News Updates

USCIS announces New Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

22:41 01 October in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS announced today that they are publishing a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This new form (with a revision date of 3-8-2013) will have a 60 day implementation period during which time both the new and old form versions may be used. However, after May 7, 2013, only the new Form I-9 may be used. A new Form I-9 was proposed last year and USCIS received several thousand comments from the public regarding the proposed changes. The new Form I-9 is completely different than previous versions beginning with a significant change from one to two pages and the addition of...

Immigrant Reform: A Summary of Proposals

22:36 01 October in News Updates by Larrabee

Immigration Reform, Anyone? It was a busy week in immigration last week and it looks like it will continue in the coming weeks and months! Comprehensive Immigration Reform plans were announced by President Obama and by a bi-partisan group of eight Senators last week to "fix our broken immigration system". The "Gang of Eight" announced their plan on Monday, January 28th and President Obama announced his plan - very similar to the Group of Eight's - on Tuesday, January 29th. Also on January 29th another bi-partisan group of Senators introduced the Immigration Innovation (I²) Act of 2013 which focuses on the...

Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver – Final Rule Published

22:25 01 October in News Updates by Larrabee

The Department of Homeland Security posted in the Federal Register a final rule that will decrease the period of time U.S. citizens will be separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children and parents) when such family members proceed with the process to apply for a visa to become U.S. permanent residents. This rule applies to certain individuals who must obtain a waiver of unlawful presence before completing the permanent resident process. The rule will permit certain individuals to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver prior to departing the United States for their immigrant visa ("green card") interview at a...

Immigrant Visas — Priority Dates and Predictions

19:49 17 September in News Updates by Larrabee

 IMMIGRANT VISAS PRIORITY DATES AND PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY The new federal fiscal year will begin on October 1, 2014, and with that comes the next infusion of immigrant visa numbers. These numbers will be applied to the quota backlogs, but the end availability remains impacted by current visa usage. What is a Priority Date? PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF OCTOBER 1, 2014: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2015/visa-bulletin-for-october-2014.html PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY   Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted September 11, 2014). The information is based on the discussion between Mr. Charlie Oppenheim of the Department of State's...

Department of State Amends Fee Schedule for Consular Services

20:55 15 September in News Updates by Larrabee

Effective September 12, 2014, immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application fees for certain visa categories will change. All visa applicants must pay the fee amounts in effect on the day they pay, with the exception of immigrant visa application processing fees paid domestically to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will be effective as of the date of billing. Refunds are not available to applicants who paid a visa fee before September 12, 2014 and that fee decreased. Nonimmigrant Visa fees paid under the prior fee schedule will be accepted 90 days after the new fees go into effect, as follows: - Applicants...

Consular Database Outage Impacts U.S. Passport and Visa Issuance

01:58 06 August in News Updates by Larrabee

The Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with their passport/visa system.  Per the Department: This issue is worldwide and is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category. We apologize to applicants who are experiencing delays or are unable to obtain a passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or visa at this time. We are working urgently to correct the problem and expect our system to be fully operational again soon. We are hopeful this will be a very temporary issue.  However, even a short shutdown is likely to increase backlogs for visa...

U.S. Consulates In Canada Temporarily Suspend TCN Visa Processing

01:47 06 August in News Updates by Larrabee

This bulletin applies to: (1)   Individuals who are in the U.S. in a non-immigrant visa status (for example, H-1B, L-1, TN);   and (2) Are NOT Canadian citizens or Canadian Landed Immigrants;   and (3) Want to obtain a visa stamp at one of the U.S. Consular posts in Canada this summer.  If the above applies to you, please note the following: ADVISORY --    The U.S. Consular Posts in Canada will temporarily suspend third country national (TCN) processing during the peak demand period of June, July, and August 2014.  TCN applicants with appointments already scheduled at a post in Canada during these months will not be affected.   ...

Proposed USCIS Rules: Work for Dependent Spouses, Expanded Opportunities

01:43 06 August in News Updates by Larrabee

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published new notices of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.  The proposed rules address the ability of H-4 dependent spouses to work in the U.S., as well as formally recognize the E-3 and H-1B1 visa classifications, especially with respect to the ability to continue to work while an extension of status is pending with USCIS.  Comments to the proposed rules are due by July 11th.  The publication of a final rule could take some time depending on the time that USCIS will take to review the comments and issue a final rule. Work...