Many of our clients and readers are already aware of the move by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) to issue what are hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of very similar, if not identical, requests for evidence (“RFE”) on pending employment-based Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, cases. Our office has been receiving such RFEs and we have been hearing from readers and clients who have also been affected by this large-scale RFE event. We have seen similar RFE flood waves in the past and many EB-2 and EB-3 India applicants may have seen two or even three such RFEs. Like previous RFE waves in the past, USCIS is generally seeking updated medicals, in addition to employment verification documents from the sponsoring employer. (more…)
The U.S. State Department has just released the June 2017 Visa Bulletin which is the ninth Visa Bulletin for the FY2017 fiscal year. The headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is introduction of a cutoff date for EB-1 India and EB-1 China. Because this cutoff date may remain in effect for the next several months, we call on all EB-1 India and EB-1 China applicants who are eligible but have not filed I-485s to do so before the end of May 2017.
Many of our readers are aware that as of April 7, 2017, USCIS had received a sufficient number of H-1B cap-subject petitions to fill the annual H-1B quota. As USCIS has been issuing receipt notices for the H-1B cap cases which are being selected for processing, we wanted to provide an update as to how long will H-1B petitioners and applicants wait to hear whether their H-1B petition has been selected for processing under the H-1B cap.
One of the top campaign promises of the Trump administration during the election season was to scrap the NAFTA treaty between the U.S, Canada and Mexico. The NAFTA treaty is the source of TN visas for nationals of Canada or Mexico and, understandably, TN workers and employers have been nervous about the future of NAFTA for the last few months. In an announcement today, the Trump administration confirmed that they will not seek to revoke the NAFTA treaty, at least at this time. (more…)
Our office just learned that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has completed the intake and processing of all of the fiscal year (FY2018) H-1B cap petitions. According to USCIS, there were over 199,000 H-1B cap petitions filed during the April 3rd-7th filing period. This indicates that the number of H-1B cap filings this year is slightly lower than the number of H-1B cap filings during last year’s cap season (236,000); nonetheless, this marks continuing very strong H-1B cap demand. The H-1B cap lottery has also been completed. (more…)
May 2017 Visa Bulletin – No Movement in EB-2 India; EB China Downgrading Opportunity; EB-1 China/India and EB-2 ROW Cutoff Date Expected
The U.S. State Department has just released the May 2017 Visa Bulletin which is the eighth Visa Bulletin for the FY2017 fiscal year. The headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is the lack of any movement for EB-2 India, the notable forward movement in EB-3 China which continues to create a great opportunity for EB-2 to EB-3 China downgrades and I-485 filings. Also, notable is the warning of a possible cutoff date introduction for EB-1 India and China and EB-2 ROW/Mexico/Philippines.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that, as of Friday, April 7th, they have received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the annual H-1B cap for the 2018 fiscal year (FY2018). According to USCIS, they have received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for beneficiaries with U.S. master’s degree and more than the 65,000 general H-1B cap petitions. As a result, any cap-subject H-1B petitions received by USCIS after April 7, 2017 will be rejected. (more…)
The U.S. State Department has just released the April 2017 Visa Bulletin which is the seventh Visa Bulletin for the FY2017 fiscal year. The headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is the significant forward movement in EB-3 China which continues to create a great opportunity for EB-2 to EB-3 China downgrades and I-485 filings. EB-2 and EB-3 India advance very slowly.
Very Short and Busy H-1B Cap Filing Season Expected: April 3rd to April 7th (Five Business Days); H-1B Lottery Likely; Last Call for H-1B
As we are going into the peak of the H-1B cap season, our office receives many inquiries about the duration of the H-1B filing season this year or, in other words, when will the H-1B cap be reached? So far we have been able to compare demand with prior H-1B filing seasons and we knew that this would be a very busy and very short H-1B filing season. According to our sources (which include clients, peer law firms and government agencies), we expect that the H-1B cap be reached in the first five business days of April with the number of filings over the first five business days far exceeding the available number of H-1B visas. This means that there is almost a guarantee that there will be a random lottery to allocate the available H-1B visas (65,000 regular cap in addition to 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher cap) among all filings received in the first five business days of April. (more…)
USCIS has announced that effective April 3, 2017, they are temporarily suspending premium processing for all H-1B petitions for a period of up to six months. This surprising announcement comes in light of the anticipated heavy demand and number of H-1B “cap” filings and also to allow the government an opportunity to catch up on long-delayed H-1B processing times. (more…)