USCIS Completes The H-1B Cap Lottery for the 2016 Fiscal Year

The USCIS has announced that it has finished the computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select petitions to meet the FY2016 cap. The USCIS stated it will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 11, 2015. The USCIS noted that it has received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the FY2016 filing period.

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H-4 SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION

On February 26, 2015, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule allowing spouses of certain H-1 workers ( those with approved immigrant visa petitions whose applications for permanent residence/green card cannot be filed due to the non-availability of immigrant visas) to apply for employment authorization. This is set to go into effect on May 26, 2015.

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FEDERAL COURT INJUNCTION BLOCKS DEFERRED ACTION PROGRAMS. OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SEEKS EMERGENCY STAY OF INJUNCTION.

After a federal judge ruled to issue a preliminary injunction to block the implementation of two of the most critical components of President Obama’s executive actions–the Deferred Action for Parents of US Citizen and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of the DACA program for illegal immigrants who entered the US before the age of 16–the Obama Administration filed a request for an emergency stay of the injunction on February 23, 2015. On March 9, 2015, Judge Hanen declined to rule on the emergency stay.

Even though the future of the new DAPA and DACA programs is in question, the Obama Administration has moved forward with other provisions of the executive actions. This can be seen most significantly under a November 2014 policy memorandum establishing new priorities for the apprehension, detention and removal of those living in the US in unauthorized status. The Obama administration will focus on those who are convicted felons, gang members, and those considered a national security threat. Those who entered the US prior to January 2014, were issued a final order of removal before January 2014 or have not been convicted of a serious crime will not be priorities for removal.

In the next few months, the Obama Administration is expected to take further actions to implement the executive actions announced in November of last year. These include the expansion of those eligible for the I-601 provisional waiver and expanding opportunities for immigrants in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and immigrant entrepreneurs.

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USCIS ANNOUNCES ENOUGH PETITIONS RECEIVED TO REACH H-2B CAP FOR FY2015

The USCIS has just announced that it has received enough petitions as of March 26, 2015 to reach the H-2B cap for the 2015 fiscal year. As such, USCIS will not accept any new H-2B petitions that request a start date before October 1, 2015, and ones that were received after March 26, 2015.

For further updates or more explanations of the above news, contact the firm of Cohen, Fluhr and González, leading immigration lawyers in Philadelphia.

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OBAMA ANUNCIA ACCIONES EJECUTIVAS EN INMIGRACIÓN

OBAMA ANUNCIA ACCIONES EJECUTIVAS EN INMIGRACIÓN INCLUYENDO UNIDAD FAMILIAR, EXPANSIÓN DE DACA, EXPANSIÓN DEL PERDÓN PROVISIONAL, Y OPCIONES DE INMIGRACIÓN MAS EXPANSIVAS PARA TRABAJADORES ESPECIALIZADOS, INVENTORES, INVESTIGADORES E INVERSIONISTAS

El 20 de noviembre de 2014, el Presidente Obama anunció unas muy esperadas acciones ejecutivas sobre inmigración.  Estas acciones se enfocaran en parar la inmigración ilegal en la frontera, deportar a criminales, asegurar la unidad familiar y retener a trabajadores especializados, inventores y empresarios.

Algunas de las acciones incluyen:

  • Expandir a las personas elegibles bajo la Acción Diferida Para Ciertos Jóvenes (Programa DACA) a los que vinieron a los Estados Unidos antes de cumplir los 16 años y que han estado físicamente presentes en este país desde el 1 de enero de 2010.  Extender el programa de DACA y el permiso de trabajo de dos a tres años.

  • Establecer un Programa de Acción Diferida para padres de ciudadanos americanos y residentes permanentes.  Permitirá a padres de ciudadanos americanos y residentes permanentes que han estado en los Estados Unidos desde el 1 de enero de 2010 a pedir la Acción Diferida con un permiso de trabajo valido por tres años.

  • Expandir el uso de perdones provisionales para el castigo de 3/10 años para incluir a esposos e hijos/hijas de residentes permanentes y de ciudadanos americanos.

EL SERVICIO DE INMIGRACIÓN (USCIS) AUN NO ESTA ACEPTANDO APLICACIONES.  TENGAN CUIDADO DE OFERTAS PARA AYUDA EN SOMETER UNA APLICACIÓN PARA CUALQUIERA DE ESTAS ACCIONES ANTES DE QUE ESTÉN DISPONIBLES.

SI CREE QUE ES ELIGIBLE, HAY COSAS QUE PUEDE HACER PARA PREPARASE, POR EJEMPLO REUNIR CIERTOS DOCUMENTOS QUE SERÁN REQUERIDOS.  PARA EVALUAR SU ELEGIBILIDAD, POR FAVOR HAGA UNA CITA CON NUESTRA OFICINA.

Para mas información sobre las acciones ejecutivas, visite la siguiente pagina del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional:

http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction

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OBAMA ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION

OBAMA ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION: FOCUSES ON FAMILY UNITY, EXPANDING DACA, EXPANDING PROVISIONAL WAIVER PROGRAM, AND FACILITATING IMMIGRATION FOR SKILLED WORKERS, INVENTORS, RESEARCHERS AND INVESTORS

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced his long awaited executive actions on immigration. These actions will focus on cracking down on illegal immigration at the border, deporting criminals, ensuring family unity and retaining skilled workers, researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs.

Some of the highlights include the following:

  • Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA Program) to those who came to the United States before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010.  Extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two to three years.

  • Establishing a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability Program.  Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 to request Deferred Action and employment authorization for three years.

  • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence (3/10 year bar) to include the spouses and sons and daughter of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.

USCIS IS NOT ACCEPTING ANY APPLICATIONS AT THIS TIME.  BEWARE OF ANYONE WHO OFFERS TO HELP YOU SUBMIT AN APPLICATION OR A REQUEST FOR ANY OF THESE ACTIONS BEFORE THEY ARE AVAILABLE.  IF YOU BELIEVE YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE, THERE ARE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE BY GATHERING DOCUMENTATION THAT WILL CLEARLY BE REQUIRED.  IN ORDER TO EVALUATE YOUR ELIGIBILITY, PLEASE SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH OUR OFFICE BY Clicking Here.

The Department of Homeland Security has posted information online at:

http://www.dhs.gov/immigration-action

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US Grants Temporary Protected Status for Nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

In response to the Ebola crisis  in West Africa, the Department of Homeland Security of the United States has  decided to grant 18 months of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to citizens of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. This means that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

TPS is also available to people without nationality who had their last habitual residence in one of those three countries. Those approved for TPS will not be removed (deported) from the United States and will be eligible to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The registration period for this TPS status runs from November 21, 2014 through May 20, 2015.

Information about the procedures for applying for TPS are available at www.uscis.gov/tps and for additional assistance you can contact our Immigration law office in Philadelphia by clicking here.

 

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DOS Releases Instructions for the FY2016 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is a “green card lottery” for a class of diversity immigrants with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.  For the fiscal year 2016, 50,000 diversity visas (DV) will be available.  There is no cost to register for the DV program.

Natives of certain countries are not eligible to apply.  Applicants who are selected in the lottery will need to meet strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a diversity visa.

Entries for the DV-2016 program must be submitted electronically at www.dvlottery.state.gov between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), Wednesday, October 1, 2014, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST), Monday, November 3, 2014.

For more information about the program, please click here:   http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/diversity-visa/Diversity-2015-Instructions.html. For assistance or questions regarding your eligibility, please schedule a consultation with our office by clicking here.

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DHS Announces an 18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for People of Sudan

The Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, will extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Sudan for an additional 18 months. The extension is effective Nov. 3, 2014 through May 2, 2016.

Current Sudanese beneficiaries who are seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that will run from Sept. 2, 2014 until Nov. 3, 2014. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as they possibly can once the 60-day period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Sept. 2, 2014.

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President Obama Mulls Amnesty For Landed Migrants Following Inaction By Congress

While Obama has stated in previous months that there was only so much he could do to prevent migrants with illegal standing from being deported, it appears that he is intent on flexing the muscle of the executive branch again to prevent this from occurring.
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