US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a nearly 15% fee increase for its premium processing service. The current $1,225 fee will increase to $1,410, effective October 1, 2018.
Premium processing is an optional service USCIS offers to employers that for an additional fee allows for 15-day processing of certain immigrant and non-immigrant employment-based visa petitions. » Read More
After a period of uncertainty, the Trump Administration extended Temporary Protected Status, or “TPS,” to certain Somalis living in the United States. The extension granted them the right to live in the United States until at least March of 2020, at which point the U.S. » Read More
Agriculture and Construction Industries are Concerned About Labor Shortages
Despite lower unemployment across the country, agriculture and construction companies continue to face vacant positions, and are arguing for increased immigrant labor. For example, in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, there is greater demand for construction work, but there are approximately 38,000 unfilled position in the industry. » Read More
Congressional Republicans broke for the Memorial Day recess amid a heated debate within the party about whether to provide a pathway to citizenship for many immigrants who benefit from DACA, a program that shields from deportation approximately 800,000 people who entered the United States as children. » Read More
The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) recently launched the Online International Student Visa Portal for foreign students in the United States under the F-1 Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and M-1 Practical Training programs. The portal was developed to assist international students in the United States on student visas meet federal immigration information reporting requirements. » Read More
Last week, the American Immigration Counsel reported a sharp, one-year decline in the number of F-1 Student Visas issued to international students seeking to study in US colleges and universities. According to the Counsel, the State Department “only issued 393,573 international student (F-1) visas last year, representing a 17 percent drop from 2016 and a near-40 percent decrease from the peak year of 2015.” The reason: “school officials are reporting that international students are facing higher scrutiny from the State Department before being granted a visa.” The result: “American universities [are] less diverse and financially solvent.”
Colleges and universities throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York are already feeling the impact, as international students constitute a significant source of annual revenue. » Read More
On Friday, President Donald Trump reluctantly signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Act for the 2018 Fiscal Year. The law, which funds the US Government until September 30, 2018, also extends several immigration programs. These include the E-Verify Employee Immigration Verification System, Conrad 30 (foreign medical graduates and doctors), Special Immigrant Visa for Religious Workers, and EB-5 Investor Visa Program. » Read More
Proposed Budget Leaves Much Unanswered on Immigration
Congress released a proposed omnibus budget on Wednesday that addresses certain immigration issues but leaves many of the most important issues unaddressed.
What the Bill Does: In a compromise, the bill adds funding for an additional 328 Customs and Border Patrol Officers for border security, but at the same time, requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to reduce the number of immigrants in detention facilities. » Read More
Despite a long build-up to a debate on an immigration bill in the United States Senate this week, negotiations for comprehensive legislation, as well as a law to help protect DACA recipients, gained no traction in Congress, leaving the future of immigration entirely uncertain. » Read More
To better combat non-immigrant visa overstays through proactive and preventative enforcement actions, Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has announced the implementation of an “Email Departure Reminder” system. The Reminder system requires certain non-immigrant, temporary travelers to the United States to provide an e-mail address so CBP can send an email notice 10 days prior to the date that the traveler is required to depart the United States, or face dire consequences including deportation from the United States, revocation of any non-immigrant visas, and bans on one’s future ability to lawfully enter the United States. » Read More