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Agency News and Press Releases
Senate Confirms Emilio T. Gonzalez, Ph.D. as Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
On December 22, 2005, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Emilio T. Gonzales, Ph.D., as the Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
AILA Doc. No. 05122240.
H-2B Cap Exhausted for First-Half of Fiscal Year
(41 KB - 12/16/2005)
USCIS press release announces that the agency has received enough petitions to reach the H-2B cap for the first-half of FY2006. USCIS also addresses how it will handle cap-subject petitions filed on or after December 15, 2006, returning worker H-2B petitions, and H-2B petitions for the second half of FY2006. AILA Doc. No. 05121663.
AILA Doc. No. 05121663.
USCIS Updates Count on H-2B Cap and H-1B Advanced Degrees Usage
Updated figures on fiscal year 2006 usage of H-2B first-half numbers and H-1B numbers for graduates of U.S. advanced degree programs. Note the asterisked explanation of why the H-2B numbers exceed the first-half quota and how USCIS plans to cut off that category. AILA Doc. No. 05121661.
AILA Doc. No. 05121661.
December 2005 Issue of USCIS Today Published
USCIS releases December 2005 issue of its monthly newsletter,
. This issue addresses interim relief for students impacted by Hurricane Katrina, paperless re-adjudication of I-765s at VSC, new USCIS guides and civics materials for immigrants, reminders to properly use re-entry permits, and more. AILA Doc. No. 05120264.
AILA Doc. No. 05120264.
USCIS Reminds ABC Class Members of New Address Change Procedures
(32 KB - 12/1/2005)
With the ABC Project Post Office Box now closed, USCIS will no longer accept change of address forms sent to that box. Class members must now use the address listed on Form AR-11 in order to report a change of address. AILA Doc. No. 05120165.
AILA Doc. No. 05120165.
USCIS Updates Counts on H-2B and H-1B Advanced Degree Usage
Updated figures on fiscal year 2006 usage of H-2B first-half numbers and H-1B numbers for graduates of U.S. advanced degree programs. Note the asterisked explanation of why the H-2B numbers exceed the first-half quota and how USCIS plans to cut off that category. AILA Doc. No. 05112372.
AILA Doc. No. 05112372.
USCIS Provides Update on H-1B/H-2B Usage
USCIS has updated its website with respect to current usage of H-2B numbers for the first half of fiscal 2006 and H-1B U.S. advanced degree exception numbers for fiscal 2006. AILA Doc. No. 05102766.
AILA Doc. No. 05102766.
October 2005 Issue of USCIS Today Published
USCIS releases October 2005 issue of its monthly newsletter, USCIS Today. This issue addresses USCIS operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a new security partnership between the NSC and DOS, and an update on backlog reduction efforts. AILA Doc. No. 05100571.
AILA Doc. No. 05100571.
USCIS To Accept DOL Printouts as Temporary Proof of Labor Certification (9/29/05)
USCIS public notices announces that USCIS Service Centers will immediately begin accepting Department of Labor (DOL) printouts establishing the issuance of a labor certification (either a Form ETA-750 or a Form 9089) along with EB-2 (employment-based immigrant) petitions. USCIS will continue to accept the printout through September 30, 2005.
AILA Doc. No. 05092962.
USCIS Announces Fee Adjustment
USCIS press release on its revised fee structure for immigration benefits. The new fee structure becomes effective 10/26/05. Note: though it is not reflected in the chart attached, today's Federal Register notice indicates that the I-485 filing fee for children under 14 will go up from $215 to $225.
AILA Doc. No. 05092660.
USCIS Releases Numbers on Remaining H-1B Masters Numbers
USCIS has updated its website with the current count for usage of the H-1B numbers for graduates of U.S. masters or above programs for fiscal years 2005 and 2006. It appears that there will be sufficient numbers to get to the end of fiscal 2005, but usage of 2006 numbers is heavy. AILA Doc. No. 05092360.
AILA Doc. No. 05092360.
USCIS Leaves Gap in Employment Authorization for Some Salvadoran TPS Applicants
(39 KB - 9/9/2005)
Fact Sheet from USCIS indicates what actions are being taken with respect to Salvadoran TPS applicants who have not yet received their work authorization documents. Although the blanket authorization expires today, the government has failed to make provision to authorize those whose cases it was unable to process in a timely manner. AILA Doc. No. 05090972.
AILA Doc. No. 05090972.
USCIS Provides Information on Operations in Areas Affected by Hurricane Katrina
(54 KB - 9/8/2005)
USCIS indicates that its office in New Orleans is secure, but two employees of that office remain unaccounted for. A link to a page for information about applications at the New Orleans district office is provided. AILA Doc. No. 05090865.
AILA Doc. No. 05090865.
USCIS Issues Press Release on Liberia TPS Extension
Press Release from USCIS discusses the extension of the Temporary Protected Status designation for Liberia for 12 months, until 10/1/06. The 60-day re-registration period begins 8/16/05 and will remain in effect until 10/17/05 .
AILA Doc. No. 05081642.
USCIS Announces that H-1B Cap for Fiscal 2006 Is Reached
(44 KB - 8/12/2005)
Notice from USCIS announces that sufficient H-1Bs have been received to reach the fiscal 2006 H-1B cap, and that filings are cut off for any petitions received after August 10, 2005. Exemptions and set-asides are discussed. AILA Doc. No. 05081260.
AILA Doc. No. 05081260.
USCIS Updates H-1B Cap Count
The USCIS appears to be periodically updating its chart showing the count for H visa usage, at least with respect to H-1B. If you are interested in following the cap count, it is recommended that you bookmark that page and check it periodically. AILA Doc. No. 05081160.
AILA Doc. No. 05081160.
USCIS Reminds I-90 Applicants of E-Filing Option
(127 KB - 8/5/2005)
Release from USCIS reminds applicants for replacement green cards that they may file those particular applications electronically. AILA Doc. No. 05080567.
AILA Doc. No. 05080567.
Second Issue of USCIS Today Newsletter Published
USCIS publishes the August 2005 issue of its monthly newsletter, USCIS Today. This latest issue includes a message from Acting Deputy Director Robert Divine, a piece on how to replace a permanent residency card online and an update on backlog elimination efforts. Information on email subscriptions to the newsletter is also included. AILA Doc. No. 05080360.
AILA Doc. No. 05080360.
USCIS Updates Count on FY2005 H-1B Usage
USCIS indicates that, as of June 29, 2005, it has received 8,069 petitions that will count against the 20,000 additional numbers for fiscal year 2005. AILA Doc. No. 05071261.
AILA Doc. No. 05071261.
USCIS Issues Inaugural Newsletter: USCIS Today
The first issue of USCIS Today includes information on the USCIS Strategic Plan, Backlog Elimination progress, and profiles on a USCIS employee as well as an immigrant story. The newsletter will be published monthly, and archives and email subscription will be available. AILA Doc. No. 05062962.
AILA Doc. No. 05062962.
Government Speakers Provide H-1B Numbers Update at AILA's Annual Conference
Government Officials speaking at AILA's Annual Conference in Utah provided current data on the number of FY05 Additional H-1B, and FY06 H-1B usage.
AILA Doc. No. 05062560.
USCIS Implements L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004
(27 KB - 6/22/2005)
USCIS announces the implementation of new provisions to the L-1 Temporary Worker (Intracompany Transferee) program. These changes were mandated by the L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004, which addresses the "outsourcing" of L-1B Temporary Workers. AILA Doc. No. 05062265
AILA Doc. No. 05062265.
USCIS Updates Form I-687
(77 KB - 6/22/2005)
USCIS announces that Form I-687 will now be used to apply to USCIS for benefits under the terms and conditions of certain settlement agreements. USCIS adds that the 4/30/04 edition of the form continues to be acceptable. AILA Doc. No. 05062260.
AILA Doc. No. 05062260.
USCIS Press Release on Filing Fees for H-1B1 Free Trade Petitions
USCIS announces that, after 7/20/05, it will reject all cases filed for H-1B1 Free Trade nonimmigrants from Chile and Singapore without the proper filing fees as required by the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004. AILA Doc. No. 05062111.
AILA Doc. No. 05062111.
USCIS Issues Revised News Release on New I-90 Lock Box
(35 KB - 6/16/2005)
A revised notice advises the public of the new procedure for filing Form I-90, the application for a replacement green card. Addresses are given for the new California lock box. A reminder of the availability of e-filing also is included. AILA Doc. No. 05061661.
AILA Doc. No. 05061661.
USCIS Announces Release of Guide for New Immigrants
The free guide is available
in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese. Copies will soon be available online in Tagalog, Korean, Russian, Arabic, French, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole. Print copies of the English and Spanish guides are available for purchase through the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).
AILA Doc. No. 05060863.
USCIS Announces New "Green Card" Filing Procedure
(112 KB - 5/25/2005)
USCIS announces that starting 5/31/05, individuals must mail applications to renew or replace Permanent Resident Cards directly to the Los Angeles Lockbox. Form I-90 must be accompanied by a $185 application fee and a $70 biometrics fee, and mailed to one of two Los Angeles area addresses, based on method of mailing used. AILA Doc. No. 05052640.
AILA Doc. No. 05052640.
USCIS on Usage of FY 2005 H-1B Exemption Numbers
(31 KB - 5/24/2005)
USCIS indicates that, as of May 20, 2005, 6,393 of the 20,000 H-1B exemption numbers for fiscal year 2005 had been used. AILA Doc. No. 05052460.
AILA Doc. No. 05052460.
USCIS Instructions on Filing for Additional H-2Bs
Public Notice from USCIS regarding filing additional H-2B petitions under the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005. USCIS will begin accepting petitions on Wednesday, May 25, 2005. AILA Doc. No. 05052361.
AILA Doc. No. 05052361.
V-2/V-3s Can Be Extended Past the 21st Birthday
(33 KB - 5/17/2005)
USCIS announces that it will now approve extensions of children with V-2 or V-3 status who are 21 years old or older, if they are otherwise eligible. AILA Doc. No. 05051761.
AILA Doc. No. 05051761.
USCIS Announces CSS/LULAC Application Deadline Extension
(31 KB - 5/17/2005)
Press Release from USCIS announcing the extension of the deadline for filing applications under the CSS and LULAC (Newman) settlement agreements. AILA Doc. No. 05051760.
AILA Doc. No. 05051760.
USCIS Press Release on Class Action Settlement of 245(i) Litigation
The USCIS press release announces settlement of the class action lawsuit, Ramos v. Chertoff, involving 245(i) applicants who filed with the Chicago then-INS office between 1/29/97 and 4/30/01. AILA Doc. No. 05051361.
AILA Doc. No. 05051361.
VSC Update on Attorney Copies of Notices of Approval
The VSC provides an update on cases for which attorneys were not provided a copy of the Notice of Approval in approved I-485 cases.
AILA Doc. No. 05050424.
USCIS Issues Press Release on the New H-1B Regulations
The USCIS announces that the filing period for the FY05 20,000 new H-1Bs for those with a master's or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education begins 5/12/05, and provides instructions for FY05 and FY06 H-1B filings. Note that the old form I-129 will be accepted, with proper annotations, until 5/30/05. AILA Doc. No. 05050422.
AILA Doc. No. 05050422.
USCIS Director Aguirre To Be Nominated Ambassador to Spain and Andorra
President Bush announced on April 8, 2005, his intention to nominate Eduardo Aguirre to be Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. Mr. Aguirre currently serves as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
AILA Doc. No. 05042542.
Further Clarification from NSC on the Effect of Separation/Divorce on I-751
The Nebraska Service Center further clarifies its earlier notices on the impact of separation or divorce on the filing of the I-751 application to remove conditions.
AILA Doc. No. 05042540.
NBC Lockbox Direct Mail Address for Forms I-485, I-765, and I-131
(98 KB - 4/6/2005)
This USCIS notice gives more information about the Chicago Lockbox which accepts certain applications pertaining to family-based adjustment of status cases, e.g., Forms I-485, I-765, and I-131. AILA Doc. No. 05040666.
AILA Doc. No. 05040666.
Latest on the H-1B Saga
The announcement about filing for the 20,000 H-1Bs for fiscal 2005 is still awaiting OMB approval. USCIS does not know when it will be out. Filings for fiscal 2006 will begin 4/1/05. The few available details are provided.
AILA Doc. No. 05033011.
USCIS Announces Changes to Indochinese Adjustment Rules
(142 KB - 3/30/2005)
USCIS announces statutory changes to the Indochines Parolee Adjustment Program, to eliminate the cap and the 3-year filing window. AILA Doc. No. 05033010.
AILA Doc. No. 05033010.
USCIS Announces Backlog Elimination Update
(101 KB - 3/24/2005)
USCIS provides an update on its efforts to eliminate the backlog in processing immigration benefits such as work authorization, permanent residency and naturalization. AILA Doc. No. 05032460.
AILA Doc. No. 05032460.
USCIS Updates I-129 Form Again
The USCIS has updated its website with a newer version of Form I-129, now dated 3/17/05. The form indicates that earlier paper versions can be used until 4/30/05. AILA Doc. No. 05032273.
AILA Doc. No. 05032273.
USCIS Updates Instructions for Form I-90
On 3/18/05, the USCIS posted to its website a new Form I-90 to include updated instructions.
AILA Doc. No. 05031840.
Old I-129 To Be Accepted Until 4/30/05 (updated 3/16/05)
USCIS announced on the evening of 3/15/05 that it will accept the 12/10/01 edition of the I-129 and the 2/14/02 edition of the I-129W through April 30, 2005. Certain annotations to the I-129W must be added.
AILA Doc. No. 05031440.
USCIS Issues New Form I-129
On 3/11/05, the USCIS posted a new Form I-129 to its website, incorporating former form I-129W, and making additional revisions to the instructions and the form. It appears that the form is effective immediately, but there are indications that this might be an error. AILA is seeking clarification and will post information as soon as it becomes available.
AILA Doc. No. 05031465.
USCIS Will Apply 20,000 Fiscal 2005 H-1B Numbers to All Qualified H-1Bs
(32 KB - 3/8/2005)
Press release from USCIS indicates that availability of the 20,000 H-1B numbers for fiscal 2005 as a result of the exemption will NOT be limited to individuals holding a master's or higher from a U.S. university, but instead will be applied to all qualified H-1B nonimmigrants. The date when filing can begin is not yet announced. AILA Doc. No. 05030870.
AILA Doc. No. 05030870.
USCIS Issues Fact Sheet on Automatic EAD Extension for Salvadoran TPS Beneficiaries
The Fact Sheet is directed to employers and provides instructions on the automatic EAD extension for TPS beneficiaries, effective 3/9/05 to 9/9/05. The document admonishes employers that they should not request proof of El Salvadoran citizenship and should not ask for additional Form I-9 documentation if the TPS EAD appears to be valid. ALA Doc. No. 05030360.
AILA Doc. No. 05030360.
USCIS and DOL Extend Comment Period on H-2B Regulation
USCIS announces that it is extending to 3/30/05 the comment period on its proposed H-2B regulation. The Labor Dept. has advised AILA that it also is extending the deadline on its corresponding proposed regulation.
AILA Doc. No. 05022861.
USCIS Issues Fact Sheet on Status of the Citizens of the Freely Associated States of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands
This Fact Sheet instructs on the Compacts of Free Association with the United States, and provides information on citizenship status, travel documentation requirements, classes of eligible participants, privileges for those in the armed forces or active reserves, adoptions, and other related topics. AILA Doc. No. 05022364.
AILA Doc. No. 05022364.
VSC Advises on NRC Processing of FOIA/PA Requests for the VSC
The Vermont Service Center (VSC) notice provides the regular mail and overnight delivery addresses for filing FOIA/PA requests for the VSC.
AILA Doc. No. 05020976.
USCIS Posts Revised Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing
The USCIS posted its revised Request for Premium Processing Service form (I-907), dated 10/15/04. Prior versions will be accepted by USCIS until 9/30/05. AILA Doc. No. 05040263.
AILA Doc. No. 05040263.
USCIS Proposes Significant Changes to H-2B Program
(597 KB - 1/27/2005)
USCIS press release summarizing the concurrently published DHS and DOL regulations on the new procedures in the H-2B program. AILA Doc. No. 05012771.
AILA Doc. No. 05012771.
H-2B Cap Reached on 1/03/05
(40 KB - 1/4/2005)
USCIS announces that by 1/03/05 it received sufficient numbers of H-2B petitions to reach the FY05 H-2B cap of 66,000. Any cap-subject H-2B petitions received after 1/03/05 will be rejected. The next available start date for cap-subject H-2B petitions is 10/1/05. AILA Doc. No. 05010461.
AILA Doc. No. 05010461.
USCIS Employer Bulletin on Employer Sanctions
The USCIS bulletin instructs on penalties for prohibited employer practices, including civil monetary penalties, criminal penalties, civil document fraud, unlawful discrimination, and document abuse. AILA Doc. No. 05010361.
AILA Doc. No. 05010361.
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