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December 2014
12/23/14 The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending October 31, 2014.
   
12/18/14 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced the implementation of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program ("HFRP") relating to family-based petitions filed on or before December 18, 2014. On or after February 2, 2015, the National Visa Center will send invitations to eligible applicants to apply for this program.
   
12/18/14 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced the implementation of the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program ("CFRP").
   
12/11/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of December 1, 2014.
   
12/09/14 The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for January 2015 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.
   
12/08/14 The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending October 31, 2014.
   
12/04/14 The U.S. Department of State has announced that parents lawfully present in the United States may request a refugee resettlement interview for their unmarried children under 21 in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Children found ineligible for refugee admission may be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis.
   
November 2014
11/26/14 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released its 4th Quarter Performance Data for various application types.
   
11/21/14

President Obama outlined his Executive Action on immigration reform last night. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is working on implementing his directive so that applicants may apply for important benefits. Significant changes include:

  • For the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") program for those who entered the United States before age 16, removing the upper-age limit, changing the continuous residence date from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010, and extending benefits from 2 to 3 years (this change will be implemented approximately 90 days after the President's November 20, 2014 announcement);
  • Creating a Deferred Action for Parental Accountability Program which allows parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (born on or before November 20, 2014) who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, to apply for deferred action and employment authorization for three years, provided they pass required background checks (this change will be implemented approximately 180 days after the President's November 20, 2014 announcement) (further information on the criminal bars to this form of relief are found here);
  • Expanding the use of I-601A provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (this change will be implemented once new guidelines and regulations are issued);
  • Implementing changes to the immigrant and non-immigrant visa process to grow the economy and create jobs; and
  • Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee.
   
11/20/14 President Obama will be announcing his Executive Action on immigration reform tonight at 8 p.m.
   
11/20/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it will designate Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") for 18 months, beginning November 21, 2014, due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. The registration period begins November 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015. Eligible applicants must have "continuously resided in the United States" since November 20, 2014, and be "continuously physically present in the United States" since November 21, 2014.

   
11/19/14 The U.S. Department of State has published its INA section 212(e) waiver statistics for fiscal year 2014.
   
11/19/14 President Obama will announce his Executive Action on immigration reform on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
   
11/17/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of November 1, 2014.
   
11/13/14 President Obama intends to announce an immigration proposal next week that could pave the way for a significant number of undocumented immigrants to obtain work permits.
   
11/10/14 The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending September 30, 2014.
   
11/07/14 The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for December 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.
   
October 2014
10/31/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of October 1, 2014.
   
10/17/14

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will implement the Haitian Family Reunification Parole ("HFRP") Program to offer certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of approved family-based petitions the opportunity to come to the United States for up to approximately two years before their priority dates become current.

 
10/16/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced an 18-month redesignation of Honduras and Nicaragua for Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") from January 16, 2015 to July 5, 2016. The 60-day reregistration period runs from October 16, 2014 through December 15, 2014.

 
10/14/14 The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending August 31, 2014.
   
10/14/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for November 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

 
September 2014
09/26/14

President Obama announced today that he will extend Deferred Enforced Departure ("DED") for eligible Liberians until September 30, 2016. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced it will automatically extend Employment Authorization Documents ("EADs") for Liberian nationals covered under DED which is due to expire on September 30, 2014. Under the automatic extension, EADs with an expiration date of September 30, 2014 will be valid until March 30, 2014.

 
09/23/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued instructions for entry in the Fiscal Year 2016 Diversity Visa Lottery Program. It has also announced that there are no longer any numbers available for the Fiscal Year 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery Program.

 
09/10/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for October 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

 
09/08/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of September 1, 2014.
   
09/04/14 The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending July 31, 2014.
   
09/03/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced an 18-month redesignation of Sudan and South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") from November 3, 2014 to May 3, 2016. The 60-day reregistration period runs from September 2, 2014 through November 3, 2014.

 
August 2014
08/15/14

Due to the recent ebola outbreak, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has offered temporary immigration relief measures to citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who are present in the United States

 
08/12/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for September 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

 
08/05/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of August 1, 2014.
   
08/07/14 The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending June 30, 2014.
   
July 2014
07/18/14 Governor Deval Patrick has agreed to house immigrant children on a temporary basis to assist with the current humanitarian crisis involving the recent surge of unaccompanied minors from other countries entering the United States.
   
07/15/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of July 1, 2014.
   
07/09/14

The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending May 31, 2014.

 
07/09/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for August 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

 
07/01/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published statistics on I-601A waiver adjudications.

 
June 2014
06/10/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for July 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

 
06/06/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of June 1, 2014.
   
06/05/14 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it will extend benefits under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA"), and has issued guidance regarding the renewal process.
   
06/03/14 The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending April 30, 2014.
   
May 2014
05/30/14 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") has issued a Policy Alert on immigration medical exams, indicating that as of June 1, 2014, USCIS will limit the period of validity for immigration medical exams to one year from the date of submission to USCIS.
   
05/15/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of May 1, 2014.
   
05/15/14 The Asylum Office has issued various reports concerning Credible Fear Interviews, Asylum Office Filings, Asylum Office Decisions for Nationals of Afghanistan and Asylum Office Decisions.
   
05/09/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for June 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

 
05/02/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it has extended the re-registration deadline for Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") benefits for Haitians from May 2, 2014 to July 22, 2014.

   
05/01/14

The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending March 31, 2014.

   
April 2014
04/28/14

The Executive Office for Immigration Review has published Asylum Statistics for Fiscal Years 2009 to 2013.

   
04/21/14

The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending February 28, 2014.

   
04/21/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of April 1, 2014.
   
04/17/14

On April 28, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin premium processing for H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2015 cap.

 
04/15/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for May 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

 
04/10/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it has reached the Fiscal Year 2015 H-1B cap, having received around 172,500 H-1B petitions to meet the 65,000 general cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption.

 
04/10/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published information on the renewal process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

 
04/09/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for May 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

 
March 2014
03/31/14

The U.S. Department of State has designated Chile for participation in the Visa Waiver Program.

   
03/25/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2015 cap on April 1, 2014. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS receives a properly filed petition with the correct fee. USCIS will not rely on the date that the petition is postmarked.

   
03/18/14

The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending January 31, 2014.

   
03/13/14

The New York Times has published an article indicating that President Obama intends to review all deportation orders.

   
03/10/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of March 1, 2014.
   
03/07/14

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for April 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
03/04/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") has extended the Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") designation for Haiti for an additional 18 months, from July 23, 2014 through January 22, 2016. The 60-day re-registration period for eligible Haitians runs from March 3, 2014 through May 2, 2014.

Additionally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") has issued a  notice extending employment authorization from March 3, 2014 to January 22, 2016 for Haitian F-1 nonimmigrant students experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the 1/12/10 earthquake in Haiti.

   
February 2014
02/20/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") has issued guidance on renewals of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") for those individuals whose cases were granted between June 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012. USCIS will issue further guidance in upcoming months for those whose Forms I-821D were filed on or after August 15, 2012.

   
02/19/14

The Asylum Office has released statistics on the number of cases pending interviews and the number of cases referred to the Immigration Court based on the one-year filing deadline.

   
02/19/14

The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending December 31, 2013.

   
02/18/14

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") will soon announce that it will start accepting H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2015 on April 1, 2014.  The H-1B is a classification of temporary immigration status reserved for “specialty occupations” and is often the only way a company is authorized to employ a foreign national in a professional position.  There are a limited number of new H-1Bs issued per fiscal year and it is very likely that demand will quickly exceed the number of H-1Bs available, so that USCIS will hold a lottery to allocate the H-1Bs.  All petitions filed during the first 5 business days in April will be included in the lottery.  Once the cap is reached, there will be no more H-1Bs available until Fiscal Year 2016 (starting October 1, 2015) and sponsors would be able to file those petitions on or about April 1, 2015. For an overview of how USCIS handled this process last year, please visit the USCIS website.

Given that the cap will likely be reached during the first week of April, and given that it can take several weeks or more to prepare the paperwork (including obtaining a certified “Labor Condition Application” from the Department of Labor, which alone can sometimes take up to 2 weeks or more) it is important that you contact Attorney John Cayer as soon as possible for assistance with the filing of an H-1B petition.  Note that this only affects foreign nationals who do not have H-1B status (such as potential workers outside the US or F-1 students currently working in “Optional Practical Training”.  Individuals who already have H-1B status have already been counted against the cap and are not affected by other petitions, such as changing sponsors or extending status).   

 
02/13/14 The latest report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) report shows that Immigration Judges are now granting cases about 50% of the time.
 
02/13/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of February 1, 2014.
 
02/10/14 The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for March 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.
 
02/08/14

The New York Times has featured an article on the delayed processing of I-130 visa petitions filed by U.S. citizens.

   
January 2014
01/21/14

The USCIS Service Centers have released their latest processing times reports for the period ending November 30, 2013.

   
01/15/14 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report as of January 1, 2014.
 
01/09/14 The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for February 2014 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.
 
01/01/14 Happy New Year from Cayer Dyson Law, P.C.!
 
 
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