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EIG Dispatch | June 19, 2015

June 19, 2015

HIGHLIGHTS

  • UPDATE: Delays in Visa Issuance Continue
  • UK Reaches Skilled Migrant Worker Cap
  • Visa Bulletin Update from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Annual Conference

UPDATE: Delays in Visa Issuance Continue

As an update to our earlier post, the Department of State announced on Wednesday that the technological system issues affecting the issuance of visas and passports around the world are still ongoing. Although the Department has been working around the clock to solve the issue, they do not expect that it will be back up for another week.

The problem is said to originate from a hardware failure at a State Department facility on June 9, and is preventing the processing and transmission of biometric data at visa posts. As previously recommended, individuals who have not yet submitted a DS-160 application or scheduled an appointment should wait until the Department announces the problem has been resolved and the system is up and running again, if travel plans permit. For individuals who have already submitted a DS-160 or have already scheduled an appointment at the consulate, we recommend that they reschedule the appointment for a later date, if travel plans permit.  Travelers who have already attended their appointments should expect delays in the issuance of their visas and in their return to the U.S.

EIG will continue to monitor the situation and we will keep you updated.


UK Reaches Skilled Migrant Worker Cap

The British Home Office announced this week that for the first time since its inception in 2011, the cap for Tier Two non-EU national skilled workers for positions earning over £20,800 had been met. In order to qualify for a Tier Two visa, a foreign worker must have a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer, have sufficient English skills, meet funding requirements, and have a minimum of 70 points, which are allotted based on salary. The annual quota for sponsorship certificates is split into monthly allotments of 1,650 per month. In the event of a surplus, the numbers are carried over to the next month.

The Office saw an increase of applications in the month of June and with a low surplus to dispose of, they experienced their first rejection of qualified applicants due to the quota being reached. Applicants affected by this were workers with lower salaries as they are awarded the fewest points in the system. As of now, the number of rejected applications has not been released, however applicants are being warned that in the future, they should not expect approval of sponsorship certificates on the first request. It is still unknown what impact this will have on the July approvals, however a backlog should be anticipated.


Visa Bulletin Update from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Annual Conference

With the United States Department of State release of the July 2015 Visa Bulletin, attention turns to the August update for individuals waiting for their Priority Dates to become current.  The impact of the July Visa Bulletin was discussed in a previous update.

In his monthly report to representatives of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and in a presentation at the organization’s annual meeting held just outside of Washington, D.C., Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, discussed some current trends impacting the Visa Bulletin and offered some projections on the future.  Notably:

  • Worldwide EB-1 and EB-2 Categories should remain current for the foreseeable future.
  • EB-2 China category is expected to continue to move forward, though possibly not at the same rate as the last several months. From May 2015 to July 2015, the EB-2 China category advanced from June 1, 2012 to October 1, 2013.
  • Because of a surge in worldwide demand for EB-2 classification, the lack of progress in the EB-2 India category is expected to continue.

The August 2015 Visa Bulletin is expected to be released around mid-July.

EIG Attorneys attending the 2015 AILA Conference have been providing updates throughout the event. You can follow along with them for the remainder of the Conference on Twitter, @EIG_law.