Fees, Forms, Filing Procedures

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USCIS Funding Challenges During COVID-19 Pandemic

On June 25, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a statement describing "the agency’s fiscal outlook due to the COVID-19 pandemic." USCIS said that unless Congress acts on the agency's request for $1.2 billion in emergency funding before August 3, 2020, it "will need to
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Form I-539 Status

Form I-539 Status On May 19, 2020, USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on its plans to revise Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. The form is also used by students applying for reinstatement to F-1 or M-1 student status. Public comment
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Practice Advisory on FY 2021 F-1 Cap-Gap

Summary. For the Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B cap season, employers wanting to file a cap-subject H-1B petition had to first submit registrations during a March 1 to March 20, 2020 registration period, naming and paying a $10 registration fee for each individual they hope to file for. USCIS then conducted
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Impementation of ESTA for VWP Entry at Land Ports of Entry

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is developing an interim final rule that will expand the ESTA pre-registration requirement to Visa Waiver Program (VWP) visitors planning to enter the United States through land ports of entry. Currently, ESTA pre-registration is needed only for VWP entry
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USCIS Fee Waiver Updates

Update On December 11, 2019, in the case City of Seattle et al. v. DHS et al., the U.S. District Court for the Norther District of California San Francisco Division issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks implementation of the USCIS fee waiver policy guidance that was to go into
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USCIS Proposed Fee and Form Changes and Other Related Proposals

UPDATE: USCIS will publish its final fee rule on August 3, 2020. It will become effective 60 days later. The rule also makes changes to Form I-129, premium processing, and other fee processing changes. The content below relates to the proposed fee rule, and is maintained for reference purposes only
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Pre-Registration Requirement for Cap-Subject H-1B Petitioners

On January 31, 2019, DHS published a final rule governing petitions filed on behalf of H-1B beneficiaries who may be counted toward the 65,000 H-1B cap (regular cap) or the 20,000 beneficiaries with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education who are eligible for an exemption from
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Upload of STEM OPT Form I-983 Training Plans in SEVIS Release 6.49

Beginning with SEVIS Release 6.49 (scheduled release date November 17, 2019), DSOs will be able to upload Form I-983 training plans in SEVIS when recommending initial STEM OPT, adding a STEM employer, and at the 12 and 24 month self-evaluation reporting periods. View SEVP's: SEVIS Release 6.49
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