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Immigration News - March and April of 2015

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 FiancĂ©(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

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