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Agency News and Press Releases
USCIS Announces Commencement of Safe Third Country Agreement on 12/29/04
USCIS commenced implementation of the US - Canada Safe Third Country Agreement on Asylum 12/29/04. This press release provides exceptions to the Agreement. AILA Doc. No. 04122960.
AILA Doc. No. 04122960.
USCIS Discusses Impact of New Law on H-1Bs and Extension of Conrad 30
(106 KB - 12/8/2004)
USCIS press release discusses impact of the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, from the Appropriations legislation, on the H-1B process, and notes that $1500 fee applies to H-1Bs filed after 12/8/04 and the $500 "fraud fee" takes effect 3/8/05. Cap exemptions are discussed, including the Conrad 30 medical graduates. AILA Doc. No. 04120816.
AILA Doc. No. 04120816.
USCIS Discusses Impact of New Law on L-1s/$500 Fee to Take Effect 3/8/05
(88 KB - 12/8/2004)
USCIS press release discusses impact of the L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004, from the Omnibus legislation, on the L-1 process, and notes that the $500 "fraud fee" takes effect March 8, 2005. AILA Doc. No. 04120815.
AILA Doc. No. 04120815.
USCIS Reports on Progress of Backlog Reduction Efforts
(2320 KB - 12/2/2004)
Report to Congress from USCIS on the progress of its backlog reduction efforts. AILA Doc. No. 04120263.
AILA Doc. No. 04120263.
United States and Canada to Implement Safe Third Country Agreement on Asylum
(341 KB - 11/29/2004)
USCIS press release announcing the implementation of a bilateral agreement between the United States and Canada affecting asylum seekers at U.S.-Canada land border ports-of-entry, and transiting through the United States or Canada during removal by the other country. AILA Doc. No. 04112980.
AILA Doc. No. 04112980.
Direct Mail Filing for Forms 1-485, I-765 and I-131 to Start at Chicago Lockbox
(305 KB - 11/23/2004)
USCIS press release expanding the direct mail program so that forms I-485, I-765 and I-131 will be filed at the Chicago lockbox effective 12/1/04. AILA Doc. No. 04112380.
AILA Doc. No. 04112380.
USCIS Washington District Office to Move from Arlington to Fairfax, Virginia
(137 KB - 11/22/2004)
The Washington District Office will close between 11/23-29 for the move to 2675 Prosperity Avenue in Fairfax, Virginia. In case of emergency, an Immigration Information Officer will be on site at the 4420 Fairfax Drive location during this transition period. The new Fairfax office will open for InfoPass appointments only on Tuesday, 11/30. AILA Doc. No. 04112261.
AILA Doc. No. 04112261.
USCIS Announces H-2B Numbers as of November 1, 2004
(40 KB - 11/17/2004)
USCIS announces that it has received H-2B petitions for 33,153 beneficiaries toward the fiscal year 2005 cap of 66,000. It indicates that it generally needs to approve 100,000 beneficiaries to fully utilize the cap numbers. AILA Doc. No. 04111764.
AILA Doc. No. 04111764.
USCIS Issues Press Releases in English and Spanish on the New "Green Card"
Commencing 11/15/04, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began issuing new permanent resident cards which include enhanced security features, the DHS seal on the front and prominently display the words "Department of Homeland Security" on the back.
AILA Doc. No. 04111661.
USCIS Issues Fact Sheet on the Child Citizenship Act of 2000
(595 KB - 11/8/2004)
The Fact Sheet addresses questions relating to automatic citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA), who is eligible under the CCA, filing of CCA applications, certificate and passport proof of citizenship, and eligibility of adopted children.
AILA Doc. No. 04110867.
USCIS Extends TPS for Honduras and Nicaragua; Is "Favorably Disposed" To Extension for El Salvador (
(159 KB - 11/2/2004)
USCIS press release announcing extension of the designation of Honduras and Nicaragua for TPS, and that it is "favorably disposed" to such an extension for El Salvador "if the country conditions there warrant." AILA Doc. No. 04110114.
AILA Doc. No. 04110114.
USCIS Reminds Adjustment Applicants to Obtain Advance Parole Before Traveling
As we approach the holiday season, USCIS reminds adjustment, NACARA, and asylum applicants to obtain advance parole prior to departing the United States. AILA Doc. No. 04102510.
AILA Doc. No. 04102510.
USCIS Confirms Continued Issuance of I-551 Stamp (corrected 10/26/04)
(122 KB - 10/22/2004)
USCIS has issued a notice statement confirming that, until further notice, it will continue the practice of issuing I-551 ADIT stamps in passports and on I-94s. AILA Doc. No. 04102265.
AILA Doc. No. 04102265.
USCIS Reaches H-1B Cap for Fiscal 2005
(27 KB - 10/2/2004)
USCIS announced, at approximately 8:00 pm on October 1, 2004, the first day of fiscal year 2005, that it has enough H-1Bs in the pipeline to meet the fy 2005 cap. All cap-subject cases received after the end of the business day October 1 will be returned. AILA Doc. No. 04100210.
AILA Doc. No. 04100210.
USCIS Extends Liberian TPS EADs for Approximately 3 Weeks
(47 KB - 9/30/2004)
Due to an error in its Federal Register notice, USCIS is extending the validity of work authorizations for Liberians under TPS until 10/24/04. AILA Doc. No. 04093065.
AILA Doc. No. 04093065.
USCIS Q&A on Extension of Liberian EADs
(42 KB - 9/30/2004)
USCIS provides questions and answers on the extension of the effective date of EADs for Liberians under TPS until October 24, 2004, due to an error in the Federal Register notice. AILA Doc. No. 04093063.
AILA Doc. No. 04093063.
FY 2005 H-1B Cap-Subject H-1B Filings Reach 45,900
USCIS advises that, as of August 18, 2004, it had received 45,900 cap-subject H-1B filings subject to the fiscal 2005 cap. AILA Doc. No. 04090761.
AILA Doc. No. 04090761.
USCIS Continues Rapid Expansion of InfoPass to District Offices Nationwide
USCIS recently initiated InfoPass in the district offices in Anchorage, Atlanta, Detroit, Denver, Fresno, Guam, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland OR, Reno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Spokane, Tucson, and Yakima.
AILA Doc. No. 04090260.
Questions and Answers on DHS’s Termination and Redesignation of Liberia for TPS
The USCIS, on 8/25/04, issued a Q&A concerning the DHS’s termination and redesignation of Liberia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The document provides information on eligibility, registration, and travel, among other things.
AILA Doc. No. 04082561.
USCIS Announces Termination and Redesignation of Liberia for TPS
A USCIS Press Release dated 8/25/04 announced the termination and redesignation of Liberia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) until 10/1/05. The 180-day registration period begins on 8/25/04 and ends on 2/21/05.
AILA Doc. No. 04082560.
USCIS To End Fingerprinting by Non-ASCs
(93 KB - 8/20/2004)
USCIS announces that, on 10/1/04, it will terminate its contract with Designated Law Enforcement Agencies, where some immigrants in rural areas have gone for fingerprints. After that time, USCIS will direct people to the ASCs for fingerprinting. AILA Doc. No. 04082061.
AILA Doc. No. 04082061.
USCIS Launches InfoPass in Houston, Texas
(100 KB - 8/19/2004)
USCIS announces that InfoPass, its internet-based appointment system, was formally launched in the Houston, Texas office on 8/17/04. AILA Doc. No. 04081964.
AILA Doc. No. 04081964.
USCIS Launches InfoPass in Boston
(100 KB - 8/18/2004)
USCIS announces that InfoPass, its internet-based appointment system, was formally launched in the Boston, Massachusetts office on 8/17/04. AILA Doc. No. 04081860.
AILA Doc. No. 04081860.
USCIS To Hold Public Meeting on EB-5 Pilot Program
USCIS announces a "public informational meeting on the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program and Regional Centers" on Sept. 17, 2004, in Washington, DC. RSVP deadline is 8/30/04.
AILA Doc. No. 04081361.
USCIS Launches InfoPass in Upstate New York
USCIS announces that InfoPass, its internet-based appointment system, was formally launched in the Buffalo, New York office on August 9, 2004. AILA Doc. No. 04080962.
AILA Doc. No. 04080962.
USCIS Announces 12-Month Extension of TPS For Nationals of Somalia
(494 KB - 8/6/2004)
USCIS press release and Q&As on the extension of Temporary Protected status for nationals of Somalia until September 17, 2005. AILA Doc. No. 04080680.
AILA Doc. No. 04080680.
USCIS Launches InfoPass in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
USCIS announces that InfoPass, its internet-based appointment system, was formally launched in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offices on August 5, 2004. USCIS aims to have InfoPass in all 33 USCIS Districts by early September 2004. AILA Doc. No. 04080565.
AILA Doc. No. 04080565.
US-VISIT Exit Program Description
(161 KB - 8/3/2004)
"Program-at-a-Glance" release from DHS attempting to describe the process and technology for the exit element of US-VISIT. AILA Doc. No. 04080364.
AILA Doc. No. 04080364.
USCIS Employer Bulletin on Temporary I-551s as Evidence of Employment Authorization for I-9 Purposes
(91 KB - 8/2/2004)
The USCIS bulletin instructs on qualifying List A #4 documentation to show authorized employment authorization, including the new unexpired foreign passport with the new MRIV containing temporary I-551 language and endorsed with an unexpired DHS admission stamp. AILA Doc. No. 04080162.
AILA Doc. No. 04080162.
USCIS Announces Only Full Frontal Photos to be Accepted After 9/1/04
The USCIS Press Release advises that USCIS will accept both three-quarter and full color frontal photographs until 9/1/04, after which only full frontal color will be accepted. Applications previously submitted with color photos with the three-quarter standard will not be affected by this change.
AILA Doc. No. 04080161.
USCIS To Change to Passport-Style Photographs on 9/1/04 (Updated 7/28/04)
The Nebraska and California Service Centers have advised AILA that USCIS plans to switch from ADIT-style photographs to passport-style photographs for all documents, with a possible launch date of 8/1/04. NSC and CSC urge that filers start submitting passport-style photographs now.
AILA Doc. No. 04072668.
USCIS Announces Extension of Stay For Some Foreign Students
(148 KB - 7/23/2004)
USCIS press release regarding notice that certain academic and exchange foreign students (F and J Visa holders) seeking to adjust to H-1B status may remain in the United States legally until their H-1B petitions are decided. AILA Doc. No. 04072350.
AILA Doc. No. 04072350.
USCIS Announces Extension of Certification Deadline for Certain Foreign Health Workers
(145 KB - 7/22/2004)
USCIS extends the deadline for nonimmigrant health care workers to obtain visa screen certificates for Canadian and Mexican TN status holders who were employed in TN status before 9/23/03 and held a valid license from a U.S. jurisdiction. AILA Doc. No. 04072250.
AILA Doc. No. 04072250.
USCIS Announces Installation of InfoPass in New York and Plans to Implement InfoPass Nationwide by September 2004
USCIS announces that InfoPass has commenced in New York and that USCIS will implement InfoPass nationwide to include 33 USCIS Districts by September 2004. Dates for commencement of operation by region are included in the press release.
AILA Doc. No. 04072265.
InfoPass Launched in New York
(117 KB - 7/16/2004)
USCIS announces that InfoPass, its internet-based appointment system, will be formally launched in the New York office on July 22, and that USCIS plans to implement the system nationwide by early September 2004. AILA Doc. No. 04071663.
AILA Doc. No. 04071663.
USCIS to Process I-130s As Visa Numbers Come Available
(118 KB - 7/15/2004)
USCIS announces that it is officially adopting the practice of holding I-130s until the priority date comes current, and adjudicating them as a visa number becomes available. AILA Doc. No. 04071561.
AILA Doc. No. 04071561.
USCIS "Fact Sheet" on Backlog Elimination Strategy
(122 KB - 6/21/2004)
USCIS provides the broad outlines of its backlog reduction plan. AILA Doc. No. 04062163.
AILA Doc. No. 04062163.
USCIS Closed on 6/11/04 - Except Swearing-in Ceremonies
USCIS has advised AILA that all of its offices will be closed on Friday, June 11, 2004, except that any naturalization swearing-in ceremonies that have been scheduled for that day will proceed.
AILA Doc. No. 04060911.
USCIS Launches I-90 Pilot Project in Los Angeles for One Week Processing
By E-filing an I-90 application, a Los Angeles District applicant will get a receipt notice with a toll-free number to schedule an appointment at an ASC, which will order a permanent resident card for customers to receive in under a week. Applicants with already-filed I-90 applications can re-file electronically to participate in this new pilot. AILA Doc. No. 04060262.
AILA Doc. No. 04060262.
USCIS Fee Schedule (4/29/04)
USCIS fee schedule reflecting new fees after the 4/30/04 fee change. AILA Doc. No. 04060112.
AILA Doc. No. 04060112.
USCIS Expands On-Line Filing, Adding Forms I-129, I-131, I-140, I-539, I-821, and I-907
Integrating these forms into the on-line filing system already including forms I-90 and I-765, the on-line system can now cover more than 50% of the total volume of benefits applications USCIS receives annually. Future additions to the on-line system are to include on-line accounts, ability to save draft forms, and secured payment capabilities.
AILA Doc. No. 04052662.
USCIS Reminds Travelers to Obtain Advance Parole Prior to Departure
(89 KB - 5/24/2004)
The USCIS Press Release reminds adjustment of status, NACARA section 203, and asylum applicants that they must obtain approval of their Advance Parole applications prior to departure. Those who depart the U.S. without approval of Advance Parole may be denied admission and/or the underlying application. AILA Doc. No. 04052464.
AILA Doc. No. 04052464.
USCIS Announces New EAD With Security Features
(84 KB - 5/20/2004)
USCIS has announced that it will soon start issuing a new Form I-766 Employment Authorization Document that will encompass new security features to help prevent counterfeiting and fraud. Launch is expected in early June 2004. AILA Doc. No. 04052065.
AILA Doc. No. 04052065.
USCIS Reinstates Form I-687 for CSS and LULAC Applications
The USCIS reinstated form I-687, Application for Status as a Temporary Resident Under Section 245A, pursuant to the CSS, Newman/LULAC court settlement. Applications may be filed for a period of one year from 05/24/04 through 05/23/05. AILA Doc. No. 04051271.
AILA Doc. No. 04051271.
USCIS Announces InfoPass and Pilot Program in Dallas
Effective immediately, individuals may schedule appointments on-line (at uscis.gov) for certain interviews at the Dallas District office, including for the Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment Pilot Program which aims to complete adjustment of status processing for immediate relatives within 90 days of filing.
AILA Doc. No. 04042163.
USCIS Announces Capacity to Establish Portfolios on the Case Status Online System
Individuals and representatives can establish a user ID and password to create a USCIS portfolio of up to 100 cases which can be checked online at all times. Requests can be made for USCIS automatic e-mails to be sent when changes occur in pending cases. Both English and Spanish services are available. Instructions are provided in the Fact Sheet.
AILA Doc. No. 04041963.
Chart Comparing Filing Fees Over the Years
(77 KB - 4/16/2004)
A chart, prepared by USCIS, compares filing fees from periods from 1985 until the new fee increase. AILA Doc. No. 04041665.
AILA Doc. No. 04041665.
USCIS Talking Points and Qs and As on Fee Increase
USCIS' internal talking points for use by its Public Affairs office, as well as an internal Q and A for that purpose, highlight the arguments the agency is using to support its increases in filing fees.
AILA Doc. No. 04041662.
USCIS Updates Adjustment of Status for Asylees Website Page
The USCIS updated its Adjustment of Status for Asylees page with its current anticipated schedule for processing pending asylee adjustment of status applications. The notice also provides instructions on filing changes of address notifications on form AR-11, travel advisories, and that employment authorization is incident to status. AILA Doc. No. 04041277.
AILA Doc. No. 04041277.
New Version of Form I-566 Required
Form I-566, Interagency Record of Request, which is used in connection with changes of status to or from A, G or NATO, and by dependents in those categories in connection with employment authorization applications, has been updated. No versions earlier than 2/23/04 will be accepted. AILA Doc. No. 04040866.
AILA Doc. No. 04040866.
USCIS Changes Asylum Interview Location for Certain Applicants from Ohio, Kentucky, Texas and Louisiana
Effective 5/3/04, the Houston Asylum Office will no longer circuit ride to Harlingen, Texas, or New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Chicago Asylum Office will no longer circuit ride to Cincinnati, Ohio. New interview locations are provided in the notice. Affected asylum and NACARA§ 203 applicants will be notified of the changes.
AILA Doc. No. 04040763.
Courts Finalize CSS and LULAC (Newman) Legalization Cases
(92 KB - 3/24/2004)
Applications are provided for those who were living in the U.S. in an unlawful status prior to 1982, were eligible for the 1986 legalization program, but who did not apply for certain specified reasons. The application period runs from 5/24/04 to 5/23/05.
AILA Doc. No. 04032414.
USCIS Launches InfoPass for Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Bernardino
Effective immediately, individuals may schedule appointments on-line (at uscis.gov) to meet with immigration information officers at the downtown Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Bernardino USCIS offices. Touch screen InfoPass kiosks are also available at participating offices.
AILA Doc. No. 04031712.
USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap
The USCIS announced on March 10, 2004, that it had reached the 66,000 cap for H-2Bs as of March 9, and thus will reject all petitions that are subject to the cap that are received after that date.
AILA Doc. No. 04031010.
USCIS Announces Completion of EAD Issuance For All Re-Registered Salvadoran TPS Applicants
The USCIS announces that Salvadorans who filed their TPS extension applications by 9/15/03 should receive renewal EAD cards by 3/9/04. The renewal EADs will be valid until 3/5/05. The notice provides phone numbers and instructions for following up on cases where the EADs are expected, but not received by 3/9/04.
AILA Doc. No. 04030365.
USCIS Fact Sheet on Numbers of H-1B Petitions Approved
(95 KB - 2/18/2004)
USCIS Fact Sheet outlines the number of H-1B petitions filed and approved in the past four fiscal years. Information regarding nationalities, income and occupations of beneficiaries also is provided. AILA Doc. No. 04021860.
AILA Doc. No. 04021860.
USCIS Reaches H-1B Cap
USCIS announces on 2/17/04 that enough cap-subject H-1B cases are in the pipeline to reach the fiscal 2004 cap. Cap-subject cases filed after today will be returned.
AILA Doc. No. 04021711.
USCIS Announces Latest Field Leadership Appointments
The USCIS announces additional appointments around the country of District Directors, Asylum Directors, Officers-in-Charge, and the Acting Regional Director for the Central Region.
AILA Doc. No. 04012949.
USCIS Releases H-1B Cap Usage for the First Quarter of FY04
(77 KB - 1/22/2004)
USCIS announced that based upon first quarter tabulations, 43,500 H-1B cases that could count against the 65,000 cap for FY2004 have either been approved or are in the queue for adjudication. AILA Doc. No. 04012210.
AILA Doc. No. 04012210.
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