December 2019 Visa Bulletin Released
November 27, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the December 2019 Visa Bulletin. Final Action Dates for all employment-based categories see little movement for the month of December. In Section E, the Department of State indicates that there has been a steadily increasing level of Employment-based demand for Adjustment of ...

DHS Proposes Rule to Increase Immigration and Citizenship Fees
November 14, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security published a proposed rule to the Federal Register on Thursday, November 14. The DHS proposal increases fees for certain immigration and naturalization applications charged by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). According to the proposed rule, the increase is ...

US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Sends Save Jobs USA v. DHS Back to Lower Courts
November 9, 2019

Today, a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that a challenge to the H-4 EAD (Save Jobs USA v. DHS) does have grounds to be heard in court. In September 2016, a DC-based United States District Court judge, ...

Brexit Update: An Extension to 2020
October 28, 2019

As of today, the EU Council has come to an agreement with the UK government to postpone Brexit until January 31, 2020. An earlier withdrawal is still possible, and it is likely to trigger new elections in the coming months. No additional information has been provided ...

State Department Delays Use of Public Charge Form
October 24, 2019

On Wednesday, the State Department began a 60-day comment period on the Public Charge rule. This comment period slows down the department’s initially expedited approach for the implementation of its public charge application. As previously reported, the State Department’s rule was in effect as of ...

November 2019 Visa Bulletin Released
October 23, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the November 2019 Visa Bulletin. All employment-based categories see little to no movement for the month of November. The cut-off date for the EB-2 category for persons born in China has advanced since October 2019 but has continued to remain retrogressed since July 2019. The cut-off ...

Breaking News on Public Charge Regulation and Federal Court Injunction
October 15, 2019

On Friday, just four days before the Trump Administration's public charge rule was set to effect, federal judges in California, New York, and Washington issued a preliminary nationwide injunction. In a breaking alert, the Immigration Nerds talk with managing directors Hiba Anver and Justin Parsons ...

Update: Courts Block Public Charge Rule
October 14, 2019

On Friday, three federal courts in California, New York, and Washington issued judgments that will block the implementation of the Trump Administration's public charge rule. As previously reported, the rule was to go in to effect on Tuesday, October 15. The public charge rule would evaluate ...

Immigration Nerds Talk About Social Media Surveillance
September 20, 2019

In this week's Immigration Nerds podcast, we talk to EIG attorney Ryan M. Knight about social media surveillance as part of the visa process. This level of scrutiny forces some tough questions: What is the price of freedom of expression in the Land of the ...

October 2019 Visa Bulletin Released
September 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the October 2019 Visa Bulletin. EB-2 and EB-3 categories for the worldwide quota have become current once again. Cut-off dates for the EB-2 and EB-3 categories for persons born in China have remained retrogressed since July 2019. For persons ...

USCIS Proposed a $10 Fee for H-1B Visa Applications
September 3, 2019

In a new Department of Homeland Security proposal released on September 3, employers who are applying for H-1B visas in next year's lottery would be required to pay an additional $10. This fee would go toward the electronic preregistration process used for the lottery. The fee ...

Redefining the Citizenship Process for Children of U.S. Service Members Born Abroad
August 30, 2019

On Wednesday, August 28, the Trump administration announced changes to the definition of residency as it relates to the citizenship of children of U.S. service members born outside of the U.S. The current policy states that certain children living outside of the United States were considered ...

September 2019 Visa Bulletin Released
August 20, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the September 2019 Visa Bulletin. Several Employment-Based preference categories have retrogressed or have become unavailable for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019. For EB-1 categories, cut-off dates have advanced for persons born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, Vietnam, ...

Immigration, Trade, and Commerce Organizations Petition USCIS for Greater Review of Proposed H-1B Registration System
August 20, 2019

Last fall, USCIS announced that changes would be forthcoming for the H-1B program, as soon as this year. The new plan would require companies who seek an H-1B visa for a foreign worker to first submit a free online registration form instead of an initial ...

Trump Administration Introduces Final "Public Charge" Rule
August 12, 2019

On Monday, August 12, the Trump Administration said it would move forward with new regulations that would deny green cards and visas to immigrants who use or are expected to use a wide range of government benefits, including food stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid. This ...

USCIS to Allow for Public Reporting of Immigration Fraud
August 7, 2019

On Wednesday, August 7, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it would introduce "a single, secure portal" for the public to report "credible and relevant claims of immigration benefit fraud." USCIS will accept additional public comment on the form beginning Thursday, August 8. Individuals will be ...

DC and California Judges Weigh in on Trump Administration's Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications
July 25, 2019

As previously reported, on July 15, the Trump Administration published a new rule, Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications, which would require individuals who pass through a third party country seeking asylum in the U.S. to first apply for asylum in that third party country. The rule was met ...

USCIS Annouces Significant Changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
July 24, 2019

On Wednesday, July 24, USCIS announced significant changes that would be forthcoming for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. From USCIS, the new rule would include the following: Raising the minimum investment amounts from $1 million to $1.8 million, with an automatic adjustment for inflation every ...

Congress Holds Hearing on USCIS Processing Delays
July 18, 2019

USCIS is the agency charged with administering and providing immigration benefits to foreign nationals.  Naturalization, green cards, work authorization, H-1B visas, asylum, family-based immigration, investment visas, cultural exchange programs, foreign doctors, NAFTA professionals, victims of crimes and domestic violence, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and many ...

August 2019 Visa Bulletin
July 16, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the August 2019 Visa Bulletin. Cut-off dates remain effective for the EB-1 categories with retrogression for all locations. The Department of State stated in Section D of the August visa bulletin that due to the increased volume of adjustment of status cases filed, it ...

Citizenship Question Blocked for Now, SCOTUS Says
June 27, 2019

On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court ruled against adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The majority stated, they "cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given" by the Trump administration. The proposal to add the citizenship question, "Is this person ...

July 2019 Visa Bulletin
June 14, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the July 2019 Visa Bulletin. Cut-off dates remain effective for the EB-1 categories with no movement forward in any of the categories. The Department of State stated in Section G of the July visa bulletin that due to the increased demand, the ...

White House Uses Executive Privilege for Census Question Inquiry
June 12, 2019

“Is this person a citizen of the United States?” With the 2020 census looming and the issue of a new question on citizenship to be added, the Trump Administration is blocking Congress' access to background documents about how the new question came to be with executive ...

Kenneth Cuccinelli Named as Acting Director of USCIS
June 11, 2019

On Monday, June 10, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan announced that President Trump named Kenneth Cuccinelli II as Acting Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Mr. Cuccinelli assumed the role on the same day. While Cuccinelli has been a strong ...

Premium Processing for Remaining FY2020 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions to Begin on June 10, 2019
June 7, 2019

Update: At 3:24 pm EST on June 7, 2019, the USCIS announced that premium processing for all remaining FY2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions will begin on June 10, 2019. This commences phase two of the two-phase approach offered by USCIS in an effort to best manage premium processing ...

Cuba | Trump Administration Restricts Travel
June 5, 2019

U.S. citizens hoping to travel to Cuba now face new restrictions for their plans. On Tuesday, the Trump Administration introduced a ban on what are referred to as "people to people" trips to the island, banning many forms of educational and recreational trips. The "people to ...

Unable to Reach #Brexit Consensus, PM Theresa May Resigns
May 24, 2019

On Friday, May 24, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation saying: "I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold. The second female prime minister, but certainly not the last. I do so with no ...

Update: H-4 Visa Work Ban to be Published
May 23, 2019

After months of "will they, won't they?" speculation, the federal government has announced it will publish a long-promised rule to disallow H-4 visa holders, H-1B visa holders' spouses who are in the process of getting a green card, the right to work. H-4 visa holders have ...

USCIS Goes Digital with eProcessing
May 22, 2019

On Wednesday, May 22, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a strategic shift toward a digital business model and the introduction of eProcessing. As outlined in a press release, "eProcessing will be a complete digital experience, from applying for a benefit, to communicating with ...

President Trump Unveils New Immigration Program, Build America Visa
May 17, 2019

In an announcement Thursday, May 16, President Trump said the plan would create "a fair, modern, and lawful system of immigration for the United States." Scant on policy details and process, and met with criticism from Democrats and Republicans, the new immigration plan shifts the ...