Hello and welcome to the August 2012 Immigration Newsletter!
As we continue to get closer to the 2012 Presidential elections in November, August witnessed significant action in the field of immigration. Most notably, as of August 15, 2012, USCIS began accepting requests for consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, announced earlier this year by President Obama and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano. Under the program referred to as “DACA”, certain young people, who came to the U.S. as children and meet other key guidelines (commonly referred to as “DREAMERS”), may request consideration for deferred action. The deferred action will offer relief from removal from the U.S. or from entering removal proceedings for a period of two years and will be subject to renewal. They will also be eligible to apply for a work permit (EAD).
USCIS has announced that individuals requesting consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals must submit the newly created Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (with accompanying fees); and an I-765WS, Worksheet. USCIS will review requests and make decisions on a case-by-case basis. USCIS has also cautioned individuals, who believe they are eligible, should be aware of immigration scams as unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may try to take advantage of individuals by charging them exorbitant fees to submit forms to USCIS on their behalf or by giving them incorrect legal advice.
Meanwhile the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit released two very important opinions regarding controversial provisions of the Georgia and Alabama anti-immigration Laws.
On Georgia’s Immigration Enforcement Law HB 87, the Court of Appeals issued a split decision regarding the Northern District of Georgia’s preliminary injunction against two provisions of the law. The preliminary injunction was upheld for Section 7, which made certain acts like transporting or moving an illegal alien, concealing or harboring an illegal alien or inducing an illegal alien to enter into Georgia, an offense. On the other hand, it overturned the injunction against for Section 8, which authorized law enforcement officers to investigate the immigration status of an individual if the officer had probable cause to believe the individual has committed another crime and the individual cannot provide one of the pieces of identification listed in the statute – a provision that is popularly referred to as the ‘Papers Please’ law. It is important to note here that the Appeal only considered the preliminary injunctions and the matter has been remanded to the district court for further proceedings. It therefore remains to be seen which way the final outcome of the proceedings will go, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Arizona’s immigration laws.
The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit also gave its verdict on the appeal filed against the preliminary injunction granted by the District Court of Northern District of Alabama wherein nearly 10 sections of the controversial Alabama Immigration Law HB 56 were blocked. In its verdict, the appellate court upheld the preliminary injunction granted blocking at least 6 sections while overturning the injunction granted against 3 sections. Notably, the court reversed the injunction granted blocking the ‘Papers Please’ provision, which authorized law enforcement officers to officers to determine a lawfully seized individual’s immigration status when he or she has reasonable suspicion that the seized individual is unlawfully present in the U.S., even while upholding the injunction against provisions that made certain acts like concealment, harboring, or shielding from detection of any alien; encouraging or inducing an alien to come to or reside in Alabama an offense.
In other news, in the recently published DOS Visa Bulletin for September 2012, the EB-3 priority dates advanced marginally in respect of all countries, even as the EB-1, EB-4 and EB-5 numbers continued to remain current for all countries. As announced earlier by the DOS, EB-2 priority dates remained at 01 January 2009 in respect of all countries other than India and mainland China which are unavailable. Priority dates for EB-2 will remain unchanged for the remainder of FY-2012.
Other Developments in Immigration Law:
New E Visa Processing Instructions for Mission Italy
The US Embassy in Italy has published new E visa processing instructions for Mission Italy and has announced that effective August 15, 2012 all E visa submissions must comply with the new procedures. The Embassy has also announced that the maximum E visa packet size is 40 pages, and all documents submitted must be in English or Italian, and must be germane to the case. Review of applications will begin only upon receipt of a complete application and applications that are not complete, including the original receipt of the processing fee, will be returned via Mailboxes Etc. Companies submitting applications for multiple employees have also been advised to submit only one E visa packet for all applicants.
Employers to continue using current Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification
USCIS has announced that until further notice, employers should continue using the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form that is currently available on the forms section of its website. This form should continue to be used even after the OMB control number expiration date of August 31, 2012 has passed. USCIS has announced that it will provide updated information about the new version of the Form I-9 as it becomes available.
Immigration Articles and Other Fun Stuff:
Our ‘Featured Video’ for this month titled, “EB1, Employment-based Green Card for Multinational Managers & Executives on L1 Visa”, showcases the many advantages EB-1C has over other Green Card categories and the requirements that help establish a strong case for the EB1 Green Card. Please check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel to take advantage of another great service provided to you by VisaPro.
Also check out our In Focus article for this month titled “P-3 Visa for Artists and Entertainers: An Overview” in which we present an overview of the P-3 visa requirements and the P-3 visa process, along with a few important concepts that are related to the P-3 visa.
Every month we introduce a new and interesting question for our opinion poll. Last month’s poll results indicate that a majority of respondents (80%) welcome USCIS’ decision to create a new office dedicated solely to the administration of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program. We continue to appreciate that people take interest in the opinion question and cast their votes to give us their feedback. Keep it up! And continue to cast your vote to express Your Opinion.
We also congratulate Sumit for winning last month’s Immigration Quiz. Sumit gave the best answer and won a free online consultation to discuss the concerned Immigration issues. It’s time to get ready for this month’s quiz. If you know the correct answer your name might be featured in next month’s newsletter. All the Best!!!
See you next month with a lot more noise from the Immigration World!