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H-1B Premium Processing Suspended

It was announced on March 16th that USCIS is suspending premium processing for FY2021 cap-subject H-1B petitioners. USCIS will not be accepting any Form I-907 filed with a cap-subject H-1B petition for the purpose of requesting premium processing before a resumption is announced. The resumption of premium processing will take place in two phases. USCIS will be handling FY 2021 cap-subject petitioners seeking to change their status from an F-1 nonimmigrant one. All other FY 2021 cap-subject petitions will be processed during the second phase. USCIS will make an announcement before the resumption of premium processing for FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitioners looking to...

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911 (VCF) Victims Compensation Fund DEADLINE now July 29, 2021

On July 29, 2019, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act (“VCF Permanent Authorization Act”) was signed into law. Now, any claim filed prior to July 29, 2021 will be considered timely. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was created to compensate people who suffered as a first responder or who lived, worked, or went to school south of Canal Street in Manhattan New York in the months after the September 11th terrorist attack in 2001, and were affected by the removal of toxic debris. Now it also includes other areas in New York that were in the path of debris...

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Recent decisions in the ever changing terrain of SIJS

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

In Matter of E-A-L-O-, they agreed that a newly enacted law defining juvenile as an unmarried person under 21 applies retroactively and a petitioner over 18 will still qualify for SIJS as long as he or she establishes the other points of eligibility. Here, the appeal was dismissed because although the petitioner was correct in asserting that the new law applied retroactively, the petitioner did not submit any evidence establishing that the order he received from the family court was issued in connection with any type of custody or dependency proceedings. Further, the family court order submitted by the petitioner...

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H-1B visa: OPT work permit delays, foreign students reportedly losing internship opportunities

June 21, 2019 The USCIS stated that the surge in demand has caused a large backlog of OPT applications, the processing time may take up to 5 months. Since students can only apply for OPT 90 days before their employment, the processing delay is causing a big problem. The New York Times reported that many students had sent letters to their schools, expressing their concern that they still haven’t received the approval of OPT while their internship had already started. The principals of Princeton University and other institutions have already sent letters to the Congress, saying that the government's delay in OPT and...

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New Zealand Nationals Eligible for E-1 and E-2 Nonimmigrant Classifications

May 30, 2019 Certain New Zealand nationals can now request a change of status to the E-1 nonimmigrant trader classification and the E-2 nonimmigrant investor classification under Public Law 115-226. Beginning June 10, eligible New Zealand nationals already in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to request a change of status to E-1 or E-2 classification, or a qualifying employer can file Form I-129 on their behalf. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrants, and employees who are already in the United States, may...

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Trump administration announced Spring 2019 Agenda

June 6, 2019_________________________________________________________________________Trump administration announced Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.On the list of this proposed agenda, several items may have a huge impact on the H-1B/H-4 visa holders and international students, including: Revise the definition of specialty occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B program, and revise the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship to better protect U.S. workers and wages. DHS will propose additional requirements designed to ensure employers pay appropriate wages to H-1B visa holders.Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of...

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Things you should be aware if you are H-1B employee in IT consulting company

May 30, 2019_________________________________________________________________________IT consulting companies are often the “targets” when it comes to immmigration fraud situations, and it is demonstrated by the data itself. H-1B petitions filed by IT consulting companies are being examined way heavier and longer than the others, with the denial rate less than 10% in 2015, and has risen up to 40% roughly.USCIS has a Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) branch, and one of its missions is to verify the information from the H-1B petitions. And it often will be in the form of request for evidence (RFE) or site visits. When it comes to...

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USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

May 23, 2019_________________________________________________________________________ USCIS has completed data entry for all fiscal year 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the computer-generated random selection process, including those selected under the U.S. advanced degree exemption. As in previous years, USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that are not selected and will issue an announcement once USCIS are done notifying petitioners. Due to the volume of filings, a definite time frame for returning unselected petitions cannot be provided. Petitioners should wait to inquire about the status of their cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition...

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USCIS: Marijuana-Related Activities May Affect Your Naturalization Application Result

May 16, 2019_________________________________________________________________________USCIS recently released a policy guidance to explain that certain marijuana-related activities will have a negative impact on the result of naturalization applications, regardless of the fact that they are legal under applicable state laws. If the applicants violate the federal laws, they will be deemed to lack good moral character. Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a “Schedule I” controlled substance, its manufacture (including planting, cultivating, harvesting, etc), distribution, dispensation and possession may eventually lead to denial in naturalization application. Immigration lawyers suggest that if you are interested in applying for citizenship now...

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Princeton President Eisgruber, leaders of New Jersey universities express concern to Congress about

May 9, 2019_________________________________________________________________________Princeton President Eisgruber, along with other leaders of New Jersey universities, sent a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation, showing their concern that the universities are facing an obstacle in attracting and retaining foreign students and faculties. Eisgruber initiated this action. And in recent years, he has been trying to convey an idea that international students and faculties are crucial to the development of college campus. Eisgruber also doubted the current immigration policies, and advocated for the DACA program. For the past few years, New Jersey universities found that the difficulty for international students and faculties to get...

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