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Immigration News Briefs

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
October 2013
Immigration News Briefs

U-Visa’s statutory maximum reached for FY 2013
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved the statutory maximum of 10,000 petitions for U non-immigrant status for Fiscal Year 2013, the fourth straight year the federal agency has reached this maximum limit since the U-visa program began in 2008. The USCIS will continue to accept U-visa petitions and will process them in the order in which they are received. These visas will again be issued starting October 1, 2013, the first day of Fiscal Year 2014.

The U-visa program was created by Congress to help victims of crime who have suffered major mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcement officials investigate or prosecute those crimes. Over 76,000 victims and their family members have received this visa since the program began.

Identity verification begins in USCIS offices
Individuals attending immigration interviews at local USCIS district field offices are now required to submit to biographic verification of their identity. The USCIS began using a Customer Identity Verification (CIV) tool as of September 9, 2013. This is an anti-fraud measure that allows the USCIS to confirm the identity of an individual appearing in the local office.

The CIV system uses a two-fingerprint electronic scan. An individual who has an in-person interview, or who is being issued evidence of an immigration benefit at a local USCIS office, will undergo the standard airport-like security screening and be asked to undergo the fingerprint scan and have a photo taken in order to verify identity. Verification should be immediate, but there have been reports that this system is causing delays at some field offices.

The additional CIV verification is not required for individuals who appear at local USCIS offices for InfoPass appointments. It is also not required for individuals, such as lawyers and translators, who accompany others to immigration interviews.

New I-94 procedure at the border
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the implementation of a new procedure that will take the place of the physical I-94 card you currently receive at the border or place of entry. Instead of receiving a physical card, the arrival/departure process is now automated. Foreign nationals will now only receive an entry (or admission) stamp in their passport, which will include the entry date, class of admission (or status) and the expiration date. You can now print your I-94 in an electronic format at www. cbp.gov/I94.

Beware of scams
Immigration reform is alive in Congress, but it is too soon to tell if and when legislation will pass. In the meantime, immigrants are already being targeted by “notaries” and “agents” and even unscrupulous attorneys to pay fees to start paperwork in anticipation of a new law. Some states, such as California, are already passing laws barring anyone from collecting fees for any immigration-reform-related cases, before the reform actually passes.

The immigration issue is near the top of President Obama’s second-term agenda, and although pro-immigration rallies have been gaining force around the country, the issue remains stalled in Congress. Stay tuned to Khabar for reform updates in the upcoming months, when Congress will revisit the debate.

VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR October 2013

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Oct06

01Oct06

2A

08Sep13

08Sep13

2B

01Mar06

01Mar06

3rd

22Jan03

22Jan03

4th

08Aug01

08Aug01

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

15Jun08

Current

3rd

22Sep03

01Jul10

Other

22Sep03

01Jul10

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B



 

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