Articles Posted in Global Immigration Stories

In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the State Department’s release of the June 2024 Visa Bulletin. Learn all about the changes we are seeing in the family-sponsored and employment-based categories for the month of June in this video.


Adjustment of Status Filing Chart June 2024


For the month of June 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to use the Dates for Filing Chart for all family-sponsored preference categories, and the Final Action Dates Chart for all employment-based preference categories, when applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States.


Top Highlights of the June Visa Bulletin


Employment-Based Categories

Unfortunately, for the employment-based categories, the June Visa Bulletin shows no movement.

  • The Dates for Filing chart in June remains unchanged from the previous months.
  • The Final Action Dates for EB-1, EB-2, and EB-5 remain unchanged.
  • Only EB-3 India will advance by one week.

Family-Sponsored Categories

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New H-1B rules are changing the immigration landscape for U.S. employers and foreign workers in the United States.

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares all you need to know about these important changes.

Did you Know? In February of this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule in the Federal Register that changed the H-1B registration process and enhanced the H-1B program’s integrity to safeguard against fraud. These changes resulted in a significant drop in the number of eligible H-1B registrations for fiscal year 2025 by 40%.


Overview


The H-1B visa is one of the most popular work visas used by professionals with U.S. job offers to work in specialty occupations. To be eligible for this visa category, applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher, or the equivalent work experience in the specialty occupation.

Current laws limit the annual number of qualifying foreign workers who may be issued the H-1B visa to 65,000 with an additional 20,000 reserved for the H-1B advanced degree exemption for those with U.S. master’s degrees (or higher). Unfortunately, the high demand for the H-1B visa, makes the lottery process extremely competitive considering that thousands upon thousands of employers compete for the very limited number of visas available every year.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick provides a new update regarding the recent increase in the Immigrant Visa backlogs, which grew to more than 25,000 additional cases in the month of April alone.

To find out why this is this happening and what can you expect, please keep on watching.

Did you Know? Every month the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) publishes an Immigrant Visa Backlog report, which provides data and statistics relating to the current status of worldwide visa operations, including the number of documentarily complete immigrant visa cases currently at the National Visa Center waiting for interviews, the number of cases that were scheduled for interviews at the end of each month, and the number of immigrant visa cases still waiting to be scheduled for a visa interview after interview appointment scheduling was completed at the end of the month.


Overview


According to the Department of State’s Immigrant Visa Backlog Report for the month of April 2024, there has been a substantial increase in the immigrant visa (IV) backlog rising from 326,415 pending cases in March to 351,624 cases in April —  nearly a 10% increase amounting to a jump of 25,209 additional cases added to the backlog in just a one-month period. 

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Welcome back to ImmigrationLawyerBlog! In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new rule from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that will provide relief to nearly 800,000 applicants seeking a renewal of their employment authorization document also known as a work permit by automatically extending certain EADs from 6 months to 18 months.


Overview


On April 4, 2020, USCIS announced a temporary final rule (TFR) that increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization and EADs available to certain EAD renewal applicants from up to 180 days (6 months) to up to 540 days (or 18 months) from the printed expiration date of a previously issued EAD. 

Effective April 8, 2024, this temporary final rule will apply to two categories of EAD applicants:

(1) applicants who timely and properly filed their Form I-765 applications on or after October 27, 2023, if the application is still pending on April 8, 2024; and

(2) applicants who timely and properly file their Form I-765 application on or after April 8, 2024 and on or before September 30, 2025 (540 days after publication of this temporary final rule in the Federal Register).

Applicants must have one of these qualifying eligibility categories to receive an automatic extension of their employment authorization and/or EAD validity: A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, A12, A17*, A18*, C08, C09, C10, C16, C19, C20, C22, C24, C26*, and C31.  These eligibility categories are published on the USCIS Automatic EAD Extension webpage.

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Did you know? The May 2024 Visa Bulletin was recently released by the Department of State. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks about the exciting movement we are seeing in almost all the family-sponsored categories in the month of May, and what we can expect to see for the employment-based categories in the coming months.


Adjustment of Status Filing Chart May 2024


For the month of May 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to use the Dates for Filing Chart for all family-sponsored preference categories, and the Final Action Dates Chart for all employment-based preference categories, when applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States.


What Can We Expect to see in the Month of May?


Family-sponsored categories


FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES


The Final Action Dates Chart for the family-sponsored categories advanced for nearly all categories as follows:

  • F1 Mexico will advance by 5.5 months to October 15, 2001
  • F1 Philippines will remain the same at March 1, 2012
  • F1 All other countries will advance by 4.9 months to July 8, 2015
  • F2A Mexico will advance by 2.8 months to November 8, 2020
  • F2A Philippines will advance by 8.7 months to June 1, 2021
  • F2A All other countries will advance by 8.7 months to June 1, 2021
  • F2B Mexico will advance by 4.3 months to March 1, 2004
  • F2B Philippines will remain at October 22, 2011
  • F2B All other countries will advance by 4.3 months to April 1, 2016
  • F3 Mexico will advance by 10.4 months to July 22, 1999
  • F3 Philippines will advance by 1.8 months to August 1, 2002
  • F3 All other countries will advance by 3 months to January 1, 2010
  • F4 Worldwide and China will advance by 1.4 months to July 22, 2007
  • F4 India will advance by 1 month to January 15, 2006
  • F4 Mexico will advance by 3.3 months to January 22, 2001
  • F4 Philippines will advance by 2.8 months to September 8, 2003

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick touches upon an important debate in immigration law, is it better to keep your green card or apply for U.S. Citizenship once you are eligible to do so?

This video will explain the types of circumstances in which an individual may prefer to maintain his or her green card and opt out of becoming a U.S. Citizen.

To learn more about this important topic, please keep watching.


Overview


Differences between U.S. Citizenship versus Permanent Residence


U.S. Citizenship


Applying for U.S. Citizenship leads to a variety of legal rights and privileges that are not available to permanent residents (green card holders). For some, these benefits are a compelling reason to apply for citizenship to have access to the wide variety of opportunities that are only available to naturalized citizens.

Some of these benefits include but are not limited to:

  1. Having the Right to Vote in state and federal elections
  2. Applying to federal jobs that are only available to U.S. Citizens such as law enforcement positions, and occupations that require a high security clearance such as working in the defense industry or for the U.S. military
  3. Sponsorship of Family Members: U.S. Citizens can petition to immigrate their immediate relatives to the United States without being subject to the numerical limitations of the Visa Bulletin. Permanent residents on the other hand may only petition for certain relatives and such applications are subject to numerical limitations.
  4. International Travel Benefits: U.S. Citizens may also engage in international travel without having to worry about placing their legal status in jeopardy. Unlike citizens, permanent residents must maintain continuous residence and physical presence in the United States, or risk losing their immigration status
  5. Criminal Offenses: Certain criminal offenses can lead to the deportation of a green card holder as well as other serious issues including being permanently barred from entering the U.S. that do not affect U.S. Citizens in the same manner.

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Have you ever wondered why new immigration cases are being approved faster than older pending cases? If so, then you may be interested to learn why this is happening, as well as how the review process is conducted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and what you can do if you are facing this situation.

If you would like to know more about this topic, we invite you to watch our video.


Overview


Q: My case has been pending with USCIS for several months. I have recently learned that USCIS has been giving recently filed cases priority over older cases, why is that?


USCIS Review Process


To understand this issue, let’s first discuss how USCIS accepts and reviews cases once they are received by the agency.

After you submit your application including your forms and filing fees, the first thing USCIS will do is input the receipt of your application into their system and send a notice to you by mail confirming the date your materials were received and accepted as a complete filing. This receipt is known as the Notice of Action.

USCIS will create a new file and assign a case number to your application which will appear on your Notice of Action, which you can use to check the status of your application on the USCIS website and by telephone.

Your case will then be sorted and routed to the appropriate service center or field office that will oversee the evaluation of your application. The office that will be given jurisdiction over your case is determined by a number of factors including but not limited to, your case type, agency workloads, and the date of receipt.

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If you are holding any crypto assets, such as bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other blockchain cryptocurrency, can you use those assets to move to the United States?

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the use of crypto assets as the source of funds for E-2 visa investment purposes and everything you need to know about this topic.


Overview


Is there a way to move to the United States using crypto assets?


Yes. The visa type that can be used for this purpose is the E-2 Treaty Investor nonimmigrant visa, which allows qualifying applicants to start and manage their businesses in the United States, by making an irrevocable investment in their business and hiring U.S. workers.

The E-2 visa allows foreign nationals to live and work for their U.S. business for an initial duration of two years. Thereafter, investors may apply for E-2 extensions in increments of up to two years each. One of the great advantages of the E-2 visa is that there is no limit to the number of extensions you can apply for, so long as you maintain a sincere intention to depart the United States when your visa status expires.

Additionally, this visa allows your spouse and unmarried children under age 21 to accompany you to the United States by seeking the E-2 classification as your dependents.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz6vWTjLjuQ

If you are going through the immigrant visa process and are waiting for your interview to be scheduled at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy overseas, then you won’t want to miss this important video. Attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares the latest updates regarding the operational capacity of U.S. Consular posts and Embassies worldwide as of March 2024.


Overview


As the spring and summer months are approaching, U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide are accelerating the processing of immigrant visas to reduce the visa backlogs.

As we have seen, the Department of State has advanced the Final Action Dates for most employment-based categories in the April Visa Bulletin. Additionally, significant advancements were also made in the March Visa Bulletin for the family-sponsored categories.

These advancements will keep the Department of State busy in the coming months, as more and more immigrant visa cases that are documentarily complete are scheduled for interviews at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide for those with current priority dates.

As our readers will know, during the height of the Coronavirus outbreak, there was an enormous demand for visa interviews, but not enough interview slots for applicants to be scheduled. But now things are improving.

As a reminder, please remember to tune into our monthly videos where we analyze the Visa Bulletin, explaining the availability of visas for family-sponsored and employment-based preference categories, numerical limitations, and how to know when your priority date is current during any given month.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick analyzes the April 2024 Visa Bulletin and discusses the significant movement in the employment based categories and modest movement in the family-sponsored preference categories for the month of April. We also discuss our predictions on what to expect from the Visa Bulletin in the coming months.

If you would like to know more about this topic, we invite you to watch our video.


Adjustment of Status Filing Chart April 2024


For the month of April 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will use the Dates for Filing chart for family-sponsored filings to determine eligibility for I-485 adjustment of status filings (green card filings inside the US).

For employment-based preference categories, USCIS will use the Final Action Dates chart to determine eligibility for I-485 adjustment of status filings (green card filings inside the US).


What Changes Can Be Seen Next Month?


Family-sponsored categories

Dates for Filing

The Dates for Filing chart remains unchanged from the previous month except for the following categories:

  • F4 India will advance by 1.5 months to April 8, 2006, and
  • F4 Philippines will advance by 1 year to April 22, 2005

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