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This Week in Immigration News: Return of Unselected H-1B Petitions, Delay in Implementation of NTA Policy, and I-751 Petition Transfers

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Return of Unselected H-1B Petitions

H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in the fiscal year 2019 visa lottery have been returned to unlucky applicants. If you filed a petition between April 2 and April 6 and you did not receive a receipt notice for your application, you will be receiving your returned petitions in the mail by August 13. If you do not receive a returned petition by this date, you should contact USCIS.

Updated NTA Policy

On June 28th USCIS issued a policy memorandum providing updated guidance for the referral of cases and issuances of notices to appear (NTAs) in cases involving inadmissible and deportable aliens. The policy memorandum outlines the Department of Homeland Security’s priorities for removal as well as guidelines for referring cases and issuing NTAs.

Under the updated policy the following classes of aliens are prioritized for removal, aliens who are removable based on criminal or security grounds, fraud or misrepresentation, and aliens subject to expedited removal,” as well as alienswho, regardless of the basis for removal:

(a) Have been convicted of any criminal offense;

(b) Have been charged with any criminal offense that has not been resolved;

(c) Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;

(d) Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;

(e) Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;

(f) Are subject to a final order of removal, but have not departed; or

(g) In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security”

Today, USCIS announced that it is postponing implementation of this policy guidance because operational guidance has not yet been provided to immigration officers. The policy memorandum gave USCIS 30 days to implement proper protocols for NTA issuance consistent with the updated policy memorandum. We will notify our readers once we receive information about when the NTA policy will be implemented.

I-751 Workload Transfers

USCIS has notified I-751 applicants that it has transferred some I-751 petitions from the California Service Center to the Vermont and Texas Service Centers to alleviate the workload at the California Service Center. USCIS has provided the following information regarding affected applications, “On occasion, we transfer cases between our five service centers in order to balance our workload and promote timely processing. If we transfer your case, we will send you a transfer notice. Your receipt number will not change, and the transfer will not delay the processing of your case. You should continue to file your forms according to the existing form instructions. You can find the correct filing address listed under the “Where to File” section in the form instructions and on the form Web page.”

We will be notifying our clients if their cases have been transferred, but expect no significant delays in the processing of these applications.