Gene Meltser’s Immigration Blog

Keeping You Updated on US Immigration Law

NEW WAIVERS

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed a change that will affect some spouses, sons, and daughters of U.S. citizens who apply for an immigrant visa and a waiver of “unlawful presence.” It would make consular processing for qualifying immigrants more transparent and predictable and shorten the time that the family is separated. Unlawful presence in the United States is a ground of inadmissibility for people applying for permanent residency. Depending on the period of unlawful presence, a person may be barred from seeking admission to the United States for 3 or 10 years. However, there is a waiver to overcome the bar. Under the current process, the waiver is not adjudicated until after the person has left the United States for consular processing and triggered the bar. Under the proposed change, an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen could apply for a “provisional waiver” that is adjudicated before he or she leaves the country. The immigrant must show that his or her citizen spouse or parent would suffer “extreme hardship” if the waiver is denied. The provisional waiver is not available to immigrants with additional grounds of inadmissibility. The changes will not go into effect until after the notice and comment period and publication of final rules.

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January 16, 2012 Posted by | Immigration Law | Leave a comment

J-1 SPONSOR MORATORIUM

DOS notice announcing that effective 1/1/12, it is restricting the size of the J-1 Summer Work Travel category to 2011 actual participant levels, and effective immediately, it is placing a moratorium on designation of new Summer Work Travel sponsors.

November 9, 2011 Posted by | Immigration Law | Leave a comment

DV-2013 IS HERE

The Department of State has released instructions for the 2013 Diversity Visa Lottery (DV-2013). The 2013 lottery will enable 50,000 individuals and certain family members to immigrate to the United States from a pre-selected list of countries whose rates of immigration to the U.S. tend to be low. The lottery offers a rare opportunity for qualified applicants to immigrate to the United States based on their education and/or work or related experience without the need for a family member or employer sponsor in the U.S. Electronic entries for the 2013 lottery will be accepted between noon (EDT) on October 4, 2011 and noon (EDT) on November 5, 2011. Entrants may verify their status and whether they have been selected starting in May 2012, and all green cards available through the DV-2013 Lottery must be issued by September 30, 2013.

September 16, 2011 Posted by | Immigration Law | Leave a comment

eVERIFY SELF CHECK

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that Self Check, a free online service of E-Verify that allows workers to check their own employment eligibility status, is now available in Spanish and accessible to residents in 16 additional states: California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. This weeks announcement expands on the initial launch of Self Check in March 2011 for residents who reside in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia

August 17, 2011 Posted by | Immigration Law | , | Leave a comment

NEW COMBINED EAD/PAROLE DOCUMENT

A combined employment authorization document and advance parole travel document is now available to certain applicants for employment-based or family-based adjustment of status.  Certain applicants for employment-based or family-based adjustment of status to permanent residence will now be able to apply for a single card that combines the employment authorization document (EAD) and the advance parole (AP) travel document, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have announced. To be eligible for the combined document, applicants must submit a Form I-765 application for employment authorization and a Form I-131 application for advance parole at the same time. The two forms can be submitted with a Form I-485 application for adjustment of status or after the adjustment application has been filed. Adjustment applicants are not required to seek the combined document. USCIS will continue to issue EADs and advance paroles separately.

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Immigration Law | Leave a comment

DREAM IS DEAD FOR NOW

The decade-old DREAM Act once again failed to break a
filibuster in the Senate on Saturday morning, effectively killing
the bill this year and shutting the door on what perhaps was the
last chance for pro-immigration reform legislation until at least
the 2012 election. After years of Congress failing to deal with the
nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants, Hispanic leaders and
immigration activists expressed frustration at the vote, vowing to
target senators in 2012 and future elections.

December 20, 2010 Posted by | Immigration Law | , , | Leave a comment

US CITIZEN SUES SHERIFF FOR FALSE ARREST

A McHenry County man filed suit against Sheriff Keith Nygren and three of his correctional officers Tuesday, claiming he was detained for several hours as a suspected illegal immigrant despite offering proof of his citizenship.  Edward Bustos, 32, claims sheriff’s officers falsely imprisoned him in 2008 after he said he was born in Mexico while being processed on a traffic offense.  The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, seeks undisclosed compensatory and punitive damages for “loss of liberty, emotional distress and pecuniary damages including lost wages” for the Harvard resident.

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Immigration Law | Leave a comment

K-2 VISA HOLDERS DO NOT AGE OUT

The Tenth Circuit recently held that K-2 visa holders do not “age-out” for purposes of adjustment of status.   The petitioner entered the United States in K-2 status 6 months before turning 21. His mother married the US citizen within the required 90 days, and the petitioner and his mother applied for adjustment of status before he turned 21. USCIS took two and a half years to decide his application for adjustment of status. USCIS denied the application based on Petitioner’s age on the date of adjudication of the application. An Immigration Judge found that Petitioner was not eligible to adjust status because he was over the age of 21, and the BIA affirmed with a one paragraph unpublished decision.
The Court went on to do an analysis of statutory construction and found that there is no age limitation on adjustment of status of K-2 visa holders.  This exact issue is now before the BIA on several cases. AIC recently filed an amicus brief with the Board that addresses all the K-2 age out issues at length. Hopefully this Tenth Circuit decision will have an impact on the BIA decision on this issue that could come out any day.

February 4, 2010 Posted by | Immigration Law | Leave a comment

H1B’s ARE OUT FOR 2010

On December 22, 2009, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, as of December 21, it had received enough qualifying H-1B petitions to reach the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 cap. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY2010 that are received after December 21, 2009. USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions that are subject to the cap and were received on December 21, 2009.

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Immigration Law | Leave a comment

CBP TO CHANGE DEFERRED INSPECTION POLICY FOR LPRs

During a teleconference with the AILA/CBP National liaison committee on September 29, 2009, CBP National Headquarters confirmed that, beginning on October 1, 2009, there is a greater likelihood that returning Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) with criminal convictions will be issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) at ports of entry versus a grant of deferred inspection. In addition, depending on the nature of the conviction, CBP staffing, and available detention bedspace, among other factors, it also is possible that more returning LPRs with criminal convictions will be detained. CBP confirmed, however, that deferred inspection for such returning LPRs is still an option.

October 1, 2009 Posted by | Immigration Law | Leave a comment