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



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

Friday, September 28, 2018

F-1 “Cap-gap” Status and Work Authorization Extension Only Valid Through Sept. 30, 2018


F-1 students who have an H-1B petition that remains pending on Oct. 1, 2018, risk accruingunlawful presence if they continue to work on or after Oct. 1 (unless otherwise authorized to continue employment), as their “cap-gap” work authorization is only valid through Sept. 30. Due to increased demand for immigration benefits, resulting in higher caseloads as well as a significant surge in premium processing requests, USCIS may not be able to adjudicate H-1B change of status petitions for all F-1 students by Oct. 1.
USCIS regulations allow an F-1 student who is the beneficiary of a timely filed H-1B cap-subject petition requesting a change of status to H-1B on Oct. 1, to have his or her F-1 status and any current employment authorization extended through Sept. 30. This is referred to as filling the “cap-gap”, meaning the regulations provide a way of filling the “gap” between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status that might otherwise occur. The “cap-gap” period starts when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization expire, and they are extended through Sept. 30, with Oct. 1being the requested start date of their H-1B employment, unless otherwise terminated or the H-1B petition is rejected or denied prior to Oct. 1.
While the temporary suspension of premium processing of certain types of H-1B petitions has allowed USCIS to allocate additional resources to prioritize the adjudication of these cap-gap cases, if a cap-gap H-1B petition remains pending on or after Oct. 1, the F-1 student is no longer authorized to work under the cap-gap regulations. However, the F-1 student generally may remain in the United States while the change of status petition is pending without accruing unlawful presence, provided they do not work without authorization. If an F-1 student with a pending change of status petition has work authorization (such as an I-765 with valid dates) that extends past Sept. 30, they may continue to work as authorized.
USCIS is committed to adjudicating all petitions, applications, and requests fairly and efficiently on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards required under applicable laws, regulations, and policies.

DHS Urges 9th Circ. To Shield IDs Of Alleged Child Abusers

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Proposed I-912 Fee Waiver Form Revision


USCIS is proposing to revise our Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, to remove the receipt of means-tested benefits from the eligibility criteria. A means-tested benefit is a public benefit where eligibility for the benefit, the amount of the benefit, or both, is based on an individual’s income level. Eligibility for these benefits can vary from state to state, depending on the state’s income level guidelines.  As a result, individuals who would not otherwise qualify under the poverty-guideline threshold and financial hardship criteria have been granted fee waivers by USCIS. The public can review the notice (PDF) today and it will post in the Federal Register tomorrow.
Individuals should use Form I-912 to request a fee waiver for eligible immigration benefit applications and petitions. When requesting a fee waiver, an alien must clearly demonstrate that he or she is unable to pay the fees. We will not accept a letter from the applicant stating they are unable to pay the filing fees or biometric services fees without a completed Form I-912 and supporting documentation, to include federal income tax transcripts or a Verification of Non-filing. With the proposed change, an alien may request a fee waiver if the documented annual household income is at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), or if the person can demonstrate financial hardship.
USCIS is permitted by regulation to waive certain fees, provided the party requesting the benefit is unable to pay the prescribed fee. The proposed form revision does not change the list of applications and petitions that are eligible for a fee waiver. For the complete list of applications and petitions that are eligible for a fee waiver, please refer to 8 CFR 103.7(c)(3).
Fee revenues support more than 95 percent of the USCIS budget as part of the agency’s work administering the nation’s lawful immigration system. In fact, the total dollar values of fee waivers granted by USCIS have increased substantially in each of the last eight years, which, in effect, increases the fee that must be paid by other individuals seeking benefits. The annual dollar amount of fee waivers granted by USCIS increased from $344.3 million in fiscal year (FY) 2016 to $367.9 million in FY 2017.
This proposed change to the form is not connected to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to the Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility.  Members of the public and stakeholders may provide comments on the proposed revision of Form I-912 for 60-days after the Notice is published in the Federal Register.  If USCIS proceeds with the form revision after considering public comments, we will also rescind Policy Memorandum, PM-602-0011.1 (PDF, 78 KB), Fee Waiver Guidelines as Established by the Final Rule of the USCIS Fee Schedule; Revisions to Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 10.9, AFM Update AD11-26 (Mar. 13, 2011) and issue new guidance on fee waivers consistent with the changes made to Form I-912. 

USCIS to Begin Implementing New Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin implementing the June 28 Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens Policy Memorandum (PM) (PDF, 140 KB) on Oct. 1, 2018. USCIS will take an incremental approach to implement this memo.
An NTA is a document that instructs an individual to appear before an immigration judge. This is the first step in starting removal proceedings. Starting Oct. 1, 2018, USCIS may issue NTAs on denied status-impacting applications, including but not limited to, Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
USCIS will send denial letters for status-impacting applications that ensures benefit seekers are provided adequate notice when an application for a benefit is denied. If applicants are no longer in a period of authorized stay, and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will provide details on how applicants can review information regarding their period of authorized stay, check travel compliance, or validate departure from the United States.
The June 2018 NTA Policy Memo will not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions at this time. Existing guidance for these case types will remain in effect.
USCIS will continue to prioritize cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud, or national security concerns. There has been no change to the current processes for issuing NTAs on these case types, and USCIS will continue to use its discretion in issuing NTAs for these cases.
USCIS is holding a public teleconference on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 2 - 3 p.m. Eastern to provide an overview of the PM and respond to pre-submitted questions. The teleconference will conclude with a question and answer session, as time permits. Additional information is available on the Upcoming National Engagements page.
USCIS will provide updates and information on the implementation of this PM on the new Notice to Appear Policy 

USCIS Policy Manual Update Clarifying certain special naturalization provisions for children


USCIS is revising guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify certain special naturalization provisions for children. The updated guidance will be included in Volume 12: Citizenship & Naturalization, Part G, Spouses of U.S. Citizens, and Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens. Stakeholders may review and comment on the revised policy guidance through Oct. 9, 2018. Please see the Policy Alert for more detailed information on this update.
Visit the Policy Manual for Comment page for more information on stakeholder review and comments.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Immigration Services Available for Those Affected by Hurricane Florence or Typhoon Mangkhut


USCIS offers immigration services that may help people affected by special situations, including severe storms such as Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut.
The following services may be available on a discretionary basis upon request for individuals who have been directly affected by Hurricane Florence or Typhoon Mangkhut, including:
  • Changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States. If you don’t apply for the extension or change before your authorized period of admission expires, we may excuse the delay if it was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;
  • Re-parole of individuals USCIS previously granted parole to;
  • Expedited processing of advance parole requests;
  • Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate;
  • Consideration of fee waivers due to an inability to pay;
  • Extension of response time or acceptance of a late response to a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny;
  • Rescheduling an interview with USCIS;
  • Expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card); and
  • Rescheduling a biometrics appointment. 
Note: When making a request, please explain how Hurricane Florence or Typhoon Mangkhut is related to the need for the requested relief.
To learn how to request these services, visit the USCIS Contact Center. To check if an office is open, visit USCIS Office Closings. If a storm affected your InfoPass appointment, you can reschedule your appointment online.
All Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, requirements remain in place. If you have been affected by the storms and your documents were lost, stolen, or damaged, review the list of Form I-9 acceptable documents and receipts. For more information, visit I-9 Central.

A.G. Sessions on IJ Authority: Matter of S-O-G- & F-D-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 462 (A.G. 2018)

Monday, September 17, 2018

ICE is giving undocumented immigrants ‘dummy’ court dates

Trump to Cap Refugees Allowed Into U.S. at 30,000, a Record Low

USCIS Publishes Revised Form G-28 and Extends Grace Period for Prior Versions


USCIS has published a revised version of Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, with an edition date of 09/17/18. This revised version removes the geographic requirement for sending an original notice to a U.S. address for attorneys and representatives that had been added to the 05/05/16 and 05/23/18 versions of the form.
We are also extending the grace period for prior versions of Form G-28. You may continue to use the 05/05/16 and 03/04/15 versions of the form until Nov. 19, 2018. Starting Nov. 19, 2018, we will only accept a Form G-28 with edition date 09/17/18 or 05/23/18. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Immigrant Rights Groups Sue U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Over the Backlog of Citizenship Applications

USCIS Permit Date of Filing Chart for Employment Adjustment Cases in October 2018

ICE Deportation Officer Arrested on Sex Crimes Charges

Justice Department Attempts to Suppress Evidence That the Border Patrol Targeted Humanitarian Volunteers

Friday, September 14, 2018

USCIS Now Accepting Copies of Negative O Visa Consultations Directly from Labor Unions


Effective immediately, USCIS will begin accepting copies of negative consultation letters directly from labor unions relating to a current or future O nonimmigrant visa petition request. O-1 and O-2 nonimmigrant visas are available to individuals with extraordinary ability in science, education, business, athletics, or the arts, and individuals with extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry, and certain essential support personnel. A consultation letter from a U.S. peer group, labor organization, and/or management organization is generally required for petitions in the O visa classification.
Typically, a petitioner submits the necessary O visa consultation with the petition, and that process requirement remains unchanged. Director L. Francis Cissna recently met with several labor unions to discuss concerns they had with the consultation process for O visa petitions, in particular that some advisory opinions may be falsified by petitioners and submitted to USCIS as no-objections or favorable consultations, when in fact these were negative. The labor unions will now be able to send a copy of a negative consultation letter to USCIS so that it can be compared to the consultation letter submitted to USCIS by the petitioner.
Labor unions should send copies of negative O nonimmigrant consultation letters to To make sure USCIS matches the letters to the correct petitions, labor unions should include the last five digits of each beneficiary’s passport number in the consultation letters. Note that only copies of negative consultation letters should be sent to USCIS in the manner described above for O petitions.
After six months USCIS will analyze the data collected to identify areas for improvement in the consultation process. Additional information on O nonimmigrant visas is available on the O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement page.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

USCIS Message: Update - Certificates of Citizenship for Internationally Adopted Child


ear Stakeholder,
You are receiving this update because of your ongoing commitment to intercountry adoptions.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Buffalo Field Office, Child Citizenship Act Unit, prepares Certificates of Citizenship for certain internationally adopted children who enter the United States and are eligible to receive a Certificate of Citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act (CCA). The USCIS Buffalo Field Office processes these certificates for newly arrived children with IR-3 and IH-3 immigrant visa classifications.
The Buffalo Field Office is updating its current process for CCA cases to ensure that it continues to issue Certificates of Citizenship in a timely manner.

Issuing Certificates of Citizenship
Eligible Child under age 14 when they enter the U.S.
Certificates are mailed within 60 days from the date the child enters the U.S.

Eligible Child age 14 or over when they enter the U.S.
The Buffalo Field Office will transfer cases to a local field office where the process will be completed.  In most cases, the local field office will schedule the child to appear for an oath ceremony. The child will take the Oath of Allegiance and receive the Certificate of Citizenship.

Clerical errors on certificates
The child’s information on the certificate should be the same as the information on the child’s legal documents and the immigrant visa issued by the U.S. Department of State.

If the Buffalo Field Office issued the certificate and you notify the office of a clerical error within 10 business days from when the certificate was postmarked, USCIS will address the error.   

If the local field office issued the certificate and you notify the office of a clerical error within 3 business days from when the certificate was issued, USCIS will address the error.

See the Child Citizenship Act Fact Sheet for instructions on how to contact your local field office.

If you have not contacted the field office within the above noted time frames, you will need to file Form N-565, Application for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Document, to obtain a replacement certificate. This form may be filed online with USCIS.
Replacement certificates
Please refer to the Form N-565 application and instructions on the USCIS website  for where to file the form. Do not file the form directly with the USCIS Buffalo Field Office as it no longer accepts the form.

For more information on the CCA process, please visit the Certificate of Citizenship for Internationally Adopted Childwebpage.

If your child was admitted into the United States with an IR-3 or IH-3 visa, but has not yet received his or her Certificate of Citizenship and it has been more than 60 days since the date of entry into the United States, please write to:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Buffalo Field Office (CCA Unit) 306 Delaware Avenue Buffalo, NY  14202

Kind regards,
Public Engagement Division

USCIS Changes Filing Location For Form I-751

Monday, September 10, 2018