Visa revocation can have serious consequences. The U.S. State Department confirmed that Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) Volume 9 now provides the authority to revoke visas based on driving under the influence (DUI) arrests. U.S. consular abroad can revoke a visa when the foreign visa holder is in the United States. Revocation carries grave consequences as it can disrupt the foreign individual’s work, school, and cause distress.
However, despite revocation, foreign individual remains in lawful status throughout the end of admission date. School or employer should not conclude that the person is out of status and thus subject to termination. However, foreign traveling is not advised.
USCIS announced today the current TPS Nepal beneficiaries who want to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from October 26, 2016 (Today) through December 27, 2016. The 18-month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Those who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of June 24, 2018. Some re-registrants may not receive their new EAD in time. USCIS will automatically extending current TPS Nepal EADs with a Dec. 24, 2016. These existing EADs are now valid through June 24, 2017.
To re-register for TPS, current TPS beneficiaries must submit:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is mostly funded by the fees, and it announced a final rule, 81 FR 73292, adjusting the fees for immigration applications by a “weighted average of 21 percent increase.” The new fees will be effective Dec. 23, 2016. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after Dec. 23 must include the new fees or USCIS will not be able to accept them.
For example, fee for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, will increase of $45, from $595 to $640. Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, and N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate, will have increased fees of $1,170 from $550 or $600. A new fee of $3,035 is required for Form I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center.
U.S. Government Accountability Office recent study shows the majority of EB-5 investors choose the half a million dollars options rather than investing the $1 million. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program requires investing $1 million in a new business that will result in the creation of at least 10 permanent full-time jobs or $500,000 if the investment is made in a targeted employment area (TEA) — an area that is rural or has an unemployment rate at least 150 percent of the national average. Approximately 10,000 EB-5 visas per year are made available to immigrant investors.
The recent GAO report finds that almost all (99 percent) of the 6,652 EB-5 petitioners in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015 elected to invest $500,000 in a TEA. The GAO used a simple random sample of 200 to make the determination.
U.S. Department of State (DOS) is becoming more and more concerned about driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests. Nonimmigrant work visas, including H-1B, L-1, and O-1 visas, may be subject to revocation if DOS determines the visa holder puts public safety at risk.
DOS previously did not revoke visas “based on a suspected ineligibility, or based on derogatory information,” but it now has the authority to revoke visas for employees in the United States based on driving under the influence (DUI) arrests. 9 FAM 403.11-11(A). DOS revocation does not require a final disposition or finding of guilt of the DUI case.
According to a new report released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), more than 40 percent of all international students on F and M visas in the United States study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Among all of them, nearly 90 percent are from Asian countries. Within the United States, the state with the largest number of STEM international students is California.
Students with F-1 visas studying any STEM program is eligible to apply for a 24-month STEM OPT extension and Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
The Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5) is not a new concept. It is designed to promote immigration and help create jobs. Business owners apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) to become EB-5 “regional centers” to attract foreign nationals seeking permanent residency in the United States. Generally speaking, the minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million, and the minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.
Investors should keep in mind that regional center designation does not mean an endorsement from any U.S. government agencies regarding its profitability or business viability. It is known that EB-5 programs are prone to abuse, and USCIS has long been aware of investment fraud targeting foreign investment money. (read more here) USCIS terminates regional centers regularly, and a terminated regional center may not solicit investment. To view the list of the 62 terminated regional centers as of August 31, 2016, click here.
During either peacetime or during designated periods of hostilities, service members, certain veterans, and certain military family members may be eligible to become citizens of the United States. The general requirements for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen are the same as normal naturalization process. Citizenship may even be granted posthumously.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 328, a person who has served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least one (1) year may be eligible to apply for naturalization, which is sometimes referred to as “peacetime naturalization.” The applicant must be 18 years of age or older, and a lawful permanent resident (LPR).
Similarly, According to Section 329, U.S. armed forces members of any age who serve honorably for any period of time during specifically designated periods of hostilities may be eligible to naturalize. Qualifying military service is honorable active or reserve service in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, or service in a National Guard unit.
In October 2016, the Department of Homeland Security launched a new Study in the States page. Prospective and current international students on F and M visas can use this page to learn about the process and rules for studying in the United States. The website explains a lot of legal and complicated terms, such as STEM OPT Extensions, designated school officials (DSOs), Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and etc.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) also rolled out a new Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student,” in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The new SEVP implement a 10-day turnaround on all DSO update requests.