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Non-Immigrant Visas

Friday, September 28, 2018

USCIS to Begin Implementing New PM on NTAs on October 1, 2018


On September 26, 2018, USCIS issued an update that they will begin implementing their June 28th Policy Memorandum (PM) 602-0050.1 pertaining to the referral of cases and issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in cases involving “inadmissible and removable” individuals.  For more information about this new Policy Memorandum, please see our previous blog entry on this subject.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

USCIS Expands Suspension Of H-1B Premium Processing In Order To Reduce Delays

The previously announced temporary suspension of cap-subject H-1B petitions has recently been extended by USCIS to February 19, 2019. The suspension is also now expanded, beginning September 11, 2018, to include petitions not subject to the H-1B cap, including H-1B “transfer”/change of employer petitions and extension petitions with the same employer where there has been a change in the terms of the employment.

USCIS will continue to Premium Process H-1B petitions that are not currently suspended if the petitioner properly filed the petition with an associated Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing) before Sept 11, 2018 and will refund Premium Processing fees if the Petitioner filed before September 11, 2018 but USCIS did not adjudicate the case within the 15-calendar day processing period.  While the suspension is in effect, Forms I-907 filed with H-1B petitions will be rejected.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

USCIS Updates Standards for Issuance of Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny Petitions

On July 13, 2018, the USCIS posted a Policy Memorandum (PM), PM-602-0163 providing guidance to all USCIS employees regarding their discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without initially issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when required original evidence on record failed to establish eligibility or was not submitted as requested.  The new PM is effective September 11, 2018 and applies to all applications, petitions, and requests apart from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications received after that date.

 


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Accrual of Unlawful Presence by Exchange Visitors & Nonimmigrant Students - USCIS Changes Policy


On May 11, 2018, USCIS posted a policy memorandum amending how the agency will move forward in assessing unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors in F/J/M nonimmigrant status (including F-2/J-2/M-2 dependents) who have failed to maintain current and valid status in the U.S.

Individuals in F, J, and M status who failed to maintain their status before August 9, 2018 will start accruing unlawful presence on that date UNLESS they have already started accruing unlawful presence.

Individuals in F, J, or M status who fail to maintain their status on or after Aug. 9, 2018 will start accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of any of the following:  


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Friday, April 20, 2018

Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Lottery Complete

On April 6, 2018, USCIS announced that it had received a sufficient number of H-1B cap petitions during the period between April 2, 2018 and April 6, 2018 to meet the congressionally mandated statutory cap of 65,000 and the U.S. advanced degree exemption (or Master’s cap) of 20,000 for Fiscal Year 2019.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How to Get Your School “I-20 Certified"

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certification enables schools to enroll foreign students and issue a Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status (Form I-20), declaring the prospective student is eligible for the F-1 student visa. Once certified, the school is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enroll nonimmigrant students.


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Friday, December 29, 2017

USCIS clarifies its position with respect to TN nonimmigrants employed as “Economists”

As of November 20, 2017, USCIS has clarified its position with respect to TN nonimmigrants employed as “Economists.”

Going forward, USCIS will consider an “Economist” an individual who engages in activity such as:

  • Conducts research, prepares reports, or formulates plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy;
  • Collects and processes economic and statistical data using sampling techniques and econometric methods.

 


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Types of Legal Entry into the United States

Foreign nationals may legally enter the United States by obtaining a visa. There are two types of visas, the immigrant visa and the non-immigrant visa. Immigrant visas allow aliens to enter and reside in the U.S. for the long term. Non-immigrant visas are issued for limited periods of time and for specific purposes, such as tourism, business, study, temporary work or medical treatment.


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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Updated USCIS Policy Guidance Eliminates “Deference” Given To Prior Determinations Of Eligibility When Adjudicating Nonimmigrant Visa Extension Petitions

Updated policy guidance from the USCIS, effective as of October 23, 2017, instructs officers to apply the same level of scrutiny when reviewing nonimmigrant visa extension requests even where the petitioner, beneficiary, and underlying facts are unchanged from a previously approved petition.


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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

UPDATE: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for All Applicants Seeking H-1B Visas

10/3/2017 UPDATE:  U.S. Citizenship

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions.  For additional information regarding the above, please visit USCIS website.


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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Differences Between Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas

A U.S. visa is an authorization, typically in form of a stamp inside a passport, which demonstrates that a U.S. consular official has determined that the traveler is eligible to enter the U.S. for the purposes stated in the visa. The United States issues two classes of visas, an Immigrant Visa and a Non-Immigrant Visa.


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