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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[…]

Watson Immigration Law News Update

Premium Processing Begins for Remaining H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions on June 10

  USCIS announced today that they are resuming premium processing for all remaining cap-subject H-1B petitions, including those filed consular processing, starting on June 10th. Employers wishing to upgrade their cap-subject H-1B petitions to premium processing (and receive a decision from USCIS within 15 calendar days) may do so starting Monday. Premium processing still remains[…]

Watson Immigration Law News Update

USCIS Updates Rejection Criteria for Form I-129

  USCIS has announced that it is expanding its rejection criteria for Form I-129 to include those petitions that do not list the petitioner’s or applicant’s name and primary U.S. office address in Part 1 of the form. As good general practice, be extra careful and double and triple check all forms and information prior[…]

Watson Immigration Law News Update

Ken Cuccinelli to be Named as New Director of USCIS

Current Director of USCIS, L. Francis Cissna, has reportedly told his staff that he will be leaving his post at the end of the month. He is set to be replaced by Ken Cuccinelli, a staunch conservative and former Virginia attorney general. Unlike Cissna, Cucinelli does not appear to have any significant immigration experience. He[…]

Watson Immigration Law News Update

DHS Proposing Rule to “Strengthen” the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program

Changes are coming on the H-1B front, and likely none of them good. The Department of Homeland Security will be proposing a rule that, among other things, will attempt to revise the definition of specialty occupation, revise the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship, and craft additional requirements designed to ensure employers pay the requisite[…]

Watson Immigration Law News Update

Texas Service Center to Begin Accepting Form I-129 for Certain H-1B Petitions

USCIS announced today that the Texas Service Center will begin processing certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions. In addition to this announcement, USCIS also switched up other filing addresses and procedures. For example, prior to this announcement, all H-1B petitions requesting a continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer were adjudicated at the[…]