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The visa bulletin is out at this link: Visa Bulleting for October 2018

For the Application Final Action Dates, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 is at April 1, 2017 for all countries except India (June 1, 2016) and China (June 1, 2016); EB-2 is current for all countries except India (March 26, 2009) and China (April 1, 2015); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2009), China (June 1, 2015), and the Philippines (June 1, 2017); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2009), China (May 1, 2007), and the Philippines (June 1, 2017); EB-4 is current for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (February 15, 2016) and Mexico (October 22, 2016); Religious Worker visas are currently unauthorized; EB-5 non-regional centers are current for all countries except China (August 15, 2014) and Vietnam (January 1, 2016); EB-5 regional centers are currently unauthorized.  Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at August 22, 2016 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents), and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) is June 8, 1995.

For the Date for Filing, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 is June 1, 2018 for all countries except China and India (October 1, 2017); EB-2 is current for all countries except India (May 22, 2009) and China (June 15, 2015); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (October 1, 2009), China (August 8, 2015), and the Philippines (July 1, 2017); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (October 1, 2009), China (June 1, 2008), and the Philippines (July 1, 2017); EB-4 and religious workers are all current except for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (May 1, 2016); and EB-5 non-regional centers and regional centers are current for all countries except China (October 1, 2014).  Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at December 1, 2017 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents) and the longest queue for Philippines F4 (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) at April 8, 1996.

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The visa bulletin is out at this link: March 2018 Visa Bulletin

For the Application Final Action Dates, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 is current for all countries except India (December 15, 2008) and China (December 8, 2013); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (January 7, 2007), China (November 15, 2014), and the Philippines (May 1, 2016); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2007), China (March 1, 2007), and the Philippines (May 1, 2016); EB-4 are current for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (December 1, 2015) and Mexico (July 1, 2016); Religious Worker visas are current for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (December 1, 2015) and Mexico (July 1, 2016). EB-5 non-regional centers and regional centers are current for all countries except China (July 22, 2014).  Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at March 22, 2016 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents), and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) is November 22, 1994.

For the Date for Filing, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 is current for all countries except India (February 8, 2009) and China (February 1, 2015); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2008), China (January 1, 2016), and the Philippines (October 1, 2016); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2008), China (June 1, 2008), and the Philippines (October 1, 2016); EB-4 and religious workers are all current except for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (April 15, 2016); and EB-5 non-regional centers and regional centers are current for all countries except China (September 1, 2014).  Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at May 1, 2017 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents) and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) of March 1, 1995.

 

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The visa bulletin is out at this link: February 2018 Visa Bulletin

For the Application Final Action Dates, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 is current for all countries except India (December 08, 2008) and China (October 1, 2013); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (December 1, 2006), China (September 15, 2014), and the Philippines (March 1, 2016); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (December 1, 2006), China (February 1, 2007), and the Philippines (March 1, 2016); EB-4 are current for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (December 1, 2015) and Mexico (June 22, 2016); Religious Worker visas are presently unauthorized for all countries. EB-5 non-regional centers are current for all countries except China (July 22, 2014).  EB-5 regional centers are presently unauthorized for all countries.  Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at March 1, 2016 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents), and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) is October 1, 1994.

For the Date for Filing, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 is current for all countries except India (February 8, 2009) and China (November 15, 2014); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2008), China (January 1, 2016), and the Philippines (August 1, 2016); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2008), China (June 1, 2008), and the Philippines (August 1, 2016); EB-4 and religious workers are all current except for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (April 15, 2016); and EB-5 non-regional centers and regional centers are current for all countries except China (September 1, 2014).  Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at November 1, 2016 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents) and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) of March 1, 1995.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has expanded the I-94 website to include a feature which allows Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers to check the duration of their stay in the United States.  A new “View Compliance” option provides VWP travelers with the number of days remaining until their status expires, or alternatively, how many days they have overstayed.  To check their status, travelers may go to the I-94 website (https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/), select the “View Compliance” tab, and enter their biographic and passport information.

In addition, CBP will now send email notifications to VWP travelers who are still in the United States 10 days prior to the expiration of their lawful admission period.  Travelers should note that the email notifications will originate from staycompliance-donotreply@cbp.dhs.gov; if the notification email comes from a different address, it may be fraudulent.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

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The visa bulletin is out at this link: January 2018 Visa Bulletin

For the Application Final Action Dates, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 is current for all countries except India (November 22, 2008) and China (August 8, 2013); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (November 1, 2006), China (April 15, 2014), and the Philippines (February 15, 2016); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (November 1, 2006), China (December 22, 2006), and the Philippines (February 15, 2016); EB-4 are current for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (December 1, 2015) and Mexico (June 1, 2016); Religious Worker visas are presently unauthorized for all countries. EB-5 non-regional centers are current for all countries except China (July 22, 2014).  EB-5 regional centers are presently unauthorized for all countries.  Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at February 1, 2016 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents), and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) is September 1, 1994.

For the Date for Filing, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 is current for all countries except India (February 8, 2009) and China (November 15, 2013); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2008), China (September 1, 2015), and the Philippines (August 1, 2016); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2008), China (June 1, 2008), and the Philippines (August 1, 2016); EB-4 and religious workers are all current except for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (April 15, 2016); and EB-5 non-regional centers and regional centers are current for all countries except China (October 1, 2014).  Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at November 1, 2016 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents) and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) of March 1, 1995.

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US Citizenship and Immigration Services has adopted new policy guidelines for adjudicating Function Manager visa petitions based upon a recent case ruling from the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides both temporary (L-1A) and permanent (EB-1C) visa categories for multinational executives or managers. The INA recognizes two different types of managers that qualify in both categories: personnel managers, who supervise and control the work of personnel, and function managers, who manage an organizational function. The AAO clarified that, in order to establish that a beneficiary will be employed in a managerial capacity as a “function manager,” the petitioner must demonstrate that: 1) the function is a clearly defined activity; 2) the function is “essential,” i.e., core to the organization; 3) the beneficiary will primarily manage, as opposed to perform, the function; 4) the beneficiary will act at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and 5) the beneficiary will exercise discretion over the function’s day-to-day operations. Persons interested in applying under this category should keep in mind they will need to furnish supporting evidence addressing these eligibility factors, such as organizational charts and letters from other company managers or executives detailing the “essential function,” including the impact that function has on the company and the authority the beneficiary has over that function.

Please contact us if you have any questions or need additional information.

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As of January 2017, USICS requires supplemental information for certain employment-based Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status applicants. For this purpose, USCIS introduced a new form, the I-485 Supplement J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability.

Who Has to File the J Supplement?

Applicants filing adjustment of status applications based upon a separately filed, pending or approved, I-140 immigrant petition must submit Supplement J with the Form I-485. Persons filing Forms I-140 and I-485 concurrently are not required to file the Supplement J. Persons filing Form I-485 based upon a national interest waiver (NIW) Form I-140 and in the first preference (EB1) extraordinary ability category also do not need to file Supplement J.

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The visa bulletin is out at this link: December 2017 Visa Bulletin

For the Application Final Action Dates, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 is current for all countries except India (November 1, 2008) and China (July 1, 2013); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (October 15, 2006), China (March 8, 2014), and the Philippines (January 15, 2016); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (October 15, 2006), China (July 1, 2006), and the Philippines (January 15, 2016); EB-4 and religious workers are current for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (November 8, 2015) and Mexico (April 22, 2016); EB-5 non-regional and regional centers are current for all countries except China (July 15, 2014). Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at December 22, 2015 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents), and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) is August 1, 1994.

For the Date for Filing, employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 is current for all countries except India (February 8, 2009) and China (November 15, 2013); EB-3 is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2008), China (September 1, 2015), and the Philippines (August 1, 2016); EB-3 other workers is current for all countries except India (January 1, 2008), China (June 1, 2008), and the Philippines (August 1, 2016); EB-4 and religious workers are current for all countries except for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (April 15, 2016); and EB-5 non-regional centers and regional centers are current for all countries except China (October 1, 2014).  Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at November 1, 2016 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents) and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) of March 1, 1995.

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On October 23, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new Policy Memorandum, rescinding a former memo from April 23, 2004, which instructed adjudication officers to defer to an original petition’s finding of eligibility when reviewing requests for extension of already approved nonimmigrant status, unless significant material changes in circumstances had arisen since the original petition was approved.  Based on the 2004 memo, extensions of H-1B or L-1B petitions have been granted readily and with minimal requirements for additional documentation.

The new memo instructs adjudication officers to review each petition for extension of nonimmigrant status as if it were an entirely new petition, subjecting it to the level of scrutiny applied to an initial petition.  While the memo acknowledges that, under U.S. regulations, the evidence required for extension of nonimmigrant status is less than that required for an initial petition, it asserts USCIS’ discretionary authority to request additional evidence, and instructs adjudicating officers to exercise that authority without constraint when reviewing extension of status petitions.

Recent months have seen a sharp increase in the number of requests for evidence made by USCIS in connection with new nonimmigrant petitions, resulting in delays in approving petitions.  Under the new policy governing extension petitions, it is likely that they, too, will now see an increase in requests for evidence and resultant delays.

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that they would expand in-person interviews for applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence for all applications based upon employment and refugee/asylee relative petitions.  In-person interviews have seldom been required for these categories.

Under the new policy, all employment-based applications for permanent residence filed after March 6, 2017 will be required to undergo an in-person interview.  Applications filed prior to March 6 will be subject to in-person interviews under exceptional circumstances, amounting to between 5% and 10% of applications filed.

It is unclear how USCIS will accommodate the added workload, and slower processing times are a likely consequence, but USCIS states it will prioritize employment-based interviews with the goal of allocating all available visas authorized for each fiscal year.  Although interviewing officers have been instructed to not re-adjudicate the underlying approved I-140 Petition for Immigrant Worker, they have been instructed to evaluate whether documentation submitted in support of the I-140 is accurate, bona fide, and credible.  USCIS advises that interviewees should expect to be questioned regarding their admissibility and eligibility, including where they will work, what they are going to do, their educational background and experience, whether the employer still intends to employ the applicant, and whether the applicant still intends to take up employment.