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Immigration News - September and October of 2010

10/28/2010: Change to I-485 Concurrent Filing for Religious Workers

Before November 8, 2010: Any properly filed concurrent Form I-360, Form I-485, Form I-765 and/or Form I-131 from individuals seeking classification as special immigrant religious workers submitted before November 8, 2010 will be processed in accordance with the guidelines established in the August 5, 2009 Memorandum HQDOMO AD09-, "Clarifying Guidance on the Implementation of the District Court's Order in Ruiz-Diaz v. United States, No. C07-1881RSL (W.D. Wash. June 11, 2009)." On or After November 8, 2010: Any Form I-485, Form I-765, and/or Form I-131 submitted on or after November 8, 2010, where the underlying basis is an I-360 petition seeking the classification of special immigrant religious worker, must be filed with an approved I-360 petition or it will be rejected. - USCIS Notice

10/27/2010: Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence

Immigrants are particularly vulnerable to domestic violence because they may not speak English, are often separated from family and friends, and may not understand the laws of the United States. For these reasons, immigrants are often afraid to report acts of domestic violence to the police or to seek other forms of assistance. Such fear causes many immigrants to remain in abusive relationships. This fact sheet will explain domestic violence and inform you of your legal rights in the United States. - USCIS Fact Sheet

10/27/2010: Foreign Labor Certification Annual Report

This report presents employment-based immigration program data drawn from applications submitted to the Department by employers across the country. DOL ETA labor certification is often the first step in the process for many of the visa programs that enable employers to hire foreign workers. - DOL 2009 Report

10/27/2010: Exchange Visitor Program - Secondary School Students

The Department (of State) is revising existing Secondary School Student regulations regarding the screening, selection, school enrollment, orientation, and quality assurance monitoring of exchange students as well as the screening, selection, orientation, and quality assurance monitoring of host families and field staff. Further, the Department is adopting a new requirement regarding training for all organizational representatives who place and/or monitor students with host families. The proposed requirement to conduct FBI fingerprint-based criminal background checks will not be implemented at this time. Rather, it will continue to be examined and a subsequent Final Rule regarding this provision will be forthcoming. These regulations, as revised, govern the Department designated exchange visitor programs under which foreign secondary school students (ages 15-18\1/2\) are afforded the opportunity to study in the United States at accredited public or private secondary schools for an academic semester or year while living with American host families or residing at accredited U.S. boarding schools. - Federal Register

10/25/2010: USCIS Redesigns Naturalization Certificate

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas today announced the launch of a redesigned Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550) with new security features that will reduce fraud-part of USCIS' ongoing efforts to enhance the integrity of the immigration system. USCIS began using redesigned certificates at all offices today, and the agency anticipates that over 600,000 new citizens will receive the enhanced certificate over the next year. - USCIS Press Release

10/25/2010: Coming Out Illegal

Leslie, a history major at the University of California at Los Angeles and an aspiring marathon runner with three part-time jobs and plans for grad school, keeps a neatly folded dark blue T-shirt in her closet among her jeans and her U.C.L.A. Bruins sweatshirt. Like an intimate detail, she reveals it cautiously, wearing it to campus events but not on the streets of Orange County; to a rally with a group of friends, but not alone on a crosstown bus. A senior at U.C.L.A. and the only child of a single working mother, Leslie is brave but not reckless: in the wrong place under the wrong circumstances, the T-shirt's two words across the chest - "I'm Undocumented" - are provocative enough to upend her life. - NY Times

10/21/2010: CBP Chief Call for Immigration Reform

"But for all we've accomplished, our country has yet to grapple with an issue that is integral to who we are - and how we are perceived as Americans to our neighbors. We all know the debate over immigration reform in recent years has been contentious. But heated debates aren't an excuse for inaction. Both Republicans and Democrats can agree that the immigration system is badly broken, and that the status quo is unsustainable. That's why President Obama is fiercely determined to stop kicking the can down the road and once and for all have an honest discussion over the long simmering issues surrounding immigration." - Alan Bersin, CBP Commissioner

10/21/2010: New EOIR Website

The primary mission of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is to adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation's immigration laws. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR conducts immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings. - EOIR

10/18/2010: USCIS Presentation at EB-5 Stakeholder Meeting

  • EB-5 Case Processing Times & Statistics
  • EB-5 Visa Usage
  • Form I-924 & Form I-924A
  • EB-5 Training
  • EB-5 Inquiries and EB-5 Mailbox Auto-Reply
  • EB-5 Expedite Requests
  • Form I-526 Premium Processing

See PowerPoint here.

10/08/2010: Pending I-485 Inventory Released

USCIS finally updated pending I-485 inventory on October 8, with data up to October 1, 2010. New data is now in the green card tracker. You can check your new place in line for a green card.

10/08/2010: November 2010 Visa Bulletin

Very little movement from October!

10/07/2010: Interim Memo on H-1B and L-1 petition fees

On August 13, 2010, President Obama signed Public Law 111-230, which contains provisions to increase certain H-1B and L-1 petition fees. Effective upon enactment, Public Law 111-230 requires the submission of an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions. The fee applies to petitions postmarked on or after August 14, 2010. Public Law 111-230 will remain in effect through September 30, 2014. The additional fee applies to petitioners that employ 50 or more employees in the United States with more than 50% of their employees in the United States in H-1B or L-1A or L-1B1 nonimmigrant status. - USCIS Memo

10/02/2010: US to Warn Americans to be Vigilant in Europe

The State Department will issue a travel alert for Europe on Sunday morning that advises Americans to stay vigilant on the continent because of threat information, senior U.S. officials told the AP. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because a final decision has not been announced. "This travel alert is a cumulative result of information we have received over an extended period," one senior administration official said. "We are constantly monitoring a range of threat streams and have monitored this and others for some time." - Yahoo News

09/24/2010: USCIS New Fee Schedule Questions and Answers

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced a final rule adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions. The final rule follows a period of public comment on a proposed version of the rule, which USCIS published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2010. After encouraging stakeholders to share their input, USCIS considered all 225 comments received. The final rule will increase overall fees by a weighted average of about 10 percent but will not increase the fee for the naturalization application. The rule will also reduce fees for six individual applications and petitions and will expand the availability of fee waivers to new categories. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register September 24, and the adjusted fees will go into effect on November 23, 2010. - USCIS

09/13/2010: Time to Think Like an Immigrant

In learning their stories, we found that the high-achievers typically parlayed immigrant skills into entrepreneurship skills. To succeed in business, they tapped personality traits that propelled them to immigrate, starting with dreaming big. - Huffington Post

09/10/2010: October 2010 Visa Bulletin - First Month of FY2011

The State Department's October Visa Bulletin was just released. India EB2 remained at May 8, 2006, while China advanced slightly to May 22. Both countries' EB3 categories barely moved, i.e. still heavily backlogged. Mexico EB3 was finally out of Unavailable state, and Dominican REpublic was no longer an oversubscribed country.

09/08/2010: I Was an 'Anchor Baby'

I was an "anchor baby." According to family lore, the day I was born at Hibbing Memorial Hospital in Minnesota in the early 1960s was also the day my parents received their deportation papers. They had come to America from war-torn Korea on student visas that had run out. Laws at the time prohibited most Asians from immigrating, so they were told to leave, even with three American children. - LA Times

09/02/2010: Executive Summary: H-1B and L-1 Fee Increase

On August 13, 2010, President Obama signed into law Public Law 111-230. The new law contains provisions that require petitioners to pay an additional $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and an additional $2,250 for certain L-1 petitions. To begin public outreach on this legislation, USCIS held a teleconference on August 19, 2010 to share how USCIS will implement it. - USCIS

09/01/2010: New Appointment Service for Visa Applicants in Canada

As of September 1, 2010, all services including calling for information and scheduling an appointment will be provided for no additional cost, with no requirement that applicants pay phone charges or PIN numbers to access such services. Starting September 1, 2010, applicants will visit CSC Visa Information Services to either obtain information online or via telephone on how to start their application for a U.S. visa at a consular section in Canada. - U.S. Embassy

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