Posted On: November 30, 2012

H-2B Cap Count UPDATE – 11/26/2012

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.

The H-2B cap limit for first half of FY 2013 (October 1 - March 31) is 33,000. As of the last count (11/23/2012); 9,759 beneficiaries have been approved and 1,654 are still pending for a total of 11,413.

For further details read, “Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants


Source of Information: “AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12102342. (Posted 11/26/12)”

Posted On: November 28, 2012

USCIS Reminds Eligible Nationals of Haiti to Re-register for Temporary Protected Status

Eligible nationals of Haiti (and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) who currently have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) must re-register for TPS by November 30, 2012. Failure to re-register by this deadline may result in the loss of your TPS status. If you re-register after November 30 2012, you must provide good reason you could not re-register on time such as hardship due to Hurricane Sandy.

Details and procedures for re-registering for TPS are provided on the USCIS website and in the Federal Register notice announcing the extension of TPS for Haiti.

TPS was originally designated for Haiti in January 2010 in response to a catastrophic earthquake that devastated that country. TPS was re-designated in May 2011 (effective July 2011). The current 18-month extension of TPS for Haiti will remain in effect through July 22, 2014.

Also, if you have applied for and are awaiting a new Haiti TPS-related Employment Authorization Document (EAD), your current EAD, set to expire on January 22, 2013, has been automatically extended for 6 months. The 6-month auto-extension of EADs runs through July 22, 2013, as described in the Federal Register published on October 1, 2012 (77 FR 59943). These auto-extended EADs have “A12” or “C19” listed under “category” on the front of the card and an expiration date of January 22, 2012.

When providing proof of employment eligibility remember to provide both your EAD with the January 22, 2012 expiration date and a copy of the October 1, 2012 Federal Register notice to your employer. For further guidance for employers and employees, please refer to the USCIS Web page, Documentation Employers May Accept and Temporary Protected Status Beneficiaries May Present as Evidence of Employment Eligibility.

For more information on TPS, visit www.uscis.gov/tps. For additional information, applicants may also contact USCIS at 1-800-375-5283.


Source of Information: "USCIS NEWS Alert (11/26/2012)"

Posted On: November 27, 2012

USCIS Releases New DACA Statistics through November 15, 2012

These USCIS statistics on DACA cases from 8/15/12 to 11/15/12 show a total of 298,834 DACA requests accepted for processing, 273,203 biometric services appointments scheduled, 124,572 requests under review, and 53,273 requests approved.

View the (.PDF) USCIS Report, “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process (November, 2012)


Source of Information: “AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12111648. (Posted 11/16/12)”

Posted On: November 26, 2012

CBP Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program Arrives at BWI

Baltimore – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched the Global Entry program at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) Wednesday allowing trusted travelers to speed their processing upon international arrival.

Global Entry is a voluntary expedited clearance program that allows pre-approved, low-risk international travelers the ability to bypass the traditional CBP inspection process and use automated kiosks upon arrival into the U.S.

CBP opened two such automated Global Entry kiosks at BWI.

“Global Entry has proven to be an extraordinarily successful program that has been welcomed by international travelers and applauded by the travel industry. We’re very excited to offer Global Entry at BWI,” said Ricardo Scheller, CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore.

International passenger traffic has been increasing the past several years at BWI. During fiscal year 2011, CBP at BWI processed the arrivals of more than 260,000 international passengers aboard commercial and private airplanes. That was a 7 percent increase over fiscal year 2010. Arrivals during the first half of this year are 10.59 percent ahead of same period from last year.

Global Entry, popular with the international travel community, continues to grow in membership. More than 467,000 members have enrolled directly into Global Entry. Another 788,000 travelers enjoy the expedited processing benefits of Global Entry through other CBP trusted traveler programs, such as NEXUS and SENTRI.

These travelers have processed their international arrivals on Global Entry kiosks more than 3,355,000 times.

Announced as a pilot program in 2008, Global Entry is now a permanent program. It operates at 31 U.S. airports and 10 preclearance locations that serve 97 percent of international travelers arriving in the United States.

“Global Entry benefits both Customs and Border Protection and the trusted traveler community in that it allows us to better focus our resources and efforts on travelers and goods that we know less about, while expediting trusted travelers through the arrivals experience,” said Scheller.

There are additional advantages and incentives for membership in Global Entry. Members are eligible to participate in other CBP trusted traveler programs, as well as the Transportation Security Administration’s Pre-Check passenger expedited screening program.

Interested travelers can learn more about Global Entry membership at globalentry.gov and apply online using the CBP Global Online Enrollment System. ( Global Entry ) ( GOES )

Applicants must possess a machine-readable U.S. passport or permanent resident card, pay a non-refundable $100 application fee which is good for a five year period, pass a law enforcement check, and complete an interview at a CBP enrollment center.

For more information on CBP’s trusted traveler programs, visit the Trusted Traveler website. ( Trusted Traveler )


Source of Information "CBP.gov Local News Release (11/20/12)"

Posted On: November 23, 2012

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, November 23, 2012

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am back in my home country, not US. If I did not use all of my six years on my previous H-1B visa, can I use the remaining years now?

Answer #1
Yes, if you have time remaining on your H-1B nonimmigrant visa status and have applied for the visa within the past six years, you are not subject to the H-1B numerical cap and are able to apply to use those remaining years now if you have an employer willing to sponsor you for your employment in the Specialty Occupation.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration
Where do I mail Form I-140 petition withdrawal requests and AC21 106(c) portability requests?

Answer #2
Please refer to the USCIS website at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=cfe8745543256210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD for the applicable address.


Question #3 – DACA
If I am now in High School but have two more years before I graduate, does this mean that since I have not yet graduated from High School or earned a GED that I won’t be able to take advantage of this opportunity?

Answer #3
According to the guidance released by the USCIS, you must be either: currently in school, graduated or received a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a general educational development certificate (GED), or an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces.


Question #4 – Travel
We just applied for my wife’s green card (she just became my wife here in United States). Can she travel back to her birth country to visit her family while her I-485 is pending with the USCIS?

Answer #4
If you included Form I-131 in your Adjustment of Status petition for your wife, then once Form I-131 is approved, she should be able to travel back to her birth country to visit her family while her I-485 remains pending.


Question #5 – Employment Based Immigration
How can a petitioner request the withdrawal of a Form I-140 petition?

Answer #5
As provided on the USCIS website, the petitioner or the Form G-28 representative may send a letter requesting to withdraw the I-140 petition to USCIS.
Withdrawal requests should include:
• A statement indicating that the Form I-140 petitioner wishes to withdraw the petition;
• The Form I-140 petition receipt number;
• The name, address and phone number of the petitioner;
• The name of the alien beneficiary;
• The alien registration number of the alien beneficiary, if known;
• The petitioner's signature or the Form G-28 representative’s signature.


Question #6 – DACA
Will this deferred action process lead to citizenship?

Answer #6
This process does not result in lawful status for persons who have received deferred action because deferring action is only a discretionary determination to defer removal action as an act of prosecutorial discretion and does not provide you with a lawful status. Also, keep in mind that deferred action does not confer lawful permanent resident status or a path to citizenship, only Congress acting through its legislative authority can confer these rights.


Question #7 – Unlawful Presence in USA
I cannot remember the specifics regarding unlawful presence. When would a person trigger the 3yr and 10yr bars, can you provide those time periods?

Answer #7
If an applicant remains in the US unlawfully (without authorization) for more than 180 days, they may be subject to the 3 year bar. If an applicant remains in the US unlawfully (without authorization) for more than 360 days (1 year), they may be subject to the 10 year bar.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration
When will employment based visas in 2nd preference for India be available again?

Answer #8
According to the Visa Bulletin, there is no movement predicted in the coming months in the Employment Based 2nd Preference category for Foreign Nationals from India. The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables which can change at any time.


Question #9 – DACA
Why is this program only for two years? What happens after those two initial years? Am I taking a risk by coming out of the shadows and admitting I am here illegally?

Answer #9
Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization.

According to the guidance released by the USCIS, if a request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals is denied, USCIS will apply its policy guidance governing the referral of cases to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA). If a case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, the case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except if DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.


Question #10 – Family Based Immigration
Who is responsible for scheduling the visa immigrant Interview? Is it us or the Consulate? My wife’s form I-130 was approved and we are just curious to know what we need to do next.

Answer #10
The National Visa Center (NVC) will be in contact with you to instruct you to pay the immigrant visa fee, prepare necessary forms and gather appropriate documents. Once the NVC has everything they need, they will forward the case to the Consulate. You will receive a notice of the date, time and place of the scheduled interview.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, December 7, 2012!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!

Posted On: November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Of all the holidays acknowledged and celebrated in the United States of America, Thanksgiving is the one which, perhaps, can most easily be embraced by all who live here - wherever their origins, whatever their beliefs.

Most countries or cultures have a harvest festival in their yearly cycle. While turkey is still the centerpiece of many, but certainly not all, Thanksgiving tables, the offerings of immigrants have created any number of "traditional Thanksgiving" variations. Just as a resident of California will consider certain items crucial to the meal different from those of a Southerner, the contributions of ItalianAmericans, IndianAmericans, PolishAmericans, ChineseAmericans, MexicanAmericans, and all others enrich the diversity of this holiday just as their cultures enrich the diversity of this country.

In short; , as the year comes to an end, we’ve all likely had losses and gains. Use this time of Thanksgiving and the rapidly approaching year’s end as an opportunity for both introspection and retrospection. However blessed or trying the past year has been; however bare or bountiful our tables; however many chairs sit empty that were occupied; or however many new chairs have been drawn close - each household has something for which to be thankful. For just one day we are joined in that, at least, and the differences in our tastes, our prayers, and our features are celebrated.

At this precious time of giving thanks and on behalf of MVP Law Group, we wish you and your families far and near, health, happiness and success. It goes without saying that we are thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of your family’s future and thank you for your continued support.

Happy Thanksgiving, from our family to yours.

The MVP Law Group

Posted On: November 21, 2012

Massachusetts Governor Grants In-State Tuition to Undocumented Immigrants granted DACA

On Sunday, November 18, 2012 the Governor of Massachusetts announced that students that qualify for the Federal Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program would be charged in-state tuition and fees. On the following Monday, Governor Deval Patrick send a letter to the state’s Board of Higher Education immediately lowering the rates and allowing undocumented students already attending Massachusetts colleges and universities to apply for a refund of the differ between out-of-state tuition to in-state tuition. This action will reduce the cost of tuition for qualified undocumented immigrants by more than half.

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/11/19/massachusetts-governor-grants-in-state-tuition-to-undocumented-immigrants/#ixzz2ChOysVDJ

View the (.PDF) fact sheet on Massachusetts’s In-State Tuition for DACA Beneficiaries

Posted On: November 20, 2012

National Spanish-language Engagement - A Conversation with USCIS

On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Eastern), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will conduct a national Spanish-language Enlace session as part of an ongoing series of quarterly public engagements. This free session is an opportunity for individuals who speak Spanish to engage with us in their native language.

During the Enlace, we will provide agency updates, discuss immigration-related topics, and answer your questions. USCIS representatives will be available for participants to discuss regulations, policies, operations, and forms, but will not offer legal or case-specific advice.
The event will be broadcast live from USCIS Headquarters and you can participate by:
• Calling us toll-free on 1-888-989-4980 (password – ENLACE);
• Viewing our live Web stream at www.uscis.gov/live/enlace;
• Emailing us at OPE-Live@uscis.dhs.gov; or
• Following us on Twitter at @USCIS_es
*We encourage you to send us your questions prior to the event via Twitter @USCIS_es

________________________________________
Related Files
Enlace Flier: A Conversation with USCIS (1KB PDF)
Enlace Flier: Un dialogo con USCIS (1KB PDF)

Source of Information: “USCIS Upcoming National Engagements – update: 11/13/2012”

Posted On: November 19, 2012

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, November 23, 2012

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, November 23, 2012. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: November 16, 2012

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of November 1, 2012.

If you filed an appeal, please review the link below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

Administrative Appeals Office

The current processing time for an I-129 H-1B Appeal is 9 months; for an I-129 L1 Appeal - 10 months. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is now current; for an I-140 EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is 24 months.

**Most other cases are within USCIS' processing time goal of 6 months or less.

Posted On: November 15, 2012

National Leaders Call for Immigration Reform - Quotes

With more than 70% of Latino voters helping to reelect President Obama on Tuesday, leaders on both sides of the aisle are now calling for immigration reform. Below are quotes from President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

President Obama (D)
• “And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with
leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit.
Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system.”

Origin of quote: Victory Speech Nov 6 (http://www.examiner.com/article/president-barack-obama-s-complete-victory-speech-transcript)

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)
• “[Issue of immigration] has been around far too long. . . A comprehensive approach is long
overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”

Origin of quote: ABC news Interview Nov 8 (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/boehner-exclusive-raising-tax-ratesunacceptable-revenue-table/story?id=17672947&page=2#.UJwub4cT18H )


To check out other quotes for prominent officials and leaders, click here.


Source of Information: “AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12110946. (Posted 11/9/12)”

Posted On: November 14, 2012

USCIS Publishes Improved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

A new Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is now available. USCIS changed the format to improve intake processing and added Adobe fillable format features to make it easier for you to complete the form. USCIS encourages you to download the form from their website and complete it on a computer to take advantage of these new features. Editions dated Jan. 06, 2010, and later will be accepted until Dec. 30, 2012. After this date, USCIS will only accept the Oct. 1, 2012, edition.

Source: "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12110241. (Posted 11/2/12)”

Green Card Through a Job Offer
The USCIS Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is used by an employer to sponsor a foreign national to be eligible for a green card based on employment. If necessary, this matter should be discussed in consultation with a qualified, experienced immigration attorney.

Posted On: November 13, 2012

The new USCIS Employee Rights Webinar for Form I-9 and E-Verify

Workers and Worker Advocates – Learn more about Employee Rights!

The new Employee Rights Webinar will help you help others to understand their rights in the Form I-9 and E-Verify processes.

USCIS and the DOJ Civil Rights Division are co-presenters of this free live webinar that explains employee rights and employer responsibilities in the employment eligibility verification process. This webinar also includes a review of Self Check and materials to educate and assist workers. Don’t forget to view and download the creative resources in the Employee Rights Toolkit to share with those you serve.

Workers and job seekers are welcome to attend too.

Join one of these sessions. Preregistration is not required.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 2:00 PM EST Attend Session

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM EST Attend Session

Source of Information: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent this bulletin at 11/07/2012 08:45 AM EST

E-Verify, an Internet-based system operated by USCIS in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA); allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. Approximately 98.3 percent of all E-Verify queries are automatically confirmed without any need for employee action. Note that the use of E-Verify is voluntary. Please visit USCIS’s web site, “E-Verify” for page detail information.

Form I-9 is the Employment Eligibility Verification form which all U.S. employers must complete and retain. This form must be completed for all employees; citizens and noncitizens. The employer must examine the form information and the identification used to determine if they are reasonably genuine. Please visit USCIS’s web site, “I-9 Central Home” page for detail information.

Posted On: November 12, 2012

VISA Bulletin - December 2012

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the December 2012 Visa Bulletin.

The December 2012 Visa Bulletin shows employment based second preference (EB-2) as oversubscribed and employment based third preference (EB-3) visas are also listed as oversubscribed. EB-2 is current for all chargeability areas except those listed.

The employment-based second preference cut-off date for China is 10/22/07 and 09/01/04 for India.

**The priority date is current if there is no backlog in the category, or if the priority date is on or before the date listed as current in the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin.

Posted On: November 9, 2012

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, November 9, 2012

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – General
I have less than 6 months remaining on my passport. May I apply for my U.S. visa?

Answer #1
No, you should immediately apply for a new passport. If applicable, there is a federal regulation which grants an exception to certain “NATO” and “A” visa classifications.


Question #2 – Green Card
If I pay the I-485 application fee, and I submit an I-765 and/or I-131 with my I-485, do I have to pay the I-765/I-131 filing fees?

Answer #2
No. If you submitted Form I-485 on or after July 30, 2007 and paid the I-485 filing fee, you do not have to pay the I-131 filing fee or I-765 fee.


Question #3 – Green Card
When renewing a 10 year Green card do you have to submit any info of sponsoring employer?

Answer #3
No.


Question #4 – Green Card
If I submit an I-765 and/or I-131 after filing the I-485, do I have to pay the I-765/I-131 filing fees? What documents do I need to send to prove I already filed the I-485?

Answer #4
If you choose to file the I-765 and/or I-131 separately after July 30, 2007, you must also submit a copy of your I-797C, Notice of Action, receipt as evidence of the filing of an I-485.


Question #5 – Student Visa
Can my family travel with me on a student visa?

Answer #5
The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an F1 student are eligible for F2 status, and may stay in the US as long as the primary student remains in legal F1 status.


Question #6 – Consular Processing
If my visa is refused; will I get my fee refunded?

Answer #6
No. Visa fees paid prior to the Visa Interview are non-refundable.


Question #7 – Nonimmigrant Visa
I still have a valid US nonimmigrant visa but my Indian passport has expired. Can I transfer this visa to my new passport?

Answer #7
You will need to carry both passports, no need to transfer the valid visa to the new passport.


Question #8 – Green Card
Can I request a waiver of the I-131 and I-765 filing fees?

Answer #8
If you file Form I-485 to adjust your status as a permanent resident on or after July 30, 2007, no additional fee is required to also file an application for employment authorization on Form I-765 and/or advance parole on Form I-131.


Question #9 – General
If my child is a U.S citizen can I obtain legal status in the U.S?

Answer #9
It depends upon the age of your U.S. Citizen Child. In order for a U.S. Citizen to petition on behalf of their Parent, the U.S. Citizen must be at least 21 years old.


Question #10 – Green Card
Where do I find the instructions on where to file my I-485, I-765, and I-131 forms?

Answer #10
Instructions on where to file these forms are located on the instruction pages for all of the forms themselves, found at www.uscis.gov under the FORMS tab.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, November 23, 2012!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!

Posted On: November 8, 2012

AILA Calls on President Obama to Move Forward on Bipartisan Immigration Reform

American Immigration Lawyers Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2012
Contact:
George Tzamaras or Belle Woods
202-507-7649 - 202-507-7675
gtzamaras@aila.org - bwoods@aila.org


Washington, DC - As the dust settles after a hard fought campaign, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) calls on President Obama to fulfill his promise and move forward on legislation that will improve the economy and build on America's history as a nation of immigrants. Our nation's patchwork of immigration policies and procedures needs an overhaul to offer aspiring Americans a chance to make a better life for their families, and to ensure that the economy benefits fully from the contributions of new and aspiring Americans.

Earlier this year, through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, President Obama offered young immigrants a chance to come out of the shadows on a temporary basis and build a better future for themselves through school and hard work. However, this initiative was always intended to be a stop-gap measure and our country desperately needs a real, permanent solution.

"We know that there are conflicting priorities and many challenges facing our nation. However, bipartisan immigration reform is not just another issue or cause. These are real people who are faced with a process that is beyond broken, made up of outdated regulations and nonsensical policies. President Obama, we ask that you offer a roadmap for new Americans that reflects our country's values and interests, and the spirit with which our nation was built," said AILA President Laura Lichter.

In his victory speech, President Obama said he wanted to keep the promise of our nation's founders, "The idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try." AILA and its nearly 12,000 members look forward to the day that immigration reform is enacted and that promise is fulfilled.


###

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Source of Information "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12110747 (posted Nov. 7, 2012)"

Posted On: November 7, 2012

Diversity Visa 2014 (DV-2014) Program is now closed

Registration for DV-2014 is now closed - additional entries cannot be accepted. Online registration for the DV-2014 Program began on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and concluded on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4). DV-2014 entrants will be able to check the status of their entries as of May 1, 2013 through Entrant Status Check (ESC) on the E-DV website. See the Diversity Visa Program Instructions webpage for the DV 2014 Instructions and any available translations.

If qualified, you will be able to apply next year for DV-2015!

Source: "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12110543 (posted 11/5/12)"

Posted On: November 6, 2012

USCIS Reminds Individuals Affected by Hurricane Sandy of Temporary Immigration Relief Measures

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers affected by Hurricane Sandy of certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief that may be available to them.
USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to maintain lawful immigration status or obtain certain other immigration benefits. Eligible individuals may request or apply for temporary relief measures, including:

- A change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;

- Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;

- Expedited adjudication of off-campus employment authorization applications for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;

- Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and

- Assistance to Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when LPRs are stranded in places that do not have a local USCIS office.

Where appropriate, USCIS may exercise its discretion to allow for delays in filing resulting from the hurricane. This may include, for example:

- Assistance to those who have not appeared for an interview or submitted required forms of evidence. You may show how the disrupting event affected your connection to USCIS and your ability to appear or submit documents as required; and

- Assistance to those who have not been able to respond to Requests For Evidence (RFEs) or Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID). USCIS will extend the deadline for individuals to respond to RFEs or NOIDs by 30 days. This will apply to all RFEs and NOIDs with a deadline of October 26 through November 26, 2012. During this time, USCIS will not issue denials based on abandonment of an application or petition.

Visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program may visit a local USCIS office for assistance. Please check whether your local USCIS office is open before going. Individuals affected by the hurricane who are at a U.S. airport may contact the nearest U.S. Customs and Border Protection office for assistance.

For more information on USCIS humanitarian programs, visit www.uscis.gov or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. Hearing-impaired persons can call 1-800-767-1833.

Please check back at www.uscis.gov for any additional information that may follow.

Source of Information: "USCIS NEWS Alert (11/02/2012)"

Posted On: November 5, 2012

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, November 9, 2012

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, November 9, 2012. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

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Posted On: November 2, 2012

Kansas corporation admits knowingly hiring illegal alien to run McDonald's franchise

A Kansas corporation agreed to plead guilty Wednesday to an immigration charge after a federal investigation showed that the manager of one of its McDonald's restaurants in Wichita was an illegal alien. This announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, District of Kansas.

This guilty plea agreement resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General.

McCalla Corporation, a McDonald's restaurant franchisee with offices in Wichita, was charged Oct. 31 with one felony count of knowingly accepting a fraudulent identification document offered as proof that an employee was eligible to work. As part of the plea agreement, the corporation agreed to pay a $300,000 fine, and an additional $100,000 forfeiture judgment.

For more information about how employers can help ensure they hire a legal workforce, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Web site at www.uscis.gov and click on E-verify.


Source of Information: “ICE News Release, October 31, 2012, Wichita, KS”

Posted On: November 1, 2012

Question 4, Maryland’s Dream Act – Ballot Question Language

The registered voters of the state of Maryland will have the opportunity to vote on seven statewide ballot measures in the General Elections, November 6, 2012. Only one relates directly to Immigration and that is Question 4. Question 4, which is often called Maryland's Dream Act. The ballot question language as it will appear on the Maryland Official Ballot has been included below for your information.

Question 4

Referendum Petition
(Ch. 191 of the 2011 Legislative Session)
Public Institutions of Higher Education – Tuition Rates

Establishes that individuals, including undocumented immigrants, are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at community colleges in Maryland, provided the student meets certain conditions relating to attendance and graduation from a Maryland high school, filing of income taxes, intent to apply for permanent residency, and registration with the selective service system (if required); makes such students eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at a four-year public college or university if the student has first completed 60 credit hours or graduated from a community college in Maryland; provides that students qualifying for in-state tuition rates by this method will not be counted as in-state students for purposes of counting undergraduate enrollment; and extends the time in which honorably discharged veterans may qualify for in-state tuition rates.

For the Referred Law
Against the Referred Law

Non-Technical Summary

Source of Information: “Maryland State Board of Elections”