LATEST IMMIGRATION NEWS – Front Page Sticky

11/09/2018 – USCIS announced that starting November 19, 2018, USCIS may issue NTAs based on denials for additional forms. Forms I-914, I-918, I-360, I-929 and I-730 as well as I-485 when filed with these types of forms are going to be impacted. H-1B’s and I-129’s are still not being issued NTAs

11/09/2018 – President Trump issued a proclamation suspending, for a limited period, the entry of certain individuals traveling through Mexico and seeking entry the United States.

11/09/2018 – Ninth Circuit affirms preliminary injunction requiring DHS to adjudicate DACA applications for renewal of existing DACA recipients.

10/30/2018 –  USCIS announces phased  elimination of self-scheduling InfoPass appointments.  Information Services Modernization Program ends self-scheduling of InfoPass appointments and instead encourages applicants to use USCIS online information resources to view general how-to information and check case statuses through the USCIS Contact Center. Recent improvements to online tools provide applicants the ability to obtain their case status and other immigration information without having to visit a local field office.

10/29/2018 – AP reports citizenship timelines are now as long as 2 years. Click APNEWS.COM

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Lawsuit Challenges Legality of USCIS Unlawful Presence August 9th memo

USCIS issued a policy memo on August 9, 2018,  regarding “Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants,”. A lawsuit has been filed this week stating this memo as contrary to the statutory unlawful presence provisions, and violative of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  This case is titled as Guilford College v. Neilsen and filed on 10/23/18.

Plaintiffs Guilford College, Guilford College International Club, The New School, Foothill-De Anza Community College District, and Haverford College initiated this lawsuit against Defendants Kirstjen Nielsen, in her official capacity as Secretary of Homeland Security; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”); L. Francis Cissna, in his official capacity as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).  This lawsuit requests the court to declare the USCIS memorandum as unlawful.

Issues with being Out of Status on H-1B or F-1 Status – Unlawful Presence

This article applies to most of the non-immigrants though it is being published here mainly as it pertains to the non-immigrants on F-1 or H-1 status.

Unlawful presence is the period of time when one is in the United States without being admitted or paroled or when one is not in a “period of stay authorized by the appropriate governmental agency/authorized personnel.

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USCIS Teleconference on NTA memo on September 27, 2018

On September 27, 2018,​ USCIS hosted a teleconference and discussed the policy memorandum regarding the issuance of NTA’s.

Notice to Appear (NTA) memo was issued on June 28, 2018,​ and will be incrementally implemented starting October 1, 2018.

– USCIS in general will not issue NTA immediately upon denial of a case though USCIS reserves the right to issue an NTA immediately. In general USCIS will wait for the ​expiration of motion/appeal period.
– Withdrawing an application does not cancel USCIS’ authority for issuance of NTA.
– USCIS policy will not be implemented with respect to employment-based​ and humanitarian filings such as H-1B etc for now and current rules will stay in place for such filings.
– I-539 filings (F-1 or H4 or B1/B2 Change of Status cases) and I-485 filings will be impacted by this memo for now.
– USCIS will setup a website to provide​ the​e ​ public with more additional guidance.

This policy is subject to change in future and one should stay updated with the latest rules and regulations as they constantly change.

CHANGE OF STATUS from F-1 to H-1B STATUS : REMINDER

October 1st is officially the first day the new H-1B’s filed in April Cap can start if approved and an I94 issued.

For all the F-1 based Change of Status beneficiaries who have received an approval make sure you have received the approval with an I-94. The I-94 is on the bottom left of all approvals if an I94 is granted. If not, the approval typically states that a consulate is notified. In case the change of status is not granted but consulate is notified, in general, the beneficiary would need to travel to an appropriate US consulate to get the H-1B visa. If the Change of Status is granted and I94 is issued, the employee can stay in the country without the need to approach the consulate as of October 1, 2018.

For all the employees who are currently working on CAP-GAP but have not yet received an approval, the beneficiary would need to stop working on CAP-GAP till a decision is made by USCIS.

F-1 Cap Gap after September 30, 2018

F-1 “Cap-gap” Status and Work Authorization Extension Only Valid through Sept. 30, 2018

F-1 students who have an H-1B petition that remains pending on Oct. 1, 2018, risk accruing unlawful presence if they continue to work on or after Oct. 1 (unless otherwise authorized to continue employment), as their “cap-gap” work authorization is only valid through Sept. 30.

Check original uscis website for complete information: https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/f-1-cap-gap-status-and-work-authorization-extension-only-valid-through-sept-30-2018