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USCIS Expands Premium Processing Service September 22, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, Immigration Laws and Policies, Simply Immigration!, Tips.
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigrantion Service just issued a press release today annoucing that the agency will expand its premium processing service to include I-140 (Immigration Petition for Alien worker) for EB1 (Outstanding Professors and Researchers), EB2 (Professionals with Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability–not seeking National Interest Waiver) and EB3 (Workers Other Than Skilled Workers and Professionals–Unskilled Workers with less than two years of experience or training) catagories.  This new expansion serivce will begin on September 25, 2006.  The fee will be $1000.00 (plus base filing fee).  USCIS will gurantee to process the case within 15 calendar days after receipt.     


9th Circuit Cout of Appeal (CA9) Remands Motion to Reopen for BIA Abuse of Discretion September 22, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration Cases, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, Simply Immigration!.
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Petitioners, a husband and wife from Mexico, were denied cancellation of removal by the immigration judge for failure to demonstrate that their U.S. citizen children would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” as required by INA §240A(b)(1)(D). The BIA affirmed the denial but granted Petitioners voluntary departure. By the time the Board’s decision was issued, the female petitioner had become seriously ill. The couple failed to voluntarily depart the U.S. and instead filed a motion to reopen with the BIA, attaching new evidence of hardship in light of the female petitioner’s illness. Specifically, Petitioners submitted a letter from the wife’s doctor, which explained that the nature of her illness “may be, in fact, life threatening” and that “it is essential that [she] be allowed to remain in the area and receive . . . proper medical care.” The BIA denied the motion to reopen.

The court found that the BIA did not even mention the female petitioner’s medical problems when it explained its reason for denying the motion. The court held that “[t]he BIA’s failure to identify and evaluate the favorable factors was an abuse of discretion.” The court granted the petition for review and remanded the case to the BIA for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

Franco-Rosendo v. Gonzales (9th Cir. July 18, 2006)

Doc. No. 06092146 (posted Sep. 21, 2006)–

The BIA’s failure to identify, consider and evaluate factors that are favorable to granting a motion to reopen is an abuse of discretion.

USCIS Issues Notice of Expansion of I-485 Pilot Program September 21, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Greencard Lottery, Immigration by Marriage, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, Simply Immigration!, Tips.
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On September 21, 2006, USCIS announced that it is expanding a pilot program that changes filing procedures for aliens submitting Form I-485 based on a family relationship, the diversity visa lottery, or qualification for most special immigrant categories. (71 FR 55206, 9/21/06) Under the expanded pilot program, affected aliens residing within the jurisdiction of the Dallas District Office, El Paso District Office, or Oklahoma City Sub-Office will be required to file in person at the appropriate local office, rather than by mail, after self-scheduling an appointment using Internet-based InfoPass. The purpose of the pilot program is to test an alternative to current filing and processing procedures with the goal of achieving a 90-day processing time for affected Forms I-485.

–source AILA

National Fast for Immigrant Justice – September 30! September 21, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Action, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, News and politics, Simply Immigration!, Tips.
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The National Fast for Immigrant Justice will call attention to the horrors of IIRIRA, and put a human face on the suffering this terrible law is inflicting on the most vulnerable among us. Participants in the National Fast for Immigrant Justice will donate the money that they would have spent on food on September 30th to organizations that fight for justice for immigrants, and will contact elected officials and let them know that they are fasting, and why.

For more information please contact: John Gomez (312) 550-7036. You can also read more online at: http://www.nationalfastforimmigrantjustice.com/

Court of Appeal Finds U.S. Violated Asylum Applicant’s Right to Confidentiality September 19, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Asylum, Immigration Laws and Policies, Immigration reform, MyComments, Simply Immigration!.
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that BIA ( Board of Immigration Appeal) misinterpreted the scope of Federal Regulation (8 CFR §208.6) when it held that sensitive information had not been revealed to the applicant’s home government. The government breached the confidentiality owed to the asylum applicant when it submitted a document for authentication to the Chinese Prison Bureau.

-source AILA

Department of State Establishing an Effective Business Referral Program September 18, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, Immigration Laws and Policies, Tips.
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Summary: Facilitating access to timely visa appointments for legitimate business travelers is one of CA’s highest priorities. Posts throughout the world have established business facilitation programs to ensure that we are responsive to the needs of the U.S. business community while continuing to maintain the highest visa security standards possible. Many of these programs are conducted in coordination with American Chambers of Commerce overseas. While the comments that follow are specific to AMCHAM programs, the lessons learned can also be applied to business referral programs that do not function through an AMCHAM.

For full text go to: http://travel.state.gov/visa/laws/telegrams/telegrams_3033.html

Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery (“Green-card”) 2008 Starts Soon! September 17, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Greencard Lottery, Immigration Laws and Policies, Info for Doctors and Health Professionals, News and politics, Tips.

Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 55,000 immigrant visas (“Green-Card”) available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Of such visas, 5,000 are allocated for use under NACARA beginning with DV ’99. The State Department (DOS) holds the lottery every year, and randomly selects approximately 110,000 applicants from all qualified entries. The DOS selects the approximately 110,000 applications since many will not complete the visa process. However once 55,000 are issued or the fiscal year ends, the DV program is closed. If you receive a visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program you will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.========================================The DV-2008 Lottery will begin at noon EDT on October 4, 2006 and will end at noon EST on December 3, 2006.More information about the lottery will be coming soon.  Check out this site for upcoming DV-2008 instructions:  http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/

Church leaders speak out against immigration sweeps September 15, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration Laws and Policies, Immigration reform, MyComments, News and politics.
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Here is a summary of an article published in The San Francisco Chronicle…

Leaders of four different religious faiths spoke out Wednesday near Santa Cruz on behalf of families of scores of immigration violators deported last week as controversy continued over federal immigration sweeps that have netted thousands of people since May.

The religious leaders who spoke out Wednesday acknowledged that the government has a right to enforce immigration law. But they said enforcement can tear apart families in which some members are illegal and others are U.S. citizens.

“It is clear that we have reached a point where we need legislation that will produce a viable path to citizenship for undocumented persons residing in our nation and one (law) that protects the integrity of families and the safety of children,” Roman Catholic Bishop Sylvester Ryan said at a press conference at the Resurrection Catholic Community Church in Aptos.

A San Francisco immigration attorney representing two children whose parents were deported to Mexico, criticized the operation as much more aggressive than in the past.

“Don’t deport them the same day,” she said. “Give them access to counsel. You’re ripping them away from their families. It’s really malicious.”

Michael Cutler, a former immigration agent in New York now associated with the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank in Washington that supports tighter restrictions on immigration, said a better name for the current effort would be “Operation Backrub.”

“The administration has administered warm milk and a backrub to the American people to inspire a false sense of confidence,” he said. “The president has an agenda, which appears to be open up the border between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and Canada. … He’s been doing this to be able to sell his package.”

“You can deport the people, but if employers are still hiring illegal workers, you’re not going to solve the problem,” she said. “They’re tackling the symptom of the problem, which is that people are here. But are they tackling the employment magnet? Are they tackling the fact that there’s no way for these workers to come legally? It’s not clear.” …said Deborah Meyers, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

The message is clear that a comprehensive immigration reform is absolutely necessary…

AAO Addresses H-1B Cap Exemption for Public School September 15, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, News and politics.

On September 8, 2006, the AAO issued a decision regarding exemption from the H-1B cap for a Texas public school, as well as whether the position is a specialty occupation and whether the teacher holds the requisite degree. Deferring to USCIS’ interpretation of the AC21 exemption to the H-1B cap, the Office found that the District Director’s decision to apply the definition of a related or affiliated nonprofit entity found in 8 C.F.R section 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(B), which defines the term for purposes of the H-1B fee exemption as a nonprofit entity that is “connected or associated with an institution of higher education, through shared ownership or control by the same board or federation . . . or attached as a member, branch, cooperative or subsidiary”, was reasonable.

American Immigration Lawyers Association filed an amicus brief with the AAO in this case on this issue in which it argued that the regulatory provision relating to the fee exemption does not apply to the exemption from the H-1B numerical limitations (for which no regulation exists). Rather, the AAO should look to the totality of the relationship between the petitioner and certain institutions of higher education and analyze “affiliated or related” in a manner consistent with the definitions of those terms throughout immigration law and with the ameliorative intent behind the relevant statute.

Source: AILA Newsletter September 06

Intro to CIS “Paperwork Reduction Act Resource Center” September 15, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration Laws and Policies, Immigration reform, Tips.
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Before USCIS can extend, revise, or create a new public use form or reporting requirement, it must first notify the public through notice of USCIS’ intent and allow the public to provide comments on the new or revised requirements. To that end, USCIS, via this webpage, provides interested parties with links to the following documents that will or are being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

  • Agency Form or Reporting Requirement
  • OMB Forms Clearance Request
  • Justification Statement
  • Federal Register Notices (60 day and 30 day final FR Notices)
  • Applicable Federal laws and Regulations and other related documentation

Please note that the proposed new or revised forms on this webpage are in draft form and cannot be used by the public until the forms are approved by OMB.

Here is the USCIS Link: http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/pra/index.htm