Immigration Blog

USCIS just announced an increase in filing fees, the first hike since 2016.  The agency claims that the current fees are not sufficient to cover the cost of operations, the expansion of humanitarian programs, federally mandated pay raises, and additional staffing requirements. Additionally, USCIS asserts that the enhanced filing fees will be allocated towards the...

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The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) of 2022 authorizes certain new investors to file a Form I-485 (Application for Adjustment of Status) along with a Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor) or Form I-526E (Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor). This is called concurrent filing, and to take advantage of it, there must...

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is embracing modernization by introducing online filing for H-1B applications, marking a significant shift from the traditional paper-based submissions. This development promises to be a game changer, significantly reducing both the time and costs associated with the process. The announcement on January 12, 2024, unveiled USCIS’s commitment to...

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The R-1 visa is a niche visa category and facilitates the temporary entry of ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations into the US for the purpose of performing religious work.  Eligibility The employment must be with one of the following entities: (1) a non-profit religious organization in the US, (2) a religious organization...

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On December 21, 2023, the Department of State (DOS) published a Federal Register notice announcing details regarding the domestic visa renewal pilot program, which allows applicants to renew their H-1B visas without needing to return to their home country. The pilot program will resume on January 29, 2024, and will accept applications until April 1,...

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On December 27, 2023, USCIS announced the filing fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing. The increase is attributed to the need to adjust for inflation from June 2021 through June 2023. The revenue generated by the fee increase will help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continue to provide premium processing services, improve...

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Employment-based green cards are subject to numerical limitations, leading to competition for available visas. Professionals in high-demand fields may face challenges due to visa quotas, impacting their ability to contribute to the U.S. workforce.  Countries like India face extensive backlogs and the number of available visas has a profound impact on the advancement and/or retrogression...

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On November 28, 2023, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) provided updates regarding the long-anticipated pilot program for renewing visas domestically. Starting as soon as December 2023, this program will allow certain foreign nationals to renew or apply for their next visa while within the United States. Individuals residing and working in the United States...

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