USCIS Guidance on Revocation of Petitions

An approved immigrant visa petition may be revoked by a U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer authorized to approve such petitions.

In certain instances, such as the death of the beneficiary or the petitioner, or termination of registration under INA section 203(g) (failure of the alien to timely file an application for an immigrant visa petition), an approved petition or self-petition is automatically revoked as of the date of approval. See 8 CFR 205.1. If USCIS is aware of such circumstances, USCIS will send a notice of the automatic revocation to the consular office having jurisdiction over the visa application, with a copy to the petitioner¿s last known address.

In other instances, the approval of an immigrant visa petition may be revoked upon notice (“revocation on notice”) by issuing a Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) to the petitioner. See 8 CFR 205.2. The NOIR will explain the reasons the approved petition should be revoked and will give the petitioner a reasonable period of time to submit evidence to show why the petition should not be revoked. The petitioner must respond within the time allotted. An extension may be granted at the discretion of USCIS if the petitioner needs additional time to obtain documentation from abroad or for other meritorious reasons; however, the petitioner must respond in a timely manner to the NOIR by the stated deadline, and provide a reason for requesting the extra time.

If, based on the evidence received, the USCIS officer determines that the approval should not be revoked, the petitioner will receive a notice advising of the decision to reaffirm the petition. The petition will be returned to DOS’s National Visa Center (NVC) for shipment to the appropriate consulate with the USCIS letter of reaffirmation, a copy of the letter of intent to revoke and the petitioner’s response. The NVC will then forward the petition to the consular office. The consular officer may accept the petition as valid and adjudicate the visa application to completion, or present to USCIS new evidence that was not previously considered. In the latter case, USCIS will determine whether such evidence supports revocation of the petition.

14 MA Companies Fined for Unlawful Practices

Following an investigation and audit of Form I-9 documents by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), 14 Massachusetts employers were fined a total of $175,122.70 in fiscal year (FY) 2013 for various employment violations.

Employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire. This form requires employers to review and record the individual’s identity and employment eligibility document(s) and determine whether the document(s) reasonably appears to be genuine and related to the individual. Additionally, an employer must ensure that the employee provides certain information regarding his or her eligibility to work, on the Form I-9.

“These settlements serve as yet another reminder to employers that HSI will continue to hold them accountable for hiring and maintaining a legal and compliant workforce,” said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. “We encourage employers to take the employment verification process seriously, as we consistently expand the number of inspections we are conducting throughout Massachusetts each year. My agency will continue to focus its attention on employers that are knowingly employing illegal workers and will continue to target specific industries and businesses known or alleged to hire illegals.”

USCIS Accepting H1B for FY2015

USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2015 cap on April 1, 2014. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS receives a properly filed petition with the correct fee. USCIS will not rely on the date that the petition is postmarked.

The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visas for FY 2015 is 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap.

USCIS anticipates receiving more than enough petitions to reach both caps by April 7. The agency is prepared to use a random selection process to meet the numerical limit. Non-duplicate petitions that are not selected will be rejected and returned with the filing fees.

Due to the high level of premium processing receipts anticipated, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season, USCIS has temporarily adjusted its current premium processing practice. To facilitate the prioritized intake of cap-subject petitions requesting premium processing, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than April 28, 2014. For more information on premium processing for FY 2015 cap-subject petitions, see the USCIS Alert.

H-1B petitioners should follow all requirements to avoid processing delays and possible requests for evidence. USCIS has detailed information, including an optional checklist, to assist in completing and submitting an FY 2015 H-1B petition.