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Immigration News Briefs

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
March 2015
Immigration News Briefs

Expanded DACA program date announced
The United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) planned to begin accepting requests for expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) from February 18, 2015 [however, that date was delayed by a federal judge in Texas]. Many applicants have already taken advantage of the DACA program which was introduced in 2012. While this does not provide a pathway to getting lawful permanent resident status (i.e. a green card) or citizenship, this nevertheless allows young individuals to remain in the U.S. and apply for a work authorization document.

Previously, to be eligible for the DACA program, an individual had to have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, and have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007. These restrictions have been removed under the Executive Action announced by President Obama, in November 2014. The revised eligibility requirements for DACA removed the upper age restriction allowing individuals born prior to June 15, 1981, to apply for DACA provided they meet all other requirements for eligibility. Also, the residence requirement now requires continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010. Lastly, the deferred action period and employment authorization is now extended for a period of three years. Previously, the grant was only for a period of two years.

For more details, the USCIS website has set up a FAQs section at http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction .

H-4 EAD rule moving forward
During a public teleconference on January 22, 2015 by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), Director Leon Rodriguez stated that he is "disappointed" that the H4 EAD rules are not yet in place and stated, "I do believe it's close at hand." Most H4 visa holders were expecting the rules to be published in January. A few weeks after this statement, however, USCIS finally submitted the final rules to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The OMB is expected to complete its review of the rules by March or early April 2015, at which point the rules would be sent to the Federal Register for publication and implementation. If all proceeds as expected, this long-awaited rule would allow an H-4 spouse to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) if the principal H1B worker has an approved I-140, or has extended H1B status beyond the 6-year limitation based upon a PERM labor certification application or has an I-140 petition that has been pending for at least 365 days.

CPB app will reduce wait times
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) just launched the Border Wait Time app making it easier for travelers to plan their trip across the border. The app provides estimated wait times and open lane status at land ports of entry allowing travelers to make an informed decision of where and when to cross the border. Travelers can download the app for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The app was developed by CBP and does not require individuals to register or provide any personal information. CBP does not store or have access to any information regarding travelers using the app.

The Border Wait Time app is just one example of CBP’s effort to create a traveler-friendly processing environment. CBP has deployed Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks to more than 25 airports. Much like APC, CBP launched Mobile Passport Control, the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s entry into the United States, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport this year.


VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR March 2015

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Aug07

01Aug07

2A

22Jun13

22Jun13

2B

08Jul08

08Jul08

3rd

22Jan04

22Jan04

4th

15May02

15May02

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

01Jan07

Current

3rd

01Jan04

01Jan014

Other

01Jan04

01Jan014

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 


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