As reported by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, on 4/9/16 to select enough petitions to meet the FY2017 H-1B cap. USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period and will begin premium processing no later than 5/16/16.

To read more, click here.

 

 

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CBP announces additional enhancements to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), as part of the continued implementation of the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. A new ESTA form with additional eligibility requirements is now available.

To read more, click here.

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Draft templates for comment only,  posted on 1/22/2016. Comment period ends 2/22/2016.

To read more on the draft template for the O-Visa, click here.

To read more on the draft template for the O-1B RFE, click here.

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On February 10, 2016, USCIS will be extending invitations to participate in a teleconference focusing on the Department of Homeland Security rule “Enhancing Opportunities for H-1B1, CW-1, and E-3 Nonimmigrants and EB-1 Immigrants, ” which is effective starting February 16, 2016.

To read more on the teleconference invitation, register, and join, click here.

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As reported by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the White House released a fact sheet on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), including information on new security changes announced yesterday. The fact sheet states that DHS will immediately take steps to modify its Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) applications to capture information from VWP travelers regarding any past travel to countries constituting a terrorist safe haven. In addition, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a statement on steps that have been taken to strengthen the screening of those who are traveling to the United States, including security enhancements to the VWP.

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USCIS released a new edition of Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and its supplements, dated 10/5/15. Previous editions also remain effective.

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When filing Form I-140, please note the new edition date of 10/15/15. According to the USCIS website, you may also file using the previous edition: 03/05/13.

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Huffington Post reports that immigration advocates met with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña and brought up some concerns, including a surprising statement she made the day before that seemed wholly at odds with the administration’s policies.

Saldaña had said at a House hearing that it would be helpful for Congress to pass a law requiring police to hold immigrants for ICE. That came as a shock to those who follow the issue, since the administration has spent months trying to repair relations with localities that resist detaining people on ICE’s behalf.

ICE issued a statement under Saldaña’s name on Friday, not long before the meeting with advocates, reversing her remarks and saying such legislation would be “highly counterproductive.”

Read the full story here.

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announces that, as of March 17, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will resume adjudications of H-2B petitions, but will continue to suspend premium processing until further notice.

Read the full update here.

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Reuters reports that a U.S. appeals court in Washington said on Tuesday it would hear oral arguments on May 4 in a challenge against President Obama’s immigration executive actions. Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requested an emergency stay to put on hold a Texas judge’s decision that temporarily blocked Obama’s actions. The executive orders have also become a flashpoint in Congress where House Republicans unsuccessfully threatened to withhold funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) if provisions were not included to block Obama’s actions.

Read the full story here.

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