Fees, Forms, Filing Procedures

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USCIS Funding Challenges During COVID-19 Pandemic

News outlets report that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is facing a budget shortfall that may result in furloughs of USCIS staff, which in turn would affect the agency's ability to timely adjudicate benefit requests. The following articles illustrate the issue. CBS News. Thousands
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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

On November 14, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed changing application and petition filing fees and making other forms processing changes. On January 24, 2020 USCIS reopened the public comment period, extending it to February 10, 2020. USCIS submitted a final rule for
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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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