DOS Issues Cable on B1 instead of H-1B and H3

DOS Issues Cable on B1 instead of H-1B and H3

A June 21, 2012 DOS cable issues guidance on B1 in lieu of H status is presently under review although present procedure is in effect. To avoid delays at ports, consular officers should note the B1 visa with B instead of H, See 9 FAM 41.31 N11. (06/26/2012)

USCIS Immigrant Fee Effective February 1, 2013

USCIS announced that foreign nationals who seek permanent residence in the United States and receive an immigrant visa will need to pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee beginning February 1, 2013. The new fee of $165 was established in USCIS’ final rule adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions announced on Sept. 24, 2010. USCIS has worked closely with the Department of State (DOS) to implement the new fee which allows USCIS to recover the cost of processing that is performed in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS and are admitted to the United States. Applicants will now have two separate fees to pay. They are still required to pay the DOS visa application processing fee, and will now also have to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee.

H-2B Program Temporarily Suspended as of March 22, 2013

11th Circuit Affirms Injunction that Challenges the 2012 H-2B Final Rule (.pdf 491 KB)

The 11th Circuit Court has affirmed an injunction that prevents U.S. DOL from enforcing the 2012 H-2B final rule. The 11th Circuit found no error in the district court’s decision pertaining to Plaintiffs’ merit of success. (see Bayou Lawn & Landscape Services v. Oates, 04/01/13)

FY-2014 Current H-2B Cap

Through October 11, 2013, USCIS received 7,500 applications in the H-2B pool of 33,000 for the beginning of FY-2014. Included in this are 6,200 approvals as well and 1,300 pending applications.

Policy Memo Expanding Guidance of Adjustments of Status of VWP applicants (PM-602-0093)

Policy memorandum issued by USCIS-Washington that provides adjudication guidance with respect to I-485 Applications to Adjust Status, filed by immediate family members of U.S. citizens who last entered the U.S. under the ESTA (VWP) program. Generally, VWP entrants may not adjust status under the INA, except in limited circumstances where the underlying Petition for Alien Relative is filed by an immediate family member of a U.S. citizen.

FY2014 H-2B Cap Count

As of April 18, 2014, USCIS receipted 21,048 cases toward the 33,000 cap for Q2 FY2014. Included are 17,970 approved and 3,080 pending cases.

H-1B Premium Processing startson April 28, 2014

USCIS advises that on April 28, it will start premium processing for H-1B cases under the FY2015 cap. included are H-1B petitions requesting exemption from the fiscal cap for persons who have earned a U.S. master’s (or higher) degree.

(Updated 4/22/14)