March 2019 Newsletter
1. Continuation of Worldwide Backlog, USCIS’ Final Decision on Green Card Applications Submitted by China-Mainland Born Applicants Moved Forward 14 Days, for EB-1 Green Cards
The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) most recently released Visa Bulletin for March 2019 shows a continuation of worldwide backlog for EB-1. The priority date in which USCIS gives the final decision on green card applications already submitted by China-Mainland born applicants has moved forward 14 days.
As with February, USCIS will accept adjustment of status applications based on the “Dates of Filing” charts for family-based cases, and the “Final Action Dates” for employment-based cases.
The March 2019 Visa Bulletin can be found here.
2. H-1B Work Visa USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions Submitted on or Before December 21, 2018
On February 19, 2019, USCIS resumed premium processing service for all H-1B petitions submitted on or before December 21, 2019. If this applies to your pending H-1B Petition, including any H-1B transfers or amendments, you may apply to request expedited case processing.
USCIS’ alert can be found here.
Final Sprint for H-1B FY 2020 Petitions
With only one month left before petitions are submitted to USCIS for the FY 2020 cap season, ALG would like to remind you that if 1) the offered position qualifies as a specialty occupation; 2) the employee has obtained at least a baccalaureate education in the specific specialty occupation; and 3) the wages paid to the employee is above the prevailing wage, this is the final sprint in preparing for your H-1B FY 2020 petitions!
ALG attorneys have extensive experience working on H-1B cases. Just for the H-1B FY 2019 cap season alone, ALG has attained an approval rate of 96%. Reach out to us now to prepare your H-1B visa!
3. The Ombudsman Clarifies Policy Change for Pending Advance Parole Renewal Applications The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (Ombudsman) is an impartial and confidential resource for the public that is independent of USCIS. The Ombudsman is dedicated to improving the quality of citizenship and immigration services delivered to the public by providing individual case assistance, as well as making recommendations to improve the administration of immigration benefits by USCIS.
On February 8, 2019, the Ombudsman issued a message regarding a change in USCIS’ practice of denying pending advance parole applications due to international travel. The Ombudsman confirms that in November 2018, USCIS Director Francis Cissna confirmed a change in policy: provided that the applicant holds an approved advanced parole document that is valid for the entire duration of his/her time abroad, USCIS will not consider this as abandonment of the pending renewal application.
The Ombudsman’s message can be found here.
ALG SUCCESS STORIES
EB-1A Petition Approved within 8 Days for Medical Researcher in Orthopedic Clinical, Stems Cells and Tissue Engineering Research
Dr. C is an extraordinary research scientist and medical doctor in the field of orthopedic clinical, stems cells and tissue engineering research and its clinical application. The research on stem cells, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine puts scientists working in this field at the top of their profession. Dr. C is regarded as one of the top Chinese experts in the field and is the best representative of this elite group of scientists. Given Dr. C’s extraordinary scientific knowledge and the significance of his pioneering inventions and research on clinical applications, ALG filed and obtained EB-1A approval for him as a person of extraordinary ability.
To demonstrate Dr. C’s extraordinary ability, ALG submitted evidence of invention awards and outstanding science awards received because of his studies and clinical applications; published materials and interviews about Dr. C and his achievements in professional publications; the results of his work as a judge for medical science awards and as a reviewer of medical periodicals; his securement of several patents in the field that were applied in bone regeneration treatments and therapies; and his scholarly article publications that have over 2000 citations, with one research paper being cited over 250 times.
USCIS approved this EB-1A petition in 8 days without a request for additional evidence.
L-1A Petition Approved in 2 Months for General Manager of Cosmetic Trading Company Ms. M had been serving as the General Manager of a Chinese cosmetic trading company for a year and a half where she oversaw a total of 42 employees. The U.S. affiliate company hoped to transfer Ms. M as General Manager to develop its U.S. market and have her oversee a sales team of 2 employees in the U.S.
ALG attorneys expressed concern over the U.S. company’s personnel plan and the minimal capital investment. However, since Ms. M strongly insisted on filing as is, ALG submitted the petition, resulting in an extensive RFE notice from USCIS within 2 weeks. ALG attorneys carefully analyzed the RFE notice and advised Ms. M to adjust the company’s organizational structure and personnel plan. After doing so, ALG withdrew the original petition, drafted a detailed petition letter to explain the adjustment of the U.S. company’s business plan, and refiled the L-1A petition.
Even with a request for additional evidence, which ALG attorneys swiftly responded to, USCIS approved this refiled L-1A petition within 2 months of initial submission.