Although no official statement has been issued, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced during a call with the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Service Center Operations Liaison Committee that it expects to resume premium processing for all H-1B cases on or before October 3, 2017.   We will update this post as soon as USCIS makes an official announcement.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced today the reinstatement of premium processing for H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2018 cap.  USCIS previously reinstated premium processing for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of Conrad 30 waivers recipients and those filed by certain H-1B cap-exempt petitioners.

 USCIS expects to resume premium processing as workload permits, but previously announced a target date of October 3, 2017.

 

Today, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced the reinstatement of premium processing service for H-1B petitions filed by certain cap-exempt petitioners.  In addition to petitioners who seek to employ physicians who are recipients of Conrad 30 waivers, H-1B petitioners who meet the following criteria may now also request premium processing:

  • Institutions of higher education;
  • Nonprofits related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or
  • Nonprofit research or governmental research organizations.

USCIS also announced that premium processing will resume for H-1B petitions that may be exempt, if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization or entity.

We will update this entry as more information is available.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Trump administration two victories in connection with Executive Order No. 13780, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” commonly known as the “Travel Ban.”
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Grants Certiorari and Partially Allows Some Provisions of Executive Order No. 13780 (the “Travel Ban”)

Due to the upcoming temporary suspension of premium processing for all H-1B petitions on April 3, 2017, USCIS has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of premium processing cases it has received.  The Nebraska Service Center, which processes all H-1B extension petitions for non-cap exempt employers containing no changes to the beneficiary’s terms of employment, has announced that it will focus its resources on processing H-1B petitions in accordance with premium processing requirements.

Continue Reading USCIS’s Nebraska Service Center Announces Delays In Adjudication of H-4 and H-4 EAD Applications Concurrently Filed with Premium H-1B Petitions

The provision automatically extending some Employment Authorization Documents (“EADs”) of the much-anticipated “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimigrant Workers” regulation goes into effect today.  The regulation provides for the automatic extension of certain EADs for a period not to exceed 180 days, provided that a renewal application is:

  1. Properly filed with USCIS before the expiration date shown on the face of the expiring EAD,
  2. Based on the same employment category shown on the face of the expiring EAD, and
  3. Based on a class of aliens whose employment eligibility to apply for employment authorization continues notwithstanding expiration of the EAD and is based on an employment authorization category that does not require adjudication of an underlying application or petition before the adjudication of the renewal application.

Continue Reading New EAD Automatic Extension Regulation Effective Today, But Who Does It Benefit?

On Tuesday, December 13th, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced the upcoming release of a new version of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.  The new version, which will become available on December 22, 2016, must be used in all applications filed or postmarked on or after December 23, 2016.  USCIS will reject applications containing any earlier version of Form N-400 after that date.  We will provide an update as soon as the new form is available.

On October 24, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published a rule in the Federal Register establishing a new filing fee structure for applications and petitions processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, an agency almost entirely funded by petition and application filing fees.  In announcing the new fee structure, DHS explained that the prior fees no longer recovered the cost of services provided and that the new fee structure was necessary to fully recover costs and maintain adequate service. The new few structure increases filing fees by an average of 20%.

Continue Reading New USCIS filing fees to take effect on December 23, 2016