Articles Posted in Federal Register

state-2731980_1280In this blog post, we share with you an important announcement from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

On July 8, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security announced an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) benefits for Yemeni nationals for an 18-month period beginning from September 4, 2024 through March 3, 2026.

The Biden administration has made the decision to extend Temporary Protected Status for Yemeni nationals due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent Yemeni nationals from safely returning to their home country.

Yemeni nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen) continuously residing in the United States since July 2, 2024, are eligible for Temporary Protected Status under Yemen’s designation.

Existing beneficiaries of TPS may re-register to maintain their benefits during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from July 10, 2024, through September 9, 2024.

Those who do not currently have TPS but who qualify for TPS benefits can register from July 10, 2024, through March 3, 2026.

It is important for re-registrants to timely re-register during the registration period and not wait until their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) expire, as delaying reregistration could result in gaps in their employment authorization documentation.

The main benefit of applying for TPS is that those who are approved can remain in the country on a lawful basis, will receive protection against deportation (deferred status), and are eligible to apply for employment authorization and travel permission by filing, Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131 Application for Travel Document, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Continue reading

48554137807_fa4094864c_e

Source: Flickr Creative Commons Attribution Gage Skidmore

A estas alturas ya habrás visto los titulares de las noticias. Ahora analicemos la nueva acción ejecutiva histórica del Presidente Biden sobre inmigración y vayamos al meollo de todo lo que necesitas saber sobre esta orden diseñada para mantener unidas a las familias y brindar más oportunidades a los Dreamers.


Proceso para Promover la Unidad y Estabilidad de las Familias– Legalización de cónyuges Indocumentados de Ciudadanos Estadounidenses


Hoy, 18 de junio de 2024, el Presidente Biden anunció un nuevo proceso que permitirá la protección y legalización de los cónyuges indocumentados de ciudadanos estadounidenses que hayan residido en los Estados Unidos durante al menos diez años a partir del 17 de junio de 2024.

En virtud de la autoridad ejecutiva del Presidente, el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS), en coordinación con los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos (USCIS), crearán un nuevo programa discrecional de “permanencia temporal” para que los cónyuges indocumentados de ciudadanos estadounidenses legalicen su estatus mientras permaneciendo en los Estados Unidos.

Aquellos que sean aprobados después de la evaluación caso por caso de su solicitud por parte del DHS tendrán un período de tres años para solicitar la residencia permanente. A los elegibles se les permitirá permanecer con sus familias en los Estados Unidos y ser elegibles para una autorización de trabajo por hasta tres años.

Las personas deben cumplir ciertos requisitos de elegibilidad para convertirse en residentes permanentes legales (titulares de tarjeta verde) bajo este nuevo proceso,

A continuación se encuentran respuestas a preguntas frecuentes sobre esta orden ejecutiva.


Q: ¿Cuáles son los requisitos para que los cónyuges sean elegibles para solicitar el permiso de permanencia temporal y legalizar su estatus en los Estados Unidos?


Para ser considerado caso por caso para una concesión discrecional de permiso de permanencia temporal en virtud de este proceso, una persona debe:

  • Estar presente en Estados Unidos sin admisión ni permiso de permanencia temporal;
  • Haber estado presente continuamente en Estados Unidos durante al menos 10 años a partir del 17 de junio de 2024; y
  • Tener un matrimonio legalmente válido con un ciudadano estadounidense a partir del 17 de junio de 2024
  • No tener antecedentes penales que lo descalifiquen o de otra manera constituir una amenaza a la seguridad nacional o la seguridad pública y
  • Merecer un ejercicio favorable de discreción para recibir permiso de permanencia temporal

Continue reading

48554137807_fa4094864c_e

Source: Flickr Creative Commons Attribution Gage Skidmore

By now you’ve seen the headlines in the news. Now let us break down President Biden’s historic executive action on immigration and get to the nitty gritty of everything you need to know about this order designed to keep families together and provide further opportunities for Dreamers.


Process to Promote the Unity and Stability of Families – Legalization of Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens


Today, June 18, 2024, President Biden announced a new process that will allow for the legalization of undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens who have been residing in the United States for at least ten years as of June 17, 2024.

By virtue of the President’s executive authority, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in coordination with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will create a new discretionary “parole in place” program for undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens to legalize their status while remaining in the United States.

Those who are approved after DHS’s case-by-case assessment of their application will be afforded a three-year period to apply for permanent residency. They will be allowed to remain with their families in the United States and be eligible for work authorization for up to three years.

Individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements to become lawful permanent residents (green card holders).

Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding this executive order. 


Q: What are the requirements for spouses to be eligible to apply for parole and legalize their status in the United States?


To be considered for a discretionary grant of parole in place under this process, spouses of U.S. Citizens must:

  • Be present in the United States without admission or parole;
  • Have been continuously present in the United States for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024; and
  • Have a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024
  • Have no disqualifying criminal history or otherwise constitute a threat to national security or public safety and
  • Merit a favorable exercise of discretion to receive parole

Q: Are Noncitizen Children of Undocumented Spouses eligible for parole?


Yes. In addition to undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens, their noncitizen children may also be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis under this process along with their parent, if they are:

  • Physically present in the United States without admission or parole and
  • Have a qualifying stepchild relationship with a U.S. citizen parent as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act as of June 17, 2024

To qualify as a stepchild under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the noncitizen child must be unmarried, under the age of 21, and the marriage of their noncitizen parent and U.S. citizen stepparent must have taken place prior to the child’s 18th birthday.


Q: How is this new parole program different from the current laws in place?


This new “parole in place” program will eliminate the need for spouses of U.S. Citizens to travel outside of the United States to legalize their status through what is known as an extreme hardship “waiver” process.

The “waiver” process is an extremely cumbersome and lengthy process that requires the undocumented spouse to depart the United States and be interviewed and approved for an immigrant visa overseas. Only once the visa is issued can the applicant return to the United States.

This process has unnecessarily torn families apart and created much fear and uncertainty among applicants forced to remain away from their families for prolonged periods of time. Many applicants are the sole providers for their families and take care of children with disabilities, making this process extremely difficult to bear.

This executive action will instead open a pathway to permanent residence by allowing eligible undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens to adjust their status to permanent residence while in the United States, without requiring them to depart the country.

Continue reading

justice-6570152_1280

The Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department recently announced a new plan to expedite immigration court proceedings for asylum seekers who have recently arrived in the United States without lawful status.

On May 16th senior administration officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department made it known to the public that a new Recent Arrivals (RA) docket process will allow undocumented immigrants to resolve their immigration cases more expeditiously – within a period of 180 days.

Under the RA Docket process, DHS will place certain noncitizen single adults on the RA Docket, and EOIR adjudicators will prioritize the adjudication of these cases.

The RA Docket will operate in five cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Immigration judges will aim to render final decisions within 180 days, although the time to make a decision in any particular case will remain subject to case-specific circumstances and procedural protections, including allowing time for noncitizens to seek representation where needed.

Continue reading

job-7580056_1280

We are pleased to announce that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will soon publish a new temporary final rule in the federal register aimed at streamlining the processing of renewal applications for Employment Authorization Documents (also known as EADs) and increasing the automatic extension period of EADs.


What does this new rule propose?


The new temporary final rule (TFR) proposes an increase of the automatic extension period of certain employment authorization documents (EADs) from up to 180 days to up to 540 days from the expiration date printed on EADs.


Who will benefit?


This automatic extension will benefit employment-authorized noncitizens to prevent workforce interruption for those that have pending employment authorization renewal applications with USCIS, which were timely and properly filed on or after October 27, 2023.

Additionally, to be eligible for the automatic extension, the EAD renewal application must still be pending with USCIS on the date of the rule’s publication in the Federal Register on April 8, 2024.

It will also benefit any eligible applicant who files a renewal EAD application during the 540-day period beginning on or after April 8, 2024 (the date of the rule’s publication in the Federal Register).

Continue reading

joe-biden-7482705_1280

Yesterday, February 14, 2024, the Biden administration released a memorandum designating Palestinians present in the United States for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), based on the danger to civilians and deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

The President’s order halts the removal of certain Palestinians from the United States for a period of 18 months and instructs the Department of Homeland Security to provide employment authorization to eligible beneficiaries, who have been continuously present in the United States since February 14, 2024.

The memorandum would allow DHS to provide employment authorization to such individuals for the duration of the DED period, and further directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to consider expanding employment eligibility for Palestinian F-1 nonimmigrant students.

The President’ s memorandum will soon be published in the Federal Register with further instructions for eligible Palestinian nationals to request Deferred Enforced Departure and employment authorization.

Please note that Palestinians who return to the Palestinian territories after February 14, have committed certain crimes, or present a national security threat, among others, may not be eligible for Deferred Enforced Departure.

Continue reading

software-developer-6521720_1280

In this blog post, we share with you some new updates for the H-1B cap season for fiscal year 2025 and beyond.


 H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period FY 2025


USCIS has announced that the initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap season will open at noon Eastern time on March 6, 2024, and run through noon Eastern time on March 22, 2024.

During the registration period, prospective petitioners and their representatives, must use a USCIS online account to register each beneficiary electronically for the selection process and pay the associated registration fee for each beneficiary.

For more information on the H-1B Cap Season, visit H-1B Cap Season webpage.


Organizational Accounts and Online Filing for Forms I-129 and I-907


On February 28, 2024, USCIS will launch new organizational accounts in the USCIS online account webpage that will allow multiple people within an organization and their legal representatives to collaborate on and prepare H-1B registrations, H-1B petitions, and any associated Form I-907, online.

Also on February 28, USCIS will launch online filing of Form I-129 and associated Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions.


Online Filing of H-1B Cap Petitions and I-907 Starting April 1, 2024


On April 1, 2024, USCIS will begin accepting online filing for H-1B cap petitions and associated Forms I-907 for petitioners whose registrations have been selected.

Petitioners will continue to have the option of filing a paper Form I-129 H-1B petition and any associated Form I-907 if they prefer. However, during the initial launch of organizational accounts, users will not be able to link paper-filed Forms I-129 and I-907 to their online accounts.

Continue reading

poverty-4561704_1280

On January 30, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule in the Federal Register making significant fee increases for various immigration applications and benefit requests. This fee increase will be the first major adjustment in the filing fees since 2016. The increase is meant to address the agency’s operational and financial challenges to support the timely processing of new applications.

The fee increase will take effect starting April 1, 2024. All applications postmarked after this date will be subject to the fee increases in the final rule.

TIP: To avoid paying the higher fees, USCIS must receive applications before April 1, 2024.


Highlights


  • Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), used to petition for family members, including marriage green cards, will increase by 26% to $675 for paper filing, and $625 for online filers.
  • Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)), used by U.S. Citizens to petition for their fiancé(e) to enter the U.S., will increase by 26 percent from $535 to $675
  • Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), used by immigrants seeking a green card for permanent residency, will increase by 18% from $1,225 to $1,440. Employment authorization, and advance parole, will now cost an additional $260 and $630, respectively. Previously these applications carried no additional cost when filing them alongside adjustment of status applications

Continue reading

money-7881948_1280

As the new year approaches, we have some unfortunate news to report for certain employment-based applicants who may wish to file their petitions with premium processing service in 2024, including those filing:

  • Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, as well as
  • Certain applicants filing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization and
  • I-539 Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status with USCIS.

On December 28, 2023, USCIS published a final rule in the Federal Register that will increase the filing fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, to adjust for inflation.

The final rule states that starting February 26, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will increase the premium processing fees USCIS charges for all eligible forms and categories to reflect the amount of inflation from June 2021 through June 2023 according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

Please note that not all petitions are eligible to request premium processing service. Applicants may only request premium processing if USCIS has specifically designated your classification as one that is eligible for premium processing service. To determine whether premium processing is available for your benefit request please review the USCIS webpage.

Continue reading

visa-3653492_1280

The rumors are true. For the first time in nearly two decades, the Department of State (DOS) will process domestic visa renewals for certain H-1B visa applicants without requiring them to leave the United States.

This is all part of a new pilot program starting January 29, 2024, through April 1, 2024, that will allow 20,000 qualified H-1B nonimmigrant workers the opportunity to renew their visas domestically.

The Department of State hopes the pilot program will reduce heavy backlogs at more than 200 consular sections worldwide by making available an increased number of interview appointments for other visa categories, especially first-time travelers applying for business and tourism visas who require in-person interviews.

At the same time, DOS seeks to alleviate the burden on U.S. companies that employ H-1B workers by streamlining the visa renewal process.

The Department will accept applications for the pilot program starting January 29, 2024 on its webpage.

After the initial application period which ends on April 1st the Department will expand the scope of the program.


What are the Requirements to Participate?


Participation in this pilot will be limited to applicants who(se):

  1. Are seeking to renew an H–1B visa; during the pilot phase, the Department will not process any other visa classifications;
  2. Prior H–1B visa that is being renewed was issued by Mission Canada with an issuance date from January 1, 2020, through April 1, 2023; or by Mission India with an issuance date of February 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021;
  3. Are not subject to a nonimmigrant visa issuance fee (Note: this is commonly referred to as a “reciprocity fee”);
  4. Are eligible for a waiver of the in-person interview requirement;
  5. Have submitted ten fingerprints to the Department in connection with a previous visa application;
  6. Prior visa does not include a “clearance received” annotation;
  7. Do not have a visa ineligibility that would require a waiver prior to visa issuance;
  8. Have an approved and unexpired H–1B petition;
  9. Were most recently admitted to the United States in H–1B status;
  10. Are currently maintaining H–1B status in the United States;
  11. Period of authorized admission in H–1B status has not expired; and
  12. Intend to reenter the United States in H–1B status after a temporary period abroad.

Applicants that fall outside of this scope are not eligible to apply for a visa domestically.

Continue reading