Articles Posted in Religious workers

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Question #1 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa

On my H-1B visa, because I am not yet a citizen of the United States, do I still pay federal taxes?

Effective October 13, the US District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned a ruling that allowed special immigrant religious workers to file their Form I-485 alongside the organizations’ Form I-360. United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) will no longer accept Forms I-485, I-131, I-765 that are filed based on are with a pending I-360 petition as of November 8. Forms I-485, I-131, and I-765 filed on or after November 8 must be submitted with an approved I-360 petition or they will be rejected.

On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, President Obama signed into law the FY10 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. This Law provides a three year extension for four (4) immigration related programs. Specifically, the law extends the non-minister religious worker program, the “Conrad 30” program, the EB-5 visa program, and the E-Verify program through September 30, 2012.

The information contained in this web posting was provided by:
AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 09102968 (posted Oct. 29, 2009)”

Last week, a Washington District Court ordered the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to begin accepting concurrently-filed I-360 and I-485 petitions. The District court ordered that the bar against concurrent filings on behalf of religious workers, as set forth in 8 C.F.R. § 245.2(a)(2)(i)(B), was an impermissible construction of 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a) and was therefore invalid and unenforceable.

The USCIS shall begin accepting concurrently-filed applications (I-360 and I-485) provided that the applicant meets all of the filing requirements.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a final rule in the Federal Register amending various aspects of the religious workers program. The final rule amends the regulations to improve the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) ability to detect and deter fraud and other abuses in the religious worker program. The final rule applies to both special immigrants and nonimmigrant religious workers . The published rule requires that religious organizations seeking the admission to the U.S. of nonimmigrant religious workers must file formal petitions with USCIS on behalf of such workers, and under the rule, the USCIS is obligated to conduct inspections, evaluations, verifications and compliance reviews of religious organizations to ensure the legitimacy of the petitioner and statements made in the petitions. Forms I-360 and I-129 have been revised and now require an employer attestation. These updated forms have been made available on the USCIS website.

Read the final rule as published in the Federal Register.

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