January 9, 2017
February 2017 Visa Bulletin published.
December 27, 2016
The Administrative Appeals Office issued a precedent decision vacating Matter of New York State Dep't of Transp. (NYSDOT) and changing the analytical framework for determining eligibility for national interest waivers under INA §203(b)(2)(B)(i). Under the new framework, USCIS may grant a national interest waiver if the petitioner demonstrates: (1) that the foreign national's proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; (2) that he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and (3) that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirement of a job offer and thus of a labor certification. See "A Step in the Right Decision for the National Interest Waiver" for more information.
December 23, 2016
USCIS Fee Changes Take Effect Dec. 23
USCIS reminds applicants and petitioners to pay the new fees with forms postmarked or filed on or after Dec. 23, 2016, or it will not be able to accept the filings. USCIS will only accept previous fees if they are postmarked Dec. 22 or earlier.
Beginning on Dec. 23, USCIS customers will no longer have a 14-day grace period to correct a failed fee payment. USCIS will immediately reject a benefit request for nonpayment. USCIS will also no longer hold benefit requests submitted without the correct biometric services fees. Customers must pay biometric services fees, if applicable, at the time of filing. USCIS will reject a benefit request if it is received without the correct biometric services fee, as specified in the form instructions....(read more)
November 18, 2016
USCIS has published a final rule to modernize and improve several aspects of certain employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs. USCIS has also amended regulations to better enable U.S. employers to hire and retain certain foreign workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents. This rule goes into effect on Jan. 17, 2017.
October 26, 2016
Temporary Protected Status Extended for Nepal
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nepal (and those without nationality who last habitually resided in Nepal) for an additional 18 months, effective Dec. 25, 2016, through June 24, 2018.... (read more)