News Updates

Restrictions on California Notaries Completing Form I-9

18:09 14 August in News Updates by Larrabee

Restrictions on California Notaries Completing Form I-9 U.S. employers are required by law to verify the identity and employment authorization of each individual they hire after November 6, 1986 by completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The employee must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 attesting that he or she is a U.S. citizen or national, a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work in the United States. The employee must present documentation to the employer establishing identity and employment authorization by choosing from the documents listed on the "Lists of Acceptable Documents." The employer is obligated, after physically examining the...

Current DOL Policies and the Challenges of the Prevailing Wage

15:03 11 August in News Updates by Larrabee

We have been seeing many of our clients struggle with the prevailing wage requirement which applies to both nonimmigrant categories and to the green card process. This is largely due to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) current policies surrounding this area. H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Nonimmigrant Categories and the Labor Condition Application (LCA) The employer is required to pay the foreign national employee a base salary which is at least the prevailing wage or the actual wage [i] (whichever is higher). In the nonimmigrant context, the wage the employer is required to pay the foreign national employee is certified by the...

Immigrant Visas: August 2015 Priority Dates and Predictions of Future Visa Availability

14:59 11 August 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 2015 shows a minor advancement of the cut-off date for EB-2 China, while EB-3 China is hit with a 7 year retrogression.     WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE?                             PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF AUGUST 1, 2015: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2015/visa-bulletin-for-august-2015.html   PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY  Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted July 14, 2015).  The information below is based on...

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions

15:21 15 July in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions On July 13, 2015 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will resume accepting Premium Processing requests for H-1B extensions and H-1B change of employer petitions which include a request for extension of status, effective immediately. USCIS had suspended premium processing for the above petitions from May 26, 2015 to July 27, 2015 to address the additional workload created by the new H-4 EAD filings.  However, the agency reports that it monitored its workloads and has determined it can resume accepting premium requests earlier than anticipated. Please note that a premium...

6/25/15 UPDATE re: Technical problems with U.S. Passport and Visa Issuance

20:24 26 June in News Updates by Larrabee

Dept. of State technical problems with U.S. passport and visa issuance Closer to resolution worldwide Status as of June 25, 2015 -- The Bureau of Consular Affairs reports that 165 posts, representing more than 85 percent of our nonimmigrant visa demand worldwide, are now online and issuing visas. Posts overseas issued more than 82,000 visas on June 24. -- Posts overseas have issued more than 238,000 non-immigrant visas this week. For context, if systems had been operating normally, posts would have issued approximately 540,000 visas since the outage started. -- The Bureau of Consular Affairs will continue to bring additional posts online until connectivity with...

Immigrant Visas: July 2015 Priority Dates and Predictions of Future Visa Availability

18:08 25 June 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 July 2015 shows steady advancements in family-based preference categories, while many employment-based categories slow their advancement or remain unchanged. WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE? PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF July 1, 2015: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2015/visa-bulletin-for-july-2015.html PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted June 16, 2015). The information below is based on the discussion...

UPDATE: Technical problems with U.S. Passport and Visa Issuance Continue

17:58 25 June in News Updates by Larrabee

Technical problems with U.S. passport and visa issuance continue Resolution anticipated by the end of this week Status as of June 23, 2015 • The database responsible for handling biometric clearances has been rebuilt and is being tested. The Bureau is working to restore full biometric data processing. • More than 45,000 visas were issued yesterday. Beijing alone issued nearly 15,000 visas • 39 posts, representing more than two-thirds of normal capacity, are now online and issuing visas, including: o France: Paris o Mexico: Monterrey, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Merida, Hermosillo o Pakistan: Karachi o South Korea: Seoul o India: Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai o United Kingdom:...

Bureau of Consular Affairs is experiencing technical problems with the issuance of U.S. Passports and Visas

15:51 22 June in News Updates by Larrabee

On June 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of State announced that its Bureau of Consular Affairs is experiencing technical problems with the issuance of U.S. passports and visas at all U.S. Embassies and Consular Posts abroad. They are currently working to correct the problems, but have not provided an anticipated resolution date. Please see the State Department advisory for additional information: http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/news/technological-systems-issue.html. <-- Back to News Updates...

New Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

18:45 02 June in News Updates by Larrabee

This message pertains to applicants for I-485 Adjustment of Status to Permanent Residence in the United States. The updated 3/30/15 version of Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record will be required for any I-485 applications submitted to USCIS on or after 7/27/15. The revision date is located on the lower left of the Form. Please note that this change has no impact on any I-485 applications filed before 7/27/15. 3/30/15 edition of Form I-693: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-693.pdf Instructions to Form I-693: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-693instr.pdf Civil Surgeons designated by USCIS: http://www.uscis.gov/tools/designated-civil-surgeons/designated-civil-surgeons FAQ on vaccination requirements: http://www.uscis.gov/news/questions-and-answers/vaccination-requirements Each I-485 Applicant must submit a Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination...

USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions from 5/26/15 to 7/27/15

14:20 20 May in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS has announced it will not accept Premium Processing requests for H-1B extensions from Tuesday, May 26 until Monday, July 27, 2015 USCIS will honor requests for Premium Processing received prior to 5/26 USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions Starting May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015. During this time frame, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of the stay...