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Immigration News - January and February of 2018

02/23/2018: USCIS Clarifies Policy on Requirements for Third-Party Worksite H-1B Petitions

In publishing this policy, USCIS clarifies existing regulatory requirements relating to H-1B petitions filed for workers who will be employed at one or more third-party worksites. This policy memorandum makes clear that employers must provide contracts and itineraries for employees who will work at a third-party location. - USCIS

The guidance, effective Feb. 22, 2018, explains that, in order for an H-1B petition involving a third-party worksite to be approved, the petitioner must show by a preponderance of evidence that, among other things:

  • The beneficiary will be employed in a specialty occupation; and
  • The employer will maintain an employer-employee relationship with the beneficiary for the duration of the requested validity period.

02/12/2018: March 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for March 2018. 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) 2013-12-08 68
India Second (EB2) 2008-12-15 7
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2014-11-15 61
India Third (EB3) 2007-01-01 31
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2016-05-01 61

01/25/2018: White House Framework on Immigration Reform & Border Security

  • Provide legal status for 1.8 million "dreamers", with a path for citizenship in 10-12 years;
  • $25 billion trust fund for the border wall;
  • Limit family sponsorships to spouses and minor children only (for both Citizens and LPRs), ending extended-family chain migration;
  • Elimiate Visa Lottery, reallocate the visas to family-based and high-skilled employment immigration.

01/22/2018: Senate Voted to End Government Shutdown

The Senate has reached an agreement to pass a 3-week continuing resolution. As soon as it also clears the House, U.S. government will reopen, most likely on Tuesday.

01/20/2018: USCIS Announcement on Operations during Government Shutdown

"The current lapse in annual appropriated funding for the U.S. government does not affect USCIS’ fee-funded activities. Our offices will remain open, and all applicants should attend interviews and appointments as scheduled.

However, several USCIS programs will either expire or suspend operations, or be otherwise affected, until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress. These include:

  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program. Regional centers are a public or private economic unit in the United States that promote economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program.
  • E-Verify. This free internet-based system allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.
  • Conrad 30 J-1 doctors. This program allows J-1 doctors to apply for a waiver of the two-year residence requirement after completing the J-1 exchange visitor program. The expiration only affects the date by which the J-1 doctor must have entered the United States; it is not a shutdown of the Conrad 30 program entirely.
  • Non-minister religious workers. This special immigrant category allows non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations to immigrate or adjust status in the United States to perform religious work in a full-time, compensated position."

01/20/2018: U.S. Government Shuts Down

Senate Democrats blocked a House bill that would have extended the government's funding for four weeks, and as a result, the federal government now enters shutdown mode. What happens to immigration? Below is a blog post we published back in 2013, when the government was shut down for 16 days. The information is still valid and can be used as a reference:

Impact of Government Shutdown on USCIS and Other Immigration Agencies

01/16/2018: Visa Bulletin Cutoff Dates Movement Predictions

The Department of State also offered their predictions on visa bulletin cutoff dates movement in the coming months:

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

    Worldwide dates:
  • F1: Up to one month
  • F2A: Three to five week
  • F2B: Three to six weeks
  • F3: Up to five weeks
  • F4: Up to three weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

  • Employment First: The category will remain “Current”.
  • Employment Second:
    • Worldwide: Current
    • China: Several months
    • India: Up to two weeks
  • Employment Third:
    • Worldwide: Current
    • China: Up to five months
    • India: One to three months
    • Mexico: Current
    • Philippines: Up to one month
  • Employment Fourth: Current for most countries.
    • El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: Up to three weeks
    • Mexico: some forward movement
  • Employment Fifth: The category will remain “Current” for most countries.
    • China-mainland born: Little if any forward movement
    • Will become subject to a final action date no later than April. The China-mainland born and Vietnam Employment Fifth preference dates would be the same.

01/16/2018: February 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for February 2018. 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) 2013-10-01 54
India Second (EB2) 2008-12-08 16
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2014-09-15 153
India Third (EB3) 2006-12-01 30
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2016-03-01 15

01/08/2018: DHS Announcement on Ending of Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador

The decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador was made after a review of the disaster-related conditions upon which the country’s original designation was based and an assessment of whether those originating conditions continue to exist as required by statute. Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated. - DHS

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