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Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

USCIS to Publish Final Rule Revising EB-5 Regulations

Tomorrow, 7/24/2019, USCIS and DHS will publish the final rule revising EB-5 regulations. Among other changes, the most significant are that the minimum investment amount has been increased from $500k to $900k (although less than the $1.3M that was initially rumored), the standard investment amount has been increased from $1M to $1.8M, and a mechanism[…]

Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

USCIS Announces Plan to Improve the Naturalization Test

USCIS announced today that it is revising the current naturalization test which, among other things, tests applicant’s knowledge of civics and U.S. history, government, and constitutional values. Earlier this spring, former USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna issued a memorandum instructing USCIS to revise and update the test, and also formalized a decennial (every 10 years) revision[…]

Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

August 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The August 2019 Visa Bulletin was just released, and with it came unprecedented retrogression in almost all employment-based categories. EB1 All Countries retrogressed nearly two years, to a final action date of July 1, 2016. In addition, EB2 All Countries and EB3 All Countries, which had remained current for a significant amount of time, also[…]

Watson Immigration Law EB-5

EB-5 Visa Changes On The Horizon- No Time To Lose

EB5 regulations are set to be published in their final form soon. While we don’t know what the final rules will say, the minimum investments are likely to increase. In the proposed rules, $500,000 investment in targeted employment areas was set to increase to $1.35 million and $1 million investment was set to increase to[…]

Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

USCIS Expands FIRST: A Fully Digital FOIA System

USCIS announced today that it expanding into a fully digital FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) system, becoming the first government agency to do so. As a brief and general overview, FOIA requires, upon request, disclosure of previously unreleased documents and information controlled by the United States Government and its agencies. USCIS’ FIRST system will now[…]

Expect EB-2/EB-3 Worldwide Retrogression In The Coming Months

According to the Department of State, the EB-2 and EB-3 Worldwide categories, which have fortunately remained current for quite some time, may experience retrogression in the coming months. The demand in these categories has apparently increased significantly more than anticipated, and may require the imposition of a final action date as early as next month’s[…]

H-4s No Longer Simultaneously Adjudicated With H-1Bs Due To New I-539 Biometrics Requirement

  It has always been the policy of USCIS to simultaneously adjudicate H-1Bs and H-4s filed concurrently. However, the new I-539 biometrics requirement promulgated in March of this year has resulted in a change to this practice. We have heard from colleagues that H-4s are no longer necessarily being adjudicated at the same time as[…]

U.S. Considering Possible H-1B Quota for Indian Nationals

The U.S. is apparently considering imposing a percentage cap on H-1B visas for nations that force foreign companies to store data locally. It appears that India would be the first victim of such a policy, if it were ever promulgated. The threat comes in the wake of heightened tensions between the two countries, particularly over[…]

USCIS Aims to Decrease Processing Times for N-400 and I-485

  USCIS announced recently a new strategy aimed at reducing processing times for N-400s and I-485s, both of which have nearly doubled in the past several years. The strategy calls for shifting caseloads between field offices, from ones inundated with backlogs to those field offices with less traffic. For applicants, this means getting scheduled for[…]

July 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The July 2019 Visa Bulletin was just released. Two major developments that will occur for next month is that the F2A family-based preference category will become current for all countries (including India, China, and Mexico), and that EB5 India will retrogress, from current to a priority date of 1 May 2017. F2A is expected to[…]