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Immigration News

One of the obstacles to an easy and ready understanding of the immigration process and immigration law is the constant revision of existing rules and procedures and the introduction of new ones. Because you have far too many things going on already in your life, the last thing that you should have to take on as you are preparing to pursue a new immigration status or to maintain your existing status is keeping pace with these changes.

As part of our commitment to our clients, Austin immigration attorney, William Jang, of the Law Office of William Jang, P.L.L.C. has below gathered and will continue to gather important immigration news into a centralized resource for your use. For any questions or concerns you may have, contact us at 512-323-2333.

News Items

For Current News, Read Our Blog

06/21/2010 – H-2b Cap Count – As of 06/21/10, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received 28,488 H-2B petitions with employment dates starting in the second halve of the fiscal year.  This count includes 26,819 approved and 1,669 pending petitions.  33,000 visas are allocated for each halve of a fiscal year.

06/15/2010 – H-1b Cap Count – As of June 11, 2010, approximately 22,200 H-1B cap-subject petitions were received counting against the Fiscal Year 2010 cap of 66,000 visas. Additionally, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received 9,400 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees counting towards the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher educational exemption.

06/11/2010 – DOL updates processing time – According to the Department of Labor, Labor Certifications filed in August 2009 are currently being adjudicated if they were not audited. For Labor Certifications that were audited, the Department of Labor is processing cases filed in May 2008.

6/10/2010 – AAO ruled that Request for Evidence not Needed Prior to Denial – Administrative Appeals Office dismissed an appeal of a denial of a I-140 petition filed by another law firm where the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) did not first issue a Request for Evidence.  Request for Evidence (RFE), requesting missing evidence, is typically issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), when the US CIS adjuster feels that the evidence initially submitted with the petition is insufficient to warrant an approval.  On some occasion, US CIS adjuster will deny petitions without issuing an RFE.  Unfortunately, the Administrative Appeals Office found that “the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in its discretion may deny the petition for ineligibility or request any missing evidence.”  In light of this AAO   decision, it is very important to submit all the required evidence with the initial petition to help avoid denials.

06/10/2010 – US CIS plans to increase filing fees – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a fee increase that will amount to an average increase of 10% across the board.

Current and Proposed Immigration Fees are as follows:

Application/Petition Description Current Fees Proposed Fees
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $290 $365
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document $320 $330
I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker $320 $325
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) $455 $340
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $355 $420
I-131 Application for Travel Document $305 $360
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $475 $580
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion $585 $630
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant $375 $405
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status $930 $985
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur $1,435 $1,500
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status $300 $290
I-600/600A Orphan Petitions $670 $720
I-687 Application for Status as a Temporary Resident $710 $1,130
I-690 Application for Waiver on Grounds of Inadmissibility $185 $200
I-694 Notice of Appeal of Decision $545 $755
I-698 Application to Adjust Status From Temporary to Permanent Resident $1,370 $1,020
I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence $465 $505
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization $340 $380
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits $440 $435
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition $340 $405
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions $2,850 $3,750
Civil Surgeon Designation $0 $615
I-924 Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot
Program $0 $6,230
N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention $235 $250
N-336 Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings $605 $650
N-400 Application for Naturalization $595 $595
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes $305 $330
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document $380 $345
N-600/N-600K Naturalization Certificate Applications $460 $600
Waiver Forms (I-191, I-192, I-193, I-212, I-601, I-612) $545 $585
Immigrant Visa $0 $165
Biometric Services $80 $85

06/09/2010 – Immigration Amendment Concerning Mass Layoffs– Senators Sanders (I-VT) and Grassley (R-IA) unveiled an immigration-related amendment to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213) also known as the “tax extenders” bill. The amendment prohibits the approval of an employer petition for any visa authorizing employment in the United States unless the employer has certified to the Secretary of Labor that the employer: (1) has not provided a notice of a mass layoff during the 12-month period immediately preceding the alien’s scheduled hiring date; and (2) does not intend to provide a notice of a mass layoff. It also states that if an employer provides a notice of a mass layoff after the approval of a visa any visas approved during the most recent 12-month period for such employer shall expire 60 days after the date on which such notice is provided and shall not be subject to judicial review. The tax extenders bill is currently pending on the Senate floor and the Sanders/Grassley amendment could come up early next week.

05/27/2010 – Enforcement Only Amendments Rejected – The Senate rejected four separate enforcement only immigration amendments to the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010 (H.R. 4899).

05/25/2010 – USCIS revises Employment Authorization Document – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it has revised the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or Form I-766, to incorporate the addition of a machine-readable zone on the back of the card

05/20/210 – I-94W Eliminated –  Department of State (DOS) announced that it will no longer issue the paper arrival/departure form (Form I-94W) for non-immigrants traveling under the visa waiver program (VWP).

05/18/2010 – Arizona Law Challenged – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other civil rights groups filed lawsuit in District Court challenging Arizona’s new immigration law requiring police officers to demand documentation of legal status upon a determination of “reasonable suspicion”.

05/05/2010 – President Criticizes Arizona Law – President Barack Obama criticized the new Arizona Immigration Law   He stated “… the answer isn’t to undermine fundamental principles that define us as a nation.   We can’t start singling out people because of who they look like, or how they talk, or how they dress…”  He also stated his support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

05/14/2010 – H1b Cap Update – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions for work starting on or after October 1, 2010.  U.S. Citizenship (USCIS) announced that it has received approximately 19,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 and approximately 8,100 petitions for individuals with advanced degree counting towards the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher educational exemption.

05/12/2010 – H2B Cap Almost Reached – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) announced that it has approved 65,487 H-2B petitions and has 784 petitions still pending counted against the Fiscal Year 2010 cap of 66,000 visas.   Fiscal Year 2010 began on October 1, 2009 and ends on September 30, 2010.

5/11/2010 – New Green Card Design – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) will redesign Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).  The design is meant to be more secure and will feature technology aimed at preventing counterfeiting.  The new Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) will actually be green in color.

05/07/2010 – Border Security Enforcement Act – Senator McCain (R-AZ) introduced the Border Security Enforcement Act of 2010 (S.3332).  Among other things, the bill allows the Governor of Arizona (with consent from the Secretary of Defense) to deploy 3,000 National Guard to the Arizona border.

04/28/210 – Senators Proposes Immigration Reform – Senators Reid, Durbin, Schumer, Leahy, Feinstein, and Menendez proposed in writing “a framework of concrete bipartisan ideas” of immigration reform.  This proposals includes provisions concerning, 1) Border Enforcement, 2) Interior Enforcement, 3) Biometric Identification and Employment Verification, 4) Legal Immigration System Reform, 5) Mandatory Registration, Acceptance of Responsibility and Administrative Punishments, and 6) Reforms to Enhance Efficiency.  Among the proposed changes is a two-phase system.  Phase One requires all undocumented persons to come forward and register their presence through a rigorous process.   Upon completion of the process, they will be eligible to become “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” (LPI).   Once received, the LPI may will be authorized to work and travel.  Phase 1 will screen out criminals and public safety threats.   After eight years, phase 2 will begin.  Requirements to meet phase 2 is demonstrating citizenship skills, English language skills, continuous residence in the United States, submitting to background and security checks, payment of all taxes, fees and civil penalties, and registration for Selective Service.

In addition to the above, the proposal also allows an immediate green card to foreign students with an advanced degree from a US higher education institution in the field of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics and who have an offer of employment in a related field.

04/26/2010 – Employer Charged – A President and office manager of a staffing company located at Bensenville, Illinois was charged with unlawfully hiring illegal aliens.  If convicted, unlawfully hiring illegal aliens carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine.  In addition, the defendants’ assets may be subject to forfeiture.

04/23/2010 – Arizona Passes Controversial Immigration Law – The State of Arizona passed a controversial immigration law.  The police are required, when they have “reasonable suspicion”, that the individual may be illegally in the U.S. to question them regarding their immigration status.  It does not provide guidance as to non-racial and non-ethnic profiling methodology for determining “reasonable suspicion.”  Upon mere belief that removable (deportable) offenses were committed, the police may arrest and detain the individuals.  This is very broad since the requirement for arresting and detaining someone is “belief’.  The Arizona law criminalizes the presence of a foreign person in the U.S. without certain immigration documents in their possession.  The law also has provisions against employers who hire undocumented workers.   Legal challenges to this law are certain.

04/08/2010 – H1b Cap Update – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions for work starting on or after October 1, 2010.  U.S. Citizenship (USCIS) announced that it has received approximately 13,500 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 and approximately 5,600 petitions for individuals with advanced degree counting towards the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher educational exemption.

12/22/2009 – H1b Cap Reached – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has reached the cap for H-1B petitions for fiscal year  2010 (work starting between October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010) on December 21, 2009. Properly filed cases will be considered received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked.

12/17/2009 – H1C Expires Soon – Classification for Nurses Working in a Health Professional Shortage Area Set to Expire.  H-1C nonimmigrant category to end on Dec. 21, 2009

11/23/2009 – Law Extends Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Pilot Program – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) advises that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act of 2010, signed by the President on Oct. 28, 2009, extends, among other things, the Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Pilot Program until Sept. 30, 2012.

11/23/2009 – Law Extends Non-Minister Religious Workers Permanent Residency– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) advises that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act of 2010, signed by the President on Oct. 28, 2009, extends, among other things, the Special Immigrant Visa Category for Non-minister religious workers until Sept. 30, 2012.

10/01/2009 – New Naturalization Test Required – As of today, all naturalization applicants must take the new naturalization test, regardless when they filed their application naturalization.

08/06/2009 – H-2B Cap Reopened – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today reopened the fiscal year 2009 H-2B petition filing period and will immediately accept new H-2B petitions.  On Jan. 7, 2009, USCIS announced it accepted and approved a sufficient number of H-2B petitions to meet the mandated annual cap of 66,000.  However it turned that US CIS only issued only 40,640 H-2B visas for fiscal year 2009 to date. Therefore there are approximately 25,000 visas that may go unused. Because of the low visa issuance rate, USCIS is reopening the filing period to allow employers to file additional petitions for qualified H-2B temporary foreign nonagricultural workers.

07/21/2009 – R-1 Premium Processing – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will resume Premium Processing Services (quicker service for an additional fee of $1,000.00) for R-1 Nonimmigrant Religious Workers whose petitioners (churches) have already passed on-site inspections.

6/25/2009 – President Obama’s meeting about Immigration Reform – Today the President, Vice President, and key cabinet members met with a bipartisan group of Senate and House leaders representing the spectrum of opinion on immigration. The White House characterized the meeting as the “launch” of a policy conversation and “an honest discussion about the issues…identifying areas of agreement and areas where we still have work to do, with the hope of beginning the debate in earnest later this year.”

The President’s remarks after the meeting indicate not only his full commitment to moving immigration reform forward in the coming year, but also his desire to shift the debate from inflammatory rhetoric to genuine dialogue. “But what I’m encouraged by is that after all the overheated rhetoric and the occasional demagoguery on all sides around this issue, we’ve got a responsible set of leaders sitting around the table who want to actively get something done and not put it off until a year, two years, three years, five years from now, but to start working on this thing right now,” said President Obama.

As with other major initiatives, the President announced the formation of an immigration working group led by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Secretary Napolitano will work with members of Congress to reach solid, practical solutions.

“Today President Obama moved the ball forward on comprehensive immigration reform and changed the nature of the debate – shifting politicians from finger-pointing to problem-solving,” said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center. “The President and key leaders on both sides of the aisle, including Senator John McCain, are ready to roll up their sleeves and work on practical legislation that solves our immigration crisis. There will be
challenges, as there are in any legislative process, but the public should be reassured that we are finally moving forward in a genuine, bipartisan fashion, on a reasoned and reasonable debate on comprehensive immigration reform.”

6/19/09 H-1b Cap update. US CIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) reports cap count of 44,500. With the cap count getting closer to the H-1b cap limit, it is important to file H-1b petitions as soon as possible to avoid any potential problems due to cap issues.

6/12/09 – Order on Concurrently Filed Religious Worker Petition – On June 11, 2009, a Washington District Court ordered USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service) to begin accepting concurrently-filed I-360 special immigrant religious worker petitions and I-485 adjustment of status applications. The order also contains a notice to class members of the lawsuit.

5/29/09 – US CIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) reminds certain foreign nationals that they must obtain advance parole before traveling abroad. Advance Parole is permission to reenter the United States after traveling abroad. Individuals with pending adjustment of status applications and other certain individuals need advance parole to re-enter the United States after a trip. Applicants planning travel abroad should plan ahead since applicants can anticipate processing times of about 90 days or longer.

4/08/2009 – H-1B still available. According to the latest update from the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is still accepting H-1b cases for 2010 fiscal year (which starts on 10/1/2009) including regular and master cap cases. Therefore it appears that the H-1b cap has not yet been reached yet. Attached the update from AILA. Please note that the cap can be reached at any time without any warnings. Therefore it will prudent to file as soon as possible in order to have the best chance to meet the cap.

2/24/2009 – Premium Processing Service Expanded for Certain Form I-140 Petitions U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will expand Premium Processing Service for designated Forms I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) to include alien beneficiaries who have reached, or are reaching, their limitation of stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status. Currently, only certain alien beneficiaries who are in H-1B nonimmigrant status at the time of filing may request premium processing for Form I-140. Beginning March 2, 2009, USCIS will accept Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service)
for alien worker petitions filed on behalf of alien beneficiaries who, as of the date of filing the Form I-907:

  • Are the beneficiary of a Form I-140 petition filed in a preference category that has been designated for premium processing service;
  • Have reached the sixth-year statutory limitation of their H-1B stay, or will reach the end of their sixth year of H-1B stay within 60 days of filing;
  • Are only eligible for a further H-1B extension under section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21);
  • Are ineligible to extend their H-1B status under section 106(a) of AC21.

Section 104(c) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to three years, provided they are the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 and an immigrant visa is not immediately available. Section 106(a) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to one year, provided the Form I-140 petition or underlying labor certification has been pending for at least 365 days.

2/23/2009 – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has updated the list of SEVP approved schools.
2/23/2009 – U.S. House of Representatives Stupak and Lofgren introduced two immigration related bills in the House of Representatives. The Stupak bill would reauthorize the exemption of returning workers from the H-2B cap, and the Lofgren bill would reauthorize both the religious worker and Conrad 30 programs.
2/19/2009 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers that the applicable provisions of immigration law concerning the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (Pilot Program) will “sunset” or expire at midnight on March 6, 2009.The sunset date affects all Regional Center Proposals and certain Forms I-526, Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneurs and Forms I-485, Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, affiliated with Regional Centers relying on “indirect” job creation analysis.
2/12/2009 – 11 arrested, indicted in multi-state (H-1b) visa fraud operation U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 11 individuals in seven states Wednesday as part of an investigation into suspected visa fraud. The investigation was carried out in Iowa, California, Massachusetts, Texas, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and New Jersey. Vision Systems Group Inc., a New Jersey Domestic Profit Corporation with a branch office in Coon Rapids, Iowa, was also indicted in a 10-count federal indictment that included one count of conspiracy, eight counts of mail fraud, and one count of
‘Notice of Forfeiture’ in the amount of $7.4 million. “Today’s multi-state enforcement action is the result of an extensive, ongoing investigation into suspected H-1B visa fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy,” said U.S. Attorney Whitaker. “This case highlights the Department of Homeland Security’s commitment to identifying and dismantling visa fraud schemes,” said Homeland Security Acting Assistant Secretary for ICE John P. Torres. “Ensuring the integrity of
our nation’s legal immigration system is a top priority for ICE.”

2/11/2009 – Chinese Buffet Restaurant Owner Sentenced and Fined for Hiring Undocumented Workers U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that the former owner of a Chinese buffet restaurant was sentenced to eight months of home confinement and three years probation on charges stemming from a 9/17/08 raid on two Chinese Buffet restaurants and two homes in Northern California, which resulted in the arrest of 21 undocumented workers.

2/4/2009 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds its customers that authorization for the non-minister special immigrant religious worker program will expire on March 6, 2009.
2/3/2009 2009 Poverty Guidelines Released The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues federal poverty guidelines annually. The 2009 Poverty Guidelines are as follows: (The requirement for the affidavit of support is 125 percent of the poverty line.) 48 Contiguous States plus Washington DC

Family Size Guideline 125% of Poverty Line
1 $10,830 $13,538
2 14,570 18,213
3 18,310 22,888
4 22,050 27,563
5 25,790 32,238
6 29,530 36,913
7 33,270 41,588
8 37,010 46,263
Alaska Hawaii
Family Size Guideline 125% Guideline 125%
1 $13,530 $16,913 $12,460 $15,575
2 18,210 22,763 16,760 20,950
3 22,890 28,613 21,060 26,325
4 27,570 34,463 25,360 31,700
5 32,250 40,313 29,660 37,075
6 36,930 46,163 33,960 42,450
7 41,610 52,013 38,260 47,825
8 46,290 57,863 42,560 53,200

01/08/2009 H-2B Cap Reached. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of Fiscal Year 2009 (FY2009).
12/18/2008 New H-2B Rule. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has submitted to the Federal Register a Final Rule that will change the requirements affecting H-2B beneficiaries and their employers. Key areas of reform covered in the Final Rule include:

  • Allowing H-2B petitioners to specify only the number of positions sought and not name the individual aliens except where an intended alien beneficiary is already present in the United States; or where an alien is from a country not eligible for participation in the H-2B program;
  • Reducing from six months to three months the time an H-2B worker who has spent three years in the United States must reside and be physically present outside the United States before he or she is eligible to re-obtain H-2B status;
  • Reducing the period of time spent outside the United States that interrupts accrual towards the 3-year maximum period of stay in H-2B status;
  • Prohibiting H-2B employers and recruiters from imposing certain fees on prospective H-2B workers as a condition of securing employment;
  • Requiring an approved temporary labor certification in connection with all H-2B petitions;
  • Beginning with petitions filed for workers for Fiscal Year 2010, prohibiting H-2B petitioners from requesting an employment start date on the Form I-129, “Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker,” that is different than the date of need stated on the approved temporary labor certification;
  • Amending the definition of “temporary services or labor” to allow U.S. employers and eligible foreign workers the maximum flexibility to complete projects that could be for a specific one-time need of up to 3 years without demonstrating extraordinary circumstances;
  • Requiring employers to notify USCIS when H-2B workers fail to show up for work, complete the work more than 30 days early, are terminated, or abscond from the worksite;
  • Permitting the approval of H-2B petitions only for nationals of certain countries designated as participating countries by the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, and appearing on a list to be published annually in the Federal Register. The initial list of participating countries designated as important to the operation of the program and to be published simultaneously with this Final Rule, includes Mexico, Jamaica, and 26
    others. DHS may allow on a case-by-case basis a worker from a country not on the list to be eligible for the H-2B program if such participation is in the U.S. interest;
  • Delegating to the Department of Labor the statutory authority to impose certain administrative remedies and/or penalties where a substantial failure to meet any of the conditions of the H-2B petition or a willful misrepresentations of a material fact in such petition is found; and
  • Establishing a land-border exit system pilot program, which requires H-2B workers admitted through a port of entry participating in the pilot program to also depart through a participating port and to present designated biographic and/or biometric information upon departure. This final rule will become effective 30 days after it is posted in the Federal Register.

12/12/2008 Less Documents Acceptable to Verify Employment Eligibility. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has submitted to the Federal Register an interim final rule that will “streamline” the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process. The interim final rule narrows the list of acceptable identity documents and further specifies that expired documents are not considered acceptable forms of identification.

12/12/2008 Employment Authorization Documents Extended for Nationals of El Salvador Six-Month Extension for Eligible Temporary Protected Status Beneficiaries

12/08/2008 USCIS Publishes New Rule for Nonimmigrant Victims of Human Trafficking and Specified Criminal Activity. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today an interim final rule that will allow “T” and “U” nonimmigrants to adjust their status and become lawful
permanent residents. The interim final rule implements the provisions of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, and will take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

11/26/2008 President Bush signed the Special Immigrant Nonminister Religious Worker Program Act, Public Law 110-391.

  • This legislation granted a six-month extension of the two special immigrant categories for nonministers that expired on October 1, 2008. These two categories now expire on March 6, 2009.
  • Although this legislation was enacted on October 10, 2008, it does not become effective until the Secretary of Homeland Security publishes final regulations eliminating or reducing fraud, issues a certification to Congress, and publishes a notice in the Federal Register that such regulations have been issued and are in effect.
  • Now that the regulations are published and effective, USCIS has resumed the acceptance and processing of nonminister special immigrant religious worker petitions.

11/25/2008 Leaders in Both Parties Agree Immigration Reform is a Must Pass Priority. According to the Immigration Policy Center (An Immigration Advocacy Group) Democrat and Republican leaders “indicated that comprehensive immigration reform is a legislative priority for the 111th Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reassured the public that Congress will “move forward” and pass immigration reform legislation. Meanwhile, the
renowned Republican strategist Karl Rove included immigration reform as part of a roadmap for the future survival of the GOP. “Republicans must find a way to support secure borders, a guest-worker program and comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens citizenship, grows our economy and keeps America a welcoming nation,” said Rove.”

11/14/2008 ESTA required for Waiver Travel. Individuals planning to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), from soon to be eligible countries, should note that they must first obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the United States under the VWP. ESTA is located here: www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/

11/12/2008 The U.S. Department of Education today launched U.S.A. Learns, a free Web site to help immigrants learn English. The Web site, which is located at www.USALearns.org, provides approximately 11 million adults who have low levels of English proficiency with easily accessible and free English language training.

11/10/2008 Korea signs treaty. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the signing of an agreement with the Republic of Korea on information sharing to combat crime and prevent criminal and terrorist travel. The agreement is a step towards Korea’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program.

10/31/2008 Sheriff can check Immigration Records. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enables Harris County, Texas Sheriff’s Office to check a detainee’s fingerprints against the IDENT system which holds immigration records, as part of the routine booking process. See the ICE announcement. More Sheriffs’ offices are expected to obtain access to the IDENT.

10/27/2008 Department of Labor (DOL) releases statics for the PERM (Labor Certification) applications received in the 2008 fiscal year (Oct. 2007 to Sep. 2008). Of the 90,039 cases received, 49,205 were certified (approved). See attached DOL Statistics 2008.

10/23/2008 SEVIS fee will increase. SEVIS fee (which all foreign students applying for F, M or J status, must pay) will increase effective on October 27, 2008, as follows: F (Academic Student) and M (Vocational Student) – $200.00, and J (full time exchange visitor) – $180.00.

10/09/2008 New Driver’s License Requirement. Immigrants must now prove they are in the United States legally to obtain new driver’s licenses and identification cards, which will indicate their status, under new Texas Department of Public Safety rules. As of October 1, 2008 applicants who are not US Citizens must present valid immigration documents before they are issued a card. After documents are verified, an applicant will be issued a license with the cardholder’s photo positioned vertically instead of horizontally. “Temporary Visitor” will be written on the card, and the date that the holder’s temporary status expires will be printed on its face, according to the department. In the past, people applying for a driver’s license or identification card were required to show documentation to establish identity, not legal status. The new rules also require applicants to provide proof that their status has been
updated or extended before they are issued a duplicate or renewal card. People whose legal status in the country is limited to six months or less will not be able to get licenses or ID cards. The new guidelines were approved by the Texas Public Safety Commission in late August and went into effect this month.

09/27/2008 Congress Passes Religious Worker extension but we still await President’s Signature. On April 14, 2008, the US House of Representatives passed legislation extending the religious worker program through March 6, 2009. On September 27, 08, the US Senate also passed an extension through March 6, 2009. The bills now await the President’s signature.

09/19/2008 The non-minister special immigrant religious worker program will expire on Oct. 1, 2008. Individuals applying to serve in the two non-minister categories of the program must either adjust status to permanent residence or apply for, and be admitted with, an immigrant visa before Oct. 1, 2008. The expiration date also applies to the accompanying spouses and children of these workers. Special immigrant religious workers entering the United States solely to carry on the vocation of a minister of a religious denomination are not impacted by the expiration date.

07/30/2008 H-2B Cap Reached. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced July 30, 2008 that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of Fiscal Year 2009 (FY2009). USCIS is hereby notifying the public that July 29, 2008 is the “final receipt date” for new H-2B worker petitions requesting employment start dates prior to April 1, 2009. The “final receipt date” is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of 33,000 H-2B workers for the first half of FY2009. USCIS will reject petitions for new H-2B workers seeking employment start dates prior to April 1, 2009 that arrive after July 29, 2008.

07/24/2008 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a revised list of vaccines required for applicants
seeking to adjust status to become legal permanent residents. The new Requirements require the following age-appropriate additional
vaccinations to adjust status to legal permanent resident

  • Rotavirus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Meningococcal
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Zoster

The requirements for these new vaccines went into effect on July 1, 2008, however CDC approved a 30-day grace period for any medical exam conducted before August 1, 2008. At that time the new vaccinations, if appropriate, must be administered in order for USCIS to approve the applicant for adjustment of status.

7/9/2008 No premium processing for R-1. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the suspension of premium processing service for religious worker (R-1) nonimmigrant visa petitions will continue at least until January 7, 2009. A previous six-month suspension was announced on January 4, 2008.

7/08/2008 Biometrics needed for Re-entry and refugee travel. US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) now requires applicants for re-entry permits and refugee travel documents that are ages 14 through 79 o provide requires biometrics (fingerprint) before departing from the United States. Applicants also are strongly encouraged to apply, whenever possible, well in advance of their anticipated travel dates to allow time to attend their fingerprint appointment. Applicants must also pay an additional $80.00 biometrics fee or submit a waiver showing inability to pay.

6/13/08. UPDATE ON H-1B. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center Operations has provided the following information regarding processing cases under the FY2009 H-1B cap. Except for cases that were being reviewed as potential duplicate filings, all receipts have been issued for those cases selected in the random lottery. USCIS has determined that the number of petitions selected during the random selection process will be sufficient to meet the cap limit. Therefore, the use of the reserve/cushion will not be necessary this year. USCIS has begun to mail out rejections this week.

6/13/08 – New Security Measure for VWP. An Interim Final Rule has been published that gives foreign travelers from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) an option to register 72 hours before traveling to the US. Currently travelers under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must fill out an I-94W and officer at the port of entry determines whether the traveler is eligible under the VWP.

6/13/2008 – EB3 will be unavailable soon. Effective July 1, 2008, the Employment Based Third Preference Category (EB3) will become unavailable until October 1, 2008. This means that starting on July 1, 2008, Adjustment of Status application for individuals in the Employment Based Third Preference Category (EB3) will no longer be accepted. If you are in this category and have a priority date that is current, it is important to file for Adjustment
of Status in June 2008.

6/13/2008 – Two Years EAD for some. Employment Authorization Documents extensions may be granted for two years for individuals who have an adjustment of Status Application that’s pending but the immigrant visa number is not currently available.

06/11/2008 – Premium Processing Available for some I-140 Petitions. US Citizenship and Immigration Services will accept beginning on June 16, 2008, Premium Processing on Form I-140 (Employment Based Permanent Residence Petition for principal beneficiaries:

  • Whose sixth year will end within 60 days;
  • Who are only eligible for a further extension of H-1B nonimmigrant status under section 104(c) of AC21; and
  • Who are ineligible to extend their H-1B status under section 106(a) of AC21.

Section 104(c) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to three years, provided they are the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 and an immigrant visa is not immediately available. Section 106(a) of AC21 permits applicants to extend their stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status in increments of up to one year, provided the Form I-140 petition or underlying labor certification has been pending for at least 365 days.

05/24/08 — Proposal to Extend TN Status. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a rule entitled Period of Admission and Stay for Canadian and Mexican Citizens Engaged in Professional Business Activities – TN Nonimmigrants that would change the period of status from one year to three years.

05/18/08 — Employment Based Concurrent Filing May End. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may end concurrent filing of the I-140 and I-485 when the priority dates are current for employment-based applications. At this time it is just a proposal. But if passed, company petitioners must first obtain approval for the I-140 petition before the principal beneficiary and his/her family can apply for Adjustment of Status. This could significantly delay processing of Employment Based Permanent Resident (Green Card) applications.

5/10/08 — OPT Extended to 29 Months for Certain Degrees. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an interim final rule that allow certain students to extend their post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) period from 12 to 29 months. The extension provisions apply to students with designated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) degrees. The following is a list of STEM degrees.

05/06/08 — Aged out Individuals given more rights. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) today issued guidance that will modify its earlier interpretation of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) which permits applicants for certain immigration benefits to retain classification as a child even if he or she has reached the age of 21.The guidance, effective today, changes how USCIS interprets the applicability of the CSPA to aliens who had aged out prior to the enactment of the CSPA on August 6, 2002.

05/01/08 — New Medical Exam Form. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) has issued a new Form I-693 Medical
Examination Form which is needed in all green card applications. Prior Versions are no longer accepted. Although the Doctors performing the medical examinations for immigration purposes should have been notified of the new form, it may be safer to take a print out of the new form just in case.

04/30/08 — Department of Homeland Security signs Visa Waiver Program Agreement with South Korea. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff signed today a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan. The security enhancements outlined in the agreement puts Korea on the path toward visa-free travel to the U.S., and potential designation as a VWP member as early as later this year.

04/15/2008 – NEWS ON H-1B CAP. US. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted the H-1b lottery yesterday. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also announced that nearly 163,000 H-1B petitions were received including more than 31,200 master cap cases. Selected cases should receive a receipt notice dated no later than June 2, 2008. For cases selected through the random selection process and initially filed for premium processing, the 15-day premium processing period began yesterday (April 14), the day of the random selection process. US CIS will also select some cases to be placed on a “wait-list” just in case some of the selected cases are denied. USCIS will send a letter to the wait list petitioners to inform them of their status. All other cases will be returned with the filing fees.

04/08/2008 — H-1 B Cap Reached. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the mandated cap for fiscal year 2009 for both regular and master caps. However, USCIS has not yet determined when it will conduct the random selection process. Please see attached notice for more details.

04/04/2008 – Visa Waiver Program with Slovakia, Hungary and Lithuania. The Department of Homeland Security signed agreements with Slovakia, Hungary and Lithuania regarding security measures that will put these countries on track for visa free travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). On March 12, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security signed similar agreements with Estonia and Latvia. Potentially these countries may be added later this year to the list of countries that already qualify under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Citizens of the following
countries can already travel to the United States without a visa under the Visa Wavier Program for up to 90 days: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These individuals cannot change or extend their status.

04/04/2008 – Rule Proposed to Extend OPT. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) submitted an interim final rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on March 31, 2008 that would extend the period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for eligible students in F-1 status by 17 months. Currently this is just a proposal and is NOT effective. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must approve the interim final rule before it becomes effective.

3/18/08 – H-1b Rules Announced. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announces an Interim Rule on H-1B Visas which prohibits multiple filing by an employer for the same employee and modifies the lottery selection process by applying a random selection process among all H-1B petitions received during first five business days (April 1 to April 5, 2008) if the cap is reached within those first five days.

03/15/08 – US Attorney General announces higher civil penalties for employers that violate immigration law.

03/11/08 – Pending Immigration Bills. According to the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA): “On Wednesday, March 12 at 10:00am the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law will mark up pending immigration and visa bills, including:

  • H.R. 5571 – A bill to extend for five years the program relating to waiver of the foreign country residence requirement with respect to international medical graduates.
  • H.R. 5569 – A bill to extend for five years the EB-5 regional center pilot program.
  • H.R. 5570 – A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the sunset in the special immigrant non minister religious worker visa program.
  • H.R. 4080 – A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a separate nonimmigrant classification for fashion models.
  • H.R. 5060 – A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow athletes admitted as nonimmigrants described in section 101(a)(15)(P) of such act to renew their period of authorized admission in five-year increments.”

In addition, some members of the House of Representatives will attempt to force a floor vote on a enforcement only bill called SAVE ACT (HR 4088). Please help appose this bill.

03/01/08 – At a time when comprehensive immigration reform is urgently needed, Congress is considering a misguided enforcement only bill called SAVE ACT (HR 4088). According to the immigrantslist.org the SAVE Act, if inacted will do the following:
“Require approximately six million employers to verify the work status of more than 130 million workers within four years using a system that has an error rate of almost 10%;Cause 2.5 million people a year to be misidentified as unauthorized for employment because of errors in the SSA database; Make it easier for the government to put religious and humanitarian workers behind bars for so-called “alien smuggling; and Waste millions of tax-payer dollars on enforcement,
detention and deportation programs that have been tried for the last twenty years and failed to end unauthorized immigration.” Go to www.immigrantslist.org to help stop this misguided bill.

02/28/08 — Security Check FAQ. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) issues an FAQ regarding security checks. It says among other things: “USCIS is aware of approximately 47,000 applications for permanent residence (I-485) cases that are otherwise approvable but have an FBI name check pending. A portion of these cases are both outside normal processing times and have an FBI name check that has been pending for more than 180 days. These cases will be subject to processing under the new policy. USCIS anticipates the majority of the cases that can now be adjudicated will be processed by mid-March 2008”

02/22/08– Update on Security Check Delays. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) requests individuals, who have been waiting a long time for security checks to clear, to wait some more (at least until April 30, 2008). Many individuals who have been enduring long delays to get their green cards due to security and background checks that have been pending for a long time (sometimes for years) finally got some good news earlier this month. As noted below, on February 4, 2008, USCIS issued a memorandum stating that adjustment of status (green card) applications that are otherwise approvable will be approved after 180 days after security and background checks have been pending even if the results have not come back. US Citizenship and Immigration Services claims that it is conducting sweeps of the adjustment of status applications for cases that fall into this category and will either approve them or when needed request additional documents to update the file. Therefore US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is requesting that inquiries into eligible cases wait until after April 30, 2008.

02/22/08 – Under a pilot program (temporary trial program) US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Texas Service Center will assign one adjuster to work on all of the applications in a concurrently filed adjustment case. This means that one adjuster will adjudicate concurrently filed: adjustment of status application, the permanent resident petition, employment authorization application, and advance parole (travel authorization) application. It is hoped that this will eliminate duplication in work and therefore speed up the processing time.

02/22/08 – Delays in Naturalization. US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has warned that Naturalization (Citizenship) applications filed since July 30, 2007 may take up to three times longer than normal. The stated reason for this delay is the high volume of Naturalization applications that were filed right before the US Citizenship and Immigration Service’s filing fees increased in July 30, 2007. Hopefully this is just a temporary
situation and normal processing time will resume shortly.

02/16/08 – E-Verify Fact Sheet. US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) provides a Fact Sheet on E-Verify, the system that employers can voluntarily use to verify the eligibility of an individual to legally work in the US.

02/16/08 – News On Biometrics. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) consolidates Biometrics Appointment Letter into one notice for adjustment of status applicants based on employment based immigration petitions.

02/15/08 – Visa Bulletin Moves Forward. The Visa Bulletin issued by Department of Labor for March 2008 shows significant forward movement in the EB3 categories as it refers to “woldwide.” The Visa Bulletin is available here.

02/09/08 – Time to file H-1b (specialty occupation) visa and status petitions for the next fiscal year is rapidly approaching. April 1, 2008 will be the first date that an application will be accepted by US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and it will also likely be the last date. In order to apply on time, everything must be ready to file prior to April 1, 2008. Therefore, if anyone is thinking about filing for H-1b status/visa petitions, please
contact our office as soon as practicable.

02/06/08 – New H-2a Rules. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor propose new rules regarding H-2a visas (temporary/seasonal workers).
02/05/08 – Employment Authorization Procedure Changed. US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) modifies procedure regarding renewal of employment authorization documents (EAD). Specifically, renewal applications must be filed no earlier than 120 days from the date the EAD expires. USCIS Notice.

02/04/08 – News on Security Check Delays. USCIS issues a memorandum changing its policy regarding security and background checks. After 180 days, some applications may be approved even if security and background checks are still pending. A copy of the memorandum is here.

01/30/08 – H-1b Filing Instruction. US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announces centralized filing location for H-1b Cap Exempt Petitions.

01/28/08 – Military Naturalization. US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) reissues the Fact Sheet: Naturalization Through Military Service

01/04/08 – No Premium Processing for R-1. US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) extends suspension of Premium Processing Service for Religious Workers (R-1) Nonimmigrant Visa Classification.

01/03/08 – H-2b Cap Reached. US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) reaches H-2B Cap for Second Half of Fiscal Year 2008.

2007 News and Information

12/13/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that comment period closed for Proposed Rule to Replace Permanent Resident Cards Without Expiration Date.

11/23/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) reminds employers to Transition to New Employment Eligibility Verification Form by Dec. 26, 2007.

11/09/07 – H-2a applications must now be filed in the California Service Center.

11/07/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) revises Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. Fact Sheet is available here.

11/01/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) streamlines readmissions for Certain H and L Nonimmigrants with Pending Permanent Residence Applications. Fact Sheet is available here.

10/24/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service issues a Fact Sheet: Naturalization Through Military Service.

10/17/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announces Centralized Filing Location for the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Program.

10/01/07 – Update: USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for First Half of FY 2008.

09/27/07 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Redesigned Naturalization Test. The new Naturalization test is scheduled to be given on Naturalization Interviews conducted on or after October 1, 2008.

09/25/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service issues a Fact Sheet on E-Verify, the voluntary employee’s eligibility to work in US verification system. Photo Screening Tool for E-Verify Program is launched.

09/05/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service issues a Fact Sheet: regarding U Nonimmigrant Status, a visa available for certain victims of crime.

8/22/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service proposes to require renewal of Permanent Resident Cards without expiration date.

08/02/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Urges H-2B Employers to Continue to Identify “Returning Workers” on Petitions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Start Dates.

07/30/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) significantly increases its filing fees.

07/24/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announces Extension of Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing Service for Form I-140 Immigrant Alien Petitions.

07/15/07 – USCIS reverses its prior announcement and agrees to accept employment based petitions that are current according to the visa bulletin initially issued for July 2007. These petitions will be accepted until August 15, 2007.

07/13/07 – A new Department of Labor regulation prohibits substitution of an alien beneficiary on any application for permanent labor certification after July 16, 2007.

07/11/07 – California Service Center Now Issuing Delayed Form I-797 Approval Notices.

07/02/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announces that the visa bulletin has been revised and that the USCIS will reject employment based petitions that are not current according to the “revised” visa bulletin.

06/27/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing Service for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. .

06/26/07 – California Service Center (CSC) Experiencing System Delays.

06/21/07 Participation in the District Office Rapid Adjudication (DORA) Pilot Program which used to be mandatory in the Dallas, El Paso, and Oklahoma City areas, is now optional.

06/18/07 US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) continues temporary suspension of Premium Processing Service for Religious Workers (R-1) Nonimmigrant Visa Classification.

05/31/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) warns about fraud. While the Senate is debating new immigration reform, it is not law yet and there no guarantee that it may ever be law.

05/24/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) institutes new policy to effectuate new rule that prohibits substitution of beneficiary of a Labor Certification and that requires that the I-140 must be filed within 180 days of the labor certification approval.

05/17/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) terminates Premium Processing Service for Form I-140 Requesting Labor Certification Substitution.

05/11/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is still issuing Receipts for H-1B Cap Cases.

05/04/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has reached the cap for H-1B petitions for workers who have earned a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution for the fiscal year 2008 (FY 2008).

04/24/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposes new Rule for Special Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Religious Workers.

04/24/07 – testimony of USCIS Deputy Director Scharfen at a hearing regarding “Problems in the Current Employment Verification and Worksite Enforcement System”

04/23/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) updates on the count of Fiscal Year 2008 U.S.-Earned Masters Degree H-1B Cap Filings

04/19/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) proposes revisions for Religious Worker Visa Classifications.

04/13/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) runs random selection process for H-1Bs.

04/12/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) changes procedure regarding response time for responding to Request For Evidence.

04/11/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) now allows O and P visa/status petitions to be filed up to one year in advance.

04/10/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) updates count for Fiscal Year 2008 H-1B Cap Filings

04/09/07 – Fact Sheet: USCIS Imposes Conditions on Availability of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Subject to the FY
2008 Cap.

04/05/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Releases Preliminary Number of FY 2008 H-1B Cap Filings.

04/03/07 – As Expected US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reaches FY 2008 H-1B Cap because more H-1B cases were filed than the cap allows. Among those received on April 2, 2007 and April 3, 2007, a lottery will be held to determine which cases will be accepted.

03/27/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Gonzalez testifies on Immigration Reform and the Temporary Worker Program

03/26/07 — Consular Offices Abroad Resume Accepting Family Based Immigrant Petition (Green Card) I-130 Petitions.

03/23/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Reaches H-2B Cap for Second Half of Fiscal Year 2007.

02/28/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives an update regarding New Biometrics Process for Conditional Permanent Residents.

02/20/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announces that it will only request FBI to expedite FBI Name Check on cases that meet limited criteria.02/20/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announces that it will only request FBI to expedite FBI Name Check on cases that meet limited criteria.

02/16/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that it will stop issuing genetic Requests for Evidence for Special Immigrant Religious Workers (Form I-360). Hopefully it will keep it’s promise and will also stop issuing generic RFE in other cases.

02/15/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) redesigns the reentry permit.

01/31/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning to increase filing fees.

01/22/07 – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is going to change the naturalization test. As part of this process US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin a pilot (test) program in ten District Offices, including San Antonio.

01/12/07 – You can now notify US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of your change of address online. The address to do so is http://www.uscis.gov/AR-11.

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