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Immigration News - May and June of 2018

06/28/2018: USCIS Ombudsman 2018 Annual Report to Congress

Full report

06/26/2018: Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, upheld President Donald Trump's restriction on travel to the United States from a handful of Muslim countries on Tuesday, giving the White House its first high court victory on the merits of a presidential initiative. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, made it clear that the court viewed the ability to regulate immigration as squarely within a president's powers and he rejected critics' claims of anti-Muslim bias. - NBC

06/15/2018: July 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for July 2018: China EB-3 retrogressed significantly, more than two years. 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) 2015-01-01 122
India Second (EB2) 2009-03-15 79
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2013-01-01 -881
India Third (EB3) 2008-11-01 184
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2017-01-01 0

CHINA E3: There has been an extremely large increase in Employment Third preference applicant demand during the past two months. This is due to the “downgrading” of status by applicants who had originally filed in the Employment Second preference. As a result, it has been necessary to retrogress the July Final Action Date to January 1, 2013 in an effort to hold number use within the FY-2018 per-country limit.

06/13/2018: Stay Tuned for July 2018 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State usually publishes the visa bulletin around the 10th of each month, sometimes as early as the 8th. Today is already 6/13, so it should be released in the next couple of days, if not today.

06/04/2018: USCIS Redesigns Citizenship and Naturalization Certificates

USCIS began issuing redesigned Certificates of Citizenship and Naturalization today, following a successful pilot in four USCIS field offices and one service center. The redesign of these eight certificates is one of the many ways USCIS is working to combat fraud and safeguard the legal immigration system.

Although the look and feel of the documents is new, the process of applying for and receiving them has not changed. Individuals do not need to renew their Certificates of Naturalization or Citizenship, regardless of when they were issued. The certificates we issued before the redesign will continue to be accepted as proof of citizenship. - USCIS

05/18/2018: Incorrect Appointment Notices Sent to Petitioners Who Filed Form I-751

Due to a processing error on May 4, 2018, USCIS mailed a number of biometric services appointment notices with incorrect Application Support Center (ASC) locations to petitioners who filed Form I-751.

The affected notices have a date of 05/04/2018 and a case type of “I-751 – PETITION TO REMOVE CONDITIONS ON RESIDENCE.” The notices tell petitioners to appear for their biometric services appointments starting the week of May 21, 2018, at ASCs located out of the normal geographic area.

On June 8, 2018, USCIS will mail new biometric services appointment notices to petitioners who received an incorrect notice and did not reschedule their appointment or did not appear as a walk-in at the closest ASC to their location.

If you received an incorrect appointment notice, you do not need to travel out of the normal area to attend your biometric services appointment. Instead, you have two options:

  • Wait until you receive a new biometric services appointment notice with the correct ASC and new appointment date. You can confirm that we sent a new appointment notice by checking Case Status Online.
  • Go to the ASC closest to you as a walk-in. However, you may experience a long wait time and may not be seen that day. You can find the closest ASC by using the ASC locator on

05/18/2018: Important USCIS Reminder on Automatic Termination of OPT and EAD

USCIS reminds F-1 students on Optional Practical Training (OPT) that transferring to another school or beginning study at another educational level (for example, beginning a master’s program after completing a bachelor’s degree) automatically terminates their OPT as well as their corresponding employment authorization document (EAD). - USCIS

05/15/2018: USCIS Completes Data Entry of FY-2019 H-1B Cap Petitions

From USCIS: "USCIS has completed data entry for all fiscal year 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random selection process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS cannot provide a definite time frame for returning unselected petitions. USCIS asks petitioners not to inquire about the status of their cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned.

Additionally, USCIS may transfer some Form I-129 H-1B cap subject petitions between the Vermont Service Center and the California Service Center to balance the distribution of cap cases. If your case is transferred, you will receive notification in the mail. After receiving the notification, please send all future correspondence to the center processing your petition."

05/14/2018: USCIS to Recall Incorrectly Dated Green Cards

USCIS will begin recalling approximately 8,543 Permanent Resident Cards (also known as Green Cards) due to a production error. The Green Cards were for approved Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence for spouses of U.S. citizens. The cards were printed with an incorrect “Resident Since” date and mailed between February and April 2018.

USCIS will send notices to individuals who received the incorrect Green Cards and to their attorneys of record, if they have one. The affected individuals should return their incorrect Green Card to USCIS in the provided pre-paid envelope within 20 days of receiving the notice. They may also return their cards to USCIS field offices. USCIS will send replacement Green Cards within 15 days of receiving the incorrect card.

The recall does not affect these Green Card holders’ status as lawful permanent residents. If affected individuals need to travel internationally or prove their lawful permanent residence while they wait for a replacement card, they may contact the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 to determine if they need additional proof.

Spouses of U.S. citizens may apply for naturalization after three years of permanent residency and must meet other requirements. The incorrect date on these cards could lead applicants to wait longer than necessary to apply to become U.S. citizens.

05/12/2018: USCIS I-485 Filing Chart for June 2018

Employment-based: Use Final Action visa bulletin chart;

Family-sponsored: Use FILING visa bulletin chart.

05/12/2018: USCIS Memo on Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants

This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers and assists USCIS officers in the calculation of unlawful presence of those in student (F nonimmigrant), exchange visitor (J nonimmigrant), or vocational student (M nonimmigrant) status and their dependents while in the United States. The PM also revises previous policy guidance in the USCIS Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) relating to this issue.

This new guidance on the accrual of unlawful presence with respect to F, J and M nonimmigrants will take effect on August 9, 2018. The policy for determining unlawful presence for aliens present in the United States who are not in F, J, or M nonimmigrant status remains unchanged. This guidance supersedes any prior guidance on this topic. - USCIS

05/10/2018: June 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for June 2018: Virtually no change from the previous month. The only difference, a mere 4-day forward movement of India-EB2 cutoff date, is likely a typo, because cut-off dates always fall on the 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd of a month (not 26th). 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) 2014-09-01 0
India Second (EB2) 2008-12-26
(probably a typo from DOS,
should be 2008-12-22)
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2015-06-01 0
India Third (EB3) 2008-05-01 0
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2017-01-01 0

05/04/2018: DHS Announces Termination of TPS for Hondurans

The Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has determined that termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras is required pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. To allow for an orderly transition, she has determined to delay the effective date of the termination for 18 months. The designation will terminate on January 5, 2020. - DHS

05/03/2018: Updated USCIS Customer Service Phone Menu

Please check out our updated phone menu for USCIS Customer Service. It will save you time on the phone trying to navigate through to reach the correct topic.

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