Immigration Briefing

Visa Bulletin for October 2019 Released
September 18th, 2019

The ‘Final Action Date’ of the Visa Bulletin for the month of October 2019 for family-based Green Cards for All Countries, including F4-India, Mexico, and the Philippines were published today. See our full analysis of Visa Bulletin October 2019 or get your personalized green card timeline using our web application.

F2A Applicants Going Through Adjustment Can File I-485 in September and October 2019
June – September, 2019

Spouses and Young Children of U.S. Green Card Holders can file concurrently (Form I-130 and I-485) in Sep & Oct 2019. Applicants who already filed Form I-130, whether it has been approved or not, can also file Form I-485 in Sep & Oct 2019. Use our Smart Forms to file fast. The State Department indicated that this ‘current’ situation could last until Feb 2020.

If you are a user of Immigration Planner’s Smart Forms, simply complete our Forms I-130 / A (Initial Application Step) and Form I-485 & I-765 & I-131 & I-864 & I-693 (Request to Adjust Status Step) online.

Bar for Asylum at Southern Border Confirmed by Supreme Court
September 12th, 2019

On July 16th 2019, the United States said that it would no longer accept Asylum applications at the Southern Border from people who first passed through another country en route to the U.S. and didn’t apply for protection in that nation. The policy was confirmed by the Supreme Court (which overturned earlier injunctions to stop the policy placed by lower courts).

NVC Intake at 4 Weeks
September 9th, 2019

As of 9-SEP-2019 the NVC is working on cases that were received from USCIS on 12-AUG-2019. The ‘fastest’ time from I-130 Approval to Welcome Letter (for Immediate Relatives) is now about 10 weeks. This means that it takes the NVC four weeks to create a Green Card Case for a family applicant who has an approved I-130.

It takes approximately 4 weeks from receiving the I-130 Approval Notice for USCIS to transfer to the NVC. Therefore, the ‘fastest’ time from I-130 Approval to Welcome Letter (for Immediate Relatives) is now about 10 weeks.

Form I-485 Processing Times Updated
August 24th, 2019

The average for the 88 USCIS Field Offices now stand between 11.2 months (50% of applicants) and 2 years (93% of applicants). See our detailed analysis.

‘Public Charge’ Rule Published
August 15th, 2019

Family applicants are more likely to have their Green Card denied because of public charge grounds of inadmissibility following new USCIS rules (effective October 15th, 2019).  Immigration Planner is updating its Affidavit of Support logic to reflect the changes.

I-130 Processing Times and Service Centers
July 14th, 2019

More than 99% of F1, F2A, F2B, F3, and F4 Form I-130s are processed by the California Service Center (CSC, WSC, WAC), so it is the only one that matters. The other Service Centers might give you the impression that they are ‘faster’, but that is because the Form I-130 Processing Time displayed is still an indication of ‘backlog’ (how much work they have). And the others have much less work.

Supreme Court Will Decide DACA
June 26th, 2019

The Supreme Court decided to hear the DACA Case to determine whether or not the program can be legally ended by the current Administration. Decision expected in the Summer of 2020.

USCIS Form Rejection Rules Tightened
June 19th, 2019

USCIS will reject Form I-129 when it does not include sponsor’s or applicant’s names / primary U.S. addresses (instead of getting a receipt and a request for evidence). See Form Tips.

USCIS to close International Offices
June 18th, 2019

USCIS started to close its International Offices, including Ciudad Juarez and Manila, cutting the fastest path to Family Green Cards for immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens living abroad. See Green Card Planning.

USCIS Aims to Reduce I-485 and N400 Processing Time Disparity Across Offices
June 17th, 2019

It sounds like USCIS will shift caseload between USCIS Field Offices so that Processing Times are more tightly grouped. See latest I-485 Analysis.

Student and Exchange Visitor Program Fee Increase
June 16th, 2019

The I-901 SEVIS fee for F and M international students will increase from $200 to $350. Effective date June 24th, 2019.

Cuccinelli Named Acting Director of USCIS
June 10th, 2019

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan today announced that Kenneth T. (Ken) Cuccinelli will serve as the new acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). According to the Washington Post, his predecessor was “faulted for moving too slowly in implementing new rules that would penalize immigrants who use public benefits (“public charge”)”.

U.S. State Department Begins Social Media Screening For Nearly All Visa Applicants
June 1st, 2019

Visa applicants to the United States are required to submit any information about social media accounts they have used in the past five years under a State Department policy that became effective June 1st, 2019.

Form I-539 can now be filed online
May 22nd, 2019

Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) can now be filed online with USCIS for B-1, B-2, M-1, M-2 visa holders, as well as F-1 and F-2 (if they have a specific status expiration date).

U.S. President lays out his Green Card plans
May 16th, 2019

The President formally unveiled his plan to eliminate the F1, F2B, F3, and F4 family-preferences and move to what he calls ‘merit-based immigration’. This plan doesn’t address DACA.

To implement both the House and the Senate have to pass the plan, which is not an Executive Order but a law, and there is no majority for it.

File only updated Forms I-130 and I-130A with USCIS
May 4th, 2019

Although little has changed you need to file the ‘new’ Form I-130/A with USCIS. The issue date, which can be found bottom left corner, has to be ‘02/13/19‘.
Forms our users download from the web app are always up-to-date so you do not need to worry. Start Your Forms

Form I-485 Processing Times Updated by USCIS
May 1st, 2019

USCIS released new Form I-485 Processing Times for all Field Offices on May 1st, 2019. USCIS takes 11 months to decide on 50% of the filed Family I-485, with great disparity among offices.
Data is updated approximately every 5 weeks and Case Inquiry Date daily.


We did the research so you don’t have to.

What you need to know about NVC form DS-260 before and after you file.

Latest news and updates, 6 crucial steps and FAQ.

Current I-485 processing times per USCIS Field Office.

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