Month: June 2009

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USCIS Issues Guidance on Employment Eligibility Verification Form

Form I-9 Remains Valid Beyond Current Expiration Date of June 30, 2009

June 26, 2009 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the Employment Eligibility Verification form I-9 (Rev. 02/02/09) currently on the USCIS Web site will continue to be valid for use beyond June 30, 2009. USCIS has requested that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve the continued use of the current version of Form I-9. While this request is pending, the Form I-9 (Rev. 02/02/09) will not expire. USCIS will update Form I-9 when the extension is approved. Employers will be able to use either the Form I-9 with the new revision date or the Form I-9 with the 02/02/09 revision date at the bottom of the form. For more information, please contact your attorney at Stern & Curray LLC.

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INBLF Denver Chapter Announces New Officers

The International Network of Boutique Law Firms (INBLF) chapter in Denver has selected new officers. Emily Curray, partner in the immigration law firm Stern & Curray LLC, recently has been named president of the Denver chapter. Diane King, partner at the employment law firm King & Greisen LLP, will serve as vice president. Among their many responsibilities, Curray and King will supervise and coordinate preparations for the INBLF’s annual black-tie weekend conclave, which this year will be held at Colorado’s famed Broadmoor Resort on October 23-25, 2009. For more information on the INBLF, go to http://www.inblf.com/.

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Limited availability of visa numbers for immigrants born in India or China

On Wednesday, June 10, the Department of State announced the visa predictions for the movement of priority dates in certain categories. Some of the major highlights are in the EB2 category. The wait time for the EB2 India category has been extended due to the large number of applications waiting to be approved for green cards and the low number of visas available. It is likely this category will not be available in August or September and applicants will wait additional years to be approved. Likewise, the EB2 China category is backed up and applicants will wait longer than expected to receive approval for green cards. In the EB3 Worldwide category, there will be no more visas available for the rest of the fiscal year. The Department of State estimates the cut-off date as of October 1, 2009 will be March 1, 2003. Therefore, lengthy delays are also expected in this category.

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Attorney General, Eric Holder, Withdraws No-Right-To-Counsel Decision

On June 3, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder withdrew the decision made by the Bush Administration’s Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, to remove the right to counsel to immigrants in deportation proceedings. This law dictated that individuals facing deportation did not have a legal or constitutional right to legal representation. Therefore, immigrants who had incompetent representation could not complain or seek help if their case failed because of unfit representation. Mr. Holder has initiated procedures to reenact the previous law where individuals can reopen their cases if they were misrepresented and lost their case.

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Comprehensive Immigration Reform Starts to Heat Up

There has been a great deal of conversation about comprehensive immigration reform on Capitol Hill. Some new bills have been introduced and some Democratic senators are “bullish” on the prospect of immigration reform before the end of 2009. Other pundits have expressed the opinion that President Obama’s decision to nominate Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court may take the pressure off him to push for immigration reform. Stay tuned.

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New Border Crossing Requirements Take Effect June 1, 2009

Effective June 1, 2009, all travelers entering the United States or Canada, by land or sea, will need to be in possession of a valid document. In most cases, this would be a U.S. or Canadian passport. There are also “trusted traveler cards,” “U.S. passport cards,” and, in some instances, “enhanced driver’s licenses” which will serve the same purpose. People trying to travel between the U.S. and Canada who are not in possession of one of these documents will be refused entry.

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