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USCIS Announces 68 Countries Whose Nationals are Eligible for H-2A and H-2B Participation
December 19, 2014
USCIS has announced the list of 68 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs for the coming year. Each country’s designation is valid for one year from January 18, 2015. The notification, however, does not affect the status of beneficiaries who are currently in the United States in H-2A or H-2B status unless they apply to change or extend their status.
H2B Cap Count Update
December 18, 2014
USCIS has updated the count of H2B visa petitions received and counted towards the 1st half of fiscal year 2015 and 2nd half of fiscal year 2015 employment. As of December 12, 2014, USCIS has approved filings on behalf of approximately 15,579 beneficiaries for the 1st half of FY 2015.
January 2015 Visa Bulletin: EB2 Priority Date Advances for China, Remains Stagnant for India
December 10, 2014
In the recently published U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for January 2015, the EB-2 priority dates advanced in respect to China and remain stagnant for India. The EB-3 priority dates advanced for all other countries.
In-Country Refugee/Parole Program for Minors in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras
December 8, 2014
The US Department of State (DOS) has announced that starting December 3, certain parents lawfully present in the US may request a refugee resettlement interview for their unmarried children under 21 in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras by filing Form DS-7699 with the assistance of a designated resettlement agency that works with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugee, and Migration to help resettle refugees in the US.
Immigration Reform: President Obama Sets the Ball Rolling
November 22, 2014
President Obama has announced his much-anticipated plans for immigration reform through executive action. Some critical aims of President’s executive actions would be to streamline legal immigration and promote naturalization; to create an opportunity for certain undocumented immigrants to register to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation; crack down on illegal immigration at the border; and prioritizing deporting felons, not families.
DHS Announces TPS Designation for Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone
November 21, 2014
DHS has designated Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone for TPS for 18 months effective 11/21/2014. The 180-day registration period begins 11/21/2014 and runs through 5/20/2015. Eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the US may apply for TPS with USCIS and can also obtain an EAD to work in the US. To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the US since 11/20/2014 and “continuously physically present in” the US since 11/21/2014.
H2B Cap Count Update
November 14, 2014
USCIS has updated the count of H2B visa petitions received and counted towards the H2B cap for the fiscal year 2015 employment. As of November 10, 2014, USCIS has approved approximately 10,682 beneficiaries for the 1st half of FY 2015.
US and China to Extend Visas for Short-term Business Travelers, Tourists and Students
November 12, 2014
The US Department of State (DOS) has announced that starting November 12, the United States and the People’s Republic of China will reciprocally increase the validity of short-term business and tourist visas and student and exchange visas issued to each other’s citizens. Qualified Chinese business and tourist travelers and students and exchange visitors to receive multiple-entry visas for up to 10 years and 5 years respectively.
December 2014 Visa Bulletin: EB2 Priority Date Advances for China, Remains Stagnant for India
November 11, 2014
In the recently published U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin for December 2014, the EB-2 priority dates advanced in respect to China and remain stagnant for India. The EB-3 priority dates advanced for all other countries.
Temporary Protected Status: USCIS Issues Reminder to Applicants and Re-registrants
November 6, 2014
USCIS has reminded that all Temporary Protected Status applicants (TPS) and Re-registrants over 14 years old must submit their biometrics. USCIS will schedule an appointment for TPS Applicants and Re-registrants to go to an Application Support Center (ASC) to have their biometrics electronically captured about four to eight weeks after they file Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status). USCIS has reminded that if TPS beneficiaries do not attend their scheduled ASC appointment, they will delay the processing of their application and may lose their TPS.
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