Recent posts

  • Type: Blog
    Post date: Apr 3rd 2020
    Body:

    3 April 2020

    Our association, AILA, has filed a lawsuit against the USCIS today requesting the court to order the USCIS to freeze all immigration deadlines for:
    • Initial applications
    • Responses to all Requests for Evidence or other responses due on or after March 1, 2020
    • Requests for extension of status, maintenance of status
    • Reprieve from any expiration of status or employment authorization;
    • Maintaining the status quo for purposes of eligibility for protection from removal, work authorization, and immigration benefits from the date the President declared that a national emergency began on March 1, 2020,until 90 days after the emergency officially ends.

    Here is a detailed screen recording on the Complaint.  I think our chances of success are very, very good.

    https://youtu.be/wWnQIeIS1qw

    -------------------------------
    This was our community discussion call two days before the lawsuit was filed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOjvGLWwAn0

    Note that Rajiv hosts free community calls every other Thursday where he answers immigration related questions from the community.

     Reminder: Read and post all Covid-19 related information in this forum:
    https://forums.immigration.com/forums/visa-issues-during-coronavirus-cov...

  • Type: News
    Post date: Apr 2nd 2020
    Body:

    WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  announced that H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2021, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, may now be filed with USCIS if based on a valid selected registration.

    A petitioner is only eligible to file an FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition if they electronically registered the beneficiary in the H-1B registration process and USCIS selected the registration submitted for the beneficiary through the random selection process.

    The H-1B electronic registration process was well-received by users, who provided a high satisfaction score with the system. Nearly 275,000 unique registrations were submitted during the initial registration period. Roughly 46% of all registrations were for prospective beneficiaries with U.S. advanced degrees. There were more than 40,000 registration accounts created, and nearly 81% of submitted registrations were for potential beneficiaries from India (67.7%) and China (13.2%). Prior to the launch of the electronic registration system, USCIS conducted robust public outreach to ensure users were equipped to effectively use the new system.

    “The new H-1B electronic registration system has been an overall success. As a result of this modernized process, the amount of paper and data exchanged between USCIS and petitioners will dramatically decrease this year,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow. “The positive feedback received by users of the H-1B registration system, the limited amount of technical issues experienced during the registration period, and the ability to immediately respond to questions from registrants was the result of a comprehensive effort developed over the course of more than a year. This new registration system is one of many ways USCIS is improving the H-1B program.”

    An H-1B cap-subject petition must be properly filed within the period indicated on the relevant registration selection notice. The period for filing the H-1B cap-subject petition will be at least 90 days. Online filing is not available for H-1B petitions, so petitioners seeking to file H-1B petitions must do so by paper. Petitioners must include a printed copy of the applicable registration selection notice with the FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition.

    Petitioners filing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must still establish eligibility for petition approval at the time the petition is filed and through adjudication, based on existing statutory and regulatory requirements. Selection in the registration process does not relieve the petitioner from submitting evidence or otherwise establishing eligibility, as registration only pertains to eligibility to file the H-1B cap-subject petition.

    For more information, visit the H-1B Electronic Registration Process page.

  • Type: News
    Post date: Apr 2nd 2020
    Body:

    On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS offices will begin to reopen on May 4 unless the public closures are extended further. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public. 

    USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency services. Please call the Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.  

    USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the extended temporary closure. USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date and location of the interview. When USCIS again resumes normal operations, USCIS will automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the temporary office closure. You will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Individuals who had InfoPass or other appointments must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices are open to the public again. Please check to see if the office in your jurisdiction has been reopened before reaching out to the USCIS Contact Center.    

    Education and precautions are the strongest tools against infection. Get the latest facts by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 website. Continue to practice good health habits, refrain from handshakes or hugs as greetings, and wash hands and clean surfaces appropriately.  

    USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance. Please also visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for updates. 

  • Type: News
    Post date: Mar 31st 2020
    Body:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to process valid Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, extension requests due to the temporary closure of Application Support Centers (ASC) to the public in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This announcement is consistent with existing USCIS authorities regarding the agency’s ability to reuse previously submitted biometrics.

    Applicants who had an appointment scheduled with an ASC on or after the March 18 closure or has filed an I-765 extension will have their application processed using previously submitted biometrics.  This will remain in effect until ASCs are open for appointments to the public.

  • Type: News
    Post date: Mar 30th 2020
    Body:

    In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it adopted measures to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID). This alert clarifies that this flexibility also applies to certain Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) and Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) regional investment centers, as well as certain filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

    Notice/Request/Decision Issuance Date:

    This flexibility applies to an RFE, NOID, NOIR, NOIT or appealable decision within AAO jurisdiction and the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020, inclusive. 

    Response Due Date: 

    Any response to an RFE, NOID, NOIR, or NOIT received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken. Any Form I-290B received up to 60 calendar days from the date of the decision will be considered by USCIS before it takes any action.

    USCIS is adopting several measures to protect the workforce and community, and to minimize the immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during this time. 

    USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance. Education and precautions are the strongest tools against COVID-19 infection. Please visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for latest facts and other USCIS updates.