On July 29, 2016, the USCIS announced that it is releasing a new edition of the Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant. The new edition is dated June 10, 2016. Starting on August 29, 2016, USCIS will only accept the new edition. Until then, USCIS will also accept the April 15, 2013 edition.
March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are the immediate relatives (spouses, children, or parents) of United States citizens are eligible to file a Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, before departing the United States for their immigrant visa interviews, provided that the only ground that they would be ineligible for an immigrant visa is unlawful presence.
On July 29, 2016, the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) announced the investiture of five new immigration judges. The new judges are as follows: Elisa Castrolugo (Houston); Samuel B. Cole (Chicago); Kathryn L. DeAngelis (Chicago); Lisa Ann J. de Cardona (Philadelphia); Eva S. Saltzman (Newark).
On June 29, 2016, the USCIS announced a new version of the Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition. The new edition is dated June 2, 2016. Starting on August 29, 2016, USCIS will only accept the edition dated June 2, 2016. Until August 29, 2016, USCIS will still accept the June 12, 2013 edition.
The new STEM OPT extension rules allow for qualified students to procure 24-month STEM OPT extensions instead of 17 months under the old rules. Students currently on a 17-month STEM OPT extension have until August 8, 2016, to apply for a one-time 7-month STEM OPT extension. Interested students should consult with their DSO.
In the Matter of M-J-K-, 26 I&N Dec. 773 (BIA 2016), the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held that an immigration judge has the discretion to select and implement appropriate safeguards in immigration proceedings when there are issues involving the mental competency of the alien. The BIA may review this de novo.
On July 1, 2016, the USCIS announced that several E-Verify resources are now available in Nepali. These include the SSA/DHS Further Action Notices, SSA/DHS Referral Date Confirmation Notices, and the Form I-9 Employee Information Sheet. Nepali workers who are most comfortable with Nepali may benefit from this addition to E-Verify.
The DHS provided advance notice of its new rule expanding provisional stateside unlawful presence waivers. Previously, only the beneficiaries of approved immediate relative petitions could be eligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver. In the new rule, slated for publication on July 29, 2016, all persons who are statutorily eligible for an unlawful presence waiver may seek a provisional unlawful presence waiver, provided they meet the conditions in the new rules.
The Obama Administration reached an agreement with Costa Rica where Costa Rica will host 200 persons from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala every six months in order for their eligibility for refugee status to be assessed. This is in response to the influx of people from these countries fleeing violence and seeking asylum in the USA.