DHS Proposed Public Charge

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a proposed rule regarding self-sufficiency for intending immigrants:

The proposed rule will clearly define long-standing law to ensure that those seeking to enter and remain in the United States either temporarily or permanently can support themselves financially and will not be reliant on public benefits. The term “public charge” as applied to admission of aliens to the United States has a long history in U.S. immigration law, appearing at least as far back as the Immigration Act of 1882. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries public charge was the most common ground for refusing admission at U.S. ports of entry. “Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” said Secretary Nielsen. “The Department takes seriously its responsibility to be transparent in its rulemaking and is welcoming public comment on the proposed rule. This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”

USCIS Sending Text/Email Online Filing

USCIS released the following information re: sending text and email messaging for online filings:

We are sending text and email messages between Sept. 17 and Sept. 20, 2018, about filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card online. If you are a lawful permanent resident and your Green Card has expired or is about to expire, or if you need to replace it for another reason, you may file Form I-90 online. Go to the Form I-90 page on our website to begin your online application process. If you are a conditional permanent resident whose Green Card is about to expire, do not submit Form I-90. Instead, use Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence or Form I‑829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions.

USCIS Welcomes 45,000 USC This Week

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) celebrated Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, observed on Sept. 17, with over 260 naturalization ceremonies across the country from Sept. 14 to 23 as part of this year’s celebration of Constitution Week. Approximately, 45,000 lawful permanent residents became America’s newest citizens during the annual commemoration honoring both the signing of the U.S. Constitution 231 years ago on Sept. 17, 1787, and an observance that began in 1940 as “I Am an American Day.”

USCIS Denial w/out NOID or RFE

USCIS has released the following regarding their statement on discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when required initial evidence was not submitted or the evidence of record fails to establish eligibility.

This updated guidance is effective September 11, 2018 and applies to all applications, petitions, and requests, except for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications, received after that date. The policy implemented in this guidance restores to the adjudicator full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE or a NOID, when appropriate. USCIS will continue issuing statutory denials when appropriate without first issuing an RFE or NOID when the applicant, petitioner, or requestor has no legal basis for the benefit/request sought, or submits a request for a benefit or relief under a program that has been terminated.  If all required initial evidence is not submitted with the benefit request, USCIS, in its discretion, may deny the benefit request for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence.

USCIS Suspension H1B Prem. Processing

USCIS released the following press release re: the extension of H1B premium processing:

USCIS is extending the previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions and, beginning Sept. 11, 2018, will be expanding this temporary suspension to include certain additional H-1B petitions. We expect these suspensions will last until Feb. 19, 2019, and will notify the public via uscis.gov before resuming premium processing for these petitions.

USCIS Prem. Processing Fee

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it is adjusting the premium processing fee for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers beginning on Oct. 1, 2018.

The premium processing fee will increase to $1,410, a 14.92 percent increase (after rounding) from the current fee of $1,225. This increase, which is done in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, represents the percentage change in inflation since the fee was last increased in 2010 based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers.

Reregistration Open TPS Somalia

USCIS released the following press release re: the reregistration period for Temporary Protected Status for Somalia:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Somalia’s designation who want to maintain their status through the 18-month extension period ending on March 17, 2020, must re-register between Aug. 27, 2018, and Oct. 26, 2018.  Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documents (EADs), have been published in the Federal Register and on uscis.gov/tps. All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Applicants may also request an EAD by submitting, at the time they file Form I-821, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, or separately at a later date. Like all USCIS forms, both forms are free for download from the USCIS website at uscis.gov/tps. USCIS will issue new EADs with a March 17, 2020 expiration date to eligible Somalia TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. Given the timeframe involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, however, we recognize that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on Sept. 17, 2018. Accordingly, we have automatically extended the validity of those EADs for 180 days, through March 16, 2019.

AOS Filing Chart 09/2018

If USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state whether you may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications.

Otherwise, they will indicate that you must use the Application Final Action Dates to determine when you may file your adjustment of status application.

See the following link here for the month of September 2018:

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo

Visa Bulletin 09/2018

The Visa Bulletin provides updated priority date information for family-based and

employment-based green cards.

Immigrants to the US are classified into two categories – those requiring placement on a waiting list and those not through their

relationship to a US immediate relative.

Further, there are numerical quotas on the green cards that require a priority date. If the number of applicants in a year is over the available visa numbers, those applicants are placed on a waiting list and are given a priority date, which estimates when an applicant would get a visa based on the number of previous applicants on the waiting list. Below are preference category information and visa allocations.

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES
First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First: Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”
Fourth: Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth: Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

Below is the link for the Visa Bulletin for September 2018.

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-for-September-2018.html

For more information, contact ALO at 978-905-9992.

USCIS Teleconference on ULP Nonimmigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is holding a teleconference on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 from 2 to 3 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss the revised “Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants Policy Memorandum” issued by USCIS on Aug. 9, 2018.

USCIS officials will provide an overview of the memorandum and will be joined by representatives from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program. The teleconference will conclude with a question and answer session, but we will not answer case-specific questions.

To Join the Engagement

Please visit the registration page to confirm your participation.

Follow the steps below:

• Enter your email address and select “Submit”

• Select “Subscriber Preferences”

• Select the “Event Registration” tab

• Complete the questions and select “Submit”