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Immigration News Briefs

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
March 2016
Immigration News Briefs

Brisk H-1B Season Predicted for Fiscal Year 2017
Similar to last year, it seems as if the upcoming H-1B season (filing date to begin April 1, 2016) will be extremely busy, as it is anticipated that over 200,000 cases will be filed within the first five days. As the cap is only 85,000 per year, there will most likely be a lottery system. To complicate matters, USCIS is severely backlogged in H-1B petitions, with some cases taking over 8 months to process. This is due in part to the new rules implemented by Matter of Simeio Solutions, which requires H-1B amendments to be filed due to changes in work location. The influx of huge amounts of amendment filings has delayed the usual H-1B processing and has led to an overload in the premium processing service as well. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has spoken to USCIS regarding the delays but has been given no definitive answer. H-1B applicants are urged to prepare early for this season and double check all forms, signatures, payments, and dates to ensure timely and accurate filing.

REAL ID Act to affect Domestic Travel Requirements
Excerpts from the DHS Press Office

Effective January 22, 2018, air travelers with a state-issued driver’s license or identification card that does not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act (unless that state has been granted an extension to comply with the Act) must present an alternative form of identification acceptable to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in order to board a commercial domestic flight.

In order for a license or identification card to be REAL ID compliant, the state issuing it must, for example, incorporate anti-counterfeit technology into the card, verify the applicant’s identity, and conduct background checks for employees involved in issuing driver’s licenses.

At present, 23 states are fully compliant with the REAL ID Act, and 27 states and territories have been granted extensions for a period of time to become compliant. Six states and territories—Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Washington, and American Samoa—are noncompliant and do not currently have extensions. ** Note: GA, TN, FL, AL are compliant. The Carolinas have an extension valid until October 10, 2016.

Important: Until January 22, 2018, residents of all states will still be able to use a state-issued driver’s license or identification card for domestic air travel. Passengers can also continue to use any of the various other forms of identification accepted by TSA (such as a passport or passport card, Global Entry card, U.S. military ID, airline or airport-issued ID, or federally recognized tribal-issued photo ID).


APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR March 2016

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

08Aug08

08Aug08

2A

22Sep14

22Sep14

2B

22May09

22May09

3rd

15Oct04

15Oct04

4th

01Jun03

01Jun03

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

15Oct08

Current

3rd

15Jul04

01Jan16

Other

15Jul04

01Jan16

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 


DATES FOR FILING VISA APPLICATIONS - March 2016

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Oct09

01​Oct09


2A

​15Jun15

​15Jun15

2B

​15Dec10

15Dec10

3rd

01A​ug05

01A​ug05

4th

01​May04

01​May04

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

01Jul09

Current

3rd

01Jul05

Current

Other

01Jul05

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 

​01Sep14

​01Sep14


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