USCIS Guidance I751 Interviews

USCIS has issued a policy memorandum providing guidance to USCIS officers on when to consider waiving the interview requirement for Form I-751.

Generally, USCIS officers must interview a conditional permanent resident who is the principal petitioner on a Form I-751, unless the interview is waived. This guidance explains that officers may consider waiving an interview if they are satisfied that:

They can make a decision based on the record because it contains sufficient evidence about the bona fides of the marriage and that the marriage was not entered into in order to evade U.S. immigration laws;

For Form I-751 cases received on or after December 10, 2018, USCIS has previously interviewed the principal petitioner;

There is no indication of fraud or misrepresentation in the Form I-751 or the supporting documentation; and

There are no complex facts or issues that require an interview to resolve.

AOS Filing Chart 12/18

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 December 2018:

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo

DHS Proposed H1B Changes

USCIS has announce a proposed rule that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to first electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period. See the following press release for more information.

The proposed rule includes a provision that would enable USCIS to temporarily suspend the registration process during any fiscal year in which USCIS may experience technical challenges with the H-1B registration process and/or the new electronic system. The proposed temporary suspension provision would also allow USCIS to up-front delay the implementation of the H-1B registration process past the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap season, if necessary to complete all requisite user testing and vetting of the new H-1B registration system and process. While USCIS has been actively working to develop and test the electronic registration system, if the rule is finalized as proposed, but there is insufficient time to implement the registration system for the FY 2020 cap selection process, USCIS would likely suspend the registration requirement for the FY 2020 cap season. 

Visa Bulletin 12/18

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 December 2018.

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

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

AOS Filing Chart 11/18

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 November 2018:

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo

Visa Bulletin 11/18

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 November 2018.

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

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

Immigration Services for Typhoon Victims

USCIS offers immigration services that may help people affected by unforeseen circumstances, including the Super Typhoon Yutu in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

The following services may be available on a discretionary basis, only upon request. These services may include changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States; expedited processing of advance parole requests; expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship; expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and rescheduling interviews or biometrics appointments with USCIS.

USCIS Consolidates Website

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has consolidated the data pages on its website into one page. The new Immigration and Citizenship Data page makes information more easily accessible to users.

This new and improved data page on our agency website is another step we’ve taken to modernize the information sharing process, provide transparency, and shed additional light on the USCIS mission,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “The extensive amount of data we post online is widely searched and accessed by a wide range of visitors, including policy makers, academics, the stakeholder community, and the public. This latest advancement will help ensure users can access data with greater ease, and it will help foster a more informed and accurate understanding of our complex immigration system.

DHS Statement on Asylum Rule

DHS has released the following relating to the recent presidential rule on asylum claims:

President Trump is using the authority granted to him by the Immigration and Nationality Act to manage and protect the integrity of our immigration system and our national sovereignty. Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states plainly: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” Section 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act similarly states: “Unless otherwise ordered by the President, it shall be unlawful for any alien to depart from or enter or attempt to depart from or enter the United States except under such reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may prescribe.”

For more information, visit the DHS webpage here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/11/09/dhs-myth-vs-fact-asylum-proclamation-and-rule

DHS FAQs on Asylum Proclamation

DHS has released the following regarding the recent asylum proclamation and rule:

President Trump is using the authority granted to him by the Immigration and Nationality Act to manage and protect the integrity of our immigration system and our national sovereignty. Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states plainly: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” Section 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act similarly states: “Unless otherwise ordered by the President, it shall be unlawful for any alien to depart from or enter or attempt to depart from or enter the United States except under such reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may prescribe.”

For more information, see the US Department of Homeland Security’s webpage here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/11/09/dhs-myth-vs-fact-asylum-proclamation-and-rule