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USCIS Designates November Veterans Appreciation Month
November 4, 2008
The USCIS has designated November as “Veterans Appreciation Month” to honor the sacrifices of all those who have served and continue to serve in the United States armed forces. A range of ceremonies and activities occurring throughout the month include naturalization ceremonies for members of the armed forces, educational seminars at military installations for service members and their families, and a comprehensive initiative to hire severely wounded or disabled military veterans. “As a veteran of our military, I know first-hand the sacrifices our nation’s veterans make to secure our freedoms, said Acting Director Jonathan Scharfen. “Their selfless service and willingness to answer America’s call to duty is a constant source of inspiration.”
USCIS Sets Application Period in Northwest Immigrant Rights Project Legalization Case
November 4, 2008
The USCIS announced that on Sept. 9, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington entered an order approving the settlement agreement in the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) legalization case. The NWIRP case is a class action lawsuit that involved claims by individuals who were unable to apply or who were deemed ineligible for legalization under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 because of issues as to whether unlawful status was “known to the government.” The settlement agreement designed by USCIS allows certain individuals who were unable to apply for legalization to apply now for legalization. The application period will be open for one year for individuals who meet specific criteria, including entering the United States on a nonimmigrant visa prior to Jan. 1, 1982. The application period will commence Feb. 1, 2009 and end Jan. 31, 2010.
USCIS Revises the Current Edition of Form N-648
November 4, 2008
The USCIS based on its experience with processing Form N-648, as well as suggestions from stakeholders has identified ways in which the form N-648 and its instructions could be improved to work more effectively. Keeping this in vie the USCIS has revised Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions to further clarify the requirements for the exception and the basis for preparing a medical certification for applicants and medical professionals. The USCIS has announced the revised edition of the Form N-648 on November 4, 2008. It is expected that the revisions in the Form N-648 will result in fewer inappropriate submissions and will enable USCIS to more quickly reach an informed decision on those N-648 certifications that are submitted. However after Dec. 15, 2008, USCIS will no longer accept older editions of Form N-648.
N-400 expires October 31, 2008 but remains valid until USCIS releases the revised version
October 31, 2008
The prior edition of the N-400 application for Naturalization expires October 31, 2008 however a new edition has not been released by the USCIS. A new edition of the N-400 application for Naturalization is not been posted to the USCIS website yet. USCIS has informed the applicants that they may continue to submit their application on any useable edition of the form until further notice.
USCIS’ TPS Registration Reminder to Eligible Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans
October 28, 2008
The USCIS has issued a reminder for the eligible nationals of Honduras, Nicaragua and Salvador to file their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) registrations. The registration period for the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) ends on Dec. 1, 2008 for Hondurans and Nicaraguans, and Dec. 30, 2008 for Salvadorans. The 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua will remain in effect until July 5, 2010, and until Sept. 9, 2010 for nationals of El Salvador. Hondurans, Nicaraguans, and Salvadorans who have received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) previously must re-register for the 18-month extension during the re-registration period. Failure to file a TPS re-registration application during the re-registration period without good cause will result in withdrawal of TPS benefits, including employment authorization and protection from removal from the U.S.
DHS Announces Final Rule on Secure Flight Program
October 22, 2008
The DHS on October 22, 2008 announced the issuance of the Secure Flight Final Rule. The Secure Flight is a critical tool designed to improve aviation security and fix the major customer service issue of watch list misidentifications, a frustratingly common occurrence for travelers under the existing airline-based system. Airlines will be required under Secure Flight to collect a passenger's full name, date of birth, and gender when making an airline reservation. Secure Flight will improve security by maintaining the confidentiality of the government's watch list information while fully protecting passengers' privacy and civil liberties.
USCIS Holds Naturalization Ceremony at George Mason University
October 21, 2008
The USCIS Acting Director Jonathan “Jock” Scharfen held a Naturalization ceremony at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Va. to administer the Oath of Allegiance for 50 new naturalized US citizens. Expressing his enthusiasm towards the new naturalized US Citizens, Mr. Scharfen said the immigrants have contributed a lot towards the US national identity, formed the ideal of the American dream and built upon the foundations of freedom and equality. Mr. Scharfen also presented Professor Abul Hussam of GMU, one of the naturalized US citizens, with the Outstanding American by Choice certificate for his significant contributions to the United States. The 50 Americans naturalized today are originally from: Argentina; Bangladesh; Canada; China; Colombia; El Salvador; Ethiopia; Honduras; India; Iran; Ivory Coast; Jordan; Lithuania; Malaysia; Morocco; Netherlands; Pakistan; Peru; Philippines; Romania; Sierra Leone; South Africa; South Korea; Sudan; Sweden; Togo; Trinidad; Turkey; and Vietnam.
Seven More Countries Added to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
October 20, 2008
President Bush has added seven more countries under the Visa Waiver Program. It include the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea. These countries have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States on a Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa.
USCIS and DOS resumed a New Bilateral Agreement for Adoptions from Vietnam
October 16, 2008
The USCIS and DOS issued a joint statement with the government of Vietnam to announce that the processing of new adoption cases will not resume until both countries sign a new bilateral agreement. The governments of the United States and Vietnam are taking this action jointly. The USCIS and DOS continue to strongly support the Vietnamese government’s efforts to establish an appropriate child adoption system with sound safeguards and protections for children and families. Until a new bilateral agreement is reached, USCIS and DOS have concluded it is in the best interest of children and families to not process any post-Sept. 1, 2008 adoption cases. This action does not affect cases where the prospective adoptive parents were matched with a child before Sept. 1, 2008, the date the previous bilateral agreement expired.
FAQ: USCIS and DOS resumed a New Bilateral Agreement for Adoptions from Vietnam
October 16, 2008
Adjacent to the announcement released by USCIS and DOS regarding the New Bilateral Agreement for Adoptions from Vietnam to the United States, a set of Frequently Asked Questions was released to help people understand more about this bilateral agreement resumed by USCIS and DOS. Until a new bilateral agreement is reached, USCIS and DOS have concluded it is in the best interest of children and families to not process any post-Sept. 1, 2008 adoption cases. This action does not affect cases where the prospective adoptive parents were matched with a child before Sept. 1, 2008, the date the previous bilateral agreement expired.

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