Immigration Alerts

Visa Bulletin

According to the State Department’s February Visa Bulletin, a significant retrogression will occur for most employment-based categories next month, while EB-2 India will advance ahead of EB-3 India for the first time in many months.

Not a US CItizen? Take care of what you post on social media.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking to collect five years of social media history from applicants for certain immigration benefits, including Visa Waiver Program travelers and, adjustment of status and naturalization applicants, according to a Federal Register notice published today.

DHS plans to add social media questions to the following forms and systems:

  • ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) and Form I-94WNonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record for Visa Waiver Program travelers;
  • EVUS (Electronic Visa Update System) for Chinese nationals traveling to the U.S. as business visitors or tourists;
  • Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, used to apply for advance parole and reentry permits, among other benefits;
  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status for those applying for a green card through USCIS;
  • Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Permanent Residence for certain marriage-based green card beneficiaries;
  • Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status for EB-5 green card beneficiaries; and
  • Form N-400 naturalization applications.

The proposed changes are similar to the State Department’s recent addition of social media questions to the applications for U.S. nonimmigrant and immigrant visas.

Consular officers and USCIS adjudicators may use social media information – including professional profiles and public personal information – during the visa adjudication process.  Profiles, postings, and details that appear inconsistent with the purpose of a visa applicant’s trip, other information in the visa application, or past immigration benefits applications could result in additional security clearances and even visa refusals.

Contact the Visa Office with any questions.

Per-country Limits on Green Cards Eliminated?

Not exactly! The House of Representatives passed a bill to eliminate per-country limits on employment-based green cards. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate but its prospects for passage are uncertain. You may learn more about his issue here.

Please contact the Visa Office with any questions.

Health, Safety, and Welfare of Exchange Visitors – EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER

Ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of all exchange visitors is the Department of State’s collective highest priority. The Department takes this responsibility very seriously in order to ensure the continued viability of international educational and cultural exchange as an effective public diplomacy tool.

To help safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of all exchange visitors, the Department has established an Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) Emergency Hotline – 1-866-283-9090 – a 24/7 toll-free telephone number that allows exchange visitors to directly contact the Department in emergency and urgent situations. A Department representative is available 24 hours a day.

Dependent Family Members Must Attend Biometrics

USCIS has announced that all dependent family members of principal workers employed pursuant to H-1B, L-1, TN, and E-3 visas will now be required to attend a biometrics appointment before USCIS will grant the extension/change in status.

Please contact the Visa Office with any questions.