Various news sources, including NBC and have reported that USCIS will phase in interviews for employment-based applicants.  


The U.S. Supreme Court allowed a temporary exemption of grandparents and other relatives (grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law) of those in the United States from President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban to stand.  Also exempt from the travel ban, per a Trump administration list, are parents, spouses, fiancĂ©(e)s, sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and siblings.


The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor issued a temporary rule issuing an additional 15,000 visas to the 66,000 yearly quota through the end of 2017.


The Supreme Court of the United States decided that there is no travel ban for those with connections to the U.S.  The Supreme Court will take up the case in October 2017.


A newly added feature to the I-94 CBP website will allow travelers to see how many days they have remained past their “admitted until date”.


U.S. Court of Appeals for 4th Circuit upholds rejection of Trump Travel Ban in lengthy decision.  Read it here


USCIS issues a policy memorandum stating that computer programmer positions do not always qualify as being within the H-1B specialty occupation because an associate’s degree is sufficient to enter the field. The Department of Labor later issued a news release on April 4, 2017 that it would rigorously initiate investigate H-1B violators.


A district court judge in New York has enjoined portions of the Executive Order banning entry from nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Read it here.


President Trump signed an Executive Order which “suspends” the entry of both immigrant and nonimmigrants of nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  There have been reports that this ban includes lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and dual nationals from these countries.  Those who might fit into this class of traveler are urged not to travel, if in the U.S. or if outside the U.S., consult with your attorney before trying to return.


USCIS issued a new policy memo designating as precedent Matter of T-O-S-U.  The decision provides that physicians or national or international renown who are graduates of foreign medical schools are exempt from the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) requirement in the H-1B context.


DHS proposes “modernizations” to EB-5 program in Proposed Rule.


Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced S.3542, a bipartisan bill “to protect undocumented individuals should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued.  The legislation, if passed, “would provide temporary relief from removal and work authorization to young undocumented persons brought to the U.S. as children.”


USCIS issued a revised I-9 form that U.S. employers must use to verify employment authorization.  Employers may begin to use it immediately and must stop using the old I-9 form as of January 22, 2017, 12.23.2016 USCIS fee increase is effective;  most immigration applications and fees will be affected.


USCIS published a final rule on high-skilled immigration.  The provisions include post-sixth year H-1B extensions, priority date retention, and H-1B worker protections.


President Obama signed a continuing resolution providing funding to extend the following four expiring programs until December 9, 2016:  E-Verify, EB-5 Regional Centers, EB-4 non-minister religious workers, and Conrad 30 for J-1 medical workers.


Expanded Provisional I-601A waiver enacted. It allows greater number of immigrants currently eligible for permanent residence through a family member to pursue lawful permanent residence more safely by applying for a waiver in advance of travel abroad without the fear of separation from family, jobs and homes in the U.S.


International Entrepreneurs – USCIS has proposed a new rule to allow temporary permission for up to 2 years for certain international entrepreneurs to start or grow their start-up business.  This proposed rule requires significant ownership, start-up formation in the U.S. within the most recent 3 years, and substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.


The U.S. Supreme Court denied rehearing of United States v. Texas.  Consequently, the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (expanded DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) continue to be blocked.  The Court’s decision however, does not affect the original DACA program.


New 24-month STEM OPT Extension Rule goes into effect.  Eligible students working on 17-month STEM OPT may apply for an additional 7 months between May 10, 2016 and August 8, 2016. 3.31.2016 Current version of Form I-9 expired on March 31, 2016 will continue to be valid until USCIS posts a new version on its website.  The release date is undetermined but expected in 2016. 2.2016 Visa Bulletin provides statistics on total number of applicants registered in various numerically restricted immigrant categories.


U.S. District Court of District of Columbia leaves current STEM OPT (optional practical training for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in effect until May 10, 2016 when it is anticipated that DHS will issue a new STEM OPT rule.


DHS amended regulations affecting H-1B1, E-3, CW-1 and Certain EB-1 Immigrants.  The final rule is effective 2.16.2016. In part, the rule authorizes employment incident to status with a specific employer for H-1B1 and E-3 foreign nationals. 11.20.15 USCIS released new policy memorandum affecting job portability addressing whether one job is the same or similar job classification as another job. 11.9.15 DHS provides post-earthquake relief to eligible Nepali citizen F-1 students.  These students may maintain F-1 status and apply for work authorization, increase work hours and reduce their course loads.


EB-4 for non-ministers is set to sunset on September 30, 2015.  Congress must renew in order to non-ministers to apply for lawful permanent residence in this category. 9.9.15 USCIS announced a big change to the Visa Bulletin.  The new changes allow individuals to apply for adjustment of status before the priority date becomes current.


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.


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.


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


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


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


The Justice Department issued a $320,000  penalty against a farm labor contractor based in Bakersfield, CA for citizenship discrimination.

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 non-immigrants who are granted work authorization under this provision will be able to accept employment with any employer. USCIS expects over 100,000 non-immigrants are eligible for this benefit.  Read more.