To Provide Incentives to Physicians to Practice in Rural and Medically Underserved Communities and for Other Purposes

On April 25, 2017, Congressmen Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives to help increase the number of doctors available to work in underserved and rural areas, with improvements.   The House version of the bill is entitled: ”To provide incentives to physicians to practice in rural and medically underserved communities and for … [Read more...]

DOS Cable Calls for Increased Visa Screening Measures

A March 17, 2017 Department of State cable [17 State 25814] directs U.S. consulates on implementing Section 2 of a November 6, 2017 Presidential Memorandum, which provides: "The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, as permitted by law, implement protocols and procedures as soon as practicable that in their judgment will … [Read more...]

Matter of T-O-S-U-, Adopted Decision 2017-01 (AAO Jan. 4, 2017) for H-1B National or International Renown

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new policy memorandum on January 4, 2017, that designates as precedent Matter of T-O-S-U-, a 2015 decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The decision explains that physicians of national or international renown who are graduates of medical schools in foreign states are exempt from the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination … [Read more...]

Matter of Dhanasar Revises National Interest Waiver (NIW) Standard, Vacates NYSDOT

On December 27, 2016, the Secretary of Homeland Security designated as precedent the Administrative Appeals Office's decision in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016), Int. Dec. 3882 (December 27, 2016). Precedent decisions are binding on DHS employees in all future proceedings involving the same issue or issues. Dhanasar now governs adjudications and proceedings relating to a waiver … [Read more...]

Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers

Effective January 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amended its regulations related to certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. Specifically, the final rule provides various benefits to participants in those programs, including the following: (1) improved processes and increased certainty for U.S. employers seeking to sponsor and retain immigrant and … [Read more...]

H-1B Cap Reached for H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Cap Season

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2016, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap. USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing … [Read more...]

Conrad State 30 J-1 Program Extension

The U.S. Congress passed the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016” on December 15, 2015, which among the provisions included a temporary extension of the Conrad State Waiver program. The Conrad Waiver program provides an option for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to waive the two-year home residence requirement for clinical services for three years in a designated Health Professional … [Read more...]

Change in Law for Immigrant Visa Eligibility

In closely monitoring the ever-changing landscape of U.S. immigration policy, there has been a change in policy by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), in coordination with U.S. Department of State (USDS), whereby the USCIS is revising the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment … [Read more...]

US Visa Issuing Posts Are Back Online

The State Department’s Consular Consolidated Database problems that affected travelers globally is now back online at all 220 visa issuance posts worldwide.   … [Read more...]

Premium Processing Temporarily Suspended for H-1B Extensions

Starting May 26, 2015, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015, to implement the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses final rule. During this time frame, petitioners will not be able to request premium processing for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of stay for an H-1B … [Read more...]