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FY 2016 H-1B Filings: USCIS Anticipates H-1B Cap to Reach by April 7
March 18, 2015
USCIS will begin accepting H1B petitions subject to FY 2016 cap on 04/01/2015. USCIS anticipates that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season, and it will receive more petitions than the H-1B cap between April 1, 2015 and April 7, 2015. USCIS will use a random selection process (H-1B Lottery) if it receives more petitions than it can accept. USCIS will also begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 11, 2015.
DHS Extends EAD to certain H-4 Dependent Spouses
February 25, 2015
USCIS will begin accepting H-4 EAD applications from May 26, 2015. To apply for EAD, eligible H-4 dependent spouses must file Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), with supporting evidence and the applicable fee.
H2B Cap Count Update
February 3, 2015
USCIS has reported that the H2B cap for the 1st half of fiscal year 2015 was reached on January 26, 2015.
DHS Announces 18-Month TPS Extension for El Salvador
January 14, 2015
The Department of Homeland Security has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of El Salvador for 18 months from March 10, 2015 through September 9, 2016. Current El Salvador beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60-day period that runs from January 7, 2015, through March 9, 2015. Eligible El Salvador TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of September 9, 2015.
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.
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.
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.
USCIS Expands Definitions of “Mother” and “Parent” for Immigration Purposes
November 1, 2014
USCIS has issued a new policy clarifying the definition of “mother” and “parent” under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Under the new policy, a non-genetic gestational mother (person who carried and gave birth to the child), who is also the child’s legal mother, may be recognized in the same way as genetic legal mothers are treated under the INA.

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