Articles Posted in Green card

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 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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Every month the Department of State releases the Visa Bulletin, which tells visa applicants how long they must wait before they can apply for their green cards to immigrate to the United States.

Unfortunately, the Dates for Filing chart of the Visa Bulletin has not seen any forward movement in recent months, and the Final Action Dates have moved very slowly for most employment-based preference categories.

What does this mean for employment-based categories experiencing long delays such as EB-2? Keep on watching to find out more.


Overview


For employment-based visa applicants stuck in the lengthy backlogs, there is an effective way to combat the visa backlog by downgrading to the employment-based third preference category (also known as EB-3), which is currently moving faster than the other employment-based preference categories on the Visa Bulletin.


What is an EB-3 downgrade?


The EB-3 downgrade refers to the process of strategically moving from another employment-based category (one that is moving slowly), to the employment-based third preference category (EB-3) to take advantage of the faster movement of the category on the Visa Bulletin. This is particularly helpful for nationals of countries facing very high demand for immigrant visas such as India and China.

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Do you have a visa that has been pending for an unreasonable period at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad, or perhaps that has been stuck in administrative processing for years with no decision? If so, you may be interested to learn of possible solutions to resolve your case matter.

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick tells you everything you need to know about this important topic, including a discussion about the writ of mandamus lawsuit, and how it can help compel a decision in certain cases where there has been an unreasonable delay.

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


Overview


Mandamus Lawsuits for Immigration Delays


A mandamus lawsuit also known as a writ of mandamus, is filed in federal court to compel a government body to fulfill their legal duty, for instance by issuing a decision on a visa application or immigration benefit, that has been unreasonably delayed by the agency.

The purpose of the mandamus lawsuit is to hold the government accountable where they have failed to act, as required by U.S. immigration law, to make a decision on an application. In cases where the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Department of State (DOS) has failed to fulfill its duty, the mandamus lawsuit may be appropriate to help move a case forward to its final decision.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the latest updates in the March 2024 Visa Bulletin including slight advancements in the employment based categories and major movement in the family-sponsored preference categories in the month of March. 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 March 2024


For the month of March 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?


Employment-based categories

Dates for Filing

  • The March Dates for Filing remain the same as February 2024, with the exception of the employment-based fourth preference category, EB-4 which will advance by 4 months to January 1, 2020.

Movement in the Final Action Dates

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares the latest news regarding the Immigrant Visa backlog at the National Visa Center as of January 2024. 

If you would like to know more about this important update, 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 each month.


Overview


According to the National Visa Center’s Immigrant Visa Backlog Report for the month of January 2024, there has been a slight decrease in the immigrant visa (IV) backlog from 304,773 pending cases in December 2023, to 292,105 pending cases in January 2024 still waiting to be scheduled for a visa interview. By comparison, in November of 2023, there were 311,550 pending cases waiting for interview scheduling.

This reduction is a great sign because it shows that the National Visa Center is consistently decreasing the immigrant visa backlog, and scheduling more and more appointments for immigrant visa interviews at U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide.

Additionally, when comparing the December 2023 and January 2024 Immigrant Visa backlog reports, we can see that the number of immigrant visa applicants whose cases were documentarily complete and therefore ready to be scheduled for an interview at Consulates and Embassies decreased from 341,392 (as of November 30, 2023) to 337,870 (as of December 31, 2023).

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the H-1B temporary work visa versus the EB-3 immigrant visa for professionals.

We will dive into the differences between them and the factors that you may want to consider when evaluating which process might be right for you.

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


Overview


If you are looking for opportunities to live and work in the United States, it is a good idea to carefully research the visas that are available to you and speak with a qualified immigration attorney to help you navigate through any visa alternatives that could benefit you.

Narrowing your search and having a thorough understanding of the most suitable visas for you will give you the knowledge and insight that you will need to comfortably approach a U.S. employer for a potential job offer and employment sponsorship.

Foreign workers typically find that U.S. employers, especially start-ups and smaller companies, are unfamiliar with the process of sponsoring a worker for a visa. That means that the worker will need to be familiar enough with the process to put their best foot forward during negotiations. Workers must be prepared to present different options to employers.

Our employment-sponsorship videos provide tips to empower you and make your job search more efficient in 2024. We hope you will share them with anyone who may benefit.


The H-1B Work Visa


We begin our discussion with the H-1B work visa. This is a temporary nonimmigrant work visa type that allows U.S. employers to petition and hire foreign workers with specialized skills for a specific period of time. To qualify for this visa type, foreign workers must have at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and be employed in a specialty occupation relating to their field of study.

H-1B workers are typically employed in STEM fields, as scientists, engineers, computer programmers, software developers, and technology workers, but other fields may qualify that require specialty knowledge. This visa type also allows employers to sponsor professional fashion models of distinguished merit or ability.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares everything you need to know about the February 2024 Visa Bulletin including a few changes in the employment based and family-sponsored preference categories. 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 February 2024


As in the previous few months, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to use the Dates for Filing chart in the month of February 2024 to determine eligibility for I-485 adjustment of status filings (green card filings inside the US).


What Changes Can Be Seen Next Month?


Employment-based categories

  • The February Dates for Filing remain the same as January 2024

Final Action Dates

  • EB-1 Worldwide: Final Action Dates will remain current.
  • EB-2 Worldwide: Final Action Dates will advance by two weeks to November 15, 2022.
  • EB-3 Professional/Skilled Workers: India will advance by one month to July 1, 2012. Final Action Dates for the remaining countries in this category will advance by one month to September 1, 2022.
  • EB-3 Other Workers: India will advance by one month to July 1, 2012.
  • EB-5: The EB-5 China Unreserved Final Action Date will advance by one week to December 15, 2015.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the top 5 reasons a U.S. immigrant may be subject to deportation in the year 2024 and how to avoid falling into these circumstances.

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


Overview


There are several reasons that may lead immigration to start the process of deporting an immigrant from the United States to their country of origin. Removal may occur because of certain actions undertaken by the foreign national that violate the immigration laws of the United States.

One of the most common scenarios is where the foreign national did not have the right to be in the United States in the first place. But this is not the only reason a person may be subject to deportation. Other reasons may include crossing the border illegally or even overstaying a U.S. visa beyond your authorized period of stay.

Here we discuss the top 5 most common reasons that may lead to deportation.

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