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The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process, or if already pending, when the final step can be adjudicated.

Below is a summary of the May Visa Bulletin, including Final Action Dates. (Spoiler alert: there are no changes from April.)

Continue Reading May 2024 Visa Bulletin – Priority Dates Stuck in the Mud
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As we reported in February, US Citizenship and Immigration Services has now implemented filing fee increases the agency announced through a formal rulemaking in January.

As of April 1, 2024, US employers who sponsor nonimmigrant workers for temporary status are seeing increases of 70 to 200 percent in filing fees, with L-1 petitions at the high end of that range.  Filing fees for green card sponsorship have also risen, but by much smaller margins.

Continue Reading USCIS Filing Fee Increases Now in Effect
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The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process, or if already pending, when the final step can be adjudicated.

Below is a summary of the April Visa Bulletin, including Final Action Dates and changes from the previous month.

Continue Reading April 2024 Visa Bulletin – Most Categories Hop Forward a Month or Two
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The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process, or if already pending, when the final step can be adjudicated.

Below is a summary of the March Visa Bulletin, including Final Action Dates and changes from the previous month.

Continue Reading March 2024 Visa Bulletin – Small Gains in EB-1 India, EB-1 China, and EB-2/3 for Rest of World
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On January 31, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) published a final rule to adjust certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees, effective April 1, 2024. Employers will see significant increases on the fees they pay to submit petitions for workers and to sponsor employees for permanent residence. The agency stated that the fee increases will “…allow USCIS to recover a greater share of its operating costs and support more timely processing of new applications.” This is the first major adjustment in USCIS filing fees since 2016. Notably, the Service is implementing different fees for each type of visa classification sought on Form I‑129 nonimmigrant worker petition, replacing the uniform $460 Form I‑129 filing fee across all classifications. 

Continue Reading USCIS Announces Significant Filing Fee Increases, Effective April 1, 2024
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On January 29, 2024, the Department of State’s stateside visa pilot renewal program began accepting DS-160s for qualifying individuals seeking to renew their existing H-1B visas while they are in the United States.  As discussed in our previous blog post about this new program, the program allows individuals in the United States who are renewing an H-1B visa issued by US consular sections in Canada between 1/1/2020 and 4/1/2023 or one issued by US consular sections in India from 2/1/2021 and 9/30/2021 to do so online through the Department’s CEAC website rather than having to travel outside the US to obtain the visa. 

Continue Reading Domestic Visa Processing – Application Slots Now Available
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The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process, or if already pending, when the final step can be adjudicated.

Below is a summary of the February Visa Bulletin, including Final Action Dates and changes from the previous month.

Continue Reading February 2024 Visa Bulletin – There’s “Snow” Love for China This Month, and Only Modest Advances in Some Categories for India and Rest of World
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On December 21, the Department of State announced changes to the power consular officers have to waive personal visa interviews for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applicants. Under the new guidelines, will remain in place indefinitely, consular officers are now authorized to waive personal visa interviews for

  • First-time applications: H-2 temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers;
  • Other applications – applicants with a previously approved visa: NIV applicants applying in any other NIV category who were previously issued a nonimmigrant visa in any classification if the applicant is applying within 48 months of their most recent nonimmigrant visa’s expiration date may have their interview waived at the discretion of the consular officer, unless the only prior visa was a B visitor/business visa. 
Continue Reading Department of State Makes Changes to Visa Interview Waiver Eligibility
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This is a follow up to our prior post on Domestic Visa Processing.

The Department of State has officially released the details of the long-anticipated domestic visa processing pilot program. The pilot program will be open starting on January 29, 2024, and will accept up to 20,000 applications, with applications accepted on a rolling basis. The system is set up to release approximately 4,000 application slots each week for the first 6 weeks of the program starting Monday, January 29, 2024. Once the weekly limit is reached, the system will be locked until the next set of slots are released following next week. The system will be open until April 1, 2024, or until all application slots are used, whichever comes first.

Continue Reading Domestic Visa Processing – Now With Details
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The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process, or if already pending, when the final step can be adjudicated.

Continue Reading January 2024 Visa Bulletin – Ringing in the New Year with Advances in All Categories