THE OH LAW
Oh Attorney Blog
The Oh Law Firm and its Lawyers are not responsible for reliance
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03/25/2017: Proposed Reform of EAD That Automatically Issues
SSN by Social Security Administration Without Separate Application
- DHS proposes to amend the Form I-765 to implement
the USCIS, the Department of State (DoS), and the Social Security
Administration (SSA) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) currently
in place, which covers the process in which USCIS issues Social
Security number (SSN) cards in an automated manner (i.e., individual
does not have to visit a Social Security office) to immigrants
through a process called Enumeration at Entry (EAE). EAE is a
joint effort between DoS, USCIS, and SSA. As part of the DoS
immigrant visa application process, immigrants outside the U.S.
have the option to apply for an SSN card at the same time they
apply for an immigrant visa. Once DoS approves their visa application
and DHS admits them into the U.S. for permanent residence, SSA
automatically issues the SSN card. USCIS will electronically
transmit to SSA enumeration data for resident aliens with employment
authorization who request a SSN or replacement Social Security
card. This process will allow USCIS benefit seekers to request
a SSN or SSN replacement card as part of the USCIS benefit process.
This MOU applies only to resident aliens with employment authorization.
Sounds too good to be true? We will see how soon this will be
- The MOU complies with the "One DHS"
policy for sharing data internally among different departments
of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The functions formerly
performed by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) are
presently performed by USCIS, Customs and Border Protection (CBP),
and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
03/24/2017: FY 2018 H-1B Cap Season and This Site's Limited
Update News Report for Immigration Stakeholders
- The Oh Law Firm specializes in employment-based
immigration practice and the ongoing H-1B cap season for FY 2018
ties us with the works for H-1B employers and professional high
skilled foreign workers. For the reasons, our report will be
substantially limited until the first week of April. Currently
there are no important policy or practice development with the
immigration stakeholder government agencies in the areas of employment-based
immigration law. Ths site will keep reporting during the period,
should any important development take place during the period.
Thank you for your patience.
03/21/2017: USCIS Announces on 03/20/2017 Launch of EB-5
Regional Center Compliance Audit Program
- USCIS announces the launch of an EB-5 Regional
Center Compliance Audit Program. Regional center compliance audits
are an additional way to enhance program integrity and verify
information in regional center applications and annual certifications.
These audits will verify compliance with applicable laws and
authorities to ensure continued eligibility for the regional
center designation. The audit team will reviews applications,
certifications, associated records, and information on the regional
center; verifies supporting documents, submitted with the application(s)
and in the annual certification(s); conducts site inspections;
and interviews personnel to confirm the information provided
with the application(s) and annual certification(s). Please read
the full details.
03/18/2017: H-1B Cap Lottery Program Survives Challenge
in Federal Court in Portland, Oregon and the Lottery
Program to Continue
- Report by the plaintiffs' counsel reports
that yesterday, the federal court denied motion for stay of FY-2018 cap lottery
process and the plaintffs failed in the litigation. Plaintiffs
have 30 days to appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Plaintiffs' efforts to protect small employers
and higher learning institutes from large employers failed.
03/18/2017: Non-Profit Law Group in Minnesota Fearlessly
Fighting for the Rights of Immigrants in the Challenging Times
of the Nation
- The Immigrant
Law Center of Minnesota, under the leadership of Attorney John Keller, has been dedicating itself for decades to fearlessly
fight for types of immigrants who were most vulnerable and left
helpless for their legal rights under the Constitution of the
United States. The following two latest reports speak for itself
as to the recognition which they deserve. Pioneer Press and MinnPost.
03/18/2017: DOJ Reportedly Plans to Re-Assign Temporarily
Large Number of Immigration Court Judges to 12 Cities to Expedite
Removal of Undocumented Aliens with Criminal Records
- The cities include:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- New Orleans
- San Francisco
- Bloomington (Minnesota)
- El Paso (Texas)
- Harlingen (Texas)
- Imperial (California)
- Omaha (Nebraska), and
- Phoenix (Arizona).
- Under the Executive Order, those undocumented
immigrants who are just being charged instead of conviction are
subject to the expedited removal.
03/16/2017: I-485 Filing Charts in April 2017
- Family-Sponsored 485 Filings:Use the Dates for Filing Chart for Family-Sponsored Visa Applications
chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for April 2017.
- Employment-Based Preference Filings: Use the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for April
03/16/2017: USCIS Reaches the H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017
- USCIS announces that it has received a sufficient
number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H 2B
cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. March 13, 2017 was the final receipt
date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start
date before October 1, 2017.
03/16/2017: 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Denied En Banc Review Request, Sustaining Three-Judge
Panel Decision 03/15/2017
- Accordingly, the Trump Administration's challege
to federal district court's TRO against the first Travel Ban
Executive Order firmly failed and the TRO remains on a solid
03/16/2017: "Immigration Benefits Vetting: Examining
Critical Weaknesses in USCIS Systems" - DHS IG Report and USCIS Acting Diretor House Written Testimony
- Critical record management issues.
03/16/2017: Another Temporary Restraining Ordeer Issued
by Federal District Court in Maryland
- Another federal district court in Maryland
also handed down TRO yesterday against the Second Travel Ban
Executive Order, according to CNN report.
03/16/2017: Temporary Restraining Order Issued by Federal
District Court in Hawaii against the Second Travel Ban Executive
reports that just before the second travel ban was scheduled
to take effect and implemented, the federal court in Hawaii issued
yesterday a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to block the second
travel ban executive order "nation-wide." Accordingly,
implementation of this new travel ban executive order is halted
pending the fight by the Trump Administration against the court
03/15/2017: USCIS Has Just Released FY-2018 H-1B Cap Season Announcement
03/15/2017: USCIS Written Testimony Before Senate Judiciary
Committee on "Vows for Visas: Investigating K-1 Fiance Fraud"
- Three leaders of the USCIS jointly submitted
this testimony: (1) USCIS Field Operations Directorate Associate
Director Daniel Renaud, (2) USCIS Service Center Operations Directorate
Associate Director Donald Neufeld, and (3) USCIS Fraud Detection
& National Security Associate Director Matt Emrich, which
is released today. Wow, they must have dected a huge problem
of fraud with K-1 fiance visa petitions and visa applications!
03/15/2017: EB-485 Inventory Data Update as of January
- The data do not include pending cases in
local field offices. The data include only Service Center cases.
Since the numbers in the local offices are indeed negilible when
it comes to EB-485 applications that are required to be filed
with the Service Centers, the released data should give some
clue for predication of EB-visa number available in the future
for filing of new EB-485 applications.
03/15/2017: Executive Order to Reorganize the Executive
Branch of the Federal Government
- This Executive Order was issued on 03/13/2017
with an order to submit the reorganization plans in 180 days
from the date. It is interesting to see how the immigration stakeholder
agencies would be reorganied in the future.
03/14/2017: USCIS Processing Times Report Update 03/14/2017
- Hmm....... USCIS is updating the processing
times report several times this month. Not much change, but nothing
to complain about it. Please keep going!
03/14/2017: USCIS Alert of Posting Wrong Form for I-765 on its Form
- USCIS issued an alert that
over the past day, Form
I-765V was posted in place of Form I-765, on the I-765 webpage. If you are filing Form I-765, please
confirm you have downloaded the correct Form I-765.
03/14/2017: President's Memorandum of "Immediate Heightened Screening
and Vetting of Applications for Visas and Other Immigration Benefits"
& Concern with its Impact on Processing Times for Petitions
- This memorandum was issued on 03/06/2017,
Monday, and directed to the Secretaries of DHS, DOS, and DOJ.
Coincidentally or not, USCIS released its notice on Friday, 03.03/2017,
that it would totally suspend the Premium Processing Services
for H-1B Petitions effective 04/03/2017 (FY 2018 H-1B Cap Season)
for upto six months. One wonders how implementation of the President's
memorandum will affect the processing times for immigration proceedings
for the DOS (visa posts), DHS/USCIS, and DOJ/EOIR/Immigration
Courts, etc. Something to watch carefully hereon.
- It is about the time for the stakeholder
agencies to open dialogues with the immigration stakeholder groups
as well as immigration consumers to initiate a democratic process
at the level of Departments and agencies other than the White
House. It is extremely important that the government seeks views,
opinions, and feedbacks from the public and consumers of their
services openly and actively to keep the democratic process of
policy making and management of government business on behalf
of the people.
03/10/2017: OFLC Withdraws Controversial PERM FAQ Round 14
- OFLC has releases its announcment today that
in light of stakeholder input, which the Office of Foreign Labor
Certification (OFLC) is considering, OFLC has temporarily removed
from its website PERM FAQ Round 14 regarding Actual Minimum Requirements,
originally published on March 6, 2017. OFLC will clarify and
republish PERM FAQ Round 14 to provide additional information
on its applicability to PERM applications and associated prevailing
wage requests and determinations. The FAQ intended to deny PERM
application if there was unquantified experience requiement in
H-14 of the form. This FAQ caused uproar among immigration stakeholders,
including the AILA.
03/10/2017: EB-5 Regional Center Investment Immigration
Reform Rule of January 2017 Receives Support from House Judiciary
- One of the last rule-making agenda of the
Obama Administration, this reform proposed rule was published
in the federal register, raising the required investment amounts
sky high. Here is the proposed rule: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program.
Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte
of Virginia reports that the Committee heard from U.S.
Senators Grassley and Leahy, as well as experts in the EB-5 and
immigration fields. Most of the witnesses agreed that the investor
visa program is very troubled and that the Department of Homeland
Security's proposed regulations are a valuable first step that
would curtail abuse and bolster job creation and economic growth
in rural and distressed areas of the United States.
- There are strong oppositions from the stakeholders
to this reform rule, but the rule of the DHS is likely to move
ahead and enacted into a final rule. Interestingly, this will
be one of a few rules of the mid-right rules of the President
Obama that would survive and receive support from the Trump Administration.
03/10/2017: PERM Prevailing Wage Determination and PERM
Application Processing Times as of 03/03/2017
- PERM Processing Times:
- Analyst Review (clean cases): 12/2016 filing
cases (72 days)
- Audit cases: 07/2016 filing cases (239 days)
- Prevailing Wage Determination Processing
Times for PERM Program:
- 11/2016 (as of February 2017, it took 120 days!)
03/10/2017: Trump Hired and Filled
More Than 400 Important Positions for Agencies That do
not Require Senate Confirmations
- ProPublica reports
list of people whom Trump hired and placed without publicity
and the number appears to be more than 400 important federal
agency positions that do not require Congressional confirmation.
This list represents Trump administration hires primarily made
between January 20 and January 30, 2017, during about 10 days
from the date of his sworn into the Presidency on January 20,
2017. There are quite a number of these new high level of officials
who have been working within the immigration stakeholder agencies
and other agencies. Their specific
posts within the Departments have yet to be disclosed. Obviously,
these officials have been influencing the operation of these
agencies "at the working level" instead of Cabinet
level. Interesting to find out what those influences have been
or will be for the immigration program operations. The American
Immigration Lawyers Association may want to find it out to help
the members and stakeholders to prepare themselves for forthcoming
changes with the operation of the immigration stakeholder agencies.
03/09/2017: April Visa Bulletin Released
- India EB-2 more or less stand still in both
final action and filing date charts.
- EB-1 remain open for all countries.
- RAPID MOVEMENT IN WORLDWIDE FB-4: Despite the forward movement
of the final action dates, the level of demand and resulting
number use in several Family preferences has been below expectations.
This lower than expected demand has resulted in advancement of
the April Worldwide Family Fourth Preference date at a pace that
covers the period of several months projected in the March Visa
Bulletins Visa Availability in the Coming Months.
This action will allow the overall desired allocation level of
number use for and through April to be met. There are signs that
demand in the other categories will increase in the coming months,
resulting in the higher monthly allocation totals required to
allow number use to reach those desired levels. The Fourth Preference
date will then be held for a period of time while the anticipated
monthly allocation levels in those other preferences increase,
without drastically altering overall workload patterns.
- SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF 2 EB CATEGORIES:
- EB-4 Certain Religious Workers (SR): Pursuant to the continuing resolution signed on December
10, 2016, the non-minister special immigrant program expires
on April 28, 2017. No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final
action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight April
27, 2017. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued
with a validity date of April 27, 2017, and all individuals seeking
admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted
(repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight April
27, 2017. The final action date for this category has been listed
as Current for April for all countries except El
Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, which are subject
to a July 15, 2015 final action date for April. If there is no
legislative action extending this category for FY-2017, the final
action date would immediately become Unavailable
for April for all countries effective April 28, 2017.
- EB-5 Categories (I5 and R5): The continuing resolution signed on December 10,
2016 extended this immigrant investor pilot program until April
28, 2017. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business
on April 28, 2017, and may be issued for the full validity period.
No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken
on adjustment of status cases, after April 28, 2017. The final
action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as
Current for April for all countries except China-mainland
born, which is subject to a May 22, 2014 final action date. If
there is no legislative action extending them for FY-2017, the
final action dates would immediately become Unavailable
for April for all countries effective April 29, 2017.
03/09/2017: Motion for Preliminary Injunction Filed on 03/08/2017
Against FY 2018 H-1B Cap Random Selection in the H-1B
Cap Litigation in the Federal District Court in Oregon
- Yesterday, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for prelimination injunction in the
federal district court by the plaintiffs in the H-1B cap lawsuit
to block the USCIS from selecting H-1B cap cases by computer
random selection which is scheduled in the FY 2018 cap season
that starts with April 1, 2017. Should the court grant this motion,
the USCIS will be prohibited from selectiing H-1B cap cases by
computer random selection in the way it has done for the past
- The federal district court in Oregon has
taken a time to hand down its decision after the arguments were
completed for unknown reasons, making the USCIS and H-1B employers
nervous facing the H-1B cap season in the next four weeks.
03/09/2017: Washington State Attorney General Seeks Court's
Affirmation that Curreent TRO Applies also to the New Travel Ban
- As we reported earlier, Trump Administration
moved for voluntary dismissal of appeal before the 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals and the Appeal Court granted and dismissed
the appeal contesting the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) of
the Federal District Court in Seattle against the first Travel
Ban Executive Order. Guess what! The Attorney General of the
State of Washington went back to the federal district court on
Tuesday and reportedly sought the court order that the
TRO will also apply to the new Travel Ban Executive Order. What
do you know!?
03/09/2017: CW-1 Visa Cap Season for FY-2018 Opens on 04/03/2017
- The USCIS has just released an announcement
that effective 04/03/2017, USCIS will begin accepting CW-1 petitions
subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2018 cap. Employers in the Commonwealth
of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) use the CW-1 program to
employ foreign workers who are otherwise ineligible to work under
other nonimmigrant worker categories. The cap for CW-1 visas
for FY 2018 has not been set, but it is required to be less than
the FY 2017 cap, which is currently set at 12,998. Remember to
submit all required documentation, including evidence that you
posted the job vacancy announcement on the Department of Labor
website. Important reminder: As of Dec. 23, 2016, the new filing
fee for a CW-1 petition is $460. A petitioning CNMI employer
must also pay the required education fee for each requested CW-1
worker. Go to the Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant
Transitional Worker page to see the current fee amounts. You
must include the correct fee or we will reject and return your
form. Employers must submit the latest version of Form I-129CW,
which has an edition date of 12/23/16.
03/09/2017: USCIS Updates Processing Times Report on 03/08/2017
- H-1B processing times are as follows:
||Change of Status
03/08/2017: The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal Dismissed the Appeal Today on Government's
Voluntary Motion to Dismiss
- The government filed a motion for voluntary
dismissal of the appeal of the federal district court's TRO against
the earlier Travel Ban Executive Order the President and without
objection the appeal is ordered dismissed today by the three-panel
judges of the appeals court.
03/08/2017: USCIS to Change I-612 J-1 2-Year Foreign Residence
Requirement Waiver Application Form
- This form is used to seek waiver of the 2-year
foreign residence requirement, which serves very important for
those who are in a J-1 nonimmigrant visa and subject to the two-year
foreign residence requirement. The USCIS has already published
its notice but will extend the comment period for additional
- What changes are they making? Please read
the revisions (type in USCIS-2008-0012-0038
03/07/2017: State Department Announcement on New Executive
Order and Visa Processing
03/06/2017: New Executive Order Signed Today with Different
Title: "Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign
Terrorist Entry Into The United States"
- 90-day travel banned 6 countries:
- Not banned nationals of the 6 countries:
- Permanent Residents
- Dual Nationals
03/06/2017: New Travel Ban Executive Order Scheduled Release
Today Will Substantially Trim Down from Earlier Travel Ban Executive
- Read the following Fact Sheet and Q&A:
- Fact Sheet
of the New Travel Ban Executive Order
on Protection from Foreign Terrorist Entry
- Source: justsecurity.org
03/04/2017: Another Travel Ban Executive
Order Reportedly be Signed Monday 03/06/2017
- There has been delay with release of a new
Executive Order, but reports indicate that President Trump is
likely to sign the new Travel Ban Executive Order banning travelers
from certain Middle Eastern and African countries. Please stay
03/03/2017: Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS to Suspend Temporarily Premium Processing for
All H-1B Petitions
- The USCIS announces that this suspension
may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended,
petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for
Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a
Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification.
The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.
USCIS will notify the public before resuming premium processing
for H-1B petitions.
- USCIS will continue to premium process Form
I-129 H-1B petitions if the petitioner properly filed an associated
Form I-907 before April 3, 2017.
I-693 Form and Alert for Civil Surgeons Performing Medical
Examination for Immigration Applicants
- USCIS updated I-693 form. Beginning April
28, 2017, civil surgeons must use the 02/07/17 edition Form I-693
(which shows an expiration date of 02/28/2019 at the top right
corner of page 1). USCIS will not accept any previous editions
(with an expiration date of 03/31/2017 or earlier) that a civil
surgeon signed and dated on or after April 28, 2017.
03/03/2017: Bi-Partisan H.R. 1303
"H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act"
Introduced in the House on 03/02/2017
- A bill with the identical name, S. 180 bill, has been pending in the
Senate which was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick
Durbin. Now, on the House side, a similar bi-partisan bill was
introduced yesterday, sponsored by Re. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey
and co-sponsored by Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia, Rep. Ro Khanna
of California, and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona. H.R. 1303 is a
companion bill to the pending S. 180. These bills have similarity
on two fronts. One is both of these bills propose to eliminate
current H-1B cap lottery selection system and the other is to
tighten up the requirements allegedly to eliminate abuse of these
visa programs by certain large employers. For the summary of
H.R. 1303, please click here (summary).
- When it comes to elimination of H-1B visa
lottery program, a federal lawsuit has been pending in Portland,
Oregon and immigration stakeholders have been patiently waiting
for the decision of the court for over two months by now. The
legislative bills indicate that the current H-1B lottery system
helps large consulting firms to abuse the H-1B visa program.
The court has been delaying with the decision for unknown reasons,
despite drop-out of two major plaintiffs lately, but it may not
take too long before the court hands down the decision sooner
03/03/2017: Automatic Extension of EAD for El Salvadorans in TPS
- DHS extended TPS for El Salvadorans on 07/06/2016
until March 9, 2018 and granted EAD until 03/09/2017. DHS has
decided to automatically extend the EAD that expires on 03/09/2017
until September 9, 2017.
03/01/2017: President Trump's Point-Based Immigration Reform
- Question of "How Far"
- Yesterday, the President touched on his support
for comprehensive immigration reform focusing on "Point-System."
Indeed, as we reported on February 15, 2017, Senator Tom Cotton
from Arkansas introduced RAISE Act bill, S. 354,
in the Senate on February 13, 2017. This bill advocates such
reform based on point system. Question remains in what context
such reform is advocated: (1) More or less, a filter for entire
immigration system or (2) filter for employment-based immigration
system only or (3) if filter for employment-based immigration,
how far and to what level such filer will restrict new immigrants
in the future. Advocates for the point-system of immigration
reform are premised on two absolute political platforms:
The first and absolute overall goal is to "contain"
or "restrict" the total number of new immigrants. The
second goal is to restrict such limited number of new
immigrants to "the best quality" immigrants, albeit
not necessarily to the level of "Einsteins." For the
foregoing reasons, the advocates of point system of immigration
reform advocates abandonment of the traditional value of family
unification and diversity in immigration and restricting or eliminating
unskilled or low-skilled immigrants. "AMERICA BEST"
political platform all right.
02/28/2017: President Trump May Surprise Immigration Community
in This Evening's Address in the Congress
- Today, the President had a lunch with 18
media people and reportedly expressed his support for bi-partisan
Compehensive Immigration Reform legislation. Additionally, he
would even consider saving millions of undocumented immigrants,
including DACA dreamers without any criminal issues. This is
consistent with our report, while discussing RAISE bill, that
President Trump would support comprehensive immigration reform
legislation. Should this happen, President Trump may come close
to Republican Senators John MaCaine and Linsey Graham. two leading
Republican sponsors of the previous Comprehensive Immigration
Reform Bill which the Senate passed and the House failed to pass
it. Since these two leading Republican Senators are scheduled
to have a CNN special interview tomorrow, immigrant community
may want to watch these two events closely to see whether a CIR
may work to mend politically between these two Republican Senators
and the President Trump, leading to active comprehensive immigration
reform move ahead sooner or later.
02/28/2017: USCIS Processing Times Update 02/28/2017
- H-1B Processing Tiems are as follows:
||Change of Status
02/28/2017: USCIS Alert of New Updated Edition Forms
- USCIS has been revising immigration forms
frequently and stakeholders should always check with the form
sites to assure that the forms they use are up-to-date.
new edition dated 02/27/17. Starting 04/28/17, USCIS will only accept the 02/27/17 edition. (Until
then, you can use the 12/23/16 edition.)
- I-130 new edition dated 02/27/17. Starting 04/28/17, USCIS
will only accept the 02/27/17 edition. (Until then, you can use
the 12/23/16 edition). Now also available, new Form I-130A, Supplemental
Information for Spouse Beneficiary.
- I-693 new edition dated 02/07/17. Starting 04/28/17, USCIS
will only accept the 02/07/17 edition. (Until then, you can use
the 03/30/15 edition.)
- N-600 new edition dated 02/13/17. Starting 04/28/17, USCIS
will only accept the 02/13/17 edition. (Until then, you can use
the 12/23/16 edition.)
- N-600K new edition dated 02/13/17. Starting 04/28/17, USCIS
will only accept the 02/13/17 edition. (Until then, you can use
the 12/23/16 edition.)
- Please visit form update site.
02/27/2017: Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Denied Trump
Administration's Motion to Stay
- Today, the Trump Administration's motion
to hold this appeal in abeyance was denied.
02/25/2017: The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Fights
Not Over Yet for the Current Travel Ban Executive Order
- There was really a weird and shocking
event developed yesterday, 02/24/2017.
Since the decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to hold
the En Banc review of the decision at the request of the U.S.
Department of Justice that upon release of new Executive Order,
the Trump Administration would withdraw the current Travel Ban
Executive Order, there has been delayed with release of a new
Executive Order. Besides, unlike the Department of Justice's
motion for stay that the Tramp Administration would withdraw
the current Travel Order, allegedly President Trump and his press
secretary declared that the Trump Administration would continue
the court fight in parallel with the issuance of the new Executive
- On Friday, 02/24/2017, the Justice Department filed another Motion to
stay all the appeal proceeding without confirming that the Trump
Administration would withdraw the Travel Ban Executive Order
when the new Executive Order is released.
- State of Washington then immediately
filed its counter motion to deny such motion with the argument that as described above, the Trump
Administration allegedly released statements that it would pursue
two actions in parallel, one continue to fight the 9th Circuit
litigation and the orther, release of new Executive Order, side
by side. For the reasons, State of Washington requested the appeals
court to proceed with its decision and rule on the pending litigation.
- Wow, what is going on?
02/24/2017: USCIS Reissuing Receipt Notices to Certain EAD
Renewal Applicants Who Filed the Applications Between 07/21/2016
- USCIS announces today that starting February 16,
2017, USCIS began reissuing receipt notices (Form I-797) to individuals
who applied to renew their Employment Authorization Document
(EAD) between July 21, 2016 and January 16, 2017, and whose applications
remain pending in the following categories:
" (a)(3) Refugee
" (a)(5) Asylee
" (a)(7) N-8 or N-9
" (a)(8) Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau
" (a)(10) Withholding of deportation or removal granted
" (c)(8) Asylum application pending
" (c)(9) Pending adjustment of status under section 245
of the Immigration and Nationality Act
" (c)(10) Suspension of deportation applicants (filed before
April 1, 1997), cancellation of removal applicants, and special
rule cancellation of removal applicants under NACARA
" (c)(16) Creation of record (Adjustment based on continuous
residence since January 1, 1972)
" (c)(20) Section 210 Legalization (pending Form I-700)
" (c)(22) Section 245A Legalization (pending Form I-687)
" (c)(24) LIFE Legalization
" (c)(31) VAWA self-petitioners
- On January 17, 2017, USCIS began automatically extending expiring EADs
for up to 180 days for renewal applicants in these categories.
However, some of the receipt notices that USCIS sent out before
that date did not contain the applicant's EAD eligibility category.
Therefore, the reissued receipt notices will contain:
" The applicant's EAD eligibility category;
" The receipt date, which is the date USCIS received the
EAD renewal application and which employers must use to determine
whether the automatic EAD extension applies;
" The notice date, which is the date USCIS reissued the
receipt notice; and
" New information about the 180-day EAD extension.
- Applicants may present the reissued receipt
notice with their expired EAD to their employer as a List A document
for the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to show
that they are authorized for employment.
Applicants with an EAD based on Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
who filed their EAD renewal applications before January 17, 2017,
already received a 6-month extension through the Federal Register
notice that extended their country's TPS designation. Therefore,
these applicants will not receive a reissued receipt notice.
Please visit the Temporary Protected Status page for current
information on each TPS designation. All renewal applicants who
file Form I-765 applications on or after January 17, 2017, including
TPS renewal applicants, will be receiving Form I-797 receipt
notices that contain eligibility category information and information
about the 180-day EAD extension.
- Applicants with an EAD based on Temporary
Protected Status (TPS) who filed their EAD renewal applications
before January 17, 2017, already received a 6-month
extension through the Federal Register notice that extended their
country's TPS designation. Therefore, these applicants will not
receive a reissued receipt notice. Please visit the Temporary
Protected Status page for current information on each TPS designation.
All renewal applicants who file Form I-765 applications on or
after January 17, 2017, including TPS renewal applicants, will
be receiving Form I-797 receipt notices that contain eligibility
category information and information about the 180-day EAD extension.
02/24/2017: Here is the Copy of Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing
the Regulatory Reform Agenda
02/24/2017: President Trump Signed at Noon an Executive
Order on Regulatory Reform and Another Travel Ban Executive Order
to be Signed Next Week
- The copy has yet to be made available, but
reportedly it orders the regulatory review team review during
the next 90 days to determine which rules should be repealed.
It thus appears that pending the review, most of the Obama Administration's
rules may remain in effect if the final rule was enacted and
the rules which have yet to be completed into the final fules
may remain on hold pending such review and determination. However,
some of them could be repealed by passing the pending legislation
which was introduced by Rep. Issa of California. Accordingly,
the Obama Administration rules are under attacks by the Trump
Administration on one hand and the Republican Congress on the
other. This is a very difficult time for the stakeholders of
Obama Administration rules, particularly in immigration areas.
Added to these threats are pending litigations in the federal
courts, particularly the Appeals Court in the D.C. brought by
right-wing groups against foreign workers, even though their
winning chances may be dubious. One is STEM OPT rule and the
other is H-4 EAD rule, both of which are part of the Obama Executive
Immigration Reform programs. By the time, the Appeals Courts
hand down their decision, the Supreme Court of the United States
will be turned into 5:4 pro-Republican tribunal, and the right-wings
may consider appealing the decision, should they fail in the
lower courts. There will be however some peace of mind for these
stakeholders in that such litigations will take time. However,
these programs may also face some challenges in the Conservative
- Another Travel Ban Executive Rule was scheduled
to be signed and released this week, but report indicates that
it will not be signed and released until next week. Currently,
pending release of this Travel Ban Executive Order, the 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals remained on hold for its decision as to
whether the three-judge panel decision of the appeals court should
be reviewed En Banc (full court) at the request of the U.S. Department
02/24/2017: ICE SEVP Reminder for the Schools - Complete
the SEVIS Annual Verification Process by March 2, 2017
02/22/2017: STEM OPT Rule Appeal Court Hearing Scheduled
- STEM OPT community knows that the district
court ruled against the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers.
Then this labor union appealed the decision before the U.S. Court
of Appeals in the DC District, Washington Alliance of Technology
Workers v. DHS, Case 16-5235. The Appeals Court schedules a hearing
on April 20, 2017. Trump adivisors were threatening repeal of
entire OPT program, not just STEM OPT. At the legislative level,
Senator Ted Cruz has been advocating repeal of OPT program as
- It is interesting that the appeal for H-4
EAD rule decision of the district court was scheduled in early
next mongh of March 2017, but at the request of the Trump Administration
briefing scheduled, this has been postponed, earning a little
bit of more time for H-4 EAD community to learn the decision
of the Appeals Court.
02/22/2017: USCIS Releases FY 2015 Characteristics of H-1B Workers
02/21/2017: H-1B Processing Times in the Corrected USCIS
Processing Times Report Released Today
||Change of Status
02/21/2017: USCIS Releases Processing Times Report with Corrections 02/21/2017
02/21/2017: DHS Secretary Officially Releases His Two
Leaked Memorandums, Adding Factsheet!
- Acccordingly, these two Memorandums of the
DHS Secretary are no longer unofficial and they are now official.
These two Memorandums are thus implemented! Beware!
02/20/2017: CRS Frequentely Asked Questions About the DACA
and DAPA Deferred Action Initiatives
- The future of these two programs have yet
to be determined by the President with some anticipation that
the programs may survive with some restrictions. The leaked DHS
Secretary Memorandum on the Interior Enforcement gives some clue
as to what would be the restrictions for these programs.
02/18/2017: Leaked Two Memorandums of 02/17/2017 of the
DHS Secretary to Implement the President's Two Executive Orders:
One for Interior Enforcement and the Other for Border Security
- McClatchy DC Bureau,s exclusive report indicates that the DHS Secretary's
first Memorandum is to implement President's
Executive Order entitled "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the
United States," dated January 25, 2017, and the second Memorandum is to implement President's
Executive Order entitled "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,"
daed January 25, 2017. Both Memorandums are signed by the DHS
Secretary, but the report indicates that the White House has
yet to clear these memoranda and at this point, it is not clear
whether the Secretary will be able to release these two memoranda
with or without changes or not be able to release it at all in
the event the President fails to give his blessing. We may be
able to find it out probably next week.
- These memoranda intend to abolish a lot of
Obama's executive orders and memoranda on these two issues and
extemely expand the power of immigration enforcement inside the
border and at the border. Interestingly, at one point, it gives
an impression that the far reaching immigration enforcement in
these memoranda will not include DACA Dreamers and their parents,
but the report indicates that they are not exempt from immigration
enforcement in certain circumstances.
- These two Executive Orders and two leaked
Secretary Memorandums are not related to the Travel Ban Executive
Order as revised. The latter will be released when we return
to work after the Presidents' Day holiday.
02/18/2017: H-4 EAD Litigation
Oral Arguments before the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Pushed
Off Beyond March 31, 2017
- The Appeals Court initially scheduled the
arguments at March 31, 2017, but due to the motion of the DHS
to give time to file the briefs by April 2, 2017, the scheduled
March 31, 2017 hearing appears to be rescheduled to a later date.
We will post the new argument date as soon as we get the information.
Please stay tuned.
- In the time time, the H-4 EAD stakeholders
may review the Opening Brief which was filed by the Appellant,
SAVE Jobs USA in January 2017.
02/18/2017: USCIS Processing Times Update Report of 02/17/2017
Will Blow Off Your Heads!
- USCIS updated the processing times reports
yesterday, 02/17/2017. For all the Service Centers, and for all
the forms, the processing date is same: July 28/2016. What is
going on?!?! It blows off my head.
- USCIS should fix the problem as soon as possible
so that I could put together pieces of my head. It could be a
02/18/2017: CRS Reports & Analysis of ICE Officers'
to Apprehand and Remove Aliens and Legal Issue of Federal
Government to Restrict Federal Grants to 'Sanctuary Jurisdictions'
- Currently Trump Administration is using these
tools to crack down certain immigrants in any kind of criminal
proceedings or undocumented immigrants using the tool of arrest
and removal and the tool penalizing local entities to protect
certain undocumented aliens by declaring Sancturary Justriction
and refuse enforce the federal immigration enforcement functions
by the local law enforcement authorities. These two CRS reports
and analysis materials will give good information, not only to
the lawyers, but also to general public to understand the ongoing
immigration enforcement fights between the Trump Administration
and undocumented or removal immigrant communities.
02/17/2017: DHS/CBP Proposes to Revise EVUS Rule
- The CBP published its proposed revision with
60-day comment period to make the following changes to the existing
EVUS (Electronic Visa Update System) which was enacted at the
last moment of the Obama Administration. There was a speculation
one time that this rule may be repealed by the Trump Administration,
but apparently the Trump Administration wishes to keep this EVUS
system which currently involves Chinese travelers.
"DHS proposes to add the following optional
question to EVUS: Please enter information associated with
your online presence Provider/Platform Social media
identifier. A social media identifier is any name, or handle,
used by the individual on one or more platforms. The optional
social media question on the EVUS enrollment will include a drop
down menu of options for selection. This data will be used for
vetting purposes, as needed, providing highly trained CBP officers
with timely visibility into publicly available information on
the platforms associated with the social media identifier(s)
voluntarily provided by the applicant, along with other information
and tools CBP officers regularly use in the performance of their
duties. The officer will review said platforms in a manner consistent
with the privacy settings the applicant has chosen to adopt for
those platforms. It will also help distinguish between individuals
with similar characteristics, such as similar names, and provide
an additional means to contact an applicant if needed. Respondents
who choose not to answer this question can still submit an EVUS
enrollment without a negative interpretation or inference. The
question will be
clearly marked as optional."
- The estimate number of the EVUS users are
02/17/2017: 9th Circuit Appeals Court Accepted the Government
Request and Issued an Order of Stay of En Banc Reconsideration
- Therefore, there will be no En Banc reconsideration
of the three-judge panel's decision. When the government issues
and notifies new Executive Order with withdrawal of the Travel
Ban Executive Order at issue before the court, the Court is also
likely to vacate the three-judge panel decision since there will
be no longer the Executive Order that was the issue before the
court. It is uncertain whether the State of Washington and the
State of Minnesota intend to bring similar motion for Temporary
Restraining Order against the new Executive Order that will be
released early next week. Pending the development, there may
be a short period of time during when the Executive Order would
be in place and implemented potentially affecting some travelers,
depending on the details of the new Executive Order. Travelers
are advised to complete their travel to the United States before
this new Executive Order is released. One thing certain is that
this new Executive Order may not restrict travel for dual nationals
and permanent residents. Apparently, a smart strategy of the
new Attorney General Jeff Sessions worked! Please stay tuned.
02/16/2017: Justice Department Filed Today 61-Page Supplemental Brief on En Banc Consideration
Before 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Travel Ban Executive
- Today, on 02/16/2017, the Department of Justice
filed a long brief seeking an order that stuns the nation. Rather
than supporting the En Banc reconsideration which the 9th Circuit
Court of Apepals is about to vote, the Justice Department in
this brief opposes En Banc Reconsideration for the reasons that
such En Banc reconsideration will delay the resolution of the
appeal. Thus Justice Department requested the 9th Circuit Appeals
Court to hold the decision on En Banc reconsideration until after
the President issues another Executive Order that would remove
some of the constitutional and legal issues. The Justice Department
then requests that once the new Executive Order is released by
the President, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacate the
three-judge panels preliminary decision sustaining the
lower court's Temporary Restraining Order.
- Wow! Here is the text citation of the relevant
portion of the today's brief of the Justice Department:
"In short, the panels opinion
readily meets the normal standards for rehearing en banc. Nevertheless,
the United States does not seek en banc review of the merits
of the panels ruling. Rather than continuing this litigation,
the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order
and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order
to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional
concerns. Cf. Op. 24 (declining to narrow the district courts
overbroad injunction because [t]he political branches are
far better equipped to make appropriate distinctions).
In so doing, the President will clear the way for immediately
protecting the country rather than pursuing further, potentially
time-consuming litigation. Under the unusual circumstances presented
hereincluding the extraordinarily expedited proceedings
and limited briefing to the panel, the complexity and constitutional
magnitude of the issues, the Courts sua sponte
consideration of rehearing en banc, and respect for the Presidents
constitutional responsibilitiesthe government respectfully
submits that the most appropriate course would be for the Court
to hold its consideration of the case until the President issues
the new Order and then vacate the panels preliminary decision.
To facilitate that disposition,the government will notify the
Court of the new Order as soon as it is issued."
- President announced in today's press conference
that the new Executive Order will be released early next week.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!
02/16/2017: Another Turmoil Anticipated with Anticipated
Release of Another Travel Ban Executive Order Right After Presidents'
Day Holiday Weekend
- Reports indicate that the White House team
has been working on the draft of another travel ban Executive
Order. This time around, unlike earlier experience that involved
only Stephen Miller in the White House, reportedly the Attorney
General Jeff Sessions and DHS Secretary John Kelly are participating
in the drafting process. Obviously, there will be another battle
before federal courts, but pending another rounds of Temporary
Restraining Orders or Preliminary Injunctions issued by the courts,
certain foreign travelers may have to encouter turmoils at the
ports of entry or American visa posts overseas.
- As for the 9th Circuit Appeals Court litigation,
we reported that the lower court, U.S. District Court for Washington,
Seattle initiated the Preliminary Injunction process ordering
the parties to submit briefs for or against the Injunction, but
reportedly this proceeding has been on hold, pending the decision
of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals at two different levels:
One is the En Banc full court rehearing of the three-judge decision
or three judge's decision on the merits of the appeal against
Temporary Restraining Order of the federal district court in
Seattle. For the reasons, the legal fight in the West Coast will
remain with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for awhile.
- It will be really interesting to learn in
what way suspension of current travel ban Executive Order will
interface with the upcoming new travel ban Executive Order from
the perspective of the involved foreign travelers.
02/15/2017: USCIS Releases I-485 Filing Charts for March 2017
- New filing of family-based I-485 application
will use "Filing Date" Chart of the March 2017 Visa
Bulletin. New filing of employment-based I-485 must use "Final
Action Date" Chart of March 2017 Visa Bulletin.
02/15/2017: Sen. Tom Cotton Officially Introduced RAISE Act Bill, S.
354, in the Senate on February 13, 2017
- This bill has taken for a while to be introduced
on the U.S. Senate floor after a wild-fire controversy in the
media. This bill goes too extreme far right, and chance for this
bill being passed in the Congress is considered slim even during
the Republican Congress and the White House. Instead, reports
indicate that President Trump is encouraging the Republican Senate
to work on a bill similar to Gang of Eight Comprehensive Immigration
Reform bill which the Senate passed but the House failed to pass.
The Gang of Eight Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill focused
on Border Security as priority task, followed by reform of current
immigration system to reduce and restrict the total immigration
by restricting family immigration system and adopting point-based
employment-based immigration system. As we reported early, the
Republican Congress and White House are likely to pick up comprehensive
immigration reform legislation to deal with the mid-term national
election in November 2018. The RAISE Act bill more or less focuses
on the overall similar reform direction and guidelines, but too
drastic far right direction against current immigration system,
family-based immigration, and even employment-based immigration
02/14/2017: USCIS Updates on 02/13/2017 Handbook for Employers:
for Completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
- Human Resources Offices of employers hiring
foreign workers should not miss this guidance for I-9 completition,
including so-called I-140 EAD rules.
02/14/2017: USCIS Releases New EAD Application Form, I-765V, for Abused
- This new form takes effect on January 19,
2017. Please check the edition date at the bottom of the page
on the Form
02/14/2017: USCIS Releases Historical Records of Average Processing Times
During Three Fiscal Years of 2014, 2015, and 2016
- This records reveal interesting trend of
types of petitions or applications that were winners or losers
in the processing times. For instance, I-129 has notoriously
deteriorated in the average processing times throughout the USCIS
offices. These records should give an important data for the
USCIS leadership to readjust allocation of resources among different
petitions and applications to keep a balance from time to time.
02/14/2017: H-1B Cap Lottery Lawsuit in the Federal Court
and Plaintiffs' Legal Counsel Advisory on This
Year's H-1B Cap Filing [Correction]
- Report indicates that the Plaintiffs, Tenrec,
Inc. filed a motion for voluntary dismissal by two plaintiffs,
Tenrec, Inc., and Sergii Sinienok, last week, which the judge
granted yesterday. Readers may recall that this lawsuit was filed
in June 2016, seeking removal of H-1B cap computer random selection
process and to select the H-1B cap petitions in the order of
receipt. However, apparently the lawsuit is still pending, and
the Plaintiffs' legal counsel released an advisory for this year's
H-B cap filers.
02/12/2017: DHS Secretary John Kelly
Statement on Recent ICE Enforcement Actions
- It states that last week, ICE launched a
series of targeted enforcement operations across the country.
These operations targeted public safety threats, such as convicted
criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who
have violated our nations immigration laws, including those
who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and
immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration
judges.ICE officers in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San
Antonio and New York City areas of responsibility arrested more
than 680 individuals who pose a threat to public safety, border
security or the integrity of our nations immigration system.
Of those arrested, approximately 75% were criminal aliens, convicted
of crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated
sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious
acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking,
battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges. For additional information,
please read the full text of the statement. Attachment to the statement shows details of arrests
by location, numbers, reasons for arrest, etc.
- Thank you, Mr. Secretary,
for sharing the information with the public promptly.
02/12/2017: Executive Order of 01/25/2017 on "Enhancing
Public Safety in the Interior of the United States" and Ongoing
Wide-Spread Immigration Enforcement
- The nation has been totally obsessed with
the struggle with the 7-Muslim Country Nationals Travel Ban since
this Executive Order was issued on 01/27/2017, soon after the
President was Sworn in. Little noticed to the public and the
nation was another Executive Order which was issued on January
25, 2017, not on border security but on "interior enfocement"
of immigration laws. Apparently using this Executive Order, there
have lately been widespread raids, site visits, and arrests throughout
the country. Conservative media reports that Kris Kobach,
the Secretary of State of Kansas, assisted President Trump with
this interior immigration law enforcement plan. One time, the
nation was obsessed with the problem of travel bans affecting
7-country national travelers, but now, since such legal nightmares
have been blocked by the court orders, the legal community has
to deal with another problem of expanding immigration law enforcement
within the country.
02/11/2017: Reportedly, President Trump to Sign New Executive
Order to Restrict Travel as Early as Monday, 02/13/2017
- New York Times reports that for the President to keep fighting for
protection of the nation's security, he will sign next week a
new Executive Order fixing the flaws in the earlier Executive
Order. The most critical flaw with the earlier Executive Order,
which was made clear and led to the Appeals Court decision to
deny the government request, was ban of permanent residents.
Not only some permanent residents were intially banned at the
airports, but also the Trump Administration initially released
statements that it included "immigrants" which it changed
later afterwards. This was the key point the Appeals Court used
to deny the Trump Administration request for emergency stay of
TRO. Additionally, the Trump Administration excluded some foreign
travelers with different religions, Christians, from travel ban
and admitted to the country, raising a serious issue on appeal
relating to the freedom of religion under the Constitution.
- Report also indicates that Trump Administration
may not push for emergency appeal before the Supreme Court of
the United States at this point because of the current equally
devided court. Readers may recall the Obama Administration's
appeal before the Supreme Court of the United States of 5th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals decision to sustain the federal district
court's preliminary injunction against the Obama's Expanded DACA
and DAPA Program, which ended up equally divided SCOTUS ruling
denial of the appeal, leading to survival of the decision of
the U.S.Court of Appeals in Luisiana. The same could happen in
Trump Administration's appeal to the SCOTUS. Should that happen,
9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision will survive, keeping
intact the Temporary Restraining Order of the federal district
in Seattle against the Trump's travel ban Executive Order. It
- Pending all these jigjags, the federal district
court in Seattle, Washington is moving on to the next step of
freeze of the Travel Ban Executive Order by moving on from Temporary
Restraining Order stage to Preliminary Injunction stage.
02/11/2017: USCIS H-1B Cap Lottery System Likely Survive
- Unconfirmed sources indicate that the Plaintiffs
filed yesterday unopposed Motion for Voluntary Dismissal of Plaintiffs
Tenrec, Inc. and Sergii Sinienok. Please stay tuned to this website
for confirmation of this news. In the meantime, employers should
keep working on filing of H-1B cap petitions effective 04/03/2017,
pending confirmation of this news.
02/10/2017: Development of Surprising Turn of Event in the
9th Circuit Court of Appeals with a Judge's Demand for En Banc
Reconsideration of the Decision!
- A judge on this Court has made a sua sponte
request that a vote be taken as to whether the order issued by
the three judge motions panel on February 9, 2017, should be
reconsidered en banc. A sua sponte en banc call
having been made, the parties are instructed to file simultaneous
briefs setting forth their respective positions on whether this
matter should be reconsidered en banc. Accordingly, the Court
ordered both parties to submit briefs simultaneously
by 11:00 a.m., Pacific time, on Thursday, February 16. Can this
be called the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals internal
Coup d'eta? No. Please read Ninth Circuit En Banc Procedure Summary.
- This turn of the event is very ironic and
surprising in that the President announced that he had decided
not to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of the United
States and would rather issue another Executive Order next week,
more or less, to replace the Travel Ban Executive Order, to ensure
security for the nation. Indeed, interesting turn and twist!!
02/10/2017: USCIS Should Correct its Error in Announcement
of the Effective Date of New Edition Forms and Each Form Edition
- USCIS has posted today that the new edition
form should be used "after" 02/21/2017 and otherwise the old version form
filing will be rejected. However, when readers visit each form
site, it states that starting 02/21/17, USCIS will only
accept the 01/17/17 edition. and any previous edition form received
will be rejected effective 02/21/2017. Accordingly, there is
a conflict between the notice in the form site and USCIS announcement site.
02/10/2017: USCIS Releases a Reminder of New
Edition Forms with New Filing Fees Taking Effect with Mandatory
Requirement After 02/21/2017
- USCIS reminds that after February 21, 2017,
USCIS will no longer accept previous editions of certain immigration
forms. USCIS also reminds applicants and petitioners to pay the
$85 biometric services fee at the time of filing for benefit
requests that require biometrics, or we will reject the request.
- Readers may visit the USCIS form site.
02/10/2017: President to Announce his Action Against the
9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Rejection of his Request for
Emergency Stay of TRO
- In today's joint conference with the visiting
Japanese Prime Minister, the President announced that he will
release his action next week to deal with the Appeals Court's
decision. The rumor has been running around before this announcement
that the President might be considering either release of another
Executive Order to replace the Executive Order which is in trouble
now or he will appeal the decision of the Appeals Court decision
before the Supreme Court of the United States seeking emergency
decision overturning the 9th Circuit Appeals Court's decision.
02/10/2017: Unpublished Procedural Order of the 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals on the Merits of Appeal
- The Court yesterday issued this procedural
order for the procedure of the TRO merits litigation:
- Motion for Reconsideration: Must be filed
within 14 days from 02/09/2017
- Briefs Filing Deadlines:
- Opening Brief: 03/03/2017
- Answer Brief: 03/24/2017
- Optional Reply Brief: 03/29/2017
- Amicus Curea Briefs (friendly briefs in support
or in oppostion by non-parties): Apparently the Court has granted
or denied friendly briefs from various stakeholders (majority
of them represent tech companies) as follows:
- 24 briefs are granted
- 3 briefs are denied
- It thus appears that Trump administration's
fight against the Temporary Restraining Order of the federal
district court in Seattle, Washington has a long way to go, not
to mention its potential appeal before the Supreme Court of the
United States. Pending these proceedings at appeals court level
as well as pending another massive lawsuits at federal district
courts level which have been filed by the ACLU and other groups
during the last few days, the Travel Ban Executive Order will
remain blocked and the stakeholder foreigners will be able to
travel to the United States based on the laws and rules that
existed before the Executive Order was issued.
02/09/2017: The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal Rejected Trump Administration's Emergency Stay
of TRO of the District Court Judge in Seattle
- The three-panel judges denied the government
request for emergency stay of the federal district court's Temporary
Restaining Order against Trump's Travel Ban Executive Order.
However, the appeal itself is yet to be decided by the Appeals
Court. In rejecting the emergency stay request of the government,
the Appeals court has decided to excelerate the proceeding on
the merits of the appeal itself and scheduled arguments on the
merits on Monday, 02/13/2017. The struggle is not over yet, but
for now, one forest fire has been removed.
- There is an opinion that the Trump Administration has
some chance to win on the merits of the case in this appeal.
For the reasons, there are massive lawsuits that are being filed
in about 20 states by immigration advicates including ACLU to
obtain TROs or Preliminary Injunctions against the Travel Ban
Executive Order as a backup against the negative decision by
the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on the merits. Struggle is not
02/09/2017: Notice of Appellee (State of Washington) to
9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Fiiling of Additional Evidence
in Federal District Court in Seattle
- It appears that the State of Washington submitted
to the District Court additional evidence to establish harm to
the State of Washington by Travel Ban Executive Order, probably
in support of the Preliminary Injunction Motion.
02/09/2017: Presidential Executive Order of 02/09/2017:
Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety
02/09/2017: Presidential Executive Order of 02/09/2017:
Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local
Law Enforcement Officers
02/09/2017: Presidential Executive Order of 02/09/2017:
Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations
and Preventing International Trafficking
- This order was issued this afternoon after
the new Attorney General had been sworn in today, with the plan
for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to implement this Executive
02/09/2017: Jeff Sessions Sworn In and Now Attorney General
- The Honorable Jeff Sessions, welcome aboard!
02/09/2017: USCIS Website Customer Services Tools Outage
Tomorrow from 9:00 PM to 12:00 PM (EST)
02/09/2017: President Trump Announcement of 02/08/2017 on List of His Cabinet
- Mr. President, we welcome your Presidency
and your cabinet. If we may, we want to see, as soon as possible,
the government is run by your cabinet and members of your cabinet
rather than you, yourself alone. Implementation of two things
may help to remove such misgivings from the people. When you
sign Executive Orders, your cabinet members may not stand by
yourself which may give a false impression that they are your
assistants rather than they are heads of departments of the federal
government and not White House staffs. This may include the Honorable
Vice President. Secondly, please delegate government functions
to the members of your cabinet members as soon as possible, to
remove the false impression that the federal government is totally
run by the White House. With all due respect to your highest
honor, we respectfully recommend that the President implements
the foregoing two changes as soon as possible.
- The people look forward to working with and
living with your members of the cabinet and your honorable Presidency.
02/09/2017: Pending 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision,
U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington Ordered the State of
Washington to File Preliminary Injunction Motion by Today
- The decision of the Nineth Court of Appeals
has been a little bit delayed. Pending the decision, the State
of Washington and the State of Minnesota are mandated by the
Judge of the District Court of the Seattle, Washington to file
Motion for Preliminary Injunction since the Temporary Retraining
Order which the Judge issued would run out soon and the Trump
Administration's travel ban Executive Order may revive again.
- Considering the foregoing timeline, the Court
of Appeals may be pressured to hand down its decision as soon
as possible. Rumor and speculation have indicated that the Appeals
Court has already made a decision and may release the decision
sooner or later. The three-patel judges of the Appeals Court
are currently facing a horrible challenge because of the verbal
assault by President Trump. Stay tuned.
02/09/2017: With the Sworn-in of Jeff Sessions to the Attorney
General Today, Pending H-4 EAD Litigation before Appeals Court
May Turn into an Open Question
- The new Attorney General has a record of
steep anti-immigration political platform, particularly when
it comes to foreign workers. It will be very interesting to watch
President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions will deal
with the pending litigation before the United States Court of
Appeals for District of Columbia as the Justice Department must
vigorously(?) defend the decision of the lower court that dismissed
lawsuit challenging H-4 EAD rule. Stay tuned.
02/08/2017: Senate Confirmed Jeff Sessions As Attorney General
on 52/47 Votes Early 6:58 P.M. 02/08/2017
- Along the party-line, the U.S. Senate confirmed Jeff Sessions to U.S. Attorney
02/08/2017: H-4 EAD Program Faces Continuing Wounds of Lawsuit
Before the DC Circuit of U.S. Court of Appeals
- The H-4 EAD rule which was a part of the
Obama Immigration Action program was sued by Save Jobs USA at
the DC District of United States District Court, which was dismissed
on the standing ground by the Judge. The Plaintiff filed appeal
of the decision before the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Circuit
of District of Columbia in Washington, DC in September 2016 on
the issue of merits. Since then, this case has remained behind
the attention of the media and immigration stakeholder community.
However, on January 11, 2017, the Appellant, Save Jobs USA, filed
an Opening Brief to seek overturn of the District
Court decision. The Appeals Court then scheduled Oral Argument
on March 31, 2017. Sources of information indicates that Trump
Administration filed a request fot 60 days to file Response brief
by 04/02/2017. Should this request be granted, the Oral Argument
may be delayed from March 31, 2017 and some date in April 2017.
For the details, please review summary of IRLI.
- There is a growing concern in the H-4 EAD
stakeholders with its impact on Trump Administration's position
on the H-4 EAD program. Without this litigation, there has been
unconfirmed rumor that President Trump was considering roll-back
of Student OPT program and H-4 EAD program. The Student OPT program
has also been undergoing the legal challenge in court by the
defeated Plaintiff in the district court. We will follow development
of challenges to these two programs.
02/08/2017: State Department Visa Availability Prediction
for the Coming Months - Not Too Promising!
Not too promising!
- Worldwide dates:
FB-1: Up to several months
FB-2A: Up to 1 month
FB-2B: Up to 5 weeks
FB-3: 3 or 4 weeks
FB-4: 2 or 3 weeks
- EMPLOYMENT-Based: Not too promising!
- EB-1: Will remain Current.
- China and India: A Final Action Date is likely to be imposed by August.
- Worldwide: Current
- China: Up to 5 weeks.
- India: Up to 1 month.
- Worldwide: Up to 3 months.
- China: Up to 6 months.
- India: Extremely
limited forward movement.
- Mexico: Will remain at the worldwide date.
- Philippines: Up to 6months.
Current for most countries.
- El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico:
Some movement may be possible during the summer months.
The category will remain Current for most countries.
- China-mainland born: Up to two weeks.
- The above final action date projections for
the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely
to happen on a monthly basis through May or June based on current
applicant demand patterns. Readers should never assume that recent
trends in final action date movements are guaranteed for the
future, or that "corrective" action will not be required
at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the
applicable annual limits. The determination of the actual monthly
final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand
and a number of other variables. See Visa Bulletin
02/08/2017: March 2017 Visa Bulletin Released
- Devastating cut off dates for Indian Employment-Based
EB-2 and EB-3.
02/08/2017: Audio Recording Available for Those Who Missed
Yesterday's Court Hearing
02/08/2017: Senate Passed Yesterday Motion to Invoke Cloture
on Jeff Sessions Attorney General Confirmation by a Vote of 52-47-1
With Scheduled Confirmation Vote on 02/14/2017
- The Republican Senate has been marching forward
with Trump Cabinet members confirmation one after another successfully
despite the contentious attempt by the Democrats to block them.
Thus far none has been voted out. Immigration stakeholders have
been watching closely two cabinet members confirmation: Attorney
General and Secretary of Department of Labor. The Senate overcame
the first hurdle for confirmation of Jeff Sessions by passing
the Cloture Motion yesterday. The Senate is scheduled to vote
for his confirmation on next Tuesday. As usual, it is predicted
that current Senator Jeff Sessions is likely confirmed for the
Attorney General despite the anticipated fight by the Democrats.
The Labor Secretary nominee confimation is currently facing an
hurdle because of the unconfirmed allegation that he hired undocumented
immigrants for his restaurant businesses. Once this allegation
is taken care of, the Senate will set this nomination for confirmation
votes later. Pending confirmation of the Labor Secretary, Trump's
day one pledge of cracking down alleged abuse of labor laws by
employers in hiring foreign workers by raids, site visits, audits,
etc has been delayed. Such raids and audits may be forthcoming
in a matter of time to crack down violation of immigration and
labor laws by employers. The Senate is adjourned until next week.
02/07/2017: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Likely to Issue
- The audio was broadcasted live by MSNBC,
which took a little over an hour as scheduled. The three-judge
panel went after both parties with tough and tough questions
on the legal issues as well as factual issues. At the end of
the hearing, the panel advised that the decision be made soon.
It is likely either tonight or tomorrow at the latest that the
court will announce its decision. Please stay tuned to this website
for the decision.
02/07/2017: U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington,
Seattle Issues Order on Briefing Schedule for Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction
- The Judge of District Court who issued Temporary
Restraining Order has issued the following order:
- Plaintiffs files a motion for preliminary
injunction no later than 02/09/2017
- Defendants files opposition to the motion
no later than 02/15/2017
- Plaintiffs files reply in support of the
motion no later than 02/17/2017
02/07/2017: Written Testimony of DHS Secretary John F. Kelly
for a House Committee on Homeland Security Hearing titled Ending the Crisis: Americas Borders and
the Path to Security
- It appears this is his first testimony as
the Secretary of DHS before the Committee (?). Well articulated.
Welcome, Honorable John Kelly.
02/07/2017: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals "Telephonical"
Hearing from the Parties of the Appeal on Trump Administration's
Request for Emergency Stay of District Court TRO by a Judge in
the State of Washington
- A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals
in Seattle, Washington will hear arguments pro and con by both
parties "telephonically" starting from 3:00 p.m. (PST)
which is 4:00 p.m. (MST), 5:00 p.m.(CST), and 6:00 p.m. (EST).
Each party will be given only for 30 munutes. Since it will be
a telephonical arguments, there will be no video cast but only
audio telecast for the public.
- Considering the fact that the 9th Circuit
of U.S. Court of Appeals is known to be pro-liberal, the Trump
Administration must be preparing another emergency appeal to
the Supreme Court of the United States. However, as we reported
earlier, the current SCOTUS is equally divided court. Therefore,
should the Trump Administration lose at the level of the Court
of Appeals today, the Travel Ban Executive Order may remain gone,
at least until the nomination of new Justice is confirmed by
the U.S. Senate. Can you imagine the heat of this litigation
which will be added to the U.S. Senate for the confirmation of
the new Justice during next several weeks?
02/07/2017: Conservative Senators to Introduce "Reforming
American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act" Today
in the Senate
- Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Senator
David Perdue of Georgia will introduce very restrictive comprehensive
immigration reform bill in the Senate today. The bill is reportedly targetting to reduce the annual
immigration numbers by 40% in the first year and 50% over a decade.
This bill will restrict family immigration
only to spouse and children and no other relatives, execpt certain
exceptional parents, eliminate diversity immigration lottery
program and for employment-based immigration, to heavily focus
on the foreign workers of highest level and restrict immigration
of lower level foreign workers, by adopting the concept of point
system of reform. Considering the overall target of this proposal
for the reduced total target annual immigrant quota, the number
of the highest foreign workers who can immigrate to the United
States may be drastically limited in numbers. Apparently, this
concept of reform was discussed with the President Trump, even
though not officially agreed or supported by the President. Stay
tuned for a copy of the bill which will be introduced in the
Senate today. The summary is reported by Politico.
- Immigration stakeholders may not be too surprised
that Republican Party may want to pass a comprehensive immigration
reform to keep their long-term political foothold while they
remain a ruling party that contols three branches of the federal
government - Executive Branch (Administration), Legislative Branch
(Congress), and Judicial Branch (Supreme Court). The point system
of immigration reform will achieve such political purpose by
gradually reducing and eliminating the sources of immigration
involving family-based immigration, diversity lottery, and lower-skilled
or unskilled foreign workers, that represent the constituents
of Democratic political agenda traditionally. Considering the
fact that the Congress can be reshaped in the next two years
through the mid-term national election, the Republican Party
may try to pass such immigration reform legislation during the
next two years. We will watch closely next two years.
02/06/2017: Record Setting $25,000.000 to University of Minnesota,
Center for New Immigrants!
- In this political environment that pushes
to the edges the immigrants, refugees, and undocumented immigrants,
this is indeed a remarkable news. The Center for New Immigrants
and its law students and lawyers have dedicated fierlessly represented
new immigrants, refugees, and detainees in and out of the immigration
courts and federal courts for years. They have also filed lawsuits
on behalf of immigrant families and dispatched attorneys and
law students to the airport in the wake of President Donald Trumps
efforts to bar immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations.
They truly deserve such recognition and awards. Our wholehearted
congratulations to the colleagues!!!
02/06/2017: State of Washington & State of Minnesota
Timely Filed Today Response with Appeals Court in Opposition to
Trump Administration's Emergency Motion
- The response was submitted with a joint declaration
by Madeleine K. Albright, Avril D. Haines, Michael V. Hayden,
John F. Kerry, John E. McLaughlin, Lisa O. Monaco, Michael J.
Morell, Janet A. Napolitano, Leon E. Panetta, and Susan E. Rice
againt the emergency request of the Trump Administration.
02/06/2017: OFLC Official PERM
Processing Times as of 01/31/2017
02/06/2017: OFLC Official Prevailing
Wage Determination Processing Times as of 01/31/2017
||Days (as of 01/2017)
02/05/2017: Approaching FY 2018 H-1B Cap Season and Soon-to-be
Released Court Decision in H-1B Cap Lottery Class Action Litigation
in Federal District Court in Oregon
- Even without the ongoing legislative threats
to restrict the H-1B foreign worker programs by legislations,
there are two other threats that potentially affect the future
of the H-1B visa program very seriously. Due to the ongoing challenges
in the Congress with other higher priority in the legislative
agenda, the legislative threat on H-1B visa program is considered
not an imminent threat. However, the threats from the Trump Administration
and from the court litigation can be imminent. These two threats
are anticipated to be released sooner or later and considered
a matter of time at this point.
- For the H-1B cap lottery litigation, the
parties' arguments and hearings are completed on January 6, 2017,
one month ago, but the presiding judge's decision is yet to be
released. Should the Plaintiffs win in the class action lawsuit,
the forthcoming H-1B cap lottery season that starts from April
1, 2017 is likely seriously threatended and the H-1B cap selection
process is likely to undergo a chaos, including potential appeal
and injunction motion by the government. We hope to see this
court decision as soon as possible, sooner the better!
02/05/2017: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlattee
Announces the Committee's Legislative Agenda in 2017
- His immigration part of agenda includes the
following: (1) "Immigration
Enforcement: "Congress also has
an important role to play. Nearly everyone agrees that there
is room for improvement in the immigration system. We must strengthen
the interior enforcement of our immigration laws and remove the
ability of any President to unilaterally shut down immigration
enforcement. We need to ensure criminal aliens are detained and
deported and end dangerous sanctuary policies that jeopardize
public safety." (2) "We must also reform the asylum system,
which has been increasingly abused, and make sure unaccompanied
alien minors who make the dangerous trek to the United States
are safely returned home." (3) "The House Judiciary
Committee will also work to improve
the legal immigration system. The
United States has the most generous legal immigration system
in the world. However, we select less than 12% of immigrants
on the basis of the education and skills they can bring to America.
And its only 5% if you exclude their accompanying family
members. Other countries, such as Canada, the U.K., and Australia,
select over 60% of immigrants based on skills. In order to remain
competitive in the global economy, this must change." (4)
"Additionally, we also need a workable agricultural guestworker system so that when our nations farmers cannot find
U.S. workers, they have access to a legal workforce and are able
to continue growing our crops and economy."
02/05/2017: Nineth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Denied Emergency "Immediate Stay" Request
for TRO Pending Motion for Stay on Appeal
indicates that in the midnight decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals
denied DOJ's emergency request for stay of the TRO, pending the
decison of the Emergency Motion for Stay of TRO and appeal.
Appellees (State of Washing and State of Minnesota) opposition
to the emergency motion is due Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 11:59
p.m. PST. Appellants (DOJ) reply in support of the emergency
motion is due Monday, February 6, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. PST. For
the reasons, for now, the Temporary Restraining Order issued
by the federal district court in Seattle, Washington stays in
effect until the Appeals Court decide the Stay Motion and the
federal agencies must comply with the judge's order to suspend
the Trump's Executive Order banning travel of the nationals of
seven Muslim countries, pending the appeal.
02/04/2017: Justice Department Filed "Today" 02/04/2017
Notice of Appeals with the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington
reports that the notice of appeals was filed today, Saturday,
February 4, 2017. Actual appeals should be filed with the 9th
Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Politico reports that Justice
Department is likely to file the petition with the Court of Appeals
within today in extreme rush to seek stay of TRO issued by the
federal district court in Seattle, Washington.
- The chance for getting the order of stay
(stop) of the Temporary Restraining Order may be a upheal battle
at this point since the Justice Department must prove compelling
circumstances that will create irreparable harm to the Trump
Administrtion. What would be "irreparable harm" to
the Trump Administration? Let's see what the motion for stay
would look like.
02/04/2017: State Department Urgent Notice of 02/04/2017
on Implementation of Suspension of Travel Ban Executive Order
of the Trump Administration
- The urgent notice includes that U.S. embassies
and consulates will resume scheduling visa appointments for these
nationals. The Department of State had also, under the Executive
Order, provisionally revoked all valid visas of nationals of
those seven countries. That provisional revocation is now lifted,
and those visas are now valid for travel to the United States,
if the holder is otherwise eligible. Individuals whose visas
are expired, or were physically cancelled, must apply for a new
visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, absent a Customs and Border
Patrol (CBP) decision to grant parole or waive the visa requirement
at the port of entry. We are looking further into this issue
and will revise this site
02/04/2017: "YES!" DHS Released on 02/04/2017
Our Earlier Reported Notice on Suspension
of Implementation of Executive Order at Issue
02/04/2017: DHS/USCIS Email Notice of 02/04/2017 on Suspension
of Implementation of Executive Order entitled, "Protecting
the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States."
- The USCIS confirmed the following entitled
"From the Department of Homeland Security
In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended
any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the
Executive Order entitled, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign
Terrorist Entry into the United States." (We added emphasis)
This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that
flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive
Order. DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance
with standard policy and procedure. At the earliest possible
time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency
stay of this order and defend the President's Executive Order,
which is lawful and appropriate. The Order is intended to protect
the homeland and the American people, and the President has no
higher duty and responsibility than to do so.For the latest information,
please visit the DHS website: https://www.dhs.gov/news"
- See also CNN report. It is expected that this notice
will be published in the DHS and USCIS websites shortly.
02/04/2017: Federal Court in Seattle, Washington Issued
Nation-Wide TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) Against the President's
Travel Ban Executive Order
- For the last few days, the stakeholders of
the President Trump's Executive Order banning travel for 7-muslim-country
nationals in various states obtaining TROs but for the suit in
the State of Massachusetts which refused to issue the TRO. However,
this lawsuit in Seattle, State of Washington, et al v. Donald J. Trump,
et al, Case No. C17-014, JLR, TRO, of the United States Districdt
Court, Western District of Washington, Seattle, is different
from other lawsuits in other states in two aspects: The Plaintiff
of the lawsuit is not individuals but the State Government. Secondly,
the Temporary Restraining Order is issued "nation-wide."
The Judge James L. Robart issued the order yesterday, February
3, 2017. All the eyes of the nation is the President Trump's
compliance with this judicial order, and a question as to what
would happend, should the President refuse to comply with the
court order. CNN reports that the White House says that
Justice Department will file an emergency request to stop the
TRO promptly. New York Times reports that airlines are
allowing such banned passengers to board the flights in compliance
with the court order. One unswered question is what will happen
once they arrive at the U.S. airport. Most of their visas in
their passports have been provisionally revoked pursuant to the
- Coming week, this will be one of the hottest
burning events in the nation's capital, including the Senate
votes for the controversial nominees of the Trump Cabinet posts,
including Attorney General Nominee, Jeff Sessions. See how hot
the burning fire will be. We appreciate Politico for sharing this
court order in the news for the public.
02/04/2017: PERM Statistics
Update for 1st Quarter FY-2017 (10/01/2016 - 12/31/2016)
as Released on 02/02/2017
- Lately the PERM processing times record fairly
short to about three months for clean-cut applications. The following
is the official OFLC update of statistics for the first Quarter
of FY 2017:
- Totoal Certified: 22,523
- Pending as of 12/31/2016: 28,916
- Analyst Review: 68%
- Audit: 13%
- Sponsorship Recruitment: 3%
- Appeal 16%
- Fairly good job.
02/04/2017: Foreign Labor Certification Prevailing
Wage Determination Statistics Update for 1st Quarter FY-2017 as Released on 02/02/2017
- The prevailing wage determination for PERM
program has been witnessing tremendous delays for the past several
months upto four months. The following statistics reflect the
workload increase during the last three months in calendar year
- Total Prevailing Wage Determination Requests
for PERM Program:35,281 (18% increase as compared to FY 2016)
- Total Temporary (small numbers) and Permanent
Labor Certification Determined: 43,986 (16% increase as compared
to FY 2016)
- Total Temporary and Permanent Labor Certification
Pending as of 12/31/2016: 41,577 (43% increase as compared
to FY 2016)
02/04/2017: H-2A Agricultural
Temporary Labor Certification Statistics Update for 1st Quarter FY-2017 as Released on 02/02/2017
02/04/2017: H-2B Non-Agricultural
Temporary Labor Certification Statistics Update for 1st Quarter FY-2017 as Released on 02/02/2017
02/04/2017: PERM, PWD, H-2A, H-2B,
H-1B LCA Performance Data Update for 1st Quarter FY-2017 as Released on 02/03/2017
02/03/2017: State Department Site Answering Detailed Questions
on Visa and Executive Order
02/03/2017: USCIS Important Notice of 02/03/2017 on Processing
of Petitions and Applications Regardless of Individuals Country
- The USCIS has released the following notice
today on its implementation of January 27, 2017 Executive Order:
"USCIS continues to adjudicate applications and petitions
filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless
of their country of origin, and applications and petitions of
lawful permanent residents outside the U.S. USCIS also continues
to adjudicate applications and petitions for individuals outside
the U.S. whose approval does not directly confer travel authorization.
Applications to adjust status also continue to be adjudicated,
according to existing policies and procedures, for applicants
who are nationals of countries designated in the Jan. 27, 2017,
Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign
Terrorist Entry Into the United States.
- USCIS will provide additional guidance as
it becomes available.
02/03/2017: Reportedly 100,000 Visas Have Been Revoked!
reports that since the Executive Order was issued on 01/27/2017,
100,000 visas have been revoked!
02/03/2017: White House Legal Counsel Clarifies that EO
7-Muslim Country Nationals Travel Ban for 90 Days "Does not
Apply" to Lawful Permanent Residents
- This legal counsel memorandum to the DOS and DHS
was issued on 02/01/2017. It thus appears that at least one confusion
has been clarified. From here on, the nationals of the 7-designated
country travel ban should be able to apply to travel without
any restrictions. We thank Politico for sharing this copy with
the media. White House should have posted this memorandum promptly.
02/02/2017: USCIS Advises to Visit USCBP's Implementation
Update Site of aka 7-Muslim Country National
Travel Ban Executive Order
- The latest update was 02/02/2017!
02/02/2017: USCIS Announces on 02/02/2017 Updated DACA Application
Form I-821D Edition Date of 01/19/2017
- Hmm...... Interesting. Is this a sign that
the Trump Administration will not repeal DACA program? The leaked
Executive Order on DACA indicated that the current DACA holders
may stay and work until their authorized period is over but there
should be no extension or a new application. Apparently, the
USCIS is still accepting DACA applications. DACA applicants may
apply for the benefit before too late until this Executive Order
is released. Please note the date
of new edition. One day before the new President was sworn in.
Something very interesting to watch ahead.
02/02/2017: State Department Special Alert of 02/02/2017 Updating Availability
of Visas to Certain 7-Muslim Country Dual Nationals Carrying Unrestricted
- Emergency update states that "This Executive
Order does not restrict the travel of dual nationals from any country
with a valid U.S. visa in a passport of an unrestricted country.
Our Embassies and Consulates around the world will continue to
process visa applications and issue nonimmigrant and immigrant
visas to otherwise eligible visa applicants who apply with a passport from an unrestricted country,
even if they hold dual nationality from one of the seven restricted
countries. Please check with your local Embassy or Consulate
for country specific information."
02/02/2017: DHS Inspector General Announces Review of Implementation
of Executive Order
- Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security
Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) announced that it will review DHS' implementation
of the recent Executive Order, "Protecting the Nation from
Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals."
The review is being initiated in response to congressional request
and whistleblower and hotline complaints. In addition to reviewing
the implementation of the Executive Order, the OIG will review
DHS' adherence to court orders and allegations of individual
misconduct on the part of DHS personnel. If circumstances warrant,
the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during
the course of the review. At the culmination of its review, the
DHS OIG will provide a final report to Secretary Kelly, the Congress,
and the public.
02/01/2017: State Department Not Only Denies but also Revokes
All Valid Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visas for 7-Muslim Country
- On January 27, 2017, the State Department released in its website "Urgent
Notice: Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist
Attacks by Foreign Nationals" which we thought we reported
on 01/29/2017 based on the State Department website notice. The
website notice, however, included only "suspension"
of visa applications with an advice to these nationals not to
apply for the visas. However, the actual notice which the State
Department issued and which was reported by Politico yesterday indicates that the State
Department is actually "provisionally revoking" the
nonimmigrant and immigrant visas for these nationals which have
already been issued. Therefore, the nationals of these countries
carrying the U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visas in the passport
are provisionally revoked unless any visa is exempted on the
basis of a determination made by the Secretaries of State and
Homeland Secmity pursuant to section 3(g) of the Executive Order
on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest. For
instance, A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO, C-2, or certain
diplomatic visas are not subject to the revocation.
02/01/2017: USCIS Fact Sheet of 01/30/2017 on Automatic Extensions of EADs Provided by the
Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and
Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers
Final Rule, aka I-140 EAD Rule
- This fact sheet gives details
instructions and guidances for the employers as to I-9 compliance
as well as the employees. Foreign nationals filing EAD renewal
applications under some employment eligibility categories may
receive automatic extensions of their expiring EAD for up to
180 days. The extension begins on the date the EAD expires and
continues for 180 days unless the application is denied. Employees with a timely filed EAD
application that is still pending may qualify for the 180-day
automatic extension, even if that application was filed prior
to the effective date of this rule (Jan. 17, 2017). The requirements are:
1. The employee must have
timely filed an application to renew his or her EAD, meaning
that the application was received by USCIS before the EAD expired
(except certain employees granted Temporary Protected Status
(TPS) who must follow the applicable TPS Federal Register notice),
and the application remains pending;
2. The eligibility category on the face of the EAD is the same
eligibility category code on the Form I-797C, Notice of Action,
that the employee received from USCIS indicating USCISs
receipt of the EAD renewal application (except employees with
TPS who may have either A12 or C19 as the category code); and
3. The renewal application was filed on the basis of a qualifying
eligibility category code. As of the date of publication, eligibility
category codes for a 180-day automatic extension are A03, A05,
A07, A08, A10, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C31, and A12
or C19. Note: Some category codes on the EAD may include the
letter P such as C09P. Employers should disregard
the letter P when comparing the category code on
the EAD with the category code on the receipt notice.
02/01/2017: Federal Register Notice of Executive Order
of "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into
the United States"
02/01/2017: USCBP Statement of 01/31/2017 on its Implementation
of the Executive Order of "Protecting the Nation From Foreign
Terrorist Entry Into the United States"
- This CBP statement gives some details including
what is included and what is not included.
01/31/2017: President Trump Nominated Judge
Neil Gorsuch, Current 10th Circuit, United States Court
of Appeals, as Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
- As scheduled, the President nominated this
judge as Justice of the SCOTUS at 8:00 p.m. (est) today. For
his background, please click here.
01/31/2017: Statement from DHS Secretary Kelly on the President's
Appointment of Thomas D. Homan as Acting ICE Director
01/31/2017: Statement from DHS Secretary John Kelly on President
Trump's Intent to Nominate Elaine C. Duke as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
01/31/2017: Quo Vadis, Kris Kobach?
- Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Trump White House pushed
for his appointment to Deputy Secretary of DHS, which Gen. John
Kelly, Secretary of DHS fought off. Thus for now, Kris Kobach
future for DHS has disappeared. His imprint on Trump's Immigration
Executive Order is all over though. Added to Kris Kobach, another
force who has done and is still doing that rule on immigration
actions of President Trump appears to be Steven Miller, who is
the current Trump aide and former aide of Senator Jeff Sessions
who is also the nominee of the Attorney General. His TV interview
yesterday indicates that Steven Miller appears to be not too
far from Kris Kobach when it comes to hard-right philosophy.
01/31/2017: All Petitions or Applications of 7-Muslim Country
Nationals in DHS Reportedly Ordered
on Hold and Freeze
- A report indicates that all the petitions and
applications pending before the DHS are ordered on hold and freeze!
It appears the situation has been deteriorating rather than improving
when it comes to the aftermath of the Trump Executive Orders.
01/31/2017: Soon After Firing Acting Attorney General, President
Trump Replaced Current ICE Director
by Thomas Holman
two sentences represent the new ICE Director: "Thomas Homan
deports people. And he's really good at it." With the scheduled
today's announcement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee, the
heat of tensions in the country appears to be rising.
01/31/2017: President Trump Reportedly Fired Acting Attorney General Yates
Last Night For Ordering Not to Follow Trump Executive Orders!
01/30/2017: Republican Senate Decided to Delay Jeff Sessions
AG Confirmation Vote Which was Scheduled this Week
- Read on.
Accordingly, one of the two anticipated big events today is gone
this week. Supreme Court seat nomination will still take place
01/30/2017: HHS 2017 Poverty Guidelines Scheduled to be Republished
in the Federal Register on 01/31/2017
- This Poverty Guidelines was already published
in the federal register during the last minute of the Obama Administration,
but the Trump Administration announced that it decided to withold
implementation of the Guidelines pending review. It appears that
the Trump Administration has completed its review and cleared
for republishing the notice tomorrow.
01/30/2017: Scheduled Historical Political Events of This
Week That Will Potentially Affect the Future of Immigration Stakeholders
and the Nation for Years to Come
- During this week, the Senate will wrap up
confirmation of some key Trump cabinet members, including, among
others, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General of Department
of Justice. At this point, the most controversial nomination
is Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama for the post of U.S. Attorney
General. We posted today two Executive Orders of the President
Trump in the Federal Register which give some impressions that
even before he was confirmed into the Attorney General, his influence
on these Executive Orders appears to be clear from his own actions
and late announcements as well as the influence of his former
aide, Steven Miller, who now works as close advisor to President
Trump. The second critial event is President announcement of
nomination of the Justice of the Supreme Court of the United
States tomorrow night,
8:00 p.m. (EST), that has remained vacant
ever since the late Justice Scalia passed away. All eyes will
be on these two developments this week other than the issue of
removal of certain Muslum nationals. Stay tuned to this website
to witness these historical developments during this week.
01/30/2017: Congressional Research Service (CRS) Review of Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens
- Last week's President Trump's Executive Order
and action removing entry of certain Muslim country nationals
led the nation in shocks. However, the Congressional Research
Service report which was released
on January 23, 2017 indicates that
there were a large number of actions taken by the President George
W. Bush and the President Barack Obama to our shocks. The nature
of the exclusions was all different in each situation, but this
is a good time to review the legal basis of exclusion of incoming
aliens and historical records of such exclusions in the late
history of this country.
- It should however be noted that current Executive
Order removing nationals of seven Muslim countries from the port
of entries raises a lot of concerns because of its religious
and ethnic implications as well as potential level of exclusions.
01/30/2017: Federal Register Notice of Executive Order "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the
- The Executive Order 13768 of January 25,
2017 of the President is published
in the federal register today.
01/30/2017: Federal Register Notice of Executive Order "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements"
- The Executive Order 13767 of January 25,
2017 of the President is published in the federal register today.
01/29/2017: DHS Updates Statement on Compliance with Court
Orders and the Presidents Executive Orders
- "Upon issuance of the court orders yesterday,
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immediately began taking
steps to comply with the orders. Concurrently, the Department
of Homeland Security continues to work with our partners in the
Departments of Justice and State to implement President Trumps
executive order on protecting the nation from foreign terrorist
entry into the United States. We are committed to ensuring that
all individuals affected by the executive orders, including those
affected by the court orders, are being provided all rights afforded
under the law. We are also working closely with airline partners
to prevent travelers who would not be granted entry under the
executive orders from boarding international flights to the U.S.
Therefore, we do not anticipate that further individuals traveling
by air to the United States will be affected.
- As Secretary Kelly previously stated, in
applying the provisions of the president's executive order, the
entry of lawful permanent residents is in the national interest.
Accordingly, absent significant derogatory information indicating
a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent
resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case
- We are and will remain in compliance with
judicial orders. We are and will continue to enforce President
Trumps executive order humanely and with professionalism.
DHS will continue to protect the homeland."
01/29/2017: Release of Special Statement By DHS Secretary John Kelly
On The Entry Of Lawful Permanent Residents
Into The United States for Executive Order Country Nationals
- "In applying the provisions of the president's
executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent
residents to be in the national interest. Accordingly,
absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating
a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent
resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case
01/29/2017: Review of President Trump's First Week of Action
- Other than massive signing of Executive Orders,
President Trump and White House have been reaching extensively
with the Republican leaders (Governors) of the State and local
governments (Mayors) to mobilize their support for his actions
and plans, and reaching out foreign leaders, again to demonstrate
his White House in the business of international affairs. His
second week of White House has yet to be released.
- Meanwhile, it appears the Democrats are more
or less in disarray, even struggling to deal with selection of
the Party Chair. Hmm..............
01/29/2017: State Department Urgent Notice on Suspension of Visa Issuance
to the Nationals of Seven Muslim Countries
- The State Depart has posted an urgent notice
on 01/27/2017 that per the Executive Order on Protecting the
Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals signed on
January 27, 2017, visa issuance to nationals of the countries
of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been
suspended effective immediately until further notification. If
you are a citizen of one of these countries, please do not schedule
a visa appointment or pay any visa fees at this time. If you
already have an appointment scheduled, please DO NOT ATTEND.
You will not be permitted entry to the Embassy/Consulate. We
will announce any other changes affecting travelers to the United
States as soon as that information is available.
01/29/2017: George W. Bush NSEERS Gone and Trump Substitute
in Place Facing Another Civil Right Challenges to the Nation
- When the DHS Secretary fo the Obama Administration
announced that the notorious NSEERS rule was repealed, the Trump
Transition Team indicated that the NSEERS was a defective security
program and the incoming Administion did not care about the Obama
Administration action of repeal of the NSEERS at the last minute
because the new Administration would introduce and implement
another security program with no such defects in it which the
NSEERS inherently had.
- President Trump kept his promise and released
a security program that replaces NSEERS program. The principal
force for draft and enactment of the post 9-11 NSEERS rule was
Kris Kobach, the current Secretary of the State of Kansas and
legal advisor for the far right anti-immigration force, FAIR.
Reports indicate that Kris Kobach was initially involved during
and after the Presidential election with the President-Elect
and right after election of the President-Elect in November.
The media in Kansas reports that Kris Kobach lately admitted
that he was initially involved in drafting the NSEERS substitute
new security Executive Order of the new President, even though
he was not involved with the final draft of the President's Executive
Order of muslim-related security program which was issued three
days ago. One wonders which of these two programs is more restrictive.................Hmm...........!
01/29/2017: DHS Official 01/29/2017 Response To Recent Litigation
- "The Department of Homeland Security
will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration
laws, and implement President Trumps Executive Orders to
ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat
to our country or the American people."
01/28/2017: ACLU Class Action Lawsuit Blocked Trump Administration
from Removal of Certain Muslim Nonimmigrants and Immigrants Travelers
Arriving at the Airports per Trump's Executive Order
- Yesterday, January 27, 2017, President Trump
issued an Executive Order against nonimmigrants and immigrants
from seven (7) Muslim countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Suday,
Lybia, Somalia, and Yemen entering the United States, and pursuant
to this Executive Order, these travelers were detained for removal
at the ports of entries in the United States. The ACLU thus filed
an emergency class action lawsuit seeking the court's order to
stay such removals before the United States District Court in
Eastern New York District. Today, the judge issued such order
against the Trump Administration from removing such arriving
nonimmigrants and immigrants based on the decision that such
act violates the equial protection and due process rights under
the United States Constitution and the class action Plaintiffs
have claim of merits which are likely to win in the lawsuit.
Since it is a class action lawsuit, this court order will apply
throughout the country and not New York alone. What a remarkable
development this is! Do you see a flood of tear drops from joy
all over? Here is the Court Order reported by Politico.
01/28/2017: Travel Alert for "Nationals" of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and
- AILA reports that American visa posts have
been instructed to suspend both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas
to nationals of these countries and DHS is reportedly also implementing
travel bans. Since the Executive Order reportedly applies not
only to nonimmigrants and immigrants, but also refugees and dual
nationals, they may not travel overseas to assure their safe
return to the United States. Obviously, this may apply to TPS
travel permits, parole or even advance parole for these people.
The situation may or may not change in the future, but at this
point, they should take this alert seriously and refrain from
leaving the U.S.. The nationals of these countries should thank
the AILA for release of this important alert.
01/28/2017: Refugees Reportedly Detained at U.S. Airports,
Prompting Legal Challenges to Trumps Immigration Order
- The Executive Order has been swiftly implemented
and NY Tirmes report that arriving refugees have been detained
at the airports in this court. Read on.
01/28/2017: Approaching FY-2018 H-1B Cap Season and Forthcoming
Federal Court Decision on H-1B Lottery Lawsuit
- Report indicates that the court had completed
all the hearings and arguments on January 6, 2017 and the parties
of the litigation of Tenrec, Inc. v. USCIS, not to mention
all the employers and foreign workers, have been anxiously waiting
for the decision of the judge of the federal district court judge
in Portland, Oregon. The defendant, USCIS, has exerted every
efforts within its power to dismiss this lawsuit, but all in
vain. The judge has ruled against the USCIS motions. If the plaintiff
wins in this class action litigation, the plaintiffs are likely
to take all or most of the cap numbers of the FY-2018 cap season
since the USCIS is required to process H-1B cap petitions in
the order of the date of receipt (first-in and first-out rule),
including the petitions which were filed, failed in the FY 2017
cap season and will be refiled in April using the earlier priority
dates of filing. There are huge numbers of FY-2017 H-1B caps
that failed to be selected in the FY 2017 H-1B lottery season.
The USCIS received more than 210,000 cap petitions for the available
cap numbers of about 85,000. The counsel for the plaintiffs has
reported that the parties have anxiously been waiting for the
decision of the judge. Should the plaintiffs win in the case,
probably the USCIS may file appeal of the decision, but pending
the litigation, H-1B employers and foreign workers may have to
go through nightmares. Please stay tuned to this website for
development of the decision in this litigation. It may not take
too long from now.
01/27/2017: H.R. 670, "High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness
Act of 2017" Introduced in the House by Rep. Zoe
- This bill was introduced in the House on
Tuesday, 01/24/2017. This bill proposed two reforms. One is to
eliminate the H-1B Cap lottery system, replaced by the highest
salary and other criteria in allocation of H-1B petitions. The
other reform is to remove per country limitation to employment-based
immigration visas which is identical to the bill which was introduced
by Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah earlier. For summary, please click here. There are
currently several H-1B reform bills in the House and the Senate.
See report. There is also pending litigation to
remove H-1B lottery system in the federal court in Oregon, which
is scheduled to be decided in the near future. Other than the
forthcoming court decision in Oregon, the H-1B reform legislative
bills may not affect FY-2018 H-1B cap lottery since the legislation
may take time.
01/26/2017: USCIS Processing Times Update 01/25/2017
01/26/2017: USCIS H-1B Processing
Times Update 01/25/2017
||Change of Status
01/26/2017: Outline of Presidential Executive Order of Reform
of Legal Employment-Based Immigration System
- As part of his Presidential election pledges,
President Trump will act on Obama's immigration reform for foreign
workers in the form of regulations. As advised by this reporter,
unlike the relief for undocumented immigrants, repeal or change
of Obama reforms for foreign worker programs will need ruling
making process and the Trump Executive Order for foreign worker
programs will order the involved agencies (DHS, DOJ, DOS, DOL)
to review and come up with actions in the form of rule-making
process that can protect American workers job markets and limiting
employment-based immigration benefits to the foreign workers
of the highest talent and merits. Each department will be ordered
to implement the reforms in this Executive Order to be executed
within different time frames by rule-making process, within next
one year to the maximum. Read the full text of the Draft of the EO.
- Immediate Actions:
- Immediately terminate all the existing "parole"
policies, gudance, and programs that contradict to this Executive
- Review and start rule-making process to reform
practical training and OPT programs.
- Review and start rule-making process to control
work permits for B-1 and B-2 holders.
- Review and start rule-making process for
E-2 investor nonimmigrant programs from the perspectives of its
negative impact on American Workers Jobs.
- Review and start rule-making process for
J-1 Summer Work Travel Program from the perspectives of its negative
impact on American Workers Jobs.
- Within 30-Day Actions:
- Review and initiate rule-making process to
reform of the current Visa Bulletin and visa allocation systems.
- Within 90-day Actions:
- Review and determine which regulations that
give work permits to foreign workers negatively affect American
workers or violate the law and initiate the rule-making process
to repeal such rules.
- Review and determine which regulations that
give parole to foreigners with work permits that affect American
workers and initiate the rule-making process to repeal such parole
- Review and determine regulations from the
perspectives of integrity of the program and restore such nonimmigrant
- Determine reform of H-1B program to ensure
the benefits to the best and brightest foreign workers.
- Initiate rule-making process for reform of
H-2A program for efficiency and integrity.
- Reinforcement of E-verify program.
- DOJ to report injury to American workers
by H-1B, L-1, and B-1 employment.
- Within 180-day Actions:
- DOL perform increased "site visits"for
L-1 work places.
- DOL plan to expand site visits for foreign
worker work sites during the next two years.
- Within 9 months Actions:
- DOL to come up with a plan to protect American
workers from foreign workers in H-1B, L-1, and B-1 visas.
- It thus appears that there will be no immediate
threat to the current foreign worker visa programs. The foreseeable
change may come months or years from now. This report does not
even touch the H-4 EAD rules and 140 EAD rules of the Obama Executive
Immigration Action programs. Accordingly, for now, the foreign
workers in these two programs may proceed with their agenda to
take advantages from these two foreign worker regulations.
- The negative actions will thus rather come
from the Congress rather than Trump Administration for the foreseeable
future. The Congress can repeal H-4 EAD and I-140 EAD rules once
they pass the pending legislative bill to expand the Congress'
power to repeal the regulations of previous administration.
01/26/2017: Outline of Presidential Executive Order on Repeal
of Obama DACA/DAPA Program
- Sources indicate that the President may issue
his Executive Order on DACA and DAPA programs in the following
- Repeal entirely DAPA program which is currently
suspended under the injunction order of the court.
- Cease processing of "new" DACA
applications entirely but allow "existing" DACA EAD
holders to stay and work until their two-year valid EAD is expired.
Remember that it is limited to maximum two years. Accordingly,
who received three-year expanded DACA before the Obama Executive
Immigration Action was suspended by the court's injunctive order,
this relief will be limited only for maximum two years.
- It thus appears that President Trump is indeed
going to a relief for the existing DACA recipients, albeit at
the limited level. Even though they will be allowed to stay and
work only until their current DACA expires and there is no guarantee
for extension after the current DACA benefits expire, this Executive
Order does not remove their opportunities, if any, to seek legal
immigrant status within the current immigration laws. Accordingly,
the current DACA should work with their legal counsel to determine
the available options when their current DACA benefits expire.
Besides, on an individual basis, current DACA may be granted
some type of relief, depending on the individual merits as determined
by the DHS and Attorney General and not as part of Obama Executive
Immigration Actions program. Read the full text of the "Draft" of the
Executive Order. Please stay tuned.
01/26/2017: Draft of Executive Order Limiting Social Services for Immigrants: Protecting
Taxpayer Resources by Ensuring Our Immigration Laws Promote Accountability
01/25/2017: Copy of First Immigration Executive Order: Protecting the
Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals
- This Executive Order severely limit or restrict
or bar admission of admission of people from Syria, Iraq, Iran,
Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, especially Syrian refugrees.
01/25/2017: February I-485 Filing Charts
- Family-Based: Use "Filing Date Charts"
- Employment-Based: Use "Final Action
01/25/2017: ICE Releases Information on ACICS Loss of Accreditation Recognition
- In December 2016, the U.S. Department of
Education announced that it no longer recognizes the Accrediting
Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting
agency. This decision affects more than 16,000 international
students and 130 SEVP-certified schools and programs.
If you have a question about the ACICS decision and how it affects
your SEVP-certified school, read more information about the decision on Study in the States or contact
the SEVP Response Center.
01/25/2017: ICE Seeks Comments on SEVP Policy Guidance of January 13, 2017
- On January
13, 2017, SEVP released two new interim
final guidance documents on State Licensure Exemption Evidence and Change of Ownership. Interim final guidance
is official guidance that SEVP adjudicators are using. The guidance
documents are open for public comment until February 27, 2017.
01/25/2017: USCIS AAO (Appeals) Processing Report Changes Effective
- In January 2017, the Administrative Appeals
Office (AAO) modified how it presents processing time information.
Previously, the AAO reported, by form type, the average completion
time for the months cases. But certain scenarios (such
as a month with few completions in certain categories) could
result in an imprecise portrayal of processing times. The AAO
now provides, by form type, the total number of completions for
the quarter and the percentage completed within 180 days, which
is our goal. January report indicates that during the first Quarter
of 2017 (October-December 2016), it completed 1,338 appeals and
all the I-129 nonimmigrant petitions of different types were
completed within 180 days, but there were backlogs in I-140 immigrant
petitions appeal cases.
01/24/2017: USCIS Has Yet to Release I-485 Filing Date Chart
and Final Action Date Chart for February 2017
- The State Department releaseed February 2017
Visa Bulletin on January 10, 2017. It has been two weeks without
the USCIS release of its 485 Filing Date Chart and Final Action
Date Chart. February Visa Bulletin shows that Worldwide EB-3
visa numbers are backlogged, but for the filing date chart, it
shows "current" for them for February 2017. February
is now about one week away. Since EB-485 for Worldwide EB-3 categories
requires a lot of preparation for filing, prompt release of the
USCIS 485 filing date chart and final action date chart will
help these immigrants and their family. It is hoped that the
USCIS releases these charts soon.
- We trust that the Visa Bulletin reform is
not affected by the President's threat to repeal. The current
Visa Bulletin charts are implemented as part of the Obama's 2014
Executive Immigration Action programs. Please stay tuned.
01/24/2017: DHS Notice of Correction of Published Notice of
Eliminating Exception to Expedited Removal Authority for Cuban Nationals Encountered in the United
States or Arriving by Sea
- The following two corrections are made:
- 1. In the first column, correct the Mail
or Hand Delivery/Courier bullet to read:
Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier: Please submit all written comments
and CDROM submissions) to David Cloe, DHS Office of Policy,
Lane SW., Mail Stop 0445, Washington, DC 20528.
- 2. In the first column, correct the FOR FURTHER
caption to read:
David Cloe, DHS Office of Policy, 202-447-4647, David.Cloe@HQ.DHS.GOV.
- This corrrection notice will be officially
published in the federal register tomorrow.
01/24/2017: DHS Notice of Correction of Published Notice of
Eliminating Exception to Expedited Removal Authority for Cuban Nationals Arriving by Air
- DHS published a rule in the Federal Register
of January 17, 2017, eliminating an exception to expedited removal
authority for Cuban nationals arriving by air. This notice indicates
that the rule contained incorrect contact
information under two captions. For the reasons, the following
corrections are made:
- 1. At the bottom of the first column and
the top of the second column, correct the
Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier bullet to read:
Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier: Please submit all written comments
and CDROM submissions) to David Cloe, DHS Office of Policy,
Lane SW., Mail Stop 0445, Washington, DC 20528.
- 2. In the second column, correct the FOR
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
caption to read:
David Cloe, DHS Office of Policy, 202-447-4647, David.Cloe@HQ.DHS.GOV.
- This correction notice will be officially
published in the federal register tomorrow.
01/24/2017: 2017 HHS Poverty Guidelines Will Remain on Hold
- Federal Register will release a notice tomorrow
that HHS requested the withdrawal of this document after it was
on public inspection. It will remain on public inspection until
the close of business on January 24. A copy of the withdrawal
request is available at the Office of the Federal Register.
- Advance copy of the HHS 2017 Poverty Guideline
was released in the federal register on 01/20/2017. According
to the release of the notice, the new HHS Poverty Guidelines
were scheduled to take effect on 01/19/2017. We are not certain
whether this withdrawal is caused by the Regulatory Freeze Memorandum.
01/24/2017: Regulatory Freeze Memorandum Published in the
- This freeze is likely to last for a while
pending confirmation of the cabinet members in that the freeze
will continue pending review of the new leaders of the departments.
The problem is the public are left in the dark because of the
extended transition period. The White House website is very much
disappeared without report on the news and the President actions
updates. Additionally, since most of the federal departments
are governed by "acting" leaders of the departments
pending confirmation of the Secretaries and other political appointees,
the executive departments remain turtles. The nation hopes that
the government returns to a normal operation as soon as possible.
01/24/2017: Trump No Actions Against Immigration - That's
- Don't jump into any easy conclusion yet.
His occasional or instant or instinctive comments have been very
and very unreliable. He is still surrounded by the far-right
advisors and groups.
01/23/2017: DHS Inspector General (IG) Report on Review
of USCIS Progress in Implementing OIG Recommendations for
SAVE to Accurately Determine Immigration Status of Individuals
- The Report indicates that through statistical
sampling, OIG found that nearly
one out of eight times, SAVE erroneously verified that an individual had lawful immigration status although
the individual had been ordered deported from the United States
and was no longer entitled to many government benefits. Please
read the full report.
01/23/2017: USCIS Releases Civic Test Updates for N-400 Naturalization
- The revised answers to the questions below
are effective immediately, 01/23/2017!
01/23/2017: ALERT FOR EMPLOYERS:
Employers Must Use Form I-9 Dated
- Beginning January 22, 2017,
employers must use the 11/14/2016 N version of Form I-9, Employment
Eligibility Verification, to verify the identity and work eligibility
of every new employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986, or for the reverification
of expiring employment authorization of current employees (if
applicable). This date is found on the lower left hand corner
of the form. Prior versions of the form will no longer be valid
for use. Employers who
fail to use Form I-9 11/14/2016 N on or after January 22, 2017
may be subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A
of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as enforced
by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
- Employers should continue
to follow existing storage and retention rules for each previously completed Form I-9. You
can complete Form I-9 electronically on a fillable PDF or by
hand by downloading the PDF. You should use the latest version
of the free Adobe Reader. The Internet Explorer, Firefox and
Safari web browsers will prompt you to open or save the form.
- Visit I-9 Central
for more information.
01/21/2017: DHS Official Press Release of New Secretary of Department
of Homeland Security - John Kelly
- With the new Secretary in office, DHS components
and personnel may go through some changes, including Chief of
Staff and other positions. We look forward to a statement of
the new Secretary in the near future, showing some clues to his
directions for management and policies.
01/20/2017: Freeze of All Pending
or New Regulations by Memorandum of White House Chief of
- According to memorandum published by Politico, this memorandum
was delivered today to all the federal government agencies ordering
to freeze publishing of any rules or continuing pending regulation
or starting any rule-making process, pending review by the Trump
Administration. Accordingly, no
immigration stakeholder agencies would be able to initiate any
new rule-making process or if initiated the rule-making process,
they are required to suspend the process or if completed but
yet to be published, the agencies should stop publishing in the
federal register immediately. Currently there are quite a list
of pending rules which immigration stakeholder agencies initiated,
mostly interestingly the notorious EB-5 modernization rule that
proposes to raise minimum investment of either $1.3 million or
$1.8 million by the Obama Administration. There are other rules
which are in favor of immigration stakeholders as well. All of
these rules will be immediately suspended in compliance with
this White House memorandum.
01/20/2017: Senate Confirmed Gen. John Kelly by 88:11 Votes
and Sworn into Secretary of DHS in the White House Today
- As we reported a few days back, the Senate
confirmed only two nominees, Defense and Homeland Secretaries
today. Both of them were also sworn into the Secretaries today.
Accordingly it is official that from today, the Secretary of
Homeland Security is Mr. John Kelly. We extend our congratulation
and welcome to the Honorable DHS Secretary John Kelly.
- It will be interesting to watch whom President
Trump and DHS Secretary John Kelly will nominate for DHS Deputy
Secretary and USCIS, USICE, USCBP heads for the Senate confirmation.
We will also watch closely what changes the new DHS Secretary
will bring into the DHS in policies, management, and appointment
of other lower level leading officials in those agencies.
01/20/2017: Heads of DHS, USCIS, DOL, DOS, DOJ All Gone,
Temporary Filled by Acting Secretaries or Heads
- All the heads of immigration stakeholder
federal departments are gone, and pending confirmation of the
nominees, temporary acting heads currently fill the spots now.
When it comes to immigration policies, there will be some level
of vaccuum for the time being.
01/20/2017: President Trump Actions on the First Day of
- The Senate confirmed the Defense Secretary
nominee in 98:1 absolute majority vote early this afternoon,
and DHS Secretary is being voted this evening for confirmation.
Well, the President has already signed a legislative bill. Guess
what it was. Senate bill confirming the nomination of Defense
Secrerary. He swittly signed it into law. DHS confirmation is
likely to be signed this evening as well(?).
- Reportedly, the President's Day One act of
repealing Obama Executive Immigration Actions is delayed to next
week. For now, readers do not have to come back to this site
before going to bed. Please enjoy your good night sleep!
01/20/2017: Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dick Durbin to
Reintroduce the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017
- As reported on 01/14/2017, this bill was
scheduled to be reintroduced in the U.S. Senate. The old bill
number was S. 2266. The Senators released their announcement
yesterday that they are indeed scheduce this bill this week,
probably meaning today, in the Senate. By now, readers may be
familiar with this reform bill, but may read their announcement. Another bills to restrict H-1B
bills will be soon reintroduced in the House and the Senate.
The House bill is Rep. Zoe Lofgren bill to select H-1B cap petitions
on highest offered salary basis, which has been delay due to
her international travel. To no one's shock, as soon as the President-elect
release the nominee of the Supreme Court seat, Sen. Ted Cruz
may also reintroduce the most restrictive H-1B and F-1 OPT legislation
ahead. It is a matter of time, readers!
01/20/2017: Day One of Trump Administration and Immigration
- Today, the chief of the Executive Branch
of the U.S. Government will change hands at noon. When it comes
to his new Cabinet, thus far none has been confirmed by the Congress.
Report indicates that today, the Senate is likely to vote for
the confirmation of the some nominees after a painful hearings,
but only two may be confirmed today, Secretary of DHS and Secretary
of Defense, at the end of the date. It is in a way good news
that the Trump DHS is likely stabilized fairly early without
disastrous vaccuum in the transition. However, other sub-level
leaders of DHS including USCIS, ICE, CBP and others that require
confirmation of the Congress have yet to be taken care of. The
nominees of these posts are yet to be made public for that matter.
Accordingly, there will be a period of transition during when
the current Deputy Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries including
USCIS Director and other leadership positiona may remain or may
be replaced by temporary nominees for a short while until the
new nominees are confirmed by the Congress beginning from next
week. There are also other sub-sub leaders of each immigration
stakholder agencies which are political positions, but not subject
to confirmation of Congress. Some of these posts may be taken
care of pretty early, even though immigration stakeholders remain
in the dark when it comes their names. For the reasons, it is
likely that the immigration business may remain unstable or unpredictable
for a short while until new permanent sub-leaderships are appointed.
- Another day one developments which the immigration
stakeholders are anxious to know will include release of Trump's
Executive Orders today repealing some of the programs of the
Obama Executive Immigration Actions. All eyes are on the Expanded
DACA/DAPA for undocumented Dreamers, but there are some other
programs that may also be hit somewhat or hard. Please stay tuned
to this website before readers go to their beds.
01/20/2017: HHS 2017 Poverty Guidelines Effective 01/19/2017
- This notice will not be published in the
federal register until next Tuesday, 01/24/2017, but the advance
copy indicates that the 2017 new Poverty Guidelines took effect
on 01/19/2017, somewhat a little bid odd.
- The HHS Poverty Guidelines are however not
effective for each government agency unless they publish it as
their own Poverty Guidelines to determine the thresholds for
benefits of each of the government agencies. In the case of DHS/USCIS,
it usually publishes it in the form of I-864P towards the end
of February each year. The same goes true with the State
Department visa posts for the business of processing visas that
requires affidavit of support. In publishing I-864P, the DHS/USCIS
and the State Department multiplies the HHS Povernment Guidelines
figures by 125%. Accordingly, the threshold income which immigrants
will have to prove for the benefits will be 125% higher than
the HHS Poverty Guidelines which is made available by us in today's
posting. Considering the rise of consumer index, there will be
some rise in the threshold amount of income required, but considering
the proposed EB-5 program change that raises threshold investment
amount from current $500,000 to $1,350,000 and from $1,000,000
threshold to $1,800,000, critically affecting Chinese investment
immigrants, no one should drop tears for the change of Poverty
Guidelines. Reportedly, there are five digits of Chinese EB-5
immigrants are waiting for the visa number availability in the
Visa Bullen since the annual limit for EB-5 visa is 10,000 only
- Readers are advised that today's release
of 2017 Poverty Guidelines by HHS is not binding yet for the
01/19/2017: Alert for I-140
Filers with Request for Premium Processing: Filing
Address Changed Effective Today, 01/19/2017
- Starting today, January 19, 2017, you must
file your Form I-140 with Form I-907 Request for Premium Processing
Request at the addresses listed below:
|Beneficiary Worksite at:
||USPS 1st Class & Priority
|Maryland, New Jersey or Pensylvania
USCIS Texas Service Center
P.O. Box 279030
Dallas, TX 75227-9030
USCIS Texas Service Center
4141 N Saint Augustine Dr.
Dallas, TX 75227-4818
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
P.O. Box 87103
Lincoln, NE 68501-7103
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
850 S. Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
01/19/2017: USCIS Workload Transfers
of Some Asylum Applicants' EAD (I-765) Applications Beginning
- Some Asylum Applicants' EAD applications
have been transferred from NSC (Nebraska Service Center) and
TSC (Texas Service Center) to YSC (Potomac Service Center). For
information on what you have to, please read Workload Transfer Update site.
01/19/2017: USCIS Releases Revised Immigration Forms Relating
to Employment-Based Immigration Proceedings to Accomodate EB Modernization
Rule and Others Which Took Effect on 01/17/2017. New Version Mandatory
Effective 02/21/2017. Check the USCIS Form Site
- The following are the forms with the edition
date of January 17, 2017.
- Form I-485, Application
to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, New edition dated 01/17/17. Starting
02/21/17, USCIS will only accept the
01/17/17 edition. Until then, you can use previous editions.
However, all filings postmarked 12/23/16 or later must include
the new fees or we will reject them.
- From I-485 Supplement A for Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i), New edition dated 01/17/17. Starting
02/21/17, USCIS will only accept the
01/17/17 edition. Until then, you can use previous editions.
However, all filings postmarked 12/23/16 or later must include
the new fees or we will reject them.
- Form I-129, Petition
for a Nonimmigrant Worker, New
edition dated 01/17/17. Previous editions
dated 12/23/16, 08/13/15, 03/26/15 and 10/23/14 are also accepted.
However, all filings postmarked 12/23/16 or later must include
the new fees or we will reject them.
- Form I-140, Immigrant
Petition for Alien Worker, New
edition dated 01/17/17. Starting 02/21/17, USCIS will
only accept the 01/17/17 edition. Until then, you can use previous
editions. However, all filings postmarked 12/23/16 or later must
include the new fees or we will reject them.
- Form I-765, Application
for Employment Authorization, New edition dated 01/17/17.
Starting 02/21/17, USCIS will only accept the 01/17/17 edition. Until
then, you can use previous editions. However, all filings postmarked
12/23/16 or later must include the new fees or we will reject
- New edition dated 01/17/17. Starting 02/21/17,
USCIS will only accept the 01/17/17 edition. Until then, you
can use previous editions.
01/18/2017: USCIS Policy Memorandum on Role and Use of Interpreters
in Domestic Field Office Interviews
- This guidance, to be implemented May 1, 2017,
applies to interviews conducted at domestic field offices except
in cases where USCIS provides interpreters or has other policies,
Asylum and refugee interviews.
Credible fear and reasonable fear screening interviews.
Interviews to determine eligibility for relief under provisions
of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act
Naturalization interviews, unless the interviewee qualifies
for an exception to demonstrating adequate proficiency in reading,
writing and speaking English.
- Please read the Policy Memorandum for the details.
For the summary, please read the USCIS announcement.
01/18/2017: Friday January 20, 2017: Day of Dawn of Trump
Administration and Events Immigration Community to Watch
- After all of those political dramas, the
nation will face in next two days change of the federal government.
Aside from the new President's sworn-in ceremony, the immigrant
community will watch nervously development of two events in the
nation's capital. One is the Congressional confirmation
of the members of the Trump Cabinet who will determine the future
of the immigration community: Secretaries of DHS, Attorney
General, DOL, among others. There have been intense
confirmation hearings at the level of the Committees of the Congress
and thus far none has been confirmed. However, report indicates
that the Senate may go into the votes for confirmation of the
Trump Cabinet members on the same day (Friday) when the President-Elect,
Donald Trump will be sworn into the President of the nation.
The other is the new President's potential drop
of bomb shells which he pledged he would perform on day one.
In immigration areas, all eyes are focused on the fate of the
Obama Administration's Executive Immigration Actions Programs
which have been implemented with or without rule-making processes.
The list goes a way beyond the Expanded DACA/DAPA relief. There
are a list of the programs which have been implemented after
going through the rule-making process and thus in the form of
regulations, but potentially face repeal, particularly those
rules which the Obama Administration enacted in a last-minute
- For now, let's take a big breathe and enjoy
our lives in peace.
01/17/2017: USCIS Releases I-485 Supplement J form to Report Confirmation
of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA
- As the I-140 EAD rule is implemented effective
today, the USCIS has just posted the Supplement J form to I-485
form which those who change employer after filing EB-485 application
must report portability of their approved I-140 pursuant to the
new rule under the I-140 EAD final rule.
01/17/2017: New International Entrepreneur Parole Final Rule Takes Effect
- The final rule adds new regulatory provisions
guiding the use of parole on a case-by-case basis with respect
to entrepreneurs of start-up entities who can demonstrate through
evidence of substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid
business growth and job creation that they would provide a significant
public benefit to the United States. Such potential would be
indicated by, among other things, the receipt of significant
capital investment from U.S. investors with established records
of successful investments, or obtaining significant awards or
grants from certain Federal, State or local government entities.
If granted, parole would provide a temporary initial stay of
up to 30 months (which may be extended by up to an additional
30 months) to facilitate the applicant's ability to oversee and
grow his or her start-up entity in the United States.
- Read the DHS announcement and summary of the Final
01/17/2017: Federal Register Notice of DOJ/EOIR Eliminating Exception to Expedited
Removal Authority for Cuban Nationals
Arriving by Air
- Such Cubans are subject to this new rule
in the immigration court proceedings effective 01/13/2017.
01/17/2017: DHS Fact Sheet on Changes to Parole and Expedited
Removal Policies Affecting Cuban
01/17/2017: Federal Register Notice of Eliminating Exception
to Expedited Removal Authority for Cuban
Nationals Encountered in U. S. or
Arriving by Sea
- This final rule
takes effecti on January 13, 2017.
01/17/2017: Federal Register Notice of Eliminating Exception
to Expedited Removal Authority for Cuban
Nationals Arriving by Air
- This final rule
revises DHS regulations to eliminate the categorical exception
from expedited removal proceedings for Cuban nationals who arrive
in the United States at a port of entry by aircraft. As a result
of these changes, Cuban nationals who arrive in the United States
at a port of entry by aircraft will be subject to expedited removal
proceedings commensurate with nationals of other countries. This
rule takes effect on 01/13/2017.
01/17/2017: Somalia TPS 18-Month Extension Notice Published
Today in the Federal Register
- The 18-month extension of the TPS designation
of Somalia is effective as of March 18, 2017, and will remain
in effect through September 17, 2018. The 60-day re-registration
period runs from January 17, 2017 through March 20, 2017.
It is important for re-registrants to timely re-register during
this 60-day period and not to wait until their EADs expire. Read
also DHS announcement for some guidance.
01/14/2017: So-Called H-1B Abuse Crack Down Legislations
of 115th Congress Yet to Come
- During the 114th Congress that sunset on
January 3, 2017, there were a few nasty bills either in the House
or in the Senate. These included S. 2394 (The American Jobs Act of 2015) by Sen. Ted
Cruz and Sen. Jeff Sessions, S. 2365 (Protecting American Jobs Act" by Democratic
Senator Bill Nelson and Sen. Jeff Sessions, and S. 2266 (H-1B and L-1 Reform Act of 2015) by Sen.
Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dick Durbin in the Senate. On the House
side, Rep. Darrell Issa introduced "Protect and Grow American
- However, as of this week, only one bill was
reintroduced in the House, Rep. Issa bill, H.R. 170. On the Senate
side, none of the bills has been reintroduced. Good news? Hold
your breath! Out of the bills, the nastiest reform bill was S.
2394 that proposed the harshest restriction to the H-1B program
as well as eradication of OPT EAD program. Why this bill has
yet to be reintroduced in the Senate? Look at the names of the
sponsors. Sen. Jeff Sessions is a nominee of Attorney General
who has been going through the toughest confirmation hearing
and his confirmation is at stake. What about Sen. Ted Cruz? Who
knows that he is one of the candidates for the nomination of
the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States which is vacant.
President-elect has declared that 20 candidates in the list!
No wonder why the Senator is not too visible this days. Thus
the nastiest H-1B reform bill remains on hold for now, to this
reporter's speculation. The other bills of S. 2365 was less nasty
but still on hold. The co-sponsor of this bill was Sen. Jeff
Sessions. Voila! S. 2266 bill co-sponsors are Sen. Chuck Grassley
and Sen. Dick Durbin, two of the busiest Senators who are involved
with the confirmation process. It thus appears that reintroduction
of these bills appears to be in dormant state for now and it
may not take too long these bills may be reintroduced in the
- We reported on 12/15/2016 that the President-elected
invited twelve "American" tech leaders and engaged
in discussions on 12/14/2016. The subjects of discussion remained
unavailable for a while, but the latest report indicates that
a DT transition advisor who was the staff of the Senator Jeff
Sessions brought up the issues of H-1B reform issues, probably
in line with his former boss's legislative agenda. Report also
indicates that the tech leaders did not react too negatively
or more or less quite. Something must be being cooked now. Be
patient until the Congressional confirmation and DT's sworn-in
ceremony is over.
01/13/2017: DHS Notice of Extension of Somalia Designation of TPS
- The USCIS will publish this
notice on Tuesday, 01/17/2017 extending the designation of Somalia
for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months,
effective March 18, 2017 through September 17, 2018. The
registration will start from 01/17/2017 for 60 days from the
date. The notice emphasizes that the eligible Somalians to re-register
timely during this 60-day period and not to wait until their
01/13/2017: DHS International Entrepreneur
Parole Final Rule with Effective Date of 6-Month
- As we predicted, DHS is publishing this international
entrepreneur praole rule on July 17, 2017. This special parole
rule is a part of the Obama Executive Immigration Action Programs
of 2014, which may be subject to elimination either by the incoming
Trump Administration by its own executive order or by the Congress
through its proposed legislation of Midnight Rules Relief Act
of 2017. Unless the final rule is removed by such executive or
Congressional actions, the rule will take effect six months from
the date it is published in the federal register on Tuesday,
January 17, 2017.
01/13/2017: DHS Secretary Notice of Implementation of Final
Rule Eliminating Exception to Expedited Removal for Cubans
Arriving at the Airport, Effective 01/17/2017
- This notice states that in light of recent
changes in the relationship between the United States and Cuba,
the Department has determined that the exceptions for Cuban nationals,
contained in the designations of November 13, 2002 and August
11, 2004, are no longer warranted and are thus hereby eliminated.
This notice will be published in the federal register on Tuesday,
January 17, 2017.
01/13/2017: DHS Final Rule of Eliminating Exception to Expedited
Removal Authority for Cuban Nationals,
- This final rule which will be officially
published in the federal register eliminates from the current
rule DHS authority excepting Cuban nationals arriving by air
from expedited removal Authority. Along with the DOJ EOIR eancting
of final rule to the identical effect, the Cuban nationals arriving
at the U.S. port of entry by air will be subject to the same
rule of expedited removal by the DHS as well as immigration court
proceedings. Read the full text.
01/13/2017: EOIR Final Rule of Eliminating Exception to
Expedited Removal Authority for Cuban
Nationals, Effective 01/17/2017
- This final rule eliminates the categorical
exception from expedited removal proceedings for Cuban nationals
who arrive in the United States at a port of entry by aircraft.
As a result of these changes, Cuban nationals who arrive in the
United States at a port of entry by aircraft will be subject
to expedited removal proceedings commensurate withnationals of
other countries. Read the full text.
01/12/2017: OFLC Official Prevailing
Wage Determination Processing Times as of 01/12/2017
01/12/2017: OFLC Official PERM
Processing Times as of 01/12/2017
01/12/2017: USCIS Reaches the H-2B Cap for the First Half of
Fiscal Year 2017
- USCIS announces that January 10, 2017 was
the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting
an employment start date before April 1, 2017. Accordingly except
as noted below, USCIS will reject new H-2B petitions received
after January 10, 2017 that request an employment start date
before April 1, 2017. USCIS will however,continue to accept H-2B
petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap
including the following:
- Current H-2B workers in the U.S. petitioning
to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of
their employment or change their employers;
- Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians
and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
- Workers performing labor or services from
November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2019, in the Commonwealth
of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam.
01/12/2017: Employment-Based Immigration System Modernization
Rule (Final Rule): Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and
EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled
Nonimmigrant Workers, Taking Effect Next Tuesday, 01/17/2017 With
Yet To Be Released Revised Immigration Forms to Apply for the
- Most of the employers and the foreign workers
are aware that this new rule will take effect next Tuesday. However,
most of the benefits under the new rule require the revised or
new immigration forms to apply for the benefits, expecially revised
I-765 form. On December 21, 2016, we reported the draft of revised
I-765 instruction form that will add the new EAD eligible nonimmigrants
and threshold documentation requirement to apply for the EAD
card. It appears the USCIS may not publish this revised form
probably not until next Monday or Tuesday. The same is true with
the Supplement J of I-485 form for reporting of the approved
I-140 portability eligibility when the foreign workers file I-485
applications per this new rule. We also posted the draft of this
Supplement J form on this site. There are other forms which have
been revised and published on or before 01/17/2017 by the USCIS
to apply for other benefits. For the foregoing reasons and other
reasons relating to the change of government on 01/20/2017, it
appears that the applicants of the benefits under this rule may
have to wait until after 01/20/2017 to file the petitions or
- Caveat: The draft forms which posted earlier could have been
changed when the final versions are published next week. Readers
should follow the revised or new forms which will be published
next week and should not rely on our earlier posted draft forms.
Readers may review the draft forms just to understand qualifications
and threshold documentation which the USCIS will require for
01/12/2017: Full Text of Proposed Rule of EB-5
Immigrant Investor Program Modernization
- As we reported on January
8, 2017, the DHS/USCIS intends to modernize and change the current
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. At the time, the text of the
proposed rule was not available, but now it is available for
the readers to review and send in comments by April 11, 2017.
Currently, this is a proposed rule making stage and the text
of this proposed rule which will be officially published in the
federal register tomorrow is not legally binding.
01/12/2017: Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah Reintroduced Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act
with New Bill Number of H.R. 392
- This bill was introduced on January 10, 2017
and proposes to remove per country limitation to the employment-based
immigration visa system. As stated by the Congressman, an identical version
of this bill H.R. 3012 passed the House during the 112th Congress
with a bipartisan vote of 389 to 15. Subsequent versions of the
bill were introduced in the 113th Congress H.R. 633 and 114th
Congress H.R. 213 but did not receive a vote. This bill involves
the issue of "Diversity vs. Equality" in the country's
employment-based immigration system. One of the strongest opponent
to this bill was Irish immigrant community, but during the 112th
Congress, the bill was compomised accomodating the interest of
the Irish immigrants and the H.R. 3012 bill had a chance to pass
in the Congress but eventually failed due to strong opposition
from immigrant communities other than India and China that have
been experiencing a painful retrogression of employment-based
immigrantion due to the per country limit system of the employment-based
immigrant visa numbers each year under the immigration statute.
On the other hand, immigrant communities other than India and
China have been enjoying open visa numbers or less regressed
visa numbers to obtain employment-based green cards each year
thanks to the per country limit system (no more than 7% for employment-based
immigrant visas for each country) in the current employment-based
immigration systems. They refuted the equality argument from
the argument that when it comes to per centage of the employment-based
immigrant visas, current law assures all the country with the
same and equal per centage of visa numbers. Therefore they have
been strongly opposing this bill with the argument of importance
of diversity in immigration system for the country. However,
from the standpoint of the Indians and Chinese, the current system
is not equal in that the current per country limit fails to assure
competition for the employment-based immigration on equal basis
regardless of the numbers and based on the merits for Indians
- It will be interesting to learn how the Trump
Administration will handle this issue. Please stay tuned to this
website for development of this immigration reform proposal.
01/11/2017: USCIS Updates Processing Times Report 01/11/2017
- Please visit our home page.
01/11/2017: USCIS H-1B Processsing Times Report Update 01/11/2017
||Change of Status
[Under the new polisty, 30 days after the dates above, people
can file "Status Request."]
01/11/2017: OFLC Releases Today FY 2017 Q1 (10/01/2016-12/31/2016)
H-2B Foreign Labor Recruiter List
- The Office of Foreign Labor Certification
has posted today an updated H-2B Foreign Labor Recruiter List
with cumulative cases from July 28, 2016 through December 31,
2016. Quarterly updates will normally be posted by the end of
the month immediately following the close of the quarter.
01/11/2017: State Department Proposes to Amend Exchange
Visitor Program Summer Work Travel
- The proposed rule which will be published in
the federal register tomorrow proposes to make following changes
in the current rule for this program:
- specify general program administration requirements
for sponsors and their third parties;
- enhance transparency in the recruitment of
- limit exchange visitor repeat participation
to a total of three visits;
- require all exchange visitors to be placed
in advance of the exchange visitors arrival in the United
- outline additional sponsor responsibilities
for use and vetting of host entities;
- specify host entity requirements for program
- limit the number of late night and early
morning hours during which exchange visitors may work;
- introduces Form DS-7007 (Host Placement Certification);
- specifies more exactly pre-departure orientation
and documentation requirements, including with respect to bicycle
safety; ensures that sponsors and host entities provide exchange
cross-cultural activities; and
- outlines processes for sponsor use and vetting
of domestic and foreign third parties.
- The proposed rule is not binding until it
is enacted as a final rule after revising it into a final rule
to consider the comments the agency received.
01/11/2017: DHS Secretary Nominee John Kelly Reportedly Well Received in the Senate Confirmation
- Unlike very contentious and long confirmation
hearing for Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions, the hearing
for John Kelly reportedly lasted only two hours. Besides, unlike
Trump election pledges on far right immigration enforcement and
border control, he reportedly expressed his views on these immigration
issues in a mild fashion. It thus appears that the Senate may
complete his nomination fairly swiftly and he is anticipated
to be confirmed for the DHS Secretary timely without any hurdles.
However, this makes far-rights uncomfortable. Read on.
01/10/2017: Somalia TPS Designation
and EAD Extension Cleared
- The notice will be soon published in the
federal register. Please stay tuned.
01/10/2017: February 2017 Visa Bulletin Released
- Gosh, no single date moved for Final Action
Dates and Filing Dates Charts for EB-2 India between January
2017 and February 2017. Is this real?
01/10/2017: USCIS Advance Notice of Rule Making for Amendment
to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program
- This advance notice will be published with
90-day comment period and will not be able to be completed before
01/20/2017, the last day of the Obama Administration. The proposed
rule will amend the followings: (1) the process for initially
designating entities as regional centers, (2) a potential requirement
for regional centers to utilize an exemplar filing process, (3)
continued participation requirements for maintaining
regional center designation, and (4) the process for terminating
regional center designation.
01/09/2017: Pending Appeals of Expanded
STEM OPT Program and H-4 EAD
Program Decisions of Federal District Courts
- Both STEM OPT community and H-4 EAD were
able to reap the fruit in litigations in 2016. As anticipated,
the anti-immigration petitioners filed appeals for the lower
court decisions, which are at this time very much going nowhere
for their future. Under the circumstances, the stakeholders of
Expanded STEM OPT and H-4 EAD programs are anxiously waiting
for the decisions of the upcoming Trump Administration as to
whether it will initiate the regulatory process to repeal these
two programs since these two programs which were initiated before
the Obaba Executive Immigration Actions but afterward merged
into the Executive Immigration Actions Programs of 2014 leading
to current potential crisis of these two programs in the future.
Under the circumstanding, the appeals pending for these two programs
are considered more or less meaningless, not to mention slim
chances for the anti-immigration groups to reap any favorable
decisions from the federal courts of appeals. Accordingly, we
should rather focus on the development of Trump Administration
decision on these two programs at the level of rule-making process,
if any, to repeal these two programs. We will keep eye on the
Trump Administration decision for the next few months.
01/09/2017: New York Federal District Court Decision of
Batalla Vidal v. Baran et al on Expanded
DACA/DAPA Program Delayed with Reduced Impact on DACA Community
- DACA community is currently facing more serious
development as to whether the Trump Administration will repeal
DACA program. Facing such fate for their future, the impact of
this pending litigation should be considered very much reduced.
Readers will remember that a DACA person in New York filed a
lawsuit in the East District of the U.S. District Court New York,
after the U.S. Supreme Court sustained the 5th Circuit Federal
Court of Appeals in Luisiana that had upheld the order of injunction
of the Expanded DACA/DAPA program by a federal judge in Brownsville,
Texas. The Obama Administration issued the Expanded DACA/DAPA
Order as part of his 2014 Executive Immigration Actions. The
plaintiffs in this lawsuit in New York sought a decision from
the federal district that the decision of the federal district
court in Texas should not apply to them who are residents of
New York and they claimed that their DACA should have been extended
for three years instead of two years. As readers can appreciate
it, under the circumstances of question of survivality of the
whole DACA program at stake now, the impact of the decision of
this court decision will be very limited, albeit very important
for the legal cause and impact.
- The Court initially scheduled the hearing
for this case at January 25, 2017, followed by the court decision
soon thereafter. However, this hearing schedule reportedly has
been postponed, delaying the decision of this litigation.
01/09/2017: Court Decision on H-1B
Cap Selection Lottery System Litigation, Tenrec, Inc.
v. USCIS, Reportly Imminent
- The Plaintiff's counsel reports that the
Defendants (government) filed on 01/06/2017 a Supplemental Brief
and thus the case is now ripe for decision and under advisement.
The decision could be issued at any time. The parties now await
the Court's ruling. As we approach the FY 2018 H-1B cap season,
the forthcoming decision will be very important for the high-tech
employers, businesses, and high-tech foreign workers. In 2017,
the H-1B community is anticipated potentially to face a number
of challenges even without the decision of this litigation. Please
stay tuned to this website for the court decision.
- Readers must be aware that this litigation
seeks removal of the current computer selection (lottery) system
for the H-1B cap petitions. The decision of the court will have
a profound impact and implication for businesses and foreign
workers. However, there is legislative movements to eradicate
current lottery system, replaced by the amount of the salary
offered by the employers for selection of H-1B cap cases, and
depending on the development of such legislations, the impact
of this court decision could be either short-lived or reduced.
01/08/2017: USCIS "Proposed Rule"
for Improvement of the EB-5 Employment Creation Immigrant Regulations
Cleared by the OMB on 01/05/2017
- This rule is proposing to update the regulations
to include the following areas: priority date retention, increases
to the required investment amounts, revision of the Targeted
Employment Area requirements, clarification of the regional center
designation and continued program participation requirements,
and further definition of grounds for terminating regional centers.
As a result of these amendments and resulting modernized program,
DHS believes that regional centers, entrepreneurs, and the Federal
each benefit. This rule would benefit regional centers by clarifying
the requirements for designation and continued participation
in the EB-5 program, making the application process more transparent
for regional centers and streamlined to improve DHS operational
efficiencies. The rule would benefit entrepreneurs seeking to
participate in the program by providing the opportunity to mitigate
the harsh consequences of unexpected changes to business conditions
through priority date retention in limited circumstances. This
rule would also provide a more transparent process for entrepreneurs
seeking to participate in the regional center program by providing
increased consistency and predictability of adjudications through
the clarified regional center continued program participation
requirements. These changes will also streamline the adjudication
process and improve DHS operational efficiencies, resulting in
improved adjudication times. Finally, the Federal Government
will benefit from clarifications and enhancements to the EB-5
program to strengthen program integrity, reducing the risk of
fraud and national security concerns in the program, as well
as improving operational efficiencies to reduce overall program
costs. The full text is yet to be made available and it is not
certain whether this proposed rule will be published in the federal
register before 01/20/2017.
- However, again, this proposed rule is a part
of the 2014 Obama Executive Immigration Actions programs and
whether or not this final rule making process be contiued or
abandoned may be left to the decision of the incoming Trump Administration.
The proposed rule is legally not binding until it is completed
by the final rule. Let's watch the decision of the new Administration.
01/08/2017: International Entrepreneur Parole Final
Rule Cleared by the OMB on 01/05/2017 for Release in the
Federal Register and Implementation
- We reported on 12/30/2016 that this final
rule which was submitted to the OMB on 12/29/2016 was likely
completed before the Obama Administration would leave the White
House on 01/20/2017. This prediction was right. On January 5,
2017, the OMB cleared this final rule in seven (7) days. Accordingly,
it is anticipated that this final rule will be published in the
federal register very soon. There has been some changes in the
final rule but readers may read the proposed rule to learn what this parole program
is about and what the requirements are for the International
Entrepreneur Parole application.
- Readers are however advised that this final
rule is part of the 2014 Obama Executive Immigration Actions
programs which are threatened for repeal either by legislation
by the Republican Congress or by Trump Administration.
01/08/2017: More Than 60 House Democrats Escalate Call to
Pardon DREAMers to President Obama
- As clock is ticking fast for the sworn-in
of the President-elect into the President on the 20th, the House
Democrats are desperate to save Dreamers from deportation. These
Democrats reportedly plea the President Obama to extend
a massive pardon for these Dreamers before too late. Do you hear
the sound of ticking of the clock? Oh Yeah....... Getting desperate
with unknown future approching tick by tick.
- Mr. President-elect, do you hear and feel
the pains of these innocent people? We hope you do and keep your
promise to do something about not against them but for them on
the first day you are sworn into the Oval Office.
01/08/2017: Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 and Final Rule of Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3
Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled
Nonimmigrant Workers, aka I-140 EAD
- The Republican Congress had
struggled to restirct the power of the Executive Branch by enacting
various legislations to restrict the Obama Administration's executive
rules and to rescind some of the rules which Obama Administration
enacted last minutes of its governance. During the 114th Congress,
the Republican legislators in the House introduced two legislative
bills to achieve the foregoing purposes, which were then reintroduced
and passed in the House within the first three days of the 115th
Congress in 2017. One was the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017
that amends the CRA to give the power to the Congress to invalidate
certain rules which were enacted within 60 legisative days before
Obama Administration ends on January 20, 2017. The other is the
Regulations From the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act
that will mandate the Executive Branch of the government to obtain
the approval of the Congress when the rules would impact $100
milllions of dollars cost to the economy. Both of the foregoing
rules are presently in the hands of the Senate. Considering the
fact that any rules which Congress passes can be vetoed by the
sitting President, the Republican Senate is not likely to pass
these bills before the Trump Administration takes over the White
House on January 20, 2017. Next week, the Chairman Bob Goodlatte of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives
will introduce in the House a third bill of Regulatory Accountability
Act of 2017 to empower the legislative branch to restrict the
regulatory power of the Executive Branch. For the details, please
read the Chairman's report.
- When it comes to immigration
rules, the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 is likely to bring
the most devastating impact on employers and immigrants. For
instance, come January 17, 2017, the so-called I-140 EAD rule
will take effect. However, the I-140 EAD final rule was published
in the register on November 18, 2016. Since the government will
change hands on January 20, 2017, calendar wise, the rule was
enacted more than 60 days before the new government. However,
the Midnight Rules Relif Act of 2017 counts only "legislative
days" to determine the 60 days and it appears that the I-140
EAD rule will fall under this legislation, should this bill be
enacted into a law and the Congress determines that the I-140
EAD rules should be invalidated. At this point, this remains
an open question. We will keep track of development of this legislation.
01/07/2017: NVC No Longer Requires "Original or Wet
Ink Signature" for Affidavits of Support
- The State Department announced on 12/28/2016 that original or
wet ink signatures are no longer required on submitted
Forms I-864, Affidavit of Support. This also applies to the I-864A,
I-864W, and I-864EZ.
01/07/2017: Dawn of Trump Cabinet Nomination Confirmation
War in the U.S. Senate
- Beginning from next week, the Senate will
be immersed in political fights surrounding confirmaiton of nomination
of the members of the Trump cabinet. Interesting enough, the
first focus is on the current member of the Senate Judiciary
Committee, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who is nominated
by the President-elect for the seat of Attorney General of the
DOJ. It will be interesting to see how these "colleagues"
would be able to set aside their friendship with this colleague
in the Committee who has been working in the same room for the
past several years or decades day in and day out in the Senate
for the interest of the political interest. It will be "tough,
tough" job, for sure! Immigration stakeholders and immigrant
community have started massive campaigns to mobilize their forces
to add pressure on the Senate members to achieve rejection of
the confirmation of this nomination.
- New York Times reports that the Senate will start the confirmation
hearings in the following order: Begin on Tuesday, January 10, 2017,
with testimony from Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama,
the nominee for Attorney General, and Gen. John F. Kelly,
the pick for Homeland Security Secretary. On Wednesday,
the parade of nominees is expected to include Rex W. Tillerson,
the choice for Secretary of State; Betsy DeVos, the pick
for Education Secretary; and Representative Mike Pompeo
of Kansas, the nominee to lead the C.I.A. Later in the week, the
billionaire investor Wilbur L. Ross Jr., chosen as Commerce
Secretary, and Andrew F. Puzder, the Labor Secretary pick,
are scheduled to come before congressional panels.While some
of Mr. Trumps nominees, notably Representative Tom
Price of Georgia, the choice for Health Secretary and
an ardent opponent of the Affordable Care Act, are certain to
receive hostile receptions, large numbers of Democrats will probably
vote for many others.
- Now Kris Kobach story. One hurdle
appears to have been removed involving Governor Sam Brownback
in that the Governor appears to have been pushed backward with
the potential nomination of the Secretary of Agriculture post
and Kobach's ambition to take over the Kansas State Governor
position has been more or less disappeared for his immediate
future. Reports thus indicate that the far right forces including
FAIR and NumbersUSA have started pumping up their political muscles
to pressure Trump transition team to pick Kobach as "Immigration
Czar" in the White House who would have a power to manage
DOJ and DHS when it comes to immigration policy. Such push apparently
has been worked out for the reasons not only from the reality
that all the cabinet posts have been gone for him by now, but
also from the reality that any post that needs the Senate confirmation
would have a slim chance for him to make it because of his ultra
far right stance in the immigration issues. The seondary post
these far right groups is pushing appears to involve the ICE
Director post, but it remains a "secondary" push
for the reasons that ICE Director needs confirmation of nomination
by the Senate and the chance for the Senate confirmation of ICE
nomination is also dubious. Since the White House "Czar"
post does not need the Senate confirmation, that is the most
plausible post the President-elect is pressued to select for
Kobach at this time. One thing appears clear is that no matter
whether or not he will be appointed for the Trump Administration
jobs, he may remain an important figure who would provide advice
for the President-elect behind the scene.
- The clock will be ticking fast for all of
the above-described political struggle involving the Trump Administration
nomination confirmations for the posts involving immigrration
for the immediate future as well as for the long future. Readers,
please hold your breathes.
01/06/2017: NSEERS Rule is Gone, but is there a Legal Basis
for Trump Administration to Initiate a Rule Similar to NSEERS?
- A Congressional Research Service report dated
01/05/2017 says "yes." After the DHS repealed the NSEERS
rule, there was a report that Trump never intended to restart
"NSEERS" program without its own separate action, allegedly
because of the flaws in the existing NSEERS rule. The report
also stated that the President-elect had his own plan to initiate
and implement it. We wonder whether the President-elect will
also rely on the legal basis for his own plan which this CRS
analysis and report refers to. This report indicates that President
Bush issued the NSEERS plan and rule relying on the legal basis
which CRS reports in this analysis. According to this report,
Trump Administration will not need any new legislation for it
to initiate and implement similar surveillance plan and can achieve
it simply by another rule. Something to watch carefully after
01/06/2017: International Entrepreneur Parole Final Rule
Likely Implemented Before Obama Administration Leaves DC
- This is one of the Obama 2014 Executive Immigration
Action Programs. There had been some delays in going through
the rule-making process, but at the last minute, the final rule
which will take effect once it is published in the federal register
has been cleared by the OMB yesterday in a rush fashion. Accordingly,
this final rule is likely published in the federal register very
soon. Stay tuned.
01/05/2017: Trump Appointed Zina Bash for White
House Domestic Policy Council Staff in Charge of Regulary Reform, Legal and Immigration Policy
- This appointment is announced today. It is
Zina Bash, Regulatory Reform, Legal and Immigration PolicyZina
Bash has held a variety of positions in business, law and government,
and currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Operations
and Business Development at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.
Her previous positions include Deputy Director of Policy and
Communications for Senator Ted Cruzs presidential campaign
and Senior Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee in Senator
John Cornyns office. Ms. Bash also practiced law as an
appellate attorney at international law firm Gibson Dunn, &
Crutcher LLP. Fluent in Spanish as a native speaker, she earned
a bachelors degree from Harvard College, a J.D. from Harvard
Law School and an M.B.A. from Wharton Business School. Ms. Bash
also served as a law clerk to Justice Samuel Alito of the U.S.
Supreme Court and Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
01/05/2017: USCIS Changes Reporting Format of Monthly Processing
Times on its Website
- USCIS announces that starting on January
4, 2017, USCIS will post processing times on its website using
only a specific date format rather than weeks or months.
Accordingly, from here on, if the specific date which is reported
on the USCIS Processing Times Report in its web page is behind
the receipt date on your Receipt Notice, you are supposed to
hear from USCIS within 30 days. If you don't hear from the USCIS
after those 30 days, you are allowed to make an inquiry on your
case. USCIS recommends consumers to use its e-request tool for all case inquiries.
- The previous reporting format was different
in that for the last several years, USCIS has posted case processing
times using two different formats:
" For cases that were within USCIS production goals, USCIS
listed processing times in weeks or months.
" For cases that were outside of USCIS production goals,
USCIS listed processing times with a specific date. Consumers
were allowed to file service request 30 days only after the specific
date when they did not hear from the USCIS for the delays.
- USCIS is removing the first format of listing
processing times in weeks or months from its previous monthly
processing time report. Accordingly, when the USCIS updates the
processing times reports, readers will see only specific dates
for every type of cases instead of weeks or months in some cases.
- Please note that the USCIS
has already revised December 29, 2016 Processing Times Report
in line with the foregoing format change notice. Please revisit
USCIS Processing Times Report of 12/29/2016 at our home page.
01/05/2017: House Passed H.R. 21 "Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017" Sponsored
by Rep. Issa of California to Kill Some of Obama Last Minute Rules
- The Midnight Rules Relief Act would allow
Congress to overturn, with a single vote, executive branch regulations
finalized in the last 60 legislative days of an outgoing Presidential
administration. Reportedly, The bill specifically amends the
Congressional Review Act (the CRA) to allow Congress to reclaim
the ability to effectively curtail multiple regulations hurried
through the regulatory process in the final days of an outgoing
Administration all at once. For the sponsor statement, please
click here. This rule was passed during the
115th Congress sessions.
- This amendment of the CRA, if it is also
passed by the Senate, would expand the power of the Republican
Congress to ignore Obama rules beyond the scope of the current
CRA and more last minute rules of the Obama Administration could
be negatively affected. Accordingly, Obama Execute Immigration
Actions could be repealed at two different levels: For immigration
reform programs implemented without final rules, by the Trump
Administration, and for similar programs which have been implemented
by enactment of final rules at the last minutes, by the Republican
01/05/2017: Approaching FY-2018 H-1B Cap Season and Question
of Survivality of Current Lottery Selection System
- Current computer random selection is under
litigation and the federal district court in Oregon will make
a decision sooner or later. Besides, there is a strong movement
in the Congress to replace the current lottery system of H-1B
cap selection system by price bidding system granting the H-1B
cap numbers in the order of highest salary offered. Republican
Senators introduced such bill last year in the Senate and as
we reported yesterday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, pro-immigration legislator,
is reportedly to introduce a bill in the House in a day or two
proposing such bidding system of H-1B cap selection process.
There will be a strong resistance from staffing businesses, consulting
businesses and some high-tech businesses to such proposal. Such
bidding system will also critically hurt small or medium-sized
businesses that will not be able to offer competitive compensation.
Additionally, such bidding system may also affect the cost of
doing businesses for employers and hike of services or products
as affected by the increase in wages of H-1B foreign workers.
This is something which the businesses and high-tech foreign
workers should watch very closely during next two or three months.
01/04/2017: On the First Day Alone of 115th Congress, 275 Legislative Bills Introduced in the Congress
(Senate & House), Mostly Reintroduction of 114th Congress
Bills with New Bill Numbers
- Immigration bills include, among others,
- H.R. 81 introduced by Rep. Babin, Brian [R-TX-36]
To suspend, and subsequently terminate, the admission of certain
refugees, to examine the impact on the national security of the
United States of admitting refugees, to examine the costs of
providing benefits to such individuals, and for other purposes.
- H.R. 82 H.R.82 introduced by Rep. Babin,
Brian [R-TX-36] To withhold Federal financial assistance from
each country that denies or unreasonably delays the acceptance
of nationals of such country who have been ordered removed from
the United States and to prohibit the issuance of visas to nationals
of such country.
- H.R.83 introduced by Rep. Barletta, Lou [R-PA-11]
To prohibit the receipt of Federal financial assistance by sanctuary
cities, and for other purposes.
- H.R.97 introduced by Rep. Brownley, Julia
[D-CA-26] To amend the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations
Act, 2016, to enable the payment of certain officers and employees
of the United States whose employment is authorized under the
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, and for
- H.R.120 Rep. Burgess, Michael C. [R-TX-26]
To reduce the amount of foreign assistance to Mexico, Guatemala,
Honduras, and El Salvador based on the number of unaccompanied
alien children who are nationals or citizens of such countries
and who in the preceding fiscal year are placed in Federal custody
by reason of their immigration status
- H.R.140 introduced by Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4]
To amend section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to
clarify those classes of individuals born in the United States
who are nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.Sponsor:
- H.R.170 introduced by Rep. Issa, Darrell
E. [R-CA-49]To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to modify
the definition of "exempt H-1B nonimmigrant".
- H.R.176 introduced by Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4]
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify that wages
paid to unauthorized aliens may not be deducted from gross income,
and for other purposes.
- H.R.178 introduced by Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4]
To require the country of origin of certain special immigrant
religious workers to extend reciprocal immigration treatment
to nationals of the United States.
- Report indicates
that H.R. 170 is the "The Protect and Grow American Jobs
Act," which were pending in 114th Congress and reintroced
by Issa (R-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Scott Peters
(D-Calif.), and proposes to change eligibility requirements for
H-1B visa exemptions and limit the outsourcing of jobs. The bill
is allegedly intended to close a loophole in the nations
high-skilled immigration system being used by some companies
to import cheaper foreign labor by raising the salary requirement
for the positions to $100,000 a year for H-1B and eliminating
the master's degree exemption. The report indicates that Rep.
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) will also introduced another bill in the next
few days to control H-1B visa abuse by alloting H-1B visas to
companies willing to pay the highest salaries rather than H-1B
cap annual lottery system. For next several days, many and many
more bills will be reintroduced both in the Senate and the House.
01/04/2017: OFLC Average Number of Days to Comple H-2A and
H-2B Temporary Labor Certification Cases as of 01/03/2017
|| Complete Cases
| H-2A TLC
|| 25 Calendar days
|| 36 Calendar days
| H-2B TLC
|| 33 Calendar days
|| 43 Calendar days
01/04/2017: USCIS Official Announcement and Application Guidance for
Yemeni TPS Extension Registration
and EAD Extension Application
01/03/2017: Consular Processing Immigrant Visa (Both FB and EB) Inventory Data
as of November 1, 2016
- As we reported earlier, immigration visa
applications that are processed through the National Visa Center
of the State Department and American consulates overseas are
mostly family-based immigrant visa applications and less than
20% of employment-based immigrants are going through consular
immigrant visa application process. However, even the consular
processing of employment-based immigrant visa application inventory
reveals a similar trend to the USCIS EB-485 inventory data, albeit
the numbers are smaller.
01/03/2017: October 2016 EB-485 Inventory Data Released
- As we reported lately, USCIS was working
on release of this data. Here we go.
- Wow, EB-1 labor certification waived EB-485
cases have been exploding for the last five years, especially
beginning from 2014, as shown below for October each year:
| October 2016
| October 2015
| October 2014
| October 2013
| October 2012
| October 2011
|| Total Waiting as of October
01/03/2017: TPS Designation Extension and EAD Extension
for Yemeni Nationals for 18 Months Through 09/03/2018
- DHS extends and redesignates TPS Yemeni nationals
for 18 months from March 4, 2017 through September 3, 2018. For
individuals who have already been granted TPS under Yemens
designation, the 60-
day re-registration period runs from 01/04/2017 for 60 days from
01/04/2017. DHS automatically extends the validity of EADs issued
under Yemens TPS designation for 6 months, through September
3, 2017, and the notice explains how TPS beneficiaries and their
employers may determine which EADs are automatically extended
and their impact on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form
I-9) and E-Verify processes.
- Yemeni individuals who currently do not have
TPS may submit an initial application during the 180-day initial
registration period that runs from 01/04/2017 for 180 days In
order to receive a grant of TPS, initial
applicants under this redesignation must demonstrate that they
have continuously resided in the United States since 01/04/2017
and been continuously physically present in the United States
since March 4, 2017, in addition to meeting all other TPS eligibility
criteria.. For all other details, please read the DHS federal register notice.
01/02/2017: FY 2016 ICE Immigration Removals Released
01/02/2017: Error in Report of Retirement of ICE Director.
We stand Corrected.
- Yesterday, we reported in error retirement
of ICE Director. It was the retirement of ICE Chief of Buffalo
Office. We apologize for the erroneous report.
01/01/2017: House Schedule for the Two Congresses Sessions
on Tuesday, January 3, 2017
- House schedule will show that the House of
Representatives will start the 114th Congress last session beginning
at 11:00 a.m. and close the session as the close of the 114th
House of Representatives. And then at the noon, the House of
Representatives will start the 115th Congress session, starting
from the selection of the House Speaker and other leaderships
and start taking new legislative bills, including some bills
to deal with a midnight regulations relief, etc. Remember that
some 114th Congress pending bills will be reintroduced but as
the 115th Congress bills and different 115th legislative bill
numbers. It Ain't Interesting?
01/01/2017: Immigration Stakeholders and Immigrants Should
Keep a Level of Patience During Next One Month or Two When Obama
Executive Immigration Actions Are Involved
- The political environment surrounding immigration
reforms is currently undergoing a historic challenge. There are
all the indications that the hard core anti-immigration forces
have been acting in all court pressing on the President-Elect
and the transition team, including the far-right legislators
in the House, among others. Under the circumstances, immigrants,
both documented or undocumented, should watch carefully for the
development for a while before they jump into any actions. This
is time, in this reporter's opinion, when people should act cautiously.
The President-Elect has pledges to his constituents, some of
whom are extreme far right, which he is pressured to keep as
01/01/2017: Today's Report Indicates that President-Elect
Will Repeal Lots of Obama Executive Actions as One of Two Things
for His Day-One Jobs
indicates that this was released by the President-elect's nominated
Press Secretary at the TV interview at the ABC station. Reportedly
there was no disclosure of which executive actions it will include.
Speculation from this report includes executive immigration action
programs. Lately, the relationship between the President-Elect
and the President Obama developed very sour and deteriorated,
and no one is surprised that the President-Elect will retaliate
Obama with this type of political actions.
- However, as we reported again and again,
there are some executive immigration actions which he cannot
repeal in day one if the programs were implemented in final regulations
in certain period of time since the CRA (Congressional Review
Act) and APA (Administrative Procedure Act) laws require that
even President must follow the required procedure of rule-making
to repeal such rules. Accordingly, most likely the Obama's immigration
actions that will be vulnerable to such drastic actions will
include DACA for Dreamers and other programs which were implemented
without filing rule making process. What a chilly news on the
New Year's Day!
01/01/2017: What Happens with All the Pending Bills When
the 115th Congress Opens on 01/03/2017, Tuesday?
- There are many and many pending bills which
were introduced but failed to pass both Houses and signed by
the President into law before the 114th Congress closed. Legally,
all of these bills are considered "dead." However,
historically, lot of the pending bills have been reintroduced
after the new Congress opens. During a short period of time of
two weeks in January, 2017, both houses of the Congress will
be in total control by the Republican Party, but the Executive
Branch will still remain under the control of the President Obama.
For the reasons, any bills which are reintroduced in January
by any party will have slim or no chance to survive during the
- Beginning from January 20, 2017, practically
three branches of the federal government will remain under the
control of one party, GOP, which the Senate is likely to nominate
its candidate for the vacant seat in the Supreme Court of the
United Sates at the earliest in their convenience. However, unlike
some other countries in the world, single party control of the
federal government does not mean that the country will turn into
a dictatorship of the President because some GOP members in both
houses may not necessarily under the total control of the GOP
President nor the GOP majority Congress. Particularly during
the 115th Congress, the Trump Administration will encounter resistance
from the Republican Congress in some areas of national policies.
- 2017 is also called a "leap year"
in that there will be no national elections for federal Congress
and the Presidency. Accordingly, during the leap year, politics
are less stressful and party members are less controlled by their
constituents in their districts and States. However, some of
them may have to face the reelection cycle in November 2018 and
depending on the political landscapes in their districts or States,
these Senators and House of Representatives will move in the
direction which help them to be reelected in November 2018, not
to mention for their nomination in the party primaries.
- There are many immigration legislative bills
which were introduced last year (2016 or earlier) and are still
pending now. These bills which are likely reintroduced when the
115th Congress reopens and new piece-meal or comprehensive immigration
bills which will also be introduced in 2017 may face stressful
journeys ahead depending on how the new political dynamics will
work and develop ahead. For now, we wish every one of our readers
has a happy new year in 2017.
For the News Before 01/01/2017,