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CBP Announces Automation of Form I-94
March 28, 2013
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced the publication of an Interim Final Rule that will automate Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. The change will become effective on April 26 and will be implemented at air and sea ports of entry in a phased approach beginning April 30. The automation means that foreign visitors will no longer need to fill out a paper form when arriving to the U.S. by air or sea. However, USCIS will continue to require applicants to submit a paper copy of Form I-94 when requesting certain benefits.
ICE Fines 17 Massachusetts Employers for Violations Following I-9 Audits
November 15, 2012
In a recent News Release, ICE has announced that 17 Massachusetts employers were fined a total of $349,619.54 in FY 2012 for various employment violations, following an investigation and audit of Form I-9 documents by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It further reported that during FY 2012, HSI conducted 35 inspections of employers' I-9 documents in Massachusetts. Ensuring I-9 Compliance is a key responsibility of U.S. employers and under the law, employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire in the U.S.
Taiwan Designated into the Visa Waiver Program
October 03, 2012
DHS has announced the designation of Taiwan into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Taiwan will now join 36 countries which are already participants in the VWP. Eligible Taiwan passport holders with an approved ESTA will be able to visit the United States under VWP as of November 1, 2012.
Global Entry Kiosks Deployed at Preclearance Airports in Ireland
July 30, 2012
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that Global Entry (GE) kiosks have been made available at the Preclearance locations in Shannon and Dublin, Ireland. The Shannon’s program went live on July 18 and Dublin’s program went live on July 20. Each location has two kiosks and they are the first and only locations outside of the U.S. and Canada. The kiosks are designed to segregate prescreened, low-risk trusted travelers from other passengers, and speed the process for GE members, who bypass the traditional passenger inspections queues.
DHS announces process to grant temporary relief from removal for certain Young People
June 26, 2012
DHS has announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, and who do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria, will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Qualified applicants will be eligible to receive ‘deferred action’ for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and they will be eligible to apply for EAD work authorization. Individuals must be able to prove through verifiable documentation that they meet the criteria, and must also complete a background check.
OPT STEM Extension: DHS Expands List of STEM Degree Programs
May 12, 2012
DHS has announced an expanded list of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) designated-degree programs that qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an optional practical training (OPT) extension [OPT STEM extension]. The expanded list of designated STEM degree programs includes fields such as Pharmaceutical Sciences; Health/Medical Physics; Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology; Educational Evaluation and Research; Air Science/Airpower Studies; Archeology; and many other fields.
DHS announces re-designation of Somalia for TPS
May 02, 2012
DHS has announced the re-designation of Somalia for TPS and has extended the existing TPS designation for Somalia from September 18, 2012 through March 17, 2014. Somali nationals with TPS who are seeking to re-register for TPS must file their application packages during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from May 1, 2012, through July 2, 2012. Somalis, or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia, in the United States who do not currently have TPS may apply under the re-designation during the six-month period that runs from May 1, 2012 through October 29, 2012.
DHS Announces Publication of Final Rule For Permanent Global Entry Program
February 16, 2012
DHS has recently announced the publication of a final rule that would establish as a permanent program, the ‘Global Entry’, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) voluntary initiative that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. The Global Entry program offers quicker processing at select U.S. Ports of Entry for pre-approved, low-risk air travelers by providing an expedited inspection and examination process that allows them to proceed directly to automated Global Entry kiosks upon their arrival in the United States at Global Entry-equipped Ports of Entry. The final rule becomes effective on March 7, 2012.
DHS Proposes Reforms to Attract and Retain Highly Skilled Immigrants
February 01, 2012
DHS has announced a series of administrative reforms that are aimed to make the U.S. more attractive to highly-skilled foreign students and workers. A few notable initiatives announced include providing work authorization for spouses of certain H-1B holders; expanding eligibility for extension of OPT; allowing E-3 and H-1B1 visa holders to continue employment with their current employer for up to 240 days from the expiration of their authorized period of stay, if a petition to extend their status has been timely filed; and increasing the types of evidence that employers can submit to demonstrate that a Professor or Researcher is among the very best in their field. DHS has only indicated that these administrative reforms will be completed in the future, but has not given clear timelines as to when these reforms would become effective.
DHS extends TPS for Sudan, Designates South Sudan for TPS
October 14, 2011
Department of Homeland Security has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Sudan for 18 months, even while designating the new Republic of South Sudan for TPS for 18 months. Both the extension and the new designation are effective Nov. 3, 2011, and will continue through May 2, 2013. DHS is also automatically extending the validity of employment authorization documents (EADs) issued under the last extension of Sudan TPS for an additional six months, through May 2, 2012. Any individual who has a valid TPS Sudan EAD is covered by this automatic extension, even though USCIS may ultimately register the individual under the South Sudan TPS designation and issue a new EAD reflecting his or her new nationality.

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