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07/25/2017: USCIS Announces Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Opportunities

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now accepting applications for two funding opportunities under the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program. These are competitive grant opportunities for organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents for naturalization and promote civic assimilation and assimilation through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics. The two programs will provide up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. Applications are due by Aug. 6. - USCIS

07/24/2017: USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective immediately. The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap” of 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.

USCIS plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit. USCIS will make additional announcements with specific details related to when we will begin accepting premium processing for those petitions. Until then, premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions. USCIS will reject any Form I-907 filed for those petitions, and if the petitioner submitted one check combining the Form I-907 and Form I-129 fees, USCIS will have to reject both forms. - USCIS

07/11/2017: August 2017 Visa Bulletin Released: Significant China EB-3 Backward Movement

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for August 2017. The table below shows "Final Action (Approval)" cut-off dates and movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. To see filing cut-off dates or family-sponsored categories please go to the Visa Bulletin page linked above. For historical data, predictions and more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China First (EB1) 2012-01-01 0
Inida First (EB1) 2012-01-01 0
China Second (EB2) 2013-04-22 31
India Second (EB2) 2008-07-22 21
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2012-01-01 0
India Third (EB3) 2006-07-15 150
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2015-06-01 382

06/29/2017: USCIS to Naturalize 15,000 New Citizens During Independence Day Holiday

“July Fourth marks the birth of our country, and for 15,000 people, it marks the birth of a new chapter as American citizens,” USCIS Acting Director James McCament said. “These new members of our community will add to the diverse fabric of our nation and will now be able to enjoy the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.”

06/26/2017: Supreme Court decision shifts momentum in Trump travel ban case

Monday’s ruling effectively allows part of Trump’s executive order to go into effect, including a 90-day ban on people entering the United States from six mostly-Muslim countries who “lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” such as a spouse, close relative, employer or enrollment in an American university. It also allows a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the United States to go into effect. - Fox News

06/22/2017: SEVIS by the Numbers

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). SEVP manages the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the web-based system DHS uses to maintain and manage information on nonimmigrants whose primary purpose for coming to the United States is to study.

SEVIS by the Numbers is a biannual report that highlights key SEVIS data to illustrate trends, values and information on international students studying in the United States. The report includes the following sections:

06/18/2017: USCIS Performance Data by Form Type

USCIS releases summary of performance data, including forms received and approved, for the first and second quarter of FY2017.

06/15/2017: DHS rescinds Obama-era DAPA policy

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday rescinded an Obama-era immigration policy that had allowed for deferred action for parents of Americans and lawful permanent residents, which was known as DAPA. DHS Secretary John Kelly signed a memo on Thursday directing his employees not to carry out an instruction his predecessor, Jeh Johnson, had put in writing in November 2014 that sought to extend a 2012 program aimed at the illegal immigrant community. - Washington Examiner

Official DHS Announcement

06/9/2017: July 2017 Visa Bulletin Released: Significant China EB-3 Backward Movement

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for July 2017. The table below shows "Final Action (Approval)" cut-off dates and movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. To see filing cut-off dates or family-sponsored categories please go to the Visa Bulletin page linked above. For historical data, predictions and more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China First (EB1) 2012-01-01 0
Inida First (EB1) 2012-01-01 0
China Second (EB2) 2013-03-22 21
India Second (EB2) 2008-07-22 21
ROW Third (EB3) 2017-06-08 54
China Third (EB3) 2012-01-01 -1004
India Third (EB3) 2006-02-15 276
Mexico Third (EB3) 2017-06-08 54
Philippines Third (EB3) 2014-05-15 379

CHINA Employment-based Third (E3) preference category: Readers were advised in item F of the June Visa Bulletin number 6, that it would be necessary to impose a date no later than August. The continued high level of demand for E3 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for July. This has been done in an attempt to hold number use within the China E3 annual limit. The China E3 date will return to October 1, 2014 for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.

05/22/2017: DHS Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Entry/Exit Overstay Report

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released today the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. The report provides data on departures and overstays, by country, for foreign visitors to the United States who entered as nonimmigrant visitors through an air or sea Port of Entry (POE) and were expected to depart in FY16. - DHS

05/11/2017: Trump's tough immigration rhetoric slows illegal border crossings

After years of surging immigration from Central America, law enforcement in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley are finally seeing some relief, thanks in part to President Trump’s strong rhetoric.

That fear prompted a dramatic change in behavior among illegal immigrants that few predicted. For three years, a flood of unaccompanied children, women and families made the hazardous trek north from Hondurans, El Salvador and Guatemala, through Mexico to the U.S. Border. Now they are not coming. - Fox

05/10/2017: June 2017 Visa Bulletin Released: China and India EB1 No Longer Current

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for June 2017. The table below shows "Final Action (Approval)" cut-off dates and movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. To see filing cut-off dates or family-sponsored categories please go to the Visa Bulletin page linked above. For historical data, predictions and more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

China and India EB-1 categories are no longer current. DOS explains why:

"Readers were advised in item D of the May Visa Bulletin number 5, that it would be necessary to impose a date for these two countries in the near future. The continued high level of demand for E1 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for June. This has been done in an attempt to hold number use within the Worldwide E1 annual limit. The E1 date for these two countries will once again become CURRENT for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018."

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China First (EB1) 2012-01-01 -1978
Inida First (EB1) 2012-01-01 -1978
China Second (EB2) 2013-03-01 21
India Second (EB2) 2008-07-01 9
ROW Third (EB3) 2017-04-15 31
China Third (EB3) 2014-10-01 0
India Third (EB3) 2005-05-15 51
Mexico Third (EB3) 2017-04-15 31
Philippines Third (EB3) 2013-05-01 120

05/09/2017: Green Card Tracker Updated with Data as of April 2017

green card tracker

Today USCIS published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of April 2017. We have now updated the green card tracker with the latest information. The I-485 tracker includes data from USCIS' pending I-485 inventory as well as DOS' pending consular processing cases.

05/03/2017: Texas lawmakers pass bill allowing police to ask about immigration status

The Texas Legislature on Wednesday passed a ban on so-called “sanctuary cities” that allows police officers to ask about a person’s immigration status and threatens sheriffs and police chiefs with jail time if they don’t work with federal authorities. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has pledged to sign the bill into law, which could now come quickly. - USA Today

05/03/2017: USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

USCIS announced on May 3, 2017, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2018 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, USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions. USCIS asks petitioners not to 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 unselected petitions have been returned.

04/19/2017: USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017. These redesigns use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use. - USCIS

04/18/2017: Trump Signs Order That Could Lead to Curbs on Foreign Workers

Yet the order calls for a series of relatively modest steps, like a multiagency report on changes needed for the H-1B program, under which the government admits 85,000 foreign workers annually, many of them in the high-tech, industrial, medical and science fields. Collectively, the efforts outlined in the order could take years to carry out.

But the order would likely hurt the biggest users of the visa program, technology outsourcing firms that bring foreign workers to the United States to perform technical jobs, typically from India. - NYT

04/11/2017: May 2017 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for May 2017. The table below shows "Final Action (Approval)" cut-off dates and movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. To see filing cut-off dates or family-sponsored categories please go to the Visa Bulletin page linked above. For historical data, predictions and more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2013-02-08 24
India Second (EB2) 2008-06-22 0
ROW Third (EB3) 2017-03-15 28
China Third (EB3) 2014-10-01 47
India Third (EB3) 2005-03-25 1
Mexico Third (EB3) 2017-03-15 28
Philippines Third (EB3) 2013-01-01 108

The Department of State also made the following announcement with regard to EB1 and EB2 future movement:

Employment First Preference: A Final Action Date will be established for both CHINA-mainland born and INDIA in the near future. Once such a date has been established, there is some chance that it might advance slowly through September. The date for these countries will once again become CURRENT for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.

Employment Second Preference: Worldwide, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines can be expected to become oversubscribed no later than July. It is possible that there could be some forward movement of the established Final Action Date by September. The date for these countries will once again become CURRENT for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.

04/07/2017: USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. However, please keep in mind USCIS suspended premium processing April 3 for up to six months for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions. - USCIS

04/06/2017: US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ANNOUNCES PLANS TO PROTECT AMERICAN WORKERS FROM H-1B PROGRAM DISCRIMINATION

The department will protect American workers against discrimination through the following actions:

  • Rigorously use all of its existing authority to initiate investigations of H-1B program violators. This effort to protect U.S. workers will also involve greater coordination with other federal agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Justice for additional investigation and, if necessary, prosecution.
  • Consider changes to the Labor Condition Application for future application cycles. The Labor Condition Application, which is a required part of the H-1B visa application process, may be updated to provide greater transparency for agency personnel, U.S. workers and the general public.
  • Continue to engage stakeholders on how the program might be improved to provide greater protections for U.S. workers, under existing authorities or through legislative changes.

04/05/2017: “Improving Border Security and Public Safety”

The border security challenges facing DHS and our nation are considerable, particularly along the southern border. We have the laws in place to secure our borders. We also have outstanding men and women working at DHS, and in other federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, who are committed to the border security mission. Finally, we now have a clear mission objective and the will to complete that mission successfully. We must accelerate our collective efforts and dedicate additional resources to enforce the laws on the books and support those sworn to uphold the law. You have my commitment to work tirelessly to ensure that the men and women of DHS are empowered to do their jobs. - DHS

04/01/2017: This is what immigration means to the US economy in two charts

Immigrants are responsible for nearly half the population growth of the United States, and by extension that also means they are a sizable part of the growth in the U.S. labor force. - CNBC

03/24/2017: Maryland high school thrust into immigration debate amid bathroom rape case

A Maryland high school has been thrust into the national immigration debate after a 14-year-old student said she was raped in a bathroom there by two classmates, including one who authorities said came to the U.S. illegally from Central America.

Protesters on both sides of the debate converged on a nearby elementary school Thursday during a visit by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. And the White House has weighed in, saying the president has made a crackdown on illegal immigration a priority "because of tragedies like this." - Chicago Tribune

03/23/2017: Peter Kwong, Authority on Chinese Immigration, Dies at 75

Peter Kwong, who came to the United States to be trained as an engineer but became instead an authoritative scholar on America’s Chinatowns and Chinese immigration, died on March 17 in Manhattan. He was 75.

His career spanned the 1965 immigration act, which reversed four decades of virtual exclusion of Asians, and the more recent gentrification of Manhattan’s Chinatown. He charted the spread of ethnic Chinese newcomers to satellite enclaves in other boroughs and the suburbs; the linguistic ascent of Mandarin over Cantonese; and, in New York City, the ultimate validation of an ethnic group’s rise: the designation of Lunar New Year as a holiday, when public schools are closed and alternate-side parking rules are suspended. - NY Times

03/15/2017: Green Card Tracker Updated with Data as of January 2017

green card tracker

Today USCIS published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of January 2017. We have now updated the green card tracker with the latest information. The I-485 tracker includes data from USCIS' pending I-485 inventory as well as DOS' pending consular processing cases.

03/15/2017: USCIS Will Accept H-1B Petitions for FY 2018 Beginning April 3

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2018 cap on April 3, 2017. All cap-subject H-1B petitions filed before April 3, 2017, for the FY 2018 cap will be rejected.

USCIS recently announced a temporary suspension of premium processing for all H-1B petitions starting April 3 for up to six months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, 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 which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. While premium processing is suspended any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition will be rejected. If the petitioner submits one combined check for both the Form I-907 and Form I-129 H-1B fees, both forms will be rejected. - USCIS

03/09/2017: April 2017 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for April 2017. The table below shows "Final Action (Approval)" cut-off dates and movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. To see filing cut-off dates or family-sponsored categories please go to the Visa Bulletin page linked above. For historical data, predictions and more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2013-01-15 31
India Second (EB2) 2008-06-22 21
ROW Third (EB3) 2017-02-15 76
China Third (EB3) 2014-08-15 153
India Third (EB3) 2005-03-24 2
Mexico Third (EB3) 2017-02-15 76
Philippines Third (EB3) 2012-09-15 184

03/06/2017: GOP critics praise Trump's tweaked travel ban

President Donald Trump's scaled-back order restricting travel from six majority-Muslim nations won over one of his biggest GOP critics Monday and drew tepid support from other Republicans who had criticized his initial travel ban. - Politico

03/03/2017: USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, 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 which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions. This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times. - USCIS

02/28/2017: Trump: I’m Open to Legal Status for Some Undocumented Immigrants

The Trump administration could be open to providing legal status to undocumented immigrants who have not committed serious crimes, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, signaling a major shift in his immigration policy. - NBC

02/19/2017: DHS Memo on Immigration Enforcement

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has drafted new orders to agency heads that would considerably expand the number of immigrants who could be detained and deported under new executive orders President Donald Trump signed last month. Under the proposed orders, which were contained in two memorandums written for distribution to agency heads and dated Friday, hundreds of thousands more immigrants in the United States illegally would be subject to what’s known as expedited removal proceedings to quickly get them out of the country. - McClatchyDC

02/16/2017: USCIS Seeking Input on Official Mobile App

USCIS would like to create a mobile app to provide our customers with better access to official immigration information. We want to hear your thoughts on what you would like to see on a mobile app. Ideas could include news updates and tools that are currently offered on uscis.gov. Or your idea could be something new and out of the box. This mobile app would be for you. What would you like to see on a mobile app? A free account is required to submit comments. - USCIS

02/13/2017: Statement from DHS Secretary Kelly on recent ICE enforcement actions

ICE officers in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City areas of responsibility arrested more than 680 individuals who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system. Of those arrested, approximately 75 percent were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges. - DHS

02/10/2017: Trump considers writing ‘brand new’ immigration order

President Trump said Friday that he is considering rewriting his executive order temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country, indicating that the administration may try to quickly restore some aspects of the now-frozen travel ban or replace it with other measures.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he would probably wait until Monday or Tuesday to take any action, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said several options — including taking the case to the Supreme Court — were still on the table. - Washington Post

02/07/2017: Which Side Is Donald Trump on in the Fight Over Legal Immigration?

President Donald Trump is best known for his stance against illegal immigration, but activists are gearing up for a broader ideological fight over whether legal immigrants and foreign workers benefit the country. Experts are poring over two purportedly leaked draft memos, obtained by The Washington Post and Vox, one that would call for stricter rules targeting low-income immigrants who use federal benefits and another that potentially could create new rules related to worker visas. - NBC News

02/03/2017: Federal judge in Seattle temporarily blocks Trump's travel ban nationwide

A federal judge in Washington state declared Friday that he would temporarily block enforcement of President Donald Trump's controversial ban on entry to the United States, and government authorities immediately began taking steps that would allow those previously affected to travel, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter. - Chicago Tribune

01/29/2017: USCIS Response to Travel Ban and Litigation

The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of the president’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people. The president’s Executive Orders remain in place—prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety. The president’s Executive Order affects a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America's borders and national security.

Approximately 80 million international travelers enter the United States every year. Yesterday, less than one percent of the more than 325,000 international air travelers who arrive every day were inconvenienced while enhanced security measures were implemented. These individuals went through enhanced security screenings and are being processed for entry to the United States, consistent with our immigration laws and judicial orders.

The Department of Homeland Security will faithfully execute the immigration laws, and we will treat all of those we encounter humanely and with professionalism. No foreign national in a foreign land, without ties to the United States, has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States or to demand immigration benefits in the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement the president’s Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people.

01/28/2017: Judge Blocks Trump Order on Refugees Amid Chaos and Outcry Worldwide

A federal judge in Brooklyn came to the aid of scores of refugees and others who were trapped at airports across the United States on Saturday after an executive order signed by President Trump, which sought to keep many foreigners from entering the country, led to chaotic scenes across the globe.

The judge’s ruling blocked part of the president’s actions, preventing the government from deporting some arrivals who found themselves ensnared by the presidential order. But it stopped short of letting them into the country or issuing a broader ruling on the constitutionality of Mr. Trump’s actions. - NYT

01/25/2017: Trump Signs Executive Orders Aimed at Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration

The great wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that President Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail took a big step closer to becoming reality Wednesday when he signed two executive orders aimed at curbing illegal immigration.

Another executive action on immigration policy includes eliminating federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities — a loose term that refers to communities that shield undocumented immigrants from deportation — unless the money is related to law enforcement. The action also directs the hiring of 5,000 new border patrol agents and would triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. - NBC

01/23/2017: Civics Test Answer Updates

As you study for the U.S. history and government (civics) test, make sure that you know the most current answers to these questions. Periodically, answers change to reflect the results of federal and state elections and appointments or to clarify content and ensure consistency in terminology. The revised answers to the questions below are effective immediately.

Question Update
20. Who is one of your state's U.S. senators now? The answer to this question may have changed on January 3, 2017, when the 115th Congress began to meet.
  Give the name of one of your state's current U.S. senators. For a list of current members of the U.S. Senate, please visit www.senate.gov.
23. Name your U.S. representative. The answer to this question may have changed on January 3, 2017, when the 115th Congress began to meet.
  Give the name of your current U.S. representative. For a list of current members of the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit www.house.gov.
28. What is the name of the President of the United States now? Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Trump
29. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now? Michael R. Pence, Mike Pence, Pence
43. Who is the governor of your state now? The answer to this question may have changed depending on inauguration dates.
  Give the name of your state's current governor. For a list of current governors, please visit http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/State_and_Territories.shtml.
46. What is the political party of the President now? Republican (Party)

01/21/2017: Bipartisan bill aims to reform H-1B visa system

A new bill wants to give first dibs on H-1B visas to the "best and brightest" foreign students educated in the U.S.

Currently, visas are allocated by a lottery system. But the proposed bill would eliminate the lottery system and task the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with creating a "preference system" so that foreign students educated in the U.S. get priority on visas. It would give a "leg up" to advanced degree holders, those being paid a high wage, and those with valuable skills, according to the announcement. - CNN

01/17/2017: USCIS Updates Form I-485 Supplement J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability

Use I-485 Supplement J to:

  • Confirm that the job offered to you in Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, remains a bona fide job offer that you intend to accept once your Form I 485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is approved. Beginning Jan. 17, 2017, if you are filing or have previously filed Form I-485 based on being the principal beneficiary of a valid Form I-140 in an employment-based immigrant visa category that requires a job offer, you will need to file Supplement J instead of submitting a job offer letter;
  • OR
  • Request job portability under INA section 204(j) to a new, full-time, permanent job offer that you intend to accept once your Form I-485 is approved. This new job offer must be in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job offered to you in the Form I-140 that is the basis of your Form I-485. (For more information about how USCIS determines which jobs are same or similar please see PM-602-0122 (PDF, 205 KB): Determining Whether a New Job is in “the Same or a Similar Occupational Classification” for Purposes of Section 204(j) Job Portability (March 18, 2016 ))

01/12/2017: USCIS Proposes Significant Changes to EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

DHS is proposing to increase the minimum investment amounts for all new EB-5 petitioners. Specifically, DHS proposes to initially increase the standard minimum investment amount, which also applies to high employment areas, from $1 million to $1.8 million. For those investors seeking to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will be principally doing business in a targeted employment area (TEA), DHS proposes to increase the minimum investment amount from $500,000 to $1.35 million, which is 75 percent of the proposed standard minimum investment amount. In addition, DHS is proposing to make regular CPI-Ubased adjustments in the standard minimum investment amount, and conforming adjustments to the TEA minimum investment amount, every 5 years, beginning 5 years from the effective date of these regulations. - DHS

01/10/2017: February 2017 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for February 2017. The table below shows "Final Action (Approval)" cut-off dates and movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. To see filing cut-off dates or family-sponsored categories please go to the Visa Bulletin page linked above. For historical data, predictions and more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2012-11-15 31
India Second (EB2) 2008-04-15 74
ROW Third (EB3) 2016-10-01 61
China Third (EB3) 2013-10-01 23
India Third (EB3) 2005-03-22 7
Mexico Third (EB3) 2016-10-01 61
Philippines Third (EB3) 2011-10-15 85

01/03/2017: Green Card Tracker Updated with Data as of October 2016

green card tracker

Today USCIS finally published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of October 2016, after missing the July update entirely. We have now updated the green card tracker with the latest information. The I-485 tracker includes data from USCIS' pending I-485 inventory as well as DOS' pending consular processing cases.

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