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Temporary Protected Status Registration Period Extended for Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone

The Department of Homeland Security announces about prolongation of the initial registration deadline for Temporary Protected Status for eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last resided in one of those three countries) from May 20, 2015 to August 18, 2015. Additionally, Liberian nationals who currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure based on President Obama’s memorandum dated September 26, 2014 may also apply for TPS.

USCIS sets August 19th the deadline to File H1B amendments for employee relocation

The USCIS has recently released an interim guidance addressing employer obligations for filing amended petitions for H1B workers who have been moved to new worksites. The deadline for H1B employers is set on August 19, 2015 and the deadline to accept comments from the public on the released interim guidance is June 26, 2015 including. Under the USCIS interim guidance H1B amendment is a must if there is any material change in either the job duties or geographic work location set out in the approved H1B petition.

New US embassies worldwide

On July 8, 2015 U.S. Charge d’affaires Todd R. Whatley, and Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Managing Director for Construction, Facility, and Security Management Eric Rumpf, alongside local officials decided the opening of new U.S Embassy in Cotonou, Benin. The new campus is a $189 million project and it will be situated on an 8.8-acre site, close to other diplomatic and ministerial buildings near the city center.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) announces the design/build construction for a new U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Initial registration deadline for Syria TPS is set for July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015 is the deadline set for eligible nationals of Syria who do not currently hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to register for TPS. The redesignation of Syria for TPS starts from January 5, 2015 and will last till September 30, 2016. For eligibility for TPS, nationals must demonstrate that they meet all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since January 5, 2015, and “continuously physically present in” the United States since April 1, 2015.

Customer Service Tools Unavailability

USCIS announced about the technical issue that forced the suspension of visa processing and the issuance of other travel documents at US consulates and embassies worldwide will not be resolved until next week. A technical issue with the Database has left embassies and consulates unable to print visas and other travel documents. Foreign nationals should expect delays with their applications until the technical issue is resolved. On Saturday, June 27, 2015 US Embassy in the Republic of Armenia makes additional visa appointments on an exceptional basis.

EB-5 Visa

Although not unexpected, Chinese applicants were hit with retrogression in the EB-5 visa category in May 2015 for the first time since the EB-5 program was first introduced in the 1990s.EB-5 Regional Center operators and EB-5 Investors from China and other countries, as well as immigration attorneys representing current and potential foreign investors are monitoring these changes to EB-5 visa program, and many are looking for alternatives that would enable Chinese investors to obtain Green Cards quickly, now that the EB-5 route is expected to take many years and may be subject to further retrogression, and uncertainty related to viability of EB-5 regional centers, which depended for the most part on Chinese investors.