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February

Blog Posts in February, 2021

  • USCIS Revises Guidance on Naturalization Civics Educational Requirement

    USCIS updated guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding the educational requirements for naturalization. The update, effective March 1, 2021, provides that USCIS will revert to administering the 2008 civics test to applicants who filed for naturalization before December 1, 2020, or who will file on or after March 1, 2021. There will be a brief period during which USCIS may offer both the 2020 ...
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  • USCIS Expands Premium Processing Service to E-3 Petitioners

    Starting Feb. 24, 2021, petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker , requesting a change or extension of status to E-3 classification will have the option to request premium processing service for their petition. The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia who are coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The USCIS ...
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  • USCIS Issues Guidance Regarding Late Issuance of I-765 Receipt Notices for OPT and STEM OPT Applications

    USCIS continues to experience delays at certain lockboxes in issuing receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, relating to optional practical training (OPT) for F-1 students. As such USCIS has provided the below clarifications: These delays will not affect the received date. All submissions are date stamped upon arrival at the Lockbox, so regardless of when the ...
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  • Navigating USCIS Biometrics Process During the Pandemic

    How Has the Pandemic Affected the USCIS Biometrics Process? Over the last few months, we have seen a rapid rise in biometrics-related issues due to the raging pandemic. USCIS acknowledges the tremendous backlog with biometrics scheduling noting approximately 1.3 million applicants still waiting for biometrics appointments as of mid-December. USCIS is scheduling approximately 10,400 appointments ...
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  • USCIS Issues FY2021 Non-selection Notices

    USCIS has not yet issued an official statement that it has concluded the H-1B cap lottery selections for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. However, our office has been able to log into our myuscis.gov accounts and retrieved nonselection notices for the cap registrations we submitted. Please note, the status of the remaining H-1B registrations submitted during March 2020 (i.e., FY2021 cap lottery ...
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  • EB-1 Success Story

    Akula & Associates, P.C. is proud to share that we recently received an approval from USCIS for an EB-1 I-140 petition relating to the Information Technology field. Information Technology is a relatively new and growing field lacking in awards and recognition that are available in other industries, such as engineering and medicine. Following a thorough analysis of the Beneficiary’s achievements ...
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  • How Do I Sponsor an Employee for a U.S. Permanent Resident Status?

    If you are an employer who wants to sponsor a foreign national to become a permanent resident for a permanent job offer, you and the employee will need to go through various steps. Our Dallas immigration attorneys explain what you will need to do as an employer to help the worker become a permanent resident in the U.S. If you need legal guidance sponsoring a foreign worker for a visa, contact our ...
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  • USCIS Announces That FY2022 H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period Will Open On March 09, 2021

    USCIS announced that the initial registration period for FY2022 H-1B cap will open at noon (ET) on March 9 and run through noon (ET) on March 25 . During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to fill out petitioner and beneficiary information and submit their registration. Prospective H-1B cap-subject petitioners or their representatives are required to use a ...
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  • International Technological University Pay $1.17 Million Settle False Claims Act Allegations Related Student Visa

    On January 8, 2021, the International Technological University (ITU) in Santa Clara, California, entered into a settlement agreement with the United States to pay $1,170,000 under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act to settle allegations related to student visa fraud. ITU, a non-profit educational institution, participates in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, the component ...
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  • USCIS Delays Rule Creating A Wage-Based

    H-1B CAP SELECTION PROCESS This year’s fiscal 2022 Cap registration process remains the same . USCIS has moved the effective date of the H-1B cap wage-based lottery system to December 31, 2021. What this means is that USCIS is changing the H-1B cap selection process from the random lottery process to the wage-based selection process effective December 31, 2021. The final rule will be published in ...
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  • Rescission of 2017 Policy Memorandum Regarding Certain Computer Occupations

    Effective immediately, USCIS rescinds PM-602-0142 “Rescission of the December 22, 2000 ‘Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions.’” USCIS officers have been instructed not to apply this guidance to any pending or new requests for H-1B classification, including motions on and appeals of revocations and denials of H-1B classification. Further guidance will be forthcoming. The decision is ...
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  • Proposed H-EAD Rescission Rule Withdrawn

    On January 25, 2021, the Trump-era proposed regulation, “ Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the classes of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization ” was withdrawn. It is important to note that litigation remains pending in federal court challenging the DHS final rule promulgated in February 2015 that extends eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B ...
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