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08/31/2015: Migrant Crisis Tests Core European Value: Open Borders

The desperate migrants and asylum seekers now flooding into Europe by the tens of thousands, and the inability so far to accommodate them in an organized way, may be starting to fray Europe's commitment to erase old borders.

The evidence was on stark display Monday, as the Austrian authorities disrupted traffic from Hungary, causing backups of at least 12 miles, while inspecting vehicles for smuggled migrants. The crackdown could last indefinitely. - NY Times

08/31/2015: 244 Arrested in Southern California Immigration Sting

Immigration agents arrested more than 240 people with criminal records during a four-day sting in Southern California, authorities said Monday in a show of force that comes as fewer people are being deported. Slightly more than half of the 244 people arrested last week had felony convictions and the rest had significant or multiple misdemeanor convictions, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The agency said those numbers underscore an emphasis on deporting immigrants who commit crimes in the United States or pose a public safety threat. - ABC

08/31/2015: Kate Steinle slaying prompts Bay Area counties to cooperate with immigration officials

The fate of a 31-year-old illegal immigrant from Nicaragua with a history of domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon rested entirely on where he was recently caught in the Bay Area.

If it had been in San Francisco or Santa Clara County, he would have walked out of a jail a free man after serving time for violating probation. But because he broke the law in another part of the Bay Area -- where local jailers recently started cooperating with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- federal agents were able to retrieve him from jail two weeks ago and lock him up in a federal detention center pending possible deportation. - Mercury News

08/24/2015: USCIS Discontinues Legacy e-Filing System

USCIS will discontinue its legacy e-Filing system in order to maintain data security standards and focus resources on the replacement Electronic Immigration System. The last day to start new forms in the e-Filing system is Aug. 30. You must complete and submit all forms by Sept. 20. If you are unable to do so, you will need to file a paper form.

USCIS is transitioning to a new system called the Electronic Immigration System. The new system is faster, more secure, and easier to upgrade and update. The forms being removed from the legacy e-Filing system will not be available immediately in the Electronic Immigration System, but there are plans to add them in the future. - USCIS

08/15/2015: The three core principles of Donald J. Trump's immigration plan

When politicians talk about "immigration reform" they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties.

Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform. - Donald Trump

08/14/2015: Working STEM students may be forced to leave U.S. next year

A federal judge made a ruling this week that could force tens of thousands of foreign workers, many of whom are employed at tech companies on student visas, to return to their home countries early next year.

This ruling, released Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle in Washington, found that the government erred by not seeking public comment when it extended the 12-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to 29 months for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students. The OPT program allows someone to work on a student visa. - Computer World

08/12/2015: Green Card Tracker Updated with Data as of July 20, 2015

USCIS today published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of July 20, 2015. We have now updated the green card tracker with the latest information. This is the first inventory that includes the large number of new filings in the China EB-2 category, because its cut-off date has been advancing rapidly from March to August, 2015. When compared to the April inventory, over 5,000 new EB2C applications of priority dates between 2011 - 2013 have been added to the 7/20 release.

08/12/2015: September 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for September 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) 2006-01-01 -2905
India Second (EB2) 2006-01-01 -1004
ROW Third (EB3) 2015-08-15 31
China Third (EB3) 2004-12-22 204
India Third (EB3) 2004-12-22 204
Mexico Third (EB3) 2015-08-15 31
Philippines Third (EB3) 2004-12-22 204

08/05/2015: GOP presidential debate could spark fireworks on immigration

From immigrants to tea partiers, Floridians are eager to see how the Republican presidential candidates handle the explosive issue of immigration at their first nationally televised primary debate Thursday evening. The 9 p.m. broadcast on Fox News will showcase 10 candidates, five from Florida, who most likely will tangle over an intractable issue that divides Congress and has left 11 million people, including hundreds of thousands in Florida, in legal limbo. - Sun Sentinel

08/01/2015: "This is a global migration crisis"

The British and French governments have warned that the world is facing a "global migration crisis"...Writing in the Telegraph, they warn would-be immigrants planning to make the "desperate" journey in search of a better life that Britain's streets "are not paved with gold"...The announcement came as figures showed the number of suspected illegal migrants detained in Britain has soared by almost a fifth since the Calais crisis erupted. - The Telegraph

07/25/2015: Hungary's Viktor Orban: illegal immigration threatens Europe

Illegal immigration is a threat to Hungary and all of Europe, with the biggest risk coming from hundreds of millions of people from the "depths of Africa" looking to escape poverty, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Saturday.

Speaking at a cultural festival in Baile Tusnad, Romania, Orban accused the European Union of failing to defend its citizens from the "masses of illegal immigrants," who he said threatened the cultural identity of European countries and contributed to increased terrorism, unemployment and criminality. - U.S. News

07/21/2015: USCIS Policy Alert: Modifications to Oath of Allegiance for Naturalization

In general, a naturalization applicant must take an oath of allegiance in a public ceremony, in addition to meeting other eligibility requirements, in order to naturalize. The oath includes the clauses to bear arms on behalf of the United States and to perform noncombatant service in the U.S. armed forces when required by law.1 An applicant may be eligible for certain modifications to the oath to exclude the clauses based on religious training and belief or a conscientious objection. This guidance updates Volume 12 of the Policy Manual to clarify the eligibility requirements for the modifications. - USCIS

07/15/2015: Green Card Tracker Updated with Data as of April 1, 2015

USCIS finally published the pending I-485 inventory to include data for each oversubscribed country, instead of just a total count released two weeks ago. We have since updated the green card tracker with the latest release, containing data as of April 1, 2015.

07/10/2015: August 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for August 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) 2013-12-15 75
India Second (EB2) 2008-10-01 0
ROW Third (EB3) 2015-07-15 105
China Third (EB3) 2004-06-01 -2648
India Third (EB3) 2004-06-01 121
Mexico Third (EB3) 2015-07-15 105
Philippines Third (EB3) 2004-06-01 ---

07/09/2015: USCIS Requesting Return of 3-Year EAD from DACA Recipients

AILA reported that USCIS sent a letter to DACA recipients who did not return their three-year EAD cards, stating that USCIS must receive the now invalid 3-year EAD by 7/17/15. Failure to return the invalid EAD without good cause may affect the individual's deferred action and employment authorization. - USCIS Letter

07/03/2015: Feds: San Francisco pier shooting suspect deported 5 times

A man suspected in the shooting death of a woman at a busy San Francisco tourist destination has seven felony convictions and has been deported five times, most recently in 2009, a federal agency said Friday.

[ICE spokeswoman Virginia] Kice said ICE issued a detainer for Sanchez in March, requesting to be notified if he was going to be released. The detainer was not honored, she said. Friday evening, an attorney for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department said it had no authority to honor the immigration hold. Freya Horne said that federal detention orders are not a "legal basis" to hold someone, so Sanchez was released April 15. - CBS

07/01/2015: Delayed I-485 Inventory, with only Partial Data

After a 2-month delay USCIS today updated their pending I-485 inventory. Unfortunately it only contains total number of pending I-485 applications, without separate reports based on country of chargeability. I'm fairly certain this was a reporting error and hopefully USCIS will fix it in the next couple of days.

06/27/2015: Supreme Court to Weigh Race in College Admissions

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to take a second look at the use of race in admissions decisions by the University of Texas at Austin, reviving a potent challenge to affirmative action in higher education.

The move, which supporters of race-conscious admissions programs called baffling and ominous, signaled that the court may limit or even end such affirmative action. The advocates speculated that the court's most conservative members had cast the four votes needed to grant review of the case in the hope that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy would supply the fifth vote to strike down the Texas admissions plan. - NY Times

06/27/2015: Donald Trump Defends His Immigration Stance

Amidst growing backlash over his controversial comments about Mexican immigration during his presidential campaign announcement, Donald Trump tells PEOPLE he's standing by his words.

"I love the Mexican people and have great respect for Mexico," Trump says. "But Mexico has totally taken advantage of the United States, both at the border and at trade. I'm exposing the truth." - People Magazine

06/27/2015: Most illegal immigrants from border surge skipped court date after release

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrant women and children streamed across the U.S. border last year seeking asylum and protected status, claiming a "credible fear" of going home to the violence in Central America. President Obama addressed the crisis through increased border enforcement, more detention beds, more immigration judges and pressure on political leaders in their home countries.

But a year later, new data obtained exclusively by Fox News shows the policy isn't stopping the influx. Not only are illegal immigrant women and children continuing to cross the border in large numbers, but the majority charged with crimes aren't even showing up for court. - FOX News

06/22/2015: GAO Report on USCIS Transformation to Electronic Filing System

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) currently expects that its Transformation Program will cost up to $3.1 billion and be fully deployed no later than March 2019, which is an increase of approximately $1 billion and delay of over 4 years from its initial July 2011 baseline. In March 2012, the program began to significantly change its acquisition strategy to address various technical challenges (see table). - GAO

06/21/2015: Marco Rubio Is Heckled by Immigration Protesters at Faith Summit

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio was interrupted and heckled by undocumented immigrants Thursday while speaking to the Faith & Freedom Coalition meeting in Washington.

Two men stood up during the Florida senator's speech and began shouting that they were undocumented immigrants yelling "protect DACA" and "implement DAPA," referring to President Barack Obama's 2012 and 2014 executive actions to provide deportation relief. - Bloomberg

06/21/2015: Who should immigration be helping?

Recent revelations about the firing of American tech workers and their replacement by temporary visa holders reveal, in the starkest way, why many Americans are wary of the impact of untrammeled immigration. Workers in American companies have been removed from their jobs not because they could not perform them, but because their replacements, largely from India, are simply cheaper and, likely, more malleable. - OC Register

06/20/2015: Mass arrests after thousands rally against immigration in Bratislava

At least 140 people were arrested Saturday after violence broke out at an anti-immigration rally in Bratislava attended by thousands of people in protest at EU quotas on migrant numbers, local media said.

The rally, organised by an anti-Islam group called Stop the Islamisation of Europe, drew up to 8,000 people, according to Slovakian media. Police declined to give an estimate. - Yahoo News

06/10/2015: July 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for July 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) 2013-10-1 122
India Second (EB2) 2008-10-1 0
ROW Third (EB3) 2015-4-1 45
China Third (EB3) 2011-9-1 0
India Third (EB3) 2004-2-1 10
Mexico Third (EB3) 2015-4-1 45
Philippines Third (EB3) Unavailable Unavailable

"Despite two retrogressions of the Philippines Employment Third and Third Other Worker cut-off dates in an attempt to hold number use within the annual limit, it has now become necessary to make the category "Unavailable" for the month of July. It is possible that some unused numbers from the Second preference category may become available for September use. If not, Philippines Third preference numbers will once again be available beginning October 1, 2015 under the FY-2016 annual numerical limitations." - DOS

06/03/2015: Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements.

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

Disney executives said that the layoffs were part of a reorganization, and that the company opened more positions than it eliminated. - NY Times

05/26/2015: Obama immigration overhaul and 'Dreamers' handed another legal setback

A split federal appeals court on Tuesday let stand a lower court's ruling that has stymied Obama administration plans to shield up to 5 million people - including young immigrants known as "Dreamers" – from deportation. At issue was President Obama's proposed extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, created in 2012, and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents, or DAPA, which was scheduled to start in May. - LA Times

05/26/2015: H4 EAD Lawsuit: Motion for a Preliminary Injunction Denied

"Plaintiff Save Jobs USA ("Save Jobs") brings this action against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") for violations of the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"). Save Jobs alleges that DHS violated the APA when it issued a final rule that will allow certain H-4 visa holders to apply for employment authorization. See Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses, 80 Fed. Reg. 10,284 (Feb. 25, 2015) (to be codified at 8 C.F.R. pts. 214.2, 274a) (the "Rule"). Before the court is Save Jobs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Because Save Jobs has failed to show it will suffer irreparable harm absent preliminary relief, the motion is denied. - Court Document"

05/22/2015: Harvard discriminates against Asians as it once did to Jews

If you're applying to Harvard and your last name is Wong or Liu, changing it to Lopez or Luciano might just make the difference you need to get in. Harvard routinely rejects "Asian" applicants in favor of whites and sought-after minorities with lower test scores and grades. Enrollment data reveal that Harvard limits Asian-Americans to a flat 15-18 percent of the student body, year after year, though they increasingly dominate the top of the applicant pool. - NY Post

05/22/2015: USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions

Starting May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015. During this time frame, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of the stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant. USCIS will continue to premium process H-1B Extension of Stay petitions filed with Form I-907 premium requests prior to May 26, 2015. - USCIS

05/22/2015: Revised Form I-765 Now Available

USCIS recently published the revised Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with a 02/13/15, edition date. You can download the revised form and details about who may file and where to file Form I-765 from the USCIS forms page...While USCIS will continue to accept versions of the form with edition date 05/27/08 or later, H-4 applicants should use the 02/13/15 version of the form to prevent delays or the need for USCIS to issue you a request for evidence.

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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