Month: October 2012

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Release of New Form I-9 Anticipated

 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is working on several revisions to Form I-9, including expansion of the form to two pages, expansion of the instructions to six pages, changes to Section 1, and a revised layout.  The new version has not yet been approved so employers should continue to use the version of the form with the expiration date of 8/31/12 until the new one is posted at www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.

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EB-2 Worldwide is Current

The recently issued visa bulletin for November 2012 indicates that the EB-2 worldwide category will be current as of November 1, 2012.  The EB-2 worldwide category retrogressed in July 2012 and has remained backlogged to date.  Once the category becomes current, a visa number is guaranteed to be available for all EB-2 applicants who were not born in India or China through the end of the month.  Please check our blog frequently for updates on visa bulletin movement.

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Proposed Stateside Waiver Process

Currently, many people who are applying for lawful permanent residence have to leave the United States and request the immigrant visa from a U.S. consulate abroad.  Since a large percentage of these applicants were in the United States for more than a year without authorization, they need a waiver of that ground of inadmissibility before they can be granted the immigrant visa to reenter the U.S.  The waiver application process abroad usually results in months or even years outside the U.S. and separation from family.  In part to remedy these long periods of family separation,  in January of  this year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service published a Notice of Intent for proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.  This notice proposed a plan to transfer the adjudication of the waiver applications from abroad to processing in the United States before the applicant has to travel.  Since the decision on the waiver takes place before the applicant leaves for the interview at the consulate abroad, the waiting time outside the United States and the uncertainty of the waiver outcome would be greatly diminished.  As of this writing on October 4, 2012, the proposed “stateside waiver” procedure is not yet in effect.  There is no guarantee that the proposed rule will ever go into effect.  However, there is strong indication that the change in the process will occur and many speculate that it will be final before the end of this year.

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Number of Deferred Action Applications Lower than Anticipated

It’s been little over a month since USCIS began accepting applications for the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  The program, which provides protection from deportation along with work authorization in two year increments, applies only to so-called “childhood arrivals” or “Dreamers,”  those immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and who either fell out of legal status or never had it to begin with. An August report from the Migration Policy Institute estimates that the number of eligible applicants is near 1.76 million. However, as of September 14th, only 82,361 applications had been received, and of that number only 29 applications had been approved (AILA InfoNet).  Stern & Curray represents many Dreamers applying for deferred action status.

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