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Posts Tagged ‘USCIS

Immediate Relatives Can Apply for Provisional Waivers for Unlawful Presence before they Leave the United States

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Beginning today, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before they leave the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States and before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.

Until today, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who were not eligible to adjust status in the United States had to travel abroad and obtain an immigrant visa. Please know, under the current process, which continues to remain in effect, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States have to travel abroad and be found inadmissible at their immigrant visa interview before they can apply for an inadmissibility waiver.

Written by MithrasLaw

March 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm

USCIS collected $1.757 billion in fees and processed 6.592 million forms in 2011

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As a Congressionally-mandated self-funded fee-based agency, USCIS collects immigration-related applications and fees through several channels, including through its field offices (Service Centers and District and Field Offices), e-filing, and the Lockbox facilities provided through the Department of Treasury.

In 2001, USCIS first began using a Lockbox facility to collect a portion of its revenues.  From 2001 to 2007, USCIS transferred additional fee-based applications into Lockbox facilities. In 2007, USCIS established the Lockbox Expansion Project to migrate the intake function for fee-based immigration forms to a lockbox environment.  At its completion in early 2011, this expansion transitioned the intake of almost all applications and fees out of the USCIS field offices and into a centralized processing environment.  The following table depicts form and fee volumes processed by the Lockbox facilities from FY 2008 through FY 2011.

Fiscal Year Forms Processed* Fees Collected
2008 3.152 million $702.9 million
2009 4.352 million $1.139 billion
2010 6.265 million $1.600 billion
2011 6.592 million $1.757 billion

*These totals include non-benefit requests such as G-28, I-797, Labor Certificates, etc.

Written by MithrasLaw

May 3, 2012 at 6:00 am

Fiscal Year 2013 H-1B Cap Count Update (updated April 17, 2012)

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As of April 13, 2012, approximately 20,600 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS has receipted 9,700 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees.

USCIS Continues to accept FY 2013 H-1B petitions and our office is continuing to help clients file H-1B petitions. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or help in filing an H-1B.

Cap Eligible Petitions: This is the number of petitions that USCIS has accepted for this particular type of cap. It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending. It does not include petitions that have been denied. Petition Target: This is the number of petitions that USCIS projects it will need for the cap to be met. Cap Amounts: The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B nonimmigrants are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas may be set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

India largest beneficiary of H-1B visas issued – 24% Increase in H-1B visas issued in FY 2011

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The U.S. Mission to India recently reported that H-1B (specialized skills work visa) issuances in India increased 24% between the U.S. Government’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 and FY2010. This marks a total increase from 54,111 issued in 2010 to 67,195 in 2011. The U.S. Government’s fiscal year extends from October through September. FY2011 recently concluded on September 30, 2011.

This 24% increase is tied to the highest ever H-1B application and issuance rates in the history of the U.S. Mission to India, and illustrates the booming nature of U.S.-India business relations. India is the single largest beneficiary of H-1B visas by a wide margin: in the past four years, applicants in India have received more than twice as many H-1B visas as the four next-highest countries combined.

Written by MithrasLaw

November 3, 2011 at 11:55 am

Administrative change for Blanket L visa processing In India to be in Effect from Decemeber 1, 2011

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Blanket L Visa processing will move to the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai on December 1, 2011.  The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai will become the sole acceptance center in India for all applications for intracompany transfers under the blanket L category as of December 1, 2011.

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and U.S. Consulates in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad will no longer accept or process applications for this visa category. The blanket L category includes specialized knowledge professionals, executives and managers. All other visa processing procedures remain unchanged.

Please note that spouse and children visas (L2) and individual L visas (L1B and L1A individuals) may be processed at all posts in India—Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi.

Written by MithrasLaw

November 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Immigration

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H-1B Cap Exemptions for Non-profits under Review

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USCIS is reviewing its policy on H-1B cap exemptions for non-profit entities that are related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education. Until further guidance is issued, USCIS is temporarily applying interim procedures to H-1B non-profit entity petitions filed with the agency seeking an exemption from the statutory H-1B numerical cap based on an affiliation with or relation to an institution of higher education.

During this interim period USCIS will give deference to prior determinations made since June 6, 2006, that a non-profit entity is related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education – absent any significant change in circumstances or clear error in the prior adjudication – and, therefore, exempt from the H-1B statutory cap. However, the burden remains on the petitioner to show that its organization previously received approvals of its request for H-1B cap exemption as a non-profit entity that is related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education.
This burden can be satisfied by the petitioner by providing USCIS with a copy of a previously approved cap-exempt petition and the previously issued applicable I-797 approval notice and any other relevant documentation.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 11, 2011 at 10:23 am

Posted in H-1B Visas

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Additional 30 days for Japanese and Foreign nationals from Pacific stranded in US

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The USCIS has issued an advisory for Japanese and other foreign nationals from the Pacific stranded in the United States due to the earthquakes and tsunami devastation in the Pacific.  If you have exceeded or are about to exceed your authorized stay in the U.S. you may be permitted up to an additional 30 days to depart. Visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP): If you are at an airport, contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at the airport.  All others, please visit the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. Visitors traveling under a non-immigrant visa: Visit the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.   Bring your passport, evidence that you are stranded (such as an itinerary for the cancelled flight), and your I-94 departure record.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

A Single Card Now Issued for Employment Authorization and Advance Parole

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USCIS is now issuing employment and travel authorizations on a single card for certain Adjustment of Status applicants.

The new I-766 card looks a lot like the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) but includes text that reads “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole.”  The new card is also more secure and durable.  An applicant may receive this card when he/she files an Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765, and an Application for Travel Document, Form I-131, concurrently with or after filing Form I-485.

USCIS will also continue to issue separate EADs and Advance Parole documents as needed.  USCIS has stated that employers may accept the new card as a List A document when completing Form I-9.  This card allows an applicant for adjustment of status to travel abroad and return to the U.S. without abandoning the pending adjustment application. The traveler is required to present the card to request parole through the port-of-entry.

Written by MithrasLaw

February 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm

H-1B Cap for FY 2011 has been reached

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced yesterday that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2011.  USCIS is notifying the public that yesterday, Jan. 26, 2011, was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY2011.

The final receipt date is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough capsubject petitions to reach the limit of 65,000. Properly filed cases will be considered received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked.  USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY2011 that arrive after Jan. 26, 2011. USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions that are subject to the cap and were received on Jan. 26, 2011. USCIS will use this process to select petitions needed to meet the cap.  USCIS will reject all remaining cap-subject petitions not randomly selected and will return the accompanying fee.

On Dec. 22, 2010, USCIS had also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted towards the congressionallymandated FY2011 H-1B cap.  Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

• extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;

• change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;

• allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and

• allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

Written by MithrasLaw

January 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

USCIS to Propose Registration Requirement for H-1B Petitions Subject to Numerical Limits

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposes to establish a mandatory Internet-based electronic registration process for U.S. employers seeking to file H-1B petitions for alien workers subject to either the 65,000 or 20,000 caps. This registration process would allow U.S. employers to electronically register for consideration of available H-1B cap numbers. The mandatory proposed registration process is aimed to alleviate administrative burdens on USCIS service centers and eliminate the need for U.S. employers to prepare and file H-1B petitions without any certainty that an H-1B cap number will ultimately be allocated to the beneficiary named on that petition.

Written by MithrasLaw

January 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

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