USCIS Reaches FY17 H1B Cap

USCIS has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS will use a computer-generated process, to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption.

Before running the lottery, USCIS will complete initial intake for all filings received during the filing period, which ended April 7. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date it will conduct the random selection process.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2017 H-1B cap.

Trump’s Disastrous Immigration Plan

The conservative think tank, American Action Forum (AAF) has released a report on the effects of Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump’s immigration plan. In addition to his hateful and racist rhetoric concerning immigrants of all races, Trump has stated on numerous occasions that if elected, he plans to remove all 11.3 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country.

The AAF has reported that “fully enforcing current law towards all undocumented immigrants would take at least 20 years and cost the government $400 billion to $600 billion. Removing all undocumented immigrants in just two years, as Donald Trump has proposed, would require monumental expansions in U.S. immigration enforcement operations. Most importantly, under both the 20-year and 2-year time frames, the U.S. economy would shrink by over $1 trillion.”

To read the entire report, click here.

Immigration Bloggers Wanted!

Agarwal Law Offices is currently seeking enthusiastic, diligent, and informed college and grad students to assist us with blogging and following current immigration events. The position would be assignment based on a weekly basis and start time would be immediately. Great for full-time students looking for a little extra work. Pay is negotiable.

USCIS Fee Increases

USCIS recently announced significant fee increases for almost all types of immigration cases. Most notably:

  • Form I-130: the fee would increase from $420 to $535 – a 27% increase;
  • Form I-485: the fee would increase from $985 to $1140 – a 16% increase;
  • Form I-140: the fee would increase from $580 to $700 – a 21% increase;
  • Form I-360: the fee would increase from $405 to $435 – a 7% increase;

To view the proposal, click here.

Work Permit for Abused Spouses

USCIS has released a policy memorandum that allows certain abused spouses who were last admitted to the United States through an accompanying spouse, to file for work authorization for a period of 2 years. At the time of initial filing for employment authorization, “credible evidence must be submitted to establish that the applicant resides in the United States and that the applicant or the applicant’s child has been battered or has been the subject of extreme cruelty
perpetrated by the principal non-immigrant spouse”

To view the policy memorandum, click here.

Visa Bulletin May 2016

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during May 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.

DHS Fiscal Year Statistics

The Department of Homeland Security has released its end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 statistics which reflect the Department’s immigration enforcement efforts that prioritize convicted criminals and threats to public safety, border security, and national security.

DHS summarized: “Overall, the Department apprehended 406,595 individuals nationwide and conducted a total of 462,463 removals and returns. The U.S. Border Patrol reported 337,117 apprehensions nationwide, compared to 486,651 in FY 2014. At the same time, ICE removed or returned 235,413 individuals in FY 2015, with 86 percent of these individuals considered a “top priority” (Priority One) – those considered border security or public safety threats.”

To read more, refer to the following link.

Visa Bulletin for January 2016

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during January 2016. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000. The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. 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.

See the bulletin here.