Department of State: Visa Issuance Dealys Through Next Week

On June 17, 2015 the Department of State posted the following notice at its website:

“The Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to experience technical problems with our visa systems. This is a global issue, and we are working around the clock to fix it. More than 100 computer experts from both the private and public sectors across the United States are working on this problem 24/7. That said, we do not expect the system will be online before next week. The problems stem from a hardware failure in a State Department facility in the United States on June 9. That failure is preventing the Department from processing and transmitting biometric data checks at visa-issuing embassies and consulates. We cannot bypass the legal requirements to screen visa applicants before we issue visas for travel. Each visa decision is a national security decision, and we take our obligation to protect the United States seriously.

We regret the inconvenience to travelers and recognize that this is causing hardship to those waiting for visas, and in some cases, their family members or employers in the United States. We will continue to post regular updates on our website, travel.state.gov.”

Due to this computer malfunction,  Iandoli Desai & Cronin P.C. anticipates delays in the visa application process through June and early July.  Please contact your representative at Iandoli Desai & Cronin P.C. for status updates.

 

Department of State Visa Delays

On June 12, 2015, the Department of State posted the following announcement at its travel.state.gov website:

“A hardware failure on June 9 halted the flow of biometric clearance requests from posts to the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD). Individuals who submitted online applications or were interviewed for visas on or after June 9 may experience a delay in the processing. The systems in place to perform required national security checks before we issue visas are experiencing technical difficulties. As a result, we are unable to print visas, regular passports overseas, and other travel documents. We cannot bypass the legal requirements necessary to screen visa applicants before we issue visas for travel. As a result, there is a backlog of visas waiting to be processed. We are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue and to clear the backlog. The technical issues we are experiencing have disrupted or prevented some of the Department’s primary data-share partners from accessing visa records.”

USCIS announces it will temporarily suspend premium processing for H-1B Extension of Stay Petitions

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has suspended premium processing services for H-1B petitions which request an Extension of Stay for the named H-1B worker until July 27, 2015. The suspension does not apply to certain other types of H-1B petitions, including H-1B petitions which request an Amendment, Consular Notification, or a Change of Status.

USCIS made this announcement in anticipation of receiving a high volume of Applications for Employment Authorization by certain H-4 spouses under a new rule that goes into effect today, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. For more information about the new program permitting certain H-4 spouses to apply for employment authorization, please click here to view one of our prior posts.

Please visit our website’s news section or email us at info@iandoli.com for more information about H-1B visas, the new program that permits certain H-4 spouses to apply for employment authorization, or any other immigration law matters.

“Nature” Invites Iandoli Desai & Cronin to Present at Boston Jobs Expo

Nature Publications, publisher of the journal Nature and other leading scientific and medical journals, invited the attorneys of Iandoli Desai and Cronin to present at the NatureJobs Career Expo held in Boston on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

Attorneys Richard L. Iandoli, Prasant D. Desai, Madeline C. Cronin and Donal E. Reilly presented on U.S. visa options for hiring and retaining internationals in medicine and science to a packed audience at the Back Bay Events Center and engaged in a lively question and answer session following the presentation.

The immigration experts from Iandoli Desai & Cronin touched on a variety of employment-based visas available in science and medicine, including a wide-ranging discussion on H-1B visa strategies in light of the high demand in that visa category over the past several years. In describing the exciting new ways that private employers and entrepreneurs can piggy-back onto academia’s H-1B quota exemptions by using ‘concurrent’ employment with a school and/or employment ‘at’ a campus, the attorneys from Iandoli Desai and Cronin gave attendees real-life examples about how these approaches can benefit school incubators and entrepreneurial projects as well. While the H-1B was discussed as the typical visa to pursue, the presenters also covered a variety of other visa categories, including O-1 visas for persons of extraordinary ability, L visas for intra-company transferees, J exchange scholar visas, TN visa options for Canadians and Mexicans, and E-1 and E-2 business/trade creation visas.

“We received such great questions from the audience,” said Richard L. Iandoli, “There were people from all of the academic institutions and teaching hospitals in Boston, so it was a great group with a lot of interest in how to retain international talent in science and medicine. The success of these events tells us there is a lot of demand for this kind of information.”

To find out more about the visa strategies discussed at the NatureJobs Career Expo, please contact Iandoli Desai & Cronin P.C. at info@iandoli.com. Continue reading

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Presentation March 17, 2015

MCPHS Presentation (March 2015)