I-9 Verification Updates from AILA-DHS Liaison Meeting

On November 6, 2014, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee met with USCIS Verification Division and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C.  USCIS and HSI responded to a number of questions from AILA relating to I-9 verification. Some of the highlights include:  Read More >

Administrative Changes Will Create Opportunities for Startups

As we recently reported, on November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions broadly covering immigration law. One such action relates to the implementation of a parole system for inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises. Although the majority of details on this and the other executive actions are not yet available, and an application process has not yet been implemented, the information we do have shows promise for the expansion of opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs in the U.S.    Read More >

Beware of Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program Scams

In October, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would implement the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP) beginning in early 2015.  The program will help unify families and promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Haiti.  Read More >

New Administrative Law Judge Joins OCAHO

On December 5, 2014, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced the appointment of Stacy Stiffel Paddack as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO). ALJs at the EOIR hear immigration-related employment cases in OCAHO and do not hear removal cases in the immigration courts. For example, OCAHO is responsible for review of penalties imposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for I-9 compliance violations. I-9 enforcement audits by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that fail to settle following the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF) are litigated before OCAHO.  In calculating the amount of the penalty, OCAHO is not bound by ICE’s methodology, and the ALJ can consider a number of factors in rendering a decision.  Read More >

Why is My I-94 Expiration Date Different from My Form I-797 or Visa?

Form I-94 is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Arrival/Departure Record issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to foreign nationals admitted to the U.S. Form I-94 designates the duration of authorized stay allowed to the foreign national for each visit. The foreign national must exit the U.S. on or before the departure date listed on the I-94. The foreign national could also, in some situations, request an extension of stay from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In the event of government error in the issuance of the I-94, the foreign national might also be able to obtain a corrected I-94 from CBP. Read More >

Detailed Breakdown of the President’s Executive Action on Immigration

As previously reported, on November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. The President’s Executive Action package is very broad and touches many aspects of immigration law. We provide a more detailed breakdown of the different initiatives the government plans to implement in the near future. Note that the initiatives below have not yet been implemented, and there is currently no application procedure available.  Read More >

SEVP Deploys More Field Representatives to Schools

As previously reported, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the deployment of field representatives to serve as direct day-to-day liaisons between SEVP and SEVP-certified schools or schools seeking initial SEVP certification. On November 17, 2014, SEVP reported that it deployed 14 additional field representatives to territories across the country that week. The field representatives serve as liaisons between the nearly 9,000 U.S. schools that enroll international students and SEVP. The program, housed within ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), certifies schools to enroll international students and protects national security by overseeing those students for compliance with U.S. laws.   Read More >

U.S. Government to Launch Refugee/Parole Program for Certain Central American Children

On November 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the anticipated establishment of a refugee/parole program for certain minor children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who have U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Resident parents in the U.S.

This program will allow certain parents who are lawfully present in the United States to request access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for their children still in one of these three countries. Children who are found ineligible for refugee admission but still at risk of harm may be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis. The refugee/parole program will not be a pathway for undocumented parents to bring their children to the United States, but instead, the program will provide certain vulnerable, at-risk children an opportunity to be reunited with parents lawfully resident in the United States.  Read More >

Original Civil Documents No Longer Required in Immigrant Visa Applications

The National Visa Center (NVC) has advised that, as of November 12, 2014, it will no longer require the submission off original civil documents in immigrant visa applications. Instead, only photocopies of supporting documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and police certificates, will be required. Read More >

The United States and China To Extend Visas for Short-term Business Travelers, Tourists, and Students

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that starting November 12, 2014, the United States and the People’s Republic of China will reciprocally increase the validity of short-term business and tourist visas and student and exchange visas issued to each other’s citizens. Read More >

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