The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) released its updated processing times as of September 1, 2016. As of that date, the average processing time for the review of all forms is six months or less. However, the AAO may take longer than six months due to factors beyond its control or for especially complex cases.
The USCIS determined that adjustment of status applicants in both the family-sponsored and employment-based cases may use the dates for filing from the October 2016 Visa Bulletin. In order to file for AOS in October, an applicant must have an approved IV petition and his or her priority cutoff date must be earlier than the filing date.
In the Matter of Zaragoza-Vaquero, 26 I&N Dec. 814 (BIA 2016), the BIA held that a federal conviction for criminal copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. 506(a)(1)(A) and 18 U.S.C. 2319(b)(1) is a crime of moral turpitude. A key point was that the statute requires the infringement to be willful, that is, a voluntary violation of a known duty to not infringe on copyrights.
On May 21, 2017, the TPS designations for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will terminate. To ensure an orderly transition before then, the DHS is extending TPS benefits and TPS EADs for beneficiaries from these countries through May 20, 2017. This extension is automatic. TPS beneficiaries from these countries should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance.
On Apr. 1, 2011, the DHS limited removals to Haiti to those with final orders of removal who were either convicted of a particularly serious crime or who posed a national security threat. On Sep. 22, 2016, the DHS announced that it would treat enforcement decisions with regard to Haitian nationals consistent with standard practice. The move does not affect Haitians on TPS or those who have resided continuously in the USA since Jan. 12, 2011.
On Sep. 19, the DHS Inspector General (IG) released a report that found that the USCIS improperly granted citizenship to at least 858 persons from “special interest countries” who had been previously ordered deported or removed under another name. The IG explained that the errors were the result of missing fingerprint records.
The August-September 2016 edition of the USCIS E-Verify Connection newsletter included a reminder that in order to engage in curricular practical training, F1 students must present the redesigned Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. F1 and M1 students have been required to use the new Form I-20 since July 1, 2016.