DHS On POTUS visit to Border Wall Prototype

The following is the Department of Homeland Security’s statement on Trump’s visit to border wall prototypes:

The border wall is only one of the tools we need to secure the border – the wall system also involves mission-ready agents, patrol roads, sensor technology, and support resources,” said Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen. “But importantly it also includes the ability to promptly remove illegal aliens, terrorists and criminals, closing often exploited loopholes in our immigration system. After speaking with our frontline operators at the border today, their message underscores the urgency for Congress to take action and find legislative solutions to secure our border and make America safe. I want to thank President Trump for his steadfast support for the men and women of DHS and what they need to execute their mission.

Re-Registration Period Opens for Syrians w/ TPS

USCIS has issued the following press release regarding the re-registration period of Syrians with Temporary Protected Status:

Current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Syria’s designation who want to maintain their status through Sept. 30, 2019, must re-register between March 5, and May 4, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Register and on the USCIS website.

All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Applicants may also request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, when they file Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Both forms are free on USCIS’ website at uscis.gov/tps.

USCIS will issue new EADs with a Sept. 30, 2019, expiration date to eligible Syrian TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. However, given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, USCIS is automatically extending the validity of EADs with an expiration date of March 31 for 180 days, through Sept. 27.

To be eligible for TPS under Syria’s current designation, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since Aug. 1, 2016, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since Oct. 1, 2016, along with meeting the other eligibility requirements.

Visa Bulletin March 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.

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.

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 March 2018.
For more information, contact ALO at 978-905-9992.

AOS Filing Charts – March 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 chart. Otherwise, they will indicate that you must use the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when you may file your adjustment of status application.  See the following link here for the month of March 2018: https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo

Know Before You Go

U.S. Customs & Border Protection:

If you are a U.S. citizen planning to travel abroad, you must comply with the document requirements for that country. For a list of Foreign Consular Offices in the U.S. visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Each individual arriving into the United States must complete the CBP Declaration Form 6059B. Explanations and a sample declaration form can be found on the Sample Customs Declaration Form.

USCIS News Alert

USCIS Completes Random Selection Process for H-2B Visa Cap for Second Half of FY 2018 Press Release:

On Feb. 21, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began receiving H-2B cap-subject petitions for the second half of fiscal year 2018.

During the first five business days USCIS received approximately 2,700 H-2B cap-subject petitions requesting approximately 47,000 workers, which is more than the number of H-2B visas available. As a result, USCIS, in accordance with applicable regulations, conducted a lottery on Feb. 28 to randomly select enough petitions to meet the cap.

USCIS will reject and return the petitions and associated filing fees to petitioners that were not selected, as well as any cap-subject petitions received after Feb. 27.

In January, the Department of Labor announced a change to its process of issuing labor certifications. As a result, on Feb. 7 USCIS advised of the likely need to conduct an H-2B visa lottery for the second half of FY18. As was noted in that Feb. 7 statement, USCIS would be maintaining a flexible approach to this issue by ensuring H-2B visas were allocated fairly and would not exceed the cap.

USCIS continues to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from, or not counted towards, the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for the following workers:

Current H-2B workers in the United States seeking to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam, until Dec. 31, 2019.
H-2B petitioners may continue to request premium processing together with their H-2B petition. However, please note that because the final receipt date was one of the first five business days of the filing season, petitions accepted in the lottery will be given a receipt date of March 1, 2018. Premium processing service for these petitions began on that receipt date.

U.S. businesses use the H-2B program to employ foreign workers for temporary nonagricultural jobs. Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (Oct. 1 – March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – Sept. 30). Additional information is available on the Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants page.

CPR Joint Filing Waiver

An individual’s permanent residence status is conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old on the day you were given permanent residence.


Generally, you may apply to remove your conditions on permanent residence if you:

Are still married to the same U.S. citizen or permanent resident after 2 years. You may include your children in your application if they received their conditional-resident status either at the same time or within 90 days as you did;

Are a child and, for a valid reason, cannot be included in your parents’ application;

Are a widow or widower who entered into your marriage in good faith;

Entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended through divorce or annulment; or Entered into a marriage in good faith, but either you or your child were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident spouse.

Filing Form I751

Your status is conditional, because you must prove that you did not get married to evade the immigration laws of the United States. To remove these conditions you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. You and your spouse must apply together to remove the conditions on your residence by filing Form I-751. You should apply during the 90 days before your second anniversary as a conditional resident. The expiration date on your green card is also the date of your second anniversary as a conditional resident. If you do not apply to remove the conditions in time, you could lose your conditional resident status.

Joint Filing Waiver

If you are unable to apply with your spouse to remove the conditions on your residence, you may request a waiver of the joint filing requirement.

You may request a waiver of the joint petitioning requirements in the following instances:

Your deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship

You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but the marriage ended by annulment or divorce, and you were not at fault in failing to file a timely petition

You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but during the marriage you or your child were battered by, or subjected to extreme cruelty committed by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, and you were not at fault in failing to file a joint petition.

Travel as a LPR

What documents are needed?

When traveling overseas, you should always carry the following:

1.) your valid passport;

2.) state-issued identification;

3.) country specific visa (if required). Consult with the U.S. Department of State for country specific information about entry and exit.

4.) travel permit issued by USCIS if the travel is more than 6 months.

5.) valid and unexpired permanent residency card (green card)

When do I need to acquire a travel permit?

As per the basic rule of permanent residency, travel for over 6 months may break the continuous residence requirement and a green card holder may lose their status. If a permanent resident plans to remain outside of the U.S. for more than 6 months, s/he must acquire a Re-entry permit, Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, complete with supporting documentation, photos, and applicable fees. Such a permit is valid for two years from the date of issuance.

In order to apply, an individual must be in the U.S. and have his/her biometrics done at their local USCIS service center.

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

USCIS Contact Tips

Notify USCIS for any changes

You should notify USCIS for any changes in your pending case for the following reasons:

You have moved and want to update your address.

You filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, as a permanent resident, and then became a U.S. citizen

You have a pending Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and you need to change the names of persons you included on the petition or the consulates or ports of entry where the individuals will apply for their visa or entry

You need to reschedule a scheduled interview.

Notify USCIS for any errors

You should notify USCIS for any errors in your pending case for the following reasons:

You found an error in the information on the last notice sent to you;

You found an error on a document issued to you. This will require an application to replace the document.

Notify USCIS for any case processing questions

You mailed your application or petition more than 30 days ago to a Service Center, and have not yet received a receipt in the mail;

You did not receive further notices and you have a receipt number but “My Case Status” states that USCIS sent you a notice more than 14 days ago;

You submitted original documents with your case and you want to request documents be returned to you while your case is pending.

Adjustment of Status, Medical Exam

Adjustment of status is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when you are present in the United States. This means that you may get a Green Card without having to return to your home country to complete visa processing.


The eligibility requirements for adjustment of status vary depending on the immigrant category you are applying under. The first step in the adjustment of status process is to determine if you fit into a specific category.

Available Visa

Most people who apply for a Green Card will need to complete at least two forms–an immigrant petition and a Green Card application. Normally you need a petitioning sponsor to apply for you, although you may be eligible to file for yourself in some cases. Once you have determined that you are eligible to file for adjustment of status and that you have a visa available, you may begin the process of applying.

Medical Exam

Medical examinations and vaccinations in the United States are typically required for anyone who applies for lawful permanent resident status (Form I-485). If you are required to undergo an immigration medical exam, see the following link to search for a USCIS civil surgeon: https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/medical-exam-find-a-doctor