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Immigration News


August 2020 Visa Bulletin

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The Department of State has released the August 2020 Visa Bulletin. You can access the copy of the Visa Bulletin on the Department of State website here.

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DHS Extends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility

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On July 18, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19.

On March 19, due to precautions implemented by employers and employees associated with COVID-19, DHS announced that it would exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. See the original news release for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9.

This temporary guidance was set to expire July 19. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended this policy for an additional 30 days. These accommodations are now set to expire on August 19, 2020.

ICE also announced that after July 19 no additional extensions will be granted to employers who were served notices of inspection (NOIs) by ICE during the month of March 2020.

Employers must monitor the DHS and ICE websites for additional updates about when the extensions end and normal operations resume. E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire. Please see COVID-19 webpage for more information.


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July 2020 Visa Bulletin

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The Department of State has released the July 2020 Visa Bulletin. You can access the copy of the Visa Bulletin on the Department of State website here.

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June 2020 Visa Bulletin

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The Department of State has released the June 2020 Visa Bulletin. You can access the copy of the Visa Bulletin on the Department of State website here.

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USCIS to Resume Premium Processing in Phases for I-129 and I-140 Petitions

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in the following phases over the next month:

June 1, 2020 – USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.

June 8, 2020 – USCIS will accept premium processing requests for:

  • H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt (for example, petitions filed by petitioners that are cap-exempt and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations).
  • All other Form I-129 petitions (non H-1B petitions) for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication.

June 15, 2020 – USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for:

  • H-1B petitions requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap because:
    • The employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity or organization (such as an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization); or
    • The beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l).

June 22, 2020 – USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions, including:

  • All H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for fiscal year 2021), including change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status, for both premium processing upgrades and concurrently filed I-907s.
  • All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129.

If you choose to request the premium processing service, USCIS will guarantee a 15-day processing time. If USCIS does not take certain adjudicative actions within the 15‑calendar day processing time, USCIS will refund the premium processing service fee and will continue with the expedited processing of the petition.

If you have any questions regarding the premium processing service, please feel free to contact our firm.

Updated 06/02/2020


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May 2020 Visa Bulletin

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The Department of State has released the May 2020 Visa Bulletin. You can access the copy of the Visa Bulletin on the Department of State website here.

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COVID-19 Update from Song & Meng LLP

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As more information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is released, Song & Meng LLP is actively taking precautionary steps and following the Governor of California’s executive order to ensure the health and wellness of our clients, our employees, and their families and friends. Despite current events, we remain committed to delivering the same level of service our clients expect.

We have established a business continuity plan to allow our firm to continue to provide high-quality services to our clients. Some of our precautionary actions include amplified cleaning and sanitization, minimizing in person contact, and enabling remote work options to encourage self-quarantine and social distancing. Please note, we are not taking any in-person appointmnents or walk-ins at this time. Our implementation of our work from home arrangement, with the assistance of the cloud-based case management system, allows us to continue serving our clients on their cases. We have taken steps to implement protocols to ensure the confidentiality of our client’s information under this work arrangement.

Song & Meng is committed to providing our clients services during this time of uncertainty. We also assure you that our commitment and ability to provide exceptional services remains the same.

We appreciate your understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation and wish you, your family, colleagues, and friends good health and safety.


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March 2020 Visa Bulletin

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The Department of State has released the March 2020 Visa Bulletin. You can access the copy of the Visa Bulletin on the Department of State website here.

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February 2020 Visa Bulletin

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The Department of State has released the February 2020 Visa Bulletin. You can access the copy of the Visa Bulletin on the Department of State website here.

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January 2020 Visa Bulletin

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The Department of State has released the January 2020 Visa Bulletin. You can access the copy of the Visa Bulletin on the Department of State website here.

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