News Updates

Immigrant Visas–November 2016 Priority Dates; Predictions of Future Visa Availability

22:37 18 October in News Updates by Larrabee

PRIORITY DATES AND PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY Each month, the U.S. Department of State publishes its Visa Bulletin, in which it establishes cut-off dates in each immigration category, for each nationality.  The recently released Visa Bulletin for November 2016 shows slight forward movement for most categories.  Significant advancements include an almost 10 month advancement in the EB-2 India preference category and a 5 month advancement in the EB-2 China preference category.  WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE?    PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF November 1, 2016: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-for-november-2016.html PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY:    Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA...

Travel Advisory: Nonimmigrant Visa Wait Times at U.S. Consular Posts in India

17:19 03 October in News Updates by Larrabee

Travel Advisory Nonimmigrant Visa Wait Times U.S. Consular Posts in India Significant Delays U.S. Consular Posts in India continue to experience extraordinary wait times for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) interview appointments. At the time of this writing, the current wait times to obtain an appointment for all NIV categories other than B, F, and J are:      Chennai                               120 calendar days      Hyderabad                           130 calendar days      Kolkata                                1 calendar day (pending verification)      Mumbai                               130 calendar days      New Delhi                            126 calendar days Once the interview has taken place, all posts in India are reporting a wait time of 1 to 2 business days to return the passport with the...

The 2018 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Online Entry Period

14:00 21 September in News Updates by Larrabee

The 2018 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Online Entry Period will begin at Noon ET on October 4, 2016, and will end at Noon ET on November 7, 2016. Applicants may access the eligibility requirements, instructions for application, and FAQs for the 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program at: https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Diversity-Visa/DV-Instructions-Translations/DV-2018%20Instructions/DV-2018%20Instructions%20English.pdf. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as the Green Card 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...

Employers: Current Form I-9 valid until Jan. 21, 2017

18:45 14 September in News Updates by Larrabee

On Aug. 25, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. USCIS must publish a revised form by Nov. 22, 2016. Employers may continue using the current version of Form I-9 with a revision date of 03/08/2013 N until Jan. 21, 2017. After Jan. 21, 2017, all previous versions of Form I-9 will be invalid. We will continue to provide updates about the revised Form I-9 as they become available. <-- Back to News Updates...

Immigrant Visas — September 2016 Priority Dates; Predictions of Future Visa Availability

20:13 22 August in News Updates by Larrabee

PRIORITY DATES AND PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY Each month, the U.S. Department of State publishes its Visa Bulletin, in which it establishes cut-off dates in each immigration category, for each nationality.  The recently released Visa Bulletin for September 2016 shows a few months of forward movement for EB-2 and EB-3 India, while EB-2 and EB-3 China remain unchanged from August’s cut-off dates.  The cut-off date for EB-2 Worldwide remains approximately two years behind the cut-off date for EB-3 worldwide.  WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE?                             PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF September 1, 2016: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2016/visa-bulletin-for-september-2016.html PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY    Courtesy of...

Immigrant Visas — August 2016 Priority Dates; Predictions of Future Visa Availability

14:03 15 July in News Updates by Larrabee

IMMIGRANT VISAS PRIORITY DATES AND PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY Each month, the U.S. Department of State publishes its Visa Bulletin, in which it establishes cut-off dates in each immigration category, for each nationality.  The recently released Visa Bulletin for August 2016 imposes cut-off dates for the previously current EB-1 China and India categories, as well as previously current EB-2 categories.  WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE?                            PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF AUGUST 1, 2016: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2016/visa-bulletin-for-august-2016.html PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY    Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted June 20, 2016).  The information below is based on...

USCIS to Raise Filing Fees

19:49 23 May in News Updates by Larrabee

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to raise certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by a weighted average of 21%.   After a comprehensive fee review, DHS has determined that a fee increase is necessary in order to avoid a $560 million shortfall.  The USCIS fee schedule was last adjusted in November of 2010. The period for public comments to the proposed rule will end on July 5, 2016.  The proposed rule and the public comments received on it will form the basis of the final rule, which should be published sometime...

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

17:23 19 May in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS issued the following Press Release: Release Date: May 02, 2016 USCIS announced on May 2, 2016, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions. USCIS asks petitioners not to inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once...

New 24-Month STEM OPT Rule in effect as of May 10, 2016

17:20 10 May in News Updates by Larrabee

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented a new rule extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. What are the main benefits of the new rule? Increases the available time for a STEM OPT extension from the current 17 months to 24 months.  This is in addition to the 12 months of regular post-completion OPT, bringing the total period of OPT available to some students to 36 months. Expands the majors eligible for a STEM OPT extension. Allows for two lifetime STEM OPT periods. Allows for a STEM OPT extension...