Numerous legal changes enacted in the month of February will have a major impact on immigration cases throughout the United States. Below, we recap some of the major immigration news that occurred in February.
Government Shutdown or Deal?
Congress passed an appropriations bill that will fund the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and other federal agencies through the Fiscal Year 2019. The funding will avert another partial government shutdown. The spending bill will extend four immigration programs through September 30th, and provides limited cap relief for the H-2B temporary non-agricultural worker program for this fiscal year only. The bill also includes $1.375 billion set aside for fencing and other barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. President Trump was initially seeking $5.7 billion before the previous shutdown.
Class Action Member Identification Notice
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent out the following bulletin on February 12th:
“On Nov. 30, 2018, in Zhang v. USCIS, No. 15-cv-995, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia certified a class that includes any individual with a Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, that was or will be denied on the sole basis of investing loan proceeds that were not secured by the individual’s own assets. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated these denials and ordered USCIS to reconsider the petitions.”
Under the newly certified class, people who have received an I-526 denial based solely on the grounds listed above can identify as a potential class member if they email USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov with the subject line “Zhang Class.” Respondents should include the following information in the email:
- Alien Number (if any)
- Date of birth
- I-526 receipt number (if available)
- Date of I-526 denial
- Copy of I-526 denial (if available)
Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Resumes
On February 19th, USCIS resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21st, 2018. People who have received a transfer notice for a pending H-1B petition must submit the premium processing request to the service center now handling their petition. When you send your request, be sure to include a copy of the transfer notice, this will help you avoid possible delays with the receipt of your premium processing request. You should also include the RFE response in your request.
H & L Visa Interviews Will Be Consolidated
Starting March 1st, the State Department will consolidate H and L visa interviews in China to three locations from the original five. The H-1B cap season for fiscal year (FY) 2020 will begin on Monday, April 1st, 2019. Employers should take steps to finalize H-1B needs, gather necessary documents, and submit labor condition applications (LCAs), so that they are ready to file H-1B cap petitions during the week of April 1st to April 5th.
Chicago Immigration Attorney
At Panteva Law Group LLC, we are committed to helping clients throughout Illinois resolve their immigration matters. We handle:
- Employment Visa Cases
- Permanent Residency Cases
- Green Card Applications
- Employment Immigration Cases
- Family Immigration Cases
If you need assistance with your case, you should stop by our law office to find out what our experienced legal professionals can do for you.Call (312) 471- 0014 to schedule your case review with a Chicago immigration lawyer.