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Immigration Law Blog

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

USCIS Expands New Fee Payment System to New York and other Field Offices

On June 7, 2019, USCIS updated the fee payment system used in New York Field Offices, including offices in New York City, Brooklyn, Long Island, and Queens, and fully replaced the older fee payment system that was previously used.  Applicants will no longer be able to pay fees by money order or cashier’s check, and the only acceptable forms of payment using the new system are:

  • Debit card;
  • Credit card;
  • Reloadable prepaid credit or debit card;
  • Personal check;
  • Business check; or
  • Attorney check.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Data Entry for Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions Completed

On May 17, 2019, USCIS announced their completion of H-1B cap-subject petitions data entry for fiscal year 2020, including petitions selected via USCIS’ computer-generated random selection process as well as those selected under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.

Read more . . .


Monday, June 24, 2019

USCIS will Transfer Interview Cases Outside Normal Jurisdiction to Decrease Processing Times


In order to decrease location-based disparities in the processing times for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, USCIS will start transferring cases to field offices outside their normal jurisdiction for more efficient adjudication.
Read more . . .


Monday, June 24, 2019

Social Media Identifiers to be Collected from U.S. Visa Applicants


The Department of State revised its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms to now request social media identifiers.  Specifically, in addition to information already requested on visa applications, such as travel history, family member information, and previous addresses, most U.S. visa applicants worldwide will now be required to also provide details regarding names or “handles” used on social media platforms (i.e.
Read more . . .


Monday, June 24, 2019

USCIS to Reject I-129 Petitions Lacking Applicant or Petitioner Primary U.S. office address

USCIS will start rejecting Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, where the name and primary U.S. office address of the petitioner or applicant are missing (in addition to other form requirements, such as incorrect fee, missing signature, and/or unauthorized third-party signature on behalf of the petitioner).  

Read more . . .


Monday, June 24, 2019

USCIS Begins Premium Processing for Remaining FY 2020 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions on June 10, 2019

USCIS began premium processing service for all remaining Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions on June 10, 2019.  Petitioners may now file a Request for Premium Processing Service (Form I-907) with the USCIS service center where their petitions are currently pending.  Note that premium processing service remains available for cap-exempt H-1B petitions such as requests for Extension of Stay. 

Read more . . .


Monday, June 24, 2019

USCIS Announces New eProcessing Strategy to Enable Expansion of Online Filing

On May 22, 2019, USCIS announced a new eProcessing strategy that will accelerate its transition to a digital business model.  eProcessing will therefore be completely digital from start to end and will include the ability to apply for a benefit, communicate with USCIS and receive a decision on a pending case in addition to receiving biometrics appointment notices, status updates, ability to respond to Requests for Evidence and update/change contact information.  Through eProcessing, USCIS will create official digital immigration records from time of application to final decision, and will continue to issue Forms I-797, Notices of Action, and Forms I-94, Arrival-Departure Records, as evidence of benefits granted.

Read more . . .


Friday, April 26, 2019

CBP Announces New Alphanumeric Format for I-94 Numbers

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) announced that I-94 numbers will become alphanumeric effective May 2019 and that in replacement of the 11-digit numerical format, the new format will now have 9 digits with a letter in the 10th position and a digit in the 11th position.

CBP further provided that I-94 records that have not expired and were issued with the current numeric-only format will continue to be valid until the "Admit Until Date" reflected on the paper I-94 record (in passports) or on the electronic version found on CBP's I-94 website


Read more . . .


Friday, March 15, 2019

What is the National Interest Waiver?

The national interest waiver is an individual petition under the US’s second preference program for the employment-based immigrant visa (the “EB-2”). The EB-2 visa allows individuals to work in the U.S. based on their specific employment-related skills. To qualify for the EB-2 visa, individuals must have either an advanced degree or have an exceptional ability. To qualify for advanced degree eligibility, the applicant must possess a baccalaureate degree plus five years of progressive work experience in that field. Alternatively, an individual may show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. “Exceptional ability” is defined as “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”

To meet the criteria for exceptional ability, at least three of the following must be met:


Read more . . .


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

USCIS Reinstates Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

USCIS will resume premium processing on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 for all H-1B petitions.

If a request for evidence (“RFE”) for a pending petition has been received, the RFE response should be included with the premium processing request.

Please note that when an H-1B Petitioner has properly requested premium processing service, a 15-day processing time is guaranteed by USCIS.  If the processing time has not been met, USCIS will fully refund the premium processing fee and continue to expedite processing of the petition.

Read more . . .


Friday, March 1, 2019

What is the Board of Immigration Appeals?

The Board of Immigration Appeals is the highest administrative body for issues pertaining to immigration laws. It is an administrative appellate body that reviews decisions made by United States immigration courts and district directors of the Department of Homeland Security, among other departments. The Board of Immigration Appeals is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia.

What are the Powers of the Board of Immigration Appeals?

The Board of Immigration Appeals has the authority to review and potentially overturn decisions made by immigration courts, the United States’ Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Department of Homeland Security. While the Board of Immigration Appeals is the highest administrative body for immigration law, it is not the highest authority. Some decisions made by the Board of Immigration Appeals can be appealed to the United States’ Court of Appeals, and then potentially to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Who Makes up the Board of Immigration Appeals?

The Board of Immigration Appeals is authorized to be comprised of up to 21 Board Members with a Chairman and Vice Chairman. A current list of Board Members can be found here.


Read more . . .


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