March 17

USCIS Reaches the H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017

USCIS announced that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for FY2017. March 13, 2017, was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before October 1, 2017.

March 9

Practice Alert: New Edition and Supplement Form Required for Form I-130 Starting April 28

On March 6, 2017, USCIS updated its website to provide instructions on the new Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse and Beneficiary. Starting April 28, 2017, USCIS will only accept the 2/27/17 edition of Form I-130 petitions. AILA members who choose to continue filing using the 12/23/16 edition of Form I-130 until the April 27, 2017, deadline should continue to include two copies of Form G-325A (one for the beneficiary and one for the petitioner) in the filing.

March 1

Practice Alert: Erroneous H-1B Approval Notices with “1B1” Annotation

Immigration attorneys including myself have been receiving USCIS I-797 Notices of Approval for H-1B beneficiaries that are annotated “1B1,” even though the petition was not an H-1B1 petition filed on behalf of a citizen of Chile or Singapore. The California Service Center (CSC) has confirmed that this was a technical error that has now been resolved, and that amended notices that reflect the H-1B designation will be mailed this week. AILA is seeking confirmation from USCIS Service Center Operations (SCOPS) that the Vermont Service Center (VSC) and the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) will be handling these cases in the same manner, and will provide an update as soon as it becomes available.

March 1

Associated Press: Airports, Legal Volunteers Prepare for New Trump Travel Ban

The Associated Press reports that airport officials and civil rights lawyers across the country are preparing for President Trump’s new travel ban, which is expected to be issued in the coming days. Since last month’s ban, which courts have put on hold, a section of the international arrivals area at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., has been transformed into a virtual law firm, with legal volunteers ready to greet travelers from affected countries and ask if they saw anyone being detained. Similar efforts are underway at other U.S. airports. While the White House had indicated earlier this week that President Trump would sign the new order today, its issuance has been delayed in the wake of the president’s first address to a joint session of Congress.

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