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Posted on: August 9th, 2017
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USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Physicians under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program

In April 2017, USCIS suspended premium processing for H-1B applications. However, USCIS resumed premium processing on Monday, June 26, for all H-1B petitions filed for physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program and other interested government agency waivers. The Conrad 30 program permits the stay of certain medical doctors in the United States on a temporary visa once their medical training is completed so that they may work in rural and urban areas experiencing shortages of physicians. Since June 26th, petitioners for medical doctors who are eligible and seeking for H-1B status under the Conrad 30 program, or through an interested government agency waiver, have been permitted to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker. Petitioners can either file Form I-907 together with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending H-1B petition.

On July 24th, USCIS announced that the following additional petitioners could also file H-1B applications using the premium processing program:

* An institution of higher education;

* A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or

* A nonprofit research or governmental research organization.

More categories are expected to be added to this list in the coming weeks.

 

For more information, view the USCIS announcement.

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USCIS Updates Numerous Forms

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has released revised versions of a number of its forms and has provided information regarding when the new version will go into effect and how long the older versions will continue to be accepted. Below is a list of the updated forms and the pertinent changes made to them.


From N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document

The new edition is dated 06/13/17. Beginning 09/22/2017, USCIS will exclusively accept the edition dated 06/13/17. Until that date, USCIS will continue to accept the 12/23/16 edition.

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

The new edition is dated 07/17/17. Through September 17, 2017, employers can either use this revised version or continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 N.

Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition

The new edition is dated 05/30/17. Beginning 09/15/2017, USCIS will exclusively accept the edition dated 05/30/17. Until that date, USCIS will continue to accept the 04/09/15 edition. The edition date can be found at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Form I-687, Application for Status as a Temporary Resident Under Section 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act

The new edition is dated 06/20/17, but USCIS will continue to accept previous editions of the form.

Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal

The new edition is dated 05/16/17. Beginning 08/28/2017, USCIS will exclusively accept the edition dated 20/16/17. Until that date, USCIS will continue to accept the 12/29/14 edition.

Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur

The new edition is dated 05/30/17. Beginning 08/28/2017, USCIS will exclusively accept the 05/30/17 edition. Until that date, USCIS will continue to accept the 04/10/17 edition.

Form I-485 Supplement J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j)

The new edition is dated 06/26/17. Beginning 08/25/2017, USCIS will exclusively accept the edition dated 06/26/17. Until that date, USCIS will continue to accept the 01/17/17 edition.

Form I-485, Supplement A to Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i)

The new edition is dated 06/26/17. Beginning 08/25/2017, UCSIS will exclusively accept the edition dated 06/26/17. Until that date, USCIS will continue to accept the 01/17/17 edition.

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

The new edition is dated 06/26/17. Beginning 08/25/2017, USCIS will exclusively accept the edition dated 06/26/17. Until that date, USCIS will continue to accept the 01/17/17 edition.

Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
The new edition is dated 09/26/24, but USCIS will continue to accept previous editions of the form.

Form I-508F, Request for Waiver of Rights, Privileges, Exemptions, and Immunities for French Nationals

The new edition is dated 05/26/17. Beginning 08/14/2017, USCIS will exclusively accept the edition dated 05/26/17. Until that date, USCIS will continue to accept the 03/31/15 edition.

Form I-508, Request for Waiver of Certain Rights, Privileges, Exemptions and Immunities

The new edition is dated 05/26/17. Beginning 08/14/2017, USCIS will exclusively accept the edition dated 05/26/17. Until that date, USCIS will continue to accept the 03/31/15 edition.

For more information, view the USCIS updated forms page.


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USCIS Introduces Redesigned Form for Green Card Applicants

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The revised form and accompanying instructions were updated in order to address comments from both stakeholders and the public which commented that it was too complex. This version provides applicants with concise information to more accurately complete Form I-485, including easier navigation to the sections of the form and instructions that are pertinent to the applicants’ specific situations, which should yield increased efficiency in the adjudication process by reducing errors and requests for evidence. Additionally, USCIS revised Form I-485 Supplement A and Form I-485 Supplement J along with the instructions for each supplement, in order to provide applicants with more precise information about how to properly complete, file, and submit evidence if those supplements apply to their situation. There will be a 60-day grace period beginning June 26, 2017, during which USCIS will accept both the 01/17/17 as well as the 06/27/17 editions of Form I-485 and Supplement A and J. USCIS will exclusively accept the revised Form and Supplement A and J of Form I-485 beginning August 25, 2017.

There are numerous noteworthy variations in the new version of the form. The revised version elicits better flow and organizes questions more effectively to make it intuitive for both USCIS and applicants. There are also biographical questions included in the form, eliminating the need for filing a separate form. In order to allow applicants to identify the specific immigrant category under which they are applying, the revised version also includes a list of 27 immigrant categories. The final augmentation is an update to the list of admissibility-related questions. These additional questions provide USICS officers with necessary information to help them assess the admissibility and eligibility of the applicant.

For more information, view the USCIS announcement.

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3 Accused in Scheme to Defraud Immigrants of $6 million

Three individuals were arrested by federal authorities for their part in a $6-million fraud scheme in which they took advantage of victims who were seeking immigration status in the United States. Acting as officers for the Department of Homeland Security over a span of at least three years, two of the individuals, Hardev Panesar and Rafael Hastie, charged outlandish fees in exchange for promised immigration status which never came to fruition. The third individual, Gurdey Singh, was also charged for assisting the two in their scheme. Panesar and Hastie produced fraudulent credentials assuring their connection with DHS, which allowed them to defraud their more than 150 victims out of about $6 million. Authorities indicated that there is an ongoing investigation to see if there are others who have been affected by the scam.

For more information, view the full article.

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EOIR Piloting Bailiff Program in Select Immigration Courtrooms

Certain immigration courtrooms have been selected for a pilot program which will employ more security, with the hopes of decreasing inefficiency and improving overall security. The programs began in the fiscal year of 2016 and is funded through 2017. The added security guards will be contracted through the Federal Protective Service (FPS) to select non-detained immigration courtrooms. Responsibilities for these officers will be to secure courtrooms upon conclusion of hearings, to assist with seating within the courtrooms, to pass papers to immigration judges, and to ensure that all who are present are cognizant of when proceedings are beginning. The program is currently in place in the following 25 sites:

  1. Arlington;
  2. Atlanta;
  3. Boston;
  4. Baltimore;
  5. Charlotte;
  6. Chicago;
  7. Dallas;
  8. Denver;
  9. Detroit;
  10. Houston (1919 Smith Street);
  11. Las Vegas;
  12. Los Angeles (606 Olive Street);
  13. Los Angeles (300 N. Los Angeles Street);
  14. Miami;
  15. Memphis;
  16. Newark;
  17. New York City;
  18. Orlando;
  19. Philadelphia;
  20. Phoenix;
  21. Salt Lake City;
  22. San Antonio;
  23. San Francisco (100 Montgomery St.);
  24. San Francisco (630 Sansome Street); and
  25. Seattle

For more information, view the announcement.

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