The U.S. State Department has just released the February 2017 Visa Bulletin which is the fifth Visa Bulletin for the new FY2017 fiscal year. The headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is the slow forward movement across many categories, including the lack of any movement in EB-2 India. EB-3 China continues to have a more favorable cutoff date than EB-2 China which creates favorable conditions for EB-2 to EB-3 China downgrades.
I-140 EAD/Job Portability Final Rule Released – Analysis and Overview of the Upcoming Changes and System Fixes
The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has just released the final text (also copy of Federal Register version) of the rule seeking to improve certain aspects of the employment-based immigration system. The new rule seeks to implement certain changes to the non-immigrant and immigrant visas in order to better allow US employers to retain foreign workers. The final rule also provides increased flexibility to foreign workers, especially from India and China, during their U.S. employment-based immigration process. The new rule will become effective 60 days after its November 18, 2016 publication in the Federal Register, or on January 17, 2017. (more…)
During the election campaign, President-elect Trump put immigration at the center of his agenda and platform and made a commitment to the voters to take immediate steps relating to immigration upon taking office on January 20, 2017. There are certain immigration-related steps that can be done immediately upon taking office, by executive action, and there are certain steps which require congressional approval. Our office seeks to provide our initial thoughts on what immigration-related changes we may expect during the Trump presidency. (more…)
The Department of Homeland Security has just released the final rule announcing the increase of most of the Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) application filing fees. The weighted average of the increase is 21 percent and USCIS is adding one new fee. The filing fee increase will become effective for all USCIS filings starting mailed, postmarked or otherwise filed on or after December 23, 2016. (more…)
The U.S. State Department has just released the November 2016 Visa Bulletin which is the second Visa Bulletin for the new FY2017 fiscal year. The headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is the fact that EB-2 India and China advance notably while the forward movement in most of the other categories is fairly minor. Additionally, EB-3 China continues to have a more favorable cutoff date than EB-2 China which creates favorable conditions for EB-2 to EB-3 China downgrades.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) has just announced that for the month of October 2016 they will honor and accept I-485 Adjustment of Status applications based on the Filing Dates (and not only on the Final Action dates) category from the October 2016 Visa Bulletin. See USCIS’s announcement.
What this means is that for I-485 filing purposes, USCIS will accept applications with slightly earlier cutoff date than noted on the Final Action dates. Also, this announcement is important because this is the first time in over twelve Visa Bulletin editions when USCIS has agreed to accept the Filing Dates category for I-485 filing purposes.
October 2016 Visa Bulletin – EB-1 and EB-2 ROW Current Again; EB-2 India and China Advance Significantly; EB-3 China Ahead of EB-2 China
The U.S. State Department has just released the October 2016 Visa Bulletin which is the first Visa Bulletin for the new FY2017 fiscal year. The headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is fact that this is the first bulletin for the new fiscal year. EB-1 and EB-2 ROW are current again and there is notable forward movement in EB-2 India and China. EB-3 China also advanced significantly to have a more favorable cutoff date than EB-2 China which creates favorable conditions for EB-2 to EB-3 China downgrades.
After years of anticipation, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed and released the draft text of a rule which would allow international entrepreneurs parole to be able to remain and work in the U.S. while developing and growing their startup companies. The rule aims to stimulate foreign entrepreneurs to attract capital and create U.S. jobs by allowing up to five years of staying and working in the U.S. (more…)
This year’s busy H-1B cap season included many H-1B employee candidates who hold F-1 status and who are employed in the U.S. pursuant to F-1 optional practical training (OPT) status. Out of these F-1 visa holders, many rely on the OPT cap-gap rule to continue working in the U.S. after the post-April 1st expiration date of the OPT and for as long as the H-1B cap petition is not denied or rejected by USCIS. However, the OPT cap-gap rule allows OPT extension only until September 30th, possibly leaving some H-1B candidates in a period of unauthorized employment. (more…)
The U.S. State Department has just released the September 2016 Visa Bulletin which is the last Visa Bulletin for the FY2016 fiscal year. The headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is fact that this is the last bulletin for the fiscal year. There is lack of much movement across most employment based categories with the exception of EB-2 and EB-3 India which advance by a few months.