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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

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[…]

Presidential Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens

Yet another reminder to all of our readers of President Trump’s recent memo making it mandatory for state and local agencies to sue I-864 sponsors for all means-tested benefits that are paid to adjustment of status applicants/beneficiaries. These means-tested benefits programs include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).[…]

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[…]

Presidential Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens

A reminder to all of our readers of President Trump’s recent memo making it mandatory for state and local agencies to sue I-864 sponsors for all means-tested benefits that are paid to adjustment of status applicants/beneficiaries. These means-tested benefits programs include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The[…]

New Zealand Nationals Eligible for E-1 and E-2 Nonimmigrant Classifications

USCIS has announced that, starting today, June 10, certain New Zealand nationals already lawfully present in the United States will be eligible to change status to E-1 and E-2 classification.   Copied from USCIS:   Certain New Zealand nationals can now request a change of status to the E-1 nonimmigrant trader classification and the E-2[…]

Cuccinelli Named Acting Director of USCIS

  USCIS announced today that Ken Cuccinelli has now officially been named as Acting Director of USCIS. Seeing as how he was never likely to get confirmed, his appointment as Acting Director means he can continue in this position indefinitely, without any Senate confirmation or accountability to Congress. He joins a now long list of[…]