OUTSIDE THE BOX THINKING, DELIVERING CUTTING EDGE SOLUTIONS!

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, April 28, 2017. Act now and submit your questions!

USCIS has raised its immigration filing fees effective December 23, 2016. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23, 2016, must include these new fees. Please note that USCIS will reject your submission if the fees are not correct!

New USCIS’ fees effective December 23, 2016

FORM TITLE New Fee($)
G–1041 Genealogy Index Search Request 65
G–1041A Genealogy Records Request (Copy from Microfilm) 65
G–1041A Genealogy Records Request (Copy from Textual Record) 65
I–90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card 455
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document 455
I-129/129CW Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker 460
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) 535
I–130 Petition for Alien Relative 535
I–131/I-131A Application for Travel Document 575
I–140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker 700
I–191 Application for Advance Permission to Return to Unrelinquished Domicile 930
I–192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant 585/930*
I-193 Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa 585
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal 930
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion 675
I-360 Petition for Amerasian Widow(er) or Special Immigrant 435
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status 1,140
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years) 750
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur 3,675
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status 370
I-600/600A Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative/Application for Advance Petition Processing of Orphan Petition 775
I-601 Application for Waiver of Ground of Excludability 930
I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver 630
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (Under Section 212(e) of the INA, as Amended) 930
I-687 Application for Status as a Temporary Resident under Section 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act 1,130
I-690 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility 715
I-694 Notice of Appeal of Decision 890
I-698 Application to Adjust Status From Temporary to Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of the INA) 1,670
I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence 595
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization 410
I-800/800A Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative/Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country 775
I-800A Supp. 3 Request for Action on Approved Form I-800A 385
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits 600
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition 465
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions 3,750
I-910 Application for Civil Surgeon Designation 785
I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program 17,795
I-924A Annual Certification of Regional Center 3,035
I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant 230
N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention 270
N-336 Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings 700
N-400 Application for Naturalization 640
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes 355
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document 555
N-600/N-600K Application for Certification of Citizenship/Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322 1,170
USCIS Immigrant Fee 220
Biometric Services Fee 85

Note:

* The fee for Form I-192 will remain $585 when filed with and processed by CBP

** Certain forms require Biometric Services Fee, add $85

For further details please review the USCIS News Release, “USCIS Announces Final Rule Adjusting Immigration Benefit Application and Petition Fees“.

Source of Information:
USCIS.gov, 10/24/16, News Release:
USCIS Announces Final Rule Adjusting Immigration Benefit Application and Petition Fees

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of 4/1/17. If you filed an appeal, please review the link below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

Administrative Appeals Office

Starting with the January 2017 Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times Report, the AAO has changed how it presents processing time data. The AAO will now provide, by form type, the total number of case completions for the fiscal year quarter and the percentage completed within 180 days, cases completed divided by their projected case goal. For further details please review the USCIS Web Page, “Administrative Appeals Office“.

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 “Maid.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied certification. He cited the Employer’s failure to “make a selection for Section H-1” of the 9089 form as grounds for the denial. The Employer submitted a reconsideration request stating that they had completed Section H-1.

The CO issued “a request for information about the bona fides of the Employer’s business.” In addition, he sent an Audit notification to the company’s attorney. After the deadline had passed to receive the Audit response, the CO affirmed its initial denial of labor certification. The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO arguing that it never received the Audit notification or the request for information. In its argument, the Employer sent a letter from their General Manager that stated he had never received a letter. They also provided email documentation from the Atlanta Processing Center which cited the Employer’s attorney’s response to the request for information from a request initially made in 2008. The CO denied reconsideration stating the Audit notification was mailed to the address on record, no change of address was recorded within the file, and the other letters were delivered and responded to with no problem.

Starting on April 17th, the Potomac Service Center (PSC) will begin handling corrections to Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) originally issued by PSC which included incorrect information due to USCIS error. Previously USCIS customers were instructed to send their incorrect EAD’s issued by the PSC to the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) to be corrected.

If your EAD was originally approved by PSC and contains incorrect information due to their error here is how to request an EAD correction.

You must return the original card along with a detailed explanation of the any errors and supporting documentation to the PSC at:

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 – Deportation

Can a person who was deported from the U.S.A ever return to the US legally?

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the May 2017 Visa Bulletin

The monthly Visa Bulletin has changed. The bulletin now summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during the reported month for: “Application Final Action Dates” (consistent with prior Visa Bulletins) and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center using Consular Processing (outside of the US) or file on their own with USCIS Form I-485 (within the US).

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 “Production Supervisor.”

Upon evaluating the Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied the Labor Application because he believed it violated PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. 656.17(f)(3), as made applicable by regulation 20 CFR 656.10(d)(4). The CO stated the Employer’s Notice of Filing (NOF) did not include the requirement of having the “ability to speak Spanish” that was listed on the Employer’s 9089 form. The regulations require that an advertisement “provide a description of the vacancy specific enough to apprise the US workers of the job opportunity for which certification is sought.”

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO. In the argument, the Employer stated their NOF met the criteria, as it provided enough information for job applicants and by omitting the Spanish requirement, it would have allowed more candidates to apply.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have announced that they reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2018 within the first week of the filing period. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap). USCIS will reject and return filing fees for all cap-subject petitions that are not selected and are not duplicate filings.

USCIS will continue to accept and process H-1B petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  Please remember that USCIS suspended premium processing starting April 3rd for up to six months for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions.

For more information, please read the USCIS news release, “USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap“.