transnational Criminal Organizations

MCALLEN, Texas—Since the creation of the Southern Border and Approaches Campaign in December 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been an active partner within Joint Task Force-West (JTF-W) South Texas Corridor, providing assistance in intelligence and investigative efforts involving our immigration laws.

JTF-W seeks to enforce our immigration laws and interdict individuals seeking to illegally cross our land, sea and air borders. The JTF-W STC is comprised of inter-agencies working to stop transnational criminal organizations along the south Texas-Mexico border.

“It is important that USCIS plays a role in providing support to our law enforcement partners in the South Texas Corridor,” said District Director Mario Ortiz. “Our knowledge of immigration benefits helps in the efforts to disru



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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Mayor of Bacum, Mexico Sentenced for False Statement in Application and Use of a United States Passport

TUCSON, Ariz. – On April 8, 2019, Rogelio Aboyte Limon, 47, of Bacum, Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Judge Raner C. Collins to 15 months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. Aboyte Limon had previously pleaded guilty to false statement in application and use of a passport.                

     On Dec. 27, 2018, Aboyte Limon was arrested using a fraudulently obtained United States passport in an attempt to enter the United States through the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz. Aboyte Limon originally obtained the passport in 2005, renewed it in 2015, and used it on multiple occasions.  The false statements in the renewal application included using another person’s identity, claiming United States



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Monday, April 8, 2019

USCIS Reaches FY 2020 H-1B Regular Cap

USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions projected as needed to reach the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for fiscal year 2020. USCIS will next determine if we have received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the 20,000 H-1B 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, an



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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Re-Registration Period Now Open for Individuals with Temporary Protected Status under South Sudan’s Designation

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under South Sudan’s designation who want to maintain their status through the 18-month extension period ending on Nov. 2, 2020, must re-register between April 5, 2019 and June 4, 2019.

Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documents (EADs), have been published in the Federal Register and are available at uscis.gov/tps.

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



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Saturday, April 6, 2019

Hampden Woman Sentenced to Five Years of Probation for Conspiracy to Commit Marriage Fraud

BANGOR, Maine - United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Marena Mushero, 28, recently of Hampden, Maine, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court by Judge Lance E. Walker to five years of probation for conspiring to enter a marriage in order to evade U.S. immigration laws.

According to court records, Mushero, a United States citizen, posted an advertisement on an on-line forum, in which she offered to marry a person in need of permanent resident status in exchange for money.   On June 13, 2018, she received a response from a Nepalese citizen who was lawfully in the U.S. and living in another state.  Mushero agreed to marry him in exchange for cash payments so that he could get a “green card.”  On June 25, 2018, Mushero and her coconspirator were married in Brewer, Maine.  Before and after



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Friday, April 5, 2019

Non-Profit Organization Operator Pleads Guilty for Her Role in Armenian for-Profit U.S. Visa Fraud Scheme

Stella Boyadjian, 48, of Rego Park, New York pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to unlawfully bring in aliens, visa fraud, and aggravated identity theft before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara in the Eastern District of New York for her role in a multi-year visa fraud scheme that brought Armenian citizens into the United States for profit.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue of the Eastern District of New York and U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Director Christian J. Schurman, made the announcement.

According to the indictment, Boyadjian, led a transnational network of co-conspirators who engaged in a widespread visa fraud scheme to bring Armenian citizens into the United States by fraudulently claiming to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigr



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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Consultants From California And Texas Charged With Visa Fraud And Conspiracy

Eleven-Count Indictment Alleges Defendants’ Staffing Company Submitted Fraudulent Applications for High-Tech Worker Visas

SAN JOSE - A federal grand jury indicted Kishore Dattapuram, Kumar Aswapathi, and Santosh Giri, charging the defendants in a visa fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin. 

According to the indictment, Dattapuram, 49, of Santa Clara, Aswapathi, 49, of Austin, Texas, and Giri, 42, of San Jose, operated Nanosemantics, Inc., a Santa Clara-based consulting firm whose services included placing skilled foreign workers at software and technology companies in the Bay Area.  According to the indictment, the defendants worked together to submit fraudulent H-1B visa applications on behalf of foreign



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Monday, April 1, 2019

USCIS Launches H-1B Employer Data Hub

USCIS has launched an H-1B Employer Data Hub to provide information to the public on employers petitioning for H-1B workers. The data hub is part of our continued effort to increase transparency in employment-based visa programs by allowing the public to search for H-1B petitioners by fiscal year (back to FY 2009), NAICS code, employer name, city, state, or ZIP code. This will give the public the ability to calculate approval and denial rates and to review which employers are using the H-1B program. Data for individual fiscal years is available to download on the H-1B Employer Data Hub Files page.

To help the public use the data hub and understand the terminology in it



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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Premium Processing Begins for Certain Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions on May 20

On May 20, USCIS will begin premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status on their Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Petitioners who do not file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, concurrently with an FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petition requesting a change of status must wait until premium processing begins on May 20 to submit Form I-907.   

On March 19, we announced that we would offer premium processing in a two-phased approach during the FY 2020 cap season to best manage premium processing requests without fully suspending it. In the past few years, we had to



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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Owner of Information Technology Companies Sentenced To 15 Months in Prison for Visa Fraud and Tax Fraud

USCIS Identified H-1B Visa Fraud and Initiated Investigation

NEWARK, N.J. – An owner of two information technology companies was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison for his role in using phony documents to fraudulently obtain H-1B visas for foreign workers and submitting false tax returns, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) officer at the Vermont Service Center identified fraud and provided support to the investigation in this case. The FDNS Unit of the Newark Field Office then provided significant support to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and other law enforcement partners during the criminal investigation that led to the confirmation, prosecution a



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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Rochester Man Sentenced For Visa Fraud

USCIS assisted in case combatting H-1B Visa Fraud

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced last week that Anjaneyulu Katam, 46, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of visa fraud, was sentenced to serve 12 months and one day in prison and fined $5,000 by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi, who handled the case, stated that between 2011 and 2017, Katam ran businesses in which he falsified immigration documents for Indian nationals to enter the U.S. and work in tech industries involving computer programming. The defendant manipulated the H-1B visa program, which allows U.S. employers temporarily to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Katam falsified visa applications, work experience documents, and work contracts, which he then submitted to the U.S. Depa



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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

CW-1 Filings for Fiscal Year 2020 Must be Accompanied by an Approved Temporary Labor Certification

USCIS will begin accepting petitions for employment with start dates in fiscal year (FY) 2020 under the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker program (the CW-1 program) on April 4, 2019. However, all CW-1 filings for FY 2020 must include an approved temporary labor certification (TLC) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). USCIS will reject any CW-1 petition with an employment start date on or after Oct. 1, 2019, filed without the approved DOL TLC.

As required by the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018 (Workforce Act), DOL has announced that they will soon publish an Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register. The rule, effective April 4, 2019, will outline how CW-1 employers will obtain a prevailing wage and TLC to use when petitioni



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Saturday, March 23, 2019

McKees Rocks Man Sentenced for Role in Marriage Scam

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to one year of probation on his conviction of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to commit offenses against the United States, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Donetta Ambrose imposed sentence on Norman Lee McCullough, 55, of McKees Rocks, PA.

In connection with sentencing, the court was advised that from June 2016 to May 4, 2017, McCullough conspired with two other individuals to defraud the Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services. McCullough, a United States Citizen, received money and entered into a sham marriage with a Nigerian citizen so that the Nigerian citizen could obtain legal permanent residency in the United States. McCullough also submitted f



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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

USCIS Announces FY 2020 H-1B Cap Season Start, Updates, and Changes

Simple, smart changes to make the H-1B visa program work better

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the start of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap season, start dates for premium processing of cap-subject H-1B petitions, and the launch of its new H-1B data hub, while reminding petitioners of its new H-1B cap selection process. These new efforts underscore the agency’s commitment to supporting President Trump’s Buy American and Hire American executive order designed to protect U.S. workers.

“USCIS continually strives to improve the administration of the H-1B program and make it work better for employers, our agency, and U.S. workers,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “We are also committed to fulfilling the president’s Buy Ameri



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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Panama City Marriage Fraud Conspirators Plead Guilty and Sentenced

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Ravi Babu Kolla, 47, an Indian foreign national residing in Panama City, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to commit marriage and visa fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  On Tuesday, his co-defendant Krystal Cloud, 40, of Altha, Florida, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for marriage and visa fraud conspiracy after pleading guilty on December 28, 2018.  Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the guilty plea and sentence.

Between February 2017 and August 2018, Kolla operated an immigration marriage fraud business in Bay County that recruited U.S. citizens to marry Indian foreign nationals to gain immigration benefits.  The majority of the Indian foreign nationals overstayed their Visas or Student Exchange Visitor Program requirements an



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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Visa Bulletin May 2019 Predictions

For official April 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-april-2019.aspx

Please see May 2019 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
F122DEC1122DEC1122DEC1101SEP9715MAY07
F2A22MAR1722MAR1722MAR1715MAR1722MAR17
F2B08DEC1208DEC1208DEC1201JAN9822AUG07
F315OCT0615OCT0615OCT0622FEB9608JUL96
F408FEB0608FEB0601AUG0401MAR9815JUL96
"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
F115JUL1215JUL1215JUL1208NOV9922APR08
F2A22DEC1722DEC1722DEC1722DEC1722DEC17
F2B01OCT1401OCT1401OCT1408AUG9815MAR08
F315MAY0715MAY0715MAY0708AUG0008NOV97
F415SEP0615SEP0608MAR0501DEC9801APR98



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Friday, March 15, 2019

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct a widespread system maintenance on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, from 9 p.m. until midnight (Eastern).

During this time you may experience technical difficulties and many of 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
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS Online Account 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Thursday, March 14, 2019

5 Arrested in Scheme that Hired People to Take English Proficiency Exam on Behalf of Chinese Nationals Seeking Student Visas

LOS ANGELES – Federal authorities this morning arrested five defendants linked to a scheme that helped Chinese nationals obtain student visas by hiring individuals who used fake Chinese passports to take an English proficiency test for the foreign students.

The arrests were made pursuant to a 26-count indictment returned on Friday by a federal grand jury. The indictment charges the defendants with conspiring to use false passports, using false passports, and aggravated identity theft as part of the scheme to impersonate Chinese nationals who were required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to obtain a student visa.

The five defendants were taken into custody this morning without incident. They are:

  • Liu Cai, 23, of Woodland Hills, who allegedly facilitated the scheme, took at least five TOEFL exams him


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April 2019 Visa Bulletin

For March 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-march-2019.aspx

For analysis of April 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-analysis-april-2019.aspx

April 2019 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 01DEC11
01DEC11 01DEC11 08AUG97 08APR07
F2A 01MAR17 01MAR17 01MAR17 15FEB17 01MAR17
F2B 22OCT12 22OCT12 22OCT12 01DEC97 01AUG07
F3 22SEP06 22SEP06 22SEP06 08FEB96  01JUN96
F4 01JAN06 01JAN06 15JUL04 08FEB98 01JUN96
"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 01JUL12 01JUL12 01JUL12 01OCT99 08APR08
F2A 15DEC17 15DEC17 15DEC17 15DEC17 15DEC17
F2B 01JUL14 01JUL14 01JUL14 01JUL98 01MAR08
F3 22APR07 22APR07 22APR07 15JUN00 01SEP97
F4 01AUG06 01AUG06 15FEB05 15NOV98 15JAN98



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April 2019 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For April 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-april-2019.aspx

Please see below analysis of April 2019 Visa Bulletin:

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
F1+1 Month 10 Days+1 Month 10 Days+1 Month 10 Days+7 Days+7 Days
F2A+1 Month 24 Days+1 Month 24 Days+1 Month 24 Days+2 Months+1 Month 24 Days
F2B+2 Months 21 Days+2 Months 21 Days+2 Months 21 Days+2 Months 9 Days+10 Days
F3+14 Days+14 Days+14 Days+24 Days+5 Months
F4+3 Months 9 Days+3 Months 9 Days+7 DaysNo Change+5 Months
"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
F1+2 Months 9 Days+2 Months 9 Days+2 Months 9 Days+9 Days+7 Days
F2A+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days
F2B+9 Days+9 Days+9 Days+4 Months 21 Days+1 Month 10 Days
F3+1 Month 21 Days+1 Month 21 Days+1 Month 21 Days+7 DaysNo Change
F4+1 Month 9 Days+1 Month 9 Days+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days



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April 2019 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official April 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-april-2019.aspx

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

D. FINAL ACTION DATE MOVEMENT



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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

USCIS Provided Assist Leading to Indictments on Conspiracy to Commit Marriage Fraud and Related Immigration Charges

RALEIGH, N.C. – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced that a federal grand jury in Raleigh has returned an indictment charging Levan Lomtatidze, 44, a citizen of the country of Georgia; Melissa Anne Godshall, 31, a citizen of the United States; and Robert J. Kennerley, 46, a citizen of the United States, with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, marriage fraud, aiding and abetting, visa fraud and false statements in immigration proceedings.

The indictment alleges that Godshall and Kennerley, who were romantically involved, were panhandling for money on the side of the road in Granville County, North Carolina. An individual approached them and asked Godshall if she would be willing to marry a foreign-born national for money. Godshall agreed to engage in the marriage to Lomtatidze in exchange for $12,000, housing and a veh



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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

USCIS will resume premium processing on Tuesday, March 12, for all H-1B petitions. If you received a request for evidence (RFE) for a pending petition, you should include the RFE response with the premium processing request.

When an H-1B petitioner properly requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If we do not take certain adjudicative action within the 15‑calendar day processing time, USCIS refunds the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continues with expedited processing of the petition.

If Your H-1B Petition Was Transferred

If you received a transfer notice for a pending H-1B petition, and you are requesting premium processing service, you must submit the premium processing request to th



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Friday, March 8, 2019

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct a widespread system maintenance on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, from 9 p.m. until midnight (Eastern).

During this time you may experience technical difficulties and many of 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
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS Online Account 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Thursday, March 7, 2019

USCIS Assists in Case Resulting in the Leader of Non-Profit Music Organization Pleading Guilty in Visa Fraud Scheme

NEW YORK - Yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, Stella Boyadjian, the operator of a non-profit organization called Big Apple Music Awards Foundation Inc., based in Rego Park, Queens, New York, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bring aliens unlawfully into the United States, visa fraud, and aggravated identity theft.  The guilty plea was entered before United States Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate assisted in the case, which was a joint investigation by the Diplomatic Security Service’s Criminal Fraud Investigations and Overseas Criminal Investigations Divisions.

Between January 2013 and December 2014, Boyadjian and others engaged in a widespread visa fraud scheme to bring foreign nationals illegally into the United States by fraudulently claiming to the United



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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

UPDATE: USCIS to Publish Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A on March 8

We have revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and will publish the revised form on our website on March 8, 2019. We will be removing the 12/23/16 version of Form I-539 from uscis.gov on March 8 but will be allowing for a two-week grace period, until close of business on March 21, for that version to be received by USCIS. Starting on March 22, we will only accept the revised Form I-539 with an edition date of 02/04/19. We will reject any Form I-539 with an edition date of 12/23/16, or earlier, that is received by USCIS after March 21.

We will also be publishing a new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, on the Form I-539 webpage on March 8. Form I-539A



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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Worcester Man Charged With Making False Statement in Naturalization Application

BOSTON— A man residing in Worcester was arrested today and charged in federal court in Boston with making a false statement on an application for naturalization.

John Doe, a/k/a Richard Cheremeh, whose true age, name, and nationality are unknown, was charged with one count of making a false statement relating to naturalization and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment that was unsealed today, on July 31, 2014, Doe falsely stated on an application for naturalization that he had never given any U.S. government official any information or documentation that was false, fraudulent, or misleading.

The charge of making a false statement relating to naturalization provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of aggr



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Saturday, March 2, 2019

USCIS Updates Fee Payment System Used in Field Offices

WASHINGTON—On Feb. 25, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expanded the fee payment system used in field offices to 13 additional offices:

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico;
  • Buffalo, New York;
  • Detroit, Michigan;
  • El Paso, Texas;
  • Harlingen, Texas;
  • Hartford, Connecticut;
  • Jacksonville, Florida;
  • Louisville, Kentucky;
  • Mt. Laurel, New Jersey;
  • Newark, New Jersey;
  • Raleigh, North Carolina;
  • Sacramento, California; and
  • San Antonio, Texas.

Our fee pa



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Friday, March 1, 2019

New Online Tools Reduce Wait Times for Callers

The USCIS Contact Center is currently experiencing higher than normal wait times for callers to speak to a representative. While we work to resolve this, we encourage you to use our online tools.

Our self-service applicant tools could save you a phone call or a trip to one of our offices. These helpful resources include:

  • The USCIS online account;
  • Case Status Online;
  • Change of Address; and
  • Emma, our online virtual assistant.

If you have an inquiry that cannot be resolved through our self-help tools, you may call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).

The USCIS Contact Center is changing its hours of operation to ensure that we h



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Saturday, February 23, 2019

H-2B Cap Reached for FY 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2019. Feb. 19, 2019, was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before Oct. 1, 2019. USCIS will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions received after Feb. 19 that request an employment start date before Oct. 1, 2019.

On Feb. 19, the number of beneficiaries USCIS received petitions for surpassed the total number of remaining H-2B visas available for the H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2019. In accordance with regulations, USCIS determined it was necessary to use a computer-generated process, commonly known as a lottery, to ensure the fair and orderly allocation of H-2B visa numbe



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Sunday, February 17, 2019

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Filed on or before Dec. 21, 2018

USCIS will resume premium processing on Tuesday, Feb. 19, for all H-1B petitions filed on or before Dec. 21, 2018. If you received a transfer notice for a pending H-1B petition, and you are requesting premium processing service, you must submit the premium processing request to the service center now handling the petition. You should also include a copy of the transfer notice with your premium processing request to avoid possible delays associated with the receipt of your premium processing request. Additionally, if you received a request for evidence (RFE) for a pending petition, you should also include the RFE response with the premium processing request. If your petition was transferred and you send your premium processing request to the wrong center, USCIS will forward it to the petition’s current location.



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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Visa Bulletin April 2019 Predictions

For official March 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-march-2019.aspx

Please see April 2019 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
F108NOV1108NOV1108NOV1101SEP9715MAY07
F2A01FEB1701FEB1701FEB1708JAN1701FEB17
F2B15SEP1215SEP1215SEP1222OCT9715AUG07
F301OCT0601OCT0601OCT0601FEB9622JAN96
F422OCT0522OCT0522JUL0415FEB9801FEB96
"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
F101MAY1201MAY1201MAY1222NOV9915APR08
F2A01JAN1801JAN1801JAN1801JAN1801JAN18
F2B15SEP1415SEP1415SEP1415MAR9801FEB08
F308APR0708APR0708APR0715SEP0008NOV97
F401AUG0601AUG0601MAR0501DEC9801APR98



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Friday, February 15, 2019

USCIS Strengthens Guidance on Spousal Petitions Involving Minors

Guidance Clarifies Agency Requirements for Petition

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it is publishing guidance for its officers to consider when adjudicating spousal petitions involving minors.

The guidance, published as an update (PDF, 210 KB) to the USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM), clarifies age requirements for a petitioner filing an Affidavit of Support for a spouse in conjunction with a concurrently filed I-485, and identifies factors officers should consider when adjudicating a <a target='_blank'



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March 2019 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For March 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-march-2019.aspx

Please see below analysis of March 2019 Visa Bulletin:

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
F1+1 Month+1 Month+1 MonthNo Change+17 Days
F2A+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month+1 Month 7 Days
F2B+3 Months+3 Months+3 Months+2 Months+21 Days
F3+17 Days+17 Days+17 Days+24 Days+4 Months 10 Days
F4+3 Months+3 Months+16 DaysNo Change+3 Months
"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
F1+14 Days+14 Days+14 DaysNo Change+17 Days
F2A+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days
F2BNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change+4 Months+7 Days
F3+1 Month+1 Month+1 MonthNo Change+1 Month
F4+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+1 Month



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March 2019 Visa Bulletin

For February 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-february-2019.aspx

For analysis of March 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-analysis-march-2019.aspx

March 2019 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 22OCT11
22OCT11 22OCT11 01AUG97 01APR07
F2A 08JAN17 08JAN17 08JAN17 15DEC16 08JAN17
F2B 01AUG12 01AUG12 01AUG12 22SEP97 22JUL07
F3 08SEP06 08SEP06 08SEP06 15JAN96  01JAN96
F4 22SEP05 22SEP05 08JUL04 08FEB98 01JAN96
"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 22APR12 22APR12 22APR12 22SEP99 01APR08
F2A 08DEC17 08DEC17 08DEC17 08DEC17 08DEC17
F2B 22JUN14 22JUN14 22JUN14 08FEB98 22JAN08
F3 01MAR07 01MAR07 01MAR07 08JUN00 01SEP97
F4 22JUN06 22JUN06 08FEB05 08NOV98 08JAN98



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March 2019 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official March 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-march-2019.aspx

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

D. SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):

Pursuant to the continuing resolution, signed on January 25, 2019, the non-minister special immigrant program expires on February 15, 2019. No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight February 14, 2019. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of February 14, 2019, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight February 14, 2019.

The final action date for this category has been listed as "Unavailable" for March. If there is legislative action extending this category for FY-2019, the final action date would immediately become "Current" for March



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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

USCIS to Publish Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A

We have revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and will publish the revised form on our website on March 11, 2019. Starting on March 11, 2019, we will only accept the revised Form I-539 with an edition date of 02/04/19. We will reject any Form I-539 with an edition date of 12/23/16 or earlier. We will also be publishing a new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, on the Form I-539 webpage on March 11. Form I-539A replaces the Supplement A provided in previous versions of Form I-539. Form I-539A can only be submitted with Form I-539; it cannot be filed as a standalone form.

The revised Form I-539 includes the following significant changes: 

  • Every co-applicant included on the primary applicant’s


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Saturday, February 9, 2019

USCIS Now Accepting Copies of Negative P Visa Consultations Directly from Labor Unions

Effective immediately, USCIS will begin accepting copies of negative consultation letters directly from labor unions relating to a current or future P nonimmigrant visa petition. A consultation letter from a U.S. labor organization is generally required for petitions in the P visa classification, which covers athletes, artists, entertainers and their essential support personnel.

Typically, a petitioner submits the necessary P visa consultation with the petition, and that process requirement remains unchanged. After reported concerns from labor unions that some consultation letters, also known as advisory opinions, may have been falsified by petitioners and submitted to USCIS as no-objections or favorable consultations, when in fact they were negative, USCIS announced that it would begin accepting copies of nega



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Thursday, February 7, 2019

USCIS Statement on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

On Feb. 6, 2019, the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) join other U.S. government agencies and the international community in calling for an end to the practice of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C). 

FGM/C is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for no medical reason.

The United Nations reports that more than 200 million women and girls around the world have undergone some form of FGM/C. On Zero Tolerance Day, we are raising awareness about this practice, which is happening here in the United States, in small towns and big cities alike. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates approximately 500,000 girls in the Un



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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Owner of Information Technology Staffing Company Charged With Visa and Naturalization Fraud

NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was arrested this morning for allegedly submitting 11 fraudulent H-1B visa applications as well as fraudulently procuring his own citizenship, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Neeraj Sharma, 43, of Piscataway, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of visa fraud and one count of naturalization fraud. Sharma is scheduled to make his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Sharma recruited foreign workers with purported IT expertise who sought work in the United States. When submitting the potential staffers’ H-1B visa paperwork to U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services, Sharma falsely represented that the foreign work



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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

USCIS to Close the Moscow Field Office

Due to a significant decrease in workload, USCIS will permanently close its field office in Moscow, Russia, on March 29, 2019. The last day the office will be open to the public and accepting applications is Feb. 28, 2019. The USCIS field office in Athens, Greece, will assume jurisdiction over immigration matters in the Russian Federation, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.  The U.S. Embassy in Moscow will assume responsibility for certain limited services previously provided by USCIS to individuals residing in Russia (see table below). The USCIS Refugee Affairs Division will assume primary responsibility for adjudicating refugee cases presented for interview in the region.

Beginning on Mar



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Thursday, January 31, 2019

DHS Announces Final Rule for a More Effective and Efficient H-1B Visa Program

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted today for public inspection, a final rule amending regulations governing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. The final rule reverses the order by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption, and it introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 31, and will go into effect on April 1, though the electronic registration requireme



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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

USCIS Makes Two More Applications Available for Online Filing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that applicants can now complete and file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, and Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 online.

“One of the major burdens to both benefit seekers and the agency’s adjudicators is the costly, time consuming, and cumbersome process of traditional paper filing,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “This addition to our online capabilities is yet another positive advancement toward a more efficient and convenient filing experience for everyone involved.”

Applicants can file Form N-60



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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

USCIS Announces Online Case Status Feature for Asylum Applicants

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that applicants who have a pending affirmative asylum application with USCIS can now check the status of their applications online at uscis.gov/casestatus. Only asylum applicants with an application pending with USCIS will be able to use this new feature to check their case status online. It will not cover defensive asylum applicants whose cases are pending in immigration court.

“The new capability increases transparency and assures applicants that they have the most up-to-date and accurate information about their case, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “We strive to adjudicate all applications and petitions in a timely manner and are



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Saturday, January 26, 2019

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Petitions

USCIS will resume premium processing on Monday, Jan. 28, for all fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption (the “master’s cap”). Petitioners who have received requests for evidence (RFEs) for pending FY 2019 cap petitions should include their RFE response with any request for premium processing they may submit.

H-1B visas provide employers with skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If we do not take certain adjudicative action within the 15‑calendar day processing time, USCIS refunds the petitioner’s premium



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Friday, January 25, 2019

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

USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), have announced the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in 2019. The notice listing the eligible countries was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 18, 2019.

For 2019, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have agreed to:

  • Add Mozambique and Samoa to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs;
  • Add Paraguay to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A visa program;


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Friday, January 18, 2019

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, 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

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Thursday, January 17, 2019

JTF-W STC Arrests USCIS Target Tied To Illicit Funds, Marriage Fraud

MCALLEN, TEXAS – On January 8, 2019, agents assigned to the Joint Task Force - West, South Texas Corridor’s McAllen Joint Targeting Team (JTT) in coordination with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Constables Office, arrested Edsgardo Coss-Vallejo on suspicion of marriage fraud and currency smuggling.

During a USCIS interview, Coss-Vallejo’s petitioner withdrew her I-30 Petition for Alien Relative form.  USCIS subsequently denied the application, revoked his visa, and notified JTF-W STC of his overstay and suspected marriage fraud. Additional research by the JTT revealed several illicit financial transactions totaling $128,000.  JTT agents requested and received consent from Coss-Vallejo to search his home after suspecting illicit activity at



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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Visa Bulletin March 2019 Predictions

For official February 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-february-2019.aspx

Please see March 2019 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
F108OCT1108OCT1108OCT1101SEP9701MAY07
F2A22DEC1622DEC1622DEC1608DEC1622DEC16
F2B08JUN1208JUN1208JUN1215AUG9701AUG07
F315SEP0615SEP0615SEP0608JAN9601SEP95
F422JUL0522JUL0508JUL0415FEB9801NOV95
"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
F115APR1215APR1215APR1215DEC9901APR08
F2A01JAN1801JAN1801JAN1801JAN1801JAN18
F2B15SEP1415SEP1415SEP1401NOV9701FEB08
F308MAR0708MAR0708MAR0701NOV0001OCT97
F401AUG0601AUG0622FEB0522NOV9801MAR98



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Friday, January 11, 2019

Visa Bulletin Predictions for 2019

For the official February 2019 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-february-2019.aspx

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)
Worldwide dates (except oversubscribed countries):

F1: Up to five weeks
F2A: Up to one month
F2B: Up to two months
F3: Up to two weeks
F4: Up to six weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)



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February 2019 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For February 2019 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-february-2019.aspx

Please see below analysis of February 2019 Visa Bulletin:

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
F1+1 Month+1 Month+1 MonthNo Change+14 Days
F2A+23 Days+23 Days+23 Days+1 Month+23 Days
F2B+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 14 Days+9 Days
F3+7 Days+7 Days+7 DaysNo Change+1 Month
F4+1 Month+1 Month+7 DaysNo Change+1 Month
"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
F1+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month
F2ANo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2B+3 Months+3 Months+3 Months+1 Month+1 Month
F3+24 Days+24 Days+24 Days+1 Month 7 Days+2 Months
F4+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+24 Days+7 Months 16 Days



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