Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Fresh changes in rules notified by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for renewal of non-immigrant visas will severely impact H-1B visa holders. Petitions for renewal of such visas, particularly when the underlying facts that supported the original petition have not changed, are currently considered with a presumption of approval, but that will no longer be the case, USISC said. Consequently, the burden of proof will be on the petitioner to substantiate his application even when nothing has changed since the previous petition.
The new rules are in line with the Donald Trump administration’s 'Buy American, Hire American' policy, the USCIS said. The new changes were announced even as a comprehensive review of the H-1B programme is under way.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
USCIS has been denying Advance parole advance parole applications for abandonment in instances where the applicant has traveled abroad during the pendency of the application. The pending Advance parole application is being denied even if the applicant has a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa to return to the United States.
In the denial notification, USCIS points to the Advance parole instructions where it states that "[i]f you depart the United States before the Advance Parole Document is issued, your application for an Advance Parole Document will be considered abandoned."
In the past, USCIS has approved advance parole renewal applications for individuals who travel abroad during the pendency of the application with a valid Advance Parole Document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa.
Now the current policy is that traveling internationally while an application for advance parole is pending will result in the denial of that application notwithstanding prior practice to the contrary.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Cap-gap extension was implemented by USCIS to assist foreign students when an F-1 student graduates, obtains an OPT for 1 year and the OPT ends the following year sometime between April and October. OPT student finds a job that sponsors him or her. As a result, the employer files the H-1B on April 1st.
However, the visa won’t take effect until October 1st. If a student’s OPT expires in between April and October, they are caught in a “cap-gap”. Meaning, if their OPT expires between April and October. USCIS allows the students to work until September 30. In most cases, H1-B is approved by this date. And the student’s status changes to H1-B starting October 1.
However, this year things have taken a drastic turn. The number of requests for evidence have risen in number. Premium processing stands cancelled. It is most likely that USCIS is going to adjudicate cases after October 1. This is the reason everyone is asking : My H1B is pending after Oct 1 cap gap – Can I still work?
The answer to this question is No.
Cap-gap extension ends on September 30th. You are no longer eligible to work.
USCIS denied my H1-B and my OPT expired. Now what?
You have a 60-day grace period from the date of denial to leave the country. During this time you are ineligible to work in the country. Make arrangements to leave the country, re-enroll in school for a new program, or look into any other visa options that will allow you to stay in United States.
My Law, LLC
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
Phone: (630) 903-9625
1700 Park Street, Suite 203
Naperville, IL 60563
Friday, October 6, 2017
On September 28, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ombudsman outlined procedures for new USCIS in-person interviews required for employment-based applicants effective October 1, 2017.
Interviews will be scheduled by field offices for every applicant who has filed an green card application after March 6, 2017 and notices will be sent to both the applicant and the representing attorney. If additional evidence is needed, USCIS will request prior to the interview.