Court Determines that Stepchild Does Not Fall Under Definition of Child

The Ninth Circuit upheld the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of the petitioner’s claim that he derived citizenship under INA §320(a) from his U.S. citizen stepfather, who married his non-citizen mother after he was born and never adopted him.  This decision finds that the definition of “child” in INA §101(c)(1), the part of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies to citizenship, does not encompass stepchildren. The court also found that Congress did not intend for INA §101(b)’s definition of child, which does include stepchildren, to apply to INA §320(a).

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Posted in In The News

USCIS Revises Preparer’s Declaration on Form I-129

USCIS recently published a new Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.  The new Form I-129 contains a revised “Petitioner’s Declaration” and revised “Preparer’s Declaration,” which now states, “The petitioner has reviewed this completed petition as prepared by me and informed me that all of the information in the form and in the supporting documents, is complete, true, and correct.”

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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions

USCIS announced today that it will resume accepting Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all H-1B extension of stay petitions.  However, all premium processing requests received by USCIS before July 13, 2015 will be rejected.

Premium processing for H-1B extensions had been suspended since May 26, 2015.

For more information, please see the USCIS announcement here.

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Posted in H-1B Visa Petitions, In The News

Visa-Issuing Embassies and Consulates Back Online

The State Department advised that all visa-issuing embassies and consulates are back online, though problems are still occurring with some online immigrant visa application forms.  DOS stated that it will continue scheduling visa interviews and issuing nonimmigrant and immigrant visas after recently experiencing technical problems with their visa systems.  Further, DOS stated it expects to clear the nonimmigrant visa backlog early this week.

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Posted in Immigrant Visas, In The News, Nonimmigrant Visas

USCIS Draft Guidance on When to File an Amended H-1B Petition after the Simeio Solutions Decision

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued draft guidance on when to file an amended H-1B petition pursuant to the USCIS Administrative Appeal Office (AAO) precedent decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC.  The decision held that employers must file amended H-1B petitions when a new Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers (LCA) is required due to a change in the H-1B worker’s worksite location.

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Posted in H-1B Visa Petitions, In The News

USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions

Effective May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015.  Petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of the stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant during this period.

Premium processing requests filed prior to May 26, 2015 will be processed by USCIS.  However, USCIS will refund the premium processing fee if:

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Posted in In The News, Nonimmigrant Visas

Visa Bulletin for June 2015 Issued

The Visa Bulletin for June 2015 has been issued by the Department of State.  There was forward movement in most employment-based and family-based visa categories.

Also announced in the bulletin, the Kentucky Consular Center has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2016 diversity lottery, which makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

For more information, please read the June 2015 Visa Bulletin here.

Jenna is an Intern with the firm and is not a practicing attorney.

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Posted in In The News

Update on Pre-Clearance at Airports

Airline travel can be a long, unpleasant process.  Long lines are part of the problem.  In the past, frequent fliers received complimentary TSA PreCheck status, but no more.

To make your future travel easier, review the Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler programs to see which program meets your traveling needs.  Note that if you apply for Global Entry, you do not need to apply for TSA PreCheck.

While no one is guaranteed expedited entry, these programs will improve your odds and hopefully make your summer vacation travel a little easier.  For more information about the programs, click here.

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Cuba Update

President Obama has asked Congress to take Cuba off the list of countries that sponsor terrorism.  The President made a formal recommendation to Congress, setting in motion a 45-day review process during which lawmakers can take steps to block the move.  However, Congress is not expected to block it and lawmakers would have to enact a joint resolution to do so, which the President could then veto.  Removing Cuba from the list will eliminate some sanctions, including restrictions on foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and other financial regulations, though the embargo will remain in place.

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H-1B Cap Lottery Update

On April 13th, USCIS announced that it finished the computer-generated lottery to select petitions to meet the FY2016 cap.  USCIS stated it will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 11, 2015.  USCIS noted that it received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the FY2016 filing period (first week in April).

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Posted in H-1B Visa Petitions, In The News
About ABCs of Immigration Law
The global economy has become increasingly transactional and transcontinental. Since 9/11, there have been many amendments to immigration laws in the United States that have largely affected both individuals and businesses. Cozen O'Connor's immigration law blog, ABC's of Immigration Law, focuses on the interests and the challenges faced by those individuals and business impacted by immigration laws.
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