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Spending Bill Extends EB-5 Investor Visa Program to September 30; No Funding for Wall

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, passed by Congress and signed May 7, extends the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program through September 30, 2017. The legislation also provides a large border-security funding increase, among other things. The spending bill was also notable for what it didn’t contain. For example, the bill did not include funding… Read More

USCIS Completes Data Entry of FY 2018 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 3, 2017, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in a computer-generated random process. USCIS said it has begun returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS was unable… Read More

DACA Recipient Files Suit Over Revoked Status

Jessica Colotl, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient whose case has received publicity over the years, has had her DACA status revoked. Her attorney has filed a motion requesting a federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia, to reinstate her DACA protection. Ms. Colotl’s parents brought her to the United States from Mexico when she… Read More

USCIS Implements New Interpreter Policy, Form

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the May 1, 2017, implementation of a policy memorandum issued on January 17, 2017. The guidance applies to interviews conducted at domestic field offices except in cases where USCIS provides interpreters or has other policies, such as asylum and refugee interviews; credible fear and reasonable fear screening interviews;… Read More

State Dept. Announces Continued High Demand for Visa Numbers in Several Employment-Based Categories

The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for the month of June 2017 notes, among other things: Continued high level of demand for the China and India employment-based first preference (EB-1) categories has required the establishment of a cut-off date for June. The EB-1 date for these two countries will once again become Current for October,… Read More

IT Issues Hamper Tracking of Visa Overstays, DHS OIG Says

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently found that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) relies on information technology (IT) systems that are “fragmented” and “ineffective,” lacking in integration and information-sharing capabilities. As a result, OIG said, ICE personnel are forced to “laboriously piece together vital information from up to… Read More

USCIS Changes H-1B Specialty Occupation Guidance for Computer Programmers

On April 3, 2017, the first filing day for fiscal year 2018 H-1B petitions, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a policy memorandum (PDF) changing guidance on the H-1B specialty occupation designation for computer programmers. The memo, “Guidance Memo on H-1B Computer Related Positions,” supersedes and rescinds a memo with the same title issued… Read More

USCIS Announces Multiple Measures To ‘Deter and Detect’ H-1B Visa Fraud, Abuse

On April 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced multiple measures “to further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse.” USCIS explained that the H-1B visa program “should help U.S. companies recruit highly skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country,” but that “too many American… Read More

Visa Processing Delays Expected in Busy Summer Season Due to Increased Screening

According to reports, visa applicants, especially those coming from India, may experience processing delays due to heightened scrutiny over the busy summer season and beyond. The Department of State issued several related cables to diplomatic and consular posts that were publicly leaked, such as one issued on March 17, 2017, calling for increased scrutiny and… Read More

USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2017, that it has reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap. The agency said it… Read More

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