Visa Bulletin June 2016

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during June for: “Application Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

To view the most recent visa bulletin, click here.

Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB-4) Visa Limits Reached for Special Immigrants From Mexico

The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for July 2016 reflects a final action date of January 1, 2010, for EB-4 visas for special immigrants from Mexico. This means that starting on July 1, 2016, applicants from Mexico who filed Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant on or after January 1, 2010, will not be able to obtain an immigrant visa or adjust status until new visas become available.

Mexico has reached its EB-4 visa limit as congressionally mandated for fiscal year 2016, which ends September 30. Information on EB-4 visa availability for fiscal year 2017 will appear in the Department of State’s October Visa Bulletin, which will be published this September.

EB-4 visas are for special immigrants. These are individuals who may be eligible for lawful permanent resident status based on specific classifications, including Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ).

U Visas at VSC

In July, the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) will begin processing cases involving Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status. Sharing this workload with the Vermont Service Center (VSC) will balance workloads between centers and provide flexibility as USCIS works towards improving processing times, efficiency and customer service to this victim population. USCIS will implement the transition in phases, which will allow NSC officers to receive specialized training and mentoring from VSC officers who currently adjudicate U nonimmigrant petitions and gain experience in adjudicating the U nonimmigrant petitions before they begin processing these cases.

If you have filed or are planning to file a U Visa application, contact us at 978-905-9992 to learn more.

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Nicaragua

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nicaragua (and those without nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) for an additional 18 months, effective July 6, 2016, through Jan. 5, 2018.

Current TPS Nicaragua beneficiaries who want to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from May 16, 2016 through July 15, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins.

To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit:

Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee);
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether they want an EAD;
The Form I-765 application fee (or a fee-waiver request) only if they want an EAD. If the re-registrant does not want an EAD, no application fee is required; and
The biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are age 14 or older.

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Honduras

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras (and those without nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras) for an additional 18 months, effective July 6, 2016, through Jan. 5, 2018.

Current TPS Honduras beneficiaries who want to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from May 16, 2016 through July 15, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins.

To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit:

Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee);
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether they want an EAD;
The Form I-765 application fee (or a fee-waiver request) only if they want an EAD. If the re-registrant does not want an EAD, no application fee is required; and
The biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are age 14 or older.

NVC Annual Report

The Report of the Visa Office is an annual report providing statistical information on immigrant and non-immigrant visa issuances by consular offices, as well as information on the use of visa numbers in numerically limited categories.

The Report of the Visa Office does not contain information on these categories:

– Refugees entering from abroad or asylum-seekers in the United States or
– Non-numerically controlled visa categories for people in the United States who are adjusting status (getting a green card or becoming a permanent resident) through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS).

To read the entire report, click here.

The Affordable Care Act & Immigration Stats

According to the New York Times analysis of FY 2014 enrollment of the Affordable Care Act, almost 1 million of the 8.7 million insured have been non-citizens. Specifically, Hispanics comprised 60 percent of newly insured noncitizens, “mostly natives of Mexico and Central America who had been living in the United States for decades. Another third were Asian, mostly newer arrivals living in states like California, New York and Texas. Illegal immigrants are not eligible for insurance under the law, but legal immigrants can qualify for subsidies in the insurance exchanges and those who have been in the country for more than five years can qualify for Medicaid.”

To read the full NYT analysis, click here.

DHS Yearbook of Immigration Statistics

The Yearbook of Immigration Statistics is a compendium of tables that provides data on foreign nationals who, during a fiscal year, were granted lawful permanent residence (i.e., admitted as immigrants or became legal permanent residents), were admitted into the United States on a temporary basis (e.g., tourists, students, or workers), applied for asylum or refugee status, or were naturalized. The Yearbook also presents data on immigration enforcement actions, including alien apprehensions, removals, and returns. The Yearbook tables are released as they become available.

To view the Yearbook, click on the following link.