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USCIS Announces New Filing Location for EB-5 Petitions
January 8, 2009
The USCIS released the advance copy of their notice announcing the requirement that petitions and applications related to the Alien Entrepreneur (EB5) immigrant classification, and Regional Center Proposals under the EB5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, must be filed at the California Service Center (CSC). This Notice is effective January 26, 2009 for the filing of Forms I-526, I-829, and Forms I-485 based on an approved Form I-526.
USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Second Half of Fiscal Year 2009
January 08, 2009
The USCIS, on January 08, 2009, announced that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H2B cap for the second half of Fiscal Year 2009. USCIS will reject the H2B visa petitions for new workers seeking employment start dates prior to October 1, 2009 that arrive after Jan. 7, 2009. If deemed necessary, USCIS may apply a computer-generated random selection process to all the H2B visa petitions that are subject to the cap and received on Jan. 7, 2009 in order to select the number of H2B visa petitions needed to meet the cap.
100,000 Employers Use E-Verify Program
January 08, 2009
The USCIS, January 08, 2009, announced that more than 100,000 employers have signed up to participate in E-Verify, a free, easy to use online system that equips participating employers with the tools to quickly and effectively verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees. E-Verify is the best means available to the employers for determining employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security Numbers (SSN). E-Verify assists employers in maintaining a legal workforce and protects jobs for authorized U.S. workers.
Electronic Travel Authorization required for Visa Waiver Countries
January 07, 2009
Nationals from the Visa Waiver countries, wishing to enter the US will now need to apply electronically for travel authorization. The rule is effective from 12 January 2009. Visa Waiver Program Applicants are advised to apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before travelling to the US.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Re-registration Period for Nationals of Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador Ended Dec. 30, 2008
January 07, 2009
The USCIS reminds its customers that the re-registration period for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador ended Dec. 30, 2008. Individuals may re-register after the close of the re-registration period only if they demonstrate good cause for failing to file during the re-registration period. To re-register based on the good cause exception, individuals must submit their applications to the address listed in the Oct. 1, 2008 Federal Register notice for the extension of their country’s designation for TPS. USCIS will consider requests filed after the re-registration period has closed on a case-by-case basis.
Premium Processing Available for Blanket L Petitions
January 6, 2009
Premium Processing is available to request the Blanket L classification for a Petitioner and its qualifying related entities. A request for premium processing of a Blanket L petition should be made on Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, not on Form I-129S.
H2B Cap for the Second Half of the Fiscal Year to Reach Soon
January 5, 2009
The USCIS recently updated the count of H-2B petitions received and counted towards the H2B cap for the second half of the fiscal year 2009. As of January 5, 2009, 36,319 H2B visa petitions have been counted towards the 33,000 cap for the second half of FY 2009. Out of the total 36,319 H2B visa petitions, 20,687 beneficiaries have been approved while 15,632 are pending.
Supplemental Questions and Answers: Final Rule on Religious Worker Visa Effective November 26, 2008
January 05, 2009
The USCIS, on January 05, 2009 published an initial set of questions and answers related to the final rule on religious worker visa categories, which was effective November 26, 2008. The supplemental group of questions and answers provide additional details on the religious worker visa rule.
USCIS Publishes Revised Information Collection on Form G-646
December 31, 2008
The DHS has submitted the information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on August 27, 2008, allowing for a 60- day public comment period. USCIS did not receive any comments for this information collection. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until January 30, 2009.
Adjustment of Status to Permanent Residence for Aliens in T or U Nonimmigrant Status
December 30, 2008
The DHS has submitted an interim rule relating to Adjustment of Status to Permanent Residency for aliens in T or U nonimmigrant visa status, which would be effective from January 12, 2009. The DHS is amending its regulations to permit aliens in lawful T or U nonimmigrant status to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence. This rule provides that family members of a principal T or U nonimmigrant granted or seeking adjustment of status may also apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident. This rule also provides for adjustment of status or approval of an immigrant petition for certain family members of T or U applicants who were never admitted to the United States in T or U nonimmigrant status.

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