Posts in USCIS
Employers Should Continue to Use the July 17, 2017 Version of Form I-9 Until Further Notice from USCIS.

Although the most recent version of the  Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification expired on August 31, 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has advised employers to continue to use the July 17, 2017, version of the Form I-9 until an updated version is released.  The revised version of Form I-9 is not expected to be significantly different from the current version. 

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USCIS Proposes Employer Registration Fee for Next Year’s H-1B Visa Lottery

USCIS’s fee proposal for employers to complete the online registration process for next year’s H-1B visa lottery has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). The amount of the fee, which would be paid in addition to the filing, training, and anti-fraud fees for each H-1B petition, has not yet been announced. Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register is anticipated in the coming days.

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Requirements for "Million dollar green card" Revamped

People often ask me about the “million dollar green card.” Established nearly thirty years ago by Congress, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program grants lawful permanent residence (“green card”) to individuals who invest US$1 million in a business in the U.S. (or $500,000 in high unemployment areas), and create (or, in some cases, preserve) 10 permanent full-time jobs for U.S. workers. Today, USCIS published a final rule that contains major changes to the EB-5 Program. These changes will take effect on November 21, 2019.

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Federal Court Upholds USCIS Denial of H-1B Petition for Quality Assurance Analyst

Earlier this week, a federal court in Washington, DC, upheld U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (“USCIS”) denial of an H-1B petition for a Quality Assurance Analyst (“QA Analyst”), finding that the agency’s analysis of the regulations defining a “specialty occupation” was not contrary to law. This decision provides important insights into 1) how the degree requirement should be worded so that a position qualifies as a “specialty occupation”; 2) how to strengthen expert statements and job postings of similar positions; 3) the need for descriptions of job duties that communicate complexity while being comprehensible; and that 4) federal court litigation may not be the solution for overcoming H-1B denials because the standard of review for overturning these decisions is tough. Speaking from my own experience as a staff attorney at the Ninth Circuit for five years, the federal courts generally will defer to an agency’s decision unless the agency clearly failed to consider relevant evidence in the record or disregarded applicable case-law.

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USCIS May Schedule your Interview at a Field Office Outside your Area of Residence

USCIS announced this week that it will begin redistributing pending naturalization and permanent residence applications from heavily back-logged field offices, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, to field offices with smaller backlogs in order to minimize the wide disparity in processing times among the USCIS field offices. This means you could be called in for your interview at an office that is outside your area of residence.

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May 2019 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State (DOS) has issued its May 2019 Visa Bulletin. Overall, there was very little movement in most categories this month.  EB-1 for most nationals advanced by one month while there was no movement for Chinese and Indian nationals. For the EB-2 category, Chinese nationals advanced by forty-four days while Indian nationals advanced by only three days. Lastly, EB-3 for Chinese nationals moved forward by twenty-one days, while Indian nationals advanced by nine days, and Philippine nationals advanced by three months.

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Premium Processing Will Be Available in “Two Phases” for H-1B Petitions Filed in the Upcoming Lottery

USCIS announced today that premium processing will be offered in a “two-phased approach” for H-1B petitions filed in this year’s lottery.  In the first phase, which will begin on April 1, 2019, USCIS will accept requests for premium processing for H-1B petitions filed with a request to change status.  In the second phase, which is expected to begin in June, USCIS will accept requests for premium processing for H-1B petitions that were filed with a request for consular notification.

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April 2019 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State (DOS) has issued its April 2019 Visa Bulletin. Overall, there was very little movement in most categories this month.  EB-1 for most nationals advanced by one month while there was no movement for Chinese and Indian nationals.  For the EB-2 category, Chinese nationals advanced by three months while Indian nationals advanced by only three days. Lastly, EB-3 for Chinese nationals moved forward by twenty-four days, while Indian nationals advanced by one month, and Philippine nationals advanced by three months.

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March 2019 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State (DOS) has issued its March 2019 Visa Bulletin. Overall, movement in all categories has slowed down.  EB-1 for most nationals advanced by one month while Chinese and Indian nationals advanced by only fourteen days.  For the EB-2 category, Chinese nationals advanced by three months while Indian nationals advanced by only three days. Lastly, EB-3 for Chinese nationals moved forward by seven days, while Indian nationals advanced by one month, and Philippine nationals advanced by four months.

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