Details from DOS’s Check-in with Charlie Oppenheim: February 26, 2019 – EB based Greencard Priority Dates

(Source: AILA Doc. No. 14071401)

Employment-Based Preference Categories:

EB-1:

As predicted, there is only modest movement of one month for the EB-1 Worldwide Final Action Date in March, from December 1, 2017 to January 1, 2018. Similarly, the Final Action Dates for EB-1 China and EB-1 India creep forward only three weeks from February 8, 2017 to February 22, 2017.

Charlie underscores that AILA members should expect EB-1 to move at the lower end of the projected range of 0-2 months for EB-1 Worldwide and 0-1 months for EB-1 China and EB-1 India. Based on the continuing high demand, members should expect “minimal if any’ movement in the EB-1 categories, and especially in EB-1 China and EB-1 India. The level of demand received after the publication of the projections in the February 2019 bulletin increased by over 50 percent during January, and the level received during the first three weeks of February exceeds that received during all of February 2018.

India EB-2 and EB-3 Remain Flipped:

The EB-2 India Final Action Date advances only three days to April 9, 2009 in March, whereas the Final Action Date for EB-3 India, which was already ahead of EB-2 India in February, advances a full month to May 22, 2009. Although the possibility of this inversion was hinted at for some time, this phenomenon only occurred in February 2019, so it is too soon to know if EB-2 downgrades will be filed, and if so, how that might impact the relative Final Action Dates between these two categories

EB-2 and EB-3 China:

The Final Action Date for EB-2 China remains ahead of EB-3 China, and continues to advance at a faster rate, with EB-2 Chinaadvancing three months to January 1, 2016 in March, and EB-3 China advancing only one week to July 8, 2015 for March. Given the projected advancements and barring any changes in the demand trends, members can expect this to continue for the foreseeable future.

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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Updates to the Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual

AILA reports the below updates to the Board of Immigration Appeals practice manual as per email from Department of Justice to the stakeholders.

  • Parties must limit the body of their briefs or motions to 25 pages. Parties may make a motion with the BIA to increase the page limit. (BIA Practice Manual page 40; Chapter 3.3(c)(iii)).
  • Briefing extensions are generally limited to one request per case of 21 days. Briefing extension requests must be received by the BIA by the brief’s original due date or they will not be granted. Until the request is granted by the BIA, the original deadline remains in effect. (BIA Practice Manual page 65; Chapter 4.7(c)).
  • All parties have an ethical obligation to avoid delay. The BIA’s deadlines are designed to provide ample opportunity for filing, and a conscientious party should be able to meet these deadlines. (BIA Practice Manual page 65; Chapter 4.7(c)).

 

Source: AILA Doc. No. 18101971 | Dated October 19, 2018

Lawsuit filed for fighting a specialty occupation denial

American Immigration Council filed a lawsuit on behalf of a large construction company against USCIS which denied the H-1B (EXTENSION) case for one of its employee citing that the job was not a specialty occupation.

Specifically, the denial stated that “Engineering” which the petitioner stated as required is too broad and denied the case. This case Shandilya et al. v. USCIS filed on  10/16/18 on behalf of Anubhav Shandilya and Balfour Beatty Construction LLC based in Dallas seeks to vacate the denial of the petition.

We will be watching this case to see how the court interprets specialty occupation in this context.

EB2 to EB3 downgrade for Indian Nationals

Recent quick movement of priority dates of EB3 for India has resulted in many looking for options to downgrade.

Porting of Previous Priority Date:

According to 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(e), a subsequent  EB-1, EB-2 or EB-3 petition is entitled to earliest priority date, unless the prior petition is revoked due to fraud. So a subsequent downgrade petition to EB3 or an upgrade petition to EB2 from EB3 typically should retain the previous priority date. In general, nothing additional needs to be done to get the previous priority date other than notifying USCIS that there is a previous approval and request a porting of the previous priority date with the subsequent I-140 petition.

New PERM Filing is not Needed for downgrading  EB2 to EB3:

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