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News Excerpts From The Nov. 1, 2013, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Government Shutdown: Impact on I-129 H Visa Extensions and AOS | Via e-Mail on October 18, 2013, USCIS alerted stakeholders that if an H-1B, H-2A, or H-2B petitioner submits evidence establishing that the primary reason for failing to timely file an extension of stay or change of status request was...

News Excerpts From the Jan. 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Labor Department to Delay Implementation of BALCA Ruling in Island Holdings | On December 20, 2013, the Labor Department announced that it would seek review of the ruling issued by the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals in Matter of Island Holdings LLC , which vacated supplemental prevailing...

News Excerpts From The Feb. 1, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

EOIR Releases Plan to Protect Detainees with Mental Disorders | The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) recently released the first phase of a nationwide plan to provide heightened protections for unrepresented detainees with mental disorders. (The document is reprinted at Appendix A ....

News Excerpts From the March 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

DHS Designates Chile for Visa Waiver Program On February 28, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security announced the entry of Chile into the Visa Waiver Program. Beginning May 1, 2014, Chilean nationals will be able to visit the United States for up to ninety days without obtaining nonimmigrant visas...

News Excerpts From the May 1, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Transfers Jurisdiction over Refugee and Asylee Relative Petitions U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun the transfer of responsibility for processing Form I-730 (Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) from agency service centers to international field offices. The first phase...

News Excerpts From the May 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Issues New Guidelines on Credible Fear Interviews On February 28, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued new guidelines for asylum officers charged with determining whether applicants possess credible fears of persecution or torture in their home countries. According to a memorandum...

News Excerpts From the June 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Report Highlights Economic Benefits of Public Defenders in Removal Proceedings A report released in late May by the global consulting firm NERA concluded that the fiscal savings to the government could well offset any costs associated with providing government-funded attorneys to indigent noncitizens...

News Excerpts From the July 1, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Supreme Court Decides CSPA Case | On June 9, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio , 2014 U.S. LEXIS 3991 [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The Court held that the BIA’s textually reasonable construction of the Child Status Protection...

News Excerpts From the Aug. 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

New USCIS Director Testifies Before Congress | On July 29, Leon Rodriguez, the new director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, testified at an oversight hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. Rodriguez became USCIS director on July 9. In his written testimony, available at http...

News Excerpts From the Sept. 1, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Humanitarian Assistance for Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in U.S. On August 15, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced relief measures available to nationals in the United States from those West African countries caught in the throes of the Ebola outbreak. Immigration...

News Excerpts From the Oct. 1, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

California Housing and Employment Department Issues New Guidelines on U Visas | On September 10, 2014, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing issued a directive expanding the grounds for which it will provide certifications to noncitizens seeking U nonimmigrant status. The Department...

News Excerpts From the Feb. 1, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

DHS Weighing Program to Streamline Employment-Based Immigration Requests | On January 15, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security announced the potential launch of a pilot program later this year to streamline adjudications of employment-based immigration requests by known U.S. employers. According...

News Excerpts From the March 1, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Preliminary Injunction Issued in Texas v. United States | Late on February 16, a United States District Court judge for the Southern District of Texas (Brownsville) issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the President’s November 2014 executive action on immigration. Judge Andrew...

News Excerpt From the June 1, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions | From May 26, 2015 until July 27, 2015, USCIS will suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions. During this period, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for...

News Excerpts From the June 15, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Supreme Court Reverses 8th Circuit in Mellouli Case | By a 7-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the noncitizen in Mellouli v. Lynch , reversing the Eighth Circuit. The decision is summarized at page 641 [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ] [ lexis.com subscribers may access...

News Excerpts From the Aug. 15, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Proposes Expansion of Provisional Waiver Program | On July 22, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a proposed rule that would expand eligibility for provisional unlawful presence waivers. Under the proposed rule, provisional waivers would be available for all immigrant...

News Excerpts From the Sept. 1, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

DHS to Enhance Security for Visa Waiver Program| On August 6, 2015, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the implementation of new security measures for noncitizens seeking to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Among other changes, travelers will have...

News Excerpts From the Nov. 1, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Releases Draft Guidance on Extreme Hardship | On October 7, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued draft guidance for public comment on the factors the agency considers in determining whether the denial of an application would result in extreme hardship to a qualifying...

News Excerpts From the Dec. 1, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

EOIR Appoints New Immigration Judges and Assistant Chief Immigration Judges | In November, the Executive Office for Immigration Review announced the appointment of two new immigration judges and six new assistant chief immigration judges. Jonathan Simpson, a former assistant chief counsel for U...

News Excerpts From the Dec. 15, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Releases Online Civics Test in Spanish | On November 19, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that noncitizens wishing to naturalize may take online practice civics exams containing questions and answers in Spanish as well as English. The practice questions are written in...

News Excerpts From the Jan. 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Ombudsman Recommends Improvements to SIJ Adjudication Process| On December 11, 2015, the Ombudsman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a 12-page report containing recommendations for improving the process for adjudicating applications for Special Immigration Juvenile (SIJ) status...

News Excerpts From the April 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

H-1B FY 2017 Cap Season Begins April 1 | USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap on April 1, 2016. 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...

News Excerpts From the May 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

EB-4 Visa Limit Reached for Special Immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras A final action date of January 1, 2010 has been set for special immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and is reflected in the State Department’s Visa Bulletin Employment-Based Preference Cases...

News Excerpts From the June 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Supreme Court Decides Luna Torres v. Lynch | On May 19, The Supreme Court decided Torres v. Lynch , 578 U.S. ___ (2016). Justice Kagan delivered the opinion, joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justices...

News Excerpts From the June 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Labor Department Will Streamline H-2A Process | On May 20, 2016, the Department of Labor’s Office for Foreign Labor Certification announced that it would streamline the process for H-2A employers filing petitions under the 2015 final herder rule. Going forward, employers and their authorized...