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Immigration News - December 2019

Archived reports on immigration matters for December 2019, including illegal immigrants getting driver's licenses in New York, DUI on green card applications, USCIS implementing electronic registration for H-1B petitions, and more:

12/24/2019: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

12/18/2019: January 2020 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for January 2020. 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 our unique Visa Bulletin Graphical Tracker, cutoff date predictions and more information please refer to the Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement from last month (Days)
ROW EB1 2018-10-01 78
China EB1 2017-05-22 7
China EB2 2015-07-01 9
China EB3 2015-12-01 30
India EB1 2015-01-01 0
India EB2 2009-05-18 3
India EB3 2009-01-01 0

Notes form DOS Visa Office:

F2A: In July this category was made “Current” in an effort to generate new demand for use under the annual limit. Information received during discussions with the National Visa Center indicates that this action has finally begun to have the intended results. Therefore, it is likely that a final action date will be imposed within the next few months. This action is unlikely to have any negative impact on those who have already acted on their case in a timely manner prior to the announcement of the January final action dates

F4: It had been necessary to advance the “Rest of World” final action date at a very rapid pace in an effort to generate sufficient demand to reach the annual limit throughout the past two fiscal years. While such movements had produced the desired results with the limit, the level of demand never increased at an equivalent pace.

That pattern has changed in recent months resulting in a dramatic increase in the level of Family-sponsored Fourth preference demand. This sustained level of demand will require the retrogression of the “Rest of World” final action date, which is likely to occur for February. Such action would be required in an effort to hold number use within the category’s FY 2020 annual limit.

12/16/2019: The employment green card backlog tops 800,000, most of them Indian. A solution is elusive.

But Durbin and other critics of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which aims to provide relief to Indians by eliminating the country quotas for employment green cards, said it isn’t so simple. Because the bill did not increase the overall number of green cards, they argue the backlog will worsen, wait times for all nationalities will extend to 17 years, and a trickle-down effect will make it difficult for working professionals from anywhere other than India to come to the United States. - WaPo

12/16/2019: Illegal Immigrants Can Now Get Driver’s Licenses In NY State

Hours-long lines greeted thousands of people outside Department of Motor Vehicles offices across the state on Monday. For the first time, undocumented immigrants living in New York are allowed to apply for a driver’s license, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported. - CBS

12/13/2019: Upcoming January 2020 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State is expected to release January's Visa Bulletin next week. You are welcome to sign up for our free Visa Bulletin Alert, and we'll send you an email as soon as it's published.

12/11/2019: Two or More DUI Convictions Could Doom Your Citizenship Application!

USCIS annouced in an updated policy guide that two or more DUI convictions could affect an immigrant's application, such as applying to become a U.S. citizen. DUI refers to Driving Under the Influence, including drunk driving. Applicants may be able to overcome this presumption but have to present sufficient evidence to demonstrate good moral character. - USCIS

12/10/2019: ICE defends creation of fake university to fight immigration visa fraud

Federal agencies have pushed back against criticism that they entrapped hundreds of foreigners who enrolled in a fake school the agencies opened in an effort to fight visa fraud, saying those who enrolled knew they weren't signing up for a real school and that they only wanted a way to stay in the U.S. - ABC7

12/06/2019: USCIS Announces Implementation of H-1B Electronic Registration Process for Fiscal Year 2021 Cap Season

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that it has completed a successful pilot testing phase and is implementing the registration process in the next H-1B lottery. Employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for the fiscal year 2021 cap, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee. - USCIS

12/05/2019: Undocumented immigrants can soon get NY driver's licenses

A state law allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses is set to take effect Dec. 14, and local clerks are warning they may be ill-prepared to handle the influx of applicants. - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

12/02/2019: The Overlooked Illegal Immigrants: From India, China, Brazil

Some 350,000 travelers arrive by air in the United States each day. From Asia, South America and Africa, they come mostly with visas allowing them to tour, study, do business or attend a conference for an authorized period of time. But when they stay beyond when their visas expire, some of them fall into the same illegal status often associated with migrants showing up at the border. - NY Times

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