05/20/2013: USCIS Immigrant Fee Payment Moves to USCIS ELIS
"USCIS has moved the online payment of the USCIS Immigrant Fee to its Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS). Customers must now pay the $165 USCIS Immigrant Fee using USCIS ELIS after they receive their immigrant visa package from the Department of State and before they depart for the United States. USCIS ELIS is easy to use and provides direct access to case status updates. New immigrants will also use USCIS ELIS to file future applications and petitions when they become available in the system.
This fee has been in place since Feb. 1, 2013. Immigrants who receive their visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad must pay the fee online. The fee allows USCIS to recover the cost of processing the immigrant visa package and other information as well as producing and delivering the permanent resident card after immigrant visa holders are admitted to the United States. Immigrants will soon be directed to the USCIS ELIS website to create an online account and pay the immigrant fee." - USCIS
05/17/2013: House Group Reaches Deal on Immigration Bill
After years of negotiating and a week that saw one of its members nearly bolt from the group, a bipartisan group of House members announced Thursday that they had reached a deal "in principle" on a bill to overhaul the nation's immigration laws. A group of senators filed their version of an immigration bill last month and have been debating and amending it in a Senate committee for the past two weeks. - USA Today
05/14/2013: USCIS Announces ABT Settlement Agreement
The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have agreed to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging the denial of work authorization to asylum seekers who have been waiting six months or more for a decision on their asylum applications. The ABT Settlement Agreement will help ensure that certain individuals who seek to file an asylum application or have already filed an asylum application, are entitled to new procedures relating to the crediting of time toward eligibility for employment authorization. - USCIS
05/10/2013: June 2013 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the June 2013 Visa Bulletin. 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 Employment-based Third preference category cut-off date for most countries has advanced significantly for a second month in a row. This recent movement of the dates is not indicative of what can be expected in the future. Rapid forward movement of cut-off dates is often followed by a dramatic increase in demand for numbers within three to six months. Once such demand begins to materialize the cut-off date movement will begin to slow, or even stop for a period of time." - DOS
05/10/2013: USCIS to Expand Entrepreneurs in Residence Initiative
Launched at a February 2012 summit in Silicon Valley, the EIR initiative brought together startup experts and USCIS immigration experts to work collaboratively to streamline pathways fora range of existing visa categories often used by entrepreneurs. Three aims were key to the overall initiative: producing clear public materials to help entrepreneurs understand relevant visa categories; equipping USCIS staff with the right tools to adjudicate cases in today's complex business environment; and streamlining USCIS policies to better reflect the realities faced by foreign entrepreneurs and startup businesses.
USCIS is now seeking new private sector experts, using the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) Loaned Executive Program, in the areas of performing arts, health care and information technology. The introduction of expert views in these areas will help USCIS gain additional insights, and strengthen its policies and practices in areas critical to economic growth. - USCIS
05/08/2013: Tighter Screening for Arriving International Students
The Homeland Security Department ordered border agents "effective immediately" to verify that every international student who arrives in the U.S. has a valid student visa, according to an internal memorandum obtained Friday by The Associated Press. The new procedure is the government's first security change directly related to the Boston bombings. The order from a senior official at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, David J. Murphy, was circulated Thursday and came one day after the Obama administration acknowledged that a student from Kazakhstan accused of hiding evidence for one of the Boston bombing suspects was allowed to return to the U.S. in January without a valid student visa. - Fox News
05/07/2013: Demand Data Released for June 2013 Visa Bulletin
DOS has released the demand data used to determine June 2013 visa cut-off dates. Official visa bulletin is likely to be out within a day or two.
05/05/2013: There is in Fact a Tech-Talent Shortage and There Always Will Be
For America to maintain its fragile role as the most innovative nation on earth, it must perpetually attract the world's best and brightest. There will always be trailblazing engineers who stay in their home country, leaving the United States one notch below its potential. Yet, on the heels of comprehensive immigration reform, a new viral economic study claiming that there is no tech talent shortage has skewed the national discussion over why we need to aggressively attract high-skilled immigrants in the first place. - TechCrunch
05/01/2013: DV-2014 Green Card Lottery Status Check
DV 2014 Program: DV-2014 green card lottery entrants will be able to check the status of their entries starting 12:00 noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) on May 1, 2013 through Entrant Status Check (ESC) on the E-DV website. Please be sure to have the Entrant's Confirmation Number, Last/Family Name, and Year of Birth in order to check the entrant status online.
Entrant Status Check is the ONLY means by which DV selectees will be notified of their selection. Additionally, Entrant Status Check will provide successful selectees instructions on how to proceed with their application. The Kentucky Consular Center no longer mails notification letters and does not use email to notify DV entrants of their selection in the DV program.
05/01/2013: USCIS Immigrant Fee Payment to Move to USCIS ELIS
USCIS is moving the existing online payment for the USCIS Immigrant Fee to its Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS). Customers will soon pay the $165 USCIS Immigrant Fee using USCIS ELIS after they receive their immigrant visa package from the Department of State and before they depart for the United States. USCIS ELIS is easy to use and provides direct access to case status updates. New immigrants will also use USCIS ELIS to file future applications and petitions when they become available in the system.
05/01/2013: Employers Must Use New Form I-9 Beginning May 7, 2013
Reminder: U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the new Form I-9 for immediate use by all employers! Some of the new features include: Form I-9 has gone from one to two pages and expanded instructions for better understanding. All employers must use the new Form I-9 (revision 03/08/13) beginning May 7, 2013
04/29/2013: Supreme Court Refuses to Revive Alabama Immigration Law
The Supreme Court has blocked Alabama from enforcing a state law that authorized the police to arrest and jail persons who hid or transported illegal immigrants. By a 8-1 vote, the justices let stand lower court rulings that said enforcing the immigration laws is the job of the federal government, not the states. Those rulings in turn were based on last year's Supreme Court ruling which threw out most of Arizona's strict immigration enforcement law. - LA Times
04/23/2013: Scams Blocking Chinese Investors' Path to U.S. Green Cards
Jianwei Li and two other wealthy Chinese businessmen thought they had a sure thing when they wired $1 million each to a California firm that had promised to build a fine Chinese restaurant in the Bay Area city of San Bruno.
The project had an alluring budget with multiple lucky 8s — $5,888,888 — and the three investors were assured it would create enough jobs to obtain the real prize: a U.S. green card. Months passed and nothing happened. When Li's friends cornered the project developer one evening at a karaoke bar, the man, identified in court papers as Sammy Lee, apparently devised a fantastic escape. - LA Times
04/22/2013: Live Webcast of Committee Hearing
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing scheduled for Monday, April 22, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building is now entitled "The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744." - senate.gov
04/22/2013: Rand Paul: Stop Immigration Bill until We Understand Boston
Sen. Rand Paul said Monday that the immigration reform debate should be halted until Congress first understands what went wrong in Boston, where two brothers who came to the U.S. legally under the asylum program have been accused of the deadly bombings at last week's marathon. The Kentucky Republican had given the immigration issue a big boost when he said earlier this year he supported taking action. But in light of last week's bombings, Mr. Paul said things have changed. - Washington Times
04/19/2013: Boston Bombing Spurs Senate Debate on Tighter Immigration Screening
The Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt for the suspects have already become part of the debate over immigration reform in Washington, with one high ranking Republican questioning the screening process that allows immigrants into the United States. The Senate Judiciary Committee was all set to hear testimony from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on the bipartisan immigration overhaul introduced by a group of eight senators, but she had to postpone due to ongoing developments in the search. - NBC
04/18/2013: BU Scholarship to Honor LU Lingzi
As thousands of offers to help in some way pour in from alumni, friends, and others around the world, a fund has been established to endow a memorial scholarship at the [Boston] University in the name of LU Lingzi, the BU graduate student who was one of three people killed in the Boston Marathon bomb attacks on April 15. - BU
04/16/2013: 'Gang of Eight' Immigration Bill Details
The federal government could pump an additional $7 billion into securing the border with Mexico, the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants could become U.S. citizens in 13 years or less, and the country's legal immigration system would be fundamentally altered under a bill by a bipartisan group of senators to be filed Tuesday. - USA Today
04/15/2013: Rubio's Tough Line on Immigration Makes Sense
The Florida lawmaker [Marco Rubio], and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, appeared on seven Sunday talk shows, discussing -- in English and Spanish -- the specifics of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that he hammered out with three other Senate Republicans and four Senate Democrats. The legislation is expected to be formally unveiled on Tuesday. This means that, by Wednesday, just about everyone will be angry. Conservatives will declare the provisions of the bill too lenient, while Hispanics will condemn them as too punitive. Welcome to the immigration debate. - CNN
04/10/2013: May 2013 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the May 2013 Visa Bulletin. 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 Employment-based Third preference category cut-off date for most countries has advanced significantly. This has been done in an attempt to generate demand so that the annual numerical limits may be fully utilized, and such movements may continue for the next few months. The rapid movement of cut-off dates is often followed months later by a dramatic increase in demand for numbers. Once such demand begins to materialize the cut-off date movements will begin to slow or stop." - DOS
04/08/2013: Demand Data Released for May 2013 Visa Bulletin
DOS has released the demand data used to determine May 2013 visa cut-off dates. Official visa bulletin is likely to be out tomorrow or Wednesday.
04/08/2013: FY-2014 H-1B Selection Process Completed
USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a "lottery") to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing. - USCIS
04/08/2013: USCIS to Implement Customer Identity Verification at Field Offices
On Monday, May 6, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. Individuals will now be required to submit biometric data, specifically fingerprints and photographs, when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit. CIV will help to both defend against threats to national security and protect customers from identity fraud by enhancing the agency's ability to verify identity.
04/05/2013: USCIS Reaches FY 2014 H-1B Cap
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2014. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. After today, USCIS will not accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap or the advanced degree exemption.
04/03/2013: CBP to Rollout New Arrival/Departure-Record Process for Foreign Visitors
When the electronic rollout begins April 30, CBP will no longer require international non-immigrant visitors to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record upon arrival to the U.S. by air or sea. The agency will gather travelers' arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. This automation will streamline the entry process for travelers, facilitate security and reduce federal costs. CBP anticipates that the automated process will save the agency an estimated $15.5 million a year. - CBP
04/02/2013: USCIS Temporarily Suspends Adjudication of Most H-2B Petitions Following Court Order
Effective March 22, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is temporarily suspending adjudication of most Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers while the government considers appropriate action in response to the Court order entered March 21, 2013 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). That order granted a permanent injunction against the operation of the portion of the Department of Labor's (DOL) 2008 wage rule related to certain prevailing wage determinations and gave DOL 30 days to come into compliance with the Court order. - USCIS
04/01/2013: Senator Ted Cruz on Immigration Reform
"I think the two critical elements [of immigration reform] are, number one: getting serious about securing the border: tripling the border patrol, providing technology, providing helicopters with infrared, providing the tools to drop illegal immigration and to solve the problem. And then number two: I think there are positive reforms to legal immigration — to make it easier to deal with, the lose [?] the paperwork, the burden, the waiting periods — that would receive overwhelming bipartisan support... I think the best place to start at immigration [reform] is where there's wide agreement. President Obama doesn't want to do that. He wants to pick a path to citizenship precisely because he knows that it's a partisan, divisive issue and he holds everything else hostage to that wedge issue." - Mediaite
03/31/2013: The Immigration Spring
It has been amazing this year to watch immigration reform, that perennial train wreck of an issue, keep rolling forward without losing steam or blowing up. A bipartisan band of senators called the Gang of Eight has been working steadily for months on a bill; a similar group in the House is doing the same; diverse outside forces are lining up to urge all of them on, and every week seems to bring new reason for optimism. - NY Times
03/27/2013: CBP Teleconference on I-94 Automation
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today published an interim final rule in the Federal Register to automate Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Effective on April 26, 2013, the rule streamlines the admissions process for individuals lawfully visiting the United States.
CBP invites interested individuals to participate in a stakeholder teleconference on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern). During the teleconference, subject matter experts from CBP will provide an update on the process to automate Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, and answer questions. Please use the information below to join the teleconference. We recommend that you call in 20 minutes before its start. Call-in Number: 1-888-566-7682. Passcode: AUTOMATION.
03/26/2013: USCIS California Service Center Closure
On Monday, March 25, 2013, some customers were notified of delivery delays to the USCIS California Service Center (CSC). The delays were the result of a temporary closure of CSC due to plumbing issues. The CSC will remain closed on Tuesday, March, 26, 2013. Deliveries will resume once CSC reopens. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates as they become available. - USCIS
Updated 03/27/2013: The USCIS California Service Center (CSC) has reopened following a temporary closure due to plumbing issues. Deliveries have resumed and USCIS does not anticipate any delays due to the closure.
03/22/2013: CBP Plans to Introduce Paperless I-94
U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced that it has submitted to the Federal Register a rule that will automate Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to streamline the admissions process for individuals lawfully visiting the United States. Form I-94 provides international visitors evidence they have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. which is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status, and employment authorization. The automation means that affected visitors will no longer need to fill out a paper form when arriving to the U.S. by air or sea, improving procedures and reducing costs. The change will go into effect 30 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register. - CBP
03/22/2013: USCIS Eliminates Saturday Operation of National Customer Service Center
The USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) is introducing new public hours of operation for our toll-free number at 800-375-5283. Effective immediately, USCIS will eliminate Saturday hours of operation. Beginning April 1, the NCSC will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, in all four time zones in the contiguous United States. This adjustment will allow USCIS to better serve customers during peak contact hours and respond more quickly to customer needs.
03/19/2013: USCIS Provides Updated RFE Response Time
This policy memorandum (PM) sets the amount of time U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers may provide an applicant to respond to a Request for Evidence (RFE) that is issued in relation to an Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, Form I-601A. It also amends previousinterim RFE guidance by assigning a specific timeframe to RFEs issued during the Form I-601A adjudication.
|Circumstance||Standard Response Time (calendar days)||Additional Mailing Time When Residing|
|In the U.S.||Outside the U.S.|
|To submit evidence required for the Form I-539 (extension of stay or change in status).||30||3||N/A|
|To submit evidence required for the Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver.||30||3||N/A|
|To submit evidence for all other benefit types, regardless of whether the request is for initial or additional evidence, or whether the evidence is available in the United States or from overseas sources.||84||3||14|
03/15/2013: USCIS to Accept H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2014 on April 1, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 cap on Monday, April 1, 2013. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS receives a properly filed petition for which the correct fee has been submitted; not the date that the petition is postmarked.
The cap (the numerical limitation on H-1B petitions) for FY 2014 is 65,000. In addition, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with U.S. master's degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap of 65,000. - USCIS
03/12/2013: HP Wins $220 Million USCIS Call Center Contract
HP Enterprise Services today[03/07] announced it has been awarded a task order valued at up to $220.5 million by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a Department of Homeland Security Department bureau, to manage call centers for people applying for citizenship or who need immigration assistance.
HP is leveraging proven processes to recruit, hire, train and manage a skilled team of more than 200 contact center professionals in multiple locations. These professionals will address questions related to citizenship and immigration by phone, with the potential to add contact types like email and chat in the future. HP's expertise will improve service center quality and efficiency in answering and resolving calls while enhancing the customer experience. - HP
03/11/2013: April 2013 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the April 2013 Visa Bulletin. 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)|
03/11/2013: Senators Agree on Path to Legal Status for Illegal Immigrants
Eight senators who have spent weeks trying to write a bipartisan bill to overhaul immigration laws have privately agreed on the most contentious part of the draft — how to offer legal status to the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants.
According to aides familiar with the closed-door negotiations, the bill would require illegal immigrants to register with Homeland Security Department authorities, file federal income taxes for their time in America and pay a still-to-be-determined fine. They also must have a clean law enforcement record. - LA Times
03/08/2013: Demand Data for April 2013 Visa Bulletin
Demand Data Used in the Determination of the April 2013 Employment Preference Cut-Off Dates
03/07/2013: H-1B Visa Fraud Indictment in Texas
A Texas IT services firm has been indicted by federal authorities for using H-1B visa workers to create an inexpensive "as needed" labor force.
The full scheme is outlined step-by-step in papers filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The indictment says that Dibon recruited foreign workers and sponsored them for H-1B visas to work at the firm's headquarters, but required them to provide consulting services to third-party companies located elsewhere. The company only paid the H-1B workers when they were placed at a third party company, "and only if the third party company actually paid Dibon first for the workers' services," it said. - ComputerWorld
03/07/2013: Introduction of the Revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is announcing the newly revised Employment Eligibility Verification form, Form I-9. Employers are required to use the Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization eligibility of their employees. The revisions to Form I-9 contain formatting changes and the inclusion of additional data fields. This notice contains the dates that employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 and announces the date that employers can no longer use prior versions of the forms. - USCIS
03/04/2013: New Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver Process
Beginning March 4, certain immigrant visa applicants who are the spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives), and have been unlawfully present in the United States, can start applying for provisional unlawful presence waivers through a new process. The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members go through the process of becoming lawful permanent residents of the United States. For eligibility details and information on the process, please visit USCIS.gov
02/28/2013: Startup Visa Could Create At Least 1.6 Million U.S. Jobs in Next 10 Years
Startup Visas would unleash a torrent of entrepreneurial energy among foreign-born individuals in the United States, according to a white paper released today by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The report, "Give Me Your Entrepreneurs, Your Innovators: Estimating the Employment Impact of a Startup Visa," said that offering the visas has the potential to add, conservatively, between 500,000 and 1.6 million new jobs over the next 10 years. - Kauffman
02/28/2013: USCIS Policy and Procedural Memoranda
This page provides access to various policy and procedural memoranda which gives guidance to USCIS adjudicators in their work of processing applications and petitions for immigration benefits while still protecting national security. You can also find a listing of memoranda by subject to the right.
ATTENTION: Policy memos that have been partially or fully superseded by the USCIS Policy Manual have been stamped and republished. If you have bookmarked affected memo PDF files, you will now see the updated stamped version of the memo indicating that you should visit www.uscis.gov/policymanual for current policy.
02/28/2013: Workload Transfer from Vermont Service Center to Nebraska Service Center
On February 13, 2013, USCIS transferred some casework from the Vermont Service Center to the Nebraska Service Center to balance overall workload with processing capacity at the centers. The affected casework includes the following forms:
- I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (when filed concurrently with the I-821D)
- I-765 Worksheet (when filed concurrently with the I-821D)
Effect on Customers
As a result of these changes, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) requestors may receive a letter from USCIS letting them know their request for DACA is now pending at the Nebraska Service Center instead of the Vermont Service Center. Customers do not need to take any action.
02/26/2013: New Process for U.S. Visa Applications in China
As part of the U.S. Mission in China's efforts to streamline the visa application process, the Embassy and all Consulates that issue visas are implementing a new visa appointment, fee payment and document delivery system starting on March 16, 2013.
Beginning March 16, applicants will only pay the existing, unchanged, visa processing fee of $160 for most nonimmigrant visa types. Previously, in addition to the processing fee, applicants faced additional costs for scheduling appointments and arranging for the return of their passports. Applicants will also be able to use a new online system to make visa interview appointments and to check on the status of their applications. They will be able to call the new Call Center to make an appointment or have their questions answered at no extra charge. - U.S. Embassy in Beijing
02/25/2013: Growth in Deportations
Deportations under the Obama administration are on track to hit two million by the end of this year — nearly the same number of deportations from the United States between 1892 and 1997. - NYT
02/19/2013: Invitation to Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver Engagements
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State invite you to participate in a joint stakeholder teleconference to discuss the final rule establishing a new process for certain individuals to apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers while they are still in the United States. The final rule published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2013 and will be effective on March 4, 2013. Toll Free Call-In Number: 1-800-369-2065. Toll Number for Outside the U.S.: 1-212-547-0425. Passcode: Provisional
02/16/2013: White House Draft Bill to Offer 8-Year Path to Residency
A draft of a White House immigration proposal obtained by USA TODAY would allow illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years...In addition, the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants could apply for a newly created "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa.
"It fails to follow through on previously broken promises to secure our borders, (and) creates a special pathway that puts those who broke our immigration laws at an advantage over those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally," Rubio said. "It would actually make our immigration problems worse." - USA Today
02/14/2013: EB-5 Policy Memorandum for Public Comment
Today USCIS is posting an updated EB-5 memorandum for your further review and comment. Your feedback is a vital part of the stakeholder collaborative process and is critical to informing the development of our policies. To comment on the updated EB-5 memorandum, visit the Draft Memoranda for Comment section of www.uscis.gov. Please send all comments on the draft memorandum to firstname.lastname@example.org.
02/14/2013: USCIS to Consolidate Online Filing of Form I-539
On February 28, 2013, USCIS will disable the alternative legacy online filing channel for Form I-539 and offer customers the option to: File online with USCIS ELIS, or file a paper application by mail.
02/11/2013: March 2013 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the March 2013 Visa Bulletin. 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)|
02/09/2013: Demand Data for March 2013 Visa Bulletin
Demand Data Used in the Determination of the March 2013 Employment Preference Cut-Off Dates
01/31/2013: Possible Interview Waiver for Family-Sponsored Cases
According to a recently released USCIS-AILA conference Q&A, the following adjustment categories are considered possible interview waiver cases:
- Unmarried minor children and stepchildren of US Citizens (IR7 and CR7)
- Parent of US Citizen (IR0)
- K1/K2 entrant— Fiancé(e) of US Citizen and children of Fiancé(e) (CF1/CF2)
- Native/Citizen of Cuba filing under 11/2/66 Act (also spouses/children) (CU6/CU7)
- Unmarried & Under 14 year old child of Lawful Permanent Resident (F27)
However, NBC (National Benefit Center) does not waive the interview for applicants who file:
- With Supplement A to Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i)
- With an EWI (Entry without Inspection) class of admission
- As part of a family pack; unless every application in the family pack meets the interview waiver criteria
01/31/2013: The Insanely Confusing Path to Legal Immigration, in One Chart
Sarah Kliff recently posted a blog entry on Washington Post to discuss our immigration flow chart (click on the image on the right to see a large PDF version). We also received several emails asking if there is a newer version since the current edition is still dated 2009. The reason is that over the past few years major immigration processes have remained largely unchanged, so the flow chart is still valid today. With comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) on the horizon, we will certainly update the chart if CIR or any new legislation becomes law.
01/29/2013: Bill Summary: Immigration Innovation (I²) Act of 2013
The bill is sponsored by ORRIN HATCH (R-UTAH), AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MINN.), MARCO RUBIO (R-FLA.) and CHRIS COONS (D-DEL.)
- Increase H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000
- Establish a market-based H-1B escalator, so that the cap can adjust – up or down
- Uncap the existing H-1B U.S. advanced degree exemption (currently limited to 20,000 per year)
- Authorize employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders
- Allow dual intent for foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities
- Enable the recapture of green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but were not used
- Exempt certain categories of persons from the employment-based green card cap (dependents, U.S. STEM advance degree holders, persons with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers)
- Provide for the roll-over of unused employment-based immigrant visa numbers
- Eliminate annual per-country limits for employment based visa petitioners and adjust per-country caps for family-based immigrant visas
01/29/2013: Remarks by the President on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
"I'm here because most Americans agree that it's time to fix a system that's been broken for way too long. I'm here because business leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement, and leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of opportunity. Now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and strengthen our country's future." - Speech transcript
01/28/2013: Senators Agree on Immigration Overhaul Plan
A bipartisan group of senators has agreed on a plan to grant legal status to most of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., which could form the basis for a far-reaching overhaul of immigration laws this year. - LA Times
01/26/2013: Obama to Launch Immigration Push in Nevada Next Week
President Barack Obama plans to launch his second-term push for a U.S. immigration overhaul during a visit to Nevada next week and will make it a high priority to win congressional approval of a reform package this year, the White House said on Friday. - Reuters
01/23/2013: January Pending I-485 Inventory Released
Today USCIS released the employment-based pending I-485 inventory (data as of 01/03/2013). Our green card tracker has now been updated with the new data. You can check your place in line directly using the tracker, read the inventory tables for your particular category, or download the entire dataset in pdf format (original USCIS document).
- Green Card Tracker
- USCIS Pending I-485 Inventory
- DOS Consular Processing Inventory
- Frequently Asked Questions
01/18/2013: Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Statistics
|Stage||Intake Accepted||Intake Rejected||Biometrics Scheduled||Case Under Review||Case Approved|
01/13/2013: Obama Will Seek Citizenship Path in One Fast Push
President Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly in the coming months on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, senior administration officials and lawmakers said last week. - NY Times
01/09/2013: February 2013 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State has released the February 2013 Visa Bulletin. 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)|
01/08/2013: USCIS National Customer Service Center Adds Saturday Hours
Beginning Jan. 12, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) National Customer Service Center (NCSC) will expand its live, toll-free telephone assistance service (1-800-375-5283) to include Saturday hours. Customer service representatives at the NCSC will now take calls Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., local time.
01/07/2013: USCIS Begins Transition to Centralized Policy Manual
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today began the agency's transition toward an online, centralized manual of immigration policies by releasing the first volume of the new USCIS Policy Manual-- the Citizenship and Naturalization volume. Today's release follows an unprecedented, agency-wide review of USCIS policies that incorporates feedback from thousands of agency employees, customers and stakeholders. - USCIS
01/03/2013: Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility for Certain Immediate Relatives
On April 2, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposed rule to amend its regulations to allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are physically present in the United States to request provisional unlawful presence waivers prior to departing from the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications. This final rule implements the provisional unlawful presence waiver process. It also finalizes clarifying amendments to other provisions within our regulations. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) anticipates that these changes will significantly reduce the length of time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who engage in consular processing abroad. DHS also believes that this new process will reduce the degree of interchange between the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and USCIS and create greater efficiencies for both the U.S. Government and most provisional unlawful presence waiver applicants. - Federal Register
01/02/2013: Invitation to National Stakeholder Engagement with USCIS Director
On January 7, 2013, USCIS will publish the first volume of a comprehensive new online Policy Manual. This first volume will cover Citizenship and Naturalization. The transition to a centralized online policy resource is the result of an unprecedented agency-wide review of all adjudication and customer service policies. During the engagement, Director Mayorkas will discuss the Policy Manual, highlight new citizenship and naturalization-related policies, and answer questions. In addition, Director Mayorkas will provide agency updates on such initiatives as the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process, the USCIS immigrant fee, and others.
You may participate in this engagement in person or by telephone. To register, please email the Public Engagement Division no later than Monday, January 7, 2013 at Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov. Reference the following in the subject line of your email: If you plan to attend in person, please reference "Director – In Person." If you plan to attend by phone, please reference "Director – By Phone." The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern).
01/01/2013: Guns, Immigration, Fiscal Issues Top Priorities for Obama, Congress
After an election year in which legislative business practically ground to a halt, Congress is poised to make up for lost time in 2013. The new Congress will begin its next session with an agenda expected to focus largely on issues that re-emerged over the past several weeks and months, with gun legislation and immigration reform near the top. - Fox News
Immigration News Archives
Copyright © ImmigrationRoad.com Last updated: 05/20/2013