News & Resources

Revisions Announced to USCIS Asylum Application Criteria

The USCIS revised its Credible Fear Lesson Plan, which trains its officers to determine the suitability of an asylum application. Most significantly, the Asylum Division of the USCIS has adjusted its interpretation of the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and the significant possibility standard. Standards for reviewing CAT claims now include the classification of mental suffering as a form of torture. According to the USCIS's new criteria, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering to constitute torture.

Premium Processing for H-1B applications to begin April 28

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would begin premium processing for H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2015 on April 28, 2014. Petitioners subject to the H-1B regular cap (65,000 visas) can receive expedited processing service of no more than 15 calendar days. Applicants who qualify for the H1-B Master's exemption (20,000 visas) can also request premium processing. To use this service, petitioners must submit Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, and pay an additional processing fee of $1,225.

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