Thursday, September 17, 2020

USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors who are responding to certain:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers;
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant;
  • Filing date requirements for Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA); or
  • Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

Notice/Request/Decision Issuance Date



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Monday, September 14, 2020

CW-1 Employers Must Verify Continued Employment and Payment of CW-1 Workers by Submitting Form I-129CWR

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is reminding employers of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Transitional Workers (CW-1) that they must confirm the continued employment of the CW-1 workers every six months. 

USCIS created a new standalone form, Form I-129CWR, Semiannual Report for CW-1 Employers, for this requirement. USCIS established this requirement in an interim final rule (IFR) implementing the <a target='_blan



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Thursday, September 10, 2020

USCIS Launches Sponsor Deeming and Agency Reimbursement Information Collection Initiative

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced the launch of a new Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) initiative that will enable agencies that administer federal means-tested benefits to ensure more effective compliance with federal laws, regulations, and policies related to financial support of aliens by their sponsors and agency reimbursement. 

"The Trump administration has made it clear that existing immigration laws must be enforced, and sponsors of aliens should be held legally accountable for the financial responsibilities they willingly accept," said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow. "This enhanced feature will support participating public-benefit granti



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Monday, September 7, 2020

USCIS Issues New Policy Guidance on Final Fee Rule

USCIS has updated its Policy Manual with guidance on the final fee rule, which adjusts the fees we charge for certain immigration benefit applications and petitions. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 3, 2020. The new policy guidance describes the final rule's adjustment in fees for specific forms. It also provides guidance on fee exemption and waiver policies, new premium processing time limits, modifications to intercountry adoption processing, and other changes made by the fee rule.

For more information, see the final rule (PDF) and the <a target='_blank' href="https://www.uscis.gov/sit



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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

USCIS Adopts AAO Decision on TPS and Authorized Travel

TPS Beneficiaries Retain Same Immigration Status after Traveling Abroad

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a Policy Memorandum (PDF, 268.36 KB) adopting the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision on Matter of Z‑R‑Z‑C.

The decision holds that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries who travel abroad using a Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-issued travel document under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 244(f)(3) generally will retain the same immigration status on their return that they ha



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Monday, August 31, 2020

USCIS Averts Furlough of Nearly 70% of Workforce

Drastic cuts will impact agency operations for foreseeable future

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that the agency will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30 as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts.

USCIS expects to be able to maintain operations through the end of fiscal year 2020. Aggressive spending reduction measures will impact all agency operations, including naturalizations, and will drastically impact agency contracts.

"Our workforce is the backbone of every USCIS accomplishment. Their resilience and strength of character always serves the nation well, but in this year of uncertainty, they remain steadfast in their mission administering our nation's la



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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Visa Bulletin October 2020 Predictions

For official September 2020 Visa Bulletin and Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-september-2020.aspx

Please see October 2020 Visa Bulletin Predictions below (for both Family Based and Employment Based categories for all countries):

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
F108NOV1408NOV1408NOV1422JAN9808APR12
F2ACCCCC
F2B15AUG1515AUG1515AUG1501MAY9908NOV11
F308JUL0808JUL0808JUL0815AUG9622JUN02
F415OCT0615OCT0622MAR0508JUL9801MAY02
"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
F101OCT1501OCT1501OCT1501MAR0008FEB13
F2A01SEP2001SEP2001SEP2001SEP2001SEP20
F2B15JUN1615JUN1615JUN1622DEC9915JUL12
F308JUL0908JUL0908JUL0922AUG0008MAY03
F401OCT0701OCT0708DEC0501MAY9901JAN03



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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

USCIS Policy Update on CW-1 Departure Requirement

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is modifying its policy on implementing the requirement that aliens leave the United States for at least 30 days after two renewals of their CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) visa classification.

Effective immediately, USCIS will only consider CW-1 petitions approved on or after June 18, 2020, when we apply the requirement that certain CW-1 nonimmigrant workers depart the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for a period of at least 30 continuous days. For example, any alien approved on or after June 18, 2020, for a one-year CW-1 validity period beginning Oct. 1, 2020, will be eligible for two more consecutive petition validity periods after the first period of validity expires on Sept. 30, 2021. Previously, USCIS counted all consecutive petition validity periods, even those approved prior to June 18, 2020, when deter



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Monday, August 24, 2020

USCIS Implements DHS Guidance on DACA

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today provided guidance on how it will implement Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf's July 28 memorandum (PDF) regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

Under USCIS' implementing guidance (PDF, 1.7 MB), we will reject all initial DACA requests from aliens who have never previously received DACA and return all fees. The rejections will be without prejudice, meaning aliens will be able to reapply should U



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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

September 2020 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For September 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-september-2020.aspx

Please see below analysis of September 2020 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 Month+17 Days+3 Months 14 Days
F2ANo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2B+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+17 Days+4 Months
F3+14 Days+14 Days+14 Days+17 Days+3 Months
F4+14 Days+14 Days+14 Days+7 Days+4 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 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+21 Days+4 Months
F2A+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month
F2B+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+23 Days+4 Months
F3+24 Days+24 Days+24 Days+14 Days+4 Months
F4+14 Days+14 Days+14 Days+21 Days+3 Months 24 Days



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September 2020 Visa Bulletin

For August 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-august-2020.aspx

For analysis of September 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-analysis-september-2020.aspx

September 2020 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from September 1 to September 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 15SEP14
15SEP14 15SEP14 08JAN98 15DEC11
F2A C C C C C
F2B 08JUL15 08JUL15 08JUL15 08APR99 01AUG11
F3 15JUN08 15JUN08 15JUN08 01AUG96 15FEB02
F4 22SEP06 22SEP06 08MAR05 22JUN98 01JAN02
"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 22JUL15 22JUL15 22JUL15 22FEB00 08OCT12
F2A 01AUG20 01AUG20 01AUG20 01AUG20 01AUG20
F2B 01MAY16 01MAY16 01MAY16 01DEC99 01APR12
F3 01JUN09 01JUN09 01JUN09 15AUG00 22DEC02
F4 15SEP07 15SEP07 22NOV05 22APR99 01SEP02



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September 2020 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official September 2020 Visa Bulletin and Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-september-2020.aspx

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

D. FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PLEASE VISIT THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS WEBSITE AT TRAVEL.STATE.GOV

E. DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2021 (DV-2021) RESULTS

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2021 diversity lottery. The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available *55,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Approximately 132,404 applicants have been registered and notified and may now make an application for an immigrant visa. Since it is likely that some of the first *55,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, thi



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September 2020 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For September 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-september-2020.aspx

Please see below analysis of September 2020 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 Month+17 Days+3 Months 14 Days
F2ANo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2B+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+17 Days+4 Months
F3+14 Days+14 Days+14 Days+17 Days+3 Months
F4+14 Days+14 Days+14 Days+7 Days+4 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 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+21 Days+4 Months
F2A+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month
F2B+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+23 Days+4 Months
F3+24 Days+24 Days+24 Days+14 Days+4 Months
F4+14 Days+14 Days+14 Days+21 Days+3 Months 24 Days



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September 2020 Visa Bulletin

For August 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-august-2020.aspx

For analysis of September 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-analysis-september-2020.aspx

September 2020 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from September 1 to September 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 15SEP14
15SEP14 15SEP14 08JAN98 15DEC11
F2A C C C C C
F2B 08JUL15 08JUL15 08JUL15 08APR99 01AUG11
F3 15JUN08 15JUN08 15JUN08 01AUG96 15FEB02
F4 22SEP06 22SEP06 08MAR05 22JUN98 01JAN02
"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 22JUL15 22JUL15 22JUL15 22FEB00 08OCT12
F2A 01AUG20 01AUG20 01AUG20 01AUG20 01AUG20
F2B 01MAY16 01MAY16 01MAY16 01DEC99 01APR12
F3 01JUN09 01JUN09 01JUN09 15AUG00 22DEC02
F4 15SEP07 15SEP07 22NOV05 22APR99 01SEP02



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September 2020 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official September 2020 Visa Bulletin and Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-september-2020.aspx

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

D. FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PLEASE VISIT THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS WEBSITE AT TRAVEL.STATE.GOV

E. DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2021 (DV-2021) RESULTS

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2021 diversity lottery. The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available *55,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Approximately 132,404 applicants have been registered and notified and may now make an application for an immigrant visa. Since it is likely that some of the first *55,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, thi



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Friday, August 14, 2020

USCIS Extends Transitional Parole for CNMI Long-Term Resident Status Applicants

USCIS announced today that it will automatically extend parole, and employment authorization if applicable, for parolees who timely applied for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) long-term resident status.

This specific extension of parole applies only to current parolees who timely filed Form I-955, Application for CNMI Long-Term Resident Status, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and whose applications remain pending on Aug. 17. USCIS will automatically extend their parole (and emplo



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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

USCIS Adjusts Fees to Help Meet Operational Needs

WASHINGTON—Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced a final rule (PDF) that adjusts fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests to ensure U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recovers its costs of services.

Unlike most government agencies, USCIS is fee funded. Fees collected and deposited into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account fund nearly 97% of USCIS' budget.

As required by federal law, USCIS conducted a comprehensive biennial fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services. DHS is adjusting USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 20% to help recover its operational costs. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by



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Monday, August 10, 2020

Application Period Open for Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Programs

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is accepting applications for two funding opportunities under the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program. The grant opportunities, mandated by Congress and funded with appropriations rather than the agency's operating funds, will provide up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.    

These competitive grant opportunities are open to organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents for naturalization and promote civic assimilation through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics. 

USCIS expects to announce award recipients in September 2020, if agency staff are available to review applications and oversee the program. However, should agency staff be furloughed in late August, USCIS anticipates that the grant program coul



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Monday, August 3, 2020

How Trump's coronavirus immigration orders affect visas and green cards

President Trump tweeted in April that he would “temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” leading to confusion and panic.

For those affected by the rapidly shifting regulations, it can be hard to make sense of documents written in inscrutable legalese. The problem is that somebody thinks that something applies to them when it doesn’t or doesn’t realize something applies to them when it does.

To make things easier, here’s a breakdown of recently implemented restrictions on work and resident visas.



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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Applying Discretion in USCIS Adjudications

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has consolidated existing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding officers’ application of discretion in adjudications.

For many immigration benefits, including certain applications for lawful permanent residence and employment authorization, requestors must show that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted, in addition to showing that they meet all other eligibility requirements. 



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Monday, July 27, 2020

Visa Bulletin September 2020 Predictions

For official August 2020 Visa Bulletin and Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-august-2020.aspx

Please see September 2020 Visa Bulletin Predictions below (for both Family Based and Employment Based categories for all countries):

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
F108OCT1408OCT1408OCT1408FEB9815DEC11
F2ACCCCC
F2B08JUL1508JUL1508JUL1515APR9901JUL11
F322JUN0822JUN0822JUN0801AUG9622MAR02
F401OCT0601OCT0608MAR0501AUG9815DEC01
"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
F115AUG1515AUG1515AUG1508FEB0001OCT12
F2A01AUG2001AUG2001AUG2001AUG2001AUG20
F2B01MAY1601MAY1601MAY1601DEC9901MAR12
F322JUN0922JUN0922JUN0908AUG0001JAN03
F415SEP0715SEP0722NOV0508APR9901SEP02



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Friday, July 24, 2020

USCIS Launches Updated Website

Today, USCIS launched an updated uscis.gov website, which they designed with input from applicants, petitioners and the public. In addition to a new look and feel, they have improved the website to help visitors better navigate our existing online tools and resources, as well as to file and manage applications and petitions online.

They are also making information about our processes easier to find by streamlining our navigation based on user feedback, data and best practices. 



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Monday, July 20, 2020

August 2020 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For August 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-august-2020.aspx

Please see below analysis of August 2020 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 Days+14 Days+3 Months
F2ANo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2B+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month 7 Days+14 Days+3 Months
F3+24 Days+24 Days+24 Days+7 Days+3 Months
F4+17 Days+17 Days+14 Days+14 Days+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 16 Days+1 Month 16 Days+1 Month 16 Days+24 Days+4 Months
F2A+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month
F2B+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+24 Days+4 Months
F3+23 Days+23 Days+23 Days+17 Days+4 Months
F4+17 Days+17 Days+17 Days+24 Days+4 Months



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August 2020 Visa Bulletin

For July 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-july-2020.aspx

For analysis of August 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-analysis-august-2020.aspx

August 2020 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from August 1 to August 31 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 15AUG14
15AUG14 15AUG14 22DEC97 01SEP11
F2A C C C C C
F2B 08JUN15 08JUN15 08JUN15 22MAR99 01APR11
F3 01JUN08 01JUN08 01JUN08 15JUL96 15NOV01
F4 08SEP06 08SEP06 22FEB05 15JUN98 01SEP01
"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 08JUN15 08JUN15 08JUN15 01FEB00 08JUN12
F2A 01JUL20 01JUL20 01JUL20 01JUL20 01JUL20
F2B 15MAR16 15MAR16 15MAR16 08NOV99 01DEC11
F3 08MAY09 08MAY09 08MAY09 01AUG00 22AUG02
F4 01SEP07 01SEP07 08NOV05 01APR99 08MAY02



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August 2020 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official August 2020 Visa Bulletin and Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-august-2020.aspx

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

D. FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PLEASE VISIT THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS WEBSITE AT TRAVEL.STATE.GOV



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Friday, July 17, 2020

Good news for foreigners waiting for visas

Almost four months after the suspension of routine visa services worldwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of State will gradually resume the issuance of visas at U.S. embassies and consulates.

The Department announced the resumption of routine consular services in each diplomatic mission depending on the health conditions of the country in which it is located, in order to ensure the safety of its workforce in American embassies and consulates around the world.



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Thursday, July 16, 2020

USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain:


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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

US will restart visa services amid Trump's efforts to restrict immigration

U.S. embassies and consulates around the world will soon resume visa services, the State Department said Monday, although it is not providing details on where or when.

The worldwide suspension of U.S. visas, except for emergency cases, has been one of several ways the Trump administration has severely restricted immigration and travel to the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest move in that campaign has been the most controversial -- barring international students from taking classes fully online this fall semester, even as several U.S. universities move to online-only coursework because of the uncontrolled outbreak in several states. That decision has been challenged in court by more than a dozen states and over 200 universities.



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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Update to Filing Location for Form I-918 and Form I-485 for Applicants Filing Based on U Nonimmigrant Status

Starting June 29, 2020, petitioners residing in certain states must file the following forms at the Nebraska Service Center, instead of the Vermont Service Center:
Petitioners should determine which service center they should send these and related forms (such as Form I-192 and Form I-765) based on their state of residence. Please refer to the “Where to File” section on the Form I-918 webpage to determine the correct filing location.



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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Deputy Director for Policy Statement on USCIS’ Fiscal Outlook

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow issued the following statement on the agency’s fiscal outlook due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

“The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are long reaching and pervasive, leaving few unscathed in its wake. USCIS is still experiencing those very effects, which began with an alarming drop in applications at the end of March. Forecasts predict a crippling budget shortfall that requires assistance from Congress to allow USCIS to maintain current operations.



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Monday, July 6, 2020

Texas Service Center Moving to New Address on June 26

On June 26, the Texas Service Center will move to a new address. Although the move is scheduled for June 26, USCIS cannot accept mail at the new address until Monday, June 29. The new facility will help streamline processes by consolidating operations in the new location.

The Texas Service Center will continue to provide prompt and efficient service in processing requests for immigration benefits.



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Sunday, July 5, 2020

USCIS Rule Strengthens Employment Eligibility Requirements for Asylum Seekers

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a regulatory change to deter aliens from illegally entering the United States and from filing frivolous, fraudulent, or otherwise non-meritorious claims for asylum to obtain an employment authorization document. This rule does not alter asylum eligibility criteria in any way and will be effective on Aug. 25.

This rule stems from the April 29, 2019, Presidential Memorandum on Additional Measures to Enhance Border Security and Restore Integrity to Our Immigration System, which emphasizes that it is the policy of the United States to manage humanitarian immigration programs in a safe and orderly manner, and to promptly deny benefits to those who do not qualify.



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Saturday, July 4, 2020

USCIS Statement on Supreme Court’s DACA Decision

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow issued the following statement on today’s Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program:

Today’s court opinion has no basis in law and merely delays the President’s lawful ability to end the illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals amnesty program.



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Friday, July 3, 2020

USCIS to Celebrate Independence Day by Hosting Naturalization Ceremonies Across the Country

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is celebrating the Declaration of Independence and the birth of our great country by hosting naturalization ceremonies across the United States from July 1 through July 7. Despite the pandemic, USCIS continues to welcome new citizens, demonstrating American resiliency and the importance of our independence.

USCIS began to conduct limited naturalization ceremonies in May and began to fully resume ceremonies in early June, after temporarily pausing in-person services to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The ceremonies have been shorter to limit exposure to those in attendance, incorporating social distancing and other safety precautions that protect the health and safety of applicants and USCIS staff. USCIS has naturalized approximately 64,500 new citizens over the past month and anticipates completing nearly all postponed administrative naturalization ceremonies by the end of July.



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Thursday, July 2, 2020

USCIS Provides Greater Flexibility in Processing Work Authorization Requests for Asylum Applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a regulatory change to provide greater flexibility in the processing of initial employment authorization documents (commonly called EADs) for asylum applicants by removing the burdensome and agency-imposed 30-day time frame. The final rule becomes effective on Aug. 21.

This change provides USCIS sufficient time to receive, screen and process applications and to address national security and fraud concerns, maintain technological advances in identity verification and further deter those who may attempt to defraud the legal immigration system. It also gives the agency flexibility to shift limited adjudicator resources as needed. In the past, the agency has been forced to divert resources away from other types of benefit requests to meet the 30-day time frame.



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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

USCIS Extends Transitional Parole for Certain Aliens Present in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

USCIS announced today that it will automatically extend parole, and employment authorization if applicable, for certain aliens present in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). This specific extension of parole will apply only to current parolees whose parole status will expire on June 29, 2020.

To ensure that all eligible aliens, including parolees, will have the full opportunity to apply for CNMI long-term resident status without interruption to their parole status, USCIS will automatically extend parole (and employment authorization, if applicable) for these aliens without interruption through Aug. 17, 2020.

The CNMI long-term resident status was created by the Northern Mariana Islands Long-Term Legal Residents Relief Act (Public Law 116-24), signed into law on June 25, 2019. The new law specifically gave the Department of Homeland Security the discretion to authorize parole, with work authorization, for these aliens during the time period needed to implement the new law.



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Thursday, June 25, 2020

USCIS to Publish Revised Form I-129CW on June 18

On May 14, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published an interim final rule (IFR) implementing the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018. The IFR will take effect on June 18, 2020, and it includes a revised Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Worker, and instructions.

USCIS will publish the revised Form I-129CW on uscis.gov on or before June 18. Starting June 18, USCIS



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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Trump Expected To Suspend H-1B, Other Visas Until End Of Year

President Trump is expected to sign an order to suspend H-1B, L-1 and other temporary work visas through the end of the year, according to the multiple sources familiar with the plan.

The new order — which is expected to come with broad exceptions — comes as the administration continues to wrestle with high unemployment among American workers because of the coronavirus pandemic and tries to kick-start the economic recovery.

The order would target H-1B visas, which are designed for certain skilled workers such as those employed in the tech industry, as well as L-1 visas, which are meant for executives who work for large corporations.

The executive action is also expected to suspend H-2B visas for seasonal workers such as hotel and construction staff, and J-1 visas, which are meant for research scholars and professors and other cultural and work-exchange programs. Trump could renew the suspensions when they lapse. The order is not expected to immediately affect anyone already in the United States.

"No matter how you slice it, this is shaping up to be a big win for American workers at a critical time," said RJ Hauman, government relations director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for lower levels of immigration. FAIR had called on Trump to suspend guest worker visas.

"We have some concern over potential abuse of broadly written exceptions, but there is still time for that to be addressed, both now and during implementation," Hauman said.

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the plans. If signed, it would be the latest restriction on immigration imposed by the Trump administration since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.
In May, Trump issued a temporary halt on new green cards but stopped short of suspending guest worker programs amid concerns from the business community.

Negotiations are ongoing in the latest order over various exceptions, including whether au pairs should be included, and changes could still occur before Trump signs the measure, which could happen imminently. But plans for the order have already raised significant concerns among business and industry groups, as well as universities who depend on foreign workers and scholars.

"The ban on H-1B visas, which are often used to fill very niche positions that are not easily found in the American workforce, will ultimately prove to be counterproductive and is an example of using a nuclear bomb to address a bar fight," said Leon Fresco, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration who now represents H-1B workers.

The order does include many exceptions.

It does not apply to H-2A agriculture workers who Trump says are necessary to ensure grocery store shelves remain stocked with fruits and vegetables. Health care workers involved in treating coronavirus patients would also be exempt.

The order would make broad exceptions for travel in the national interest, including in the areas of economics, public health and national security. The U.S. State Department will review and approve these applications on a case-by-case basis.

In 2018, the Trump administration first tightened rules for companies that contract out high-skilled workers who are in this country on H-1B visas. The visas themselves have become controversial. U.S. companies use them to hire highly skilled foreign workers in situations in which they say there is a shortage of U.S.-born talent.

The visas are good for three years and renewable for another three-year term. Critics of the visas — 85,000 of which are issued every year — say American workers are aced out of competition with workers who can be paid less.


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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

July 2020 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For July 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-july-2020.aspx

Please see below analysis of July 2020 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 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+23 Days+4 Months
F2ANo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2B+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+1 Month 17 Days+21 Days+4 Months
F3+23 Days+23 Days+23 Days+16 Days+4 Months
F4+14 Days+14 Days+17 Days+24 Days+4 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 7 Days+2 Months 7 Days+2 Months 7 Days+17 Days+5 Months 7 Days
F2A+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month
F2B+2 Months+2 Months+2 Months+23 Days+3 Months
F3+1 Month+1 Month+1 MonthNo Change+5 Months 7 Days
F4+15 Days+15 Days+21 Days+1 Month+4 Months 7 Days



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July 2020 Visa Bulletin

For June 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-june-2020.aspx

For analysis of July 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-analysis-july-2020.aspx

July 2020 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from July 1 to July 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 08JUL14
08JUL14 08JUL14 08DEC97 01JUN11
F2A C C C C C
F2B 01MAY15 01MAY15 01MAY15 08MAR99 01JAN11
F3 08MAY08 08MAY08 08MAY08 08JUL96 15AUG01
F4 22AUG06 22AUG06 08FEB05 01JUN98 01JUN01
"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 22APR15 22APR15 22APR15 08JAN00 08FEB12
F2A 01JUN20 01JUN20 01JUN20 01JUN20 01JUN20
F2B 01FEB16 01FEB16 01FEB16 15OCT99 01AUG11
F3 15APR09 15APR09 15APR09 15JUL00 22APR02
F4 15AUG07 15AUG07 22OCT05 08MAR99 08JAN02



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July 2020 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official July 2020 Visa Bulletin and Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-july-2020.aspx

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

D. FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PLEASE VISIT THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS WEBSITE AT TRAVEL.STATE.GOV

E. VISA AVAILABILITY



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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Military Personnel and Veterans Can Now File Their Form N-400, Naturalization Application, Online

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that U.S. service members and veterans can now file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, online.  

Online filing allows aliens to submit forms electronically, check the status of their case and receive notices from USCIS. USCIS is using innovation and technology to meet the needs of applicants, petitioners, and employees. Regardless of the



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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct system maintenance to the Contact Relationship Interface System (CRIS) on Saturday, May 2, at 11:00 p.m. through Sunday, May 3, at 6:00 a.m. Eastern.

During this time frame, users may experience technical difficulties with one or more of the following online tools:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address online
  • Check Case Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • Office Locator
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS online account

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Friday, May 1, 2020

USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30 to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers; and
  • Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

Notice/Request/Decision Issuance Date:

This flexibility applies to the above documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decisio



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Saturday, April 25, 2020

USCIS Offices Preparing to Reopen on June 4

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is readying offices to reopen on or after June 4. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public while the offices are closed.

While offices are temporarily closed, USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency in-person services. Please call the USCIS Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.

USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants



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Friday, April 24, 2020

USCIS Updates Policy on False Claims of U.S. Citizenship

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced it is updating its Policy Manual (PDF, 307 KB) to align with the Department of Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) precedent decision in Matter of Zhang. Decided in June 2019, the BIA held in this decision that false claims of U.S. citizenship do not need to be knowingly made to make an alien deportable under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The<a target='_blank' href="https://www.uscis.go



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May 2020 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For May 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-may-2020.aspx

Please see below analysis of May 2020 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+2 Months 21 Days+2 Months 21 Days+2 Months 21 Days+1 Month+6 Months
F2ANo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2B+2 Months 14 Days+2 Months 14 Days+2 Months 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+4 Months
F3+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month 14 Days+1 Month+6 Months
F4+21 Days+21 Days+17 Days+1 Month+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 21 Days+2 Months 21 Days+2 Months 21 Days+7 Days+7 Months
F2A+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month
F2B+2 Months 21 Days+2 Months 21 Days+2 Months 21 Days+1 Month 7 Days+4 Months
F3+2 Months 14 Days+2 Months 14 Days+2 Months 14 DaysNo Change+7 Months 7 Days
F4+3 Days+3 Days+17 Days+7 Days+5 Months



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May 2020 Visa Bulletin

For April 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-april-2020.aspx

For analysis of May 2020 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-analysis-may-2020.aspx

May 2020 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 22MAR14
22MAR14 22MAR14 22OCT97 01SEP10
F2A C C C C C
F2B 15JAN15 15JAN15 15JAN15 15JAN99 01JUN10
F3 15MAR08 15MAR08 15MAR08 08JUN96 15NOV00
F4 22JUL06 22JUL06 08JAN05 15APR98 01OCT00
"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 22NOV14 22NOV14 22NOV14 08DEC99 01JUN11
F2A 01MAR20 01MAR20 01MAR20 01MAR20 01MAR20
F2B 22SEP15 22SEP15 22SEP15 08SEP99 01FEB11
F3 15DEC08 15DEC08 15DEC08 15JUL00 22AUG01
F4 28JUL07 28JUL07 08SEP05 22JAN99 01JUN01



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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct system maintenance to the Contact Relationship Interface System (CRIS) on Wednesday, April 22, at 11:59 p.m. through Thursday, April 23, at 3:00 a.m. Eastern.

During this time frame, users may experience technical difficulties with one or more of the following online tools:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address online
  • Check Case Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • Office Locator
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS online account

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Friday, April 17, 2020

DHS and USDA Move to Protect American Farmers and Ensure Continued Flow of America’s Food Supply

WASHINGTON— The Department of Homeland Security, with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. These temporary flexibilities will not weaken or eliminate protections for U.S. workers.

Under this temporary final rule, an H-2A petitioner with a valid temporary labor certification who is concerned that workers will be unable to enter the country due to travel restrictions can start employing certain foreign workers who ar



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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct system maintenance to the Contact Relationship Interface System (CRIS) on Wednesday, April 15, at 11:59 p.m. through Thursday, April 16, at 3:00 a.m. Eastern.

During this time frame, users may experience technical difficulties with one or more of the following online tools:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address online
  • Check Case Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • Office Locator
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS online account

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

COVID-19 Delays in Extension/Change of Status Filings

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizes that there are immigration-related challenges as a direct result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We continue to carefully analyze these issues and to leverage our resources to effectively address these challenges within our existing authorities. DHS also continues to take action to protect the American people and our communities, and is considering a number of policies and procedures to improve the employment opportunities of U.S. workers during this pandemic.

Generally, nonimmigrants must depart the United States before their authorized period of admission expires. However, we recognize that nonimmigrants may unexpectedly remain in the United States beyond their authorized period of



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Friday, April 3, 2020

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct system maintenance to the Contact Relationship Interface System (CRIS) on Thursday, April 2, at 11:59 p.m. through Friday, April 3, at 3:00 a.m. (EST).

During this time frame, users may experience technical difficulties with one or more of the following online tools:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address online
  • Check Case Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • Office Locator
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS online account

We apologize for any inconve



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Thursday, April 2, 2020

FY 2021 H-1B Cap Petitions May Be Filed as of April 1

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2021, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, may now be filed with USCIS if based on a valid selected registration.

A petitioner is only eligible to file an FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition if they electronically registered the beneficiary in the H-1B registration process and USCIS selected the registration submitted for the beneficiary through the random selection process.

The H-1B electronic registration process was well-received by users, who provided a high satisfaction score with the system. Nearly 275,000 unique registrations were submitted duri



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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

USCIS Temporary Office Closure Extended until at least May 3

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS offices will begin to reopen on May 4 unless the public closures are extended further. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public. 

USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency ser



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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

USCIS to Continue Processing Applications for Employment Authorization Extension Requests Despite Application Support Center Closures

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that it will reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to process valid Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, extension requests due to the temporary closure of Application Support Centers (ASC) to the public in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This announcement is consistent with existing USCIS authorities regarding the agency’s ability to reuse previously submitted biometrics.

Applicants who had an appointment scheduled with an ASC on or after the March 18 closure or has filed an I-765 extension will have their application processed using previously submitted biometrics.  This will remain in effect until ASCs are open for appointments to



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Monday, March 30, 2020

USCIS Expands Flexibility for Responding to USCIS Requests

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it adopted measures to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID). This alert clarifies that this flexibility also applies to certain Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) and Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) regional investment centers, as well as certain filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

Notice/Request/Decision Issuance Date:

This flexibility applies to an RFE, NOID, NOIR, NOIT or appealable decision within AAO jurisdiction and the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decisio



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Sunday, March 29, 2020

H-1B Initial Electronic Registration Selection Process Completed

USCIS has received enough electronic registrations during the initial period to reach the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap). We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted. We intend to notify petitioners with selected registrations no later than March 31, 2020, that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.

Registrants’ online accounts will now show one of the following statuses for each registration (that is, for each beneficiary registered):

  • Submitted: A registration status may continue to show “Submitted” after the initial selection process has been completed. “Submitted” registrations


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Saturday, March 28, 2020

USCIS Announces Flexibility for Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is adopting a measure to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020.   

For applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set for



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Friday, March 27, 2020

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct system maintenance to the Contact Relationship Interface System (CRIS) on Friday, March 27, at 11:59 p.m. through Saturday, March 28, at 3:00 a.m. (EST).

During this time frame, users may experience technical difficulties with one or more of the following online tools:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address online
  • Check Case Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • Office Locator
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS online account

We apologize for any inconvenience this may



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Thursday, March 26, 2020

USCIS Temporarily Closes Rome and Nairobi Offices to the Public

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced it has temporarily closed its offices in Rome, Italy, and Nairobi, Kenya, to the public, due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In February, USCIS announced the temporarily suspension of services at its offices in Beijing and Guangzhou, China.

USCIS will post updates on the office pages when the offices are scheduled to reopen. 

USCIS will reschedule all appointments and will continue to respond to email inquiries. Please visit the “Contact Us” sections on our Nairobi and <a target='_blank' href="https:



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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct system maintenance to the Contact Relationship Interface System (CRIS) on Friday, March 20, at 11:59 p.m. through Saturday, March 21, at 3:00 a.m. (EST).

During this time frame, users may experience technical difficulties with one or more of the following online tools:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address online
  • Check Case Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • Office Locator
  • File Online
  • myUSCIS online account

We apologize for any inconvenience this may



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Monday, March 23, 2020

USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for All I-129 and I-140 Petitions Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Alert: While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite their petition if it meets the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria. All expedite requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and requests granted at the discretion of USCIS office leadership.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced the immediate and temporary suspension of premi



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Sunday, March 22, 2020

USCIS Announces Flexibility in Submitting Required Signatures During COVID-19 National Emergency

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency announced by President Trump on March 13, 2020, we will accept all benefit forms and documents with reproduced original signatures, including the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond.

USCIS already accepts various petitions, applications and other documents bearing an electronically reproduced original signature. This means that a document may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that the copy must be of an original document containing an original handwritten signature, unless otherwise specified.<a target='_blank' href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1"



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Saturday, March 21, 2020

USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for All I-129 and I-140 Petitions Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced the immediate and temporary suspension of premium processing service for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions until further notice due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Effective today, March 20, 2020, USCIS will not accept any new requests for premium processing. USCIS will process any petition with a previously accepted Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, in accordance with the premium processing service criteria. However, we will not be able to send notices using pre-paid envelopes. We will only send batch-printed notices. Petitioners who have already filed a <a target='_blank' href="https://www.uscis.



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Friday, March 20, 2020

Initial H-1B Electronic Registration Period Closes March 20

The initial registration period for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B numerical allocations will close at noon Eastern on March 20. Registrations must be properly submitted before noon Eastern on March 20 to be considered in the initial selection process.

If USCIS receives enough registrations during the initial registration period, we will randomly select the number of registrations we project are needed to reach the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations and send selection notifications via users’ online accounts. We intend to notify registrants with selected registrations from the initial registration period no later than March 31, 2020, that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selecte



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Visa Bulletin May 2020 Predictions

For official April 2020 Visa Bulletin and analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-april-2020.aspx

Please see May 2020 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
F108MAR1408MAR1408MAR1408OCT9701JUN10
F2ACCCCC
F2B01JAN1501JAN1501JAN1501JAN9922APR10
F315MAR0815MAR0815MAR0815MAY9608SEP00
F415JUL0615JUL0601JAN0508APR9815AUG00
"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
F108NOV1408NOV1408NOV1415DEC9922JAN11
F2A08APR2008APR2008APR2008APR2008APR20
F2B01AUG1501AUG1501AUG1501SEP9915DEC10
F315NOV0815NOV0815NOV0822JUL0001MAY01
F422AUG0722AUG0708SEP0508FEB9908APR01



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