Immigration News

Temporary Protected Status for Syrians

Date: 08/02/2016

On August 1, 2016, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has re-designated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extended the existing TPS designation for the country from Oct. 1, 2016, through March 31, 2018. This allows eligible nationals of Syria (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) to register or re-register for TPS.

Individuals re-registering for TPS:

Current beneficiaries under Syria’s TPS designation seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from Aug. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible. The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible Syria TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of March 31, 2018. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current work permits expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Syria EADs with a Sept. 30, 2016, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through March 31, 2017.

Individuals applying for TPS for the first time:

For Syrian nationals (and persons having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who do not currently have TPS, the TPS re-designation may allow them to apply for TPS if they have continuously resided in the United States since Aug. 1, 2016, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since Oct. 1, 2016. Applicants must meet all other TPS eligibility and filing requirements.

DEADLINE TO APPLY TO ADD 7 MONTHS TO A 17-MONTHS STEM OPT EXTENSION

Date: 08/02/2016

If you currently have a 17-month STEM OPT extension, you may apply to add 7

months to your STEM OPT period. If you want to apply for this 7-month extension,
you must properly file your
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
(with the required fee and signature) on or before August 8, 2016. USCIS will deny
applications filed after August 8, 2016.

  • You may apply to add 7 months to your 17-month STEM OPT period if:
  • You are currently participating in STEM OPT based on a 17-month extension;
  • You request the additional 7-month period by filing a new Form I-765 between May 10, 2016 and August 8, 2016, and within 60 days of the date your.designated school official’s enters the recommendation for the 24-month OPT extension into your SEVIS record;
  • You have at least 150 days of valid employment authorization remaining on your 17-month STEM OPT period on the date you properly file your new FormI-765; and
  • You, your designated school official, and your employer meet all the 24-month STEM OPT extension requirements. 

 

Department of Justice Seeks Rehearing in US v. Texas

Date: 07/25/2016

The Department of Justice filed a petition for rehearing with the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas.  In June, the Court issued a 4-4 one sentence nondecision affirming the Fifth Circuit’s preliminary injunction of DAPA and expanded DACA.

In this new petition, the federal government specifically asked that a full nine-Member Court hear the case. DOJ urged that this is a case of significant importance and, “[t]his Court therefore should grant rehearing to provide for a decision by the Court when it has a full complement of Members, rather than allow a nonprecedential affirmance by an equally divided Court to leave in place a nationwide in-junction of such significance.”

Although, as DOJ acknowledges, the Court rarely grants rehearing, at the same time, “rehearing petitions have been granted in the past where the prior decision was by an equally divided Court and it appeared likely that upon reargument a majority one way or the other might be mustered.”

USCIS Returns Unselected Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap--Subject Petitions

Date: 07/11/2016

USCIS announced on July 8, 2016, that it has returned all fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in our computer-generated random selection process.

If you submitted an H-1B cap-subject petition between April 1 and April 7, 2016 and have not received a receipt notice or a returned petition by July 8, 2016, you may contact USCIS for assistance.

DAPA and Extended DACA

Date: 06/29/2016

On June 23, 2016 the Supreme Court issued a 4-4 vote decision in the United States v. Texas, the case challenging expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).  This 4-4 impasse means that the Fifth Circuit’s decision upholding the preliminary injunction against these initiatives will stand. 

It is important to emphasize that this ruling does not affect the existing DACA policy, which was not challenged. Eligible individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grants or renewals of DACA, pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012.

 

After the Supreme Court ruling announcement, Secretary Johnson stated that:

 

"Current administration is also moving forward on other executive actions the President and I have announced in 2014 to reform our Immigration system. This changes includes the Department's Immigration enforcement priorities. Through these priorities, we are more sharply focused on the removal of convicted criminals, threats to public safety and national security, and border security.  We have ended the controversial Secure Communities program.  We are expanding policies designed to help family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents stay together when removal would result in extreme hardship.  And we have taken several actions to make it easier for international students, entrepreneurs, and high-skilled immigrants to contribute to the U.S. economy. The President and I remain committed to fixing our broken immigration system.  We are disappointed by the 4-4 vote in the Supreme Court today, and the gridlock in Congress that has stood in the way of more lasting, comprehensive immigration reform.”

DAPA and Extended DACA

Date: 06/29/2016

On June 23, 2016 the Supreme Court issued a 4-4 vote decision in the United States v. Texas, the case challenging expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).  This 4-4 impasse means that the Fifth Circuit’s decision upholding the preliminary injunction against these initiatives will stand. 

It is important to emphasize that this ruling does not affect the existing DACA policy, which was not challenged. Eligible individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grants or renewals of DACA, pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012.

 

After the Supreme Court ruling announcement, Secretary Johnson stated that:

 

"Current administration is also moving forward on other executive actions the President and I have announced in 2014 to reform our Immigration system. This changes includes the Department's Immigration enforcement priorities. Through these priorities, we are more sharply focused on the removal of convicted criminals, threats to public safety and national security, and border security.  We have ended the controversial Secure Communities program.  We are expanding policies designed to help family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents stay together when removal would result in extreme hardship.  And we have taken several actions to make it easier for international students, entrepreneurs, and high-skilled immigrants to contribute to the U.S. economy. The President and I remain committed to fixing our broken immigration system.  We are disappointed by the 4-4 vote in the Supreme Court today, and the gridlock in Congress that has stood in the way of more lasting, comprehensive immigration reform.”

USCIS IS SUED FOR H1B LOTTERY PRACTICES

Date: 05/23/2016

The American Immigration Council (Council) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have teamed up on a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking information about the government’s administration of the H-1B lottery. The lawsuit, filed last Friday, was brought under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. is co-counsel with attorneys from the Council.

Every year, U.S. employers seeking highly skilled foreign professionals submit petitions to USCIS on the first business day of April for the limited pool of H-1B nonimmigrant visa numbers that are available for the coming fiscal year. With an annual limit of 65,000 visas for new hires—and 20,000 additional visas for professionals with a master’s or doctoral degree from a U.S. university—employer demand for H-1B visas has exceeded the statutory cap for more than ten years. 

If USCIS determines at any time during the first five business days of the filing period that it has received more than enough petitions to meet the numerical limits, the agency uses a computer-generated random selection process (or “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to satisfy the limits, taking into account a percentage of the petitions selected which will be denied, withdrawn, or otherwise rejected. Petitions not selected are returned to the petitioning employers. U.S. employers, foreign nationals seeking H-1Bs, and immigration lawyers are keenly interested in how USCIS administers the lottery process.

USCIS has never been forthcoming in describing the selection process. “When petitions are submitted to USCIS in April, it’s as if they disappear into a ‘black box,’” said Melissa Crow, Legal Director of the American Immigration Council. “This suit is intended to pry open that box and let the American public and those most directly affected see how the lottery system works from start to finish, and to learn whether the system is operating fairly and all the numbers are being used as the law provides.”

“Despite the Obama Administration’s public commitment to the values of transparency and accountability, frankly, our attempts to see into this process have been resisted,” said AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson. He continued, “Instead of responding to our requests for information about how the lottery is conducted, how cap-subject petitions are processed, and how the numbers are estimated and tracked, USCIS  has kept the process entirely opaque. This litigation is intended to shine a necessary light on an important process in America’s business immigration system.”

TPS has been Extended for Beneficiaries of HONDURAS

Date: 05/17/2016

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras (and those without nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras) for an additional 18 months, effective July 6, 2016, through Jan. 5, 2018.

Current TPS Honduras beneficiaries who want to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from May 16, 2016 through July 15, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins.

Employment Authorization:

The 18-month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Those who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Jan. 5, 2018.

USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EAD until after their current work permits expire. Therefore, we are automatically extending current TPS Honduras EADs with a July 5, 2016 expiration date for six months. These existing EADs are now valid through Jan. 5, 2017.

TPS has been Extended for Beneficiaries of NICARAGUA

Date: 05/17/2016

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nicaragua (and those without nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) for an additional 18 months, effective July 6, 2016, through Jan. 5, 2018.

Current TPS Nicaragua beneficiaries who want to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from May 16, 2016 through July 15, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins.

Employment Authorization:

The 18-month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Those who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Jan. 5, 2018. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EAD until after their current work permits expire. Therefore, we are automatically extending current TPS Nicaragua EADs with a July 5, 2016 expiration date for six months. These existing EADs are now valid through Jan. 5, 2017. 

 

 

H-1B APPLICATION MIGHT BE COMING BACK TO YOU

Date: 05/02/2016

USCIS announced on May 2, 2016, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions. USCIS asks petitioners not to inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned.

Additionally, USCIS is transferring some Form I-129 H-1B cap subject petitions from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center to balance the distribution of cap cases. If your case is transferred, you will receive notification in the mail. After receiving the notification, please send all future correspondence to the center processing your petition. If you are filing a Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, to upgrade your Form I-129 H-1B petition to premium processing, send the completed Form I-907 with the appropriate fee to the center processing your petition.

 

Pages

© 2018. Immigration Solutions LLC. All rights reserved.

Web site designed and developed by Hungry Bird Creative Group.