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H1B Cap Reached for FY 2009
April 08, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap for fiscal year 2009. The USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the “advanced degree” exemption. Before running the random selection process, USCIS will complete initial data entry for all filings received during the filing period ending on April 7, 2008. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the precise day on which it will conduct the random selection process.
Joint Plan by USCIS and FBI to Eliminate of FBI Name Checks
April 02, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) today announced a joint plan to eliminate the backlog of name checks pending with the FBI. USCIS and the FBI established a series of milestones prioritizing work based on the age of the pending name check. The FBI has already eliminated all name check cases pending more than four years.
Naturalization Case Processing Time Updated by USCIS
April 02, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will finish more than one million naturalization cases during fiscal year 2008 – far exceeding the number of cases completed last year. This update comes following a thorough analysis of the work completed during the last six months.
Filing Instructions for Petition for Alien Relative Revised
March 21, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revised the filing instructions for the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I130). Effective immediately, all petitioners filing standalone Form I130s must file their petitions with the Chicago Lockbox instead of a USCIS Service Center. A USCIS Update was issued on Nov. 30, 2007, encouraging petitioners to file with the Chicago Lockbox while the form was being revised.
USCIS Announces a Reduction in Naturalization Processing Times
March 17, 2008
USCIS has released the following statement, indicating that their efforts have been paying off and that the processing times for naturalization applications have improved by a couple of months. The processing times still remain very long, even after the projected reductions in wait times and we can only hope that these will reduce as USCIS catches up with the backlog caused by the unprecedented volume of filings last year.
I864 Affidavit of Support: New Poverty Guidelines for 2008
March 07, 2008
USCIS has released the 2008 poverty guidelines on form I864P to be used in calculating the required income for Affidavits of Support (I864). These poverty guidelines will remain in effect until spring 2009, when the new guidelines are released. The 2008 guidelines reflect changes in the amount of income that is now required under the new guidelines and generally with each increase in household size, the amount of income has increased.
USCIS Q&A: New Background Check Policy
February 29, 2008
Recently USCIS announced a new background check policy, where certain cases, including adjustment of status cases with pending name check will be adjudicated after 180 days regardless of the fact that the name check is unresolved. This is in response to the large volume of petitions that have been pending for an unusually long time and have resulted in numerous lawsuits against USCIS and FBI. This new policy promises to finally resolve the huge backlog of approvable cases that have not been adjudicated due to the name check portion of the background check. Some of these cases have been pending for a number of years and number into thousands.
USCIS Extends Validity of Expiring Medical Certifications I693
February 28, 2008
In a recent memorandum, USCIS has once again renewed their policy to extend the validity of the civil surgeon’s endorsement on Form I693 for cases that have been pending for longer than a year. Generally, the endorsement on Form I693 is valid for one year and this form is concurrently filed with Adjustment of Status applications. However due to various backlog issues, some of these applications remain pending for longer than the one year period. If USCIS did not provide this extension then petitioners would be forced to undergo another examination and submit a new Form I693 to USCIS after the already submitted medical examination form expires after one year.
TSC Pilots New Adjustment Processing System
February 27, 2008
In an effort to streamline the adjudications procedures, Texas Service Center (TSC) started the "PLUS Pilot" program for adjudicating concurrentlyfiled adjustment of status application packets. Until recently, each form in a typical AOS packet was separated and sent to a different officer for a preliminary name check and adjudication. This often caused confusion and led to lost documentation and delays in processing.
USCIS Revises Filing Instructions for Petition for Alien Relative
February 19, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revised the filing instructions for the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I130). Effective immediately, all petitioners filing standalone Form I130s must file their petitions with the Chicago Lockbox instead of a USCIS Service Center.

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