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05/20/2015: Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

Beginning May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as long as the H-1B nonimmigrant has already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. Specifically, H-4 dependent spouses may apply for employment authorization if the H-1B nonimmigrant:

  • Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  • Has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (AC21). AC21 permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status.

05/18/2015: New Visa Bulletin Tracker

We have re-designed the visa bulletin tracker to show cutoff dates in an easy-to-use, interactive graph. Visa bulletin data include all EB2 and EB3 categories from the past 10 years. You can add or remove categories from the graph to compare data, such as China-EB2 vs China-EB3. Check it out!

05/11/2015: June 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for June 2015. 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 (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2013-6-1 365
India Second (EB2) 2008-10-1 169
ROW Third (EB3) 2015-2-15 45
China Third (EB3) 2011-9-1 123
India Third (EB3) 2004-1-22 7
Mexico Third (EB3) 2015-2-15 45
Philippines Third (EB3) 2005-1-1 -911

05/08/2015: Accused of Spying for China, Until She Wasn't

The [FBI] agents accused Mrs. Chen, a hydrologist born in China and now a naturalized American citizen, of using a stolen password to download information about the nation's dams and of lying about meeting with a high-ranking Chinese official.

Mrs. Chen, 59, an adoptive Midwesterner who had received awards for her government service, was now suspected of being a Chinese spy. She was arrested and led in handcuffs past her co-workers to a federal courthouse 40 miles away in Dayton, where she was told she faced 25 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Then, five months later, the ordeal abruptly ended. In March, just a week before she was scheduled to go on trial, prosecutors dropped all charges against Mrs. Chen without explanation. - NY Times

05/04/2015: USCIS Completes Data Entry of FY-2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

USCIS announced May 4, 2015, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, the time frame for returning these petitions is uncertain. USCIS asks petitioners to not inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the petitions have been returned.

05/01/2015: Baltimore Unrest Reveals Tensions Between African-Americans And Asians

The broader question is what's really happening in the more troubled neighborhoods of a majority-black city. Like any city, Baltimore has a legacy of segregation and a legacy of police violence. It also faces many class and economic differences. And those differences came to the surface during Monday's violence. In the Sandtown neighborhood, many Asian-owned businesses were targeted for destruction. NPR's Nurith Aizenman visited a street close to the scene of Freddie Gray's arrest where Asian shop owners are assessing the damage. - NPR

04/28/2015: ICE Final Rule to Allow Part-Time Studies for F2 and M2 Dependents

The Department of Homeland Security is amending its regulations under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to improve management of international student programs and increase opportunities for study by spouses and children of nonimmigrant students. This rule grants school officials more flexibility in determining the number of designated school officials to nominate for the oversight of campuses. The rule also provides greater incentive for international students to study in the United States by permitting accompanying spouses and children of academic and vocational nonimmigrant students with F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant status to enroll in study at an SEVP-certified school so long as any study remains less than a full course of study. F-2 and M-2 spouses and children remain prohibited, however, from engaging in a full course of study unless they apply for, and DHS approves, a change of nonimmigrant status to a nonimmigrant status authorizing such study. - Federal Register

04/26/2015: Complete Re-design of ImmigrationRoad.Com

Over the past few weeks we've been working extremely hard to overhaul the entire website and today it is live! Our main goal is to make the website completely responsive, meaning that it will display beautifully whether you're visiting using a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. No zooming or dragging is needed on a small screen. In addition, most pages should load even faster than before. We're still working to make sure everything works perfectly so if you see a glitch please do let us know. We hope you like the new design.

04/13/2015: May 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for May 2015. 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 (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2012-6-1 427
India Second (EB2) 2008-4-15 227
ROW Third (EB3) 2015-1-1 92
China Third (EB3) 2011-5-1 120
India Third (EB3) 2004-1-15 7
Mexico Third (EB3) 2015-1-1 92
Philippines Third (EB3) 2007-7-1 -2649

04/13/2015: USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2016

USCIS received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 13, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing. The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. - USCIS

04/07/2015: USCIS Reaches FY 2016 H-1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption. USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption. - USCIS

03/26/2015: USCIS Workload Transfer within Service Center Operations

Effective March 27, 2015, USCIS will transfer the adjudication of some cases to balance our overall workload. The affected cases include those filed with the following forms:

  • I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
  • I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
  • I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (employment and asylum-based only)
  • I-821D/I-765, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals/ Application for Employment Authorization (initial and renewal requests)

03/22/2015: Police departments hiring immigrants as officers

Law enforcement agencies struggling to fill their ranks or connect with their increasingly diverse populations are turning to immigrants to fill the gap. Most agencies in the country require officers or deputies to be U.S. citizens, but some are allowing immigrants who are legally in the country to wear the badge. From Hawaii to Vermont, agencies are allowing green-card holders and legal immigrants with work permits to join their ranks. - USA Today

03/21/2015: Judge blasts DOJ over immigration claims, threatens sanctions

A federal judge sharply scolded a Justice Department attorney at a hearing on President Obama's immigration executive actions, suggesting that the administration misled him on a key part of the program -- and that he fell for it, "like an idiot."

The testy court hearing was held Thursday in Texas by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen. The judge suggested he could order sanctions against the administration if he finds they indeed misrepresented the facts. - Fox

03/12/2015: April 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for April 2015. 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)
China Second (EB2) 212
India Second (EB2) 243
ROW Third (EB3) 122
China Third (EB3) -294
India Third (EB3) 7
Mexico Third (EB3) 122
Philippines Third (EB3) 122

03/09/2015: US immigration officials announce 2,000 arrests in nationwide raids

Top immigration officials said Monday that the U.S. rounded up about 2,000 people who had been convicted of crimes and are living in the country illegally, an announcement made in part to show that agents are still aggressive about enforcement at a time of declining deportations.

The announcement comes as the Obama administration has faced harsh criticism by conservatives for pulling back on immigration enforcement. In the most recent fiscal year, the agency deported about 316,000 people, the smallest number since Obama took office. About two-thirds of those were turned back from the border, and about 102,000 were sent out in so-called "interior removals," mostly because of criminal records. That number was down 23 percent from 2013. - MSN

02/24/2015: DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants Seeking Employment-Based Lawful Permanent Residence

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced today that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. DHS amended the regulations to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States. - USCIS

02/16/2015: Judge blocks Obama policy to defer deportation of millions

A federal judge in Texas has issued a preliminary injunction blocking President Obama's program that would defer deportation for up to 5 million people living in the United States illegally.

Federal immigration officials have been temporarily barred from implementing "any and all aspects" of the deferred action program that Obama announced in November, according to an order issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Southern District of Texas...The order applies to both the deferred action plan for parents of lawful permanent residents, also known as DAPA, and expansions to the deferred action for childhood arrivals, known as DACA, announced in November. - LA Times

02/10/2015: Green Card Tracker Updated

The green card tracker has been updated with the latest USCIS Pending I-485 Inventory data as of January 12, 2015.

02/09/2015: March 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for March 2015. 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)
China Second (EB2) 170
India Second (EB2) 487
ROW Third (EB3) 151
China Third (EB3) 51
India Third (EB3) 10
Mexico Third (EB3) 151
Philippines Third (EB3) 151

01/30/2015: USCIS to Begin Accepting Requests for Expanded DACA on Feb. 18

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on Feb. 18, 2015. That will be the first day to request DACA under the revised guidelines established as part of President Obama's recent anouncements on immigration. - USCIS

01/27/2015: USCIS Office Closings on January 27

Many USCIS field offices and application centers on the east coast will be closed today due to snow storm. Click here on what to do if you have a pending appointment

01/14/2015: U.S. House passes security funding bill blocking immigration actions

U.S. House Republicans drew a hard line against President Barack Obama's executive immigration initiatives on Wednesday, voting to block them as they passed a Department of Homeland Security spending bill.

The vote sets up a potential showdown in coming weeks over funding for the sprawling agency that secures U.S. borders, airports and coastal waters. The bill's immigration provisions also could hamper Republicans' efforts to boost their appeal among Hispanic voters in the 2016 presidential election. - Reuters

01/09/2015: Bill H.R. 213 Introduced to Eliminate Per-Country Caps

Rep. Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced H.R. 213, "To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes." This is essentially the same bill as H.R. 3012, which generated strong interests among legal, employment-based immigrants but ended up going nowhere. - ThomasNet

01/09/2015: February 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for February 2015. 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)
China Second (EB2) 42
India Second (EB2) 198
ROW Third (EB3) 214
China Third (EB3) 184
India Third (EB3) 7
Mexico Third (EB3) 214
Philippines Third (EB3) 214

Also released: DOS predictions on Visa Bulletin movement for the coming months.

01/05/2015: Anti-illegal immigration groups resurge on border

Just 70 miles from the Mexico border, the area has been a busy crossing for migrants. And it's now attracting renewed attention after President Barack Obama announced his sweeping executive action for immigrants in November. Since then, Vickers said he's seen an uptick in people wanting to join Texas Border Volunteers, which he founded in 2005.

Obama's changes would provide work permits to 4.7 million immigrants who've been here illegally for years and strengthen border security, though few details have been released as to how. But federal officials have said recent border-crossers are now their highest priority. - Houston Chronicle

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