December 14, 2015
USCIS has announced that for January, Family-Based Adjustment of Status applicants can use the "Filing Dates" listed on the Department of State's January 2016 Visa Bulletin. Employment-Based Applicants, however, can only use the "Final Action Dates" to determine when they are eligible to submit Adjustment of Status applications.
December 2, 2015
In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, the White House announced immediate changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which permits visa-free travel to the U.S. for citizens of 38 program partner countries around the world. Most notably, the U.S. will bar from the VWP anyone who has traveled to a country that State Department officials consider a “terrorist safe haven”, such as Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Lebanon or Libya. Citizens from VWP countries who have traveled to one or more of these countries will instead need to obtain a visitor’s (B-1/B-2) visa at an U.S. consulate before traveling to the U.S. The White House has also announced it is considering implementing a pilot program to collect biometrics information (fingerprints and photographs) from all potential VWP travelers as part of their VWP application, and before they board their U.S.-bound flight. Furthermore, the U.S. is considering increasing fines to $50,000 (up from $5,000) for airlines that fail to properly verify a traveler’s passport data (passport number, country of issue, and expiration date) in CBP’s Advance Passenger Information System during the check-in process. While these immediate changes will have little impact on a vast majority of the estimated 20 million annual VWP visitors, future changes to the program – such as a biometrics requirement – may cause significant delays in the (what is now very rapid) VWP travel authorization process. We will continue to monitor these changes and other proposed changes to the VWP and provide updates as they become available.