Hello, and Welcome to our June Immigration Update!
In this edition, I review the milestones of the H-1B FY17 and future processing, provide tips for employers’ compliance with the new STEM OPT training plan, review the options for updating your address with USCIS and much more.
I also share one of our recent success stories and encourage you to kick off the Summer supporting our foreign athletes. While Jacksonville may not be home to notable immigrants like baseball star Albert Pujols, tennis sensation Anna Kournikova, or basketball giant Yao Ming, we have our own mix of remarkable athletes who’ve migrated to our great city. Some of the most recent additions come to us to join our professional soccer team, the Jacksonville Armada, and our Baseball team, the Suns. I hope that you get a chance to experience the excitement of these games and support our athletes.
To stay updated on current immigration issues and read more client success stories we invite you to subscribe to our blog.
Thank you for your readership, support, and referrals.
Employers, foreign students, and schools are looking for best practices to complete the new Form I-983, Training Plan. With this in mind, I have published a White Paper to assist. The paper provides examples to complete the training program goals and objectives and measure the training effectiveness and outlines key provisions of the 24-month STEM extension.
To read the paper in its entirety and download a copy, click here.
As per our prior updates which we link to below, USCIS completed the H-1B Cap Random Lottery Selection Process April 9th, 2016.
Original Article about FY17 Cap Posted Here
Below is an outline of key events during this process and what to expect for the remainder of this process:
April 12 – We started receiving the first receipt notices via email from USCIS Premium Processing (PP) about the selected cases.
Original Article regarding completed lottery posted here
April 21 – We started receiving receipt notices for the cases that were filed using regular processing.
May 2 – USCIS issued a notice indicating that it had completed the data entry for all petitions and we stopped receiving receipt notices.
May 10 to August 8
– The 17-Month STEM OPT extension applications submission
STEM OPT Extension Update and articles regarding limited filing opportunity original postinghere
May 12 – USCIS started adjudicating Premium Processing (PP) filed petitions.
Information on PP petitions and delayed timeline associated with them here
May 27 – Our PP filed petitions had all been adjudicated.
June to September – USCIS will return cases not selected in the lottery with uncashed filing fee checks.
June to September 30 – USCIS will process and adjudicate regularly filed cases.
Last year, most cases were adjudicated by September 30. However, some cases that received requests for additional evidence (RFE) were still awaiting a decision in early October.
We will update our clients with pending petitions that were filed using regular processing as we receive more information from USCIS.
You must notify USCIS of your address changes in one of the following ways:
- Online: USCIS Online Change of Address (recommended)*
- By mail: Download Form AR-11 and Instructions (PDF, 1 page – 370 KB) or
- By calling 1-800-375-5283. If you call, you will still need to complete and submit the AR-11 form noted above.
How soon after my move should I notify USCIS of my new address?
Most non-U.S. citizens must notify USCIS of a new address within 10 days of moving.
U.S. Citizens are required to notify USCIS of a change of address if they have previously submitted a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, on behalf of someone who has become a permanent resident. If you have previously submitted a Form I-864 for someone who immigrated to the U.S., and that sponsorship agreement is still in force, you must complete a Form I-865, Sponsor’s Notice of Change of Address
, within 30 days of the change in address.
Is changing my address with the post office enough?
No. If you only change your address with the post office, you may not receive important notices about your case. U.S. Postal Service does not forward most USCIS correspondence.
Do I have to submit a change of address for every pending application or petition?
Yes. To ensure that all USCIS correspondence is sent to your current address, you must submit a change of address for every pending application and/or petition that you have with USCIS.
Where can I find additional information about reporting an address change to USCIS?
Because employers and foreign nationals are looking for alternatives to the H-1B cap, the Department of State (DOS) and USCIS have advised that there has been a significant high demand for visas in the EB-1 category. DOS has said that should the demand continue to remain at the same rate, some form of “corrective action” would be necessary before the close of the fiscal year to regulate worldwide visa numbers. This may require the establishment of a cutoff date or other form of regulation.
Read full blog post here.
The demand for the EB-2 employment-based category is also very high. As a result of the ongoing high demand for visa numbers for EB-2 India and lack of access numbers from EB-2 worldwide which could have been used for India, the EB-2 India final action date retrogressed to October 1, 2004. The DOS expects that the EB-2 India cutoff date will advance slowly for the rest of the fiscal year, at a pace similar to the EB-3 advancement.
Similarly, the EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based for China final action cutoff date have retrogressed to January 1, 2010. The cutoff dates for EB-2 and EB-3 are expected to remain unchanged for the remainder of the fiscal year, therefore, applicants will have no incentive to downgrade from EB-2 to EB-3.
Full blog post here.
Success Story: EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Approval for Professional Soccer Player
Pro L, an Argentinian professional soccer player, came to our office for help obtaining a Green Card based on his “Extraordinary Ability” (an EB-1, I-140 petition) as a soccer player.
We met and reviewed his entire professional career. We carefully organized and identified evidence of his extraordinary roles, sharp and crisp skills under pressure, and employment with distinguished teams. We selected and included evidence of the wins of his teams in sought after championships as a result of his performance. We also incorporated evidence of the major media coverage he received for his contributions including appearances on ESPN, interviews, and newspaper articles. The filing also contained evidence as to how Pro L’s work as an athlete benefits the ongoing growth of soccer in the U.S.
USCIS agreed with us and his I-140 petition was approved. I’m honored to work with athletes of extraordinary talent and their teams. As a marathoner and Ironman triathlete, I’m inspired by the accomplishments and discipline of these athletes. Despite multiples accolades, Pro L and his family are amazingly friendly and down-to-earth. We look forward to his ongoing contributions to our country.
Congratulations to Pro L and his family!
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