Michigan Becomes Second State Approved EB-5 Regional Center

The State of Michigan announced last week that it received approval by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to operate a government run EB-5 regional center. The regional center will be the second state-run regional center in the country. Vermont was the first.  Read More >

New 21-Page Citizenship Form Becomes Mandatory on May 5, 2014

We wish to remind you that as of May 5, 2014, the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept the previous revision of the Form, N-400, used to apply for U.S. Citizenship. The new form has an enhanced layout and is 21 pages long. The previous 10-page revision will be accepted until Friday, May 2, 2014.

If you are eligible for U.S. citizenship, you should consider filing before the new form becomes mandatory. 

DHS to Publish Proposed Rule Providing for Work Authorization for H-4 Spouses

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the United States more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skilled immigrants who will contribute substantially to the U.S. economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness. These proposed regulations include rules authorizing employment for spouses of certain high-skilled workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers.

Chilean Visa Waiver Implementation Accelerated

Recently, the United States announced that Chile would be added to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”). May 1, 2014, was the original implementation date, however, Vice President Joe Biden recently announced that this date would be moved up to March 31. Accordingly, nationals of Chile are now eligible to apply for admission under the VWP at a U.S. port of entry if they possess Chilean passports and are otherwise eligible pursuant to statutory and regulatory requirements. Additionally, even though a visa is not required under the VWP, applicants must still apply for authorization prior to travel. Read More >

USCIS Headquarters Issues Guidance Regarding Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued guidance relating to USCIS interpretation of “departure” under Arrabally and Yerrabelly, 25 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2012). The USCIS Miami and Caribbean (MAC) District had been holding cases with fact patterns not clearly resolved by Arrabally, pending guidance from Headquarters.  Read More >

USCIS Reaches FY 2015 H-1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2015. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U. S. advanced degree exemption.    Read More >

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Immigration Enforcement Case

The Supreme Court is refusing to hear a Maryland immigration enforcement dispute. The Court announced it won't hear Frederick County’s appeal of a ruling last August by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The dispute now goes back to U.S. District Court in Baltimore for further proceedings. Roxana Santos, an immigrant from El Salvador, claims that two Frederick County sheriff's deputies illegally discriminated against her in 2008 when they arrested her on a civil immigration warrant, claiming that she was detained and her immigration status checked only because she looks Hispanic. The County says Santos raised suspicion by trying to hide as the deputies drove past her as she ate lunch outside her workplace.

Democrats Push Immigration Reform

House Democrats will file another 'discharge petition' Wednesday in an effort to force a vote on a bill to overhaul the nation's immigration system. To be successful, democrats would need to obtain 218 signatures - there are currently 199 Democrats in the House. House Democrats have filed seven discharge petitions in the 113th Congress, all of which failed to obtain the signatures needed to force a vote on legislation. In the last 30 years, only seven discharge petitions have obtained enough signatures to force a vote.

Is U.S. Deportation Policy Changing?

Following his meeting with three leading members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus over the number of deportations of undocumented immigrants during his administration, the Obama White House announced, late last week, a possible change to its deportation policy. President Obama announced in a meeting readout that he has requested a review of his administration’s enforcement policies for immigration laws to see if that enforcement can be done “more humanely within the confines of the law,” the White House said Thursday. The announcement follows months of insistence that there was nothing the administration could do to stem the flow of deportations short of Congress passing comprehensive immigration reform, which is unlikely to happen soon.  

H-2B Cap for First Half of Fiscal Year 2014 is Reached

USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of Fiscal Year 2014 (33,000 workers). The final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2014 is March 14, 2014. This means that USCIS will reject new H-2B petitions that request an employment start date before April 1, 2014 and were received after March 14, 2014. USCIS will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap.

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