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DHS, USCIS Office of Inspector General, Information Technology Management Report entitled “Progress and Challenges” covers IT recommendations for USCIS

via www.oig.dhs.gov/

DHS, USCIS Office of Inspector General, Information Technology Management Report entitled “Progress and Challenges”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Information Technology Management Progress and Challenges (PDF, 36 pages – 1.34 MB)

Spotlight (PDF, 1 page – 125 KB)

Infosys Fined an Unprecedented $35,000,000.00 by the U.S. Government for Employing B-1 Visas in Lieu of H-1Bs

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Government will fine Infosys, an Indian Technology/Consulting giant, almost $35,000,000.00 for employing B-1 visa workers in lieu of H-1B visa workers.

By way of background, last year, Judge Thompson of the Federal Court for the Middle District of Alabama rejected all claims brought by Jack Palmer against his employer, Infosys. Palmer claimed to have been harassed and retaliated against after making allegations that Infosys’ massive B-1 visa program was used fraudulently in place of more appropriate visas. Palmer’s rejected claims were subsequently resurrected by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, which continued its investigation into whether Infosys wrongly filed B-1 visas for workers performing work that actually required H-1B visas.

In a 2011 blog post I wrote about how Infosys may have been engaging in a perfectly legal action; per 9 FAM 41.31 N11, “ALIENS NORMALLY CLASSIFIABLE H-1 OR H-3″:

“There are cases in which aliens who qualify for H-1 or H-3 visas may more appropriately be classified as B-1 visa applicants in certain circumstances; e.g., a qualified H-1 or H-3 visa applicant coming to the United States to perform H-1 services or to participate in a training program. In such a case, the applicant must not receive any salary or other remuneration from a U.S. source other than an expense allowance or other reimbursement for expenses incidental to the alien’s temporary stay. For purposes of this Note, it is essential that the remuneration or source of income for services performed in the United States continue to be provided by the business entity located abroad, and that the alien meets the following criteria:

(1) With regard to foreign-sourced remuneration for services performed by aliens admitted under the provisions of INA 101(a)(15)(B), the Department has maintained that where a U.S. business enterprise or entity has a separate business enterprise abroad, the salary paid by such foreign entity shall not be considered as coming from a “U.S. source;”

(2) In order for an employer to be considered a “foreign firm” the entity must have an office abroad and its payroll must be disbursed abroad. To qualify for a B-1 visa, the employee must customarily  be employed by the foreign firm, the employing entity must pay the employee’s salary, and the source of the employee’s salary must be 
abroad…”

However, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), apparently motivated by Palmer’s Testimony, addressed a strongly worded but poorly researched memo to Secretary Hillary Clinton in which he demanded a complete review of the B-1 visa. His request was inexplicably granted, and the resultant changes substantially injured the economic interests of U.S. organizations engaged in international trade, countermanded congressional intent on the subject, and escalated denials for B-1 applicants at U.S. Consulates, especially those in the ‘B-1 in lieu of H-1B’ category.

Moving back to present: Infosys’ fine is unprecedented in the history of Immigration law.  It will have a major impact on both our nation’s technology/consulting sector and on our Immigration policy. In light of the fact that other nations are eagerly recruiting the world’s best and brightest (sometimes from within our borders), it can only be hoped that the Infosys fine will reinvigorate the push for the creation of a new U.S. visa category specifically designed for short term consulting projects, and/or to increase the U.S.’s yearly quota for H-1B professional workers to a level that isn’t exhausted in one week.

AILA’s recommendations on filing H-1B, PERM and other applications while DOL’s iCERT and PERM Websites are Shutdown

Federal Workers Protest Government Shutdown

Federal Workers Protest Government Shutdown (Photo credit: cool revolution)

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has indicated that they are trying to obtain guidance from USCIS and US Department of Labor (DOL) about how attorneys should move forward in filing applications like the H-1B and PERM/Labor Certifications which have been affected by the DOL’s shutdown (resulting from the Federal Government’s Shutdown).

AILA does not have official guidance from the USCIS and DOL yet and indicates that there are “conflicting reports” regarding DOL’s ability to even accept mail.  For now, however, AILA recommends the following:

Read More…

USCIS now considers Same-Sex Marriages valid: Green Card Applications OK

VIA DHS.GOV

Implementation of the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act

Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:

English: Official portrait of United States Se...

English: Official portrait of United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano Español: Retrato oficial de Secretaria de Seguridad Interna de los Estados Unidos Janet Napolitano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly. To that end, effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Read More…

DHS Announces Taiwan’s Designation into the Visa Waiver Program

VIA DHS Press Office
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced the designation of Taiwan into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) – streamlining travel for thousands of eligible Taiwan passport holders, while maintaining strong security standards.

NFAP Report: DOL Threatens Personal and Commercial Privacy in Proposal Directed Against Skilled Foreign Nationals

The recently released National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) report underscores the severe consequences that will result if the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed changes to form ETA 9035 (LCA) are implemented.

Read More…

The Department of Homeland Security’s 2011 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics – data on legal permanent residents, refugees and asylees, naturalizations, nonimmigrant admissions, and enforcement actions.

Via dhs.gov

The Yearbook of Immigration Statistics is a compendium of tables that provides data on foreign nationals who, during a fiscal year, were granted lawful permanent residence (i.e., admitted as immigrants or became legal permanent residents), were admitted into the United States on a temporary basis (e.g., tourists, students, or workers), applied for asylum or refugee status, or were naturalized. The Yearbook also presents data on immigration enforcement actions, including alien apprehensions, removals, and returns. The Yearbook tables are released as they become available. A final PDF is released in September of the following fiscal year.

Read More…

INFORMATION ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S RECENTLY ANNOUNCED DEFERRED ACTION PROGRAM ENABLING LEGAL STATUS FOR CERTAIN YOUNG IMMIGRANTS

Jacksonville, FL – Immigration lawyer Ashwin Sharma welcomed the Administration’s recent announcement that younger immigrants may be eligible for “Deferred Action” and work authorization. The policy will grant qualified immigrants the opportunity to live free from fear of deportation and allow them to work legally. This is an exciting new development which brings hope to immigrants and their families. It is not, however, a permanent fix and does not grant permanent legal status to anyone.

To qualify, an individual must:

Read More…

U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2010 (.pdf)

This Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report presents information obtained from applications for LPR status on the number and characteristics of persons who became LPRs in the United States during FY 2010.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Travel Information for International Visitors


For International Visitors Sign up for e-Gov Delivery for For International Visitors  get RSS feed for For International Visitors
plane traveling to U.S.

Information for visitors to the United States who are coming to work, study, conduct business or to immigrate.


- Admission into United States
- 06/22/2009

Frequently asked questions about the admission process for entering into the United States.
arrow Air Travelfeatured see also
If you are traveling by plane to Mexico or Canada, please keep in mind that all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, are required to have a passport or other accepted form of documentation to enter or depart the United States.
- Automatic Revalidation: Valid I-94, Expired Non-Immigrant Visa
- 05/11/2009

Nationals of Iran, Syria, Sudan and Cuba are not eligible for automatic revalidation of expired visas.
Automatic Revalidation: Valid I-94, Expired Non-Immigrant Visa - pdf versionpdf – 23 KB.
- Bringing Food into the U.S.
- 03/21/2008
arrow Useful Information for Canadian and Mexican Travelers
- Six Month Club Updatefeatured see also
- 03/10/2009

For Accessibility Information: OPA508CONTACT@cbp.dhs.gov
Six Month Club Update - pdf versionpdf – 52 KB.
arrow Clearing CBPfeatured see also
arrow Electronic System for Travel Authorization
- Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant and Inadmissible Canadian Information
- 12/07/2009
- Immigration
Procedures, forms, and basic requirements immigrants need to enter the United States.
- Issuance of a Visa and Authorization for Temporary Admission into the United States for Certain Non-Immigrant Aliens Infected with HIV Final Rule
- 10/06/2008
arrow I-94 and I-94W
- 06/15/2009
- I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrantfeatured see also (offsite link)
04/08/2008
arrow Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR)
arrow NSEERS
arrow Temporary Residents for Work or Study
- Transiting the U.S. - TWOV and ITI Programs
- 10/02/2007
arrow Visa Waiver Programfeatured see also
arrow Visiting for Business or Pleasure

Global Entry Program

Global Entry is a pilot program managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection which allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. Although this program is intended for “frequent travelers” who make several international trips per year, there is no minimum number of trips an applicant must make in order to qualify. Participants may enter the United States by utilizing automated kiosks located, at the following airports:

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • San Juan-Luis Múñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
  • Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

The process requires participants to present their machine-readable U.S. passport or permanent resident card, submit their fingerprints for biometric verification, and make a customs declaration at the kiosk’s touch-screen. Upon successful completion of the Global Entry process at the kiosk, the traveler is issued a transaction receipt and directed to baggage claim and the exit, unless chosen for a selective or random secondary referral.

Travelers must be pre-approved before they can participate in the pilot program. All applicants will undergo a rigorous background check and be interviewed by a CBP officer before they are enrolled. Automated enforcement checks will occur each time the member uses the kiosk to enter the United States. Although pre-approved for the program and determined to be low risk, members of Global Entry may be examined at any time when entering the United States.

Members entering the United States must complete the declaration questions prompted by the kiosk. If bringing items that must be declared, after completion of the kiosk transaction, the member will be directed to see a CBP officer.

Global Entry has a zero tolerance policy for violations. If a Global Entry member violates any of the terms and conditions, CBP officers will take appropriate enforcement action and will cancel the person’s membership privileges. The application fee is non-refundable.

What Are the Benefits of Global Entry?
The benefits are:

  • Bypass the traditional passport control line.
  • No more filling out a paper customs declaration form.
  • Expedited exit process.
  • Mutual benefits with other countries.
  • Conveniently located at airports throughout the country.
  • Cross the border with a minimum of customs and immigration questioning.
  • Although this program is intended for frequent travelers, there is no minimum number of trips that must be completed.

Global Entry allows applicants to complete a single application and pay one fee. This form can be submitted online via the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES. Qualified applicants are required to come to a Global Entry Enrollment Center, for an interview). Global Entry allows United States border agencies to concentrate their efforts on potentially higher-risk travelers and goods, which helps to ensure the security and integrity of our borders.

Who May Apply for Global Entry?

  • Individuals who are 14 years of age and older who are U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents, or citizens of certain other countries.

*Note: If enrolled parents are traveling with children under 14 and clearing as a family, they may not use the kiosk and must clear using the regular passport control process.

However, individuals may not qualify if they:

  • Are inadmissible to the United States under applicable immigration laws;
  • Provide false or incomplete information on their application;
  • Have been convicted of a criminal offense in any country;
  • Have been found in violation of customs or immigration laws; or
  • Fail to meet other Global Entry requirements.

If an individual does not meet the requirements of Global Entry, their application will be denied.

Fee
Applications must be completed and submitted online through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). 
GOES ) A non-refundable $100 fee will be collected before the submission of the application. If an applicant is denied participation, he/she will not receive a refund of the $100. NEXUS and SENTRI members may activate membership in Global Entry at no additional fee.

Inquiries
Applicants who are not accepted into the Global Entry pilot have three channels for forwarding their inquiries: a) directly with the enrollment center; b) DHS Travelers Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP); and c) the CBP Trusted Traveler Ombudsman. Please see the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program page for more information on how to seek redress. (DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program )

Consistent with privacy law and national security considerations, DHS and CBP may not reveal the specific reason for an applicant’s denial in either the initial notification or the redress process depending on the circumstances of a particular case.


Global Entry Program   get RSS feed for Global Entry Program
Global Entry Kiosks
Your Ticket to Get Out of Line…
Global Entry is your express pass to process through the United States’ international arrival areas. Automated kiosks are designed to process pre-approved, low-risk international travelers who qualify.


- Video: Global Entry Public Service Announcementfeatured see also
- 11/20/2009

wmv file: 4,864 KB
- Global Entry: Step by Step Online Application Instructions
- 08/20/2008

Please print prior to logging onto GOES

For Accessibility Information: OFO508CONTACT@cbp.dhs.gov
Global Entry: Step by Step Online Application Instructions - pdf versionpdf – 3,086 KB.
- Global Entry Enrollment Center and Kiosk Locations
- 11/09/2009
-
- Global Entry Program Overview
- 11/04/2009
- Apply Online for Global Entryfeatured see also (offsite link)
- NEXUS and SENTRI Members that are US Citizens or US Lawful Permanent Residents May Utilize the Global Entry Kiosks
- 11/09/2009
- Instructions to Use Kiosk
- 08/10/2009

For Accessibility Information: OFO508CONTACT@cbp.dhs.gov
Instructions to Use Kiosk - pdf versionpdf – 183 KB.
arrow Download Ads for Global Entry
- Global Entry Information
- 11/20/2009

Printed materials available for download

DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP)


DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP)

get e-mail updates Get e-mail updates when this information changes

Learn more about redress numbers

The Department of Homeland Security’s Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) is a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation hubs–like airports and train stations–or crossing U.S. borders, including:

  • denied or delayed airline boarding
  • denied or delayed entry into and exit from the U.S. at a port of entry or border checkpoint
  • continuously referred to additional (secondary) screening

Why DHS TRIP?

DHS TRIP is a central gateway to address

  • watch list misidentification issues
  • situations where travelers believe they have faced screening problems at ports of entry
  • situations where travelers believe they have been unfairly or incorrectly delayed, denied boardin
    g or identified for additional screening at our nation’s transportation hubs

DHS TRIP is part of an effort by the State Department and Homeland Security to welcome legitimate travelers while still securing our country from those who want to do us harm.

Who is DHS TRIP for?

People who have been repeatedly identified for additional screening can file an inquiry to have erroneous information corrected in DHS systems.

How does DHS TRIP work?

DHS TRIP is the central processing point for redress inquiries. Requests received online are routed for redress to the appropriate DHS components. Components will review the request and reach a determination about a traveler’s status.

How is the information used?

The Department of Homeland Security safeguards the privacy of any personal information that you provide in your inquiry to DHS TRIP. The information that you provide will be used to process your request for redress. More information on DHS TRIP and your privacy.

Getting started with DHS TRIP

Learn more about TRIP and make an inquiry online.

» Go to DHS TRIP

 

This page was last reviewed / modified on November 9, 2009.

DHS Office of Immigration Statistics Report on LPRs for 2008

<a href="/files/4941-4844/__1LPR.pdf”>DHS Office of Immigration Statistics Report on LPRs for 2008

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