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Immigration updates from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

in Immigration/USA/Visas/World News by


Immigration updates from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

USCIS offers employment-based processing service requests and guarantees a premium service and processes it within 15-calendar-days. Here are the latest US immigration updates.

FY-2017 Processing to Begin May 12 for H-1B Cap

Foreign workers in U.S. businesses are employed using the H-1B visa program in some special occupations that require specialization. USCIS will begin processing the H-1B petitions, including some petitions from individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher, on May 12, 2016, as per immigration updates.

There are some petitions that are not capped and may fall under another visa classification; they will be processed in 15 days beginning on the date that USCIS receives the request. The H-1B cap-subjected petitions, as well as those with advanced degrees exempted, will be processed in the 15-day processing period beginning May 12th, 2016. This is regardless of the date processing fee is received on the Form I-797.

A New Web Page to show the Workload Transfer

According to the US, immigration updates received visa applicants and customers can now keep track of the workload transfer between the five service centers, on the newly created Workload Transfer Updates page on the USCIS website. The cases will be transferred from one service center to another to ensure the applications are processed timely as well as balance the workload. A Web alert will indicate each transfer, including any other information that customers must be aware of related to the transfer.

Other immigration updates include the fact that Customers must subscribe to the Alerts GovDelivery distribution list to receive updates about the transfers. Emails and Social media posts will also be announcing the workload transfer.

The use of Pre-Paid Mailers suspended by USCIS temporarily for certain H-1B

According to the US immigration updates, USCIS has suspended the use of pre-paid mailers for the two-week duration, after the premium processing will resume, for H-1B cap-subject petitions on May 12, 2016. The pre-paid mailers will not be used to send a final notice instead regular mail will be sent for premium processing H-1B cap-subject petitions.

The USCIS has suspended the pre-paid mailers due to limitations on current resources and will ensure that all processing is completed in a timely manner. However, after a period of two weeks, USCIS will resume using various pre-paid services to send out final notices provided by the petitioners, according to the immigration updates.

The application for FY 2016 USCIS’ Citizenship and Integration Grant Program is due on April 22, 2016, by 11:59 p.m. ET

USCIS began accepting the application for Citizenship and Integration Grant program that promote the preparation of permanent residents for naturalization as well as endorse the civic integration on March2, with increased knowledge of U.S. history, English, and civics.

Newer Visa Policies to assist STEM international Students

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For international Harvard students in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math, remaining in the US after graduation has become less stressful now with policy changes according to the US student visa news updates. The students can stay in the country for on-the-job training for an extended period of seven months according to the federal government.

International students with the F-1 student visa, in the Harvard University, can apply for on-the-job training. Optional Practical Training (OPT), allows training for a year in the subject of their choice related to their degrees.

STEM Students can stay for 36 months

According to the old program, STEM students had a 29-month extension. And now students can stay for a total of 36 months, according to the US student visa news updates while they work towards the coveted H-1B work visa and the green card.

According to the US student visa news updates, there is a cap on the H-1B work visa not on the student visa. Annually there are 65,000 undergraduate applications and a few thousand pursuing advanced degrees.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received 233,000 H-1B applications in the year 2015, and a random computer-generated lottery system was used to select the applications. International students will try to beat the odds by pursuing a STEM advanced degree which will allow additional three years, to try for the H-1B.

US student Visa impacts various choices including STEM field

With the US student visa news updates, there will be an impact on choices like the STEM advanced degree, career, and industry. STEM international students are happy that the situation has changed for the better, however; they know it all comes down to luck. There are students with a STEM degree who did not get an H-1B and left the country.

With some of these US student visa news updates, many international students are looking for better prospects in places like Canada and Europe. The visa process is stressful and students may seem relieved with the extension of seven months after graduation.

International students are turning to University offices and to the Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Auto Workers (HGSU-UAW) that has hosted several visa seminars as they are very helpful. For many third-year students, it is imperative that they know the immigration system much ahead of time.

In conclusion, the entire process of applying for the visa, waiting for the lottery, and then not getting the approval for the H-1B work visa is still stressful.

EU says no more visa waiver for US and Canadian citizens

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Europe flagThe latest immigration news is that the EU has proposed that Americans and Canadians must apply for a visa, irrespective of whether they plan a short visit or a longer one. The EU has insisted more EU countries need to be included to the list of those countries whose citizens are not required to obtain a visa when traveling to the US. If the United States doesn’t meet the terms then American travelers will be required to apply and obtain a visa when heading for Europe.

Americans and Canadians have only required a passport at the time they visit the EU. Citizens from Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Poland visiting the US need to apply and obtain a visa, prior to the visit. Romanians and Bulgarians also require a visa when visiting Canada.

According to the latest immigration news, the EU’s objective is to get better reciprocity for all member state citizens traveling to the US and Canada; in short, a complete waiver on all visa requirements. The current situation is unfair and is a main concern for the European Union, according to one of the spokespersons, for the EU Commission.

The requirements for US Visa Waiver Policy have not been fulfilled by some countries

Some EU countries have still not fulfilled some of the requirements for the visa waiver policy. According to EU’s State Department officials, they are in discussion with these countries regarding the program’s core requirements as well as the progress they are making.

According to the latest immigration news, even the Canadian visa policy fails to recognize visa waiver reciprocity. Under the EU rules, two years after the countries have been advised of the state of affairs, the European Union needs to initiate the mutual visa waiver requirements for the countries that prefer not to waive the visa requirement for citizens from European Union.

The UK and Ireland being the only two EU countries to have opted to be out of EU’s current visa policy program, however, the Americans can still travel to both Ireland and UK, without a visa. Currently, there are 38 Countries whose citizens can travel visa-free to United States are listed –Andorra, Brunei, Australia, Iceland, Chile, Japan, Monaco, Lichtenstein, San Marino, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and the 23 European Union countries.

The visa requirement proposal is on hold

The visa requirement proposal has been put on hold by EU authorities until mid-summer. The deadline has been set for July twelfth by the commission set up by EU for reviewing and revamping EU’s visa policy. The EU member states and the EU Parliament will advise as the latest immigration news concerns the transatlantic relations.

However, after the deadline, the commission may possibly start enforcing visa requirements for Canadians and Americans.

Business Savvy Indian Students Gearing up to Tap UK Entrepreneurial Visa program

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With regards to the UK Student visa news, Indian students can explore the lesser-known entrepreneurial visa. There are other options open according to President of the UK’s prestigious Imperial College London if the students are unable to acquire a post-study work visa. The message was to let Indian students know that they would be “warmly welcome” in the UK.

Sharp decline in the number of Indian students

A restriction on the post-study work visa route has been extensively seen as the raison d’être for the decline in the number of students. The work visa allowed the students to work in Britain after completing their studies. The repercussion of the restrictions on the UK Student visa news has seen a sharp decline in the overall figure of working Indians in the UK.

The visa program suggested – entrepreneurial visa route – is bound to help more graduates to set up start-ups in the country. Graduate Entrepreneur Tier1 visa can also be accessed by UK Indian graduates from outside the EU; however, they need to be officially endorsed to have a genuine as well as a realistic and reliable business idea.

The US has benefited because of a similar visa program

The UK can benefit just like the US; the Silicon Valley was setup based on a similar visa program. Post-study work UK Student visa news states that it can be acquired with salaries beyond the threshold; there are many of those entrepreneurial students with great ideas. These students would not have salaried jobs, however, would combine enormously in small or medium-sized enterprises or set up start-up companies.

This is an attempt to curb the falling number of Indian students choosing Britain for higher education as the ideal destination. This would not only expand the entrepreneurial visa numbers, as well as the Colleges, can provide numbers to highlight the need to expand the numbers in the visa programs.

Indian students are extremely innovative and eager towards entrepreneurship with interesting innovative ideas that can help communities at large.

The first-year enrollment of Indian students at UK universities due to the UK Student visa news is that it fell by 10%, according to the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency, from 11,270 to 10,125. All international students, particularly the Indian students are greatly valued in the UK and her visit to India carries the message of the importance of Indian students and that they are welcome to the UK.

The Australian visa program gets a rejig

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The most commonly used Australian visa program is the 457 visa – to sponsor skilled workers, for both Australian or overseas employers, to work in Australia temporarily. The best immigration consultants in India can provide the details regarding the visa and advise on the 2 major alternate sponsorships – Business and self-sponsorship offered by the visa program.

According to the program the temporary skilled Australian work visa, subclass 457, permits skilled workers to work for an agreed business and the visa is valid for up to four years. A recent federal proposal that allowed businesses to bring in specialists for a shorter duration of about a year without the 457 visa has been abandoned.

The Australian government has shifted their focus on other options to revamp the skilled worker migration visas to heighten competitiveness.

The short-term mobility visa is not on the agenda

The Australian Immigration Department plans to reform and create a new and a more simplified system that deregulates the visa requirements. It will focus on improving the overall procedure for applying for the visa, as well as reducing any related visa procedures. More details regarding the reforms will be provided by the best immigration consultants in India.

A visa program proposed earlier in December 2014 Immigration Department proposal paper was controversial. The visa program named “short-term mobility visa” is not on the agenda, according to the information from the best immigration consultants in India.

The visa program proposed, seemed to cut protection for workers and permitted the employers to evade some requirements like the labor market testing as well as the proficiency of the English language.

457 visa reforms to a simplified system

The Immigration department is currently focusing on reforms to make things easier for getting the 457 visas. A lot of consultation has been done to develop options to reform the visa system for the highly skilled workers, and at the same time ensures support to Australia’s economic future.

The Australian government recognizes the fact that the visa programs are difficult to navigate, especially the skilled migration as well as the temporary activity visa programs. There is a need to smarten the visa regulations, improve integrity in the visa programs and increase the contribution of the skilled workers to the productivity and economy of Australia.

The Immigration Department is working on reforms to improve the competitiveness and attract highly skilled workers to Australia. The new visa structure includes access to entrepreneurs and fields where workers will be required in future, so contact the best immigration consultants in India.

US visa fee hike targets IT companies in India

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US visa fee hike

A hike in the US visa fee has been a cause of concern in India as it has largely impacted the IT workforce, and the various IT companies. The H-1B, L1 visa fees have been hiked. Both the visa programs are popular among the Indian IT professionals, for more information check with the visa consultants in Hyderabad.

An exceptional fee was imposed last year, which amounted to about USD 4,500 on H-1B and L-1 visas. The fee was charged to fund the 9/11 health care Act as well as the biometric tracking system. This decision was made after the bill was agreed upon for spending USD 1.1 trillion by the Congress leaders. They agreed to impose an extraordinary fee of USD 4,000 on specific types of H-1B visas. A fee of USD 4,500 was imposed on the L-1 visas, contact your visa consultants in Hyderabad for more information.

H-1B and L-1 visas are US permits for skilled workers

H-1B and L-1 visas are temporary foreign worker programs just like the other visa programs – OPT, O-1, and TN. The holder of the H-1B visa can stay for the maximum duration of ten years with an exception of Defense project. The L-1 visa is valid for a shorter duration with a five year validity period for India, Germany, Japan while three months for Iran nationals. More details can be provided by your visa consultants in Hyderabad.

Indian IT Industry has welcomed India’s move to file a complaint against the US over visa fees hike and limitation on migrants. Indian professionals generate more than USD 25 billion towards the US Social Security for the duration of ten years, without ever reclaiming their contribution.

The visa fee hike costs Indian IT industry

The US has increased fees for some of the other work visa categories, and India finally filed a complaint when the H-1B and L- visas were doubled. This hike in the US visa programs to fund unrelated US government programs may annually cost the IT industry in India $400 million.

The US visa fee hike is likely to put an ‘uncalled for’ burden on the IT companies, your visa consultants in Hyderabad can be contacted for details regarding the visa and the formalities.

The H-1B visa program allows U.S. companies to employ extremely skilled foreign employees in case they are incapable of finding the required talent locally, for intra-company transfers the L-1 visa program is made use of.

USCIS has reached H-1B 2017 Fiscal Year Cap

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One of the Federal immigration agencies of the US, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a Department of Homeland Security (DHS), declared that it has put a ceiling on the foreign worker visa program, H-1B. According to the latest visa news updates, USCIS has received a large number of H-1B visa requests, more than the limit of 20,000.

As the latest visa news updates, the statement was made to announce that it has reached its cap, set by the U.S. Congress, for the fiscal year 2017. The H-1B program provides work for foreign nationals to have jobs with specialization in different fields like science, engineering, and computer programming.

Computer generated lottery system to select the visa petition

USCIS plans to use a computer-generated lottery system, to randomly select the petitions required to meet the general category limit of 65,000 visas and advanced degree exemption of 20,000. The USCIS will randomly pick the advanced degree exemptions; all the unselected visa requests will join the random selection process for the general category is one of the latest visa news updates.

The filing fees will be returned by USCIS after rejecting and identifying the duplicates. The lottery date has not been determined. However, some H-1B applications filed, that will be considered, on behalf of current immigrant workers with a request to extend the worker’s time in the US, change in employment terms, and change of employer and possibly grants immigrant workers a second H-1B position to work.

H-1B visa program in the Presidential Campaign

According to the latest visa news updates, all through the presidential campaign, the H-1B visa program, and immigration have been a major topic of debate. The program is not good for workers as it is unfair to the workers.

As per Donald Trump regarding the latest visa news updates, a Presidential election candidate, it is clearly essential to examine and study at least the past two years of data to conclude and establish a provisional suspension on the visa problem. According to another presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, a large number of immigrants coming to the U.S. is low-skilled workers; this has led to lower wages for the Americans.

H-1B visa program may be reformed and temporarily halted

Currently, the immigration system seems to allow millions of illegal workers into the country. There has been a proposal to reform the visa system and suspend H-1B visa issuance for 180 days to complete a comprehensive investigation and audit of the abuse of the visa program, according to the latest visa news updates. This may lead to individuals with advanced degrees, preferably from American universities in choicest fields to come to the U.S. via the H-1B visa.

Jobs In Australia, Currently Is At Its Highest

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The number of jobs in Australia currently is at its highest level as seen in over three years, as per the data released by the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics). In the last three months to February, the numbers of job vacancies have swelled by 3.1 percent. This has left the number of job openings up to 13.4% from 12 months earlier. The increase has been phenomenal to 172,900 jobs in trend terms.

Since August 2012 have there have not been these many Australian job vacancies

Sector-wise the jobs in Australia, where the openings in the private firms grew by 2.7 percent about 157,000 jobs. The job openings were up to 12.4 percent from February 2015. Even though small in number, the number of job vacancies with the government jumped by 6.8 percent to 15,900. This has increased up to 24.8 percent from the levels the vacancies were at a year earlier.

Even though this is a pleasing sign, as well as one that suggests an improvement in the labor market conditions as it is seen in the second half of last year, the growth in advertisements for job vacancies has been moderate in the recent months. This suggests that hiring level, besides the job openings, may be slow in the times ahead.

Mining jobs are becoming rare

In a fast changing economy, the mining jobs in Australia are becoming hard to come by, mainly on account of the slowing raw material demand from China. The number of mining jobs has stabilized in the past year, though the industry is downsizing.

New investment has slowed down and job losses have impacted many industries where most of the losses was found to be in mining and construction jobs in Australia. There has been a transition from the construction industry to production-based industries.

Changes have been brought about with an efficiency drive that has led to cut in the layers of replication and duplication in the middle management, along with automation that has ultimately reduced the number of manual roles.

Highest paid jobs in every Australian state

According to the ATO’s (Australian Taxation Office) annual Taxation Statistics, some of the top paying jobs in Australia include Surgeons, Anesthetists, Specialist physicians, Psychiatrists, Legal professions, Medical practitioners, Dental practitioners, Financial dealers, consultants and economists, Chemists, Food and Wine Scientists, Mining engineers,  as well as Chief executives and Managing directors. The salary packages range between $139,000 and $480,000 depending on State based on the average taxable income. This information should help prospective students and those seeking to immigrate to Australia, to streamline their applications, develop their skill set and apply for these top paying jobs.

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