Work authorization is available for H-4 nonimmigrants who are either a dependent spouse of a principal H-1b beneficiary of an approved I-140 or have been granted H-1b status under 106(a).30 September 2015  The law allowing non-minister workers  lawful permanent resident status under EB-4  is set to sunset on September 30, 2015.  The sunset provision also applies to derivative spouses and children.  Under the current law, non-minister workers and qualifying family members must be granted lawful permanent resident status under EB-4 before the sunset date of September 30, 2015 or the sunset provision must be extended by Congress.

22 July 2015  USCIS is considering a proposed rule to expand the provisional unlawful presence waiver which currently allows immigrants who have overstayed a visa to apply for immigrant visas and the waiver in the U.S. before leaving the U.S. for the interview.  Under the proposed rule, USCIS may grant a provisional unlawful presence waiver to  persons who have an immediate relative and no other basis for inadmissibility other than unlawful presence.  The proposed rule also seeks to expand who would eligible to apply for this benefit to persons who otherwise meet the criteria but who do not have an immediate relative.

 July 2015 Report by non-partisan Migration Policy Institute finds that up to 87% of unauthorized immigrants living in U.S. will not be targeted for immigration enforcement.

17 June 2015 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) releases FAQs on Prosecutorial Discretion and Enforcement Priorities

10 June 2015  July Visa Bulletin shows “forward movement” for most employment-based and family-based categories. 

9 June 2015  USCIS provides processing information for international operation offices.  Using the office of where the form was file and the type of form, you can check the processing time here.

27 May 2015  The Justice Department secured its largest civil penalty with Luis Esparza Services, Inc., a farm labor contractor based in Bakersfield, CA.  The agreement included $320,000 in civil penalties and claims that the company discriminated against individuals based on citizenship.  Read the full press release here.

26 May 2015  At long last, H-4 nonimmigrants who are either the dependent spouse of a principal H-1b beneficiary of an approved I-140 or have been granted H-1b status under 106(a) may request work authorization by filing Form I-765 starting on May 26, 2015.  H4 nonimmigrants who are granted work authorization under this provision will be able to accept employment with any employer. USCIS expects over 100,000 nonimmigrants are eligible for this benefit.  Read more.

7 May 2015  USCIS grants relief for Yemenis due to unstable security situation.  Relief measures include change or extension of nonimmigrant status for individuals currently in the U.S., even if filed after the authorized period of admission has expired; a grant of re-parole; expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship; expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and consideration for waiver of fees associated with USCIS benefit applications, where appropriate.

29 April 2015  Dependent family members accompanying a F-1 student to the U.S. in F-2 status may  study part-time toward a degree.

7 April 2015   H-1B Visa Cap Reached with record of 233,000 petitions Expanded DACA on hold.  If it is approved, be ready to file by verifying that you meet the eligibility requirements.  Save application money and make sure taxes have been paid.  DACA is a discretionary determination to defer removal and USICS adjudicates each DACA application on an individual basis.

20 January 2015   Stay in Valid DACA status USCIS advises Deferred Action for Childhood (DACA) applicants in Reminder for Requesting DACA to submit renewal requests between 150 to 120 days before the expiration date located on the  DACA renewal notice and Employment Authorization Document (EAD). If you are not a current DACA beneficiary, you may still apply for initial DACA benefits.