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Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving Day, may you and your family be blessed with the joy of Thanksgiving.

EXPANSION OF USCIS INTERVIEWS

Beginning October 1st, 2017, USCIS will require in-person interviews for certain green card applications that before now did not need an interview before approval, and certain immigration benefits that will subsequently lead to permanent resident status in the US. 

The Immigration applications that will require an Interview before approval include:

  1. Green card applications based on employment
  2. Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition filed on behalf of beneficiaries already in the U.S.

Apart from the above categories, USCIS is planning to gradually expand its interview requirements to other types of immigration applications/benefits not currently affected.

The goal of this change is to improve the detection and prevention of immigration fraud and the integrity of the US immigration system.

TERMINATION OF DACA

On September 5th, 2017, President Trump's administration rescinded/terminated President Barack Obama's DACA Program, established in 2012, amidst criticisms. According to President Trump, he will revisit the issue if Congress is unable to come up with an immigration solution within six months.

The U.S.Department of Homeland Security has indicated the following:

1. Current DACA recipients will be permitted to retain both the period of deferred action and their work authorization documents until they expire unless terminated or revoked before their expiration.

2. A DACA recipient whose benefits expired on or before September 4th, 2017 and failed to file a renewal application with USCIS by September 5th, 2017 is not eligible to file for renewal of their benefit after September 5th, 2017.

3. USCIS will adjudicate on a case-by-case basis—all properly filed DACA initial requests and work authorization application that was received and accepted by September 5, 2017.

4. USCIS will adjudicate on a case-by-case basis; properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and work authorization applications from current beneficiaries that were received and accepted by September 5, 2017,

5. USCIS will adjudicate on a case by case basis properly filed DACA renewal request from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, so long as the renewal application is filed and accepted by October 5, 2017.

6. USCIS will reject all requests to renew DACA and associated applications for work authorizations filed after October 5, 2017.

7. Recipients of DACA benefits are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred. When their period of deferred action expires or is terminated or revoked, their removal will no longer be deferred. They will cease to be eligible for lawful employment and be exposed to enforcement actions.

THE FUTURE OF DACA FOR DREAMERS

Dreamers are undocumented immigrants brought to the United States at a young age either by their parents or otherwise and have known the United States as their only home.

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017

Wishing our current, future, and past clients, as well as fellow attorneys, our well wishers and contributors a happy holiday season and a blessed 2017.

LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT WHO GIVES BIRTH OUTSIDE THE U.S.

A lawful permanent resident of the U.S. who gives birth during a temporary visit outside the U.S. may be able to return to the U.S. with the child without the need to file any immigration application or request a U.S. visa for the child. Such a child will be admitted into the U.S. as a permanent resident if the following requirements are met:

2016 EXTENSION OF TPS STATUS FOR NICARAGUA

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security have extended TPS status designation for eligible citizens of Nicaragua and stateless persons who last habitually resided in that country.
The Immigration law of the United States provides that a country may be designated temporary protected status (TPS) if there is armed conflict which would result in serious threat to the personal safety of citizens of that country if returned, or if there is a natural disaster in such a country and hence the country cannot cope with the return of its citizens or if the Attorney General of the US finds extra ordinary and temporary conditions preventing the safe return of citizens of such country.

New York City H1B Visa Program for Entrepreneurs.

On February 18, 2016, The New York City Economic Development Corporation in partnership with City University of New York launched a Program called the International Innovators Initiative ( IN2NYC) designed to help international entrepreneurs obtain H1B visas in the United States to enable them remain in the country legally to grow their businesses.

HAPPY NEW YEAR-2016


USCIS Accepts Credit Card for Immigration Fee for Naturalization

Naturalization applicants seeking to become US citizens but not eligible for a fee waiver are now able to use their credit cards to pay the Immigration filing and biometric fee for their Form N-400, Application for Naturalization which is a total of $680. This is a combination of the Immigration filing fee of $595 and the biometric service fee of $85.

To pay using a credit card, Naturalization applicants are required to complete Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transaction, which is to be placed on top of the N-400 application for naturalization and mailed to US Citizenship & Immigration Services-USCIS.

National Visa Center No Longer Collecting Original Civil Documents

The National Visa Center (NVC) has ceased collecting original civil documents in support of immigrant visa (IV) applications as of November 12, 2014.

Applicants will be required to submit photocopies of supporting documents (such as birth, marriage, and police certificates) and will be instructed to take their original documents to their interviews for review at the designated US Embassy.

This however, does not include the Affidavit of Support forms, which petitioners will still submit to NVC for Initial evaluation.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

As you all gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, be grateful for the many blessings you have received.

USCIS Update on Immigration Application for Same-Sex Couples

USCIS, today published additional frequently asked questions on immigration application based on same sex marriages. This is a follow up on its recent announcement of accepting and adjudicating same sex Immigration applications in the same manner as opposite sex couples in compliance with the recent supreme court decision declaring section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.

USCIS Accepts Immigration Application Based On Same Sex Marriage

US Citizen and Lawful Permanent Resident same sex couples married to foreign nationals are now eligible to file Immigration applications on behalf of their same sex spouse after the recent Supreme Court decision holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.

USCIS Implements Customer Identity Verification at Local Offices

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on May 6th 2013, implemented a new program called Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices.

Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.

Today, the Senate introduced the long-awaited immigration bill: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.

Outline & Highlights of the bill can be found
here and here.

Documentary on the DREAM Act for Undocumented Children of Immigrants

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President Obama's Proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

According to the fact Sheet released by the white house on January 29th, 2013   titled “Fixing our Broken Immigration System so everyone plays by the Rules “AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13012946, President Obama acknowledged that America’s immigration system is broken, and it is time to fix it in a way that requires responsibility and accountability from everyone.

Immigrant Visa Interview & Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

One of the requirements of eligibility for the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver is the approval of an Immediate Relative Petition (Form I-130 or I-360) and the payment of the Immigrant Visa and Affidavit of Support fee to the Department of State (DOS).

US Senators Proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

Eight Senators; Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Rubio, Bennet, and Flake recently came together to propose an Immigration reform legislation which they announced on January 28th 2013.

Effects of an Approved Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

In the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver process, the waiver, by itself, does not convey a legal status. It is a secondary benefit to a primary application that would give a non US Citizen legal immigrant status.

USCIS Final Rule on Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Speculation About The Proposed Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

Recently, a comment was posted on my immigration blog -  The Reality of USCIS Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver.

School Enrollment Requirement for Deferred Action Application

Based on the Secretary of Homeland Security’s June 15th, 2012 announcement, applicants for deferred action for childhood arrivals must show among other requirements that they are either:

The Reality of USCIS Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver.

Unlawful presence occurs when a non-U.S. citizen remains in the United States beyond the period of time authorized by the U.S Immigration Agencies. The term also refers to persons present in the United States without being properly admitted or paroled.

USCIS Filing Process for Deferred Action Status for Childhood Arrivals

Beginning August 15th, 2012, USCIS will start accepting deferred action application from applicants. The application for deferred action can be concurrently filed with an application for work authorization document. The Immigration application fee will be $465.00.

Application for Deferred Action Status for Childhood Arrivals

Deferred Action is a discretionary determination to defer removal or deportation action of an individual from the United States.
Individuals granted Deferred Action status are eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of Deferred Action (which is two years subject to renewal) provided he or she can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.”
Applicants must demonstrate eligibility for Deferred Action status through verifiable documentations.

It’s 2012 Election Year!Unlawful Voting & Its Immigration consequence

The U.S law makes it an immigration and criminal violation for non-U.S citizens to vote in Federal, State or local election, which requires United States citizenship in order to be eligible to vote in such elections. A non-citizen, who does vote, is in violation of Federal, State, or local law and is inadmissible and deportable from the U.S.

Undocumented Parents Caught in Immigration Limbo

Most illegal or undocumented immigrants who brought their young children with them eventually had other children born in the US and hence US citizens.