Recent posts

  • Type: Page
    Post date: Nov 11th 2019
    Body:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers you a variety of services both before and after you file your case. For example, using the links provided on the left panel, you can:

    • Determine how long we take to process a particular type of case;
    • Easily check the status of your case by clicking on the USCIS Web site; or
    • Check the customer guide which explains how to contact USCIS. The guide will also help you determine if your case is outside of the targeted processing time. 


    Please click on this link, https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplay.do to access the USCIS website.

  • Type: News
    Post date: Nov 11th 2019
    Body:

    WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to adjust the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Immigration Examinations Fee Account fee schedule.

    Fees collected and deposited into the IEFA fund nearly 96% of USCIS’ budget. Unlike most government agencies, USCIS is fee-funded. Federal law requires USCIS to conduct biennial fee reviews and recommend necessary fee adjustments to ensure recovery of the full cost of administering the nation’s immigration laws, adjudicating applications and petitions, and providing the necessary infrastructure to support those activities.

    “USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures, just like a business, and make adjustments based on that analysis. This proposed adjustment in fees would ensure more applicants cover the true cost of their applications and minimizes subsidies from an already over-extended system,” said Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of USCIS. “Furthermore, the adjudication of immigration applications and petitions requires in-depth screening, incurring costs that must be covered by the agency, and this proposal accounts for our operational needs and better aligns our fee schedule with the costs of processing each request.”    

    The rule proposes adjusting USCIS IEFA fee schedules by a weighted average increase of 21% to ensure full cost recovery. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by approximately $1.3 billion per year.

    The proposed fee rule accounts for increased costs to adjudicate immigration benefit requests, detect and deter immigration fraud, and thoroughly vet applicants, petitioners, and beneficiaries.

    USCIS last updated its fee structure in FY 2017, by a weighted average increase of 21%.

  • Type: PERM PROCESSING DATES
    Post date: Nov 8th 2019
    Body:
    Processing Queue Priority Date
    Analyst Review July 2019
    Audit Review February 2019
    Reconsideration Request to the CO May 2019

    The Analyst Review and Audit dates posted on iCERT above reflect the month and year in which cases were filed that are now being adjudicated at the Atlanta National Processing Center. *The Reconsideration Request to the CO dates posted on iCERT above reflect the month and year in which cases that are now being reviewed at the Atlanta National Processing Center were appealed. For various reasons, the center may be completing the processing of applications filed prior to the month posted on iCERT. If your application was filed more than 3 months prior to the month posted, you may contact  Helpdesk for a status on the application at plc.atlanta@dol.gov.

    Determinations Average Number of Days to Process PERM Applications
    Month Calendar Days
    Analyst Review July 2019 78
    Audit Review July 2019 211

    The Analyst Review and Audit Review determination processing times on iCERT above reflect the amount of time to process applications for the month. The actual processing time for each employer PERM application may vary from the average depending on the material facts and circumstances. OFLC is only reporting the average processing time for all PERM applications for the most recent month.

  • Type: News
    Post date: Nov 8th 2019
    Body:

    WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a final rule that will require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration submitted by petitioning employers, once it implements the electronic registration system. The registration fee is part of an agency-wide effort to modernize and more efficiently process applications to live or work in the United States.

    The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent.

    Upon implementation of the electronic registration system, petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, will first have to electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period, unless the requirement is suspended.

    “This effort will help implement a more efficient and effective H-1B cap selection process,” said USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli. “The electronic registration system is part of an agency-wide initiative to modernize our immigration system while deterring fraud, improving vetting procedures and strengthening program integrity.”

    The final rule, Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens, is effective Dec. 9, 2019, and the fee will be required when registrations are submitted. USCIS is fee-funded, and this non-refundable fee will support the new electronic registration system to make the H-1B cap selection process more efficient for both petitioners and the agency.

    USCIS is slated to implement the registration process for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap selection process, pending completed testing of the system. The agency will announce the implementation timeframe and initial registration period in the Federal Register once a formal decision has been made, and USCIS will offer ample notice to the public in advance of implementing the registration requirement.

    USCIS published a notice of proposed rulemaking highlighting a registration fee on Sept. 4, 2019, which included a 30-day public comment period. USCIS received only 22 comments during that time, and has considered all submissions and offered public responses ahead of announcing the final rule, which is effective on Dec. 9.

  • Type: News
    Post date: Nov 8th 2019
    Body:

    LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury has indicted two men in a scheme to obtain lawful permanent resident status for South Korean nationals by submitting fraudulent visa applications that falsely claimed American businesses wanted to hire skilled foreign workers.

    The indictment, returned on Nov. 1, alleges that the defendants exploited the EB-2(a) visa program by submitting bogus Alien Worker Petitions on behalf of companies – some legitimate, some created specifically for the scheme – that purportedly wanted to hire foreign nationals after exhausting attempts to find suitable workers in the United States. According to court documents, those South Korean visa applicants simply wanted to immigrate to the United States, and they paid between $30,000 and $70,000 to the defendants in the hopes of obtaining a visa.

    The indictment charges the two defendants with conspiracy to commit visa fraud. The defendants are:

    • Weon Keuk Lee, 49, a South Korean national, a licensed California attorney who previously operated an immigration law firm in Los Angeles; and
    • Young Shin Kim, 59, a naturalized United States citizen, who previously operated an accounting firm in Diamond Bar and is now a farmer in Hesperia.

    Kim was arrested in this case on October 3 pursuant to a criminal complaint. During a court hearing the next day, Kim was ordered released on a $50,000 bond and was ordered to appear for an arraignment on November 8. Lee, 50, is believed to be currently residing in Vietnam.

    “This indictment sends a loud and clear message that the American people have zero tolerance for those who attempt to cheat our immigration system,” said USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli. “I’m extremely proud of our Fraud Detection & National Security unit who assisted in bringing these perpetrators to justice.”

    According to the indictment, between 2007 and 2015, Lee and Kim filed approximately 117 fraudulent Alien Worker Petitions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which resulted in the agency issuing more than 125 visas for alien workers, their spouses and their children.

    The indictment alleges that Lee accepted payment from South Korean nationals who wanted to obtain EB-2(a) visas that would allow them to live and work in the United States. Kim allegedly identified United States businesses to act as the purported petitioner for the beneficiary, either by misappropriating information from his accounting firm’s clients or by forming shell corporations solely for the purpose of petitioning authorities for visas. The indictment also alleges that Kim fabricated documents – including bogus tax returns – for the domestic companies and that Lee used those documents to submit the fraudulent Alien Worker Petitions. Lee allegedly paid Kim nearly $300,000 for preparing the fraudulent documents used with the visa applications.

    An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The charge of conspiracy to commit visa fraud carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

    This matter is being investigated by the Document Benefit Fraud Task Force, which includes representatives of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Fraud Detection National Security Unit; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

    This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott D. Tenley of the Santa Ana Branch Office.