USCIS Makes Steps Toward Digital Immigration Processing
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 22, 2019 that it would implement a new strategy to make steps toward a digital business model. This strategy, known as eProcessing, will be a complete digital experience. Individuals would be able to apply for a benefit, communicate with USCIS, and even r...
July 2019 Visa Bulletin Issued
The Department of State (DOS) has issued its July 2019 Visa Bulletin. Most notably, there was an advancement for EB-1 India after a retrogression last month, and EB-3 Philippines is now current.
China: Priority date of May 8, 2017 (Advancement of 75 days)
Visa Applicants Are Now Required to Disclose Social Media Accounts, Prior Contact Information
The Department of State is now requiring visa applicants to disclose five years of social media and contact history. These new questions related to social media use, prior email addresses, and prior phone numbers have been added to the Forms DS-160 and DS-260, the online nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applications.
The questions ...
Proposed H-1B Cap Registration Fee Currently Under Federal Review
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has submitted a proposal to impose a fee on employers who register for the H-1B cap starting next year.
Under current rules, an employer that submits an H-1B cap petition is subject to the following fees:
Form I-129 filing fee: $460
H-1B Training and Education Fee:...
House Passes Bill Aiming to Eliminate Per-Country Green Card Cap
On July 10, 2019, the House passed a bill that would eliminate the per-country cap on green cards, which would mean that the amount of time any new applicant waits for a green card would be equalized, regardless of where the applicant was born.
Under current regulations, the green card cap limits a maximum of 7% of total employmen...
August 2019 Visa Bulletin Issued
The Department of State (DOS) has issued its August 2019 Visa Bulletin. Most notably, there is a significant backlog worldwide for EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3.
China: Priority date of July 1, 2016 (Regression of 312 days)
Data From USCIS Shows Increase of H-1B Denials in 2019
According to the , H-1B denials have skyrocketed since fiscal year (FY) 2015. Analyzing data from , NFAP found that denial rates for new H-1B petitions have quadrupled between FY 2015 and FY 2018, and the trend is increasing for the first quarter of FY 2019.
Increased Denials of Initial H-1B Petitions
Form I-539 No Longer Eligible for “Courtesy” Premium Processing
As noted in a , the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and a new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status in March 2019. Starting on March 22, 2019, USCIS began to only accept the...
Changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Finalized
On July 24, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a that made significant changes to the . The final rule will become effective on November 21, 2019.
As the first significant revision of the program since 1993, the final rule makes the following changes:
Raising the mi...
ICE Begins Conducting On-Site Inspections of F-1 STEM OPT Employment
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) unit of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has officially launched on-site inspections of the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment of certain F-1 trainees. The purpose of these on-site inspections is to review employer compliance with STEM OPT regul...