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Recent Blog Posts

Split Supreme Court Decision Blocks President Obama’s Immigration Plan

In a one-sentence 4-4 split decision on June 24, 2016, U.S. v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand lower court rulings that block the Obama administration’s plan, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), to allow approximately 4 million parents of U.S. citizen children to remain in the United States and obtain […]

Immigration Processing Times

Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Field Offices and Service Centers, the Department of Labor, or the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers: USCIS Field Office and Service Center processing times online: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplay.do Department of Labor processing times and information on […]

Increased Wait Times for H-1B and L-1 Visas at U.S. Consular Posts in India

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) reports that U.S. Consular Posts in India are currently experiencing extraordinary wait times for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) interview appointments. At the time of this writing, the current wait times for all NIV categories other than B, F, and J are: Chennai – 75 days Hyderabad – 93 days Kolkata […]

Effective May 10, 2016, STEM OPT Work Permits Expanded

May 10, 2016 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has amended its F–1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from U.S. institutions of higher education. Specifically, the final rule allows such F–1 STEM students who have elected to pursue 12 months […]

USCIS Falls Way Behind on Asylum Interview Scheduling

Until fairly recently, USCIS’s Asylum Office in Arlington, VA, which covers applications from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, DC, was scheduling interview within 3 months or so of filing.  However, due to a huge increase in applications from Central American and Middle East nationals, the Office has fallen behind by 3 years. According to USCIS’ […]

USCIS Reaches FY2017 H-1B Cap

On April 7th, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption. USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the […]

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum on “Same or Similar” Occupations and Job Portability

On March 18, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services finalized its policy on determining whether a new job is in the “same or similar” occupational classification with respect to job portability. The policy memorandum instructs USCIS employees on how to use the Department of Labor’s Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes and other evidence to determine if […]

H-1B Season is Here Again

On April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming. The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B […]

Can Toddlers Be Their Own Lawyers in Immigration Court?

Is this ignorance, evil, or just a misstatement?  The Boston Globe reports a senior Justice Department official is arguing that 3- and 4-year-olds can learn immigration law well enough to represent themselves in court, staking out an unconventional position in a growing debate over whether immigrant children facing deportation are entitled to taxpayer-funded attorneys. Jack H. Weil, […]

More Changes Coming to the Visa Waiver Program

February 18, 2016 DHS announced that it is continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, by adding Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as countries of concern, and limiting VWP travel for certain individuals who have traveled to these countries since March 1, 2011. At this time, […]

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