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Bimonthly Immigration Newsletter: February/March 2017

Donald Trump Signs first Immigration Executive OrderExecutive Orders, Immigration Raids, Heightened Scrutiny at the Borders: A Whirlwind Month on Immigration – What’s Happened and Where We Are

Five days into office, President Trump signed several Executive Orders (EO) on immigration, including the travel ban, that wreaked havoc on U.S. immigration laws and procedures and caused chaos, panic, and fear within our immigration community. [read more]


Donald Trump Signs first Immigration Executive OrderSuspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

On Friday, March 3, 2017, USCIS announced that it will temporarily suspend premium processing service for H-1B petitions as of April 3, 2017. This will affect any petition filed on or after April 3, 2017. This cutoff date means that none of this year’s cap-subject H-1B petitions will be eligible for premium processing service since April 3, 2017 is the earliest those petitions can be received by USCIS this year. [read more]

African Entreprenuer in a blue sweater in an officeParole a Possibility for New Entrepreneurs

On January 17, 2017, DHS published a final rule that encourages entrepreneurship and investment to stimulate our economy by granting parole status to foreign nationals who establish start-up companies in the U.S. The rule is slated to go into effect on July 17. A new form is being created, and the filing fee will be $1,200. [read more]



Picture of the Matter of Dhanasar documentStandards Broadened for Green Cards Based on National Interest Waivers

In late December, a precedent-setting case, Matter of Dhanasar, revised the analytical framework for assessing eligibility for national interest waivers (NIW) and presumably making NIWs more broadly available to foreign nationals who are pursuing endeavors that would benefit the USA, including entrepreneurs and individuals who are self-employed. [read more]



Flag of CubaCuban Nationals Affected by Changes to Decades-Old Special Privileges

In the waning days of President Obama’s term, the Administration rescinded certain policies unique to Cuban nationals. Specifically, DHS has eliminated a special parole policy for arriving Cuban nationals, commonly known as the “wet-foot/dry-foot” policy, as well as a policy for Cuban medical professionals... [read more]

 


Screen Shot of H-1B web portalH-1B Professional Visas — Preparation Begins for April Filings

Once again it is H-1B filing season, and, once again USCIS is likely to receive a record number of petitions and the full allocation of visa petitions in the first week of filing commencing April 1. Once the quota is reached, new H-1B visa requests will not be accepted until April 1, 2018, for work that commences on October 1, 2018. [read more]


photo of a hand signing a document“Wet Ink” Signatures No Longer Required on Affidavits of Support Submitted to the National Visa Center

The Department of State announced that original or “wet ink” signatures are no longer required on Affidavits of Support submitted to the National Visa Center (NVC) in support of certain immigrant visa applications. [read more]



Photo of the metal Seal of the US Consulate in Vancouver's on the Embassy fence. News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers.