Thursday, April 15, 2021

F-1 Students Seeking Optional Practical Training Can Now File Form I-765 Online

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online if they are filing under one of these categories:

  • (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;
  • (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and
  • (c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.

OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student's major area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or



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Monday, April 12, 2021

USCIS Confirms Elimination of “Blank Space” Criteria

USCIS today confirmed that for all forms it has reverted to the form rejection criteria it applied before October 2019 regarding blank responses.

In 2019, USCIS changed the form rejection criteria for:



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FY 2022 H-1B Cap Season Updates

H-1B Initial Electronic Registration Selection Process Completed

USCIS has received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap) including the advanced degree exemption (master's cap). We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted to reach the cap. We have notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations 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: The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been comp


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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Updated Guidance on P-1A Internationally Recognized Athletes

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced updated guidance for adjudicating requests for P-1A nonimmigrant classification for internationally recognized athletes.

The guidance clarifies the meaning of the phrase "major United States sports league or team" as used in the regulations, 8 CFR 214.2(p)(4)(ii)(B), and specific to internationally recognized athletes, a category that is distinct from the additional P-1A categories created by the COMPETE Act of 2006. The guidance explains that we interpret the phrase "major United States sports league" to mean one that has a distinguished reputation commensurate with an internationally recognized level of performance, and "major United States sports team" to mean a team that



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Monday, April 5, 2021

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;
  • Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; and
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.

In addition, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion or Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), if:

  • The form was filed up to 60 calendar days from the issuance of a d


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Thursday, April 1, 2021

DHS Withdraws ‘Affidavit of Support’ Proposed Rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the withdrawal of the affidavit of support proposed rule, consistent with DHS's commitment to reduce barriers within the legal immigration system that placed increased burdens on American families wishing to sponsor individuals immigrating to the U.S.

The Oct. 2, 2020, proposed rule would have changed the evidentiary requirements for U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and lawful permanent residents wishing to sponsor an individual immigrating to the U.S. by completing an affidavit of support under Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationalit



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Monday, March 29, 2021

USCIS Updates Policy Guidance for Special Immigrant Juvenile Classification

Effective March 18, USCIS has updated policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual (PDF, 362.73 KB) regarding the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification based on the settlement agreement resulting from the Saravia v. Barr class action lawsuit.

The SIJ classification allows certain children who have been subject to state juvenile court proceedings related to abuse, neglect, abandonment, etc., to apply for lawful permanent residence (a Green Card). USCIS must review an SIJ petitioner's juvenile court order and supporting evidence to determin



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Friday, March 26, 2021

Visa Bulletin May 2021 Predictions

For official April 2021 Visa Bulletin & Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-april-2021.aspx

Please see May 2021 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
F101NOV1401NOV1401NOV1408MAR9808MAR12
F2ACCCCC
F2B01SEP1501SEP1501SEP1508AUG9915OCT11
F322AUG0822AUG0822AUG0808OCT9615MAY02
F408NOV0608NOV0615APR0501AUG9801JUN02
"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
F108OCT1508OCT1508OCT1508MAR0015NOV13
F2A01APR2101APR2101APR2101APR2101APR21
F2B08JUL1608JUL1608JUL1601AUG0008JAN13
F308JUL0908JUL0908JUL0915SEP0001JUL03
F422OCT0722OCT0708DEC0515MAY9901JUL03



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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Registration period opens for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syria

Re-Designation Allows Additional Eligible Syrians to Apply

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security today published a Federal Register notice (FRN) extending and re-designating Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective March 31, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022. The extension and re-designation were announced on January 29 and were based upon ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria that prevent safe return.

The ex



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Monday, March 22, 2021

USCIS May Reopen H-1B Petitions Denied Under Three Rescinded Policy Memos

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced it may reopen and/or reconsider adverse decisions on Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, made based on three rescinded policy memos. USCIS will generally use its discretion to accept a motion to reopen filed more than 30 days after the decision, if filed before the end of the validity period requested on the petition or labor condition application, whichever is earlier, and the decision was based on one or more policies in the rescinded H-1B memoranda below.

On June 17, 2020, USCIS issued Policy Memorandum 602-0114 (PDF, 379.71 KB), which officially rescinded two prior po



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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Update on USCIS Visitor Policy

In light of some states and municipalities relaxing mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reminds the public that we will continue to enforce our visitor policy in all USCIS facilities. This includes a requirement that all visitors 2 years of age or older wear a face covering while in USCIS facilities.

USCIS continues to prioritize the health and safety of our customers and employees, as well as the American public. We will continue to review and update our policies as ne



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Monday, March 15, 2021

DHS Secretary Statement on the 2019 Public Charge Rule

Today, DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the government will no longer defend the 2019 public charge rule as doing so is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.

"The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation's values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. "Consistent with the President's vision, we will continue to implement reforms that improve our legal immigration system."

President Biden's Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans called for an immediate review of agency actions on public charge inadmissibility and deportability. DHS's review, in consultation with the Department



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Friday, March 12, 2021

April 2021 Visa Bulletin

For March 2021 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-march-2021.aspx

For analysis of April 2021 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-analysis-april-2021.aspx

April 2021 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 08OCT14
08OCT14 08OCT14 22FEB98 22JAN12
F2A C C C C C
F2B 08AUG15 08AUG15 08AUG15 22JUL99 01SEP11
F3 08AUG08 08AUG08 08AUG08 01OCT96 01APR02
F4 01NOV06 01NOV06 08APR05 22JUL98 08APR02
"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 15SEP15 15SEP15 15SEP15 01MAR00 01SEP13
F2A 01MAR21 01MAR21 01MAR21 01MAR21 01MAR21
F2B 15JUN16 15JUN16 15JUN16 08JUL00 08NOV12
F3 22JUN09 22JUN09 22JUN09 08SEP00 01MAY03
F4 01OCT07 01OCT07 01DEC05 08MAY99 01MAY03



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April 2021 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For April 2021 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-april-2021.aspx

Please see below analysis of April 2021 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+16 Days+16 Days+16 Days+14 Days+14 Days
F2ANo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2B+17 Days+17 Days+17 Days+7 Days+17 Days
F3+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+16 Days+24 Days
F4+10 Days+10 Days+17 Days+7 Days+1 Month 7 Days
"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 7 Days+1 Month 7 Days+1 Month 7 DaysNo Change+10 Months 10 Days
F2A+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month
F2B+24 Days+24 Days+24 Days+6 Months 17 Days+6 Months 23 Days
F3No ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change+3 Months 24 Days
F4No ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change+7 Months



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April 2021 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official April 2021 Visa Bulletin & Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-april-2021.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. @TRAVELGOV BEGINS HOSTING MONTHLY YOUTUBE LIVE "CHATS WITH CHARLIE"

@TravelGov will begin hosting "Chats with Charlie" on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/TravelGov) to discuss information provided in the monthly Visa Bulletin. The first chat is scheduled to take place on March 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm EST to discuss the April Visa Bulletin. Questions can be emailed to VisaBulletin@state.gov ahead of the event with "Chat with Charlie Question" in the subject line. Questions will also be taken via the YouTube Live Chat and will be answ



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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Designates Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months

New Designation Allows Eligible Venezuelans to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas is designating Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 2022. This new designation of TPS for Venezuela enables Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.

This designation is due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela that prevent nationals from returning safely, including a complex humanitarian crisis marked by widespread hunger and malnutrition, a growing influence and presence of non-state armed groups, repression, and a crumbling infrastructure. TPS can be extended to a country



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Monday, March 8, 2021

USCIS Extends Flexibilities to Certain Applicants Filing Form I-765 for OPT

USCIS today announced flexibilities for certain foreign students affected by delayed receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. These flexibilities apply only to applications received on or after Oct. 1, 2020, through May 1, 2021, inclusive.

USCIS has experienced delays at certain lockboxes in issuing receipt notices for Form I-765 for optional practical training (OPT) for F-1 students. These delays are a result of COVID-19 restrictions, a dramatic increase in filings of certain benefit requests, postal service volume and delays, and other external factors. While we have made progress in addressing the problem, we are extending the following flexibilities to assist certain applicants for OPT impacted by the delays.

14-month OPT Period Flexibilities

F-1 students may participate in up to 12 months o



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Thursday, March 4, 2021

USCIS Expands Premium Processing Service to E-3 Petitioners

Starting Feb. 24, 2021, petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting a change or extension of status to E-3 classification will have the option to request premium processing service for their petition. The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia who are coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation.

An Australian national who is outside the United States may apply for an E-3 nonimmigrant visa



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Monday, March 1, 2021

H-2B Cap Reached for Second Half of FY 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2021. Feb. 12, 2021, was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before Oct. 1, 2021. We will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions received after Feb. 12 that request an employment start date before Oct. 1.

On Feb. 12, the number of beneficiaries for whom USCIS received petitions surpassed the total number of remaining H-2B visas available for the H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2021. In accordance w



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Friday, February 26, 2021

Visa Bulletin April 2021 Predictions

For official March 2021 Visa Bulletin & Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-march-2021.aspx

Please see April 2021 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
F115OCT1415OCT1415OCT1422FEB9808MAR12
F2ACCCCC
F2B15AUG1515AUG1515AUG1501AUG9901OCT11
F315AUG0815AUG0815AUG0801OCT9608MAY02
F401NOV0601NOV0601APR0501AUG9801MAY02
"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
F108SEP1508SEP1508SEP1508MAR0001JAN13
F2A08MAR2108MAR2108MAR2108MAR2108MAR21
F2B22JUN1622JUN1622JUN1601JAN0008JUN12
F315JUL0915JUL0915JUL0915SEP0015MAR03
F422OCT0722OCT0708DEC0515MAY9901DEC02



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Thursday, February 25, 2021

USCIS Reverts to the 2008 Version of the Naturalization Civics Test

WASHINGTON— U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today it is reverting to the 2008 version of the naturalization civics test beginning March 1, 2021.  

On Dec. 1, 2020, USCIS implemented a revised naturalization civics test (2020 civics test) as part of a decennial test review and update process. USCIS determined the 2020 civics test development process, content, testing procedures, and implementation schedule may inadvertently create potential barriers to the naturalization process. This action is consistent with the framework of the <a target='_blank' href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/02/02/executive-order-restoring-faith-in-our-legal-immigration-systems-and-str



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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

March 2021 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For March 2021 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-march-2021.aspx

Please see below analysis of March 2021 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+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+17 Days+7 Days
F2ANo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2B+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+1 Month 14 DaysNo Change
F3+17 Days+17 Days+17 Days+14 Days+7 Days
F4+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+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
F1No ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2A+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month+1 Month
F2BNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F3No ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F4No ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change



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March 2021 Visa Bulletin

For February 2021 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-february-2021.aspx

For analysis of March 2021 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-analysis-march-2021.aspx

March 2021 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 22SEP14
22SEP14 22SEP14 08FEB98 08JAN12
F2A C C C C C
F2B 22JUL15 22JUL15 22JUL15 15JUL99 15AUG11
F3 01AUG08 01AUG08 01AUG08 15SEP96 08MAR02
F4 22OCT06 22OCT06 22MAR05 15JUL98 01MAR02
"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 08AUG15 08AUG15 08AUG15 01MAR00 22OCT12
F2A 01FEB21 01FEB21 01FEB21 01FEB21 01FEB21
F2B 22MAY16 22MAY16 22MAY16 22DEC99 15APR12
F3 22JUN09 22JUN09 22JUN09 08SEP00 08JAN03
F4 01OCT07 01OCT07 01DEC05 08MAY99 01OCT02



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March 2021 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official March 2021 Visa Bulletin & Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-march-2021.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. REPORTING CHANGES OF ADDRESS FOR CASES BEING PROCESSED OVERSEAS

All readers should be aware that any change of address or email for applicants processing their case overseas should always be reported to the National Visa Center (NVC). It is essential that NVC have the correct address and email so they can send information regarding the processing of the case to the applicant.

When contacting NVC directly about an immigrant visa petition, always include the following information:

  • NVC case number or USCIS receipt number
  • Principal applicant's name
  • Principal applicant's date of birth
  • Petitioner's name
  • </


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Thursday, February 18, 2021

USCIS Reaches Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B Cap

USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master's cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2021.

We have completed sending non-selection notifications to registrants' online accounts. The status for registrations properly submitted for the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations, but that were not selected, will now show:

  • Not Selected: Not selected for this fiscal year.

We will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY 2021 H-1B cap. We will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend th


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Monday, February 15, 2021

President Biden Reinstates DED for Eligible Liberians

On Jan. 20, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum directing the secretary of Homeland Security to reinstate Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for eligible Liberians and to provide for continued work authorization through June 30, 2022.

Eligible Liberian nationals (and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia) covered under DED as of Jan. 10, 2021, may remain in the United States through June 30, 2022. We will automatically extend employment authorization documents (EADs) with a March 30, 2020, or Jan. 10, 2021, facial expiration date through June 30, 2022, for eligible individuals covered under DED for Liberians. A notice in the <a target='_blank' href="https://www.federalreg



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Thursday, February 11, 2021

FY 2022 H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period Opens on March 9

USCIS today announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap will open at noon Eastern on March 9 and run through noon Eastern on March 25. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to fill out petitioner and beneficiary information and submit their registrations.

A confirmation number will be assigned to each registration submitted for the FY 2022 H-1B cap. This number is used solely to track registrations; you cannot use this number to track your case status in Case Status Online.

Prospective H-1B cap-subject petitioners or their representatives are required to use a myUSCIS onli



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Monday, February 8, 2021

DHS Delays Effective Date of H-1B Selection Final Rule

On Jan. 7, USCIS announced the H-1B Selection final rule, which amended the regulations governing the process by which USCIS selects H-1B registrations for the filing of H-1B cap-subject petitions.

To give USCIS more time to develop, test, and implement the modifications to the H-1B registration system and selection process, DHS is delaying the effective date of this final rule from March 9, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021. The delay will also provide more time for USCIS to train staff and perform public outreach as well as give stakeholders time to adjust to the new rule.

For the upcoming H



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Thursday, February 4, 2021

New Edition and New Filing Address for Form I-690

On Jan. 29, we published the 07/23/20 edition of Form I-690, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, and changed the filing location. Applicants previously filed this form at the USCIS Chicago Lockbox. Now they must send the form to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox. For more information, please see the Edition Date and Where to File sections of our Form I-690 page.



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Monday, February 1, 2021

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;
  • Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; and
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.

In addition, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), if:

  • The form was filed up to 60 calendar days from the issuance of a


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Friday, January 29, 2021

USCIS to Replace Sticker That Extends Validity of Green Cards

Starting in January, we will replace the sticker that is currently issued to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to extend the validity of their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (PRC or "Green Card"), with a revised Form I-797, Notice of Action. LPRs file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, when their Green Cards expire or are about to expire. The revised Form I-797 notice will serve as a receipt notice for the Form I-90. 

When presented together with the Green Card, the revised Form I-797 notice will extend the Green Card's validity for 12 months from the date on the front of the Green Card and will serve as temporary proof of the LPR's status. This change ensures that LPRs with a recently expired Green Card will have documentation of identity, employment authorization, and authorization to return to the United States following temporary foreign travel



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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

USCIS Suspending In-Person Services Jan. 19 and 20

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced it will temporarily suspend in-person services at all field offices, asylum offices and application support centers on Jan. 19 and 20 to ensure the safety of our employees and individuals with appointments.



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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Visa Bulletin March 2021 Predictions

For official February 2021 Visa Bulletin & Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-february-2021.aspx

Please see March 2021 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
F115OCT1415OCT1415OCT1401FEB9815MAR12
F2ACCCCC
F2B08AUG1508AUG1508AUG1522JUN9915OCT11
F301AUG0801AUG0801AUG0815SEP9622MAY02
F422OCT0622OCT0622MAR0522JUL9815APR02
"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
F115SEP1515SEP1515SEP1508MAR0015JAN13
F2A01FEB2101FEB2101FEB2101FEB2101FEB21
F2B22JUN1622JUN1622JUN1608JAN0015JUN12
F322JUL0922JUL0922JUL0915SEP0001APR03
F422OCT0722OCT0708DEC0515MAY9915DEC02



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Monday, January 25, 2021

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

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 2021. The notice listing the eligible countries will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 13, 2021.

For 2021, the acting secretary of homeland security and the secretary of state have agreed to:

  • Add the Philippines to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2B program;
  • No longer designate the Independent State of Samoa and Tonga as eligible countries because they no longer meet the regulatory standards for the H-2A and H-2B visa prog


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Friday, January 22, 2021

February 2021 Visa Bulletin

For January 2021 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-january-2021.aspx

For analysis of February 2021 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-analysis-february-2021.aspx

February 2021 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from February 1 to February 28 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:
Final Action Dates
Dates For Filing Applications
"Final Action Date" is the date when when USCIS/DOS may render their final decision on submitted applications. Your priority date should be before this date.
Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 15SEP14
15SEP14 15SEP14 22JAN98 01JAN12
F2A C C C C C
F2B 15JUL15 15JUL15 15JUL15 01JUN99 15AUG11
F3 15JUL08 15JUL08 15JUL08 01SEP96 01MAR02
F4 15OCT06 15OCT06 15MAR05 08JUL98 01FEB02
"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 08AUG15 08AUG15 08AUG15 01MAR00 22OCT12
F2A 01JAN21 01JAN21 01JAN21 01JAN21 01JAN21
F2B 22MAY16 22MAY16 22MAY16 22DEC99 15APR12
F3 22JUN09 22JUN09 22JUN09 08SEP00 08JAN03
F4 01OCT07 01OCT07 01DEC05 08MAY99 01OCT02



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February 2021 Visa Bulletin Analysis

For February 2021 Visa Bulletin, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-february-2021.aspx

Please see below analysis of February 2021 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
F1No ChangeNo ChangeNo Change+7 DaysNo Change
F2ANo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo ChangeNo Change
F2B+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+1 MonthNo Change
F3+7 Days+7 Days+7 Days+10 DaysNo Change
F4+7 Days+7 DaysNo Change+7 DaysNo Change
"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+17 Days+17 Days+17 Days+8 Days+14 Days
F2A+5 Months+5 Months+5 Months+5 Months+5 Months
F2B+21 Days+21 Days+21 Days+21 Days+14 Days
F3+21 Days+21 Days+21 Days+24 Days+17 Days
F4+16 Days+16 Days+9 Days+16 Days+1 Month



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February 2021 Visa Bulletin Special Notes

For the official February 2021 Visa Bulletin & Analysis, please click here: https://www.mygcvisa.com/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-february-2021.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 IN THE COMING MONTHS

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates:
F1: Up to two weeks
F2A: Current
F2B: Up to two weeks
F3: Up to three weeks
F4: Up to two weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First:
Worldwide: Current
China: Up to six months
India: Up to six months

Employment Second:
Worldwide: Current
China: Up to three weeks
India: Up to two weeks

Employment Third:
Worldwide: Current
China:



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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

USCIS Lockbox Updates

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, USCIS is experiencing delays in issuing receipt notices for some applications and petitions filed at a USCIS lockbox facility. The information below explains the current state of our lockbox operations and the issues affecting receipt notices.

Current Situation

As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, an increase in filings, current postal service volume and other external factors, you may experience a delay of four to six weeks in receiving your receipt notice after properly filing an application or petition with a USCIS lockbox. These dela



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Monday, January 18, 2021

Filing Location Change for Certain Forms I-765

On Jan. 8, we adjusted the filing location for certain foreign students filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Please review our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-765 page to see where you should file your application.



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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Filing Location Change for Certain Forms I-485

On Jan. 8, we adjusted the filing locations for certain Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Please review our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-485 page to see where you should file your application.



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Monday, January 11, 2021

USCIS Modifies H-1B Selection Process to Prioritize Wages

Rule Expected to Protect the Economic Interests of American Workers

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced a final rule that will modify the H-1B cap selection process, amend current lottery procedures, and prioritize wages to protect the economic interests of U.S. workers and better ensure the most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment program.

Modifying the H-1B cap selection process will incentivize employers to offer higher salaries, and/or petition for higher-skilled positions, and establish a more certain path for businesses to achieve personnel needs and remain globally compet



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Thursday, January 7, 2021

New Filing Address for Forms I-924 and I-924A

On Jan. 5, we changed the filing location for Form I-924, Application For Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program, and Form I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center. Applicants previously filed these forms at the California Service Center. Now, they must send them to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox. When filing at a USCIS lockbox, applicants may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, cashier's check, or credit card. For more information, please see the Where to File and Filing Fee sections of the I-924 and I-924A webpages.



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