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USCIS Dedicates Newest Office in Orlando – New facility also hosts first Naturalization ceremony for 29 children
October 10, 2008
The USCIS in a special dedication ceremony celebrated the official grand opening of its newest field office in Orlando. The USCIS Acting Director Jonathan “Jock” Scharfen presided at the ceremony and was joined by leaders from USCIS headquarters in Washington. The field office in Orlando provides full-service immigration processing – from fingerprints to naturalization -- to the people of Central Florida from a location close to the airport. The dedication was enhanced with a special naturalization ceremony where 29 children hailing from 11 different countries received their Oath of Allegiance. Patriotic music was performed by the local Daughters of the Revolution and the new citizens were congratulated by a ‘patriotic’ Mickey Mouse – all in the spirit of celebrating America and its civic values. The field office in Orlando provides full-service immigration processing – from fingerprints to naturalization -- to the people of Central Florida from a location close to the airport. The new office is based on a national model for new USCIS office locations throughout the country, and includes resources necessary to accommodate more than 450 customers daily.
President Signs Military Personnel Citizenship Processing Act
October 10, 2008
President George W. Bush signed a law on October 9, 2008 to speed the naturalization process for members of the military and their immediate families, called the Military Personnel Citizenship Processing Act. It establishes an Office of the FBI Liaison in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is meant to help the FBI process naturalization applications for people in the military. The law applies to members and former members of the Armed Forces and current spouses of active Armed Forces members, as well as surviving spouses and children of U.S. citizens who died while on active duty. The provision also applies to deceased people eligible for posthumous citizenship.
USCIS Delays Implementation of Direct Mail Program For N-400, Application for Naturalization
October 09, 2008
The USCIS announced that it will delay implementation of the Direct Mail Program for the N-400, Application for Naturalization. The USCIS even realized a Federal Register notice which was published on Oct. 10, 2008, announcing this delay. The USCIS is delaying implementation of this new filing procedure to conduct additional tests of the technology involved. Applicants for naturalization should continue to submit their Form N-400 according to the instructions on the form until further notice. In almost all cases, this means applicants will submit their N-400s to a USCIS Service Center.
Overseas Naturalization Eligibility for Certain Children of U.S. Armed Forces Members
October 02, 2008
President Bush signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 on January 28, 2008 and this law amended Section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to allow certain eligible children of members of the armed forces to become naturalized U.S. citizens without having to travel to the United States for any part of the naturalization process. This Section 322 provides for the naturalization of minor children of U.S. citizens residing abroad. The general conditions are that at least one parent is a U.S. citizen, that the child is younger than age 18 and resides abroad in the physical and legal custody of that parent, and that parent has been physically present in the United States for a certain period of time. Section 322 requires that in general, the child must be temporarily present in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission in order to complete the naturalization.
18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Nationals of Honduras
September 26, 2008
The USCIS announced that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Honduras through July 5, 2010. The extension will make those who have already been granted TPS eligible to reregister and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. TPS does not apply to Honduran nationals who entered the United States after Dec. 30, 1998. The extension of TPS for Honduras is effective Jan. 6. 2009 and will remain in effect through July 5, 2010. Applications from Honduran TPS beneficiaries will not be accepted prior to the opening of the re-registration period. TPS beneficiaries must submit the Application for Temporary Protected Status Form I-821 without the application fee and the Application for Employment Authorization Form I-765 in order to reregister for TPS. Failure to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee waiver request will result in the rejection of the re-registration application.
USCIS Houston Office Re-Open for Customer Emergencies on Monday
September 26, 2008
The USCIS announced that two of its offices in the Houston area will reopen Monday, September 29, after having closed for business due to Hurricane Ike. The Houston district office and the LIFE Act Building will open for business; however, it will take time before the offices are fully operational. The Southeast Application Support Center remains closed due to severe damage. Customers who missed naturalization and adjustment of status appointments will automatically be rescheduled by mail. Customers with INFOPASS appointments will need to reschedule. Interview schedules will begin on October 6 and INFOPASS will begin on September 30.
18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Nationals of Nicaragua
September 26, 2008
The USCIS announced that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nationals of Nicaragua through July 5, 2010. The extension will make those who have already been granted TPS eligible to reregister and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. The TPS does not apply to Nicaraguan nationals who entered the United States after Dec. 30, 1998. The extension of TPS for Nicaragua is effective Jan. 6, 2009 and will remain in effect through July 5, 2010. Nicaraguan nationals (and people having no nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) who have been granted TPS must reregister for the 18-month extension during the 60-day re-registration period beginning on the date the notice is published in the Federal Register. The applicants may request a fee waiver for any of the application or biometric service fees in accordance with the regulations. Failure to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee waiver request will result in the rejection of the re-registration application.
18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Nationals of El Salvador
September 24, 2008
The USCIS announced that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of El Salvador through Sep. 9, 2010. The extension will make those who have already been granted TPS eligible to re-register and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. The extension of TPS for El Salvador is effective Mar. 10, 2009 and will remain in effect through Sep. 9, 2010. Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible following the start of the 90-day re-registration period. TPS beneficiaries must submit the Application for Temporary Protected Status Form I-821 without the application fee and the Application for Employment Authorization Form I-765 in order to reregister for TPS.
USCIS Reminds Customers of Program Flexibilities
September 24, 2008
The USCIS realizes that unexpected events in a person’s home country can sometimes affect their travel or other plans. Thus the USCIS are initiating their services in a way to keep flexibilities for the convenience of the people. Foreigners in the US on a visitor’s visa may request for the extension of their stay or change of their status if the unexpected events in their home country delay their travel; even the students either on F-1 or M-1 visa may request for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) on the similar grounds. Not limited to this, the non-immigrant visitors affected by unexpected events in their home country may request expedited processing of their applications or petition.
Two Categories of Special Immigrant Religious Workers to Expire on October 1
September 19, 2008
It’s like a reminder from the USCIS for all its customers that authorization for the non-minister special immigrant religious worker program will expire on Oct. 1, 2008. The USCIS even said that the individuals applying to serve in the two non-minister categories of the program must either adjust their Status to permanent residence or apply for, and be admitted with, an immigrant visa before Oct. 1, 2008. The two expiring categories are special immigrant religious workers in professional or non-professional capacities within a religious vocation or occupation. The expiration date also applies to the accompanying spouses and children of these workers. Special immigrant religious workers entering the United States solely to carry on the vocation of a minister of a religious denomination are not impacted by the expiration date.

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