Employers: USCIS Denying Form I-131 Advance Parole Applications for Abandonment During Pendency

USCIS has been denying Form I-131 advance parole applications for abandonment in instances in which the applicant traveled abroad while their application was pending. In their denial notification, USCIS references page six (6) of the Form I-131 instructions which states: “If you depart the United States before the Advance Parole Document is issued, your application for an Advance Parole Document will be considered abandoned”.

Trump Administration Announces Travel Ban Expansion

On September 24, 2017, the White House Office released a Presidential Proclamation signed by President Donald J. Trump, which enhances vetting processes and suspends travel to the United States for certain citizens of seven (7) nations: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. President Trump described the Proclamation as necessary to “protect the security and interests of the United States and its people.”

Practice Alert: USCIS Expanding In-Person Interview Requirements for Permanent Residence Applicants

Effective October 1, 2017, USCIS will begin to require substantially more in-person interviews for those applying for permanent residence status. USCIS will specifically begin implementing in-person interviews for all employment-based green card applicants, as well as asylees and refugees who are petitioning for spouse or child to join them in the United States. 

Practice Alert: USCIS Is Denying Pending Forms I-131 for Abandonment Due to International Travel

On August 18th, 2017, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released a practice alert concerning the recent USCIS policy change to deny Form 1-131 advance parole applications for abandonment in instances in which the applicant has traveled abroad during the pendency of the application. USCIS has maintained that these applications are considered abandoned even when the applicant has a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa to return to the United States. 

H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2018 Reached

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for Fiscal Year 2018 has been reached.  USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the additional 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree allotment, also known as the Master’s Cap.  USCIS will therefore reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.

USCIS Suspends H-1B Premium Processing

On March 3, 2017 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that Premium Processing for the H-1B skilled-worker visa program will be temporarily suspended.  Suspension will be effective April 3, 2017 up to six (6) month period.  Applicants who wish to pay the additional fee of $1,225 for a Premium Processing response within fifteen days will no longer have that option. 

DHS Publishes Entrepreneur Rule

On January 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a rule, effective on July 17, 2017, that allows certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for temporary parole for a maximum stay of up to five (5) tears. The rule will allow entrepreneurs of start-up entities, whose entry into the U.S. would provide a significant public benefit through substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, to be granted temporary parole.

Happy New Year!

Spring 2017 is just around the corner, and now is the time to start preparing for H-1B filing season, which begins on April 1. Our office would like to remind Human Resources personnel that they should make determinations about hiring, with H-1B eligible persons in mind. It is crucial to make plans with counsel to ensure that all information is gathered before the April 1 filing period.

DHS to Publish Proposed Rule for International Entrepreneurs

On August 26, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to publish a proposed rule that would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for temporary parole for an initial stay of up to two (2) years. The proposed rule would allow entrepreneurs of start-up entities, whose entry into the U.S. would provide a significant public benefit through substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, to be granted temporary parole.

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