Wednesday, September 19, 2012
New York Senator Schumer is poised to introduce a bill today calling for a two year pilot program that would allocate 55,000 additional green cards each year for foreign-born graduates who have earned a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. academic institution in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) field. Given that the congress is close to the end of the currents session, though, it seems unlikely that the measure will be voted on before the November election.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
According to the New York Times, 72,000 DACA applications have been filed so far. However, CIS reports that it expected far more applications. While the filing fee, and fear of deportation, may to blame, it also may be that many people do not know how to prove that they were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, for 5 continuous years prior to that date, and have resided in the U.S. since June 5, 2007. CIS advises using official records such as school records, rent receipts, pay stubs, school transcripts, cancelled checks, etc. The problem is that a person out of status may not have any of these given that they do not have a social security. But almost every young person has a Facebook account, and posted about movies they saw, places they visited, and friends they spent time with. If you posted a picture of yourself in D.C. in 2007, for example, it will be pretty obvious that you were in the U.S.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The October DOS Visa Bulletin is out and a great stride forward has been made in the Employment Based 2nd Preference. Last month’s visa bulletin listed a priority date of January 2009 for “all chargeable areas.” This meant that many of those in EB2 could expect about a 3 year wait before they could file an I-485. Those from China, India, Mexico and Philippines could expect a much longer wait. But the October Visa Bulletin for EB-2, all chargeable areas has surged forward to January 2012, meaning that the delay has been shortened to about 9 months.
Monday, August 13, 2012
USCIS will begin considering deferred action for childhood arrivals this week. Consideration will entail filing a new form that CIS is developing, and will release on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. The filing fee associated with the new form will be $465.
In order to be qualified for deferred action, the applicant must show that s/he: 1) Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, 2) came to the U.S. before his/her 16th birthday, 3) has resided in the U.S. continuously since June 5, 2007 and up until the present, 4) was physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time that the application is filed, 5) entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or his/her lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012, 6) is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a GED, or was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces, and 7) has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
USCIS has also set forth the types of evidence that will be acceptable to prove that each of the criteria has been met. Additional information about what documentation may be submitted will be provided on the USCIS website on August 15, 2012.
1) Documentation to demonstrate that the applicant came to the United States before the age of 16, has resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012, and was physically present in the United States as of June 15, 2012 may include, but is not limited to: financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, and military records.
2) Documentation to demonstrate that the applicant is currently in school, has graduated from high school, or has obtained a GED may include, but is not limited to: diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, and school transcripts.
3) Documentation to demonstrate that the applicant is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States may include, but is not limited to: report of separation forms, military personnel records, and military health records.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
USCIS expects to make all forms, instructions, and additional information relevant to the deferred action for childhood arrivals available on August 15, 2012. Upon making the forms available, it will immediately begin accepting requests for deferred action. While CIS has not said a lot about what will be required in terms of forms, it has said that requestors will be required to use a form developed specifically for this purpose. It has also said that requests will be sent to a lock box along with applicable fees, and that requestors will be required to be fingerprinted and go through background checks. The amoung of the fees has yet to be announced. Stay tuned!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
USCIS now expects to start accepting applications for work authorization for the DREAMers in mid-August. Many immigration activists, however, say that this is too late. They are concerned that given that CIS is often tardy in implementing benefits, the mid-August date could be pushed off. If Romney, is elected, they reason, it may never happen. Activists urge DREAMers to keep up the political pressure.
Monday, June 18, 2012
At a USCIS Stakeholders’ conference today, the agency added some important information to Friday’s Dream Act statement. First, the period to accept requests for deferred action has not yet opened; any requests made prematurely will be denied. CIS will be making decisions about the implementation of the memo over the next 60 days. Second, denial of deferred action cannot be appealed. Third, EADs, which will be granted for two years, will be renewable at the end of the two years. Finally, in terms of evidence to establish eligibility, CIS forsees the use of financial records, school records, medical records, employment records, and military records.