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Immigration News Briefs

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

Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Resumes

USCIS resumed premium processing on March 12, 2019 for all H-1B petitions. If you received a request for evidence (RFE) for a pending petition, you should include the RFE response with the premium processing request. For properly made requests, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If more than 15 calendar days is taken, USCIS refunds the premium processing service fee and continues with expedited processing.

It is uncertain at this time if USCIS will discontinue premium processing for FY2020 Cap H-1B petitions.

Many International Field Offices May Be Closed

NPR reports that the Trump administration is seeking to close nearly two dozen U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices around the world in a move it estimates would save millions per year. Critics argue that closures will further slow refugee processing, family reunification petitions, and military citizenship applications.

These offices also assist with foreign adoptions, parole requests from people outside the U.S. for urgent humanitarian reasons, and naturalization for military members who marry foreign nationals, among other responsibilities. They also “provide technical expertise on immigration-related matters to U.S. government agencies abroad, including other Department of Homeland Security components, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense,” per their website.

A USCIS spokesperson Jessica Collins announced that the agency may delegate its international responsibilities to the State Department or to its own personnel in the U.S. In some cases, the workload would be absorbed by U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. "The goal of any such shift would be to maximize USCIS resources that could then be reallocated, in part, to backlog reduction" at the agency, Collins told NPR.

ICE Agents Given License Plate Access

The Hill reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been using over the past year a vast license plate database to identify the location of vehicles associated with immigrants who do not have legal status, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU, through a Freedom of Information Act request, obtained documents showing that more than 9,000 ICE agents have been given access to the controversial database, which contains hundreds of millions of license plate scans from across the country. ICE employees can thus find where individuals have been and when they were there, with data going back as far as five years.

"With access to this database, ICE can pinpoint the exact location of drivers going about their daily lives," said Matt Cagle, technology and civil liberties attorney with the ACLU. And the database shows detailed information on anyone—not just individuals wanted for deportation.

"ICE is not prohibited under this program from tracking the locations of citizens," he said.

APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR April 2019

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Dec11

01Dec11

2A

01Mar17

01Mar17

2B

22Oct12

22Oct12

3rd

22Sep06

22Sep06

4th

15Jul04

01Jan06

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

22Feb17

01Feb18

2nd

12Apr09

Current

3rd

22Jun09

Current

Other

22Jun09

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 


DATES FOR FILING VISA APPLICATIONS - April 2019

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Jul12

01Jul12

2A

15Dec17

15Dec17

2B

01Jul14

01Jul14

3rd

22Apr07

22Apr07

4th

05Feb05

01Aug06

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Oct17

01Jun18

2nd

01Jun09

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-april-2019.html

01Jul12


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