Immigration Road Logo
Immigration News - July and August of 2018

08/30/2018: USCIS Extends and Expands Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

USCIS is extending the previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions and, beginning Sept. 11, 2018, will be expanding this temporary suspension to include certain additional H-1B petitions. We expect these suspensions will last until Feb. 19, 2019, and will notify the public via uscis.gov before resuming premium processing for these petitions.

While H-1B premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service filed with an affected Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the Form I-907 and Form I‑129 H-1B fees, both forms will be rejected. - USCIS

08/28/2018: State Department to Limit Use of Paper Form DS-156

The DS-160 will be submitted electronically over industry standard encryption technology to maintain a secure connection to the Department via the internet. The applicant will be instructed to print a confirmation page containing a bar coded record locator, which will be scanned at the time of processing. The Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-156) paper version will be used only in the following limited circumstances when applicants cannot access the DS-160. - DOS

08/08/2018: September 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for September 2018. This is the final month of fiscal year 2018, and as a result, most categories experienced massive backward movement. One notable exception is China EB3, which actually advanced. Starting October, Visa Bulletin will reflect visa number availability using new fiscal year's quota. 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 (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2013-01-01 -789
India Second (EB2) 2007-01-01 -804
ROW Third (EB3) 2016-11-01 -669
China Third (EB3) 2014-11-01 123
India Third (EB3) 2003-01-01 -2192
Mexico Third (EB3) 2016-11-01 -669
Philippines Third (EB3) 2016-11-01 -212

08/07/2018: DHS Fiscal Year 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report

DHS has generated this report to provide data on departures and overstays, by country, for foreign visitors to the United States who were expected to depart in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 (October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2017). DHS is working with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to share information on departures and overstays, especially as it pertains to the visa application and adjudication process, with the goals of increasing visa compliance and decreasing overstay numbers and rates.

08/03/2018: DOJ and DOL Info Sharing on Discrimination Against U.S. Workers

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Employment and Traing Adminitration (ETA) of the Department of Labor have signed a memo with regard to info sharing and case referrals, in an effort to fight potential employer discrimination against U.S. workers, violation of Foreign Labor Certification, and other relatedlaws and regulations. - Memo

07/30/2018: USCIS Returns Unselected Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

USCIS announced on July 30, 2018, that it has returned all fiscal year 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in the computer-generated random selection process. USCIS previously announced on May 15, that it had completed data entry of all selected cap-subject petitions. If you submitted an H-1B cap-subject petition that was delivered to USCIS between April 2 and April 6, 2018, and you have not received a receipt notice or a returned petition by August 13, you may contact USCIS for assistance.

07/17/2018: ICE Proposal to Increase SEVP Fees

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to adjust fees charged by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to individuals and organizations.

DHS proposes to raise the fee for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Form I-901, Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Nonimmigrants, for nonimmigrants seeking to become academic (F visa) or vocational (M visa) students from $200 to $350. For most categories of individuals seeking to become exchange (J visa) visitors, DHS proposes to increase the fee from $180 to $220. For those seeking admission as J exchange visitors in the au pair, camp counselor, and summer work or travel program participant categories, DHS proposes to maintain the fee at $35.

In addition to raising the student and exchange visitor fees, DHS proposes to increase the fee for submitting a school certification petition from $1,700 to $3,000. This document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on 07/17/2018 and available online at https://federalregister.gov/d/2018-15140, and on govinfo.gov

07/17/2018: USCIS Form Updates

USCIS recently updated the following forms:

  • Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; New Edition Dated 05/09/18
  • I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; New Edition Dated 05/31/18
  • Form EOIR-29, Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals from a Decision of a DHS Officer; New Edition Dated March 2018
  • G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative; New Edition Dated 05/23/18
  • Form G-28I, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney in Matters Outside the Geographical Confines of the United States; New Edition Dated 05/23/18

07/13/2018: USCIS Policy Memo - Issuance of Certain RFEs and NOIDs

This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicators regarding the discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) if initial evidence is not submitted or if the evidence in the record does not establish eligibility.

This updated guidance is effective September 11, 2018 and applies to all applications, petitions, and requests received after the effective date. - USCIS

07/13/2018: August 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for August 2018: All EB-1 categories retrogressed. 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 (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2015-03-01 59
India Second (EB2) 2009-03-15 0
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2014-07-01 546
India Third (EB3) 2009-01-01 61
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2017-06-01 151

"WORLDWIDE, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, AND PHILIPPINES EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST (E1) PREFERENCE: As readers were advised in item F of the July Visa Bulletin, there continues to be an extremely high rate of demand for E1 numbers, primarily for USCIS adjustment of status applicants. Therefore, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose an E1 Final Action Date for the month of August, with this date being imposed immediately. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2018 annual limits.

INDIA Employment-based Fourth (E4) AND Certain Religious Workers (SR) preference categories: There has been extremely high demand in these preference categories. Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose E4 and SR Final Action Dates for India, which has reached its per-country limit. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2018 annual limits.

The implementation of the above mentioned dates will only be temporary, with the dates returning to Current status for October, the first month of fiscal year 2019." - Department of State

07/03/2018: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Rescinds 24 Guidance Documents from Obama Administration

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced that, consistent with his November 2017 memorandum prohibiting the Department from making rules without following the procedures required by Congress, he is rescinding 24 guidance documents that were unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper." - DOJ

Return to Immigration News