Flexibilities Announced for OPT Applicants

Many F-1 students were not able to complete the full 12 month of post completion OPT due to significant delays at USCIS and volume delays at USPS. By law, they are supposed to complete the 12 month OPT within 14 months from the end of their program. However, the delay has reduced their full OPT potential due to no fault of their own. As a cure, USCIS will allow the 14-month period to commence...

Summary of the “Biden Immigration Bill” for Individuals without Lawful Status Part 1

The U.S. Citizenship Act, also commonly known as the “Biden Immigration Bill”, states as its purpose, “to provide an earned path to citizenship, to address the root causes of migration and responsibly manage the southern border, and to reform the immigrant visa system, and for other purposes.” For the the 11 million undocumented community members, the good news is that this earned path...

What Happens to My Pending H-1B Extension After My Green Card is Approved?

The answer should be fairly straightforward. But USCIS has not always been consistent in adjudicating similar cases. They are supposed to follow the "last action" rule. Once GC is approved, then the beneficiary becomes a lawful permanent resident from that point onwards. The pending H-1B extension may be approved but only up to the day before GC approval. But the varying adjudication outcomes...

Immigrant Visa Ban Lifted

On February 24, 2021, President Biden rescinded Trump's Immigrant Visa ban (Proclamation 10014) which suspended the entry of certain immigrant visa applicants. However, given the backlog caused by the Covid pandemic and the bans under Trump, the resumption of visa services will not be swift or back to pre-pandemic levels. The Department of State has provided an update on its website regarding...

Políticas Favorables a los Inmigrantes en el Horizonte, los Dreamers Serán los Primeros en Beneficiarse

La Administración de Biden ha anunciado un amplio proyecto de ley de reforma migratoria titulado "Ley de Ciudadanía de los Estados Unidos de 2021." Proporciona una vía acelerada para la obtención de la ciudadanía a quienes se encuentren en Estados Unidos sin estatus legal a partir del 1 de enero de 2021. Este grupo de personas representa más de 10.5 millones. Inicialmente, podrían obtener...

Fast H-1B Approval Without Premium

Current H-1B processing time frame is about 5 months to over a a year. It is therefore common for beneficiaries to request or ask about premium processing. Premium processing costs $2,500 and guarantees adjudication within 15 business days. Please note that adjudication means approval, RFE, or denial. Given the high rate of RFEs, the likelihood of receiving an RFE after requesting for premium...

Premium Processing Now Available to E-3 Petitioners

E-3 status is similar to H-1B but reserved for citizens of Australia. And just like H-1B, there is a limit to the number of E-3 visas available to Australian nationals, but most of these numbers go unused each year. General requirements for E-3 are: Are a national of Australia;Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States;Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying...

March 2021 Visa Bulletin

F2A applicants may file GC using the Final Action Dates chart. Applicants in all other family-sponsored preference categories must use the Dates for Filing chart. Applicants in all employment-based preference categories must use the Final Action Dates chart. Visa Bulletin for Adjustment of Status

USCIS Reverts Back to Administering the Old Civic Test

The civics test component of the naturalization test had previously required applicants to study from a list of 100 possible questions. This was known as the 2008 civics test. On December 1, 2020, USCIS increased that list to 128 and updated the number of questions applicants must answer correctly to pass from six out of 10 to 12 out of 20 questions. On February 22, 2021, USCIS scratched out the...

Should I Keep My H-1B After Filing for I-485?

This is one of those questions where the answer may seem obvious at first glance but it is difficult to answer without elaborating. When you submit your I-485 application, you are at the final leg of the years-long journey to permanent residency in the U.S. As part of the green card application package, you may also submit I-765 (EAD) and I-131 (advance parole) together with your green card...