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Featured Issues

Featured Issue: Form ETA-9089 in DOL’s FLAG System

On 6/1/23, DOL officially implemented the new ETA 9089, Application for Permanent Labor Certification, into the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) system. AILA’s DOL Liaison Committee provides a compilation resources relevant to this change.

2/20/24 AILA Doc. No. 23071923. Business Immigration, Labor Certification (Permanent)
Practice Resources

Practice Pointer: Understanding ICE’s “Using a Victim-Centered Approach with Noncitizen Crime Victims” Directive

The ICE Committee provides a practice resource on using the ICE Victim-Centered Memo to advance your client’s interest.

2/20/24 AILA Doc. No. 24022003. T & U Status
Agency Memos & Announcements

AAO Processing Time Report (1/19/24)

The AAO provided an updated processing time chart, with information on the timeliness of FY2024 completions (October - December 2023). The chart includes, by form type, the total number of completions for the quarter and the percentage completed within 180 days, the AAO’s processing goal.

1/19/24 AILA Doc. No. 24022002.
FR Regulations & Notices

DOS Signs Exchange Visitor Program MOU with Germany

DOS issued public notice that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding and waiver of certain regulatory requirements of the Exchange Visitor Program with the Federal Republic of Germany. This action was effective on 11/15/23. (89 FR 12937, 2/20/24)

2/20/24 AILA Doc. No. 24022001. Students & Schools
Agency Memos & Announcements, FR Regulations & Notices

White House Issues Memo on Deferred Enforced Departure for Certain Palestinians

President Biden issued a determination on 2/14/24 announcing that the United States will defer for 18 months the removal of any Palestinian subject to the conditions and exceptions provided. (89 FR 12743, 2/20/24)

Federal Agencies, Agency Memos & Announcements

ICYMI: USCIS Increase to Premium Processing Fees Goes Into Effect on February 26

USCIS announcement on an inflation adjustment to premium processing fees as authorized under the USCIS Stabilizations Act. The adjustment increases certain premium processing fees from $1,500 to $1,685, $1,750 to $1,965, and $2,500 to $2,805. The fee changes will go into effect on Feb. 26, 2024.

AILA Doc. No. 23122732. Business Immigration
Professional Resources, Law Practice Assistance

Ten Tips for Improving the Virtual Firm Experience

Having a virtual law firm has many benefits, but there is always another side of the coin. Take these 10 tips on how to make a virtual practice more sustainable to heart and build a practice that truly works for you, from your dedicated Practice & Professionalism Center.

6/25/21 AILA Doc. No. 21062530. Practice Management
Agency Memos & Announcements

USCIS Provides FAQs on H-1B Organizational Accounts

After USCIS held Tech Talks sessions on the new USCIS organizational accounts in preparation for the FY2025 H-1B electronic registration season and online filing of Form I-129 and Form I-907 for H-1B petitions, USCIS provided FAQs on the organizational accounts.

1/30/24 AILA Doc. No. 24013000. Business Immigration, H-1B & H-1B1 Specialty Occupation
Immigration News

Daily Immigration News Clips – February 20, 2024

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on February 20, 2024.

2/20/24 AILA Doc. No. 24022000.
Practice Resources

Practice Alert: myUSCIS Accounts Continue to Experience Outages

AILA National and USCIS are aware of ongoing issues with myUSCIS. USCIS has let AILA know that it is working to resolve the issues. AILA is not collecting further examples of this issue.

2/16/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021531.
AILA Announcements

Reserve Your Spot at the First-Ever AILA Law Journal Symposium

The AILA Law Journal Symposium will be held on 3/21/24 in conjunction with the AILA Spring CLE Conference at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C. The topic of the symposium is “Shaping Immigration Policy through the Federal Courts.” Space is limited. Secure your spot now!

Practice Resources

Practice Pointer: New Fee for Forms I-129, I-129CW, and Form I-140 and Revised Fee Structure for Forms I-129 and I-485

The new USCIS fee schedule implements new fees and a revised fee structure for certain forms beginning April 1, 2024. AILA highlights the new fee that will be assessed on all Forms I-129, I-129CW, and I-140 and explains the new fee structures for Form I-129 and Form I-485.

2/16/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021407. Adjustment of Status
Client Flyers

Client Flyer: What You Need to Know About DOS Stateside Processing of Certain H-1Bs

AILA provides a flyer for you to share with clients to help them understand the basics of DOS’s pilot program that allows certain H-1B visa holders to renew their visas without having to leave the United States. There are two versions available: a generic PDF version and a customizable Word version.

2/16/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021601. Business Immigration, H-1B & H-1B1 Specialty Occupation
DOJ/EOIR Cases

BIA Finds New Evidence Showed Respondent Was Detained Pursuant to INA §236(a) and Was Thus Entitled to Bond Hearing

Unpublished BIA decision holds that the respondent who claimed fear of persecution and who had not received a credible fear interview was entitled to a bond hearing pursuant to INA §236 based on new evidence indicating that she was in removal proceedings under INA §240. (Matter of –, 1/30/24)

1/30/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021600. Detention & Bond, Expedited Removal, Removal & Relief
Agency Memos & Announcements

DOL Provides Release Notes on PERM Online Filing Updates and Fixes

DOL provides notes on updates and fixes to its PERM online filing portal.

2/6/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021503. Business Immigration, Labor Certification (Permanent)
Tutorial Videos, Professional Resources, Law Practice Assistance, AILA Audio & Video, Association Matters

Heart Centered Meditation with Donusia Lipinski

It’s time to release ourselves from the attachments of worries, frustrations, and insecurities, and welcome our higher self, who we are at the core. Take a journey with this 20-minute meditation guided by Donusia Lipinski. This was part of the 2021 Lawyer Well-Being Week daily meditations.

9/28/21 AILA Doc. No. 21092805. Practice Management, Well-Being
Immigration News

Daily Immigration News Clips – February 16, 2024

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on February 16, 2024.

2/16/24
Practice Resources

Practice Alert: Reminder that Premium Processing Fees Go Up on February 26

AILA reminds members that the USCIS final rule increasing the filing fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, will go into effect on Monday, February 26, 2024.

2/9/24 AILA Doc. No. 24020901. Business Immigration
Examples & Questions

Call for Examples: Biometrics Availability and Consular Interview Challenges for U Petitioners and U and T Derivatives Abroad

AILA is continuing to gather information on biometrics availability and consular interviews challenges for U petitioners and U and T derivatives abroad for potential future advocacy with USCIS and/or DOS.

2/15/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021509. Consular Processing, T & U Status, VAWA
AILA Public Statements

AILA President Welcomes Announcement of Deferred Enforced Departure for Palestinians

AILA President Farshad Owji responded to the Biden Administration’s announcement of the implementation of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Palestinians, and relief for Palestinian students, in the U.S. for an 18-month period.

Practice Resources

Practice Pointer: STEM OPT RFEs or NOIDs Based on Inconsistencies with Classification of Instructional Program Codes for F-1 Students

A trend of STEM OPT RFEs or NOIDs have emerged for cases in which students possess degrees in business administration, but have a CIP code in Management Science on Form I-120. AILA’s USCIS Case Assistance Committee provides recommendation for responding to these RFEs and NOIDs, to avoid denials.

2/15/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021507. Students & Schools
Practice Resources

Practice Alert: Notes from USCIS Listening Sessions on Issues Relating to Israel and Palestine

AILA summary of key takeaways from two listening sessions USCIS conducted on January 17, 2024, on a range of issues relating to the Middle East conflict.

FR Regulations & Notices

DHHS Requests Comments on Risk Determination Hearings for Unaccompanied Children

Department of Health and Human Services requests public comments on several forms that will allow the Unaccompanied Children Program to implement a new set of hearings (Risk Determination Hearings). Comments are due within 60 days. (89 FR 11283, 2/14/24)

2/14/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021504. Unaccompanied Children
Professional Resources

Ethical Considerations Related to Affirmatively Filing an Asylum Application for the Purpose of Applying for Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment

Learn more about the significant ethical questions posed by submitting an affirmative asylum application with the goal of submitting an application for cancellation of removal, including candor to the tribunal, fees, what constitutes a frivolous application, and much more.

Practice Resources

Practice Alert: DOJ’s $1.2 Million Settlement with IJ Scott D. Laurent’s Former Staff

AILA provides a practice alert after DOJ announced a $1.2 million settlement to a former staff assistant of immigration judge Scott D. Laurent, of the Los Angeles Immigration Court. As of the date of this alert, the IJ remains listed as a current judge.

2/15/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021502. Asylum, Removal & Relief
FR Regulations & Notices

DOL Extends Comment Period for Request for Information on Revising Schedule A

DOL extends its request for information (RFI) so that the public may provide input on how DOL may establish a methodology for revising Schedule A of the permanent labor certification process to include STEM and other non-STEM occupations that are experiencing labor shortages. (88 FR 11788, 2/15/24)

2/15/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021501. Business Immigration, Labor Certification (Permanent)
Immigration News

Daily Immigration News Clips – February 15, 2024

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on February 15, 2024.

2/15/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021500.
Liaison Minutes

AILA’s ICE Liaison Committee Meets with ICE OPLA/ERO

AILA’s ICE National Committee shares the official minutes, as well as the agenda and requests for written updates from its October 26, 2023, liaison engagement with ICE OPLA and ICE ERO.

10/26/23 AILA Doc. No. 23100933. Removal & Relief
Practice Resources

Practice Pointer: The Why and How of EB-3 “Downgrade” Petitions

The January 2024 Visa Bulletin has brought changes to employment-based immigrant visas for EB-3 category, particularly for individuals born in the People’s Republic of China. AILA’s USCIS Case Assistance Committee provides this practice pointer with recommendations to avoid a “downgrade” rejection.

2/14/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021406. Business Immigration
Cases & Decisions, Federal Court Cases, Amicus Briefs/Alerts

Documents Related to Save Jobs USA v. DHS H-4 EAD Litigation

After SCOTUS denied cert. in Save Jobs USA v. DHS, et al., the plaintiffs appealed to the DC circuit court. The appellants filed an amicus brief urging the circuit court to affirm the district court decision granting summary judgment.

Agency Memos & Announcements

How to Avoid Getting Locked Out of Your USCIS Online Account

The CIS Ombudsman’s Office posted a tip sheet for individuals USCIS online accounts with suggestions on how people can maintain access and avoid getting locked out of their accounts. Some of the tips may not apply to representative online accounts.

2/14/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021405.
Professional Resources

Embarking on a New Journey: My Transition to Life After Solo Practice

Retirement can be a complicated endeavor. In this article, one former member shares their journey to new life after practice.

2/14/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021404. Practice Management
Agency Memos & Announcements, Correspondence

Correspondence Between AILA and USCIS Regarding Long-Pending EB-5 Forms I-829

USCIS sent a letter in response to AILA’s request to update USCIS policies affecting EB-5 Investors with long-pending Forms I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on permanent residence and it’s plans to publish a copy of the letter on the USCIS Electronic Reading Room.

1/19/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021403. Business Immigration, EB-5 Investors
FR Regulations & Notices

DOL Notice on Allowable Monetary Charges for H-2A Workers Meal and Travel Reimbursements

DOL updated the amount H-2A employers may charge workers for meals and the maximum/minimum rate H-2A and H-2B workers must be reimbursed for travel-related subsistence expenses. H-2A and H-2B employers must also pay certain lodging and travel-related expenses. (89 FR 10101, 2/13/24)

Agency Memos & Announcements

USCIS Invitation to Upcoming National Asylum Engagement

USCIS invites stakeholders to a 3/6/24 national asylum engagement on March 6, 2024, from the Arlington Asylum office and available virtually. No need to register to join virtually.

2/14/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021402. Asylum
Agency Memos & Announcements

USCIS Provides Guidance on Processing Form I-589 After Removal Proceedings are Dismissed or Terminated

USCIS provides an updated flow chart on how it processes Form I-589 after removal proceedings are dismissed or terminated.

2/12/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021401. Asylum, Removal & Relief
AILA Announcements

Become a PERM Pro

AILA’s Guide to PERM Labor Certification is your all-in-one handbook for successfully filing PERM cases. Comprised of articles authored by today’s foremost PERM experts, the new edition has been completely updated to address filing the new Form ETA-9089 in the FLAG system. Get yours today!

Practice Resources

Practice Pointer: Implementation of “Beneficiary Centric” Selection Process for H-1B Registrations

AILA’s H-1B Task Force provides the following summary, analysis, and key takeaways for the USCIS final rule implementing the “beneficiary centric” selection process for H-1B registrations.

2/14/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021400. Business Immigration, H-1B & H-1B1 Specialty Occupation
Immigration News

Daily Immigration News Clips – February 14, 2024

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on February 14, 2024.

2/14/24
AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

House Republicans Vote to Impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary

AILA’s Ben Johnson and the American Immigration Council’s Jeremy Robbins responded to the vote held February 13, in which House Republicans voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by a vote of 214-213 following a failed attempt last week.

2/13/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021431.
Agency Memos & Announcements

USCIS to Hold Additional “Tech Talks” on H-1B Organizational Accounts

USCIS announced additional Tech Talks in February and March where it will answer questions about the new USCIS organizational accounts in preparation for the FY2025 H-1B electronic registration season and online filing of Form I-129 and Form I-907 for H-1B petitions.

2/12/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021302. Business Immigration, H-1B & H-1B1 Specialty Occupation
Practice Resources

Practice Pointer: How to Limit the Impact of Matter of M-R-M-S- on Family-based Asylum Claims

Matter of M-R-M-S- is a precedential decision regarding nexus in family-based asylum claims in which the BIA essentially heightens the nexus standard for family-based claims. This practice pointer provides a summary of the case and strategies for litigating family-based claims.

2/13/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021301. Asylum
AILA Announcements

Take Action: Support Modernizing Schedule A to Include Consideration of Additional Occupations in STEM

DOL is requesting feedback on the Schedule A shortage occupation list. Join AILA and other signatories in urging the agency to implement a process that updates the Schedule A list in a manner that is consistent, transparent, data-driven, and reflective of the labor market. Take action today.

2/13/24 AILA Doc. No. 24020203. Business Immigration
Examples & Questions

Call for Examples: Issues with I-94s for U, T Nonimmigrants, and I-730 Asylum Derivatives

AILA seeks examples of individuals arriving on a U, T, or an approved I-730 (asylum derivative) who were not issued paper I-94s upon admission at a port of entry. Practitioners have reported variations in ability to obtain an I-94 through CBP’s Deferred Inspection process.

2/13/24 AILA Doc. No. 24020804. Admissions & Border
Agency Memos & Announcements

USCIS Releases FY2023 Progress on Meetings Its Strategic Goals

USCIS released its FY2023 data showing that it completed 10 million immigration cases and reduced its backlog for the first time in over a decade. Further, USCIS announced that its data also improved customer experience, addressed humanitarian needs, and strengthened employment-based immigration.

2/9/24 AILA Doc. No. 24020905.
Professional Resources, Law Practice Assistance

Collecting from Clients During Tough Financial Times

Some of us recoil at the idea of asking for money from people. Some of us may feel mean, or even cruel, asking for what we are worth. However, now is the time to make the financial health of the firm a top priority. Find out how to collect from clients with tact in this article from AILA’s PPC.

6/19/20 AILA Doc. No. 20050132. Practice Management
Immigration News

Daily Immigration News Clips – February 13, 2024

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on February 13, 2024.

2/13/24
Featured Issues

Featured Issue: FY2025 H-1B Cap Season

Use this page to stay on top of the FY2025 H-1B cap filing season.

2/12/24 AILA Doc. No. 24020201. Business Immigration, H-1B & H-1B1 Specialty Occupation
AILA Announcements

Get the Recording of the Recent Business Section Call for the Latest on H-1Bs

Listen to the free recording of the January 2024 Business Section call to hear the latest on the new H-1B modernization act and developments, as well as the new stateside H-1B visa processing pilot program that went into effect in January 2024.

Practice Resources

Practice Alert: Final Action Date Required in March 2024 for Employment-Based Adjustment Applications

On February 12, 2024, USCIS indicated that applicants must use the Final Action dates chart from DOS’s March 2024 Visa Bulletin to determine eligibility for filing employment-based adjustment of status applications in March 2024. AILA provides practice tips related to this change.

2/12/24 AILA Doc. No. 24021239. Adjustment of Status, Business Immigration