Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security
Site Identifier Code: 
en
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

District Court Allows DOL to Continue Processing Certifications for H-2B Program and USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-2B Petitions

District Court Grants DOL an Extension for H-2B Program

On April 15, 2015, the federal district court in the Northern District of Florida issued an order effectively permitting the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to continue issuing temporary labor certifications under the H-2B visa program through May 15, 2015. As a result, DOL will continue to process temporary labor certification applications under its 2008 H-2B regulations through May 15, 2015.

On March 4, the court vacated DOL’s 2008 H-2B regulations on the grounds that DOL lacks authority to issue regulations in the H-2B program. DOL and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are working to publish regulations to minimize future interruptions to the H-2B program.

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-2B Petitions

On April 20, 2015, USCIS will resume accepting premium processing requests for Form I-129 H-2B petitions. USCIS had announced a temporary suspension of premium processing for all H-2B petitions on March 9, 2015. 

Beginning April 20, 2015, employers will be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, either:

Form I-907 allows employers to request faster processing of certain employment-based petitions and applications. The current filing fee for Form I-907 is $1,225. 

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

USCIS Tool Makes It Easier to Find a Doctor

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched an enhanced tool to find local doctors authorized to perform medical examinations for green card applicants.

The improved Find a Doctor locator lets you enter your address or ZIP code to search for a doctor based on distance. You can also look up directions and find local transportation. And we have added a helpful checklist of what to bring with you to your doctor visit.

All of this can be accessed online at any time using any device.

Only doctors authorized by USCIS, known as civil surgeons, may perform the exams that are usually required as part of the process for obtaining permanent resident status.

For more information, visit my.uscis.gov.

Your feedback helps us improve our services. Send comments to myuscissupport@uscis.dhs.gov or through the USCIS Idea Community. We also encourage you to register to receive email updates and find out about opportunities to test new features.

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

H-1B Cap Premium Processing to Begin April 27

On April 27, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. USCIS first announced in a news release that it would temporarily adjust its premium processing practice due to the historic premium processing receipt levels, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season.

USCIS provides premium processing service for certain employment-based petitions and guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time.

For H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap and for any other visa classification, the 15-day processing period for premium processing service begins on the date that USCIS receives the request. However, for cap-subject H-1B petitions, including advanced degree exemption petitions, the 15-day processing period set by 8 CFR 103.7(e)(2) will begin on April 27, 2015, regardless of the date on the Form I-797 receipt notice, which indicates the date that the premium processing fee is received.

We encourage H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B FY2016 Cap Season Web page.

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2015 that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the masters cap.   

USCIS received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 13, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

As announced on March 12, 2015, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 11, 2015. 

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2016 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

Grace Period Extended for Prior Versions of Form G-28

USCIS has extended the grace period for using prior versions of Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative to Friday, May 15. USCIS issued the new, revised version of Form G-28 on March 6, 2015 (edition date: 03/04/2015). As we transition to the new form, USCIS is allowing applicants to continue using previous versions of Form G-28. You can find the edition date at the bottom of any page of the Form G-28. We encourage you to start using the new version of the form as soon as possible to benefit from the new options that were added.

Beginning Monday, May 18, USCIS will accept only the new version (edition date: 03/04/2015) of Form G-28. If an application or benefit request is submitted with a previous version of Form G-28, we will not accept the Form G-28 but will accept the application, petition, or request as long as it meets the acceptance criteria. In this situation, we will send all notices and secure documents only to the applicant/petitioner/requestor.

About the new Form G-28

The new Form G-28 (edition date: 03/04/2015) includes two new boxes that allow applicants/petitioners/requestors to tell USCIS whether they want to receive their notices and secure documents directly, or whether they want USCIS to send them to their legal representative. The new form also collects more biographic data, email addresses and cell phone numbers.

For More Information

Visit the Filing Your Form G-28 Web page to learn more about the form.

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

USCIS Assists in NY Case Leading to Indictment of ESL Teacher for Stealing Thousands From Student Visa Holders

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate in the New York Office played a key role in the indictment of Jenetta Ferguson, 58, an English as a second language (“ESL”) teacher.  Ferguson was indicted for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from student visa holders from Europe and Asia by misleading victims and falsely promising to provide them with Green Cards in exchange for cash payments. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the indictment on April 6, 2015.

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

AAO Seeks Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) Briefs

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) is seeking amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs from stakeholders concerning whether beneficiaries of certain immigrant visa petitions have a legal right to participate in the adjudication process, including appealing to the AAO (and if so, when, and under what circumstances). Specifically, the AAO seeks briefs on how this issue applies to beneficiaries of Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, and the effect, if any, of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 on denied or revoked Form I-140 petitions. The AAO’s statement asking for briefs (PDF) has more details and instructions on how to file an amicus brief.

 

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

USCIS Reaches FY 2016 H-1B Cap

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will first randomly select petitions for the advanced degree exemption. All unselected advanced degree petitions will become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 general limit. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.

Before running the lottery, USCIS will complete initial intake for all filings received during the filing period, which ended April 7. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date it will conduct the random selection process.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2016 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering and computer programming.

We encourage H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Cap Season Web page. For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

Delivery Service Error Guidance for FY16 H-1B Cap Filings

USCIS would like to inform stakeholders about the proper action to take if cap-subject filings for fiscal year 2016 H-1B petitions are mishandled by delivery services. If a petitioner filed an FY16 H-1B cap petition in a timely manner, but received notification from the delivery service that suggests that there may be a delay or damage to the package, the petitioner may file a second H-1B petition with a new fee payment and the following:

  • An explanation why a second petition is being filed, with supporting evidence, such as the notice from the delivery service; and
  • A request to withdraw the first petition filed for the FY16 H-1B cap. 

Petitioners who do not include these items will be considered to have submitted duplicate filings. USCIS reminds employers that it will deny or revoke multiple or duplicative petitions filed by an employer, in the same fiscal year, for the same H-1B worker and will not refund the filing fees.

If the FY16 cap is met within the first five business days of April, USCIS will reject any petitions received after April 7, 2015, including second H-1B petitions filed because of a delivery service mishandling as described above. 

In addition, if the petitioner submits a second H-1B petition and withdraws the first, USCIS will not adjudicate the withdrawn petition and will return it to the petitioner regardless of whether the petition has already been receipted. 

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invited you to participate in a teleconference on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the fiscal year 2015 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. USCIS posted the grant funding opportunity announcement on April 1, 2015, and all applications are due by May 15.

During this teleconference, USCIS officials provided an overview of the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program and answered your questions about the application requirements and process.
 

Meeting Invitation

Last Reviewed/Updated:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - USCIS.gov - English