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  • Ukraine Granted TPS Designation for 18 Months

    On March 3, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. A country may be designated for TPS when conditions in the country fall into one or more of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. Individuals eligible for ...
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  • All Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Applicants May Now File Forms I-821 and I-765 Online

    USCIS announced that as of Nov. 29, 2021 all applicants eligible to file for TPS under one of the current country designations below may file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online. The following countries are currently designated for TPS: • Burma (Myanmar) • El Salvador • Haiti • Honduras • Nepal • Nicaragua • ...
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  • USCIS Conducts Third Random Selection from Previously Submitted FY 2022 H-1B Cap Registrations

    In November 2021, USCIS conducted a third selection on previously submitted electronic registrations for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B. The petition filing period based on registrations selected on Nov. 19 will begin on Nov. 22, 2021, and close on Feb. 23, 2022. On Nov. 19, USCIS determined that they needed to select additional registrations to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B numerical ...
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  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

    DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a U.S. immigration policy that provides a quasi-legal status and employment authorization to certain individuals unlawfully present in the United States after being brought to the country as children. Individuals may qualify for DACA if they: Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; Came to the United States under the age of 16; Have ...
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  • Practice Pointer: COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements for Travelers to the United States

    On October 25, 2021, President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation rescinding the geographic COVID-19 travel bans and adopting COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all international air travelers to the United States. It will be effective at 12:01 AM on November 8, 2021. The proclamation will remain in effect until terminated by the president. The Proclamation governs the entry into the ...
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  • DEPARTMENT OF STATE POSTS UPDATE ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S EMBASSY IN KABUL

    The consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is closed. Nonimmigrant visa appointments remain unavailable and all immigrant visa appointments, including Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), at the Embassy have been cancelled. The Department of State’s foremost priority for evacuation is U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States, along with eligible family members. ...
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  • STARTING OCTOBER 1, 2021, COVID 19 VACCINATIONS REQUIRED FOR APPLICANTS APPLYING FOR LPR OR REFUGEE STATUS

    Starting October 1, 2021, USCIS and the U.S. Department of State will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all applicants applying for refugee or lawful permanent residence, with some exceptions . Specifically, all applicants who receive their medical examination from a Civil Surgeon or Panel Physician on or after October 1, 2021 , must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series and provide documentation ...
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  • Federal Court Order Prevents Further Approval of Initial DACA Requests

    On July 16, 2021, a federal judge in Texas ruled that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that allows certain immigrants to temporarily avoid deportation and receive renewable work permits, is illegal and ordered the Biden administration to stop granting new applications. The order does not affect current DACA recipients who have the two-year renewable work permits. However, based on ...
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  • Department of State Posts August 2021 Visa Bulletin

    The Department of State posted the August 2021 Visa Bulletin. All family-based categories must use the Dates of Filing chart, except for the F2A category, spouses and children of permanent residents, who must use the Final Action chart which is showing current; meaning visas are readily available for this category. Applicants in all employment-based preference categories must use the Final Action ...
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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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  • 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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  • USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for All I-129 and I-140 Petitions Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced the immediate and temporary suspension of premium processing service for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions until further notice due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Effective today, March 20, 2020, USCIS will not accept any new requests for premium processing. USCIS will process any petition with a previously accepted Form I-907, ...
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  • USCIS Announces Implementation of Electronic H-1B Registration Process

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a requirement for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, to first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee before filing a petition for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap. USCIS will open an initial registration period from March 1 through ...
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  • Filing DACA Applications in the Wake of Federal Court Rulings

    On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear several arguments in several cases challenging the Trump administration’s rescission of the DACA program. A decision could come as soon as early 2020. While there are no new changes to the DACA program at this time, clients who want to renew their DACA should submit their applications to USCIS as soon as possible given USCIS processing times and an ...
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  • USCIS Implements $10 Fee for H-1B Registration

    USCIS announced a final rule that will impose a $10 registration fee requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap subject petitions on behalf of cap-subject beneficiaries. The rule is effective December 9, 2019, and the fee will be required when registrations are submitted. USCIS is slated to implement the registration process for the FY2021 H-1B cap selection process, pending completed ...
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  • Featured Issue: Public Charge Changes at USCIS, DOJ, and DOS

    On October 11, 2019, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York enjoined and restrained the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS from “enforcing, applying, or treating as effective” the DHS Public Charge Final Rule. In addition, the court specifically enjoined the government from implementing the use of any new or updated forms whose submission would be required under ...
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  • USCIS Will Only Accept New Editions of Forms I-485, I-129, I-539, I-864, I-864EZ, and I-944 if Postmarked on or After October 15, 2019

    October 9, 2019 USCIS published the new editions of Forms I-485 , I-129 , I-539/I-539A , I-864 , I-864EZ , and I-944 . USCIS updated its website to state: USCIS will accept the current edition of this form if it is postmarked on or before Oct. 14 . USCIS will not accept it if it is postmarked on or after Oct. 15, 2019 . A dated receipt from the courier service used (such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL) is ...
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  • USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for Fiscal Year 2019

    On April 11th, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) utilized a computer generated random selection method to determine which H-1B petitions would be used to meet the mandated cap, and the U.S. advanced degree exemption for fiscal year 2019. USCIS recieved a total of 190,098 H-1B petitions during the filing period which began April 2nd. On April 6th, the USCIS announced that it had ...
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  • 3 Tips to Prepare for an ICE Visit at your residence - Know Your Rights!

    The current administration has proven it plans to deport millions of people with the assistance of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Even this week we saw a massive enforcement raid of 7-Eleven stores aimed at not only illegal workers, but also management who ICE believes has turned a blind eye to improper hiring practices. Here are 3 tips to prepare you for a knock at the ...
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  • DACA Update

    The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was a U.S. immigration policy allowing some people to receive a renewable 2-year period of deferred action from deportation if they entered the country as minors. As of this year, around 800,000 individuals were enrolled in the program created by DACA. In September of 2017, the current administration created turmoil for 800,000 DACA recipients when ...
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  • Changes to Notice for I-140 Beneficiaries Being Revoked

    The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) just adopted as a matter of policy the Administrative Appeal Office’s (AAO) decision in Matter of V-S-G- Inc., which held that beneficiaries who have been properly ported under AC21 are affected parties. These parties are entitled to receive notice about the potential revocation of the approval of an immigrant visa petition because of ...
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  • New 90 Day Rule in Foreign Affairs Manual Addresses Misrepresentation

    The Department of State has made revisions to the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) in regard to immigrants who intentionally misrepresent facts in order to obtain a visa or other permission to enter the United States. In particular, the 30/60 day rule has been entirely eliminated and replaced with language that describes a new “90-day rule.” Many people who seek a status adjustment after coming to the ...
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  • Travel Ban Further Modified, Adds North Korea & Others to Ban List

    The Trump Administration has updated and modified its travel ban order to include North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad and remove Sudan. It cited security protocols and information transparency as its decision to add the three countries and take the African country off the list. The White House forwarded a press release to announce the changes, stating that it was meant to be part of the ongoing ...
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  • Delay in NSC Processing of H-4/EAD Applications Filed with Premium Processing H-1Bs

    The Nebraska Service Center (NSC) has advised that, due to the high volume of incoming premium processing requests, H-4 I-539 and H-4 I-765 EAD applications that are concurrently filed with premium H-1B petitions before the April 3, 2017, premium processing suspension may not be adjudicated concurrently with the I-129 and within the prescribed 15 days. Due to the rapid influx of premium requests, ...
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  • We're Hosting A Conference!

    Akula & Associates, P.C., is hosting a conference call to discuss the currently signed Executive Order, drafted Executive Order Memorandum and proposed legislation regarding H-1B visas, OPTs, and H4 EADs. Date and Time: February 6th, 2017 @ 6:00PM CST Dial Into the Conference: Dial-In Number: (319) 527-2754 Access Code: 632457 Instructions: At the scheduled date and time of the meeting, dial into ...
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