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Immigration News - November and December of 2016

12/22/2016: DHS Announces Removal of Regulations Relating to Special Registration Process for Certain Nonimmigrants

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is removing outdated regulations relating to an obsolete special registration program for certain nonimmigrants. DHS ceased use of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program in 2011 after finding that the program was redundant, captured data manually that was already captured through automated systems, and no longer provided an increase in security in light of DHS’s evolving assessment of the threat posed to the United States by international terrorism. The regulatory structure pertaining to NSEERS no longer provides a discernable public benefit as the program has been rendered obsolete. Accordingly, DHS is removing the special registration program regulations. - DHS

12/21/2016: USCIS Releases I-485 Filing Charts for January 2017 Visa Bulletin

For Family-Sponsored I-485 applications: Use Filing Charts in the January 2017 Visa Bulletin.

For Employment-Based I-485 applications: Use Final Action Charts in the January 2017 Visa Bulletin.

12/13/2016: January 2017 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for January 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) 2012-10-15 23
India Second (EB2) 2008-04-15 74
ROW Third (EB3) 2016-08-01 31
China Third (EB3) 2013-09-08 69
India Third (EB3) 2005-03-15 0
Mexico Third (EB3) 2016-08-01 31
Philippines Third (EB3) 2011-07-22 51

12/13/2016: USCIS Message: Guidance for N-400 Applicants

Starting December 23, 2016, applicants must use only the 12/23/16 edition of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. USCIS will reject earlier versions of the form after that date. Applications postmarked or filed on or after Dec. 23 must also include the new fees or USCIS will not be able to accept them.

For applicants who received help completing their Form N-400 at an immigration group processing event (such as a citizenship workshop or fair), the sponsoring organization must provide its name, address, and contact information in Part 14 (for interpreters) and Part 15 (for preparers).

12/07/2016: Donald Trump Picks John Kelly, Retired General, to Lead Homeland Security

President-elect Donald J. Trump has settled on Gen. John F. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general whose son was killed in combat in Afghanistan, as his choice for secretary of Homeland Security, putting a seasoned commander with personal experience of the costs of war in charge of protecting the nation’s borders.

Immigration advocates reacted to the news with measured approval, in large part because Mr. Trump did not choose Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, who is known for his extreme hard-line views on immigration and had been championed for the post by anti-immigration groups. - NYT

12/05/2016: Trump has broad power to implement immigration policies: legal experts

President-elect Donald Trump will be able to make many of his promised changes in immigration policy unilaterally by exercising the same kind of executive powers he criticized President Barack Obama for using. But while most of the measures laid out in a ten-point immigration policy plan on Trump's transition website could be set in motion without legislative approval, fully implementing them would require funding that Congress would have to approve, legal experts said. - Reuters

12/02/2016: USCIS Fails to Conduct Background Checks on Immigration Applicants

The House Judiciary Committee received from a confidential source an email that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Associate Director for the Field Operations Directorate sent to agency staff on November 29, 2016. In the email, he states that an issue had been identified with the key background system used to vet immigration benefits applicants and that proper background checks have not been run on certain applications. He further states that the agency is uncertain about the scope of the problem. - Congress

11/29/2016: Immigration hard-liner Sessions could execute crackdown as AG

For two decades in the Senate, Jeff Sessions led an anti-immigration crusade that made him an outlier in GOP politics — raging against illegal immigration and an excess of foreign workers well before Donald Trump tore onto the political scene. But next year, Sessions likely will be the one engineering the immigration crackdown. - Politico

11/29/2016: Immigration violations are majority of federal cases for first time

In the last fiscal year, 52 percent of all federal prosecutions - 69,636 cases - involved an immigration violation, compared to 63,405 prosecutions for all other federal crimes, according to a new study by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Clearinghouse, which sued the Justice Department to obtain the information. - Fox

11/24/2016: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

11/09/2016: December 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for December 2016. 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) 2012-09-22 69
India Second (EB2) 2008-02-01 92
ROW Third (EB3) 2016-07-01 0
China Third (EB3) 2013-07-01 77
India Third (EB3) 2005-03-15 7
Mexico Third (EB3) 2016-07-01 30
Philippines Third (EB3) 2011-06-01 61

11/08/2016: Donald Trump's Vision on Immigration Reform

Donald J. Trump has won the 2016 general election and will become the 45th President of the United States. Below is his vision on immigration reform:

  • Prioritize the jobs, wages and security of the American people.
  • Establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.
  • Protect the economic well-being of the lawful immigrants already living here by curbing uncontrolled foreign worker admissions

More details can be found here.

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