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What’s New in Immigration?

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It is our pleasure to bring you the latest in immigration news including recent USCIS announcements, workload updates, tips, and important reminders to avoid delays in application processing or rejections. For more information please contact our office.

Comment Period for Proposed USCIS Form Revisions:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have proposed changes to the following USCIS forms. DHS and USCIS invite the general public, organizations, and federal agencies to submit comments on the proposed revisions by the deadlines outlined below:

  • Form I-131A Application for Travel Document (carrier documentation)

Deadline: December 1, 2015

  • Form N-400 Application for Naturalization

Deadline: November 12, 2015

  • Form I-130 and Form I-130A Petition for Alien Relative

Deadline: December 14, 2015

  • Form I-694 Notice of Appeal of Decision under Section 210 or 245A

Deadline: November 19, 2015

In the month of September, DHS and USCIS also published proposed revisions for Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé (e) and FOIA regulations however the comment period has now ended for these revisions.

New Direct Filing Address Applies to Form I-140 petitions filed along with Form I-907 for Worksites in MD, NJ, NY, and PA

Beginning October 19, 2015 the direct filing address for Form I-140 petitions submitted along with Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, has changed for the following worksite locations:

  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

These forms must now be filed with the Nebraska Service Center at the following address:

USPS Service:

Premium Processing

USCIS Nebraska Service Center

P.O. Box 87103

Lincoln, NE 68501-7103

Courier Service:

Premium Processing

USCIS Nebraska Service Center

850 S. Street

Lincoln, NE 68508

Important Note: If you wish to upgrade your I-140 petition to premium processing, you must file Form I-907 with the service center where the I-140 is currently pending.

Workload Transfers for select I-140 and Employment Based I-485 Petitions

USCIS recently announced that it has re-balanced the workload for select I-140 and employment based I-485 petitions. These petitions will be processed at either the Texas Service Center or Nebraska Service Center to improve efficiency. If you are filing an I-140 petition along with an I-907 request for premium processing and the worksite location is not in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania you will continue to follow the direct filing address instructions on the CIS website for Forms I-140 and I-485.

Rejection Alert: Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination revision date 3/30/2015

Immigrants obtaining Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination from an authorized civil surgeon as part of their application for permanent residence, must be sure the civil surgeon is using the correct version of the form with revision date 3/30/2015. USCIS has circulated an email as a reminder that as of July 27, 2015 any other versions of Form I-693 will be rejected and must be re-submitted with the correct version. The civil surgeon should check that they are completing the current form by visiting the CIS website.

I-600 Petitions Filed on Behalf of Children from the Republic of Korea to be adjudicated at USCIS Seoul Field Office

USCIS has announced that beginning October 1, 2015 the National Benefits Center (NBC) will cease to adjudicate I-600 petitions filed on behalf of children from the Republic of Korea. The NBC will be transferring approvable petitions to the USCIS Seoul Field Office. Direct filing address for I-600 petitions will remain unchanged. According to CIS, once an I-600 petition is received by the NBC, the NBC will conduct pre-processing of an I-600 petition to ensure the completion of the application with all necessary supporting documentation. The NBC may issue the petitioner a Request for Evidence (RFE), Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), and issue a denial notice if the petitioner fails to establish that the child qualifies for the orphan classification. After favorable review and pre-processing of an I-600 petition, the NBC will issue a Notice of Transfer indicating the transfer of the case to the USCIS field office in Seoul. For more information on these changes please click here.

Secure Laminates for Travel Documents

As a fraud and counterfeiting prevention mechanism USCIS announced that beginning October 5, 2015 secure laminates will be applied to Form I-797F Transportation Letter and Form I-512L Parole Authorization Letters. This will preserve the integrity of travel documents and protect recipient identity.

USCIS Request to File Form I-90 Applications Online:

USCIS has requested that I-90 applicants file their applications through the USCIS Ellis electronic system in order to streamline the processing of these petitions. According to USCIS, 47% of I-90 applications received are filed electronically. While paper I-90 applications continue to be accepted by CIS, there is a slight delay once CIS receives the application since the application is then transferred to an electronic record.

USCIS Field Office in Vienna, Austria to Close Permanently on December 31, 2015

On October 22, 2015 USCIS announced that the USCIS field office in Vienna, Austria will be permanently closing at the end of the year. The Vienna office will cease to accept applications and be open to the public on November 30, 2015. The Vienna office presently serves the following jurisdictions: Austria, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. USCIS field offices in Frankfurt, Rome, and Athens will distribute the workload for these jurisdictions beginning January 1, 2016 as follows:

The USCIS field office in Frankfurt, Germany will take over the jurisdictions of Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

The USCIS field office in Rome will take over the jurisdictions of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia.

The USCIS field office in Athens, Greece will take over the jurisdictions of Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Applicants living in these jurisdictions must note any changes in USCIS filing instructions beginning December 1, 2015. For more information please click here.

Reminder: N-400 Filing Fee Payable by Credit Card

You may pay for your N-400 Application for Naturalization filing fee by credit card by filing G-1450 Authorization for Credit Card Transaction along with your N-400 petition. Acceptable credit cards include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover as well as gift cards with those logos. The entire fee must be paid using a single card. For more information please click here.