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Immigration News - September and October of 2017

10/23/2017: H-1B Extension Must Go Through USCIS Scrutiny Just Like New Applications

Under updated policy guidance (PDF, 97 KB), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is instructing its officers to apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial petitions and extension requests for certain nonimmigrant visa categories. The guidance applies to nearly all nonimmigrant classifications filed using Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. - USCIS

10/12/2017: November 2017 Visa Bulletin Released: Significant China EB-3 Forward Movement

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for November 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) 2013-06-15 24
India Second (EB2) 2008-10-08 23
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2014-02-01 31
India Third (EB3) 2006-10-15 0
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2016-01-15 45

10/11/2017: Merit-based Versus Family-based Immigration Explained

When President Donald Trump’s administration released an immigration policy wish list Sunday, it included a complete revamping of the U.S. immigration system. It would limit family-based green cards to spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and create a point-based merit system to decide who is allowed to immigrate to the United States. What is the difference in these two systems? - VOA

09/18/2017: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Some Categories of Applicants Seeking H-1B Visas

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year year (FY) 2018 cap. The FY 2018 cap has been set at 65,000 visas. Premium processing has also resumed for the annual 20,000 additional petitions that are set aside to hire workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher educational degree. - USCIS

09/11/2017: 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 several months
  • F2A: Up to one month
  • F2B: Up to one month
  • F3: Three or four weeks
  • F4: Two or three weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

  • Employment First: The category will remain “Current”.
  • Employment Second:
    • Worldwide: Current
    • China: Up to four weeks
    • India: Up to one month
  • Employment Third:
    • Worldwide: Current
    • China: Up to four months
    • India: Limited forward movement
    • Mexico: Current
    • Philippines: Up to two months
  • 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: Up to one week

09/11/2017: October 2017 Visa Bulletin Released: Significant China EB-3 Forward Movement

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for October 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 First (EB1) C n/a
Inida First (EB1) C n/a
China Second (EB2) 2013-05-22 7
India Second (EB2) 2008-09-15 24
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2014-01-01 731
India Third (EB3) 2006-10-15 0
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2015-12-01 30

09/05/2017: Fact Sheet: Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Based on this analysis, the President was faced with a stark choice: do nothing and allow for the probability that the entire DACA program could be immediately enjoined by a court in a disruptive manner, or instead phase out the program in an orderly fashion. Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Duke issued a memorandum (1) rescinding the June 2012 memo that established DACA, and (2) setting forward a plan for phasing out DACA. The result of this phased approach is that the Department of Homeland Security will provide a limited window in which it will adjudicate certain requests for DACA and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents meeting parameters specified below. - DHS

DHS Memo on DACA

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