General Immigration News and Updates

On November 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to adjust the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigration Examinations Fee Account (IEFA) fee schedule.  The public comment period is open until December 16, 2019.

Unlike most government agencies, USCIS is fee-funded.  According to the

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced changes to student’s access to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).    Instead of allowing  students  access to their portal accounts indefinitely, in the future student’s access will be limited after their optional practical training (OPT) authorization ends.  The government will soon only allow access to the SEVP

In our continuing series of reports, Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his most recent analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories with AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association).

Below are highlights from the most recent “check-in with Charlie”

As you (should) know, the current edition of the Form I-9 expired on August 31, 2019.  USCIS has decreed that, until further notice, employers should continue using this 2017 edition of the Form I-9 (annotated with “Form I-9 07/17/17 N” in the lower left corner and “Expires 08/31/2019” in the upper right corner) until further

On Wednesday, July 24th 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a new EB-5 regulation which will go into effect November 21, 2019.  The new EB-5 regulations will effectuate a number of changes, including increasing the minimum investment amounts, revising the standards for TEA determination, allowing investors to maintain their priority dates, and clarifying

USCIS’ previous practice of adjudicating the I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, filed with a qualifying I-129 petition under Premium Processing has ended.  USCIS now requires every I-539 applicant pay a biometrics fee and an Application Support Center appointment take place to capture the applicant’s biometrics.  This has led to I-539 applications taking substantially longer

The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor jointly announced the addition of 30,000 H-2B temporary worker visas for fiscal year 2019.  These additional visas are available only to returning workers who received an H-2B visa or were granted H-2B status in the past three fiscal years.  The returning worker visas will prioritize those

In March 2019, the Social Security Administration resumed issuance of Employer Correction Request Notices, commonly referred to as “Social Security No-Match Letters.”

The No-Match Letters are being sent to businesses throughout the country that are identified as having a name and Social Security Number (SSN) combination submitted on wage and tax statement (Form W-2) that

Numerous news agencies are currently reporting on the European Union Announcement from last year  creating a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).  The United States currently uses the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and this new European Union program would be similar to the United States program.  The ETIAS is in the process