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H-2B Cap Count for the Second Half of Fiscal Year 2009
November 21, 2008
The USCIS On November 24, 2008, updated the count of H-2B visa petitions received and counted towards the H-2B cap on the USCIS website. As of November 21, 2008, 10,265 petitions have been counted towards the 33,000 cap for the second half of FY 2009.
Temporary Protected Status Re-Registration Period Extended for Nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua
November 21, 2008
The USCIS on November 21, 2008, announced an extension to the re-registration period for nationals of Nicaragua and Honduras who have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and are now eligible to re-register and maintain their status an additional 18 months. Initially, the 60-day re-registration period for nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua began Oct. 1, 2008 and ended on Dec. 1, 2008, which is now being extended through Dec. 30, 2008. Additionally, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for eligible Honduran and Nicaraguan Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries for 6 months through July 5, 2009. This will allow sufficient time for eligible Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries to re-register and receive an EAD without any lapse in employment authorization.
Q & As on Final Rule for Religious Worker Visa Classifications
November 21, 2008
The USCIS has released a set of Questions and Answers pertaining to its announcement on November 21, 2008 that it will make significant revisions to the special immigrant and nonimmigrant (R-1) religious worker visa classification regulations. The final rule on R-1 religious worker visa category will ensure the integrity of the religious worker program while streamlining the process for legitimate petitioners.
USCIS Awards Contracts for Training Services
November 20, 2008
The USCIS on November 20, 2008, announced the award of three contracts to provide residential training services for agency employees. The USCIS’ selected vendors will provide support for residential training in campus-like environments in Texas and Virginia, including comprehensive services, lodging, meals, equipment, and transportation. USCIS will provide the instructors. The USCIS Academy Training Center, which offers the basic training curriculum for new USCIS immigration officers and other immigration training courses, will be supported by two vendors, the American Airlines Training and Conference Center and the Idearc Hotel and Conference Center, both located in Dallas, Texas. The third contract was awarded to the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Va., which will host supervisory and related professional development training.
USCIS Provides Processing Update on Hague Adoptions
November 19, 2008
In recognition of National Adoption Awareness Month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reminding prospective adoptive parents to submit complete application and petition packages for international adoptions under the Hague Adoption Convention to ensure timely processing. Since April 1, 2008, the NBC has received more than 1,300 applications and petitions for Hague Adoption. The NBC provides end-to-end processing for applications and petitions relating to Hague Adoption, and USCIS has found that a majority of cases are incomplete, requiring prospective adoptive parents to submit additional information after they filed their initial Hague Adoption application or petition. In an effort to speed up this part of the process, the NBC is working with adoption agency representatives to identify the necessary requirements for an initial Hague Adoption application.
USCIS Holds Naturalization Ceremony at the National Museum of American History
November 19, 2008
President and Mrs. George W. Bush were among the distinguished guests who witnessed the swearing in of America’s five newest naturalized citizens today during a special Naturalization ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Jonathan Scharfen administered the Oath of Allegiance to the new naturalized citizens, one of whom is a U.S. Marine. USCIS’ Washington District Director Sarah T. Taylor also participated in the Naturalization ceremony. The five Americans naturalized today are originally from France, Germany, Guyana, Lebanon, and Peru.
Federal Contractors Required to Use E-Verify System
November 13, 2008
Starting Jan. 15, 2009, federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to begin using the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) E-Verify system, to verify their employees’ eligibility to legally work in the United States. The new rule implements Executive Order 12989, was amended by President George W. Bush on June 6, 2008. the new E-verify rule directs the federal contractors to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees. This new E-verify rule requires federal contractors to agree, through language inserted into their federal contracts, to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all persons hired during a contract term, and to confirm the employment eligibility of federal contractors’ current employees who perform contract services for the federal government within the United States. Federal contracts awarded and solicitations issued after Jan. 15, 2009 will include a clause committing government contractors to use E-Verify.
Naturalization Processing Times at End of Fiscal Year 2008
November 6, 2008
The USCIS on November 6, 2008 has released the Naturalization Processing Times at End of Fiscal Year 2008.
US Naturalization Process for the Military Personnels
November 6, 2008
The USCIS has streamlined the application and US Naturalization process for military personnel serving on active-duty or recently discharged. Members and certain veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to apply for US Naturalization under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Generally, the qualifying service to apply for the US Naturalization is in one of the following branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, certain reserve components of the National Guard and the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve. Qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces are exempt from other US naturalization requirements, including residency and physical presence in the United States. All aspects of the US naturalization process, including applications, interviews and ceremonies are available overseas to members of the U.S. Armed Forces. An individual who obtains US Naturalization through his or her military service and separates from the military under “other than honorable conditions” before completing five years of honorable service may have his or her US naturalization revoked.
USCIS’ achievements in the year 2008
November 6, 2008
The USCIS has released the areas of the achievements it has made during the Fiscal Year 2008. The Fiscal Year 2008 marks the naturalization of more than one million citizens. More than one million naturalized citizens took the Oath of Allegiance, just one of the significant accomplishments introduced today by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS’ acting Director Jonathan Scharfen highlighted the agency’s progress throughout the past year and discussed future goals, saying the positive results are directly attributable to the USCIS workforce. Scharfen had set aggressive goals to reduce application processing times, cut the FBI name check backlog, and began a viable transformation process for the agency. USCIS moves into the Fiscal Year 2009 with a more aggressive agenda to improve its services to customers. USCIS has awarded the Transformation Solution Architect task order to IBM, a five-year investment to improve its filing and adjudication systems. During FY09, USCIS’ goal is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in processing times for the majority of key petitions and applications, in spite of having to work through an unexpected surge of applications received during FY07.

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