USCIS Reissues Receipts CPR Extensions

USCIS has issued the following press release re: the reissuing of I751 extension receipts.

On Oct. 16, 2018, USCIS began issuing new receipt notices for certain Forms I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, to replace previously issued receipt notices containing inaccurate information.  In August 2018, USCIS issued receipt notices for certain pending Form I-751 petitions to extend conditional permanent resident (CPR) status from 12 months to 18 months. These receipt notices were issued to provide an additional six months of CPR status to the I-751 petitioners while they continue to wait for their petition to be adjudicated. Some of the receipt notices contained incorrect information that does not affect the extension of the of the CPR status. Petitioners who received incorrect receipt notices will receive corrected ones shortly. If you have not received a corrected receipt notice by Nov. 15, 2018, please reach out to the USCIS Contact Center.

Travel Ban Review

Nationals of seven countries are currently subject to various travel restrictions contained in the Proclamation, as outlined in the following table, subject to exceptions and waivers set forth in the Proclamation.

Country Nonimmigrant Visas Immigrant and Diversity Visas
Iran No nonimmigrant visas except F, M, and J visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Libya No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas No immigrant or diversity visas
North Korea No nonimmigrant visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Somalia   No immigrant or diversity visas
Syria No nonimmigrant visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Venezuela No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas of any kind for officials of the following government agencies Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members.  
Yemen No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas No immigrant or diversity visas

In accordance with P.P. 9645, for nationals of the seven designated countries, a consular officer will determine whether an applicant otherwise eligible for a visa is exempt from the Proclamation or, if not, may be eligible for a waiver under the Proclamation allowing issuance of a visa.

ICE Drug Arrests in Lawrence, MA

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently conducting an operation in Lawrence, MA targeting drugs and criminal aliens.  A press release from ICE follows:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Marshalls, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Oct. 4, to announce the arrests of dozens of defendants in a multi-agency federal investigation in and around the Lawrence, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston.

The operation, which resulted in 40 arrests and resulted in the seizure of 10 kilograms of deadly fentanyl, was the culmination of a multi-agency federal investigation which targeted major traffickers of fentanyl, opioids and other drugs, as well as repeat felony offenders, many of whom were also illegally present in the U.S.; eight aliens had already previously been deported at least once before and will be prosecuted for criminal re-entry. All of those arrested have prior convictions for acts of violence, firearm offenses and/or drug trafficking; and many were determined to be illegally present in the United States. The operation involved over 200 federal law enforcement agents from all over New England, including the DEA, ERO, HSI, FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service; and the ATF.

DACA Stats Published

USCIS has received and adjudicated an average of 7 million Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival petitions and applications annually. These petitions and applications typically allow foreign nationals to stay in United States as lawful permanent residents (LPR) or immigrants, to stay temporarily to work as nonimmigrants, or to obtain U.S. citizenship.

These reports provide data on various aspects of USCIS operations. In addition, certain tables list the USCIS offices responsible for the adjudication.

See the reports here: https://www.uscis.gov/tools/reports-studies/immigration-forms-data

AOS Filing Chart 10/18

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 October 2018:

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo

Visa Bulletin 10/18

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 October 2018.

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

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

USCIS Policy NTA Issuance

USCIS will begin implementing the June 28 Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens Policy Memorandum (PM) (PDF, 140 KB) on Oct. 1, 2018.

USCIS will take an incremental approach to implement this memo. An NTA is a document that instructs an individual to appear before an immigration judge. This is the first step in starting removal proceedings. Starting Oct. 1, 2018, USCIS may issue NTAs on denied status-impacting applications, including but not limited to, Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. USCIS will send denial letters for status-impacting applications that ensures benefit seekers are provided adequate notice when an application for a benefit is denied. If applicants are no longer in a period of authorized stay, and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will provide details on how applicants can review information regarding their period of authorized stay, check travel compliance, or validate departure from the United States.

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.”