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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.
USCIS Announces Adoption Policy for Hague Transition Cases – Grandfathered Form I-600A Affected
October 14, 2008
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that prospective adoptive parents already in the process of adopting a child from a country that has implemented the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) who filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, prior to April 1, 2008, and who have received the one time no-charge extension, may file one additional Form I-600A, and continue to proceed with their inter-country adoption through the “orphan” process. The new Form I-600A must be filed before the current approval expires, and only if the prospective adoptive parents have not yet filed the corresponding Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.
A customer’s guide to InfoPass
February 05, 2005
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently published a customer’s guide containing answers to frequently asked questions about InfoPass. InfoPass is a free, easy and convenient Internetbased system that allows the public to make an appointment to speak with an Immigration Information Officer.
USCIS Increases Period Of Stay For Trade-NAFTA Professional Workers From Canada And Mexico
October 14, 2008
The USCIS has increased the maximum period of time a Trade-NAFTA (TN) professional worker from Canada or Mexico may remain in the United States before seeking readmission or obtaining an extension of stay. This final rule changes the initial period of admission for TN workers from one to three years, making it equal to the initial period of admission given to H-1B professional workers. Eligible TN nonimmigrants may now be allowed to receive extensions of stay in increments of up to three years instead of the prior maximum period of stay of one year. This improvement to the TN nonimmigrant category was initially announced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Department of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez on Aug. 10, 2007. The effort is one of the 26 initiatives identified by President Bush’s Administration to address current immigration challenges using the tools and authorities available under existing law.
FAQ: Grandfathered Form I-600A Processing for Prospective Adoptive Parents
October 14, 2008
Just adjacent to their announcement, the USCIS has released a set of Q & A's as a precaution to prospective adoptive parents with approved Forms I-600A so they understand what options are available to them if their approvals are due to expire, and they have not yet filed a Form I-600. This guidance is important for prospective adoptive parents who are pursuing an adoption from another Hague Convention country.
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 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.
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 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.

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