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  • USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Some Categories of Applicants Seeking H-1B Visas

    On September 18, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cap, five months after it was suspended temporarily in order to handle the huge rush of petitions that were being filed. The FY 2018 cap has been set at 65,000 visas. Premium processing for the annual 20,000 additional petitions that ...
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  • New DOS rule regarding alien conduct inconsistent with his or her non-immigrant status within 90 days of entry

    On September 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) updated the Field Adjudicators Manual (“FAM”) by adding a new rule so as to provide U.S. consular officers with new guidance relating to the term “misrepresentation” as it relates to aliens in the U.S. If an alien violates or engages in conduct inconsistent with his or her nonimmigrant status within 90 days of entry, the US Consular ...
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  • Employment-based green card applicants to be subject to in-person interview

    Effective October 1, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will require employment-based visa holders who are applying for lawful permanent residence to attend an in-person interview. Currently, such interviews are generally waived. However, under the new policy, such waivers won't be granted. USCIS has not released any information concerning logistics and staffing, but ...
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  • The International Entrepreneurial Rule Faces Delay And Possibly Rescission

    The International Entrepreneurial Rule, announced in January 2017, was supposed to go into effect July 17, 2017, but the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo on July 10, 2017 delaying its implementation until March 14, 2018. According to the memo, this delay will provide DHS with an opportunity to obtain comments from the public regarding a proposal to rescind the rule pursuant to ...
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  • One-Time Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2017

    On July 19, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security and Labor published a final rule increasing the numerical limit (“cap”) on H-2B nonimmigrant visas by up to 15,000 additional visas through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017, beyond the annual cap of 66,000 visas allotted for this current fiscal year. These visas will be available only to American businesses which attest that they will likely ...
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  • Supreme Court temporarily allows broader exemptions for relatives from countries affected by Travel Ban

    The Supreme Court has for the time being allowed the Trump administration to implement restrictions on the nation's refugee program, but it let stand a lower court order from Hawaii regarding the extended definition of a ‘close familial relationship’. The Supreme Court stated last month that the Travel Ban could go into effect and be applied to people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and ...
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  • State Department issues Travel Ban Guidelines

    The State Department is putting new criteria in place for visa applicants from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and all refugees, requiring a close family or business tie to the United States. The announcement comes after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s Executive Order that had temporarily banned visas for citizens of the six mostly Muslim countries. ...
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  • USCIS to resume H-1B Premium Processing for Physicians

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will resume premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers on Monday, June 26, 2017 The Conrad 30 program addresses the shortage of qualified doctors in medically underserved areas and allows certain medical doctors to stay in the United ...
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  • Haitians Face TPS Uncertainty

    Temporary protected status ("TPS") is a temporary immigration status to the United States, granted to eligible nationals of designated countries. In 1990, Congress established a procedure by which the Attorney General may provide TPS to immigrants in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or ...
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  • USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

    On May 3, 2017, USCIS announced that it had completed data entry of all fiscal year 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the computer-generated random selection process or lottery. USCIS will now begin the process of returning all unselected H-1B cap-subject petitions. USCIS is unable to provide an exact time frame for returning these petitions, due to the high volume of filings. USCIS has ...
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  • USCIS Rescinds Policy Memorandum Regarding H-1B Computer Related Positions

    On March 31, 2017, USCIS announced that “Computer Programmer” positions may no longer qualify as a specialty occupation for H-1B visa purposes. In doing so, USCIS rescinded a prior policy memorandum (dated: December 22, 2000) entitled “Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions” by former director of the USCIS Nebraska Service Center, Terry Way. USCIS has declared that the guidance provided ...
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  • Impact of 'Buy American and Hire American' Executive Order remains to be seen.

    On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed his latest Executive Order "Buy American and Hire American." Although the present administration desires to reform the H-1B program, no immediate changes or impacts on H-1B’s are likely. The Executive Order states that “the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as ...
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  • President Trump to sign Executive Order targeting H-1B Visa's

    President Trump is planning to sign an executive order that seeks to make changes to the H1-B visa program that brings in high-skilled workers. The President plans to sign an order dubbed “Buy American, Hire American,” that will commission the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor and State to review and propose new rules regarding the H-1B visa program, with the aim that H-1B visas are ...
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  • USCIS Completes the H-B Cap Lottery Process for year 2018.

    The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 17, 2017, that it received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year 2018. USCIS also received an adequate number of H-1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the Master’s Cap. USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which ...
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  • USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2017 that the annual H-1B quota for the regular 65,000 bachelor’s degree cap and the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree cap has been met for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. USCIS has not yet announced the exact number of H-1B applications received. Once all the H-1B applications are counted, USCIS will share this information in the ...
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