February

Blog Posts in February, 2015

  • DHS Will Not Accept Expanded DACA Applications on Feb. 18, 2015 As Planned

    DHS Will Not Accept Expanded DACA Applications on Feb. 18, 2015 As Planned On February 16, 2015, a Federal District Court Judge in Texas granted a temporary injunction in the case of Texas v. United States, which effectively put a halt to the federal government’s ability to accept applications for the Expanded DACA Program. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson announced in a press ...
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  • Administrative Appeals Office Practice Manual

    The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) released its first Practice Manual, which describes the rules, procedures, and recommendations for practice before the AAO. The manual can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/about-us/directorates-and-program-offices/administrative-appeals-office-aao/practice-manual The AAO Practice Manual is separated into seven (7) chapters: 1. Chapter 1 – Provides an ...
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  • Supreme Court to Review Doctrine of Consular Nonreviewability

    On February 23, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments for Kerry v. Din , which is an immigration case that deals with the doctrine of consular nonreviewability. This doctrine applies to cases where an applicant is denied a visa by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In general, under the doctrine of consular nonreviewability, decisions made by U.S. Embassies and Consulates ...
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  • USCIS Requirements for the O and P Visa Classifications

    As of November 27, 2009, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a guidance memorandum entitled Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications. The O nonimmigrant visa classification provides for the admission of people with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion picture and television ...
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  • USCIS Vaccination Requirements

    CDC Removes HPV and Herpes Zoster from List of Required Vaccines for Immigration Purposes Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has, since Nov. 13, 2009, temporarily held certain applications to adjust status to lawful permanent residence until new CDC vaccination criteria become effective on Dec. 14, 2009. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and ...
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  • Record Foreign Students attending US schools.

    U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement is reporting that the number of foreign students attending US schools is growing rapidly despite the global economic downturn. In excess of 670,000, the increase in foreign students choosing the United States shows a rate of growth not seen since 1980 and continues a pattern of growth over the past three years. After Sept. 11 terrorist attacks ICE ...
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  • USCIS update regarding Certified LCA.

    WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is announcing a 120-day period in which it will temporarily accept H-1B petitions filed without Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) that have been certified by the Department of Labor (DOL). USCIS has received requests from the public to accept H-1B petition filings that include LCAs that have been filed with DOL but that DOL has not yet ...
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  • Expanded Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program

    Expanded Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program In February 2015, the federal government announced an expansion to the existing Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program to cover certain eligible spouses and grandchildren of qualified individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who are lawfully present in the U.S. The CAM program would allow qualifying parents to ...
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  • AAO Remands for 212(e) Waiver Recommendation

    The AAO found that the applicant’s U.S. citizen spouse would suffer exceptional hardship whether he relocated to Pakistan, or if he were to remain in the U.S. without the applicant for two years.
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  • VSC Practice Pointer: L-1B to L-1A Conversion

    The $500 fraud fee is not required, since the (VSC) does not consider this a "change of status," but a change in the conditions of employment. In regard to completing Form I-129, VSC provided the following guidance: Changing from L-1B to L-1A and requesting an extension of stay: Part 2.2 Basis for Classification: indicate c. "Change in previously approved employment" Part 5 Requested Action: ...
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  • USCIS Naturalization Test to Become Fully Implemented

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reminding the public that beginning Oct. 1, all citizenship applicants must take the new naturalization test, regardless of when they filed their Application for Naturalization (Form N-400). “Becoming a United States citizen carries with it extraordinary rights and responsibilities,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “Our new test captures ...
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  • Lawsuit filed by AILA against USCIS seeking transparency in the H-1B visa program.

    Since 2008, USCIS has implemented new rules and procedures in regard to H-1B visas and dramatically increased unannounced H-1B worksite visits, which are expected to reach 25,000 in 2010. USCIS has however kept the H-1B rules and guidelines in regard to the H-1B review process secret. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has requested the documents from the government though two ...
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  • Additional iCERT problems confirmed by DOL.

    A new problem has been found in the iCERT system that can cause a denial of the LCA. This time it is in regard to company’s FEIN that begins with zero (“0”). If the company’s FEIN starts with (“0”) the systems will automatically switch some digits in the FEIN thereby making the FEIN incorrect. The incorrect FEIN populates in the new LCA. In the event, the user does not notice the incorrect FEIN ...
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  • Withdrawal of the OPT (Optional Practical Training) Application for F-1 student.

    F-1 Students can withdraw their pending OPT applications after it has been filed with USCIS and before approval. The student must submit an original signed letter stating that he wants to withdraw his OPT application. The student must include his I-765 receipt notice number in the letter. The letter should be sent by overnight mail or certified mail, in order that the student will have a proof of ...
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  • Senator Grassley's letter to USCIS Director regarding fraud in the H-1B program

    WASHINGTON – One year after an internal assessment showed extensive fraud and abuse in the H-1B visa program, Senator Chuck Grassley today is asking U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to hold employers accountable by requesting evidence from petitioners that H-1B visa holders actually have a job waiting for them in the United States. In his letter to the director of U.S. Citizenship and ...
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  • USCIS Q&A: Filing I-485, I-765, or I-131 for Refugees and Asylees

    Filing a Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) for Refugees and Asylees A . No. Refugees are not required to pay the Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) filing fee or the biometrics fee. A . Yes. Refugees receive a 2-year ...
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  • USCIS Update: USCIS Issues Guidance for Surviving Spouses of U.S. Citizens

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today issued guidance on requesting deferred action for surviving spouses of U.S. citizens who died before the second anniversary of their marriage. Surviving spouses qualify for this temporary program if they were married to, but not legally separated from, their U.S. citizen spouse at the time of that spouse's death; did not remarry; ...
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  • I-Squared Act of 2015

    I-Squared Act of 2015 On January 13, 2015, Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), along with bipartisan group of Senators, introduced the “I-Squared Act of 2015” (also called the “Immigration Innovation Act of 2015”) in the Senate. Senator Hatch had introduced an earlier version of this bill in 2013, but the Senate failed to vote on it. If passed, the I-Squared Act of 2015 will significantly increase the ...
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  • Summary of Annual USCIS Report on H1-B for fiscal year 2009

    The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act mandates that the USCIS file yearly reports regarding the H-1B program. The mandated disclosures include the origin, occupations, educational levels, and compensation of aliens who were granted visas or provided nonimmigrant status through the H-1B program. Below is a summary of the USCIS 2009 fiscal year report to Congress: Ø There was a ...
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