Immigration Blog

Wendy Barlow's picture

USCIS Completes H1B Lottery Process for FY-2019

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it completed the H1B lottery for H1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2019 H1B cap on April 11, 2018, through a “computer-generated random selection process…” The H1B lottery was conducted to select a sufficient number of petitions to reach the general cap of 65,000 H1B visas and the special “master’s cap” of 20,000 H1B visas.

Wendy Barlow's picture

USCIS to Conduct Lottery for CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW1) Petitions Subject to FY-2019 Cap

On April 11, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received more petitions for visas under the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW1) program than the number of available CW1 visas for fiscal year 2019. The CW1 cap for fiscal year 2019 is set at 4,999. Accordingly, the USCIS will conduct a CW1 lottery, as it stated it would do in the event that it received more CW1 petitions than there were available CW1 visas for the fiscal year.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

USCIS to Destroy Certain Documents Returned as Undeliverable After 60 Business Days

On April 2, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began implementing a new policy for cases wherein certain forms are returned as undeliverable by the United States Postal Service (USPS) after 60 business days. Under the new policy, the USCIS will destroy Permanent Resident Cards (“Green Cards”), Employment Authorization Cards, and Travel Documents that are returned as undeliverable by the USPS after 60 business days, unless the USCIS is in that time contacted by the intended recipient of the document to provide correct address information.

Wendy Barlow's picture

USCIS Receives Enough H1B Petitions to Reach FY 2019 Cap

On April 6, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it reached the congressionally mandated H1B cap of 65,000 H1B visas for fiscal year 2019. Furthermore, the USCIS also received enough H1B petitions to meet the H1B “master’s cap” of 20,000 for fiscal year 2019.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

President Trump Memo on Sending National Guard to the Border

On March 4, 2018, President Donald Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security titled “Securing the Southern Border of the United States.” The Memorandum directs the Secretary of Defense to request States to summon the National Guard to assist in securing the border. In this post, we will briefly explain the background of the decision and what it means as policy.

Wendy Barlow's picture

Pew Research Center Publishes H1B Statistics from FY 2010-2016

On March 29, 2018, the Pew Research Center published interesting statistics on the H1B program titled “East Coast and Texas metros had the most H-1B visas for skilled workers from 2010 to 2016.” The report looked at H1B visa approvals from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2016, and broke down the numbers by metropolitan area. In this article, we will briefly examine some of the most interesting findings in the report.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Closure of U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg

On March 31, 2018, the Russian government ordered the closure of the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg. Accordingly, the U.S. Government will no longer be able to conduct visa services from the former U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg. Because of this development, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) cancelled all interview and waiver appointments scheduled for the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg starting on March 30, 2018. In a news release, the DOS provided instructions for affected nonimmigrant visa applicants to reschedule their interviews.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

USCIS Website System Maintenance on Sunday, April 8

On April 5, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will conduct system maintenance on April 8, 2018, from 5 AM until 6 PM (EST). The USCIS stated that some of its online tools may be unavailable during the system maintenance.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

DOS Proposes Social Media Vetting and Other New Information Collections for Visa Applicants

On March 30, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published two notices in the Federal Register (FR) regarding information collections for the Form DS-160 (and DS-156) and the DS-260. Individuals seeking nonimmigrant visas abroad must file the Form DS-160, while individuals seeking immigrant visas must fill out the Form DS-260. In both cases, the DOS proposes changes to the Forms DS-160 and DS-260. Interested members of the public have 60 days from the publication of the respective FR notices to submit comments on the proposed changes, which the DOS will subsequently take into consideration. The proposals have garnered interest because they both include questions regarding the social media histories of nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applicants. In this post, we will briefly examine the new proposed questions for the Forms DS-160 and DS-260 as well as other proposed changes relating to the limited use of the paper Form DS-156.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

Queens Immigration Attorney Faces Federal Charges for Asylum Fraud

On March 28, 2018, the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that it had charged Andreea Dumitru, an immigration attorney in Queens, New York, with asylum fraud and making false statements. The press release is titled “Queens Immigration Attorney Charged With Asylum Fraud.” The Indictment alleges that Dumitru participated in a scheme to file fraudulent Forms I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, in connection with applications for asylum she had filed on behalf of her clients between 2012 and 2017. During this time, Dumitru is alleged to have submitted over 180 asylum applications in which she knowingly made false statements and representations.

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