USCIS Proposes Changes to Advance Parole Adjudication

On November 16, 2018, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna suggested that the agency will discontinue its current policy of denying pending advance parole applications, Forms I-131, Application for Travel Document, when an applicant travels internationally. The comments on the advance parole adjudications came during the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman’s Annual Conference. While USCIS did not indicate when the change would be implemented, it did suggest that the new policy is forthcoming. Per the instructions for the Form I-131, applications for advance parole documents are considered abandoned if the applicant departs the United States before his or her travel docu

USCIS Clarifies the L-1 One-Year Foreign Employment Requirement

On November 15, 2018, USCIS published a policy memorandum clarifying the requirement that a qualifying organization employ a principal L-1 beneficiary abroad for one (1) continuous year out of the three (3) years before the time of petition filing. The clarification was intended to ensure consistent adjudication of L-1 petitions by providing a standard basis for calculating time for the one-year foreign employment requirement. Specifically, this PM explains that: The L-1 beneficiary must be physically outside the United States during the required one continuous year of employment, except for brief trips to the United States for business or pleasure; and The petitioner and the beneficiary mus

Simone Williams Elected as the Best Immigration Lawyer of 2018!

Simone Williams, Managing Attorney at Williams Global Law, has been awarded the honor of the Best Immigration Lawyer of the Year 2018 by the U.S. Minority Chamber of Commerce. The recognition will be awarded on December 21, 2018 during the U.S Minority Chamber’s XXII year Gala Awards Banquet in Washington D.C. “The Best Immigration Lawyer of the Year 2018” is an award presented to immigration lawyers to recognize their outstanding leadership and effectiveness, exceptional client work across a variety of practice areas, as well as innovation in the business of law. The award is given annually to diverse lawyers who, by virtue of their conduct, competence and demeanor, set a positive example f

DHS Proposes Merit-Based Rule for H-1B Visa Program

On December 3, 2018, DHS announced that for the FY2020 H-1B Cap filings, USCIS would reverse the order by which the agency selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B cap and the advanced degree exemption, likely increasing the number of beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected for an H-1B cap number, and introducing a more meritorious selection of beneficiaries. Currently, in years when the H-1B cap and the advanced degree exemption are both reached within the first five days of the H-1B cap filing season, the advanced degree exemption is selected prior to the H-1B cap. The proposed rule would reverse the selection order and count a

USCIS Moves Forward with Adjusting H-1B Cap Procedures

As stated in our previous newsletter, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a rule that would require all H-1B petitioners to pre-register online for the H-1B lottery prior to submitting its H-1B filings. According to the proposed rule, only those H-1B petitions that have been selected in the lottery could then be submitted for the adjudication by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. On November 21, 2018, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the proposed regulation for publication in the Federal Register and public comment, which is the next step toward adjusting H-1B cap procedures. The proposed regulation will be published for public feedback in the ne

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