USCIS | Law Firm Newswire

Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 23, 2017 – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published its final rule modernizing and improving aspects of non-immigrant and immigrant employment visa programs. According to the USCIS regulations have been amended allowing U.S. companies to hire/retain some categories of foreign workers — the beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions — waiting to become legal permanent residents. The new rule went into effect on January 17, 2017. Some of the amendments to regulations include: · Better enabling U.S. companies to hire/retain high-skilled individuals who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions. […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 9, 2017 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a long-awaited final rule that will benefit many nonimmigrant foreign employees who are highly skilled, and employment-based immigrant workers, as well as their employers. The rule takes effect January 17, 2017. “After more than a decade, USCIS has finally issued regulations interpreting legislation passed in 2001 which assist both highly skilled immigrants and nonimmigrants in a comprehensive way,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, a Dallas immigration attorney with Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “It is a welcome change basing practice advice to clients on regulations, and […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 22, 2016 – Certain Filipino veterans of World War II, their spouses, and unmarried children under 21 may be eligible to be paroled into the United States and wait for a visa number to become available in recognition of their military service to the United States. Ordinarily, an immigrant visa applicant must have a visa number before being admitted to the United States and wait for such a number abroad. The Filipino World War II Veterans Parole (FWVP) program was announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and became effective June 8, 2016. […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 1, 2016 – The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency has released a statement of the most recent adjustments on immigration petition fees and benefit applications. According to USCIS the adjustments are now not only final, but executory. Because the adjustments are executory, possible questions arise as to whether or not the stated final changes will indeed be final and what remains before they are executed. “The new fees mean an average increase of 21 percent for most petitions and applications,” explained respected Huston immigration attorney, Annie Banerjee. According to USCIS, the increase […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 30, 2016 – It appears that before he leaves office President Obama may yet create a startup visa for immigrant entrepreneurs wanting to launch a business in the United States. The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) may be put into place soon. According to the White House, the IER would likely be put in place after a 45-day comment period. Choosing to push a “rule” through works around Congress holding immigration legislation up by stalling it until it dies on the floor. It appears the IER is to be linked to the Immigration and Nationality […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 23, 2016 – Under a final rule announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and effective in late August, 2016, certain family members of lawful permanent residents in addition to those of U.S. citizens will become eligible to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility while in the United States, and spend less time separated from their petitioning family members. USCIS stated that the final rule is an expansion of the Provisional Waiver process that was established in 2013, with the goal of helping families stay unified. Initially, certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 27, 2016 – Most immigration filing fees charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would be increased under a rule change proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on May 4, 2016. According to DHS, the fee schedule must be adjusted to maintain adequate service and to recover costs. The agency stated that it conducted a comprehensive fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the full cost of services which it provides. Under the proposed rule, USCIS fees would be increased by a weighted average of 21 percent, with […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 21, 2016 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has launched the Known Employer Pilot Program (KEPP), to evaluate a new process for employers for employers who want to hire certain foreign national workers in employment-based visa categories. The Known Employer Program would require an employer to pre-qualify first by setting up an online profile in a Web-based Known Employer Document Library. The employer would then upload documents to that library. USCIS would evaluate eligibility requirements and once approved, permit an employer to file foreign national eligibility documents without company supporting evidence. The pilot […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 27, 2016 – A study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the government’s efforts to detect fraud in asylum requests could be better implemented. The study, Asylum: Additional Actions Needed to Assess and Address Fraud Risks, identified several ways that fraud detection could be improved. “Asylum standards are the same as refugee standards; the former is an application made in the United States, the latter made abroad,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, a noted Dallas immigration attorney with Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “As to asylum, the USCIS is charged with developing the means […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 5, 2015 – The Department of State (DOS) has retracted the Visa Bulletin of Sept. 9, 2015, which listed a set of filing dates for which immigrants could apply for an adjustment of status or immigration visa. A revised Visa Bulletin has moved these dates further back in time — the EB-2 Priority Date is now July 1, 2009. If an individual’s priority date is after that date, they cannot file in October. Additionally, the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) suspended all employment applications for all countries until Oct. 1, 2015 as they had […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 21, 2015 – On Aug. 31, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the process of electronic payment of the $165 USCIS immigrant visa fee has been simplified. Payment of the immigrant visa fee is required for foreign nationals and is the concluding step to actually being able to receive a Permanent Resident Card, also known as a green card. It is typically paid after an immigrant receives his or her immigrant visa abroad and before boarding an aircraft to the United States. Until the recent changes, the immigrant was required to […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 26, 2014 – Increased demand for EB-5 visas allowing foreign investors to gain permanent residence in the U.S. may lead to a backlog in visa availability. Activity in the investor EB-5 visa program has expanded widely over the past several years, and a record number of EB-5 petitions were filed during fiscal year 2013. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that 6,517 initial EB-5 visa petitions were received from foreign investors under the program. At of the end of the government’s fiscal year (September 30, 2013), 3,696 investor petitions had been […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 17, 2014 – A nominee for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deputy is still being scrutinized for alleged favoritism in his allocation of visas. Alejandro Mayorkas, an Obama-administration nominee for a top post with the DHS, has been under the cloud of a federal investigation for months. But on December 11, 2013, he took an important step forward toward confirmation when Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved his nomination. Mayorkas, the current director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has been nominated to serve as deputy to […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 6, 2013 – Debt ceiling and budget issues aside, the current approach to immigration may be missing the vital component of vetting applicants. “Yes, not vet, is a refrain being heard from the president of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Council (USCIS), Kenneth Palinkas, and oddly enough, no one seems to be listening. No small surprise when it comes to politicians,” added Larry Rifkin, a Miami immigration lawyer and managing partner at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida. Why is Mr. Palinkas speaking out about passing […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 4, 2013 – The U.S. Department of State has issued visa updates to embassies around the world on how the U.S. is managing the immigration of same-sex couples. The guidelines include the missive that, beginning immediately, consular officers are to begin reviewing the visa applications which have been filed by a same-sex spouse the same way they review visa applications filed by an opposite-sex spouse. Same-sex marriages are now considered valid for purposes of immigration. “A same-sex marriage is considered valid for all immigration purposes, even if it is determined that the same-sex couple […]


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