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Immigration News Briefs

Provided by Humera Subhani Email Provided by Humera Subhani
September 2018
Immigration News Briefs

Unlawful Presence for Students and Exchange Visitors
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a revised final guidance related to unlawful presence after considering feedback received during a 30-day public comment period. Effective Aug. 9, 2018, F and M nonimmigrants who fall out of status and timely file for reinstatement of that status will have their accrual of unlawful presence suspended while their application is pending.

The May 10, 2018, policy memorandum changed the way the agency calculates unlawful presence for those who were in student (F nonimmigrant), exchange visitor (J nonimmigrant), or vocational student (M nonimmigrant) status. With the new revised final memorandum, a timely reinstatement application for F or M status is one where the student has not been out of status for more than five months at the time of filing; the accrual of unlawful presence is suspended when the F or M nonimmigrant files a reinstatement application within the five month window and while the application is pending with USCIS. This also applies to J nonimmigrants who were reinstated by the Department of State.

If the reinstatement application is denied, the accrual of unlawful presence resumes on the day after the denial. Whether or not the application for reinstatement is timely- filed, an F, J, or M nonimmigrant whose application for reinstatement is ultimately approved will generally not accrue unlawful presence while out of status.

Visa Bulletin Retrogression: Temporary
The September Visa Bulletin shows a retrogression in both family and employment based categories. However, the Department of State confirms that this retrogression is temporary for the month of September, as the new Fiscal Year will begin in October. Once the October Visa Bulletin is released, the dates will return to the same level as written in the August bulletin.

The Bulletin also offers predictions in the coming months (until January), showing normal movement for most categories, such as EB3 (Employment Based Skilled Workers) being current in the Worldwide category, but EB3 India indicates slow movement pending receipt of demand from recent advances. Family based categories are showing 3-6 week increases per month until January.

Digital Delivery of FOIA Requests
The second phase of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records System (FIRST) allows all FOIA requestors to easily create a USCIS online account, track their cases, and receive their responses electronically.

Requestors must still continue filing their FOIA requests through the current process (by mail, fax, or email). However, when fully implemented, FIRST will allow online submission as well as online case management and digital delivery.

APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR September  2018

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

08Apr11

08Apr11

2A

22Jul16

22Jul16

2B

01Nov11

01Nov11

3rd

01May06

01May06

4th

08Apr04

08Jan05

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Jan12

01Jun16

2nd

01Jan07

01Jan13

3rd

01Jan03

01Nov16

Other

01Jan03

01Nov16

4th

15Feb16

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 


DATES FOR FILING VISA APPLICATIONS - September 2018

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

08Mar12

08Mar12

2A

01Dec17

01Dec17

2B

22Mar14

22Mar14

3rd

22Sep06

22Sep06

4th

01Jan05

01May05

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

22May09

Current

3rd

01May09

Current

Other

01May09

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletin-September-18

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