Updated Service Center Processing Times

July 23, 2014

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on 7/17/14 with processing dates as of 5/31/14.

If you filed a petition with one of the Service Centers, please review the links below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.


California Service Center (CSC)

National Benefits Center (NBC)

Nebraska Service Center (NSC)

Texas Service Center (TSC)

Vermont Service Center (VSC)

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO)


**Please be aware that the data provided above is approximately 45 days old at the time of posting.

If your petition is out-side of the normal range listed, contact USCIS (1-800-375-5283).

If you are a client of MVP Law Group and would like our assistance please contact our office.

H-2B Cap Count UPDATE – 7/18/14

July 22, 2014

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.

The H-2B cap limit for the second half of FY 2014 (April 1 - September 30) is 33,000. As of the last count (7/18/14); 24,769 beneficiaries have been approved and 1,246 are pending for a total of 26,015.

The H-2B cap limit for first half of FY 2015 (October 1 - March 31) is 33,000. As of the last count (7/18/14); 0 beneficiaries have been approved and 437 are pending for a total of 437.

For further details read, “Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants


Source of Information:

- USCIS.gov (7/22/14) Web Page

- AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13100840 (posted 7/22/14)

Leon Rodriguez Sworn in as USCIS Director

July 21, 2014

On Wednesday, July 9, 2014, Leon Rodriguez was sworn in as the next Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS is a federal government agency with nearly 18,000 employees. They are responsible for administering the country’s immigration and naturalization system. USCIS is under the control of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Director Rodriguez stated, “Our role in administering our nation’s immigration and naturalization laws has never been more important. I look forward to working with the entire USCIS family, including our partners and constituents, to ensure that our mission is carried out with fairness and integrity.”

Director Rodriguez previously served as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 2011 to 2014. For more detailed information on his background please review the link, “Background Experience/Significant Achievements”.

MVP Law Group would like to congratulate Director Rodriguez and wish him great success! USCIS has shown great innovation in improvement of customer service and the use of technology for data collection! We here at MVP Law Group hope that this culture of innovation continues and grows under the new Director’s leadership!


Source of Information:

USCIS.gov, 7/9/14, News Release:
Leon Rodriguez Sworn in as USCIS Director

USCIS.gov, 7/9/14, Web Page:
Leon Rodriguez, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Background Experience/Significant Achievements

MVP Law Group’s Immigration Blog, 6/26/14, Blog Post:
U.S. Senate has confirmed Leon Rodriguez to be the next Director of USCIS

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I've been out of the US for over 6 months in Ghana working on an assignment for the company that sponsored my H1. The assignment ends this Friday and I'm scheduled to be back in the US this Sunday. Is there anything I need to do with my H1 before I leave Ghana?

Answer #1
You did not provide enough details to provide an adequate answer. Do you have a valid H-1B visa stamp from your current employer in your passport? If so, then you should be good to go; however, we do recommend having handy an employment verification letter from your current employer establishing that the job is still available as you have been outside of the U.S. for over 6 months.


Question #2 - General
I moved recently to the US with a B1 visa which as of today is expired and I have overstayed my visit. However, I would like to change my status in order to indulge in business in the US. What steps do I need to undergo to accomplish this?

Answer #2
You need to immediately contact a qualified Immigration Attorney to discuss all available options along with all risks/consequences involved.


Question #3 – Employment Based Green Card
My previous employer filed an I-140 petition in the E-B3 category. Can I transfer my priority date to the new I-140 Petition in E-B2 from my current employer?

Answer #3
Yes, you may, as you are entitled to the earliest priority date if multiple petitions have been filed on your behalf. You would need to specifically make a request for the USCIS to recapture your earlier priority date from the EB3 filing.


Question #4 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If my I-140 is denied, can I apply for a 7th year Extension of my H-1B?

Answer #4
It depends. Contact a qualified Immigration Attorney to discuss your specific case.


Question #5 – Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Since my I-485 application is still pending; I need to renew my EAD. How many days are needed for me to renew the EAD in advance of the expiration? Can I work when the renew process is pending?

Answer #5
You are allowed to apply for an extension of your EAD 120 days in advance of its expiration. You CANNOT work if your previous EAD has expired and you do not have the renewed EAD in your hand.


Question #6 – Employment Based Green Card
I plan to file my I-140 and I-485 petitions soon. In addition, I would like to get EAD as quickly as possible for my wife. Do I have to receive my I-140 petition approval first before I submit the EAD application?

Answer #6
Not enough details provided. Are you eligible to file the I-140/I-485 petitions concurrently? You may only submit the I-485/I-131 and I-765 if there is an immigrant visa number available to you (if your priority date is current according to the monthly visa bulletin distributed by the DOS). More details are needed in order to adequately address your question.


Question #7 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If I qualify for an extension of my H-1B visa past the 6-year limit, can more than one extension be granted?

Answer #7
Yes; however how many and for how long depends upon how you qualify.


Question # 8 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Recently, my Visitor’s visa was denied by the US Consulate. Will this denial affect my chances of obtaining an H-1B Visa?

Answer #8
It depends upon a multitude of factors. Why was your visitor visa denied? Do you have a U.S. employer willing to sponsor you for a specialty occupation and do you have the necessary qualifications for the position? Please contact a qualified Immigration Attorney to further discuss.


Question #9 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My H-1B Case was not selected during the FY 2015 Cap Season. Will my employer be able to refile for me next year?

Answer #9
Yes, if your employer remains willing to sponsor you and wishes to re-file the petition with the USCIS.


Question #10 – EB5 Investor Visa
For an E-B5 Visa, do I need previous business experience or a business degree?

Answer #10
Although helpful, it is not a requirement.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, August 1, 2014!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!

BALCA Rejects CO’s Strict Specifications for Ad Copies

July 17, 2014

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Home Health Care Aide”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification. He asked the employer to provide more information about their print advertising for the job.

The CO denied the application declaring that the Employer failed to deliver sufficient documentation for the mandatory print advertisements. The Employer did not provide copies of the advertisement that contained both the name of the newspaper as well as the date of publication, He cited the Employer was in violation of PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. 656.17(e)(1)(i)(B)(3) and 656.17(e)(2)(ii)(C).

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. 656.17 (e)(2)(ii) requires that the newspaper advertisements must be placed on two separate Sundays. This is to ensure US workers can be provided the opportunity to apply for these positions.

The Employer requested BALCA review proclaiming that it submitted proper evidence in its Audit Response. The Employer submitted two pages of newspaper copies in its audit response. One of the pages shows the advertising text and the other page displays the name of the newspaper and the date. The Employer also presented screen shots from the newspaper’s online web page.

After BALCA’s examination of the case, the case was sent back to the CO for further examination. Even though the advertising content does not seem to fulfill the PERM regulations at 656.17 (f), they believed the copies of the newspaper pages as well as the screenshots satisfied the obligation for the recruitment phase. The Board gave the CO “instructions to consider whether the content of the Employer’s newspaper advertisement satisfies the requirements of 656.17(f).” This PERM regulation expects the newspaper ad to contain the name of the employer, location & a specific description of the job. The Employer’s ad did not name the employer, location or provide a detailed description of the position.

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times - 7/1/14

July 16, 2014

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of 7/1/14.

If you filed an appeal, please review the link below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

Administrative Appeals Office

The processing time for an I-129 H-1B Appeal is current; for an I-129 L1 Appeal is current. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is current; for an I-140 EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is current.

**Most other cases are within USCIS's processing time goal of 6 months or less.


Source of Information:

USCIS.gov, (7/7/14), AAO Processing Times

AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071544 (posted 7/15/14)

Updated Service Center Processing Times

July 15, 2014

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on 7/8/14 with processing dates as of 5/31/14.

If you filed a petition with one of the Service Centers, please review the links below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.


California Service Center (CSC)

National Benefits Center (NBC)

Nebraska Service Center (NSC)

Texas Service Center (TSC)

Vermont Service Center (VSC)

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO)


**Please be aware that the data provided above is approximately 45 days old at the time of posting.

If your petition is out-side of the normal range listed, contact USCIS (1-800-375-5283).

If you are a client of MVP Law Group and would like our assistance please contact our office.

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, July 18, 2014

July 14, 2014

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, July 18, 2014. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Visa Bulletin - August 2014

July 11, 2014

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the August 2014 Visa Bulletin

As projected by the U.S. Department of State, the August 2014 Visa Bulletin shows the EB2 date for nationals from India moving from 9/1/08 to 1/22/09; movement in EB3 date for nationals from India at 11/8/03; movement in EB2 for Chinese Nationals at 10/8/09; movement in EB3 for Chinese Nationals at 11/1/08; and EB3 for WW remains at 4/1/11; and the F2A category remains at 5/1/12, except Mexico at 3/15/11. The F2A category is reserved exclusively for Spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of green card holders (LPRs).


*The priority date is current if there is no backlog in the category, or if the priority date is on or before the date listed as current in the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin.

**”All Chargeability Areas except Those Listed”, includes all other countries except: China, India, Mexico and Philippines.


President Obama Asks Congress for $3.7 Billion for Border Crisis

July 10, 2014

President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to deal with the current crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the southwest border of the United States. These children are fleeing from Mexico (25%) and the Central American (75%) countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

The list below is a breakdown of how the $3.7 billion in emergency funds would be spent by the federal government:

- $1.1 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement,
- $433 million to Customs and Border Protection,
- $64 million for the Department of Justice,
- $300 million to the State Department, and
- $1.8 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services

Why are these children fleeing their homes? The violence and extreme poverty in their home countries, and some of them also have a desire to reunite with close family members already in the United States. The truth is - there is no simple answer! For more detailed information on this subject please read the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) Report, “No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children are Fleeing Their Homes”.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports the main problem area is the Rio Grande Valley (Sector) of the U.S.–Mexico border. CBP data shows a 178% increase in apprehensions of Unaccompanied Alien Children from Central America along this section of the border in the last (8) and a half months (10/1/13 to 6/15/14). Rio Grande Valley is located at the southernmost tip of Texas, along the U.S.–Mexico border.


Source of Information:

NBCnews.com, 7/8/14, News Article:
White House Asks Congress for $3.7 Billion for Border Crisis

Immigration Policy Center, 7/1/14, Report:
No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children are Fleeing Their Homes

CBP.gov, Newsroom/Stats and Summaries:
Southwest Border Unaccompanied Alien Children

WhiteHouse.gov, 7/8/14, News Release:
Letter from the President -- Regarding Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Request to Address the Increase in Child and Adult Migration from Central America in the Rio Grande Valley Areas of the Southwest Border; and Wildfire Suppression

USCIS held over 100 Naturalization Ceremonies across the country from June 30 to July 4!

July 9, 2014

From June 30th to July 4th, the USCIS held over 100 naturalization ceremonies across the U.S. to help celebrate the 4th of July holiday! Nearly 9000 new citizens were administered the Oath of Allegiance during these ceremonies. USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba stated, “We’re honored to celebrate Independence Day by welcoming new U.S. citizens at ceremonies across the United States.”

There are photos and remarks about the different ceremonies and the experiences of some of these new citizens on Twitter and other social media, just search hashtag #newUScitizen to find them.


Source of Information:

USCIS.gov, 7/1/14, News Release:
USCIS Will Naturalize Nearly 9,000 New Citizens During Independence Day Celebrations


Related Links:

CNN.com, 7/4/14, News Article:
The Fourth of July: Birthday for a nation and a citizen

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, 7/4/14, Special Event:
Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony

H-2B Cap Count UPDATE – 6/30/14

July 8, 2014

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.

The H-2B cap limit for the second half of FY 2014 (April 1 - September 30) is 33,000. As of the last count (6/30/14); 24,264 beneficiaries have been approved and 1,083 are pending for a total of 25,347.

The H-2B cap limit for first half of FY 2015 (October 1 - March 31) is 33,000. As of the last count (6/30/14); 0 beneficiaries have been approved and 177 are pending for a total of 177.

For further details read, “Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants


Source of Information:

- USCIS.gov (7/2/14) Web Page

- AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13100840 (posted 7/3/14)