EB-5 Regional Center Termination Notices

USCIS is now proactively publishing Regional Center termination notices as they become available, which is consistent with our commitment to transparency in the EB-5 program. This is an important step in assisting investors, the EB-5 industry, and the public to understand the reasons why a regional center has been terminated and what types of regional center activities may trigger the end of a regional center’s designation. You can see a full listing of the Regional Centers that have been terminated on our, Regional Center Terminations page.  

Comprehensive Government Funding Bill Includes Language Extending EB-5 Program to September 30, 2017

The final paragraph of the TEXT OF THE HOUSE AMENDMENT TO SENATE AMENDMENT NUMBERED 1 TO H.R. 244, THE HONORING INVESTMENTS IN RECRUITING AND EMPLOYING AMERICAN VETERANS ACT OF 2017, Page 734 substitutes "September 30, 2015" with "September 30, 2017".    It remains possible that Congress could pass EB-5 legislation before September 30, 2017.  

Congress Passes Spending Bill To Avoid Shutdown, Again Punts On Health Care (and EB-5 Revision)

With the clock ticking, Congress on Friday (4/28/2017) managed to fulfill its basic function — keeping the federal government running.

The House and Senate approved a short-term measure that funds the government for another week. Lawmakers voted hours ahead of a midnight deadline to avoid a partial shutdown of federal agencies.

Friday's extension gives members of Congress more time — until midnight on May 5 — to try to reach a deal on a spending bill that will last through the rest of fiscal year 2017, which ends Sept. 30.

USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today (4/3/2017) announced multiple measures to further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. The H-1B visa program should help U.S. companies recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country. Yet, too many American workers who are as qualified, willing, and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged. Protecting American workers by combating fraud in our employment-based immigration programs is a priority for USCIS.

USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.

Who Is Affected

The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Since FY18 cap-subject H-1B petitions cannot be filed before April 3, 2017, this suspension will apply to all petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B regular cap and master’s advanced degree cap exemption (the “master’s cap”). The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.

While premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition. If the petitioner submits one combined check for both the Form I-907 and Form I-129 H-1B fees, we will have to reject both forms.

We will continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3, 2017. Therefore, we will refund the premium processing fee if:

  1. The petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before April 3, 2017, and
  2. We did not take adjudicative action on the case within the 15-calendar-day processing period.

This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.

Requesting Expedited Processing

While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and we encourage petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request.

We review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.

Why We Are Temporarily Suspending Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premiumprocessing, we will be able to:

  • Process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; and
  • Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark. 

Court of Appeals Unanimously Upholds TRO

February 9, 2017 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has unanimously upheld the Temporary Restraining Order maintain the nationwide halt on Travel/Refugee Ban.

Nationwide Temporary Restraining Order has halted the Executive Order

National temporary restraining order granted in Washington State and Minnesota's challenge to President Trump's executive order banning Muslims and refugees.

DOS Emergency Alert: Executive Order on Visas

As a result of the Executive Order on immigration, Department of State has temporarily stopped scheduling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as well as cancelled currently scheduled visa appointments, for those individuals who are nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

This Executive Order does not restrict the travel of dual nationals from any country with a valid U.S. visa in a passport of an unrestricted country.  Embassies and Consulates around the world will continue to process visa applications and issue nonimmigrant and immigrant visas to otherwise eligible visa applicants who apply with a passport from an unrestricted country, even if they hold dual nationality from one of the seven restricted countries.

Automatic Extensions of EADs Provided by the “Retention of EB-1, EB- 2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers”

Some "good news" in the torrent of disastrous Executive Orders on Immigration.

On Jan. 17, 2017, a final rule, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” amending DHS regulations went into effect. The new amendments provide for automatic extensions of the validity periods of certain Employment Authorization Documents (Form I-766) for up to 180 days for individuals who:

• Timely filed to renew an Employment Authorization Document (EAD);
• Are applying to renew an EAD in the same category as the previous EAD (A12 and C19 are considered the same category for this extension); and
• Are in a category that is eligible for the extension. 

H-1B Visa Bill Introduced In US, Minimum Pay More Than Doubled

Washington: A legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives which among other things calls for more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to $130,000, making it difficult for firms to use the programme to replace American employees with foreign workers, including from India.