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  • New USCIS Policy: RFE Everything From Initial Petition To Extensions
    In a significant development, USCIS has issued a new Policy Memorandum superseding and rescinding previous guidance regarding deference to prior determinations of eligibility in adjudication of Form I-129 petitions seeking extension of nonimmigrant status. The previous USCIS policy, in existence since 2004, instructed that previously approved petitions should be given deference. This meant that unless there was any material error or fraud in the previous determination, USCIS officers should approve petitions for extensions of stay that had the same petitioner, beneficiary and basic underlying facts. The updated guidance, which applies to nearly all nonimmigrant classifications filed using Form I-129, including H-1B, and L-1 visas, instructs USCIS officers to now apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial petitions and extension requests. This means that extension petitions will be treated the same as new petitions and it will not matter that USCIS previously approved a petition with the same facts. USCIS aims to remove any “constraints” that USCIS officers may have from prior determinations and approvals. While the true impact of the new policy will become more evident in the coming days, it is reasonable to expect an increase in the number of RFEs being issued in Form I-129 extension petitions, especially for H-1Bs and L-1s. Petitioners filing Form I-129 extension petitions must make sure to include all the necessary supporting documents with the extension petition to minimize the impact of this new guidance and not take for granted that USCIS has previously approved an I-129 with the same facts and information. If you have any questions regarding extension of status, or need any assistance in filing a Form I-129 extension petition, please Contact VisaPro immediately. Our experienced attorneys will be happy to assist you. The post New USCIS Policy: RFE Everything From Initial Petition To Extensions appeared first on VisaPro. …
  • USCIS Resumes H1B Premium Processing For All H1B Petitions

    USCIS has resumed Premium Processing for all types of H1B petitions.

    USCIS had temporarily suspend Premium Processing for all H1B petitions starting April 3, 2017. Subsequently, it resumed Premium Processing for certain types of H1B petitions including H1B cap-exempt petitions, H1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, and H1B petitions subject to the H1B cap 2018. It has now resumed Premium Processing for all types of H1B petitions including H1B extension of stay and H1B change of employer petitions.

    Under Premium Processing USCIS guarantees a response in 15-calendar days. An application for H1B Premium Processing can be made by filing a completed and signed Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, along with the USCIS Premium Processing filing fee of $1,225.

    The post USCIS Resumes H1B Premium Processing For All H1B Petitions appeared first on VisaPro.

  • USCIS DV 2019 Green Card Lottery Program Begins

    The 2019 Diversity Visa program (DV-2019) is now open.

    Applicants desirous of participating in the DV-2019 Green Card Lottery must submit their entries in the official State Department website for DV-2019. Entries will not be accepted through the U.S. Postal Service.

    The entry submission period for DV-2019 is from October 3, 2017 to November 7, 2017 and the Green Card Lottery entry form will be available for submission only during this period.

    DV Lottery Applicants must note that they may be disqualified for submitting more than one entry, or for not completing the entry form correctly. Applications are therefore advised to read the DV-2019 entry instructions carefully before submitting the application.

    The post USCIS DV 2019 Green Card Lottery Program Begins appeared first on VisaPro.

  • Secure EAD And SSN Through Updated Form I-765

    USCIS has updated the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (EAD), to enable foreign nationals in certain visa classifications to now apply for work permit and a social security number (SSN) using a single form.

    Previously, applicants had to submit a Form I-765 to USCIS for an employment authorization document, and then apply for social security number in-person by submitting additional paperwork at the local Social Security Office.

    The revised Form I-765 includes additional questions that allow applicants to apply for SSN or replacement card without visiting a Social Security office. Applicants who receive their approved EAD card from USCIS should receive their Social Security card within the following two weeks.

    The post Secure EAD And SSN Through Updated Form I-765 appeared first on VisaPro.

  • USCIS Premium Processing Begins For H1B Cap 2018 Petitions

    USCIS has resumed premium processing for all H-1B cap petitions subject to the FY 2018 H-1B cap.

    USCIS had previously resumed premium processing for certain H-1B cap-exempt petitions, as well as H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program.

    USCIS has not yet announced when the Premium Processing service will resume for all other H1B petitions. We continue to monitor developments related to USCIS Premium Processing for H1B petitions, and will keep our readers updated of the latest developments

    The post USCIS Premium Processing Begins For H1B Cap 2018 Petitions appeared first on VisaPro.

  • US Embassy Moscow Suspends Nonimmigrant Visa Processing

    U.S. Mission in Russia has announced suspension of all nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations across Russia beginning August 23, 2017.

    Starting September 1, 2017, all nonimmigrant visa interviews will only be conducted at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. While nonimmigrant visa interviews will resume at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from September 1, 2017, nonimmigrant visa interviews at the U.S. Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok will remain suspended until further notice. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow will continue to process nonimmigrant visas without an interview for those who qualify.

    Visa applicants who have their NIV interviews canceled will receive an email with a phone number to call to reschedule their interview at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for a later date.

    NIV Processing for Visa Applicants from Belarus

    The U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg will also no longer accept new visa applications for residents of Belarus. Nonimmigrant visa appointments for Belarussian applicants who have already paid the application fee will be rescheduled. Residents of Belarus have been advised to schedule NIV appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Kyiv or Vilnius.

    The post US Embassy Moscow Suspends Nonimmigrant Visa Processing appeared first on VisaPro.

  • Premium Processing For Certain H-1B Cap Exempt Petitions

    USCIS has resumed premium processing of H1B cap-exempt petitions filed by:

    • Institutions of higher education
    • Nonprofits related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education
    • Nonprofit research or governmental research organizations

    Premium processing has also resumed for H1B petitions filed on behalf of Beneficiaries who will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization or entity.

    USCIS has not yet announced when the Premium Processing service will resume for other H1B petitions. We continue to monitor developments related to USCIS Premium Processing for H1B petitions, and will keep our readers updated of the latest developments.

    The post Premium Processing For Certain H-1B Cap Exempt Petitions appeared first on VisaPro.

  • USCIS Visa Bulletin June 2017 Highlights
    The U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin June 2017 shows retrogression in EB-1 China and EB-1 India in the Application Final Action Dates chart. EB-2 China and EB-2 India advanced marginally. No change was seen in the Dates for Filing Applications chart for the employment based visa preference categories. USCIS is yet to announce which chart may be used in June 2017 for filing applications for Adjustment of Status with USCIS. Unless USCIS indicates otherwise, applicants seeking to file for adjustment of status must follow the dates in the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when they could file their adjustment of status applications. June 2017 Visa Bulletin Highlights The following are the key highlights in the Application Final Action Dates chart of June 2017 Visa Bulletin: Priority date for EB-1 China and EB-1 India retrogressed to January 1, 2012. EB-1 Priority Workers Category remains Current for all countries. Priority date for EB-2 China advanced from February 8, 2013 to March 1, 2013. In the EB-2 Category for India, the cut-off date advanced from June 22, 2008 to July 1, 2008. The EB-2 Category is Current for all countries other than India and China. In the EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers Category, priority date for mainland China remained stagnant on October 1, 2014. Priority date for EB-3 India advanced from March 25, 2005 to May 15, 2005. The priority date for mainland China under the EB-3 Other Workers Category advanced from March 8, 2006 to July 15, 2006. EB-3 Philippines advanced from January 1, 2013 to May 1, 2013. In the EB-3 category, priority date advanced from March 15, 2017 to April 15, 2017 for all countries other than India, China, and Philippines. About Visa Bulletin The Department of State (DOS) publishes two separate charts for the employment based and family based visa preference categories every month: Chart 1 – Application Final Action Dates; and Chart 2 – Dates for Filing Applications The “Application Final Action …
  • USCIS Completes Data Entry Of FY 2018 H1B Cap Petitions

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has completed data entry of all FY 2018 H1B Cap petition selected in the H1B lottery. USCIS will now begin returning all H1B Cap petitions that were not selected in the 2017 H1B lottery. USCIS has not provided a time frame for returning these petitions, but has stated that it will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned.

    Transfer of H1B Cap Petitions

    USCIS is transferring some 2017 H1B Cap petitions from Vermont Service Center to California Service Center. Petitioners whose cases are transferred will receive a notification in the mail in this regard.

    NOTE: Petitioners receiving a notification regarding transfer of H1B Cap petitions must make sure to send all future correspondence regarding the case to the Service Center processing the petition.

    The post USCIS Completes Data Entry Of FY 2018 H1B Cap Petitions appeared first on VisaPro.

  • CBP Global Entry Program For Argentina
    Starting May 8, 2017, Citizens of Argentina can begin applying to enroll in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “Global Entry” Trusted Traveler Program. Argentina becomes the tenth country overall whose Citizens will be eligible to enroll in Global Entry. In addition to Argentina, Citizens of Colombia, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom may apply for Global Entry membership. Canadian Citizens and residents enrolled in NEXUS may also use the Global Entry kiosks. About The CBP Global Entry Program The CBP Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program allows for expedited clearance of pre-approved, low-risk travelers coming to the U.S. It streamlines the screening process at airports for trusted travelers, and is currently available at 52 U.S. airports and 15 Preclearance locations. The Global Entry program allows its members to bypass traditional CBP inspection lines and use an automated kiosk to complete their admission to the United States, thus reducing processing time. How To Apply For Global Entry Membership Citizens of Argentina will be able to apply for Global Entry using the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). The application seeking Global Entry membership must be submitted online through GOES. There is a non-refundable application fee of $100 for a five-year Global Entry membership. Once the application is approved, the applicant will schedule an interview with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to determine the applicant’s eligibility. The post CBP Global Entry Program For Argentina appeared first on VisaPro. …


Archived Snapshot: 2017-03-30

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Startup Visa For International Entrepreneurs li{padding-bottom:10px}p{line-height:24px}

Starting July 17, 2017, the International Entrepreneur Parole will enable start-up business-owners and entrepreneurs to begin to establish and gr…

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H-1B1, E-3 Nonimmigrants Eligible for 240 Days Continued Employment When Extension Application is Pending p,li{line-height:24px}

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a final rule revising regulations affecting

H-1B1 (Highly Skilled Workers for Specialty Occupations…

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Additional H-1B and L-1 Filing Fees Imposed for Certain Employers li{padding-bottom:10px;line-height:24px;}p{line-height:24px}

On 12/18/15, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, the omnibus appropriations bill for 2016…

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Border Security Fee $2,000 and $2,250 For H-1B and L-1 Petitions Is No Longer Required Provisions imposing the 'border security fee', an additional filing fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1 petitions has lapsed on October 1, 2015.

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Infosys Pays Record $34 million to Settle Allegations of Systemic Visa Fraud and Abuse of Immigration Processes The U.S. Justice Department has announced that Infosys Corporation, an Indian consulting, technology, and outsourcing company, has agreed to a civil settlement of allegations of systemic visa fraud and abuse of i…

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CW-1 Visa Classification: DHS Sets Limit of 14,000 for FY 2014 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently announced a limit of 14,000 nonimmigrants for fiscal year (FY) 2014 for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (C…

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USCIS Temporarily Suspends Adjudication of Most H-2B Petitions USCIS has announced that effective March 22, 2013, it temporarily suspended adjudication of most Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers. This development follows a Court order entered on …

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Indian National Pleads Guilty in Fraudulent H1B Visa Scheme An Indian national has pleaded guilty to five federal charges for his participation in a fraudulent scheme to obtain false H-1B visas for foreign workers. It is reported that he executed a fraudulent scheme by sub…

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Sen. Grassley introduces H-1B and L-1 Visa Reforms Bill Proposes Additional Requirements for H1B and L1 Approvals On March 18, 2013, Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Sherrod Brown introduced a bill that they claim will bring reforms to the H-1B and L visa programs and help ensure that Americans are given top consideration w…

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New E Visa Processing Instructions for Mission Italy The US Embassy in Italy has published new E visa processing instructions for Mission Italy, and has announced that effective August 15, 2012 all E visa submissions must comply with the new procedures, which are br…

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Employer ordered to pay Back Wages of about $253,000 for violation of H-1B Wage Laws In a recent decision from the United States Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges (Administrator, Wage and Hour Division vs. Xcel Solutions Corporation), Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) T…

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AAO issues Binding Precedent Decision on P-3 Visa Petition The USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) has issued a binding precedent decision addressing the term unique" and its significance in the adjudication of petitions for per…

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R-1 Religious Workers Can Recapture Time Spent Outside the U.S. The USCIS has recently issued a Policy Memorandum outlining the procedure to be used for recapturing time spent outside the US by R-1 nonimmigrants when seeking an extension of their R nonimmigrant status.
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New DOS Rule to allow L Visas to be issued for up to 5 years DOS has passed a new rule that permits the issuance of L visas with validity periods based on the visa reciprocity schedule, which for certain countries, can be for a period up to 5 years. Under the current DOS re…

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Report suggests dramatic increase in denials of H-1B and L-1 petitions by USCIS A recent report of the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a non-profit, public policy research organization based in Arlington, Virginia, suggests that there has been a dramatic increase in denials of…

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USCIS to allow bundled filings for L-1 petitions USCIS has, in a communication to stakeholders, informed that if petitioners bundle multiple L-1B petitions related to the same project, where the location and the specialized knowledge duties of the beneficiaries …

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Chennai Consulate to be the Sole Blanket L Visa Processing Center in India The US Embassy in New Delhi has announced that starting December 1, 2011, the US Consulate General in Chennai will be the sole Blanket L cat…

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ALJ approves Settlement Agreement in Prince George's County H-1B Teachers case On September 20, 2011, the Office of the Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) of the U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC, issued a Decision and Order approving a Settlement Agreement between the Administrator of t…

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DOL postpones the effective date for final rule concerning H-2B wage methodology The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a 60-day postponement of the effective date for the final rule concerning the wage methodology for the Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment H-2B program, postponing the…

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OFLC issues Q&As regarding delays in issuing PWD and H1B LCAs On September 12, 2011, the Office of Foreign labor Certification (OFLC) issued Questions and Answers regarding the delays in issuing Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) and H-1B Labor Condition Applications (LCA)…

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USCIS publishes Final Rule establishing Transitional Worker Classification for workers in CNMI USCIS has recently published a final rule that establishes a Transitional Worker (CW) classification for workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The CW classification allows employers in the…

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The H1B Visa and EB-2 Green Card for Entrepreneurs and Start-up Companies On August 2, 2011, the Obama Administration and USCIS outlined a series of initiatives to continue to promote start-up enterprises and spur job creation in the U.S. Under these initiatives, which are aimed at stimulati…

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USCIS updates FAQs on Establishing the Relationship in H-1B Petitions Under the recently announced USCIS' initiatives to promote startup enterprises and spur job creation, USCIS has clarified that entrepreneurs with an ownership stake in their own companies, including sole employees, may…

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Senate Approves Strict Rules on Hiring H1-B Workers The U.S. Senate agreed on Friday to set restrictions on the hiring of H-1B workers by financial services firms that receive federal bailout funds, but it didn't bar the hiring of foreign workers as proponents had sought.

U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had pr…

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Important Changes and Clarifications for the H1B Application Process U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued clarifying regulations
today, explaining how exactly the H-1B
application process will be handled this year. Some important changes have been
announced to th…

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USCIS Offers Helpful Hints for Filing a FY 2009 H1B Cap Case U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), anticipates that April 1, 2008
will see a repeat of the mass filings from last year. With this expectation USCIS
has published this list of measures the petitioner can take to ensure that their
petition is correctly filed.

For Fisca…

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Common H1B Errors Leading to Rejections and Denials U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a statement showing
the common errors leading to petition rejections or denials. This is a list of
the most frequently seen and easily cured mistakes.

Incorrect Fees

Frequently, petitioners miscalcu…

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USCIS to Issue Regulation on Multiple H1B Filings The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will soon issue an interim final regulation that will prohibit employers from filing more than one H-1B petition on behalf of a single foreign national. The regulation is…

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Premium Processing Service suspended for R1 applications U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has temporarily suspended Premium Processing Service for I-129 petitions seeking R-1 nonimmigrant visa classification filed with the USCIS. Premium Processing Service guarantees that within 15 calendar days of receipt of a petition, USCIS will issue …

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President signs Omnibus Appropriations Act; USCIS to implement the new law New law changes aspects of the temporary work program

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that President
Bush has signed the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2005, which contains provisions
affecting the H-1B and L nonimmigrant visa catego…

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USCIS notifies H1B processing procedure The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a notice explaining
how it will process H-1B petitions for new employment for Fiscal Year (FY) 2005
now that it is clear that the demand for H-1B workers will exceed the statutory
numerical limit (the cap) for H-1B nonimmigran…

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DOL notifies interim final rule on H1B1 Labor Condition Applications The Department of Labor (Department or DOL) is amending its regulations related to the temporary employment of foreign professionals to implement procedural requirements applicable to a new visa category–the H-1B1 visa. The H-1B1 visa permits the temporary entry and employment in the United States …

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Congress passes L1 and H1B Reform Law The Fiscal Year 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill was approved by both the House
and Senate on November 20, 2004. The Bill introduces many changes in the existing
provisions relating to work visas, such as: restoration of One-Year experience
requirement for L-1 Blanket entrants; re-institution …

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USCIS announces FY 2005 H2B Processing Numbers reflect cases received as of November 1, 2004

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has
received H-2B petitions for 33,153 beneficiaries counting against the statutory
visa cap for fiscal year 2005 (October 1, 2004 through S…

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Actuaries and Plant Pathologists included under NAFTA DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Adding Actuaries and Plant Pathologists to Appendix 1603.D.1 of the North American
Free Trade Agreement

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule…

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The show is over; USCIS reaches H1B Cap U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions to
meet the congressionally-mandated cap for fiscal year 2005. Congress has set an
annual H-1B cap of 65,000 of which 6,800 a…

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DOL issues guidance on H2B visas Supplemental Guidance for Labor
Certification Process for Temporary Employment of Nonimmigrant Workers in the
United States (H-2B Workers); Fiscal Year (FY) 2005

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administratio…

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USCIS announces FY 2005 H1B Petition filing Status Numbers
Reflect Cases Received As Of August 18th

Washington, D.C.U.S. Citizenship and Immigration

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