April 22

USCIS Designates Matter of Z-A-, Inc. as an Adopted Decision

USCIS issued a policy memorandum designating Matter of Z-A-, Inc. as an AAO adopted decision, which establishes this decision as policy guidance that applies to and binds all USCIS employees. Matter of Z-A- clarifies that, when determining whether the beneficiary of an L-1A nonimmigrant petition will primarily manage an essential function, USCIS officers must weigh all relevant factors including, as pertinent in the instant case, evidence of the beneficiary’s role within the wider qualifying international organization.
April 22

Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap Premium Processing to Begin May 12

On May 12, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. USCIS first announced in a news release that it would temporarily adjust its premium processing practice due to the historic premium processing receipt levels, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season. 

USCIS provides premium processing service for certain employment-based petitions and guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time. 

For H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap and for any other visa classification, the 15-day processing period for premium processing service begins on the date that USCIS receives the request. However, for cap-subject H-1B petitions, including advanced degree exemption petitions, the 15-day processing period set by 8 CFR 103.7(e)(2) will begin on May 12, 2016, regardless of the date on the Form I-797 receipt notice, which indicates the date that the premium processing fee is received. 

We encourage H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B FY2017 Cap Season Web page.

To learn more, visit our website.

April 13

USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Lottery for FY2017

USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, on 4/9/16 to select enough petitions to meet the FY2017 H-1B cap. USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period and will begin premium processing no later than 5/16/16.

April 13

USCIS Publishes New Edition of N-400

USCIS revised Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The 9/13/13 edition of the form may be used until 8/9/16. USCIS made several changes to the form: removed the 2D barcode, streamlined the application, and added language to the instructions to help identify evidence needed.