AOS Filing Chart – June 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 June 2018:

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo

DHS Statement on Zero Tolerance Policy

The US Department of Homeland Security has released the following statement regarding their controversial zero tolerance policy:

The risks of crossing the Rio Grande and desert terrain, or hiding in stash houses or tractor trailers, are high for adults and even more deeply concerning for children.  Individuals who seek to enter the United States should do so at ports of entry. The Attorney General directed United States Attorneys on the Southwest Border to prosecute all amenable adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, for 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a), illegal entry.  Children whose parents are referred for prosecution will be placed with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

USCIS Update on I751 Receipts

USCIS has issued the following press release regarding I751 receipts.

As of June 11, 2018, petitioners who file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, will receive a Form I-797 receipt notice that can be presented with their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, as evidence of continued status for 18 months past the expiration date on their Permanent Resident Card. We are making the change from 12 to 18 months because current processing times for Form I-751 and Form I-829 have increased over the past year. Additionally, we will issue new Form I-797 receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents whose Form I-751 or I-829 was still pending as of June 11, 2018. Those Form I-797 receipt notices will also serve as evidence of continued status for 18 months past the expiration date on petitioner’s Permanent Resident Card.

Visa Bulletin June 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 June 2018.

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

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

Reregistration Period for Hondurans w/TPS

USCIS released the following information regarding the re-registration period for Hondurans with Temporary Protected Status:

Current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Honduras’ designation who want to maintain their status through the effective termination date of Jan. 5, 2020, must re-register between June 5, 2018, and Aug. 6, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documents, 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 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Both forms are free for download on USCIS’ website at uscis.gov/tps.

USCIS to implement online FOIA requests

USCIS has recently announced that they will begin processing Freedom of Information Act requests online.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the launch of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records SysTem (FIRST), which will eventually allow users to submit, manage, and receive FOIA requests entirely online. Before this change, USCIS only accepted FOIA requests by mail, fax, and email, and requesters typically received their documents on a compact disc by mail. USCIS is commencing FIRST’s digital delivery of services in phases. Initially, requesters who have an immigration court date pending and file a request for documents can create an account within myUSCIS to receive documents digitally, eliminating the time and expense associated with receiving requests by mail. Through their account, requesters can track the status of their FOIA cases and will receive email notification when USCIS has uploaded their records. In the coming months, this digital delivery option will be expanded to all FOIA and Privacy Act (PA) requesters. When FIRST is fully operational, requesters will be able to use a completely digital FOIA/PA system, from online submission to retrieving and downloading responsive documents. USCIS will notify the public as additional services become available.

USCIS Expands Online Filing

USCIS has released the following information regarding expanded online filings:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that Form N-565, Application for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Document, and Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), can be filed online. Applicants use Form N-565 to replace a naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship, or a repatriation certificate. They may also use it to apply for a special certificate of naturalization as a U.S. citizen to be recognized by a foreign country. Applicants use Form N-336 to request a hearing before an immigration officer if we have denied their application for naturalization.

Re-registration of TPS open for Nepal

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Nepal’s designation who want to maintain their status through the effective termination date of June 24, 2019, must re-register between May 22, 2018, and July 23, 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 a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the time they file Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Both forms are free to download from the USCIS website at uscis.gov/tps. USCIS will issue new EADs with a June 24, 2019 expiration date to eligible Nepali TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, however, USCIS recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on June 24, 2018. Accordingly, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of EADs issued and currently valid under the TPS designation of Nepal for 180 days, through Dec. 21, 2018

USCIS Changed Policy on Student Unlawful Presence

USCIS has posted a policy memorandum (PDF, 179 KB)changing how the agency will calculate unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors in F, J, and M nonimmigrant status, including F-2, J-2, or M-2 dependents, who fail to maintain their status in the United States. Relevant portions of the memorandum include the following:

Individuals in F, J, and M status who failed to maintain their status before Aug. 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on that date based on that failure, unless they had already started accruing unlawful presence, on the earliest of any of the following:

The day after DHS denied the request for an immigration benefit, if DHS made a formal finding that the individual violated his or her nonimmigrant status while adjudicating a request for another immigration benefit The day after their I-94 expired; or The day after an immigration judge or in certain cases, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), ordered them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

Individuals in F, J, or M status who fail to maintain their status on or after Aug. 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of any of the following: The day after they no longer pursue the course of study or the authorized activity, or the day after they engage in an unauthorized activity; The day after completing the course of study or program, including any authorized practical training plus any authorized grace period; The day after the I-94 expires; or The day after an immigration judge, or in certain cases, the BIA, orders them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

DHS Updates NTAS Bulletin

On May 9, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen reissued the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin pertaining to the terror threat to the U.S. homeland…Terrorist groups continue to inspire, enable, and direct their followers to spread chaos using homemade weapons and by striking soft targets and crowded places. They also remain focused on conducting more sophisticated attacks using conventional weapons as well as new technologies and tactics. DHS is committed to staying a step ahead of our enemies, and an informed and vigilant public remains one of the Department’s greatest assets in protecting the homeland.

You can read the new NTAS Bulletin here.