Tuesday, October 11, 2016

EAD for Asylum Applicants

USCIS announced that

Effective October 5, 2016, It has increased the validity period for initial or renewal Employment Authorization Documents for asylum applicants from one year to two years. Applicants with pending asylum claims file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, under category (c)(8). This change applies to all (c)(8)-based applications that are pending as of October 5, 2016 and all such applications filed on or after October 5, 2016

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Form I-131A

       USCIS has created new procedure for Lawful Permanent Residents who are returning form temporary overseas travel and their U.S. identification document (Green Card or Reentry Permit) has been lost, stolen or destroyed.

    To request a Carrier Documentation Lawful Permanent Resident should file Form I-131A, pay the required fee online and then apply in person at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Succes in Immigration Court

American Immigration Counsel published a report on Access to counsel in Immigration Court.
The data shows that immigrants represented by attorneys are more successful in deportation proceedings than unrepresnted immigrants.

Immigrants with attorneys fare better at every stage of the court process

  • Represented immigrants in detention who had a custody hearing were four times more likely to be released from detention (44 percent with counsel versus 11 percent without).
  • Represented immigrants were much more likely to apply for relief from deportation.
    • Detained immigrants with counsel were nearly 11 times more likely to seek relief such as asylum than those without representation (32 percent with counsel versus 3 percent without).
    • Immigrants who were never detained were five times more likely to seek relief if they had an attorney (78 percent with counsel versus 15 percent without).
  • Represented immigrants were more likely to obtain the immigration relief they sought.
    • Among detained immigrants, those with representation were twice as likely as unrepresented immigrants to obtain immigration relief if they sought it (49 percent with counsel versus 23 percent without).
    • Represented immigrants who were never detained were nearly five times more likely than their unrepresented counterparts to obtain relief if they sought it (63 percent with counsel versus 13 percent without).

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Solicitation of prostitution is CIMT

      The sixth circuit it its recent decision held that the petitioner’s conviction for solicitation of prostitution is a crime involving moral turpitude. (Reyes v. Lynch, 2016)

       The respondent in this case argued that solicitation of prostitution “is not uniformly regarded as illegal” and thus must constitute a crime that is malum prohibitum, rather than malum in se. He pointed out that countries such as Armenia, Poland, and the Dominican Republic have made prostitution itself legal, and even one jurisdiction in this country—Nevada—licenses the practice in some counties. 

      Despite the fact that sister circuits decisions on prostitution are several decades old and there is now increased attention to the question whether and  to what extent prostitution should be criminalize the court found solicitation of prostitution is CIMT. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Procedural Changes for H-2B filings with DOL

 U.S Department of Labor (‘DOL”) Office of Foreign Labor Certification announced on September 1, 2016 of Procedural Change to Streamline the H-2B Process for Non-Agricultural Employers. According DOL “… an employer need not submit additional documentation at the time of filing the Form ETA-9142B to justify its temporary need. It may satisfy this filing requirement more simply by completing Section B “Temporary Need Information,” Field 9 “Statement of Temporary Need” of the Form ETA-9142B. This written statement should clearly explain the nature of the employer’s business or operations, why the job opportunity and number of workers being requested for certification reflect a temporary need, and how the request for the services or labor to be performed meets one of the four DHS regulatory standards of temporary need chosen under Section B, Field 8 of the Form ETA-9142B. Other documentation or evidence demonstrating temporary need is not required to be filed with the H-2B application. Instead, it must be retained by the employer and provided to the Chicago NPC in the event a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) is issued by the CO.”
            However, it looks like that USCIS may still request evidence demonstrating temporary need or reject the Labor Certification issued by DOL. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Visa Bulletin Filing Chart

Since September 2015, the Visa Bulletin has been giving two sets of priority dates, "the final action dates" and the second set of dates "filing dates". So, if the visa bulletin shows a filing date that means that one can file an application for adjustment of status if the priority date is prior to that date, but USCIS will not adjudicate the application until the priority date becomes current which is the final action date. This is the same way that the National Visa Center begins processing cases when the date of filing is current but will not schedule the case for consular interview until the priority date is current as shown in the final action date. The advantage of filing early based on the filing date is that the person may apply for work authorization and advance parole early.

The Visa Bulletin also directs people to visit for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used. It can be a little bit confusing. Follow the instructions on the website to determine if the Application for Adjustment of Status can be filed in accordance with the filing dates. If USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, they will state on the page that you may use the Dates of Filing Visa Application Chart. Otherwise, they will inform you to use the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when you can file your adjustment of status application.

Now, USCIS plans on allowing both employment and family-based applicants to use the Visa Bulletin Filing Date chart at the beginning of the FY 2017, meaning on October 1, 2016. However; this is only a plan, not a guarantee. Even if USCIS will go with this new plan, it might only last for several months. To be sure that you receive the most up to date information, review your case with an attorney to determine if you will benefit from using the "Filing Date" chart.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Expansion of Provisional Waiver : USCIS 601A Waiver

        USCIS passed new rule expanding Provisional Waiver (601A Waiver). So now eligibility for the provisional waiver will no longer be limited to the subset of statutorily qualified individuals who seek to immigrate as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and who can show that denial of admission will result in extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent. Rather, this rule makes eligibility for the provisional waiver available to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for a waiver of the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility.

Highlights of new rule:

·         New Rule allows individuals to apply for Provisional Waivers even if USCIS has a reason to believe that he or she may be subject to other grounds of inadmissibility.

·         New Rule eliminates the proposed temporal limitations that would have restricted eligibility for provisional waivers based on DOS visa interview scheduling.

·         New Rule allows individuals with final orders of removal, exclusion, or deportation to be eligible for provisional waivers provided that they have already applied for, and USCIS has approved, an Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal, Form I–212.

·         A removal, deportation, or exclusion order must have been actually reinstated in order for an individual who has returned to the United States unlawfully after removal to be ineligible for a provisional waiver on that basis.