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USCIS Releases Revised I-9 Form
January 19, 2009
The USCIS announced that it has submitted an interim final rule that will streamline the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process. The interim rule on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) eliminates Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B from List A. The current version of the Form I-9 will no longer be valid as of 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
USCIS Offices in Washington, D.C. to Close for Two Federal Holidays
January 13, 2009
The USCIS announced that its headquarters, field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers (ASCs) in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area will be closed January 17 through January 20, 2009 for two federal holidays.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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