John Q Khosravi Law Firm

Please contact our office for more information:

John Q. Khosravi Immigration Law Firm (JQK Law Firm)

Website: JQKLaw.com

Email: info@jqklaw.com

Phone: (310) 582-5904; (818) 934-1561

Skype: john.khosravi


Licensed to Practice in CA. Practice Focus on Federal Immigration Law. This Blog is Legal Advertisement.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New CBP FAQs on Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) for Nationals of China Visiting the United States

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=81d22a17-16ef-45a5-bdfb-9f51a3a78d00

Potomac Service Center Now Processing Certain Form I-765 Cases

From USCIS

On March 28, 2016, the Lockbox began sending certain cases to the Potomac Service Center. This includes all newly filedForm I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, applications filed by F-1 and M-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT).

How You Will Be Affected
When the Lockbox sends your case to the Potomac Service Center, we will send you a notice with your receipt number. Cases sent to the Potomac Service Center will be assigned a receipt number that begins with YSC, which is the prefix used to identify Potomac Service Center filings.

The filing location and instructions for these forms will not change. Please continue to file the forms at the address listed under Where to File in the Form I-765 instructions and on the Web page.

How to Track the Status of Your Case
Check your case status online with your receipt number. You can also sign up to receive automatic case status updates by email.

If you have any questions regarding your case, submit an inquiry online using our e-Request tool or call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 800-375-5283 (TYY 800-767-1833). When asking about your case status, please provide your receipt number and specify that your case was sent to the Potomac Service Center.

If we send you any notice (such as a Request for Evidence) please read the notice carefully and follow the instructions provided.

If you move while your case is pending, you must inform USCIS of your address change. You may file a change of address on our website or by calling the NCSC. It is important that you notify us of any address change as soon as possible, so that you continue to receive notifications from USCIS.

The Potomac Service Center is expecting a large number of Form I-765 student filings within the next several months as students prepare for summer employment. We appreciate your patience while the Potomac Service Center prepares for the anticipated surge in applications.

Workload Transfer from the Vermont Service Center to the Nebraska & California Service Centers

From USCIS:

USCIS recently began transferring certain casework from the Vermont Service Center (VSC) to the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) to balance workloads and decrease processing times. The NSC will now process some:
  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, for petitioners requesting H-1B nonimmigrant classification;
  • Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, for the H-4 nonimmigrant classification; and
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, for H-4 nonimmigrants applying for employment authorization.
How You Will Be Affected If We Transfer Your Case
If we transfer your case, we will send you a transfer notice. Your receipt number will not change, and the transfer will not delay the processing of your case. Please allow two weeks from the date of this notice before referring to the webpage for NSC processing times for your respective petition or application. Information regarding processing times can be found on the USCIS Processing Time Information page. If you do not receive a decision or notice by the dates provided in the processing times (once posted), you may contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) for a status update of the Form I-129 (if you are the I-129 petitioner or authorized representative) or the Form I-539 and/or I-765 (if you are the I-539/I-765 applicant or authorized representative).

The filing location and instructions for these forms have not changed. Please continue to file the forms at the address on the form instructions and on the USCIS website.

If you want to upgrade your I-129 petition to premium processing, you must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, along with the appropriate fee. Send your form to:
USCIS Nebraska Service Center P.O. Box 87129 Lincoln, NE 68501-7129

For more information on requests for premium processing services, please visit our Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service page.

How to Track the Status of Your Case
Check your case status online by entering your receipt number. You can also sign up to receive automatic case status updates by email.

If you do not receive a decision on your case within the published processing time, you may submit an inquiry using e-Request or call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). When asking about your case status, please provide us with your receipt number and specify that your case was transferred to a new location.

If we send you any notice (such as a Request for Evidence), please read it carefully and follow the instructions provided when responding.

If you move while your case is pending, you must inform us of your address change. You may file a change of address on our website or by calling the NCSC. It is important that you notify us of any address change as soon as possible, so that you continue to receive our notifications.

-----

USCIS recently began transferring certain casework from the Vermont Service Center (VSC) to the California Service Center (CSC) to balance workloads and decrease processing times. The CSC will now process some:
  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, for petitioners requesting L-1 Intracompany Transferee nonimmigrant classification;
  • Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, for the L-2 nonimmigrant classification; and
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, for L-2 nonimmigrants applying for employment authorization.
How You Will Be Affected If We Transfer Your Case
If we transfer your case, we will send you a transfer notice. Your original receipt number will not change, and the transfer will not delay the processing of your case. Please allow two weeks from the date of this notice before referring to the webpage for CSC processing times for your respective petition or application. Information regarding processing times can be found on the USCIS Processing Time Information page. If you do not receive a decision or notice by the dates provided in the processing times (once posted), you may contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) for a status update of the Form I-129 (if you are the I-129 petitioner or authorized representative) or the Form I-539 and/or I-765 (if you are the I-539/I-765 applicant or authorized representative).

The filing location and instructions for these forms have not changed at this time. Please continue to file the forms at the address on the form instructions and on the USCIS website.
If you want to upgrade your I-129 petition to premium processing, you must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, along with the appropriate fee. Send your form to:

For regular (non-courier) mail:For courier mail:
USCISUSCIS
California Service CenterCalifornia Service Center
ATTN: 1-12924000 Avila Road
P.O. Box 10825 2nd Floor, Room 2312
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

For more information on requests for premium processing services, please visit our Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service page.

How to Track the Status of Your Case

Check your case status online by entering your receipt number. You can also sign up to receive automatic case status updates by email.

If you do not receive a decision within the published processing times, you may contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). When asking about your case status, please provide us with your receipt number and specify that your case was transferred to a new location.  
If we send you any notice (such as a Request for Evidence), please read it carefully and follow the instructions provided when responding.

If you move while your case is pending, you must inform USCIS of your address change. You may file a change of address on our website or by calling the NCSC. It is important that you notify us of any address change as soon as possible, so that you continue to receive notifications from USCIS.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Investor Visa Applications Double In 1st Quarter Of 2016

Law360, New York (March 25, 2016, 3:32 PM ET) -- In a sign of the growing popularity of the EB-5 visa program, 6,277 new petitions were filed during the first quarter of fiscal year 2016 by foreigners seeking green cards through investments in the U.S., a 113 percent increase from the same period last year, according to government data released this week.

The backlog of the I-526 petitions awaiting adjudication hit 21,988 at the end of December, a 62.6 percent increase from the comparable quarter in fiscal year 2015, according to the data released by the...(http://www.law360.com/articles/775801/investor-visa-applications-double-in-1st-quarter-of-2016)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Approved L-1A and L-2 Extension in Less Than 1 Week!

Appeals Court Rules ‘Habitual Drunkard,’ Illegal Immigrant Can Seek to Cancel Removal

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that chronic alcoholism cannot be a factor tied to the “moral character” of aliens the government seeks to deport — striking down a long-held facet of immigration law.


Read more at Breitbart.com

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Montreal to Handle All Fiancé(e) Visa Interviews in Canada

From the Department of State:

Montreal to Handle All Fiancé(e) Visa Interviews in Canada

MARCH 24, 2016
Montreal to Handle All Fiancé(e) Visa Interviews in Canada
Starting April 1, 2016, the U.S. Consulate General in Vancouver will no longer process K-1 visas, also known as fiancé(e) visas. The U.S. Consulate General in Montreal will be the interviewing site for all K visas in Canada. This change will allow Mission Canada to more efficiently schedule and adjudicate K visa applications. 
The U.S. Consulate General in Montreal currently provides all immigrant visa services in Canada. The application process for K visas is the same as for an immigrant visa. While we recognize that having to travel to Montreal will be an inconvenience for applicants, processing all immigrant visas including the K fiancé(e) visas at the same post will help ensure transparency, consistency, and uniform customer service for all applicants. 
What does this mean for Canadian residents who are applying for a K visa? After the National Visa Center forwards the applicant’s I-129F petition to the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal, consular staff will contact the applicant with detailed instructions and schedule an interview appointment. The applicant will then need to travel to Montreal for their interview. 
Information on the types of forms and documents that each applicant will need to submit prior to their interview is available on the website for the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal. 
This change applies to all K-1 petitions received at the National Visa Center after March 31, 2016. The U.S. Consulate General in Vancouver will continue to process K visa applications and conduct interviews for petitions they receive prior to that date.
For additional information, please refer to travel.state.gov, the National Visa Center (at 603-334-0700 or AskNVC@state.gov), the U.S. Consulate Montreal (Montreal-IV-DV@state.gov) or U.S. Consulate Vancouver (vancouverk@state.gov).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Great New Client Review for the JQK Law Firm

"My green card application was denied because of a clerical error on the part of US Immigration. I spoke to four lawyers. Three of them told me I needed to refile my whole application ($2000 in filing fees and $4000 to them to draft the papers for me). John thought outside the box and just called up USCIS and resolved the matter for me for $400. Within weeks, my application was reinstated and I received my green card. John is focused on doing what's best for his clients in the most efficient way possible - so refreshing. He is also extremely organized, communicative, and thorough. I will recommend him to everyone I know."

From Yelp!

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for Six Months

From USCIS:

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended the designations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional six months. Although there have been significant improvements in the conditions in all three countries since their designations for TPS in November 2014, the lingering effects of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and continued recovery challenges support this six-month extension. The extended designation is effective May 22, 2016, through Nov. 21, 2016.

Current TPS Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from March 22, 2016, through May 23, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible.

Employment Authorization:
The six-month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Nov. 21, 2016. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current work permits expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone EADs bearing aMay 21, 2016 expiration date for six months. These existing EADs are now valid through Nov. 21, 2016.

Re-registering for TPS:
To re-register, current beneficiaries must submit:
Individuals who still have a pending initial TPS Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone application do not need to submit a new Form I-821. However, if they currently have a TPS-related EAD and want a new EAD, they should submit:
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization;
  • The Form I-765 application fee, regardless of their age; and
  • A copy of the receipt notice for the initial Form I-821 that is still pending.
Additional information about TPS —including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file—is available at uscis.gov/tps. The Federal Register notices published today contain further details about these TPS extensions forGuineaLiberia and Sierra Leone, including application requirements and procedures, and the six-month auto-extension of current TPS Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone EADs.

USCIS will reject the TPS application of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request. Applicants may request that USCIS waive any fees based on an inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation.

All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at uscis.gov/forms or request forms by mail or by calling the USCIS Forms Request Line toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.
Applicants seeking information about the status of their cases can check My Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for the deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-767-1833).
For more information about USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow USCIS on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

USCIS Reaches the H-2B Cap for the First Half of Fiscal Year 2016

From USCIS:

USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. March 15, 2016 was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2016.

What Happens After Reaching the Cap
Except as noted below, USCIS will reject new H-2B petitions that were received after March 15, 2016 and that request an employment start date before April 1, 2016.

Petitions That Are Exempt from the Cap
USCIS will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes the following types of petitions:
  • For FY 2016 only, workers identified as “returning workers” who were previously counted against the annual H-2B cap during FYs 2013, 2014, or 2015;
  • Current H-2B workers in the U.S. petitioning to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
  • Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
  • Workers performing labor or services from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2019, in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam.
Petitions Including H-2B Returning Workers
To avoid processing delays, petitioners who are including H-2B returning workers on their petition must complete and include the H-2B Returning Worker Certification and are encouraged to write “H-2B Returning Workers” prominently on the envelope and any cover page. You can find more information about this in the web alert, H-2B Returning Workers Exempted from the H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2016.

For more information about the H-2B work program, visit uscis.gov/h-2b or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

Friday, March 18, 2016

New USCIS Policy Memo (Job Portability)

The following Immigration Policy Memorandum is now available in the Policy Memoranda section of the USCIS website:
Determining Whether a New Job is in “the Same or a Similar Occupational Classification” for Purposes of Section 204(j) Job Portability PM-602-0122.1

For more immigration and policy information, visit www.uscis.gov.

BIA Says Failing to Appear for Service of Sentence Is an Aggravated Felony

An “offense relating to a failure to appear by a defendant for service of sentence” is an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(Q) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(Q) (2012), if the underlying offense was “punishable by” imprisonment for a term of 5 years or more, regardless of the penalty actually ordered or imposed.

 26 I&N Dec. 726 (BIA 2016)

Potomac Service Center Now Processing Certain Form I-765 Cases

From USCIS:

Updated Guidance on Fixing EADs with Errors
On March 1, USCIS began transferring certain cases to the Potomac Service Center (PSC) from other service centers to balance workloads. The affected casework includes Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, filed by F-1 and M-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and J-1 dependents.

How You Will Be Affected

If we transfer your case, we will send you a transfer notice. Your original receipt number will not change and the transfer will not delay the processing of your case.
The filing location and instructions for these forms will not change. Please continue to file the forms at the address listed under Where to File in the Form I-765 Instructions and on the Web page.

How to Track the Status of Your Case

Check your case status online with your receipt number. You can also sign up to receive automatic case status updates by email.
If you have any questions regarding your case, submit an inquiry online using our e-Request tool or call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 800-375-5283 (TYY 800-767-1833). When asking about your case status, please provide us with your original receipt number and specify that your case was transferred to a new location.
If we send you any notice (such as a Request for Evidence) please read the notice carefully and follow the instructions provided.
If you move while your case is pending, you must inform USCIS of your address change. You may file a change of address on our website or by calling the NCSC. It is important that you notify us of any address change as soon as possible, so that you continue to receive notifications from USCIS.

How to Fix Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Errors

If your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card was approved by the PSC and contains incorrect information that you believe is due to USCIS error, please follow the instructions below:
Submit a letter that explains the error. Include the EAD card containing the incorrect information, documents showing that USCIS made an error (such as a copy of the application you sent to USCIS with your correct information, a copy of your birth certificate, with your correct name). Send your letter and supporting documents to the Nebraska Service Center at
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Nebraska Service Center
ATTN CCS Unit
PO Box 82521
Lincoln, NE 68501-2521
Please do not send the letter and card to the PSC. If USCIS made an error, you do not need to submit a new Form I-765 or pay a new filing fee.
For more information, please visit our website.

Please do not reply to this message.  See our Contact Us page for phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

USCIS Will Accept H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 Beginning April 1, 2016

From USCIS:

WASHINGTON – On April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering and computer programming.

The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visas for FY 2017 is 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap.
USCIS expects to receive more than 65,000 petitions during the first five business days of this year’s program. The agency will monitor the number of petitions received and notify the public when the H-1B cap has been met. If USCIS receives an excess of petitions during the first five business days, the agency will use a computer-generated lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to meet the cap. USCIS will reject all unselected petitions that are subject to the cap as well as any petitions received after the cap has closed. 

Premium Processing for Cap-Subject Petitions
H-1B petitioners may still continue to request premium processing together with their H-1B petition. However, please note that USCIS has temporarily adjusted its current premium processing practice based on historic premium processing receipt levels and the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first five business days of the filing season. In order to prioritize data entry for cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions requesting premium processing no later than May 16, 2016.

Filing Petitions
H-1B petitioners are reminded that when the temporary employment or training will be in different locations, the state where your company or organization’s primary office is located will determine where you should send your Form I-129 package, regardless of where in the United States the various worksites are located. Please ensure that when temporary employment or training will be in different locations, the address on page 1, part 1 of Form I-129 is for your organization’s primary office. Please note that when listing a “home office” as a work site location on Part 5, question 3, USCIS will consider this a separate and distinct work site location.

H-1B petitioners must follow all statutory and regulatory requirements as they prepare petitions in order to avoid delays in processing and possible requests for evidence. USCIS has developed detailed information, including an optional checklist, Form M-735, Optional Checklist for Form I-129 H-1B Filings, on how to complete and submit an FY 2017 H-1B petition. The optional checklist for FY 2017 will be available within the next week.

Cases will be considered accepted on the date USCIS receives a properly filed petition with the appropriate fees.

For more information on the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program and current Form I-129 processing times, visit the H-1B FY 2017 Cap Season Web page or call the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 or 800-767-1833 (TDD for the hearing impaired). We encourage H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B FY 2017 Cap Season Web page.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

EB-5 & Other USCIS Timelines For March 2016

For more information about the EB-5 program, please contact the JQK Law Firm at (310) 582-5904 or info@jqklaw.com

Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur)
16.3 months (.3 month decrease from previous month!)

Form I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions) 
16.9 months (.7 month increase from previous month) 

Form I-924 (Application for Regional Center)
9 months (.5 month increase from previous month)

Click here for other USCIS Processing times

Visa Bulletin for April 2016 Released

http://www.travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2016/visa-bulletin-for-april-2016.html

Monday, March 14, 2016

AAO Decision for Physicians in some National Interest Waiver (EB-2c) Cases

"In addition to primary care physicians, medical specialists who agree to practice in any area designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as having a shortage of health care professionals may be eligible for the physician national interest waiver under section 203(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act."

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2016/Matter_of_H-V-P-_Adopted_Decision_2016-01.pdf_-_Adobe_Acrobat.pdf

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fake Immigration Attorney Gets Jail Time

http://www.latintimes.com/howard-seidler-fake-immigration-attorney-gets-jail-time-exploiting-undocumented-374326

Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students With STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students

The following Federal Register Notice is now available:
Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students With STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students
Action: Final rule
March 11, 2016
FR DOC# 2016-04828
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-03-11/html/2016-04828.htm

For more immigration and policy information, visit:
http://www.uscis.gov/laws

New Client Review for JQK Law Firm

Working with John was a great pleasure as John was very knowledgable in every aspect, when helping me with my legal immigration needs. He also was very patient and took the time to explain in detail every question and concern that I had. I definitely recommend John to anyone who is looking for a professional Lawyer with an outstanding service.

http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/90025-ca-john-khosravi-3332950/reviews.html

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

White House Updates STEM OPT Time

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/03/09/fact-sheet-white-house-announces-doubling-techhire-communities-and-new

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

DHS Announces Known Employer Pilot Program

From USCIS:

Known Employer Pilot

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has created the Known Employer pilot to assess a way to streamline the process for employers seeking to hire certain workers through employment-based visa categories. By modifying the process by which USCIS reviews an employer’s eligibility to sponsor individuals under certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa classifications, the Known Employer pilot is expected to reduce paperwork, costs and delays in processing these benefit requests.
In January 2015, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson announced that DHS would explore a Known Employer pilot under the United States-Canada Beyond the Border initiative. The pilot was also highlighted as a recommendation in a report from federal agencies submitted to the President in July 2015, Modernizing and Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century (PDF) . The pilot will generally be available regardless of any worker’s country of origin.
The pilot will assess the long-term feasibility of a new adjudicative process. Centered on a Web-based document library, the process allows participating employers to request that USCIS review and predetermine whether a prospective employer has satisfied certain eligibility requirements for the select visa classifications before petitioning or applying for individual employees. The pilot is scheduled to last for one year; however, USCIS may, in its discretion, terminate or extend the pilot at any time. The goals of the Known Employer pilot are to:
  • Reduce the amount of paperwork filed by employers and retained by USCIS;
  • Promote consistency in the adjudication of employment-based petitions and applications;
  • Streamline the adjudicative process to achieve greater efficiency within USCIS; and
  • Provide greater support to our partners at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Department of State (DOS), leading to greater efficiency and consistency at ports of entry and consular posts.

Current Practice

Currently, USCIS officers adjudicate employment-based petitions and applications by analyzing, among other things, the:
  • Bona fides of the employer’s business;
  • Nature of the job offer;
  • Job requirements; and
  • Beneficiary’s qualifications.
Generally, employers must submit the same information about their organization with each petition or application filed with USCIS. Because each petition or application must stand on its own merits, USCIS officers often issue a Request for Evidence for the same documents that the employer has already submitted in connection with another petition or application.

Known Employer

Under the Known Employer pilot, employers will file an application to request that USCIS predetermine certain requirements of select immigrant and nonimmigrant visa classifications that relate to the employer itself. These requirements generally relate to the employer’s corporate structure, operations and financial health. When making this request, employers will create a profile in the Web-based Known Employer Document Library (KEDL), and upload documents related to the requirements. Participating employers will also complete and upload Form I-950, Application for Predetermination under Known Employer Program. USCIS officers will then review the documents and predetermine whether the employer has satisfied certain requirements for each classification requested.
If USCIS approves the employer’s predetermination request, the employer may then file petitions or applications for individual employees without needing to resubmit evidence with respect to any requirements that have been with each individual petition or application. USCIS will defer to the approved predetermination unless we find that:
  • There was a material error in the predetermination approval;
  • A substantial change in circumstances has taken place that would require revisiting the predetermination; or
  • There is new material information that adversely affects the validity of USCIS’ predetermination.
This pilot process means that in adjudicating an individual petition or application, a USCIS officer will not need to review those approved employer eligibility requirements unless the facts have changed since the time USCIS made its predetermination or there are indications of fraud or material misrepresentation. Instead, the officer will only have to decide on the remaining requirements of an individual petition or application, such as the nature of the job offered and the employee’s qualifications. The documents uploaded to the KEDL will be available for review by CBP and DOS officers in support of their own adjudications.
DHS and DOS collaborated to preselect up to nine employers of different sizes and from various industries and locations to participate in the pilot with the goal of providing the best possible assessment.
As of the launch date of March 3, 2016, the following five employers have confirmed their participation in the pilot:
  • Citigroup, Inc.
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Kiewit Corporation
  • Schaeffler Group USA, Inc.
  • Siemens Corporation
This list will be updated if and when additional participants join the pilot.

Immigrant Classifications Included in Known Employer

The following employment-based immigrant classifications are the only ones included in the Known Employer pilot:
  • E12, outstanding professor or researcher
  • E13, multinational executive or manager

Nonimmigrant Classifications Included in Known Employer

The following employment-based nonimmigrant classifications are the only ones included in the Known Employer pilot:
  •  H-1B, specialty occupation worker
  • L-1A, intracompany transferee in a managerial or executive capacity
  • L-1B, intracompany transferee in a position involving specialized knowledge
  • TN, Canadian and Mexican citizens engaged in business activities at a professional level under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
After completing the pilot, DHS plans to publicly announce the results and, if the project is successful, seek to institute a permanent program open to all eligible employers.