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Visa Bulletin Updates for August and Some Predictions for the Remainder of the Fiscal Year

By Jessica L. Marks, Esq.

The August 2014 Visa Bulletin is out and brings some exciting developments in several employment-based categories. The following major movement forward will take place on August 1:

  • The EB-2 category for those born in China advances three months to October 8, 2009, while the EB-3 category advances 25 months to November 1, 2008! The gains for China EB-3 Other Workers are even greater: 30 months all the way to July 22, 2005.
  • The EB-2 category for those born in India advances 4.5 months to January 22, 2009.
  • The EB-3 and EB-3 Other Works categories for those born in Philippines both advance 17 months to June 1, 2010.

For EB-2 India, the Department of State (“DOS”) warns that heavy demand by applicants with priority dates significantly earlier than the established cut-off date of January 22, 2009 is expected to materialize within the coming months. If this occurs, the cut-off date is likely to retrogress significantly. As previously reported, DOS has already seen heavy demand for EB-5 numbers by those born in China to the extent that establishment of a cut-off date for July was considered a possibility, but thankfully did not occur, and one has not yet been established for August, although that could change.

At the recent American Immigration Lawyers Association annual meeting, DOS officials also shared a prediction about movement (or lack thereof) in the family-based categories, namely that the cut-off dates for September, the last month of the fiscal year, are expected to be the same as or similar to those seen in July.

If you think you may be affected by the forward movement in August, please contact a Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP attorney today to ensure that you are ready for August 1, and stay tuned for more updates next month!

The Executive Branch Proposes Reforms to Employment-based Immigration Rules

By: Joseph J. Shepherd, Esq.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) yesterday announced the forthcoming publication of not one but two new proposed rules in the Federal Register to amend regulations applying to both nonimmigrant visa holders and applicants for employment-based immigrant visas.  As previously reported, the first proposed rule provides employment authorization for some (but not . . . → Read More: The Executive Branch Proposes Reforms to Employment-based Immigration Rules

“Winner” of the Diversity Visa Program: A Fairy Tale for Many

By Vanessa Sanchez, Bernard Wolfsdorf and Naveen Bhora

On May 1, 2014 the U.S. Department of State announced the winners of the 2015 Diversity Visa program (DV-2015). Over 100,000 eager U.S. immigrants were selected and these “winners” will have an opportunity to have their fairy tale come true – a chance to obtain a green card.

However, being . . . → Read More: “Winner” of the Diversity Visa Program: A Fairy Tale for Many

Winning the H-1B Lottery is Just the Beginning of the Battle – The Fierce Fight over What Constitutes a “Specialty Occupation”

By Jessica L. Marks, Esq.

Now that the dust has settled from the mad dash to March 31, the receipt notices are rolling in for the lucky lottery winners whose H-1B petitions have been selected for the FY 2015 cap.  Since the lottery was held on April 10, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has begun notifying . . . → Read More: Winning the H-1B Lottery is Just the Beginning of the Battle – The Fierce Fight over What Constitutes a “Specialty Occupation”

As Faith in Congress Fades, the Executive Branch Takes another Small Step Forward

By Jessica L. Marks, Esq.

Last week, the White House announced that new rules will soon be published to authorize employment for H-4 spouses. Currently, H-4 status does not permit the visa holder to work in the United States, a restriction the Obama Administration has concluded runs counter to the goal of attracting talented foreign entrepreneurs and . . . → Read More: As Faith in Congress Fades, the Executive Branch Takes another Small Step Forward

MD District Court Decision Continues to Reinforce Inviolability of Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, Rights and Responsibilities

By Matthew Beatus, Esq.

In February, we reported on the implications of a decision issued by a federal court in New Jersey concerning Form I-864, Affidavits of Support.  In Shah v. Shah, the court held that a preexisting prenuptial agreement providing for the waiver of an immigrant spouse’s rights “to spousal alimony, maintenance, or other allowances incident . . . → Read More: MD District Court Decision Continues to Reinforce Inviolability of Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, Rights and Responsibilities

USCIS RELEASES UPDATED EB-5 PROCESSING TIMES AND APPROVAL STATISTICS –THE NEWS IS GENERALLY GOOD

By Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, Esq. and Robert Blanco, Esq.

USCIS has published its latest processing times from the new Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) for I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur applications and for I-829 Petitions by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program.  As of January 31, 2014, USCIS was processing I-526 applications that were . . . → Read More: USCIS RELEASES UPDATED EB-5 PROCESSING TIMES AND APPROVAL STATISTICS –THE NEWS IS GENERALLY GOOD

Latest Chinese EB-5 Visa Availability Projection

By Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, Esq.

AILA EB-5 Committee attorney Bernard Wolfsdorf has engaged in a discussion with the State Department clarifying the State Department’s recent visa availability projections in Item E of the March 2014 Visa Bulletin. The State Department has indicated that the EB-5 category will be “Current” for the foreseeable future, and there is no mention . . . → Read More: Latest Chinese EB-5 Visa Availability Projection

NJ District Court Decision Reinforces Inviolability of Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, Rights and Obligations

By Matthew Beatus, Esq.

A recent federal district court decision out of New Jersey has contributed to the developing legal debate surrounding whether Form I-864 Affidavits of Support submitted on behalf of immigrant applicant spouses may be invalidated by prenuptial agreements.  In Shah v. Shah, Civil No. 12–4648 (RBK/KMW), 2014 WL 185914 (D.N.J. Jan 14, 2014) (memo. . . . → Read More: NJ District Court Decision Reinforces Inviolability of Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, Rights and Obligations

What ICE’s New DACA Renewal Guidance May Mean for You!

By Richard Yemm, Esq.

Time flies! It seems like only yesterday we were discussing the ‘new’ Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process and the pros and cons of applying (earlier posts on DACA can be found here, here and here). We are approaching the two-year anniversary of the introduction of DACA, which means . . . → Read More: What ICE’s New DACA Renewal Guidance May Mean for You!