USCIS Issues Additional DOMA FAQ's

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), publishes its Same-Sex Marriages web page, which details more information about the implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court's #DOMA ruling. New information also confirms that applicants, who believe that they are eligible, may apply for immigration benefits right away.  They do not need wait until USCIS issues new regulations, guidance or forms.

#immigrationupdates

USCIS – Same-Sex Marriages
Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on July 1, 2013: “After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its …

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New System for U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Saudi Arabia

"Beginning August 16, 2013, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and U.S. Consulates General in Dhahran and Jeddah will switch to a new online system for obtaining visa information, scheduling visa applications and collecting application fees.  August 6, 2013 will be the last day to schedule appointments through the current system, called Visapoint.  All applicants wishing to schedule and pay for visa appointments on or before August 6 using Visapoint must ensure that both scheduling and payment are completed on or before August 6, 2013, the date that system will go offline.  All applicants seeking interviews after August 6 must use a new system once activated.  Furthermore, applicants should not pay before August 6 for a visa appointment after August 6."

#immigrationupdates   #travelupdates  

Embedded Link

U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia to Switch to New Online Visa Appointment System (July 10,2013) | Consulate General of the United States Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia to Switch to New Online Visa Appointment System (July 10, 2013). Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Embassy, July 10, 2013. Beginning August 16, 2013, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and U.S. Consulates General in Dhahran and Jeddah will switch to a new online …

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CBP Update for Border Crossers in New Mexico

"Border Crossing Card holders can now travel up to 55 miles from the border without obtaining a Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record."

#immigrationupdates   #travelupdates  

Border Crossers in New Mexico Can Now Travel Further Without I-94 – CBP.gov
see also: right arrow, in National News Releases: U.S., Canada Begin Phase II of Entry/Exit Project · CBP Reminds Fourth of July, Canada Day Travelers What to ‘Know Before You Go’ · New CPSC Data Shows 60% of All Fireworks Injuries Occur Around July 4th …

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Updated Data on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

It has been almost a year since the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started accepting applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This latest chart shows that as of June 2013, USCIS has received 537,662 DACA applications, approximately 75% of which has been approved. The chart also indicates that the top applicant nationality is Mexico, followed by El Salvador as a distant second. 

#immigrationupdates   #DACA  

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www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/Immigration%20Forms%20Data/All%20Form%20Types/DACA/daca-13-7-12.pdf

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Big Updates from the August 2013 Visa Bulletin

The latest Visa Bulletin released by the State Department brings good news for spouses and children of permanent residents and some EB-2 Indian nationals.

Originally shared by +Loke Walsh Immigration Law

August 2013 Visa Bulletin Is Out – With BIG Developments!

The State Department released the August 2013 Visa Bulletin with some great news!

If you're an Indian national with an I-140 priority date of January 1, 2008 or earlier, you can apply for an immigrant visa (or adjust your status if in the U.S.) beginning August 1, 2013.

After 10 months of no movement, EB-2 INDIA priority date jumps 3 years and 4 months – from September 1, 2004 to January 1, 2008. However, other than EB-2 INDIA and EB-3 PHILIPPINES, which made a two-week movement, the rest of the employment-based priority dates were frozen.

India Second: This cut-off date has been advanced in an effort to fully utilize the numbers available under the overall Employment Second preference annual limit. It is expected that such movement will generate a significant amount of new India demand during the coming months.

The other great news goes to spouses and children of permanent residents. The August 2013 Visa Bulletin reflects "C" (which stands for "Current") for the F2A category, which means that there's no more waiting time for spouses and children (below 21 years old) of permanent residents. What used to be a few years of wait is now down to zero. Beginning August 1, 2013, family members who have been waiting for their priority dates can apply for an immigrant visa. This also means that beginning August 1, 2013, permanent residents (green card holders) may file an I-130 immigrant petition concurrently with an I-485 adjustment of status application (if eligible) on behalf of their family members who are now in the United States.

F2A: This category has become “Current” for August, and is expected to remain so for the next several months. This action has been taken in an effort to generate an increased level of demand. Despite the fact that there are large amounts of registered F2A demand, currently there are not enough applicants who are actively pursuing final action on their case to fully utilize all of the available numbers.

These changes for the Family F2A, and India Employment Second preference categories reflect actions which have been taken based on current applicant demand patterns. Readers should expect that some type of “corrective” action will be required at some point during FY-2014 in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits. Such action would involve the establishment and retrogression of such cut-off dates, and could occur at any time.

#immigrationupdates

 


 

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August 2013 Visa Bulletin Is Out – With BIG Developments!

The State Department released the August 2013 Visa Bulletin with some great news!

If you're an Indian national with an I-140 priority date of January 1, 2008 or earlier, you can apply for an immigrant visa (or adjust your status if in the U.S.) beginning August 1, 2013.

After 10 months of no movement, EB-2 INDIA priority date jumps 3 years and 4 months – from September 1, 2004 to January 1, 2008. However, other than EB-2 INDIA and EB-3 PHILIPPINES, which made a two-week movement, the rest of the employment-based priority dates were frozen.

India Second:  This cut-off date has been advanced in an effort to fully utilize the numbers available under the overall Employment Second preference annual limit. It is expected that such movement will generate a significant amount of new India demand during the coming months.

The other great news goes to spouses and children of permanent residents. The August 2013 Visa Bulletin reflects "C" (which stands for "Current") for the F2A category, which means that there's no more waiting time for spouses and children (below 21 years old) of permanent residents. What used to be a few years of wait is now down to zero. Beginning August 1, 2013, family members who have been waiting for their priority dates can apply for an immigrant visa. This also means that beginning August 1, 2013, permanent residents (green card holders) may file an I-130 immigrant petition concurrently with an I-485 adjustment of status application (if eligible) on behalf of their family members who are now in the United States. 

F2A: This category has become “Current” for August, and is expected to remain so for the next several months.  This action has been taken in an effort to generate an increased level of demand.  Despite the fact that there are large amounts of registered F2A demand, currently there are not enough applicants who are actively pursuing final action on their case to fully utilize all of the available numbers.

These changes for the Family F2A, and India Employment Second preference categories reflect actions which have been taken based on current applicant demand patterns.  Readers should expect that some type of “corrective” action will be required at some point during FY-2014 in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits.  Such action would involve the establishment and retrogression of such cut-off dates, and could occur at any time.

#immigrationupdates  

Visa Bulletin For August 2013
View as Printer Friendly PDF. A. STATUTORY NUMBERS. 1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during August. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and …

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U.S. Embassy in Cairo Closed on Wednesday, July 10

Due to ongoing public demonstrations, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo will be closed to the public and all consular services will be suspended on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

On Wednesday, July 10, the U.S. Embassy will be closed to the public and regular consular services are suspended for the day. If you had an appointment for American Citizens Services on that day, please reschedule your appointment. If you need an emergency service, please contact the Embassy at 2797-3300.

The possibility of protests in vicinity of the Embassy continues.  Please do not travel to the Embassy unless you receive specific instructions from the Embassy to do so. 

#immigrationupdates   #travelupdates   #travel  

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Messages for U.S. Citizens | Embassy of the United States
Security Message for U.S. Citizens No. 57: Embassy Closed on Wednesday, July 10. July 9, 2013. On Wednesday, July 10, the U.S. Embassy will be closed to the public and regular consular services are suspended for the day. If you had an appointment for American Citizens Services on that day, …

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USCIS Updates DACA Website: Travel Requirements & Restrictions 

USCIS updated the Travel Requirements and Restrictions section of its "Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Process" website. The update includes the acceptable travel reasons (travel for vacation purposes is NOT acceptable) as well as when and where to submit the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

Below is the updated information as of July 1, 2013:

Once USCIS has approved your request for consideration of deferred action, you may file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to request advance parole to travel outside of the United States. If you travel outside the United States without first receiving advance parole, USCIS will automatically terminate your deferred action.

USCIS will only grant advance parole if your travel abroad will be for:

• Educational purposes, such as semester abroad programs or academic research;

• Employment purposes, such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences, training, or meetings with clients; or

• Humanitarian purposes, such as travel to obtain medical treatment, attend funeral services for a family member, or visit an ailing relative.

Travel for vacation is not a valid purpose.

If mailing using U.S. Postal Service:

USCIS
P.O. Box 5757
Chicago, IL 60680-5757

If mailing using USPS express mail/courier:

USCIS
Attn: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
131 S. Dearborn – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL  60603-5517

#immigrationupdates    #DACA  

USCIS – Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process
Refugees & Asylum. Refugees; Asylum. Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes. Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status; Victims of Criminal Activity: U Nonimmigrant Status. Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process; Temporary Protected Status & Deferred …

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DHS Issues Guidance on DOMA Ruling

DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano directs the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to implement last week's historic Supreme Court ruling and, effective immediately, "review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.”

The guidance also includes 2 FAQ's:

Q1: I am a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national.  Can I now sponsor my spouse for a family-based immigrant visa?

A1: Yes, you can file the petition. You may file a Form I-130 (and any applicable accompanying application). Your eligibility to petition for your spouse, and your spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant at the immigration visa application or adjustment of status stage, will be determined according to applicable immigration law and will not be automatically denied as a result of the same-sex nature of your marriage.

Q2: My spouse and I were married in a U.S. state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but we live in a state that does not.  Can I file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse?

A2: Yes, you can file the petition.  In evaluating the petition, as a general matter, USCIS looks to the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. That general rule is subject to some limited exceptions under which federal immigration agencies historically have considered the law of the state of residence in addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage. Whether those exceptions apply may depend on individual, fact-specific circumstances. If necessary, we may provide further guidance on this question going forward.

#immigrationupdates   #DOMA  

Implementation of the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act | Homeland Security
Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Frequently Asked Questions about the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.

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E-Verify Update: Direct Employee Notification

Providing an email address when filling out Form I-9 is optional. However, employees who do so, can benefit from this latest E-Verify update.

"Currently, if there is a record mismatch that needs to be resolved before the employee can be confirmed as work authorized, a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) is issued to the employer, who must then contact the affected employee. Now, with this new enhancement, if an employee voluntarily provides his or her email address on the Form I-9, E-Verify will notify the employee of a TNC at the same time it notifies the employer."

"In addition to providing the initial notice of a TNC, E-Verify will send reminder emails to employees if no action to resolve the TNC has occurred within four days of a decision to contest and to notify them about the possible need to update a Social Security or Department of Homeland Security record."

#immigrationupdates #immigrationcompliance 

USCIS – USCIS Enhances E-Verify’s Capability to Directly Notify Employees of an Information Mismatch
USCIS Enhances E-Verify’s Capability to Directly Notify Employees of an Information Mismatch. USCIS is announcing its latest customer service enhancement to E-Verify that will allow direct notification to employees. Currently, if there is a record mismatch that needs to be resolved before the …

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