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AILA Practice Pointers and Alerts

Practice Alert: New DOS Final Rule Concerning “Birth Tourism” and Medical Treatment for B Visa Applicants

AILA summarizes a DOS final rule set to be effective and published in the Federal Register on 1/24/20 establishing a rebuttable presumption concerning B visa applicants assumed to be entering the United States for the primary purpose of giving birth and obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child.
AILA Doc. No. 20012361

Practice Alert: Submission of FOIA Requests to OBIM

At the beginning of FY2019, the DHS Privacy Office took responsibility for processing requests sent to the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM). The Privacy Office has reached out to AILA to alert its members about best practices when submitting FOIA requests.
AILA Doc. No. 20011501

Practice Alert: OFLC Working On a Fix for LCA Filing Issue in FLAG System

The DOL Liaison Committee provides an update for members from DOL Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) concerning an ongoing issue stakeholders are facing with filing an LCA in FLAG within 178 to 183 days of an anticipated start date.
AILA Doc. No. 20010738

Practice Alert: Improperly Delivered Secure Identity Documents and Original Notices

AILA reached out to USCIS Public Engagement requesting that USCIS review and resolve the issue of improperly delivered documents so that secure identity documents and original notices are properly sent to the attorney of record when designated on the Form G-28.
AILA Doc. No. 20010737

Practice Pointer: Filing When Visa Bulletin Final Action Date is "Current" But Dates For Filing has Cut-Off Date

AILA provides clarification to members concerning filing an adjustment application when the final action date is listed as “Current” or the cutoff date is later than that of the “Dates for Filing” chart designated for use by USCIS.
AILA Doc. No. 19122312

Practice Pointer: Recent BIA Changes Likely to Alter Both Operations and Substance of Decisions

Three recent policy changes at EOIR have the potential to significantly alter both BIA operations and the substance of its decisions. This practice pointer summarizes the main changes made by each policy, how they could work in tandem to change the BIA, and key takeaways for practitioners.
AILA Doc. No. 19122311

Practice Pointer: Proposed Fee Increases and Currently Enjoined Fee Waiver Changes: Impact on U, T, and VAWA Applicants

AILA provides a practice pointer on the USCIS’s fee schedule rule and changes to certain immigration forms that would elevate fees and have a significantly detrimental impact on immigrant survivors.
AILA Doc. No. 19121931

Practice Pointer: FAQs Regarding the New Electronic H-1B Registration Process

On January 24, 2020, AILA updated its practice pointer addressing some of AILA members’ most frequently asked questions regarding the new electronic H-1B registration process, in particular highlighting two upcoming USCIS webinars as well as screen shots of the registration tool, among other things.
AILA Doc. No. 19121838

Practice Pointer: Modernizing Requirements for the Temporary Employment of H-2A Foreign Workers

The DOL Liaison Committee provides a summary of the September 20, 2019, final rule modernizing recruitment requirements for the H-2A program. The rule took effect on October 21, 2019.
AILA Doc. No. 19121833

Practice Pointer: Modernizing Requirements for the Temporary Employment of H-2B Foreign Workers

The DOL Liaison Committee provides a summary of the November 15, 2019, joint DOL and DHS final rule modernizing recruitment requirements for the H-2B program. The rule took effect on December 16, 2019.
AILA Doc. No. 19121832

Practice Advisory: Adjustment Eligibility of TPS Holders After Return With Advance Parole, Even With Initial Entry Without Inspection

AILA and the American Immigration Council provide a practice advisory with arguments as to why USCIS and ICE trial attorney interpretation of the relevance of the Miscellaneous and Technical Immigration and Naturalization Amendments of 1991 (MTINA) is wrong.
AILA Doc. No. 19121301

Practice Alert: USCIS Posted Incorrect Versions of Forms I-924 and I-924A to Its Website and Will Only Accept 11/21/19 Editions Starting 1/1/2020

AILA’s EB-5 Committee provides a practice alert to notify members that USCIS posted incorrect versions of Forms I-924 and I-924A on its website from 11/21/19 through 12/5/19. Members should note that starting 1/1/2020, USCIS will only accept the 11/21/19 editions of these forms.
AILA Doc. No. 19121330

Practice Pointer: Best Practices for Communicating with the NVC

AILA’s DOS Liaison Committee offers a practice pointer on best practices for communicating and resolving case issues with DOS’s National Visa Center (NVC).
AILA Doc. No. 19121231

Practice Alert: OFLC Announces Transition Schedule for Temporary and Seasonal Job Opportunities from the iCERT System Public Job Registry to

The DOL Liaison Committee reminds members of the OFLC’s move to for temporary and seasonal job opportunities. OFLC confirmed on December 6, 2019, that the Public Jobs Registry maintained through iCERT will be decommissioned on December 27, 2019.
AILA Doc. No. 19121033

Practice Pointer: Recent H-1B Cap Exemption Developments for Non-Profit Research Organizations

AILA’s USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Committee provides an updated practice alert regarding recent H-1B cap exemption developments for non-profit research organizations.
AILA Doc. No. 19121032

Practice Alert: DOL Resolves Technical Glitch with Sponsorship Verification Process

DOL has resolved a technical glitch experienced with the Sponsorship Verification process. The DOL Liaison Committee shares recommendations from the DOL concerning checking the status of PERM applications from the past week to ensure that information was properly captured.
AILA Doc. No. 19120637

Practice Alert: Processing of Retrogressed I-485 Applications After Priority Date Becomes Current

AILA’s NBC Liaison Committee issued a practice alert regarding the processing of retrogressed adjustment of status applications after a priority date becomes current. AILA reached out to USCIS requesting that the agency provide procedural guidance and on 12/17/19, USCIS provided responses.
AILA Doc. No. 19120502

Practice Alert: New Edition of I-907 Effective Immediately, No Prior Versions Accepted

AILA’s SCOPS Liaison Committee provides a practice alert regarding a new edition of Form I-907, dated 12/02/19. USCIS has confirmed that there is no grace period for this form. To date, AILA has not received any reports from members regarding rejections of the prior edition of Form I-907.
AILA Doc. No. 19120402

Practice Alert: NVC Closed on December 2, 2019, Due to Inclement Weather

DOS updated its website to indicate that the National Visa Center (NVC) will be closed all day on December 2, 2019, due to inclement weather.
AILA Doc. No. 19120200

Practice Pointer: USCIS Rejection of Form I-589 Due to Claimed Incompleteness

Amid reports suggesting that USCIS is more frequently rejecting Form I-589 due to claimed incompleteness, this practice pointer provides tips regarding completion of the form.
AILA Doc. No. 19112608

Practice Alert: DOL Liaison Committee Monitors New FLAG Forum in AILA’s Message Center

AILA’s Department of Labor (DOL) Liaison Committee provides information on the new Message Center forum concerning the DOL Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) system.
AILA Doc. No. 19112603

Practice Alert: KCC Provides Update on Petition Digital File Transfer from USCIS

AILA’s Department of State Liaison Committee provides responses from the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) to questions concerning its collaboration with USCIS on a digital petition file transfer process.
AILA Doc. No. 19112602

Practice Alert: DOL FLAG System Undergoing Maintenance on November 13, 2019

DOL posted an alert in the FLAG system, notifying stakeholders that the system will be undergoing system maintenance on November 13, 2019, at 5:00 pm (ET).
AILA Doc. No. 19111290

Practice Pointer: Six Considerations in the Rush to File I-526 Petitions Before the New EB-5 Regulation Takes Effect on November 21

AILA’s EB-5 Committee provides a practice pointer regarding six issues that members should consider addressing with their clients during the dash to prepare and file I-526 petitions before the new EB-5 regulation takes effect on November 21, 2019.
AILA Doc. No. 19111102

Practice Pointer: ICE Withdraws Huge Fines Under INA § 274(D)

AILA learned that DHS began sending out fine notices that targeted individuals in sanctuary jurisdictions, ordering them to pay fines of up to nearly $500,000. In October 2019, the Trump administration reversed this policy and withdrew the fines.
AILA Doc. No. 19110732

Practice Pointer: Updating Employer or Attorney Field After Filing ETA FORM 9089

AILA’s DOL Committee shares information from OFLC on updating employer or attorney data on the ETA Form 9089 after it has been submitted.
AILA Doc. No. 19110632

Practice Alert: Continuing Resolution Impacting DOL Appropriations Expires November 21

AILA provides a practice alert on the possible impact of a lapse in funding for DOL.
AILA Doc. No. 19110631

Update on EB-5 Visa Waiting Lines

AILA’s EB-5 Committee summarizes key points from a presentation by Charles Oppenheim, Chief, Immigrant Visa Control & Reporting Division, DOS, at the IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum in Seattle, Washington, on October 29, 2019, addressing important updates relating to EB-5 visa demand.
AILA Doc. No. 19103106

Practice Alert: Pilot Program Being Tested in El Paso to Speed up Removal of Asylum Seekers

AILA provides a practice alert on new pilot program being tested in El Paso, Texas to speed up deportations of asylum seekers.
AILA Doc. No. 19103031

Practice Pointer: Changes to Geographical Areas - Did You Notice?

AILA issued a practice alert after members, especially in the six New England states, reported changes in geographical areas containing wage data in the Occupational Employment Survey (OES). This practice alert explains why the geographical areas may change each July 1.
AILA Doc. No. 19102505

Practice Alert: Update from NVC on Outage of Document Upload Function in CEAC

The DOS Liaison Committee provides an update from the National Visa Center on recently reported issues uploading documents in the CEAC system. The DOS Liaison Committee will continue to report any new developments on this outage.
AILA Doc. No. 19101802

Practice Alert: Automatic Extension of Expired Venezuelan Passports

The CBP Liaison Committee provides background information on the automatic extension of expired Venezuelan passports and recommendations for assisting clients impacted by the extension.
AILA Doc. No. 19101800

Practice Pointer: Navigating the USCIS Contact Center

AILA provides a guide to help our members navigate the USCIS Contact Center in order to make appointments at local USCIS offices as well as create inquiries with USCIS.
AILA Doc. No. 19101631

Practice Pointer: Understanding the DOS Interim Final Rule on Public Charge Grounds

AILA’s DOS Committee provides this practice pointer on the DOS’s Interim Final Rule on Public Charge grounds as it applies to individuals applying for visas. While the IFR took effect on October 15, 2019, DOS has stated that it will not be implemented until a related new form is published.
AILA Doc. No. 19101630

Practice Pointer: Certified English Translations

AILA’s Service Center Operations (SCOPS) Liaison Committee continues to hear reports of USCIS issuing RFE and denials related to English language translations. The SCOPS Liaison Committee reminds members to make sure certified translation complies with 8 CFR §103.2(b)(3).
AILA Doc. No. 17092731

Practice Pointer: EOIR Policy Memo, Use of Status Dockets

AILA Practice Pointer on EOIR policy memo 19-13, use of status dockets. Status cases are "cases in which an immigration judge must delay final adjudication of the case pursuant to law."
AILA Doc. No. 19101405

Practice Alert: Brief Discussion with DOL OFLC Concerning FLAG System Issues

The DOL Committee provides updates from a brief discussion with DOL OFLC concerning reported issues in the FLAG system, especially concerning prevailing wage determinations and LCAs.
AILA Doc. No. 19101108

Practice Pointer: Understanding the New DHS Rule on Public Charge Inadmissibility

AILA, in coordination with Greg McLawson, provides a practice pointer regarding understanding the new DHS rule on public charge inadmissibility that fundamentally changes how DHS will make public charge determinations.
AILA Doc. No. 19101104

Practice Pointer: Requests for Change or Extension of Nonimmigrant Status Are Subject to Heightened Scrutiny Under DHS’s Public Charge Final Rule

This practice pointer address the “public charge condition” imposed on requests for change or extension of nonimmigrant status under the public charge final rule.
AILA Doc. No. 19100305

Practice Alert: DHS Publishes Correction to the Public Charge Final Rule in the Federal Register

AILA provides a practice alert on the publication of a correction to the Public Charge Final Rule in the Federal Register on October 2, 2019. The Alert provides an overview of the types of changes and a detailed explanation on the changes impacting the spouse and children of servicemembers.
AILA Doc. No. 19100202

Practice Alert: USCIS Will Only Accept New Editions of Forms I-485, I-129, I-539, I-864, I-864EZ, and I-944 if Postmarked on or After October 15, 2019

This practice alert notes that, due to implementation of the public charge final rule, USCIS will only accept the new editions of certain form types if postmarked on or after October 15, 2019.
AILA Doc. No. 19093035

Practice Alert: Accessing Copies of the ETA Form 9035 in FLAG for LCA Notice Requirements

The DOL Committee provides information concerning the availability of printed copies of the completed form ETA Form 9035 in the FLAG system for the purposes of complying with LCA notice requirements.
AILA Doc. No. 19093034

Practice Pointer: Effect of Filing an AOS for an Aging-Out Child When Dates for Filing Are Current but Final Action Dates Are Not

AILA’s USCIS HQ Committee provides a practice pointer outlining key considerations for practitioners when filing an adjustment application for a child approaching 21 years of age when the Dates for Filing are current but the Final Action Dates are not.
AILA Doc. No. 19093001

Practice Alert: AILA Reminder on USCIS Filing Addresses

AILA’s SCOPS Liaison Committee issues reminder to check filing locations prior to filing an application or petition.
AILA Doc. No. 19092731

Practice Pointer: How to Request Immigration Case Assistance from a Member of Congress

In recent times, AILA National, as well as our members have experienced difficulty obtaining responses from USCIS on case specific inquiries. In this practice pointer, AILA outlines how to request case assistance from a member of Congress.
AILA Doc. No. 19092708

Practice Alert: President Trump Signed CR Through December 20

On November 21, 2019, President Trump signed a continuing resolution through December 20, 2019.
AILA Doc. No. 19092700

Practice Alert: Advising EB-5 Clients on the Potential Impact of Removal of the Per-Country Numerical Limitation

AILA issues a practice alert summarizing some considerations for EB-5 practitioners and EB-5 clients in analyzing H.R. 1044/S.386 and its implications should it be enacted.
AILA Doc. No. 19092502

Practice Alert: Asylum Ban 2.0

AILA's Asylum & Refugee Committee summarizes the implications of the Supreme Court’s stay of a preliminary injunction of the Asylum Ban 2.0. Without clarification from EOIR, Immigration Judges may issue inconsistent rulings on the question of the asylum ban’s retroactive applicability.
AILA Doc. No. 19092432

Practice Alert: On-Site Inspections for STEM OPT Employment

AILA’s USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Committee provides a practice alert regarding recent reports of on-site inspections for STEM OPT employment.
AILA Doc. No. 19092304

Practice Pointer: Business-Friendly Consular Sections—the Myth and the Reality

AILA’s Business Immigration Response Team provides a practice pointer outlining key considerations for practitioners seeking to identify business-friendly consular sections. Special thanks to Stephen Pattison.
AILA Doc. No. 19092062

Practice Pointer: Effect of the Public Charge Final Rule on U- and T-Visa/VAWA Self-Petitioners

AILA provides a practice pointer explaining that the public charge ground of inadmissibility does not apply to U- or T-visa applicants, U or T nonimmigrants applying to adjust their status, or VAWA self-petitioners.
AILA Doc. No. 19092014

New EB-5 Regulations and the Future of the EB-5 Regional Center Program

AILA’s EB-5 Committee provides information regarding the new EB-5 regulations and the future of the EB-5 Regional Center program. Special thanks to Bernard Wolfsdorf and Joe Barnett for their contributions.
AILA Doc. No. 19092011

Practice Alert: Update on Electronic Filing of H-2A Applications in FLAG System

The DOL Liaison Committee reminds members that as of September 16, 2019, stakeholders may begin preparing H-2A applications (ETA-9142A) and job orders (ETA-790/ETA-790A) in the DOL FLAG system. The committee also shares the DOL transition schedule for H-2A forms in FLAG.
AILA Doc. No. 19091731

Practice Alert: Update on Electronic Filing of LCA in FLAG System

The DOL Liaison Committee reminds members that as of 9/16/19 stakeholders are able to begin preparing LCA applications for H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visas in the FLAG System. These applications may be submitted through FLAG beginning on 10/1/19.
AILA Doc. No. 19091631

Practice Pointer: The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and Its Effect on Immigration

AILA provides a practice pointer on cannabis legalization in Illinois and how the Regulation and Tax Act creates a system for expungement, pardon, and vacating certain cannabis convictions. Special thanks to Lindsay Fullerton.
AILA Doc. No. 19091100

Practice Alert: DOL FLAG Website Remains Vulnerable to Outages Due to LOGIN.GOV

The DOL Committee provides context for a brief FLAG system outage and what it means for the system moving forward.
AILA Doc. No. 19091038

Practice Pointer: DHS’s Public Charge Final Rule Does Not Affect Asylees or Refugees

This practice pointer identifies asylum and refugee-related categories exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility.
AILA Doc. No. 19091031

Practice Alert: USCIS Website Appears to be Encountering a Technical Glitch

In recent weeks, AILA has received reports from members regarding what appears to be several technical glitches on the USCIS website. AILA’s Service Center Operations (SCOPS) Committee is aware of the reported issues and has contacted USCIS to make the agency aware of the issue.
AILA Doc. No. 19090605

Practice Alert: Revision to Reciprocity Schedule for E Visas for French Citizens

Effective 11/12/19, per revisions to the visa schedule for France, the maximum validity of E-1 and E-2 visas for French nationals, including derivatives, is now 25 months.
AILA Doc. No. 19090301

Practice Alert: KCC Confirms Progress on Implementation of Digital Record Transfer System

On August 15, 2019, the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) provided AILA’s Department of State Liaison Committee with an update on its development of a system to digitally transfer nonimmigrant petition copies from USCIS service centers to the KCC.
AILA Doc. No. 19090300

Practice Alert: Denials and Refusals to Adjudicate Military Parole in Place Applications

AILA's USCIS HQ Committee has received reports of high rates of denials and processing delays for military parole in place applications at some USCIS field offices. The committee is also requesting examples, through a survey on this page, of impacted applications to further its advocacy efforts.
AILA Doc. No. 19083036

Update: USCIS Resumes Accepting and Adjudicating Deferred Action Applications for Non-Military Applicants

Today, DHS alerted the Oversight & Reform Committee that at the discretion of the Acting Secretary it would resume “consideration of non-military deferred action requests on a discretionary, case-by-case basis, except as otherwise required by an applicable statute, regulation, or court order.”
AILA Doc. No. 19082334

Practice Alert: EB-3 Categories Made Immediately Unavailable Through End of FY2019

AILA’s Department of State Liaison Committee provides an update from the Department of State’s Charlie Oppenheim that despite information contained in the September 2019 Visa Bulletin, all EB-3 categories have been made immediately “unavailable” through the end of the fiscal year.
AILA Doc. No. 19081690

Practice Alert: New Process for DOS WRD Case Liaison Assistance for J-1 Waivers

AILA’s Department of State Liaison Committee provides an updated case liaison process for Department of State Waiver Review Division (WRD) J-1 waiver inquiries.
AILA Doc. No. 19081537

Practice Alert: DHS’s Public Charge Final Rule

AILA provides a practice alert summarizing the August 14, 2019, DHS final rule on public charge grounds of inadmissibility, flagging anticipated consequences of the rule, and directing AILA members to helpful resources.
AILA Doc. No. 19081430

Practice Alert: DOS Consular Posts' Public-Facing Email Addresses

AILA’s Department of State Liaison Committee provides a list of U.S. posts and, where applicable, the public-facing emails available for contacting each post. The committee has raised a list of the posts without these public-facing email addresses to the attention of the DOS Visa Office.
AILA Doc. No. 19081333

Practice Pointer: Advising Clients Regarding SSA “No-Match” Letters

The Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee provides a practice pointer on Social Security Administration (SSA) no-match letters and provides suggestions that will help AILA members identify legal issues that their clients should consider when deciding how to respond to these letters.
AILA Doc. No. 19080800

Practice Alert: U Visas — Updated Guide for Law Enforcement Certifiers and New Directive on Stay Requests

This practice alert provides information on the updated U visa guide for law enforcement certifiers and on the new ICE directive regarding requests for stays of removal for U visa petitioners.
AILA Doc. No. 19080733

Practice Alert: New Limited Electronic Filing Available for Forms I-192 and I-212

Beginning on July 1, 2019, eligible citizens of visa exempt countries are able to apply for certain nonimmigrant waivers online using the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Electronic Secured Adjudication Forms Environment (e-SAFE) system.
AILA Doc. No. 19080132

Practice Alert: New LegalNet Response System and Review of 214(b) Refusals

AILA’s Department of State Liaison Committee details a new response system for requests for review made through the Department of State’s LegalNet email box. The committee also explains what this means for 214(b) refusals raised to LegalNet.
AILA Doc. No. 19080130

Practice Alert: New Barcode on Form G-28

As of mid-July 2019, USCIS has added a new barcode to the Form G-28 and Form I-90. Other forms will eventually follow.
AILA Doc. No. 19073035

Practice Alert: Certain Indian Wedding Ceremonies May Lead to Allegations of Visa Fraud

The DOS Liaison Committee provides information from a discussion with the Department of State Visa Office concerning allegations of visa fraud concerning Arya Samaj weddings.
AILA Doc. No. 19072991

Practice Alert: USCIS Updates Filing Addresses for Some I-129 Petitions

AILA’s Service Center Operations (SCOPS) Liaison Committee provides a practice alert notifying members that USCIS recently updated its website regarding the direct filing addresses for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
AILA Doc. No. 19072903

Practice Alert: Glitch Causing Problems with I-797 Notices Issued by NBC

AILA’s National Benefits Center Liaison Committee issued a practice alert notifying members of a recent glitch causing issues with I-797 Notices.
AILA Doc. No. 19072262

Practice Alert: Implementation of Expedited Removal Expansion

AILA provides a practice alert with information on DHS's announcement that it is significantly expanding expedited removal.
AILA Doc. No. 19072207

Practice Advisory: Tips for Representing U Visa Respondents

This in-depth practice advisory from AILA and ASISTA provides survivor-based advocacy strategies for U visa applicants at different stages of removal proceedings, including strategies to address ICE and EOIR challenges.
AILA Doc. No. 19071911

Practice Alert: FLAG System Maintenance and Section K Issue in PERM Portal Resolved

The DOL Liaison Committee provides updates on two issues that it had raised to the attention of the DOL Office of Foreign Labor Certification. Both issues appear resolved, as the FLAG system is back online, and DOL has implemented a system fix concerning issues with Section K of the ETA Form 9089.
AILA Doc. No. 19071836

Practice Alert: Videos Replace Interpreters at Hearings

EOIR has begun replacing interpreters at master calendar hearings with prerecorded video advisals. AILA has obtained copies of these videos and is tracking the roll out of this program. If you have additional information, please contact AILA.
AILA Doc. No. 19071832

Practice Pointer: Special Issues in Asylum Seeker and Asylee EAD Applications

This practice pointer provides tips to help attorneys understand and navigate certain requirements that may arise when preparing asylum seeker or asylee EAD applications.
AILA Doc. No. 19071801

Practice Alert: Form I-539 No Longer Eligible for “Courtesy” Premium Processing

AILA’s USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Liaison Committee provides a practice alert noting that in light of the new biometrics requirement for all I-539 applicants, USCIS has discontinued its prior practice of providing premium processing as a courtesy for I-539s filed concurrently with a I-129 petition.
AILA Doc. No. 19071532

Practice Advisory: Constitutional Challenges to Mandatory Immigration Detention After Nielsen v. Preap

The ACLU and advocates provide a practice advisory on the constitutional challenges to mandatory immigration detention after Nielsen v. Preap that authorizes ICE to impose mandatory detention any time after an individual’s predicate criminal offense.
AILA Doc. No. 19071102

Practice Alert: USCIS Shortens Window Between Entry and Credible Fear Interview

BuzzFeed reported that USCIS changed the window between when an immigrant is detained for crossing into the U.S. and when the credible fear interview occurs from 48 hours to one calendar day.
AILA Doc. No. 19071031

Practice Alert: USCIS Closure of International Offices Impacts Applications, Petitions, and Forms Typically Processed by Field Offices Overseas

AILA’s USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Committee updated its practice alert regarding the closure of USCIS international field offices in light of the announcement that USCIS plans to maintain operations at seven of its international field offices.
AILA Doc. No. 19070237

Practice Alert: PERM Special Handling Denials Based on Use of and Appear to Be a Training Issue

AILA’s DOL Liaison Committee provided a practice alert regarding a recent trend of PERM special handling denials where the chosen journals used for recruitment were or AILA was informed by the DOL OFLC that these denials appear to be a training issue.
AILA Doc. No. 19062792

Practice Alert: New Edition of Form I-192 and Extension of Grace Period for Previous Edition of Form I-918

USCIS has released a new edition of Form I-192, dated 4/9/19. AILA reminds member that starting 6/28/19, USCIS will only accept the 4/9/19 edition of Form I-192. USCIS has also extended the grace period for the prior edition of Form I-918.
AILA Doc. No. 19062738

Practice Alert: USCIS Clarifies F2A Applicants May Use the Final Action Dates Chart for July 2019

On 6/26/19, USCIS updated its website to indicate that for family-sponsored filings for July 2019, applicants in the F2A category may file using the Final Action Dates chart in the July 2019 Visa Bulletin. AILA provides a practice alert on the issue.
AILA Doc. No. 19062730

Practice Alert: New Edition of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur

AILA reminds members that in April 2019, USCIS released a new version of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. The new edition is dated 4/15/19. Starting 6/25/19, USCIS will only accept the 4/15/19 edition of Form I-526.
AILA Doc. No. 19062432

Practice Alert: DHS and HHS Provide an Advance Copy of Final Rule to Terminate Flores Settlement Agreement

On 8/23/19, DHS and HHS published a joint final rule to amend regulations related to the apprehension, processing, care, custody, and release of undocumented juveniles in the Federal Register. The rule is effective 10/22/19.
AILA Doc. No. 19062495

Practice Alert: Issuances of NTAs in Denied Humanitarian-Based Immigration Cases

This practice resource from ASISTA, AILA, and other organizations provides strategies for practitioners in light of reports that USCIS recently issued a number of NTAs in connection with denied U and T visa applications.
AILA Doc. No. 19062401

Practice Alert: USCIS Publishes Proposed H-1B Registration Fee Rule

AILA updated its practice alert to notify members that on 9/4/19, USCIS published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to pay a $10 fee for each registration they submit to USCIS.
AILA Doc. No. 19061332

ICE Email to Journalist Confirms 2009 and 2011 Policy Memos Are Still in Effect

In an email sent to a Searchlight New Mexico journalist, ICE confirmed that the 2011 prosecutorial discretion memo and the 2009 Stay of Removal memo for U and T visa petitioners are still in effect.
AILA Doc. No. 19061000

Practice Alert: Changes to Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Application Forms

On 5/31/19, new questions were added to the Forms DS-160/DS-156 Nonimmigrant Visa Application and Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application requiring the disclosure of the applicant’s social media and contact information.
AILA Doc. No. 19060706

Practice Alert: DOL Sets Dates for Implementation of FLAG System

AILA has brought several issues to OFLC’s attention. OFLC has advised that members experiencing issues with the FLAG system should report those issues via the Flag Technical Help Request form or via AILA Liaison.
AILA Doc. No. 19060770

Practice Alert: AG Certifies Cases on Judicial Alteration of a Criminal Conviction or Sentence

AILA provides a practice alert on the AG certification of cases related to the judicial alteration of a criminal conviction or sentence. Attorneys should consider potential holdings to protect client interests. Special thanks to Russell Abrutyn and the Amicus Committee.
AILA Doc. No. 19053035

Practice Alert: EOIR Policy Memo, No Dark Courtrooms

AILA issued a practice alert on EOIR’s policy memo, No Dark Courtrooms, effective Wednesday, 5/1/19. This memo formalizes EOIR’s policy of “no dark courtrooms” and directs “OCIJ managers to ensure…that all blocks of available immigration court time are being utilized for scheduling cases.”
AILA Doc. No. 19052970

Practice Alert: SOC Mismatches on Prevailing Wage Determinations

The DOL Liaison Committee recently brought reports to DOL’s attention concerning several prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) that show a disconnect between the SOC Code and SOC Occupational Title. DOL confirmed that it is aware of this issue and is working on a fix.
AILA Doc. No. 19052435

Practice Alert: Erroneous Rejections of Form I-765 for Liberians with DED

AILA issued this practice alert after being made aware of reports that some Form I-765, Applications for Employment Authorization, with an (A)(11) eligibility code for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) have been erroneously rejected by the Chicago Lockbox.
AILA Doc. No. 19051636

AILA Update: Feeing in a Motion with EOIR at a Local USCIS Office

AILA provides results from the recent call for examples survey concerning feeing in a motion with EOIR at local USCIS field offices, as well as updates on subsequent actions taken with both USCIS and the CIS Ombudsman’s office.
AILA Doc. No. 19050933

Practice Pointer: The Latest on EB-5 Wait Times and Visa Bulletin Projections

AILA’s EB-5 Committee provides a practice pointer summarizing key points from a presentation by Charles Oppenheim, Chief, DOS Visa Control and Reporting Division, at the IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum in Washington, D.C. on May 6, 2019, addressing important updates relating to EB-5 visa demand.
AILA Doc. No. 19050734

Practice Pointer: Immigration Law Ramifications of Unlawful Presence Litigation

AILA’s Administrative Litigation Task Force Chair Ronald Klasko provides a practice pointer discussing the ramifications of the recent district court ruling that enjoined the implementation of USCIS’s 8/9/18 memo on unlawful presence for F, J, and M nonimmigrants.
AILA Doc. No. 19050733

Practice Pointer: T Visa Adjustment of Status and the Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility

AILA’s VAWA, U, and T Committee and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking provides instruction on how to navigate any confusion about the T visa holders’ exemption from the public charge ground of inadmissibility at the adjustment of status stage.
AILA Doc. No. 19050201

Practice Alert: New I-129 Edition

AILA alerts members that USCIS has released a new version for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The new edition is dated 1/31/19 and starting 5/20/19, USCIS will only accept this edition.
AILA Doc. No. 19041932

Practice Alert: System Error at the VSC Affecting Approval Notices

AILA received reports from members of multiple-beneficiary petitions approved by the Vermont Service Center (VSC) that are missing the name of the first beneficiary (alphabetically, by surname) from the I-797B approval notice. AILA reached out to the VSC Premium Processing Unit.
AILA Doc. No. 19041799

Attorney General Barr Strips Bond Eligibility From Asylum Seekers: Matter Of M-S- Analysis And Q&A

AILA, NIJC, Human Rights First, and Women’s Refugee Commission provide analysis and Q&A on Matter of M-S-.
AILA Doc. No. 19041739

Practice Alert: I-94 Numbers Will Be Alphanumeric Starting in May 2019

AILA alerts members that CBP updated its website with a notice informing stakeholders that beginning in May 2019, the format for I-94 numbers will change from numeric to alphanumeric. CBP mentioned that this change would not have an impact on validity of already issued I-94 records.
AILA Doc. No. 19041738

Practice Pointer: Stopped Payment or Bounced Checks and Use of Credit Cards to Pay USCIS Filing Fees

AILA’s USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Liaison Committee provides a practice pointer regarding stopped or bounced checks and credit card payments at USCIS Lockbox facilities, and reminds practitioners of the consequences of a stopped payment or bounced check on a benefit request filed with USCIS.
AILA Doc. No. 19041735

Practice Pointer: Determining Whether INA §212(e) Is Triggered by the J-1 Skills List

AILA’s DOS Liaison Committee provides recommendations for how to determine whether a J-1 exchange visitor client is subject to the home residency requirement by utilizing the DOS Skills List published in the Federal Register.
AILA Doc. No. 18031939

Practice Pointer: Revised USCIS Interview Waiver Guidance for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

AILA’s USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Liaison Committee provides a practice pointer on the 11/30/2019 USCIS policy memorandum, which provides guidance to officers on waiving the interview requirement for Form I-751 and sets forth the factors that officers must consider before an interview may be waived.
AILA Doc. No. 19040830

ILRC Issues USCIS Fraud Tip Form Fact Sheet and Template Comment

USCIS published for notice and comment a proposed form for receiving information from the public concerning purported immigration fraud. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has created a fact sheet on the form, as well as a comment template, that advocates can use to oppose the proposal.
AILA Doc. No. 19040800

Practice Alert: Problems with Feeing in Motions and Applications with Local USCIS Field Offices

AILA has received reports of difficulties experienced at local USCIS offices when attempting to fee in an EOIR motion/application via an InfoPass appointment, or in emergency situations via walk-in. AILA solicited examples and raised several to the attention of USCIS and the CIS Ombudsman.
AILA Doc. No. 19040230

Practice Alert: Additional 30,000 H-2B Visas to be Made Available for the Remainder of FY2019

DHS and DOL issued a joint temporary final rule increasing the H-2B cap for FY2019 by an additional 30,000 visas. Employers will be able to request these supplemental visas only for workers who were issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status in FY2016, 2017, or 2018.
AILA Doc. No. 19032933

Practice Alert: DOL Delays in Completing Business Verification (FEIN) Requests

The DOL Liaison Committee provides a practice alert on DOL delays in completing business verification (FEIN) requests, reminding members seeking verification that they should check the status of a request in the DOL iCert portal system for time-sensitive filings.
AILA Doc. No. 19032770

Practice Pointer: Expert Opinion Testimony - Yes, It’s Evidence USCIS Should Consider!

AILA’s California and Vermont Service Center Liaison Committees provide a practice pointer intended to equip practitioners with legal authority for USCIS’s consideration of an expert opinion when responding to a Request for Evidence (RFE) and including an expert opinion.
AILA Doc. No. 19032230

Practice Alert: Ongoing Technical Difficulties with Form DS-3035

AILA’s DOS Liaison Committee provides on update on ongoing technical difficulties with Form DS-3035 addressed during the October 2018 liaison meeting.
AILA Doc. No. 19032031

Practice Pointer: When Is a Photocopy of an Original Signature Acceptable?

AILA’s USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Liaison Committee provides a practice pointer summarizing the signature requirements for each form type, in particular designating which form instructions explicitly designate that a copy of an original “wet” signature will be accepted by USCIS.
AILA Doc. No. 19010900

Practice Alert: L-1 Adjudications at Ports of Entry for Canadian Citizens

AILA’s CBP Liaison Committee provides a timeline of its engagements with CBP concerning policy changes in subsequent L-1 adjudications at the port of entry under NAFTA. The committee also provides a summary of legal arguments and policy considerations raised with CBP in April 2019.
AILA Doc. No. 19030730

Practice Alert: USCIS Updates Filing Addresses for I-129 Petitions

AILA’s California Service Center Liaison Committee provided a practice alert notifying members that USCIS has recently updated its filing addresses for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
AILA Doc. No. 19031100

Practice Alert: USCIS Publishes Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A

On 3/8/19, USCIS published to its website revised Form I-539 and new Form I-539A and instructions for these forms. USCIS will continue accepting Form I-539 with an edition date of 12/23/16 until 3/21/19, as long as it is received by USCIS by that date.
AILA Doc. No. 19021234

Practice Alert: AILA’s EB-5 Committee Provides an Update on EB-5 Visa Backlog

AILA’s EB-5 Committee provided a practice alert on the EB-5 visa backlog. Special thanks for AILA members Bernard Wolfsdorf, Robert Blanco, and Carolyn Lee for their contributions.
AILA Doc. No. 19030631

Practice Pointer: Filing Tips and Resources for FY2020 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions

In preparation for the FY2020 H-1B nonimmigrant visa cap season, AILA provides practical filing tips and related resources.
AILA Doc. No. 19030601

Practice Pointer: Understanding and Addressing the “Five-Year Bar” When Applying for a Visa

The DOS Liaison Committee issued a practice pointer on the five-year bar under INA §212(a)(6)(B) and the grounds of inadmissibility for an individual who without reasonable cause, fails to appear for a removal proceeding or has an in absentia removal order and is now seeking admission to the U.S.
AILA Doc. No. 19022840

Practice Alert: Alternative Options After Suspension of Visa Processing at U.S. Consulate in Caracas, Venezuela

DOS has confirmed that while the U.S. Consular Section in Caracas, Venezuela, is unable to process immigrant (IV) and nonimmigrant visas (NIV), the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, has been designated as the primary filing location for IV applications. NIV applicants may file at any consular post.
AILA Doc. No. 19021333

Practice Alert: USCIS Publishes Final Regulation Making Significant Changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

AILA updated its practice alert with information on the USCIS final rule, published in the Federal Register on 7/24/19, making significant changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The final rule is scheduled to take effect on 11/21/19.
AILA Doc. No. 19022542

Practice Alert: Proposed H-4 EAD Rescission Regulation Pending Review at OMB

AILA notes that the proposed DHS H-4 EAD rescission regulation is currently pending review with OMB. Once OMB completes review, a notice of proposed rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register and open for public comment.
AILA Doc. No. 19022203

Practice Alert: DOS Considers Reorganization of Consular Affairs Attorneys

AILA has learned that DOS is considering a reorganization that would result in Bureau of Consular Affairs lawyers becoming part of the Office of the Legal Adviser.
AILA Doc. No. 19022134

Practice Alert: Omnibus Spending Bill Provides Limited H-2B Cap Relief for FY2019

On February 15, 2019, President Trump signed an omnibus spending bill which includes a provision providing limited cap relief to H-2B employers during FY2019. The Secretary of Homeland Security has yet to announce how many additional H-2B visas will be made available for the remainder of FY2019.
AILA Doc. No. 19021940

Practice Pointer: H-1B Petitions for the Same Beneficiary and Considerations for the FY2020 H-1B Cap Season

AILA’s USCIS Service Center Operations Liaison Committee provides a practice pointer discussing the potential consequences of employers filing a FY2020 H-1B cap-subject petition while a FY2019 petition for the same beneficiary remains pending.
AILA Doc. No. 19021547

Practice Pointer: Validity of Form I-693 Medical Exams

AILA’s National Benefits Center Liaison Committee provides a practice pointer discussing the October 16, 2018, USCIS announcement that it was updating its policy guidance regarding the period of validity of Form I-693.
AILA Doc. No. 19021540

Practice Pointer: Prudential Revocation of Nonimmigrant Visas

AILA’s DOS Liaison Committee provides information concerning the legal authority to revoke a visa, as well as when a revocation becomes effective. The committee also provides an update from the 10/18/18 DOS liaison meeting, in which the committee addressed several issues concerning visa revocations.
AILA Doc. No. 18072406

Practice Pointer: Arguing Against Pretermission of Asylum Cases in Immigration Court in the Aftermath of Matter of A-B- and Matter of E-F-H-L-

This practice pointer describes arguments that attorneys may make when immigration judges pretermit asylum applications without affording the applicants an individual calendar hearing at which they can present testimony and other evidence in support of their asylum cases.
AILA Doc. No. 19021130

Practice Alert: Update on USCIS Practice of Denying Pending Forms I-131 for Abandonment Due to International Travel

USCIS indicated that if an applicant files Form I-131 to request an advance parole document and departs the United States without possession of an advance parole document that is valid for the entire time the applicant is abroad, USCIS will consider the pending Form I-131 to be abandoned.
AILA Doc. No. 17081867

Practice Pointer: Changes to the InfoPass Scheduling System at Local USCIS Field Offices

AILA’s USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee provides information and updates on the expansion of the Information Services Modernization (InfoMod) Program. Under the program, in-person appointments will be scheduled only for document services and emergencies.
AILA Doc. No. 18020500

Practice Alert: Long-Pending I-765 and I-131 Applications at the NBC

AILA provides a practice alert on long-pending EAD/AP applications at the National Benefits Center.
AILA Doc. No. 18100503

Practice Alert: DHS Publishes Final Regulation Governing H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

DHS released a copy of a final rule that amends the regulations governing H-1B petitions that are filed under the H-1B cap. Note, DHS is suspending the electronic registration requirement for the FY2020 H-1B cap filing season.
AILA Doc. No. 18111639

Call for Examples: DHS Issuing NTAs with Fake Times and Dates

Back in 2015, EOIR used a “parking date” of November 29, 2019, to help manage its immigration court docket. AILA is trying to gauge if these hearings have been rescheduled. Please submit your examples if you have a hearing on that date.
AILA Doc. No. 18091858

Practice Alert: Technical Issues Causing Online Form DS-160 to Time Out

AILA has received reports of technical problems with the functioning of the online Form DS-160, causing the form to time out after only a few minutes. According to a recent update from the Department of State, this issue has been identified and resolved.
AILA Doc. No. 19013141

Practice Alert: DOS and Mission China Alert to Changes in H and L Processing

The Department of State (DOS) and Mission China shared information concerning a plan to consolidate the processing of H and L visa applications. Starting 3/1/19 interviews will now be held only at the U.S. Embassy Bejing, U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou, and U.S. Consulate General Shanghai.
AILA Doc. No. 19013039

Filing DACA Applications in the Wake of Federal Court Rulings

AILA updated its practice alert after the Supreme Court agreed to hear several cases challenging the rescission of DACA.
AILA Doc. No. 18011035

Practice Alert: What Happens If the Government Shuts Down?

Drawing on information from government announcement and past government shutdowns, AILA provides an overview as to how this shutdown may impact immigration-related agencies. We will update this practice alert as new information becomes available.
AILA Doc. No. 17042640

Practice Alert: Foreign Labor Certification Wage Library Back Online

After being down for almost a day, as of 1/23/19 it appears that the Department of Labor Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) wage library is back online.
AILA Doc. No. 19012245

Practice Alert: USCIS Checklists Do Not Replace Statutory, Regulatory, and Form Instruction Requirements

AILA’s USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Liaison Committee provides a practice alert regarding USCIS’ checklists of required initial evidence and reminds members of the importance of consulting the applicable statute, regulations, and form instructions before submitting a benefit request to USCIS.
AILA Doc. No. 19012200

Practice Alert: AILA’s Case Liaison Assistance Process for USCIS Service Centers

Due to changes to USCIS’s public inquiry escalation process, AILA has updated its individual case liaison assistance procedures for cases pending at the USCIS Service Centers.
AILA Doc. No. 16061604

Practice Pointer: New USCIS L-1 Policy Ushers in Restrictive Interpretation of the One-Year Abroad Requirement

This Practice Pointer breaks down the policy changes implemented by the November 15, 2018, USCIS memo, “Satisfying the L-1 1-Year Foreign Employment Requirement,” which became effective on November 29, 2018. Special thanks to Vaman Kidambi, Kathleen Campbell Walker, and Turid Owren.
AILA Doc. No. 19011730

Practice Alert: Payment of Visa Fees at U.S. Consulates in Mexico

AILA’s DOS Liaison Committee provides updates from a conversation from the 10/18/18 liaison meeting with DOS concerning payment of visa fees at U.S. consulates in Mission Mexico.
AILA Doc. No. 19011130

Practice Alert: Accessing Older Versions of the FAM Through Internet Archive Websites

AILA’s DOS Liaison Committee provides guidance for using internet archive websites, such as the Wayback Machine, to access older versions of the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) and other agency documents.
AILA Doc. No. 19011132

Practice Pointer: Resolving PIMS Issues and Understanding KCC’s Role

AILA’s Department of State Liaison Committee provides assistance in resolving common issues with the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) and understanding the Kentucky Consular Center’s (KCC’s) role in fraud review and consular returns.
AILA Doc. No. 18031336

Practice Alert: iCERT System Outage Updates for All Users

On January 7, the iCERT system reopened. DOL indicates that as of January 8, the OFLC has received approximately 5,276 H-2B applications covering more than 96,400 workers. Members encountering issues in accessing or filing through the system are encouraged to contact DOL at
AILA Doc. No. 19010231

Practice Pointer: LegalNet Scope of Review of Nonimmigrant Visa Refusals

The Department of State Liaison Committee discusses the scope of LegalNet review for inquiries concerning nonimmigrant visa refusals under INA section 214(b), as well as refusals based on unfavorable findings from DHS.
AILA Doc. No. 19011001

Practice Pointer: Filing Mandamus to Request Adjudications of H-1Bs for Cap-Gap Beneficiaries

AILA’s Administrative Litigation Task Force provides a practice pointer regarding filing mandamus actions in district court to request adjudications of H-1B petitions for F-1 cap-gap beneficiaries, which includes a sample mandamus complaint for H-1B cap-gap cases.
AILA Doc. No. 18100370

Practice Alert: FY2019 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions Still Pending with the CSC

AILA provides a practice alert regarding FY2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions which remain pending with the California Service Center. USCIS has indicated that it is unable to provide a timeframe for the processing of these cases but that it is working diligently to process them as soon as possible.
AILA Doc. No. 19010232