For pre-2019 AILA practice pointers and alerts, please visit the Research Library.

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AILA Practice Pointers and Alerts

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

9/16/2019
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. DOL will host a webinar on this topic on 9/18/19.
AILA Doc. No. 19091631

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

6/25/2019
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

9/10/2019
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

9/10/2019
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

6/6/2019
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

9/2/2019
Effective 8/29/19, the reciprocity schedule for France will be revised for both E-1 and E-2 visas. This change is being made on a reciprocal basis based on the treatment afforded by the French government to U.S. citizens applying for similar visas.
AILA Doc. No. 19090301

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

9/3/2019
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

9/4/2019
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

Practice Alert: USCIS Stops Accepting and Adjudicating Deferred Action Applications for Non-Military Applicants

9/12/2019
On 9/2/19, USCIS announced that it will reopen and adjudicate non-military deferred action cases pending as of 8/7/19. AILA continues to urge a full reversal of this policy and continues to seek examples of those impacted. Please complete the survey included with this alert to submit your example.
AILA Doc. No. 19082334

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

8/26/2019
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

8/15/2019
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

8/19/2019
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

8/13/2019
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

8/7/2019
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

8/7/2019
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

8/15/2019
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

8/1/2019
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

7/30/2019
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

7/29/2019
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

7/29/2019
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

7/22/2019
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

8/30/2019
AILA provides a practice alert with information on DHS's announcement that it is significantly expanding expedited removal. The alert includes information on ICE's 7/24/19 guidance, which states that implementation will start on or about 9/1/19.
AILA Doc. No. 19072207

Practice Advisory: Tips for Representing U Visa Respondents

7/19/2019
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

7/18/2019
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

9/6/2019
EOIR has begun replacing interpreters at master calendar hearings with prerecorded video advisals. The videos have been rolled out in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. If you have additional information, please contact AILA.
AILA Doc. No. 19071832

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

7/17/2019
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

7/15/2019
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

7/6/2019
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

7/10/2019
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

9/2/2019
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 Insidehighered.com and Higheredjobs.com Appear to Be a Training Issue

6/27/2019
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 Insidehighered.com or Higheredjobs.com. 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

6/27/2019
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

6/27/2019
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

6/24/2019
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

8/23/2019
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

6/21/2019
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

9/9/2019
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

6/10/2019
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

6/7/2019
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

6/17/2019
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

5/30/2019
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

6/4/2019
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

5/24/2019
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

5/16/2019
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

5/9/2019
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

5/7/2019
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

5/7/2019
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

5/2/2019
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

4/19/2019
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

4/17/2019
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

4/17/2019
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

4/17/2019
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

4/16/2019
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

4/9/2019
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

4/8/2019
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

3/29/2019
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

4/2/2019
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

5/9/2019
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

3/27/2019
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!

3/22/2019
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

3/20/2019
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?

3/20/2019
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

5/14/2019
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

3/11/2019
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

3/8/2019
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

3/6/2019
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

3/25/2019
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

2/28/2019
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

2/26/2019
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

7/24/2019
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

2/22/2019
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

2/21/2019
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

2/19/2019
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

2/15/2019
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

2/15/2019
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

2/13/2019
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-

2/11/2019
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

2/8/2019
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

7/12/2019
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

1/31/2019
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

1/31/2019
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

8/16/2019
AILA is requesting updated case examples of DHS issuance of NTAs with fake hearing dates and times following the Supreme Court's decision in Pereira v. Sessions. AILA is particularly interested in sharing this information with members of Congress and the press.
AILA Doc. No. 18091858

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

1/31/2019
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

1/30/2019
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

6/28/2019
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?

1/28/2019
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

1/23/2019
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

1/21/2019
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

1/17/2019
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

1/17/2019
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

1/11/2019
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

1/11/2019
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

1/10/2019
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

1/9/2019
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 h2b.ombudsman@dol.gov.
AILA Doc. No. 19010231

Practice Pointer: LegalNet Scope of Review of Nonimmigrant Visa Refusals

1/9/2019
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

1/8/2019
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

1/2/2019
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