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 ...

The Trump Administration to Unveil New Immigration Proposal
May 15, 2019

It is expected that President Donald Trump will introduce a new immigration proposal on Thursday, May 16 that will shift the United States' immigration system toward one that admits immigrants based on merit and not on family relationships and increases security at the southern border. The ...

June 2019 Visa Bulletin Released
May 15, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released today the June 2019 Visa Bulletin. Most notably the June 2019 sees significant retrogression in the EB-1 India category, with the institution of a cut-off date of January 1, 2015. For foreign nationals born in India, the EB-1 category has ...

Trump Administration Appoints New Deputy Director of USCIS
May 10, 2019

On Friday, May 10, the Trump administration announced that career staffer Mark Koumans would assume the role of Deputy Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Monday, May 13. Mr. Koumans replaces Tracy Renaud, who was the acting deputy director of USCIS ...

President Trump Issues Memo to Combat Nonimmigrant Visa Overstays
April 26, 2019

On Monday, April 22, President Donald Trump issued a final policy memorandum to address visa overstays. The memo outlines the Administration's commitment to border security and concern over "nonimmigrant visa overstay rates [that] are unacceptably high for nationals of certain countries." In the previous reporting ...

Biometric Entry-Exit Rule Moves to OMB
April 24, 2019

On Tuesday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received an interim-final rule that would allow Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to broadly implement a system to collect biometric data from foreign nationals traveling to and from the U.S. This new rule would allow CBP to proceed ...

Recent Trump Administration Memo Targets Nations with High Rates of Visa Overstays
April 23, 2019

Update: President Donald Trump issued a memorandum on Monday, April 22 that aims to force compliance from countries whose nationals consistently overstay valid travel and business visas. Per a 2018 report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the countries that fall into this category are mostly ...

EU and UK Leaders Agree to New Brexit Deadlines
April 12, 2019

Update: Leaders in the European Union and the United Kingdom have agreed to extend the deadline for leaving the EU. As it currently stands, there are now two possible deadlines: June 1, if Parliament doesn’t agree to participate in EU Parliament elections in late May. October 31, ...

USCIS Announces Completion of H-1B Cap Random Selection Process & Reaches Advanced Degree Exemption Cap
April 11, 2019

Update: At 6:10 pm EST on April 11, 2019, the USCIS announced that they have completed the H-1B Cap random selection process and have also determined that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption ...

USCIS Announces H-1B FY2020 Cap Met
April 6, 2019

Update: At 5:37 pm EST, the USCIS announced that they have received a sufficient number of petitions projected as needed to reach the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for fiscal year 2020. USCIS will next determine if they have received a sufficient number of ...

EU & UK Update: Brexit
April 2, 2019

On March 29, 2019, the UK Parliament once again voted against the Brexit Deal put forward by Prime Minister Theresa May. As previously negotiated, the Brexit date was automatically extended to April 12, 2019. The UK Parliament will continue to debate Deal-scenarios that can be put ...

Brexit Update: Delay approved by the EU; Three options now await a decision by Parliament
March 22, 2019

Update: On March 21, the European Union (EU) member states approved extending the deadline for the United Kingdom’s exit. There are now two possible dates, and three options available that depend on the UK Parliament's next steps. The BBC infographic below explains the current situation: If Parliament agrees ...

Update: USCIS Announces Premium Processing will be available for FY2020 CAP-Subject H-1B Petitions in a Two-Phased Approach
March 20, 2019

Update: USCIS announced earlier today that Premium Processing willbe available for FY2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions in a two-phased approach Phase 1: Starting April 1, 2019, only FY2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status can concurrently request premium processing (“Group 1”). However, premium processing for these petitions will not begin ...

Brexit Update: Outcome of Two Days of Parliamentary Debate and Voting
March 14, 2019

Update: Today, the UK’s Parliament agreed to ask the European Union (EU) for a delay in exiting the EU by a vote of 412 to 202. This followed yesterday's vote when Parliament voted to reject a no-deal Brexit. This vote did not change the date of Brexit, ...

April 2019 Visa Bulletin Released
March 14, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released today the April 2019 Visa Bulletin. The April 2019 visa bulletin sees minimal advances in the EB-1 categories for the Final Action Chart (Chart A) and continues to apply cut-off dates to these categories. The Final Action Chart for ...

Premium Processing Resumes for ALL H-1B Cases
March 12, 2019

Update: Starting Tuesday, March 12, premium processing will again be available for all H-1B petitions. This encompasses all H-1B petitions including change of employer petitions, amendments, extensions, and, as of now, H-1B FY2020 CAP petitions. More changes possible in coming weeks and months: EIG will continue to monitor H-1B ...

H-4 EAD Rule Moving Forward, But Still in Early Stages
February 27, 2019

The Proposed Rule is With the White House OMB for Review Update: On February 20, 2019, DHS submitted the H-4 EAD Rule removal to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. In the Federal Rule Making Process this is an early step (see image below) which can ...

Premium Processing Resumes for More H-1B Cases
February 16, 2019

Update: Starting Tuesday, February 19, premium processing will again be available for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018.  This includes all change of employer petitions, amendments, and extensions filed through that date. imple extensions of H-1B status without changes in employment remain eligible for Premium ...

March 2019 Visa Bulletin Released
February 15, 2019

Consistent with our observations from last month, the March 2019 visa bulletin sees minimal advances in the EB-1 categories for the Final Action Chart (Chart A) and continues to apply cut-off dates to these categories. Furthermore, as reported last month, in the Final Action Chart the ...

UPDATE - AILA Finds that USCIS Processing Times are at “Crisis Levels”
February 14, 2019

As a result of AILA’s report on long-delayed USCIS processing times, 86 Members of Congress, led by Rep. Jesús Garcia (D-Ill.), have signed a letter addressed to the USCIS Director, Francis Cissna expressing their concerns over these delays and requesting insight into any contributing factors. Specifically, they are requesting ...

CAP Order Reversed, Effective April 1, 2019
January 30, 2019

USCIS has confirmed that, effective April 1, 2019, it will reverse the order of selection for H-1B cap lottery to benefit individuals with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education.  Going forward, USCIS will pick petitions to fill the Regular Cap H-1B before running a second lottery to fill the ...

Premium Processing Resumes for FY2019 H-1B CAP Cases
January 26, 2019

Update: Starting Monday, January 28, premium processing will become available for pending FY2019 H-1B CAP cases. Premium Processing requests can be submitted for cases currently pending USCIS action. Petitioners who have received an RFE can submit a request for premium processing along with the RFE response. Simple extensions of H-1B ...