Articles Posted in Adjustment of Status

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Information on the 2020 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2020), including instructions on submitting an electronic entry, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), and a list of countries/areas by region whose natives are eligible for DV-2020 is now available.  Entries must be submitted electronically between Wednesday, October 3, 2018, and November 6, 2018.

The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually.  Diversity Immigrant Visas are drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who meet strict eligibility requirements, and who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

Successful Diversity Immigrant Visa entrants must have at least a high school education or its equivalent, or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience.

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On September 21, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security proposed new regulations related to public charge grounds of inadmissibility. The proposed regulations expand U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grounds to deny permanent resident applications based upon a green card applicant’s use of public benefit programs such as food assistance and section 8 housing vouchers.  The regulations will also apply to individuals seeking nonimmigrant visas and change of status applicants.

Background on Public Charge:

When reviewing Permanent Residence applications, USCIS determines whether applicants are likely to become a public charge or primarily dependent on the government for subsistence. Applicants found likely to become a public charge may be denied lawful permanent resident status.

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Starting October 1, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement its June 28, 2018, policy memo that updated guidance on the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs).  This policy will be implemented based on the Executive Order 13768, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States issued on January 25, 2017, which set forth the administration’s enforcement priorities “against all removable aliens.”

Background

A Notice to Appear is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Form, I-862, that is issued to a noncitizen whom the federal government believes to be removable from the United States. This document instructs them to appear before an immigration judge on a certain date and commences removal proceedings.

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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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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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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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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.