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I864 Affidavit of Support: New Poverty Guidelines for 2008
March 07, 2008
USCIS has released the 2008 poverty guidelines on form I864P to be used in calculating the required income for Affidavits of Support (I864). These poverty guidelines will remain in effect until spring 2009, when the new guidelines are released. The 2008 guidelines reflect changes in the amount of income that is now required under the new guidelines and generally with each increase in household size, the amount of income has increased.
USCIS Q&A: New Background Check Policy
February 29, 2008
Recently USCIS announced a new background check policy, where certain cases, including adjustment of status cases with pending name check will be adjudicated after 180 days regardless of the fact that the name check is unresolved. This is in response to the large volume of petitions that have been pending for an unusually long time and have resulted in numerous lawsuits against USCIS and FBI. This new policy promises to finally resolve the huge backlog of approvable cases that have not been adjudicated due to the name check portion of the background check. Some of these cases have been pending for a number of years and number into thousands.
USCIS Extends Validity of Expiring Medical Certifications I693
February 28, 2008
In a recent memorandum, USCIS has once again renewed their policy to extend the validity of the civil surgeon’s endorsement on Form I693 for cases that have been pending for longer than a year. Generally, the endorsement on Form I693 is valid for one year and this form is concurrently filed with Adjustment of Status applications. However due to various backlog issues, some of these applications remain pending for longer than the one year period. If USCIS did not provide this extension then petitioners would be forced to undergo another examination and submit a new Form I693 to USCIS after the already submitted medical examination form expires after one year.
TSC Pilots New Adjustment Processing System
February 27, 2008
In an effort to streamline the adjudications procedures, Texas Service Center (TSC) started the "PLUS Pilot" program for adjudicating concurrentlyfiled adjustment of status application packets. Until recently, each form in a typical AOS packet was separated and sent to a different officer for a preliminary name check and adjudication. This often caused confusion and led to lost documentation and delays in processing.
USCIS Revises Filing Instructions for Petition for Alien Relative
February 19, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revised the filing instructions for the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I130). Effective immediately, all petitioners filing standalone Form I130s must file their petitions with the Chicago Lockbox instead of a USCIS Service Center.
New Rule Proposed to Streamline H2A Procedures
February 15, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today a series of proposed rule changes that will provide employers with more streamlined procedures for hiring workers under the H2A program. The proposed rule is published in today’s Federal Register.
Biometrics Appointment Letter Consolidated Into One Notice for AOS Applicants
February 15, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that effective today it will begin consolidating biometrics collection when employmentbased adjustment of status applications and employment authorization requests are filed at the same time at one of the Service Centers.
USCIS Director Outlines Plan to Address Delays in Processing
January 28, 2008
In a testimony before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International law, Director Gonzales outlined the agency’s plans for dealing with the dramatic increases in applications and immigration petitions.
US Naturalization through Military Service
January 25, 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 Application and Receipting Update
January 16, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed it’s customers that fee payments processing and case entry into its tracking system remains behind schedule due to the tremendous increase in the number of applications filed. As a result, applicants are experiencing delays in receiving notices of receipt. USCIS will indicate the actual date, an application was received in the mailroom, on the receipt (in the Received Date box) when Form I-797, Notice of Action, is mailed. The USCIS will also provide these weekly updates on progress in issuing receipt notices to it’s customers until this situation is resolved.

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