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USCIS Carries Out Random Selection Process for H1B Petitions
April 14, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today conducted the computergenerated random selection processes on H1B petitions, to select which H1B petitions for fiscal year 2009 (FY 2009) would continue to full adjudication. If approved these H1B petitions will be eligible to receive an H1B visa number.
Update on Processing Petitions for Nonimmigrant Victims of Criminal Activity
April 10, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that, until further notice, it will not terminate interim relief for aliens who have not yet filed for U nonimmigrant status, except in those cases where USCIS is aware of adverse factors. USCIS will continue to accept petitions for U nonimmigrant status at any time. It is to be recalled that the USCIS had announced on Sept. 5, 2007 the publication of an interim final rule granting immigrant benefits to certain victims of crimes who assist government officials in investigating or prosecuting the criminal activity. That rule was effective Oct. 17, 2007 and established procedures for applicants seeking U nonimmigrant status, one of which encouraged aliens who had been granted interim relief to petition for U nonimmigrant status prior to Apr. 13, 2008 (180 days from the effective date of the rule). The rule states that USCIS will terminate interim relief for aliens who fail to petition for the “U” classification within the 180day time period.
Preliminary Numbers of H1B Cap Filings for FY 2009 Released
April 10, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced a preliminary number of nearly 163,000 H1B petitions received during the filing period ending on April 7, 2008. It is notable that more than 31,200 of those petitions were for the advanced degree category.
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.

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