Month: November 2018

Workload Transfer Between Service Sites

The Service Center Operations Directorate (SCOPS) consists of five service centers which process and adjudicate certain authorized immigration applications and petitions. The five service centers are located in California, Nebraska, Potomac, Texas, and Vermont. Applications and petitions can only be received through the mail, filed online or filed with a USCIS Lockbox. On occasion, cases are transferred between service centers in an attempt to balance the workload and ensure timely processing. Recently, USCIS has transferred case work from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center after it experienced an excess of workload.

When To Use Comparable Evidence in EB-1A cases

There are many interpretations of “comparable evidence.” Some immigration attorneys interpret this alternative criterion to mean that it is only applicable if the profession, not the particular type of evidence, doesn’t fit into the other criteria. For documentary evidence submitted for a particular EB-1 regulatory criteria, as outlined in Policy Memorandum PM-602-0005.1, USCIS recognizes that, “In some cases, evidence relevant to one criterion may be relevant to other criteria set forth in 8 CFR 204.5(h)(3).” (PM-602-0005.1 at page 6).

What’s a 601A Provisional Waiver

If someone entered the U.S. without being inspected by an immigration official, that person has been present unlawfully and accruing unlawful presence from the day they entered. That person becomes “inadmissible”. For as long as someone is deemed “inadmissible” that person cannot be granted a visa or a green card in the United States. However, because the law bars re-entry for so many years (10 years if the person has accrued unlawful presence of more than 180 days), many individuals do not feel safe leaving the U.S. even if they are otherwise eligible for a green card. Fortunately, such individuals may be eligible for a 601A provisional waiver. 

WHAT DOES THE RAISE ACT ENTAIL FOR IMMIGRANTS IN AMERICA

The RAISE act is a bill that focuses on a skills based immigration system in America. RAISE stands for Reforming America’s Immigration for Strong Employment. The two republican politicians that co-sponsored were Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and Georgia Senator David Perdue. This bill’s goal is to cut the percentage of legal immigration in the United States by 50% each year over the next 10 years by reducing the number of green cards issued. Hopefully, the bill will face opposition in congress from Democrats and some Republicans as  well. This act will greatly impact the United States’ immigration system, which currently gives green cards to more than a million people a year. This bill would attempt to cut this number in half to become about 500,000 people a year.

USCIS Site Visits

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) works to deter and detect fraud in all immigration programs. The H-1B visa program helps U.S. companies recruit highly skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country. Since 2009, USCIS has been increasing targeted inspections and anti-fraud site visits in regards to the H-1B visa, to ensure that employers and foreign workers are complying with the requirements of the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. These compliance review site visits are conducted to review foreign national employees specifically to ensure that the employer is complying with claims made in the I-129 petition, and specifically that they are authorized to work in their current positions.

USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee

Effective October 1st, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has increased the premium processing fee from $1225 to $1410 for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigration Petition for Alien Workers.

THE FUTURE OF DACA

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), also was formed through executive order by former President Barack Obama in 2012 and allows certain people, called Dreamers, who come to the United States illegally as minors to be protected from immediate deportation. Recipients are able to request “consideration of deferred action” for a period of two years which is subject to renewal.

The End of DACA

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (also known as DACA), ordered by the Obama administration in 2012, is a program that has offered temporary protection from deportation to nearly 800,000 people who were brought to the country illegally as children, allowing them to obtain work permits, be eligible for driver’s licenses, and complete schooling.

The Diversity Green Card Lottery

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program was first created in 1980, mainly to benefit Irish immigrants. Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Representative Bruce Morrison of Connecticut, both Democrats, invoked a “diversity” rationale in noting that the program would help the many Irish in the United States who had overstayed their temporary visas. The program was then changed to accept anyone from countries that don’t send many immigrants to the United States. In 1990, the program was passed through a bill signed into law by former President George Bush. This program gives individuals from select countries the opportunity to win a visa by random selection. It is managed by the State Department and has been functioning since 1995.

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