News Updates

DHS to Collect Social Media Information on All Immigrants

17:47 03 October in News Updates

DHS to Collect Social Media Information on All Immigrants A new rule (Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records) published on September 18, 2017 will allow Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect social media information on all immigrants.  The social media information being collected will include "social media handles and aliases, associated identifiable information and search results".  This new rule will go into effect on October 18, 2017 and will cover not only individuals with temporary nonimmigrant status and those going through the green card process, but also lawful permanent residents and naturalized U.S. citizens. Privacy activists are concerned about this...

New Travel Ban Announced

15:28 02 October in News Updates

The Trump Administration has unveiled new travel restrictions on certain citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.  Restrictions vary by country as follows: Countries included in the new travel ban: Chad: Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2). North Korea: Suspends the entry of all immigrants and nonimmigrants. Venezuela: Suspends the entry of certain government officials and their immediate family members on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2). Countries included in the prior travel ban, which are also included in the new travel ban: Iran: Suspends the entry of immigrants and all nonimmigrants, except F (student), M (vocational student)...

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Cap Cases

22:11 18 September in News Updates

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing on September 18, 2017 for all pending H-1Bs filed under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cap.  Premium processing is an expedited adjudication service.  For an additional filing fee of $1225, USCIS guarantees a 15-day response time. Premium processing for petitions seeking extensions of stay or change of employers in categories not mentioned below remains unavailable and will resume as USCIS workloads permit. Premium processing is currently available for the following H-1B petitions: - Petitions filed under the FY 2018 cap. - Petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program and interested...

2019 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Online Entry Window to Open October 3, 2017

15:04 14 September in News Updates

2019 DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY - ONLINE ENTRY PERIOD  Begins at Noon EDT on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 Ends at Noon EST on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as the Green Card or DV Lottery) provides immigrant visas each fiscal year for persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Essentially, this program provides certain nationalities with the opportunity to win the chance to apply for a green card, without having to qualify in one of the family-based or employment-based categories. For fiscal year 2019, 50,000 diversity visas will be available. Various immigration bills, including...

H-1B Site Visits: Guidance for Employers

19:27 11 September in News Updates

As we reported in April, USCIS is continuing its initiative to increase H-1B site visits.  Accordingly, employers and H-1B visa beneficiaries may wish to review the below guidance to be prepared for such a visit. H-1B Site Visits:  Guidance for Employers BACKGROUND The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created the Office of Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) in 2004 with a mission to detect, deter, and combat immigration benefit fraud and to strengthen USCIS' efforts ensuring benefits are not granted to persons who threaten national security or public safety.  H-1Bs have been the subject of site visits since approximately 2009. FDNS is USCIS'...

Rescission of the DACA Program

16:39 06 September in News Updates

DACA Program Rescinded The Department of Homeland Security has officially rescinded the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  The announcement came following a policy decision by President Trump, and a concurring legal opinion by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In his statement, President Trump specified that the reason for gradually ending DACA over a six-month period is "to provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act" to address the issue of individuals who have become known as "Dreamers" - individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children. During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump had promised...