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EIG Dispatch | April 22, 2016

April 22, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New Legal Requirements and Procedures for Foreign Nationals in Bangalore, India
  • USCIS to Temporarily Suspend Use of Pre-Paid Mailers for Select H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions
  • U.S. Consulate in Toronto to Restrict Third-Country National Visa Processing During Summer
  • Special Immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: Employment-Based EB-4 Visa Limits Reached

New Legal Requirements and Procedures for Foreign Nationals in Bangalore, India

Bangalore implemented new procedures for foreign nationals to more effectively track immigration status and prevent unlawful overstays. Under the new procedures, police officials are authorized to visit or summon any foreign national, at any given time, for immigration status verification.

In addition, all foreign nationals must now complete and file the Annexe to Order Form, a new tenant verification form, with the local police department within 15 days of arrival in Bangalore. With the Form, foreign nationals must also include a copy of their passport, visa, residential permit, and a passport-sized photo.

For compliance purposes, employers must ensure that their foreign national employees in Bangalore adhere to the new requirements and procedures.


USCIS to Temporarily Suspend Use of Pre-Paid Mailers for Select H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

Due to resource limitations, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be using regular mail for two weeks after Premium processing resumes on H-1B cap-subject petitions.  USCIS expects to continue assessing Premium Processing petitions in a timely manner during this change.

USCIS announced it will start processing H-1B cap-subject petitions submitted with Premium Processing on May 16, 2016.  After two weeks, USCIS will begin using the pre-paid mailers that were included by petitioners.  Petitioners can find more information about the H-1B Cap process and sign up for H-1B Cap Season email updates here.


U.S. Consulate in Toronto to Restrict Third-Country National Visa Processing During Summer

Between June and August, the U.S. Consulate in Toronto is expected to limit nonimmigrant visa appointments for third-country national Toronto residents while fully suspending visa appointments for third-country nationals who are not residents of Toronto.  Canadian applicants and third-country nationals who have already scheduled visa appointments will not be affected.

EIG recommends that third-country nationals seeking to renew their nonimmigrant visas this summer in Canada schedule appointments early at other Canadian consulates while appointment slots are still available.


Special Immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: Employment-Based EB-4 Visa Limits Reached

A final action date of January 1, 2010 for employment-based fourth preference (EB-4) visas for special immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras was published in the May 2016 Visa Bulletin.  For fiscal year 2016, the congressionally mandated limit for EB-4 visa holders for these three countries was reached.

Starting in May 2016, individuals from these countries will not be able to adjust status or obtain an immigrant visa until new visas are available for applicants who submitted the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant on or after January 1, 2010.  However, petitioners may continue to file Form I-360 as there is no annual limit on how many forms USCIS may approve.

USCIS will accept Form I-485 submissions until April 30, 2016 for:

  • Form I-360 filed before January 1, 2010: USCIS will process and make a decision on the Form I-485 submission.
  • Pending Form I-360 filed on or after January 1, 2010: USCIS will make a decision on the Form I-485 submission, but will withhold approvals until there are available EB-4 visas under the category.

If filed after April 30, 2016, USCIS will only make a decision on the Form I-485 if 1) the Form I-360 was filed before January 1, 2010, and 2) the Form is ultimately approved. Form I-485s that were not considered by USCIS based on the preceding criteria will be returned.

The U.S. Department of State will release information regarding EB-4 visa availability for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for fiscal year 2017 in their October Visa Bulletin later this year.