Immigration News You NEED to Know Now
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Immigration News You NEED to Know Now

13 September, 2019


Here is the Immigration News
You NEED to Know Now

IMMIGRATION NEWS IN BRIEF:

USCIS Changes Direct Filing Addresses for Certain Nonimmigrant Worker Petitions – USCIS has changed the direct filing addresses for certain petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, as of September 1, 2019.

Ninth Circuit Dismisses Challenge to Denial of National Interest Waiver for Lack of Jurisdiction – Affirming the district court’s dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction of an Iranian engineer’s suit challenging the denial of his petition for a national interest waiver (NIW) related to his application for a work visa, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii) strips the federal courts of jurisdiction to review NIW denials.

USCIS Policy Guidance Changes Definition of “Residing in the United States” for Purposes of Acquiring Citizenship – Effective October 29, 2019, USCIS is changing its policy regarding eligibility for U.S. citizenship of children born to U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members employed or stationed outside the United States.

Guidance Updated on Adjudication of Cuban Adjustment Act Cases – USCIS accepts certain documents as evidence that an applicant is a Cuban native or U.S. citizen, and has updated its guidance to provide examples of acceptable documents.

New DOJ Interim Rule, Effective Immediately, Makes Significant Changes to EOIR – A new Department of Justice interim rule, effective August 26, 2019, and published on the same day, makes significant changes to several components of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and its lines of authority. The immigration judges’ union immediately protested.

18 Attorneys General Challenge Sweeping Expansion of Expedited Removal – Eighteen attorneys general have filed an amicus brief challenging a new DHS expansion of expedited removal of undocumented immigrants. The signers support a preliminary injunction to bar implementation while the court case is proceeding. The American Civil Liberties Union also has filed a federal lawsuit.

USCIS Issues Guidance on Discretionary Employment Authorization for Foreign Nationals Paroled Into the United States – The policy guidance includes a list of positive and negative factors an officer may consider when “balancing the totality of the circumstances and determining whether an applicant warrants a favorable exercise of discretion.”
Controversial New Rule Allows Indefinite Detention of Minors, Families – The Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services announced a final rule, effective October 22, 2019, to terminate the Flores settlement agreement and “ensure the humane detention of families.” Many advocates and others expressed concern.

New Final Rule Expands Definition of ‘Public Charge,’ ‘Public Benefit’ for Inadmissibility Determinations – Among other things, the 217-page final rule defines certain terms and explains factors DHS will consider when making a public charge inadmissibility determination. Lawsuits have been filed.

September Visa Bulletin Shows Employment-Based Advances, Retrogressions – The bulletin notes that it is “likely that corrective action will also be required for other preferences prior to the end of the fiscal year.”

ICE Is Conducting Site Visits to STEM OPT Employers – New site visits are underway to question foreign students and company managers on optional practical training in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

USCIS Returns Unselected FY 2020 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions – USCIS said it has returned all FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in its computer-generated random process.

USCIS Is Rejecting Nonimmigrant Worker Petitions That Lack Required Name and Address – USCIS is subjecting all requests for nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129 to this rejection criteria, including the time-sensitive H-2A visa classification for temporary agricultural workers.

Court Grants Summary Judgment for Plaintiffs in LexisNexis H-1B Denial Case – The plaintiffs, RELX, Inc., d/b/a LexisNexis USA, and a data analyst for Lexis Nexis in F-1 student status, alleged that the California Service Center, USCIS; the Department of Homeland Security; and others violated the Administrative Procedure Act when they denied LexisNexis’ H-1B petition on behalf of the data analyst.
ICE Conducts Secretive Workplace Raids in Mississippi – Six hundred agents took part in raids of chicken processing plants that netted nearly 700 detainees and left some children stranded after school or day care because their parents were taken into custody.

USCIS Plans to Close 13 International Field Offices and Three District Offices – The first planned closures are the field offices in Monterrey, Mexico, and Seoul, South Korea, at the end of September 2019.

State Dept. Releases DV-2020 Results – Approximately 83,884 applicants have been registered and notified and may now make an application for an immigrant visa. Since it is likely that some of the persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, DOS said this larger figure should ensure that all DV-2020 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2020.

USCIS Extends Comment Period for Tip Form – USCIS has extended the comment period until September 9, 2019, for a new USCIS Tip Form to facilitate the collection of information from the public regarding “credible and relevant claims of immigration benefit fraud impacting both open adjudications as well as previously approved benefit requests where the benefit remains valid.”

Global: Belgium – There have been several developments with respect to business immigration in Belgium this year, including the introduction of a single permit authorizing a foreign employee to work and reside in Belgium, and new legal frameworks for work authorizations/permits in Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia.

Here are the Details:

USCIS Changes Direct Filing Addresses for Certain Nonimmigrant Worker Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has changed the direct filing addresses for certain petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, as of September 1, 2019. USCIS said that starting October 1, 2019, “we may reject Forms I-129 that are filed at the wrong service center.”

The changes apply to the following cap-exempt H-1B petitions:

  • Continuing previously approved employment from the same employer
  • Changing previously approved employment
  • New concurrent employment
  • Changing an employer
  • Changing status to H-1B
  • Notifying a U.S. consulate, port of entry, or pre-flight inspection
  • Amending a petition

The announcement excludes petitions:

  • Filed by cap-exempt petitioners or for cap-exempt entities
  • That are cap-exempt based on a Conrad/Interested Government Agency waiver
  • Where the employer is located in Guam or the beneficiary will be performing services in Guam. This also excludes all H-1B1, H-1B2, and H-1B3 petitions

Details: USCIS announcement with links to direct filing addresses, https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/changes-direct-filing-addresses-certain-h-1b-form-i-129-petitions; direct filing addresses for the I-129, https://www.uscis.gov/i-129-addresses

Ninth Circuit Dismisses Challenge to Denial of National Interest Waiver for Lack of Jurisdiction

Affirming the district court’s dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction of an Iranian engineer’s suit challenging the denial of his petition for a national interest waiver (NIW) related to his application for a work visa, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii) strips the federal courts of jurisdiction to review NIW denials. Among other things, the panel also noted that his due process claim that he did not receive a copy of a request for evidence for the denial of his second petition failed on the merits because notice sent to his home address “was reasonably calculated to reach him.”

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