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 >

CAHO Upholds Fine of $329,895 for 300 I-9 Forms

If you have already undergone one I-9 audit by ICE, you may think your business is now safe and off of the government’s radar. You would be wrong. As reaffirmed in a recent decision by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), a private company that was audited in the past was re-audited and hit with tougher charges. OCAHO has jurisdiction to review penalties imposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for I-9 compliance violations. On October 23, 2014, in U.S. v. Durable, the Chief Administrative Hearings Officer (CAHO) affirmed a decision by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), finding no error in the analysis and that the penalty of $329,895 for 300 I-9 Forms was just and reasonable.   Read More >

I-751 Applications Transferred from Vermont Service Center to California Service Center

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that Forms I-751, Petitions to Remove the Conditions on Residence, filed with the Vermont Service Center have been transferred to the California Center.  This was done in order to balance caseloads. 

If your case was transferred, you will receive a transfer notice.  USCIS advises that the transfer notice may not contain the receipt number of your pending petition, but that the case number on the original receipt notice will not be changed.  Additionally, USCIS reports that the transfer will not delay the processing of any cases.  

An inquiry should be submitted to USCIS for any cases that are outside the published processing time. 

For more information, please contact Haley R. Ayure.

DOL Issues iCERT Password Reactivation Reminder

On November 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an alert reminding stakeholders that, as of September 30, 2014, iCERT users needed to have updated their passwords to meet the new enhanced password security requirements. Accounts that were not updated with a new password within 15 days of receiving notification were deactivated. The alert includes instructions on reactivating iCERT accounts.  Read More >

BIA Holds Form I-9 Is Admissible in Immigration Proceedings

The Form I-9 is used by employers to verify a new hire’s identity and to establish that the worker is authorized to accept employment in the United States. The Form I-9 contains a section in which the employee must attest to his or her immigration status in the U.S. One of the possible answers is a “U.S. Citizen.” A false claim to U.S. citizenship is one of the most serious transgressions that could render an individual permanently ineligible for permanent residence, citizenship and other immigration benefits.      Read More >

USCIS Policy Alert on Effect of Assisted Reproductive Technology on Immigration and Citizenship

USCIS recently issued policy guidance, published in the USCIS Policy Manual and Adjudicator’s Field Manual, related to the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and its effect on immigration petitions and derivative citizenship.    Read More >

PERM FOIA Litigation Reveals DOL Directives on Business Necessity and Finite Employment

Earlier this year, as a result of Freedom of Information Request Act (FOIA) litigation, the U.S. Department of Labor released a number of documents related to the agency’s policies and procedures in processing labor certification cases filed via the DOL’s Permanent Case Management System (PERM).    Read More >

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