03/07/2014: April 2014 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for April 2014. The table below shows cut-off date movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. For more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.
|Chargeability||Preference||Cut-off Date Movement (Days)|
03/06/2014: White House Executive Order to Impose Visa Restrictions on Russians
"Sec. 2. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in subsection 1(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions)." - White House
03/03/2014: U.S. Supreme Court Declines Immigration Cases
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected attempts by towns in Texas and Pennsylvania to revive local laws that cracked down on illegal immigration. The court decided against hearing appeals filed by the towns of Farmers Branch, Texas, and Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which were seeking to overturn appeals court rulings that said the ordinances were trumped by federal immigration law. In doing so, the court left intact the appeals court rulings and avoided wading into the divisive issue of immigration at a time in which reform efforts have stalled in the U.S. Congress. - Reuters
02/24/2014: January 2014 USCIS Pending I-485 Inventory Released
USCIS published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of January, 2014. Our Green Card Tracker has been updated with the new data. To learn more, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions or contact us.
Note that for this Release USCIS only mentioned the pending I-485 data were as of January 2014, without specifying an actual date. We put in January 15 as an estimate to keep the date format consistent with all previous releases.
02/20/2014: USCIS Clarification onICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance
On Feb. 19, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a notice on its website outlining the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal process for certain individuals. Please note that this notice contains renewal information only for those individuals granted DACA by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from June 15, 2012 until August 15, 2012, when USCIS started receiving requests. Our records indicate that this notice only applies to a small fraction of the DACA population. This notice does not apply to any individuals who received deferred action by making a request to USCIS using Form I-821D on or after August 15, 2012. In the coming months, USCIS will issue guidance about the renewal process for this group. - USCIS
02/20/2014: Visitor Visa (B Visa) Refusal Rate by Nationality
02/19/2014: ICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently posted a notice on its website with important information for individuals granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) prior to August 15, 2012. If you were granted DACA by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement prior to August 15, 2012 or are a DACA recipient with an employment authorization document (EAD) that will expire in the next 120 days, you must apply for DACA renewal to avoid any lapse in your employment authorization or accrual of unlawful presence in the United States. - USCIS
02/18/2014: In Need of an Honest Debate on Immigration Reform
From the far reaches of one side comes the charge that immigration reformers only want to destroy our values by throwing open the nation's doors to moochers while feathering their own political (Democratic) nests.
From the other side's remote boundaries come accusations that opponents of "comprehensive immigration reform" are xenophobes, so lacking in compassion and decency that they care only about preserving their racially, ethnically and culturally constricted world. - Chicago Tribune
Note: See the paragraph below that clearly shows how little people know about the legal immigration system. A very good article overall, but tinted by the author's misunderstanding of how immigration quota works:
"The law effectively favors immigrants from certain countries — Mexico, India, China, the Philippines and Dominican Republic are generally at the top of the list. Why them? Should there be national quotas to more equally welcome the "tired, the poor," etc., from all nations? Or should our immigration policy be strictly set by what's in America's best interests and let the chips fall where they may?"
02/13/2014: CBP to Revise I-94W and ESTA Forms
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act: CBP Form I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure), and the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This is a proposed revision of an information collection that was previously approved. CBP is proposing that the data elements on CBP Form I-94W and ESTA be revised. - CBP
02/07/2014: March 2014 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for March 2014. The table below shows cut-off date movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. For more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.
|Chargeability||Preference||Cut-off Date Movement (Days)|
In addition, the Visa Office also published their predictions of cut-off date movement in the coming months. No good news for India EB2, as well as Family-sponsored F2A category, for the foreseeable future.
02/07/2014: Immigration Overhaul Stalls
Many in GOP ranks also expressed distrust that President Barack Obama would enforce any law they pass. "There's widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws," Mr. Boehner told reporters. "It's going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes."
The move represents an effort by Mr. Boehner to apply the brakes amid heightened expectations after the GOP unveiled its ideas last week at a retreat in Maryland. It still remains possible he could bring legislation to the floor this summer, after many Republican primaries are over, or late in the year, after the elections. - WSJ
02/06/2014: White House Immigratoin Principles
America's immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.
The President's plan builds a smart, effective immigration system that continues efforts to secure our borders and cracks down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. It's a plan that requires anyone who's undocumented to get right with the law by paying their taxes and a penalty, learning English, and undergoing background checks before they can be eligible to earn citizenship. It requires every business and every worker to play by the same set of rules. - White House
02/03/2014: How Obamacare Killed Immigration Reform
Barack Obama has all but conceded his lame-duck status. His State of the Union address was bereft of big ideas. And his declaration that he will use his "pen and a phone" to issue a raft of executive orders is an admission of political impotence — a presidency reduced to small-ball initiatives like creating "myRA" savings accounts and raising the minimum wage for federal contractors. The one exception — his one last shot at a major legislative achievement — was comprehensive immigration reform. But that isn't happening either. - Washington Post
01/30/2014: Congressional Republicans Released Principles on Immigration
"Our nation's immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced. Washington's failure to fix them is hurting our economy and jeopardizing our national security. The overriding purpose of our immigration system is to promote and further America's national interests and that is not the case today. The serious problems in our immigration system must be solved, and we are committed to working in a bipartisan manner to solve them. But they cannot be solved with a single, massive piece of legislation that few have read and even fewer understand, and therefore, we will not go to a conference with the Senate's immigration bill. The problems in our immigration system must be solved through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our country's borders, enforcing our laws, and implementing robust enforcement measures. These are the principals guiding us in that effort." - Full Text from NYT
01/28/2014: How Detroit's Bankruptcy Could Affect Immigration Reform
Gov. Rick Snyder (R) of Michigan put forward a new and controversial plan Thursday to award 50,000 visas over five years to immigrants willing to settle and work in Detroit as part of his efforts to revitalize the bankrupt city.
The move would require a federal action to increase in the employment-based visas for immigrants, as well as a drastic change in the way that such visas are awarded. As a result, immigration experts are skeptical that Governor Snyder's plan will become a reality. Yet some remain intrigued by the long-shot proposal's potential to change the national conversation around immigration reform. - CS Monitor
01/27/2014: Obama Set to Announce 'Practical' Agenda Focusing on Immigration, Income Equality
President Obama is expected in his annual address Tuesday to detail what he calls "practical" proposals to advance the country in 2014, including ones to improve economic opportunities for every American and to fix the nation's immigration system. But Obama will also make clear his intentions to use his executive powers to achieve his goals when Congress fails to pass legislation. - Fox
01/22/2014: White House Dials It Down on Immigration
The White House is trying to dial down the partisan rhetoric on immigration — and it's asking its allies to do the same. In meetings with immigration reform advocates, White House officials have said President Barack Obama won't threaten to take unilateral executive action — at least not yet — and that he wants to give House Republicans some breathing room to try to pass legislation this year, said immigration advocates who have participated in the sessions. - Politico
01/17/2014: GOP to Introduce Shortly New Immigration Plan, Including Path to Legal Status
House Republicans are working on an immigration plan that would give potentially millions of undocumented immigrants a chance to permanently live and work in the United States. The plan, which is reportedly days away from being released to the public, will cover ideas on how the U.S. border should be protected, how immigration laws should be enforced inside the United States, the expansion of visas for certain foreign workers, and how many of the country's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants can embark on a path to legalize their status, according to published reports, such as one in online news publication Politico. - Fox
01/13/2014: House Republicans Preparing Plan for Immigration Overhaul
The House speaker, John A. Boehner, and his Republican leadership team are preparing to release their principles for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws later this month, the speaker told his members at a closed-door conference on Wednesday.
House Republicans hope to release their principles near the end of the month before President Obama's State of the Union address, as well as before their annual retreat. Republican aides had previously said that their leadership team was unlikely to make any strategic decisions on immigration before the retreat. - NYT
01/08/2014: February 2014 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for February 2014. The table below shows cut-off date movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. For more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.
|Chargeability||Preference||Cut-off Date Movement (Days)|
Notes from DOS: MEXICO F2B: The level of demand during recent months has been extremely heavy, in particular for cases filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for adjustment of status processing. Therefore, it has been necessary to retrogress the February cut-off date to May 1, 1993 in an attempt to hold number use within the annual per-country limit. Further retrogression of this cut-off date cannot be ruled out.
MEXICO F2A: Continued heavy demand in the Mexico F2A category will require the retrogression of this cut-off date to hold number use within the annual numerical limit. Such action is likely to occur within the next few months.
01/06/2014: Boehner Is Said to Back Change on Immigration
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has signaled he may embrace a series of limited changes to the nation's immigration laws in the coming months, giving advocates for change new hope that 2014 might be the year that a bitterly divided Congress reaches a political compromise to overhaul the sprawling system. - NY Times
12/31/2013: Immigration Reform Will be THE Issue of 2014
Every year another issue sucks all of the oxygen out of Washington, D.C. It will be billed as "the Issue of a Generation" and will be driven by politics rather than policy. If the proposed solution requires more government it will get favorable traction in the media.
In 1997, it was tobacco. Gun control is always just a tragedy away. Global Warming worked for a while. However, with 17 years of no warming behind us those folks have turned to Global Wierding: Storms, droughts, freezes, or whatever else that might occur that you can be blamed for. That issue, thankfully, is going away too. Obamacare was it for several years, but it seems not to be working out as intended so it is time to turn your attention to the new issue of our generation – Comprehensive Immigration Reform. And 2014 will be the year in which we must repair our immigration laws that are, as you know, irretrievably broken. - The Blaze
12/31/2013: New Immigration Laws Split America in Two
Congressional inaction has left millions of families increasingly living in two parallel universes. Republican-run states turn cops into border patrol agents and cut undocumented immigrants off from housing, school, employment, and private charities. But in states dominated by Democrats, the same immigrants are gaining access to drivers' licenses, better wages and college educations for their children. - MSNBC
12/22/2013: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Before heading out on vacation, I'd like to thank all of you for visiting our Website, providing feedback or asking questions. ImmigrationRoad.com exists because of you. As the year coming to an end, I hope your dream will come true in 2014. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Everyone!
12/20/2013: Senate Confirms Alejandro Mayorkas as Deputy Director of Homeland Security
The former director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now the No. 2 official in that department's parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security. The Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas nomination on Friday. The position has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since April.
Stepping into Mayorkas' old role will be Leon Rodriguez, who was picked by President Barack Obama to be director of USCIS. Rodriguez is leaving the post as the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services. - Fox
12/19/2013: Judge Claims DHS Delivering Smuggled Children to Illegal Immigrant Parents
A federal judge in Texas is accusing the Department of Homeland Security of hand-delivering children smuggled into the United States to their illegal immigrant parents.
U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen revealed the practice in a blistering court order filed late last week. He said the "dangerous" practice is effectively aiding human traffickers and particularly the drug cartels, which run many of these operations. - Fox
12/16/2013: Budget Deal May Clear Decks for Immigration in January
If the Senate manages to pass a long-term budget deal Tuesday, the next item on the agenda for Congress could be even harder: immigration. Republican leaders, led by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, have deemed immigration legislation a priority in the new year. The Senate is expected to pass Tuesday a bipartisan budget deal for the next two years that would clear the legislative calendar and eliminate the threat of a government shutdown in January. And even Bob Dane, whose Federation for American Immigration Reform strongly opposes a bill, concedes that at this point, "the ground is very fertile" for an immigration bill. - USA Today
12/12/2013: January 2014 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for January 2014. The table below shows cut-off date movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. For more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.
|Chargeability||Preference||Cut-off Date Movement (Days)|
12/09/2013: Obama's Illegal-Immigration Order Stokes Amnesty Worries
Facing intense pressure from immigrant advocates who want the president to do more to limit deportations, the Obama administration has quietly issued a directive to help undocumented immigrants who are closely related to military personnel stay in the country.
The effort is called "parole in place," and it aims to end rampant confusion among immigration officials about how to treat the parents, spouses, and minor children of those in active duty as well as veterans and reservists. Under parole in place, these relatives no longer have to leave the country to apply for legal US status – a situation that often resulted in the applicants being barred from reentering the US for years. - Christian Science Monitor
12/05/2013: DOS Consular Processing Inventory Released
The Department of State (DOS) publishes an annual report of immigrant visa applicants waiting at the National Visa Center. This year's report was released today, with data as of 11/01/2013. Our green card tracker takes these data into calculation, and use them together with the USCIS pending I-485 inventory to provide you a better estimate of your place in line for a green card. The green card tracker has now been updated with the new Consular Processing (CP) inventory.
12/02/2013: Immigration Activists Warn Against Another Possible Crowd of Illegal Crossers
Over a week ago, a mob of over a hundred people crossed the Mexico border into the US illegally at the Tijuana River channel only to be pushed back by border patrol agents and now a second attempt may be in the works. Border Patrol Agents believe the illegal crossing crowd was part of a planned act of disobedience that took place the Sunday before thanksgiving. - Fox
11/27/2013: In California, a Vision of Republicans' Challenge on Immigration
For most Republicans in the U.S. Congress, a large gathering of Hispanic voters to discuss immigration would be politically perilous - an invitation to complaints about the party's longtime resistance to measures aimed at helping undocumented immigrants. - Reuters
11/22/2013: USCIS Customer Service Tools Outage ALERT
USCIS will conduct system maintenance from 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday, November 23 through 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) on Sunday, November 24. During this time, our online tools will be unavailable, including: Check My Case Status, e-Request, e-Filing, Change of Address Online, Check Processing Times and Civil Surgeon Locator.
11/22/2013: Guidance to USCIS Offices on Handling Certain Family-Based Automatic Conversion and Priority Date Retention Requests
This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance for properly assigning priority dates in those instances where a petitioner requests that the priority date from a separate, previously file petition, be applied to a later filed family-based second-preference "B" petition (F2B) or seeks adjustment of status in the F2B category, based upon an originally-filed family-based second-preference "A" petition (F2A) pursuant to Public Law 107-208, the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). - USCIS
11/20/2013: USCIS I-130 Processing Times to Improve in Coming Month
In an email sent to stakeholders today, USCIS promised to speed up the adjudication of I-130 forms in the coming months. In fact, USCIS said the processing had already improved, with USCIS currently processing February 2013 petitions instead of October 2012, as published in most recent processing guidelines. By May of next year, USCIS expects to return to an average processing time of five months for these Forms.
11/19/2013: Obama Now Backs Piecemeal Approach on Immigration
President Barack Obama said on Tuesday a piecemeal approach to achieving a U.S. immigration overhaul in the U.S. Congress is acceptable to him if it is easier than gaining passage of one large legislative bill.
"If they want to chop that thing up in five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don't care what it looks like," Obama said. - Reuters
11/17/2013: Can Obama Legalize 11 Million Immigrants on His Own?
It's now looking extremely unlikely that Congress will enact immigration reform this year. And that raises a question: Could President Obama use his executive powers to effectively legalize some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States?
So what could Obama actually do for illegal immigrants on his own? A bit, though probably not as much as Rubio suggested. In 2012, the administration was able to stop the deportation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented young adults under a deferred-action program. Obama could, in theory, expand that program somewhat, allowing even more current immigrants to work legally in the United States without fear of getting deported. - Washington Post
11/15/2013: Immigration Relief Measures Related to Typhoon Haiyan
In light of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (named "Yolanda" by Philippine authorities), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would like to remind Filipino nationals that they may be eligible for certain immigration relief measures if requested. USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual's ability to establish or maintain lawful immigration status in the United States. Therefore, Filipino nationals impacted by Typhoon Haiyan may be eligible to benefit from the following immigration relief measures. - USCIS
11/11/2013: Immigration Vote Unlikely This Year, Lawmaker Says
A top Republican lawmaker told protesters he met with in his home district in California this week that the House of Representatives would not have time this year to vote on any immigration measure. Representative Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, told demonstrators in his office in Bakersfield on Wednesday night that the 16 days remaining on the House calendar in 2013 were too short a window for the House to take up the complex issue. But he said he was committed to moving on immigration votes in the House next year. - NY Times
11/08/2013: Visa Bulletin Predictions for Early 2014
In the December 2013 Visa Bulletin, the Department of State published their predictions of cutoff date movement for the coming months. India EB2 and EB3 are expected to see no forward movement while the other employment-based categories may advance by a few weeks. See this page for details.
11/08/2013: December 2013 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for December 2013. The table below shows cut-off date movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. For more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.
|Chargeability||Preference||Cut-off Date Movement (Days)|
"The India Employment Second and Third preference category cut-off dates were advanced very rapidly at the end of fiscal year 2013. Those movements were based strictly on the availability of thousands of "otherwise unused" numbers which could be made available without regard to the preference per-country annual limits. The movements have resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of applicant demand received in recent months. This has required the retrogression of those cut-off dates for December in an effort to hold number use within the numerical limits. - DOS"
11/07/2013: Immigration Reform: The Politics of the Possible
Coming out of the 2012 election, comprehensive immigration reform seemed inevitable. The political power of the growing Latino population combined with a newly elected, popular president making reform his top legislative priority seemed like a recipe for fast action.
Unfortunately, comprehensive reform has not made it to the president's desk for a number of political and policy-related reasons. Now, advocates for reform are wondering if the window for legislative action that opens between election cycles has closed. While the government shutdown and looming deadlines for another fiscal crisis are impeding passage this year, there is still an opportunity to make it happen in this Congress. - CSMonitor
11/04/2013: USCIS Pending I-485 Inventory Released
USCIS published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of 10/01/2013. Our Green Card Tracker has been updated with the new data. To learn more, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions or contact us.
11/04/2013: Rubio Switches Strategy on Immigration
Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio is backing off his push for comprehensive immigration reform, opting instead to pursue a piecemeal approach favored by House Republican leaders. Rubio was a key player on the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" that conceived, wrote and sold a Senate bill aimed at tightening border security, revamping the nation's visa program and providing a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. - Florida Today
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