What do I fill out as the "current USCIS status" on form i-485?
The I-485 form was updated in June 2017!Here is a guide on how to fill out the latest I-485.
As per the latest memo to USCIS for H1Bs, what is the impact on H1B extensions?
There is a string of policy memorandums implemented by USCIS that can drastically complicate the H1-B extension process.Most recently, on Sept. 11, 2018, Policy Memorandum 602-0163 went into effect granting USCIS officers the ability to deny a visa or green card application, petition or request (extensions) without issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE).What this means is that immigration officials who have questions about a case or see a technical issue can merely deny instead of giving the applicant or petitioner an opportunity to correct clerical errors or provide U.S. employers and attorneys the right to address concerns.Adjudicators have effectively been given almost full discretion to make complex judgments without clear standards nor proper oversight to safeguard against unequal treatment.When taken in conjunction with these four other new policies enacted by the Trump administration, the implications are astonishing and pose major issues to H-1B visa extensions.1. Deference to previously approved visasThe first major hurdle for H-1B visa holders came in the form of Policy Memorandum 602-0151 issued on October 23, 2017. The new memorandum rescinded previous guidance, issued April 23, 2004, that gave deference to prior determinations of eligibility for H-1B visa holders filing for extensions that involved the same parties and underlying facts as the initial petition.In other words, USCIS introduced a series of policies with more stringent standards to apply to previously approved petitions.2. Level 1 wageThe second complication to H-1B petitions is wage levels. More H-1B RFEs now question wage level 1. On March 31, 2017, USCIS issued a policy memorandum that put into question the qualification of ‘computer programmer’ as a specialty occupation. Specifically, entry-level positions that require a university degree, but no experience are typically classified under level 1 wage.USCIS has argued that the job duties paying level 1 wages are not complex enough to qualify as specialized but too complex to be considered entry-level because they involve the exercise of judgment and thus require oversight from a wage level 3 supervisor. Quite the predicament.3. Specialty occupationThis brings us to the problem of singular degrees and specialization. USCIS contends that a specialty occupation requires a theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and together with at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. The issue with the singular degree requirement is that often the coursework of a related degree provides the specialized knowledge needed to perform job duties.For instance, to fill a computer programmer position an applicant does not necessarily require a computer science degree to carry out tasks. Instead, a person with a mathematics or information technology degree can adequately fulfill such job responsibilities.Under the new policy, if an employer determines that an applicant with a mathematics degree is most qualified for a computer programmer position, a technical evaluation must then be submitted with solid documentation demonstrating how the applicant’s coursework is directly connected to the job description, adding time and money to an already complex process.4. Right to controlAnother obstacle to the H-1B visa is the “right to control” in which USCIS scrutinizes the employer-employee relationship by weighing multiple factors such as who directly supervises the H-1B worker and whether supervision is performed on or off-site. If the work is performed off-site, then the method and frequency of supervision are analyzed. USCIS further evaluates the employer-employee relationship in a myriad of ways including with the use of proprietary information and whether the end work product is directly linked to the H-1B employer's (petitioner's) business is closely examined.To combat such intrusive investigation by USCIS, project management software that indicates oversight and services provided by all constituents should be used. Furthermore, submitting an itinerary or any and all documentation demonstrating the employer-employee relationship with specific job duties that is signed by all parties can help increase the chances of success.Lastly, the implementation of USCIS Policy Memorandum 602-0050.1 beginning October 1, 2018, expands the conditions under which USCIS issues a Notice to Appear (NTA), the document that initiates removal (deportation) proceedings, to include situations where:“upon issuance of an unfavorable decision on an application, petition, or benefit request, the alien is not lawfully present in the United States.”The expansion of NTA policy will severely limit, the option to self-deport and could be ruinous for visa applicants by putting them in jeopardy of becoming criminals and being barred from the United States should they become out of status upon denial without warning.This is particularly alarming since RFEs are now issued at the adjudicator’s discretion adding undue pressure on the high-skill immigrant workforce. We may see a drastic increase in flat-out denials (including for extensions) even in cases that would ultimately be approved given the chance to rectify concerns or submit additional evidence.The implication for an H1-B visa holder seeking an extension is this: dot your i's and cross your t's, there is absolutely no room for error. Make sure you have a seasoned law professional with high approval success in your corner.Collectively, these changes could be devastating to American employers and employees who use legal processes to file visa petitions on behalf of the foreign nationals to extend their employment.** Guidance for employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petition case types will not be implemented according to the June 28th NTA memo at this time.**
How long does USCIS take to approve or reject the I-539 form? Can I get the status within one month after my case was received?
It depends on the type of status you were applying for and the service center it was filed at. You can check the processing times here: USCIS Processing Time InformationTypically USCIS will reject a case relatively quickly. They reject cases if they see an obvious error such as missing/incorrect filing check, missing form, etc. They issue an RFE usually a few weeks after a case has been filed if they need more documentation from you. Right now it seems like USCIS is taking about 4–5 months to process an I-539 application.*I am not an attorney. Please do not misconstrue the above as legal advice*
My I140 is approved for more than a year for my previous employer. I joined a new employer and tried to check the status in USCIS. It is throwing a case error. Is there a way to figure out whether my I140 is valid or not?
Your I 140 should be valid until your previous employer has withdrawn it. You can check with your previous employer on their policy with respect to I140 withdrawal… there was a new regulation from dhs that after 180 days , the petitioner cannot withdraw the i140
Why hasn’t USCIS approved the change of status from F2 to F1 after 5 months?
You should check USCIS current processing times for your Service Center (where your application for change of status is pending). Look at the I-797 Receipt to see what service center has jurisdiction over your case, and find its processing times at the link below.USCIS Processing Time Information
After how many days will the USCIS case status show updates? 1 week after filling my H1-B transfer in premium, I still see an "Error, check your receipt number" message.
USCIS processing, in my family experience, takes MONTHS. Not weeks. When a family member applied for a Green Card renewal, we applied almost a year in advance. In speaking to USCIS personnel on the phone later in the process, we found there was a “normal” delay of several months. They then said that there was an ADDITIONAL month on top of that. Due to heavy volume.Not to worry, though. Once they actually take possession and log in your document, the clock stops, so to speak. Be patient trying to reach them on the phone for incidentals. Last time I was on hold for over 45 minutes. It also helps to have a trusted friend or acquaintance who is fluent in English, if you are not.I found the staff at USCIS were very helpful and can give you the info you will need. Good luck!
Is it legal to be out of status or not maintaining status when awaiting a decision from USCIS for H1B approval?
If you are inside country USA and you’d applied for H1b extension or transfer or apply for amendments and waiting for uscis approval , the waiting period won’t be considered as out of status. But if uscis won’t respond with in 180 days for your application receipt date then you need to leave country and wait for decision and then go to visa interview . Before leaving country after 180 days try to open service request ticket with uscis call center.Good luck