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Immigration News Briefs

Provided by Humera Subhani Email Provided by Humera Subhani
February 2019
Immigration News Briefs

Effect of Government Shutdown on Immigration
According to the USCIS website, the current lapse in annual appropriated funding for the U.S. government does not affect USCIS’s fee-funded activities. USCIS offices will remain open, and all individuals should attend interviews and appointments as scheduled. USCIS will continue to accept petitions and applications for benefit requests, except as noted below.

Some USCIS programs, however, will either expire or suspend operations, or be otherwise affected, until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress. These include:
• EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program (not the EB-5 Program). Regional centers are public or private economic units in the U.S. that promote economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program. The EB-5 Program will continue to operate.
• E-Verify. This free internet-based system allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S.
• Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors. This program allows J-1 doctors to apply for a waiver of the two-year residence requirement after completing the J-1 exchange visitor program. The expiration only affects the date by which the J-1 doctor must have entered the U.S.; it is not a shutdown of the Conrad 30 program entirely.
• Non-minister religious workers. This special immigrant category allows non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations to immigrate or adjust to permanent resident status in the U.S. to perform religious work in a full-time, compensated position.

Immigration Courts Suffer Backlog
With the country’s longest-ever shutdown now in its fourth week, dozens of immigration courts remain closed nationwide. A Syracuse University data analysis found 40,000 hearings cancelled and estimated that 108,000 hearings could be cancelled by Feb. 1 and 185,000 total cancelled by the shutdown by March 1. The immigration court backlog is already more than 800,000 active cases.
People whose hearings are being cancelled may already have been waiting as long as four years for their court date. Judge Marks, the former president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, says that the cases cancelled during the shutdown could add another three or four years to the waitlist.

New USCIS Tool Calculates Fees, Helps Avoid Incorrect Payments
Fee issues are consistently a leading cause of rejection of applications at USCIS. To help reduce the number of applications rejected due to incorrect fee amounts, USCIS has launched a new Online Fee Calculator to help applicants determine the exact filing and biometric fees they need to include when filing their forms with USCIS at an agency lockbox facility. The Calculator will always have the most up-to-date fee information.

A list of forms processed at USCIS Lockbox facilities is available at www.uscis.gov.

APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR February  2019

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

22Sep11

22Sep11

2A

01Dec16

01Dec16

2B

01May12

01May12

3rd

22Aug06

22Aug06

4th

22Jun04

22Jun05

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

08Feb17

01Dec17

2nd

06Apr09

Current

3rd

22Apr09

Current

Other

22Apr09

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 


DATES FOR FILING VISA APPLICATIONS - February 2019

 

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

08Apr12

08Apr12

2A

01Dec17

01Dec17

2B

22Jun14

22Jun14

3rd

01Feb07

01Feb07

4th

01Feb05

15Jun06

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Oct17

01Jun18

2nd

22May09

Current

3rd

01Apr10

Current

Other

01Apr10

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-for-february-2019.html


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