Update on USCIS, DOS, SEVP and Covid-19

This is just an update on what is and is not happening with USCIS, DOS and SEVP during the Covid-19 pandemic. First, it is important to remember that things are changing so current USCIS policy may change very soon. To keep updated with current policies, you can go to the USCIS homepage at http://www.uscis.gov. USCIS

Immigrant Visa Backlogs and Congress: Can They Fix the Problem?

Not everyone realizes but there are huge backlogs of cases for employment based immigrant visas.  For about 1 year now the EB-1 category (Extra-ordinary Ability, Outstanding Professor and Researchers and Intra-Company Transferees) category has been backlogged about 1 year for most of the world and several years for China and about 4-5 years for India.

Update on the new 90 Day Rule and USCIS

Back in.    we wrote an article about the Department of State adopting a new rule on inadmissibility called the 90-day rule.  This replaced their previous 30/60 rule.  For a full rundown on the change in the regulation and what it means, see the article we wrote here.  Basically, the 90-day rule means that any

Update from Charlie Oppenheim on Immigrant Visa Availability

Charlie talked with the American Immigration Lawyers Association again at the end of March.  Here are some updates that he gave on potential movements of priority dates in the future.   To summarize:  EB-1 usage is high, not a lot of movement.  EB-2 usage is normal so steady movement.  For more details, see below. Data

Case Processing Times are Rising as Number of Cases being Processed Drops

Many of you have probably noticed the increase in processing times at USCIS lately – I-140s are taking a long time, H-1Bs and other changes of status applications are talking almost a year to process, and I-485s are now well over a year to process as well. Well, the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association has reviewed

March 2019 Visa Bulletin Released

Recently, the Department of State and Charlie Oppenheim released the new March 2019 Visa Bulletin.  Below is a summary of the movement in each category. Family-Based cases:   F1: Final Action dates moved forward to about a month for most countries – October 22, 2011 for All Other Areas, China and India.  Mexico had no

USCIS Reaches FY 2019 H-1B Visa Cap And Finishes Count

USCIS announced on April 11 that they had received enough applications to fill the FY 2019 H-1B Cap.  Just today they announced that they had completed the counting nad selection process.  We should begin to receive receipts first, then returned applications that were not selected.  Here is the text of the press release from USCIS:

EB-1 for China and India Backlogged come April 1

Charlie Oppenheimer and the Department of State have determined that, because of increased usage of the EB-1 immigration visas that, come April 1 they will have to backlog this category for both India and China. Both have been backlogged to January 1, 2012 (a date for which there will be no demand). This action was

Check in With Charlie Oppenheim on Immigrant Visa Movement

Charlie Oppenheim has released some more information on how he sees immigrant visa usage heading this year. Overall his  predictions are largely positive, with forward movement predicted in most categories.  However, it should be noted that the new USCIS policy requiring transfer of employment-based I-485s to field offices for interview is expected to increase volatility

February 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

USCIS has released the February 2018 Visa Bulletin. While there is certainly some movement forward, the guidance given by Mr. Oppenheim last month is still in effect and has not changed. Relevant changes are listed below. Employment Based Immigrant Visas: EB-1A: Still current for all Countries EB-2: Current for Worldwide. China is at October 1,

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