Immigration Monthly - October 2016 

Volume 5 / Issue 10




Welcome to the October issue of our monthly newsletter!  This is a complimentary service to clients and friends of the Firm to keep you informed of immigration law developments that may affect you or your organization.  Please contact Munsch Hardt’s Immigration Team with your comments and questions.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Update:


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that validity period for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) issued to asylum applicants will now increase from one year to two years. This change applies to applications pending as of October 5, 2016 and those filed on or after October 5, 2016.


Customs and Border Protection (CBP) News:

  • CBP has announced that the I-94 website now allows travelers arriving at a land port of entry to apply and pay for their I-94 online prior to travel.  The online I-94 application will collect information that is otherwise collected in-person (e.g., biographic information, passport details, visa details).  To finalize the application, the travelers must present themselves at a land port of entry within seven (7) days of their application filing online and submit biometrics (if applicable), and be interviewed by a CBP officer.  Benefits of the new process include increased processing efficiency, decreased paper usage, a streamlined CBP inspection process for travelers, and reduced operating costs.
  • Beginning November 29, 2016, all P.R. China passport holders carrying a 10-year visa will be required to have a valid Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) enrollment when traveling to the U.S.  EVUS is the online system used by nationals of P.R. China to update biographic information to facilitate travel to the U.S.  Enrollment is valid for two years or until the traveler obtains a new passport or visa, whichever comes first.  CBP recommends travelers enroll in EVUS as early as possible and at least 72 hours before travel to the U.S.

Department of State (DOS) Update:

  • The 2018 Diversity Visa Program registration period started at noon, EST, on October 4, 2016 and will continue through noon, EST, November 7, 2016.  During this registration period, interested applicants should submit entries using the electronic DV entry form (E-DV) at The annual Diversity Visa Program provides an opportunity for a U.S. Green Card to 50,000 individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. For 2018, natives of the following countries are NOT eligible to apply because each of these countries sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. A computer-generated, random drawing chooses candidates for the Diversity Visas from the pool of lottery participants. Additionally, the DOS has also published a final rule requiring that photographs submitted as part of a diversity visa petition be taken no more than six months before the date of the lottery entry submission, and prohibiting applicants from wearing eyeglasses in the photos.  
  • The November 2016 DOS Visa Bulletin “Final Action” chart for employment-based preference cases contains some significant changes:  EB-2 “Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability” category for India advances 11 months to a cut-off date of November 1, 2007.  EB-2 China progresses 5 months to a cut-off date of July 15, 2012, while EB-3 China advances 3 weeks to a cut-off date of April 15, 2013.  EB-3 Philippines continues its steady progress by advancing 4 months to April 1, 2011. EB-3 for All Chargeability areas, El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, and Mexico advances 1 week to July 01, 2016.   Continue monitoring the monthly Visa Bulletin for further developments.


This newsletter is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. All information contained in this newsletter is general and does not constitute legal advice.