Thursday, November 16, 2017
The DV Lottery program offers a lottery for up to 50,000 immigrant visas annually, “drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration” to the U.S., according to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.
President Trump has called for its elimination, and the termination of chain migration, which happens when immigrants can enter the country, simply to be united with a relative already living in the U.S.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers a full fee waiver and a partial fee waiver.
USCIS will waive the full naturalization filing fee of $680 ($595 for applicants age 75 or older) if you are receiving income-based public assistance. Don’t put off becoming a U.S. citizen. Naturalizing is your best protection against restrictive changes in our immigration laws.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Starting this summer, employers began noticing that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was challenging an unusually large number of H-1B applications. Cases that would have sailed through the approval process in earlier years ground to a halt under requests for new paperwork. The number of challenges — officially known as “requests for evidence” or RFEs — are up 44 percent compared to last year, according to statistics from USCIS. The percentage of H-1B applications that have resulted in RFEs this year are at the highest level they’ve been since 2009, and by absolute number are considerably higher than any year for which the agency provided statistics.
In the meantime, the uncertainly alone is taking a toll on those who rely on the visas to work. Some applicants whose cases remained unresolved by Oct. 1, the annual effective date for new visas, have been sent home from their jobs. After the recent terrorist attack in New York, Trump called for the elimination of another visa lottery program – the Diversity Visa Lottery – saying immigration should be merit-based.
Monday, November 6, 2017
The Trump administration is escalating scrutiny for extension of L1B applications to the same level as new applications to fit into the larger theme of protecting American workers which cuts to the heart of Trump's appeal and his rise to power in the US.
The updated guidance makes it clear that extensions will not happen by default. The burden of proof falls entirely on the petitioner. With every additional move, the USCIS is basically sending strong and repeated signals that the difficulty level of coming through the H1B/ L1 route and then staying in the US on the same visa is unlike at any other time in the history of these work visas.
“The updated guidance instructs officers to apply the same level of scrutiny when reviewing nonimmigrant visa extension requests even where the petitioner, beneficiary and underlying facts are unchanged from a previously approved petition. While adjudicators may ultimately reach the same conclusion as in a prior decision, they are not compelled to do so as a default starting point as the burden of proof to establish eligibility for an immigration benefit always lies with the petitioner,” says Lee Francis Cissna, newly appointed director of the USCIS.
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