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Information on the New Provisional (Stateside) Unlawful Presence Waiver Process

VIA USCIS.gov

Beginning March 4, certain immigrant visa applicants who are the spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives), and have been unlawfully present in the United States, can start applying for provisional unlawful presence waivers through a new process. Read More…

USCIS Releases Latest Data on (DACA) Cases Received Through 12/13/2012 – 70% of Total Cases Cite Mexico as Country of Origin

DREAMer Information Summit

DREAMer Information Summit (Photo credit: Neighborhood Centers)

USCIS’ Latest Data on DACA Cases indicates that as of December 13, 2012, USCIS has accepted a total of 355,889 DACA cases, of which 102,965 have been approved, and 157,151 are pending.  Just over 70% of all cases received by USCIS cite Mexico as the applicants’ country of origin.  The top State of applicants’ residence is California.

USCIS announces Workload Transfer from Service Centers to Field Operations

Via USCIS.gov

USCIS wants to notify customers and stakeholders that some work that USCIS performs at the four USCIS service centers (Vermont, Nebraska, Texas and California) will be transferred to a Field Office or the National Benefits Center (NBC) in order to balance the overall workload with processing capacity. The chart below summarizes these changes.

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USCIS’s Latest Numbers on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Applications

Via the USCIS’ Office of Performance and Quality (OPQ) 
DACA Stage Cumulative to date (August 15 – September 13, 2012)

1. Intake Number of requests accepted for processing – 82,361
2. Biometrics Number of biometric appointments scheduled* – 63,717
3. Adjudication Number of requests ready for review** – 1,660
4. Completed Number of requests completed – 29

Systems: Lockbox Intake System, Biometrics Capture Systems, CIS Consolidated Operational Repository (CISCOR)

*The number of biometrics appointments may exceed the total number of cases due to rescheduling by the requestor
**Includes all requests having biometrics captured and before decision

USCIS’ Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) FAQs UPDATED 09/14/2012

VIA USCIS.GOV

Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

FAQs updated September 14, 2012

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status.

If you need further information and cannot find it on this Web page or in our Frequent Asked Questions, you may contact our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TDD for the hearing impaired). Customer service officers are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. in each U.S. time zone.

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CBP Discontinues Stamping Form I-20 At Ports of Entry

NAFSA has issued an alert that Customs and Border Protection will no longer stamp I-20s at ports of entry (POEs). USCIS is reaching out to other agencies, such as the DMV, to inform them of the change, since many agencies require the I-20 stamp prior to granting benefits.

USCIS Publishes Forms for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

VIA USCIS

Individuals may begin filing tomorrow

Released Aug. 14, 2012

WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) submitted a Federal Register notice announcing new forms and instructions to allow individuals to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS. USCIS will begin accepting completed forms tomorrow , August 15, 2012.  On June 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines may request, on a case-by-case basis, consideration of deferred action.

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Deferred Action Process for Young People Who Are Low Enforcement Priorities

VIA USCIS.GOV

Over the past three years, this Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform the immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system. As DHS continues to focus its limited enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, including aliens convicted of crimes, with particular emphasis on violent criminals, felons, and repeat offenders, DHS will move to exercise prosecutorial discretion to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who were brought to this country through no fault of their own as children, have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanor offenses, and meet other key criteria.

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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:

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H-1B Fiscal Year 2013 Cap Count – As of 05/25/2012

FY 2013 H-1B Cap Count 
Cap Type  Cap Amount  Cap Eligible Petitions   Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 48,400 05/25/2012
H-1B Master’s Degree Exemption 20,000 17,500 05/25/2012

 

USCIS Issues Precedent Appeals Decision on P-3 Nonimmigrant Visa Petition

Via USCIS

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) today issued a binding precedent decision addressing the term “culturally unique” and its significance in the adjudication of petitions for performing artists and entertainers.

In the case at issue, the Skirball Cultural Center filed a P-3 nonimmigrant petition on behalf of a musical group from Argentina that was denied a performing artists’ visa for failing to establish that the group’s performance was “culturally unique” as required for this visa classification. Due to the unusually complex and novel issue and the likelihood that the same issue could arise in future decisions, the decision was recommended for review.

USCIS’s AAO approved the petition after its review of the entire record, which included expert written testimony and corroborating evidence on behalf of the musical group. The regulatory definition of “culturally unique” requires USCIS to make a case-by-case factual determination. The decision clarifies that a “culturally unique” style of art or entertainment is not limited to traditional art forms, but may include artistic expression that is deemed to be a hybrid or fusion of more than one culture or region.

Precedent decisions support USCIS’s commitment to consistency in the administration of immigration benefits. This is the third precedent decision issued since late 2010. Selected and designated as precedent by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with the Attorney General’s concurrence, precedent decisions are administrative decisions that are legally binding on DHS components responsible for enforcing immigration laws in all proceedings involving the same issue.