Chile Becomes 38th Member of the Visa Waiver Program

On February 28, 2014, Chile was designated as a member of the Visa Waiver Program. Beginning May 1, 2014, Chilean nationals may travel to the United States under the program.

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DHS Announces Chile’s Designation Into the Visa Waiver Program | Homeland Security
Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, joined by Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom, Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes, announced the designation of Chile into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)—streamlining travel for thousands of eligible Chilean passport holders, while maintaining strong security standards.

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Form I-9 Employee Information Sheet

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages employers to provide new employees with the new Form I-9 Employee Information Sheet, which contains common questions and answers to help prepare new employees fill-in Section One of the Form I-9.

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www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Verification/I-9%20Central/Form_I-9_Employee_Information_Sheet.pdf

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March 2014 Visa Bulletin Is Out: Retrogression for F2A Mexico

The Visa Bulletin for March 2014 shows further advancement in the employment-based (EB) category. Cut-off dates for EB-3 and "Other Workers", including Mainland China and Mexico advanced by three (3) months. While still no movement for India in the EB-2 category, India EB-3 shows slight movement (by two weeks) for the first time since December 2013.

Meanwhile, following an 11-month retrogression in Mexico F2B category (Unmarried Sons and Daughters – 21 years of age or older – of Permanent Residents), the Mexico F2A (Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents) cut-off date now retrogressed from September 1, 2013 back to April 15, 2012 (over 16 months).

The State Department notes:

D. MEXICO VISA AVAILABILITY

MEXICO F2A: Continued heavy demand in the Mexico F2A category has resulted in the retrogression of this cut-off date to hold number use within the annual numerical limit.

It should be noted that there are many applicants with priority dates which are earlier than any listed cut-off dates. A cut-off date does not mean that everyone with a priority date before such date has already processed their case to conclusion, and received a visa.

E. VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates:

F1: Two to four weeks

F2A: No forward movement is expected

F2B: Four to seven weeks

F3: Four to six weeks

F4: Two or three weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First: Current

Employment Second:

 • Worldwide: Current

 • China: Three to five weeks

 • India: No forward movement

Employment Third:

 • Worldwide: This cut-off date has been advanced over four and one half years since last spring in an effort to generate new demand. After such a rapid advance of a cut-off date applicant demand for number use, particularly for adjustment of status cases, can be expected to increase significantly. Once such demand begins to materialize at a greater rate it could have a significant impact on this cut-off date situation. Little, if any forward movement of this cut-off date is likely during the next few months.

 • China: Will remain at the worldwide date

 • India: Little if any movement

 • Mexico: Will remain at the worldwide date

 • Philippines: Three to six weeks

Employment Fourth: Current

Employment Fifth: Current

The above projections for the Family and Employment categories are for what is likely to happen during each of the next several months based on current applicant demand patterns. Readers should never assume that recent trends in cut-off date movements are guaranteed for the future, or that "corrective" action will not be required at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits. The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables. Unless indicated, those categories with a "Current" projection will remain so for the foreseeable future.

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Visa Bulletin For March 2014
Number 66. Volume IX Washington, D.C.. View as Printer Friendly PDF. A. STATUTORY NUMBERS. 1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during March. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically …

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USCIS Releases New Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

Today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.  The new form contains:

Clearer and more comprehensive instructions which highlight general eligibility requirements and specific instructions on how to complete the application;

2D barcode technology used for each page on the revised Form N-400, which will enhance our ability to quickly and accurately process the application; and

New questions based on legal requirements related to national security and good moral character.

USCIS will continue to accept previous versions of Form N-400 for a period of 90 days until May 5, 2014. After May 5, USCIS will only accept the revised version of the Form N-400.

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February 2014 Visa Bulletin Is Out: Retrogression for F2B Mexico

The Visa Bulletin for February 2014 shows further advancement in the employment-based (EB) category. Cut-off dates for EB-3 and "Other Workers", including Mainland China, Mexico, and the Philippines advanced by two (2) months, while still no movement in both EB-2 and EB-3 for India.

Meanwhile, the cut-off date for Mexico F2B – Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents – retrogressed from April 1, 1994 back to May 1, 1993 (11 months).

The State Department notes:

D. MEXICO VISA AVAILABILITY

MEXICO F2B: The level of demand during recent months has been extremely heavy, in particular for cases filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for adjustment of status processing. Therefore, it has been necessary to retrogress the February cut-off date to May 1, 1993 in an attempt to hold number use within the annual per-country limit. Further retrogression of this cut-off date cannot be ruled out.

MEXICO F2A: Continued heavy demand in the Mexico F2A category will require the retrogression of this cut-off date to hold number use within the annual numerical limit. Such action is likely to occur within the next few months.

#immigrationupdates   #visabulletin  

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Visa Bulletin For February 2014
Number 65. Volume IX Washington, D.C.. View as Printer Friendly PDF. A. STATUTORY NUMBERS. 1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during February. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically …

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USCIS Transfers H-1B Extension Cases

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it recently began transferring some H-1B extension cases from its Vermont Service Center to California Service Center in order to balance its workload.

How You Will Be Affected

If we transferred your case, we will send you a notice listing the transfer date and where your case will be processed. Your original receipt number will not change and the transfer will not delay the processing of your case. If you receive a notice that we transferred your extension petition, please allow 21 days from the date of the transfer notice for the California Service Center to issue a decision or other notice of action.

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Workload Transfer from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center | USCIS

FORMS · N-400, Apply for Citizenship · I-485, Apply for a Green Card · I-130, Petition for Relative · I-864, Affidavit of Support · I-90, Renew/Replace Green Card · I-9, Employment Verification · I-765, Apply for Employment Authorization · All USCIS Forms · Filing Fees · E-Filing …

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January 2014 Visa Bulletin Is Out: Further Advancement for EB-3 (Most)

The Visa Bulletin for January 2014 shows another significant advancement in the EB-3 (employment-based) category.

Following a 1-year jump forward in the December 2013 Visa Bulletin, priority dates for EB-3 and "Other Workers", including Mainland China and Mexico, advance from October 1, 2011 to April 1, 2012 (6 months).  EB-3 Philippines slightly advances by 5 weeks – to February 15, 2007, while EB-3 India stays at September 1, 2003.

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Visa Bulletin For January 2014
View as Printer Friendly PDF. A. STATUTORY NUMBERS. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during January. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and …

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Processing Update on I-130 Immediate Relative Petitions by U.S. Citizens

If your case has been stuck in processing – for up to more than a year – here's an update (in part) from USCIS that may be useful to know:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received communications from the public expressing concerns regarding extended processing times for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by U.S. citizens for their eligible immediate relatives. USCIS provides information below in response to the concerns expressed.
 
USCIS is ever-mindful of the need to process a U.S. citizen’s immediate relative Form I-130 carefully and expeditiously. The need is defined by the immigration system’s goal of preserving family unity. It is for this fundamental reason that USCIS has been focused on addressing delays in the processing of these Forms I-130 for several months.
 
Through concerted efforts, USCIS is now adjudicating U.S. citizens’ immediate relative Forms I-130 filed as early as February 2013. This is a significant step forward, as previously published guidance reflected the processing of these Forms I-130 filed in October 2012. Furthermore, USCIS expects the processing of these Forms I-130 to be increasingly timely in the ensuing weeks, culminating in the return to an average processing time of five months for these Forms I-130 by May 2014.
 
USCIS has focused on these Forms I-130 for the very reason that affected members of the public have expressed their concerns; the importance of family unity. Last month, in an effort to expedite the adjudication of these cases, USCIS began transferring stand-alone Forms I-130 filed by U.S. citizens for their immediate relatives from USCIS’s National Benefits Center to its Nebraska, Texas, and California Service Centers. This shift improves USCIS’s ability to adjudicate the cases in a timely manner.

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USCIS Transfers Immediate Relative Petitions from NBC to Service Centers

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) begins transferring Immediate Relative Petitions (Form I-130) from National Benefits Center (NBC) to Service Centers in order to balance overall workload, according to its latest news release.

Applicants, whose cases are transferred, will be notified by USCIS as to the date of transfer and the service center that will continue processing the case (Nebraska, Texas, or California Service Center).

UPDATE 
Here's an updated link due to USCIS' recent website redesign:  http://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/workload-transfer-national-benefits-center-service-centers

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USCIS – Workload Transfer from National Benefits Center to Service Centers
Workload Transfer from National Benefits Center to Service Centers. USCIS recently began transferring some casework from the National Benefits Center to the Nebraska, Texas and California Service Centers to balance overall operational workload. The affected casework includes the following form: …

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December 2013 Visa Bulletin Is Out: More Waiting for EB-2 India

The Visa Bulletin for December 2013 shows significant movements – both forward AND backward – in the employment-based (EB) category.

Priority dates for EB-3 and "Other Workers", including Mainland China and Mexico, advances to October 1, 2011 (one year).  However, this month's Visa Bulletin brings not so good news for some Indian nationals.  EB-2 India priority date RETROGRESSED back to November 15, 2004 (over 3.5 years).

The State Department notes:

D. RETROGRESSION OF EMPLOYMENT CUT-OFF DATES

The India Employment Second and Third preference category cut-off dates were advanced very rapidly at the end of fiscal year 2013.  Those movements were based strictly on the availability of thousands of "otherwise unused" numbers which could be made available without regard to the preference per-country annual limits. 

The movements have resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of applicant demand received in recent months.  This has required the retrogression of those cut-off dates for December in an effort to hold number use within the numerical limits.

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Visa Bulletin For December 2013
View as Printer Friendly PDF. A. STATUTORY NUMBERS. 1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during December. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and …

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USCIS Redesigns Online Change of Address Tool

Based on customer feedback, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduces a new version of its change of address tool to allow an easier and quicker way for customers to change their address online.

"Customers will simply complete a single form with questions that guide them through the process. In addition, the updated tool is now compatible with multiple Web browsers and confirms the change by email."

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services – Customer Service Tools
Change of Address. Have you moved? Help us ensure that you receive any notices or documents without delay. Most applicants with pending applications or petitions should notify us as soon as possible, no more than 10 days after your move.

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