The US Embassy in Havana, Cuba is now open. It is located Calzada between L and M Streets, Vedado, Havana. Its hours are Monday thru Thursday from 8am to 4:30pm and Fridays from 8am to 3:30pm. As with all other consular posts, it is closed on both US holidays and the holidays of the host country, Cuba.
Immigration Reform is not law yet
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USCIS has announced that it has resumed accept Premium Processing applications for H-1B extensions.
The US Department of State has issued the priority dates to be used by itself and USCIS for immigrant visas during the month of August.
In the family based categories, there was no movement in the F1 for Mexico and Philippines, the F2B for Mexico, the F3 for Mexico and Philippines, and the F4 for Mexico. All other categories advanced.
US will open Embassy in Cuba on July 20th. Some in Congress are threatening to withhold money and confirmation of an ambassador.
USCIS has announced TPS for Nepal.
The registration period for TPS began today, June 24th and will end on December 21st.
To be eligible for TPS, applicants must have been continuously in the US since at least June 24th.
The US Department of State has issued the priority dates to be used by itself and USCIS for immigrant visas during the month of July.
In the family based categories, the F1, F2B, and F4 categories for Mexico did not move. All other categories advanced.
The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit voted two to one to allow Judge Hanen injunction to stand in the lawsuit that is challenging President Obama’s expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and his new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).
Republicans in both houses of Congress have filed an amicus brief with the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit strongly opposing DACA. Among those filing the brief are Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both of whom are running for President. It is therefore almost certain that, if elected, they will do away with DACA.
Those signing the brief are:
USCIS has updated its statement regarding the start of Premium Processing for H-1Bs subject to the cap. It has announced that Premium Processing will begin on April 27th.
Employers wishing to upgrade their filings to Premium Processing will need to have the receipt number of the H-1B filing in order to do so.
USCIS has announced that it received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the April 1 - April 7, 2015 filing period. There are only 85,000 visas available (65,000 general cap, plus 20,000 US advance degree cap), meaning that less than half of the received applications will be processed.
The US Department of State has issued the priority dates to be used by itself and USCIS for immigrant visas during the month of May.
In the family based categories, the F1 category for Philippines did not move. All other categories advanced.
USCIS has announced that the H-1B caps have been reached. It will now enter all the applications received through close of business Friday, April 7, 2015, into their system so that they can then run the lottery to select those applications that will be processed.
There are reports throughout the US that at least some ICE officers have stopped honoring the Prosecutorial Discretion Memos and are in fact arresting people who could be eligible for the expanded DACA and for PAPA, the two programs that were placed on hold by Judge&
USCIS will begin accepting application for EADs for some H-4s beginning on May 26th.
The H-4s that will be eligible for EADs are spouses of H-1Bs who either qualify for an extension beyond the six-year maximum because they have a labor certification or I-140 that has been pending for one year or more, or who have an approved I-140.
Judge Andrew S. Hanen, of the Southern District of Texas, has issued a preliminary injunction barring the Department of Homeland Security from proceeding with the Deferred Action provisions of President Obama’s November 20, 2014 announcement. This includes the expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action and the Deferred Action for parents of US citizens.
USCIS has announced that it will begin accepting application for Deferred Action (DACA) for those individuals who entered the US under the age of 16 and have continuously been in the US since before January 1, 2010.
It will begin doing so on February 18th. Federal District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued a preliminary injunction on February 16th preventing the government from starting the expanded DACA as planned.
Republicans sue President Obama to try to stop the Deferred Action plans Obama announced on November 20, 2014.
The Republican lawsuits, including one filed by Sheriff Arpaio, have a very low probability of success on the merits, but could derail Obama’s actions.