USCIS New Affirmative Asylum Interview Scheduling Order

USCIS will now schedule asylum interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings.

USCIS announced that starting January 29, 2018, the Asylum Division will give priority to the most recently filed affirmative asylum applications when scheduling for interviews. For the original post, see https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum/affirmative-asylum-interview-scheduling. The asylum scheduling bulletin has been taken down.

USCIS will give priority to recent filings. USCIS says to do so will reduce the incentive to file for asylum solely to obtain employment authorization. USCIS says if the cases are processed quicker, it will allow the government promptly place such individuals into removal proceedings. USCIS will now schedule asylum interviews in the following order of priority:

  • First priority: Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS.
  • Second priority: Applications that have been pending 21 days or less.
  • Third priority: All other pending affirmative asylum applications will be scheduled for interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings.

In addition, Asylum office directors may consider, on a case-by-case basis, an urgent request to be scheduled for an interview if such request is submitted. Source: USCIS Website

What Does the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act Seek To Do

There had been many talks around the Republican-backed proposal: Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. In a nutshell, it will significantly reduce the number of people allowed to legally immigrate to the United States. Although unlikely to pass Congress, what changes does the RAISE Act seek to bring exactly?

First, the RAISE Act seeks to eliminate the Diversity Visa Program. The Diversity Visa Program gives immigrant visas to nationals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For a list of countries/areas by region whose natives are eligible for DV-2018 and DV-2017, please refer to the DV Instructions.

Second, the RAISE Act seeks to cap the number of refugees who may be admitted in any fiscal year to 50,000 and requiring the President to “annually enumerate the number of aliens who were granted asylum in the previous fiscal year.” Limiting refugee numbers has always been President Trump’s priority, and it is no surprise the RAISE Act mentions it.

Third, in the family-sponsored immigration arena, the RAISE Act wants to change the definition of “Child” at INA §101(b)(1) from an unmarried person “under age 21” to an unmarried person “under age 18,” and change the definition of “Immediate Relative” at INA to include only children and spouses of U.S. citizens (removes parents of adult U.S. citizens). Similarly, it seeks to only allow children and spouses of LPR (green card) holders to immigrant to the U.S. This will effectively eliminate the following current available categories: (1) unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (FB-1); (2) unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs (FB-2B); and (3) married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (FB-3); and (4) brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (FB-4). Parents of U.S. citizens will remain unaffected because under the new legislation, a new category for parents of USC citizens above the age of 21 will be created. The legislation seeks to cap the worldwide level of family-sponsored immigrants  admissions to 88,000 per fiscal year. The effort will significantly reduce the number of family based immigration and make many ineligible to reunite with their families in the United States.

All the above are part of the administration’s efforts to limit the number of immigrants to the U.S. Further, it seeks to replace of Employment-Based Immigration Categories with Immigration Points System. On the numbers, it seeks to limit the number of points-based immigrants to 140,000 (including spouses and children) per fiscal year. This so-called Points-Based System comes with an online portal and a required fee of $160. President Donald Trump has already announced his support for a the points system.

The immigration point system seeks to prioritize immigrants based on their degrees and skills. If they have equal points and equal educational attainment, they will be further ranked according to their (1) English language proficiency test scores; and (2) age, with applicants nearest their 25th birthdays ranked higher. And every 6 months, USCIS is said to invite the highest ranked applicants to file a petition for a points-based immigrant visa. If you want to see if you qualify to immigrate to the U.S., test your scores from Times.com here: http://time.com/4887574/trump-raise-act-immigration/.

Last but not least, the RAISE Act will prohibit naturalization of an individual if the person who submitted an affidavit of support on his or her behalf failed to reimburse the federal government for all means-tested public benefits received by the individual during the 5-year period immediately after the individual became an LPR. It therefore seems that, at no fault of the individual seeking naturalization, she or he might be barred from it. It is unclear whether the individual seeking naturalization is allowed to reimburse the government.

The Act does not mention temporary work visas such as H-1B and H-2 or temporary visitor (B-1/B-2) or student visas (F-1). Its focus remains on the number of available immigrant visas.

Read the full RAISE Act here: https://www.cotton.senate.gov/files/documents/170802_New_RAISE_Act_Bill_Text.pdf If interested, you can read this excellent summary of each section from American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA): 17080732

 

 

 

 

USCIS Implements New Interpreter Policy – Form G-1256 Declaration for Interpreted USCIS Interview Must be Signed

USCIS Policy Memorandum: The Role and Use of Interpreters in Domestic Field Office Interviews, will be implemented starting May 1, 2017.

USCIS is introducing a “Declaration for Interpreted USCIS Interview” form (Form G-1256). The “Declaration for Interpreted USCIS Interview” informs the interviewee about the importance of using a competent interpreter, and includes an attestation that all parties understand the guidelines that apply to interpretation, including that the interpreter must accurately, literally, and fully interpret for both the interviewee and the interviewer/officer. USCIS requires that the interpreter provide consecutive interpretation to ensure that the interpretation is as close to verbatim as possible.

Form G-1256 must be signed by both the interviewee and the interpreter at the beginning of the interview. The Declaration form reminds the interviewee that the use of an interpreter may expose the interpreter to the confidential information discussed at the time of the interview. It also requires the interpreter to agree to not disclose or share any of the information discussed or learned as a result of serving as the interpreter during the interview.

Attorneys may not serve in their roles as an attorney, accredited representative, or associated representative for the party to the case while simultaneously serving as an interpreter for the interviewee. Further, witnesses are restricted from serving as interpreters, unless the officer determines that there is an exception for good cause.

纵览2018财年H-1B申请情况

 

移民局2017年4月11日宣布,已经采用计算机随机选择过程或彩票选择足够的H-1B申请,以满足2017年度的65,000个一般类别 (Regular Cap) 和20,000个高级学位 (Master’s Cap) 的名额。移民局将拒绝并返还所有未选择以及重复的申请。 USCIS在4月3日开始的申请期间收到了199,000份H-1B申请。这一数字比去年申请期间的23.3万份申请减少了15.7%。虽然总体申请数量与去年相比有所减少,但今年是连续第五年USCIS在H-1B申请的第一周内就接受足够的申请。

尽管H-1B申请是经济改善工作机会提高的证据,但是今年提交的申请少了也并不奇怪。印度的一些信息技术公司之前就宣布,他们正在减少提交经验较少的H-1B工人人数,这意味着更多的工作将留在印度而不是迁往美国。另外,去年来说,有些小型信息技术公司面临审查,表示会提出较少的H-1B申请。其他的话,很多雇主被H-1B签证的限制所阻挠,可能更不愿意赞助来自美国学校的外国毕业生。

自1997年以来,H-1B上限已经达到了财政年度以来的每一年,除了上限暂时上调至195,000的几年之外。

CA9 Says TPS Recipient is Eligible to Adjust to LPR Status

TPS Recipient is Eligible to Adjust to LPR Status

The Ninth Circuit in Ramirez, et al. v. Brown, et al. found a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipient is deemed to be in lawful status as a nonimmigrant — and has thereby satisfied the requirements for becoming a nonimmigrant, including inspection and admission — for purposes of adjustment of status under INA §245(a). [read the opinion here 17033104]

Temporary protected status is a temporary immigration status to the United States, granted to eligible nationals of designated countries. It first requires a designation. When the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that a foreign state (or any part of a foreign state) faces an ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent aliens from returning safely, the Attorney General may designate that state (or part of the state) for TPS. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States.  

The Ninth Circuit found that a TPS recipient is considered “inspected and admitted” under § 1255(a), and is eligible for adjustment of status because he also meets the other requirements.

Current TPS countries are:

Designated Country Most Recent Designation Date Current Expiration Date Current Re-Registration Period Current Initial Registration Period EAD Extended Through
El Salvador March 9, 2001 March 9, 2018 July 8, 2016 – Sept. 6, 2016 N/A Sept. 9, 2017
Guinea* Nov. 21, 2014 May 21, 2017 N/A N/A May 20, 2017
Haiti July 23, 2011 July 22, 2017 Aug. 25, 2015 – Oct. 26, 2015 N/A July 22, 2016
Honduras Jan. 5, 1999 Jan. 5, 2018 May 16, 2016 – July 15, 2016 N/A Jan. 5, 2017
Liberia* Nov. 21, 2014 May 21, 2017 N/A N/A May 20, 2017
Nepal June 24, 2015 June 24, 2018 Oct. 26, 2016 – Dec. 27, 2016 N/A June 24, 2017
Nicaragua Jan. 5, 1999 Jan. 5, 2018 May 16, 2016 – July 15, 2016 N/A Jan. 5, 2017
Sierra Leone* Nov. 21, 2014 May 21, 2017 N/A N/A May 20, 2017
Somalia Sept. 18, 2012 Sept. 17, 2018 Jan. 17, 2017 – March 20, 2017 N/A Sept. 17, 2017
Sudan May 3, 2013 Nov. 2, 2017 Jan. 25, 2016 – March 25, 2016 N/A Nov. 2, 2016
South Sudan May 3, 2016 Nov. 2, 2017 Jan. 25, 2016 – March 25, 2016 Jan. 25, 2016 – July 25, 2016 Nov. 2, 2016
Syria Oct. 1, 2016 March 31, 2018 Aug. 1, 2016 – Sept. 30, 2016 Aug.1, 2016 – Jan. 30, 2017 March 31, 2017
Yemen March 4, 2017 Sept. 3, 2018 Jan. 4, 2017 – March 6, 2017 Jan. 4, 2017 – July 3, 2017 Sept. 3, 2017

Check USCIS website for the most up-to-date information.

如何在堪萨斯州考驾照 / 换驾照 – 以及工卡相关问题

从2011年7月开始,Kansas Department of Revenue堪萨斯州财政局 (KDOR)开始利用美国公民和移民局的“系统性外国人居停留权利审核” “Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement System” (SAVE)。 堪萨斯车管所 (DMV) 作为财政局的一部分,也会使用SAVE这个系统来确定你的身份。

第一步: 如果你想要考取或者跟换堪萨斯驾照的话,你首先需要去驾照考试站报名考试。所有考试站的位置可以在这里找到:http://www.ksrevenue.org/dmv-dlstations.html 每个考试站都独具特色。

第二步: 获得SAVE验证。如果您在美国有合法身份 – 工作签证,学生签证,政治避难申请人,绿卡持有者等等 – 你在考试站的时候, 你必须提交所有证明身份的,政府签发的原始文件,举例来说:

  • I-327 (再次入境许可证)
  • I-551 (绿卡)
  • I-571 (难民旅行证件)
  • I-766 (工卡)
  • 公民证明
  • 公民归化证书
  • 移民签证
  • 临时的在护照上的I-551盖章
  • I-94 记录
  • 未过期的护照
  • 如果是F-1学生的话,I-20表
  • 如果是J-1交换生的话,DS-2019表

第三步:驾驶执照审查员将使用你的文件来确认你的合法身份。如果你的合法身份得到验证,你就可以参加考试了。如果你的合法身份未通过验证,你可以要求填写SAVE验证申请表(请在此下载:验证申请表)。填写好过后,你可以通过平邮方式向车管局提供用所有文件。你需要把表格填好后寄到SAVE,PO Box 2188,Topeka,KS 66601-2188或通过电子邮件的方式发至:LAWFUL.PRESENCE@KDOR.KS.GOV。车管局收到你的验证请求后,会通过邮件,电子邮件,或电话的方式,通知你可以去办理驾照了 。

办理驾照的时候,你同时需要带好可以证明你堪萨斯居住地址的信件。如果你改过名字的话,你需要带好法院文件显示名字更改。如果你是外州的驾照需要到堪萨斯来换取驾照的话,需要带好你的社安卡或者出生证明。

问:工卡申请了还没批下来可以换驾照吗?

答:一般来说是可以的。你需要把所有以上你具备的材料都复印好,如果你有任何移民局回执或者收据的话,一起寄到SAVE或者以电邮的形式给他们来确认你的合法身份。

问:工卡什么时候可以换,多少钱,多久可以拿到?

答:工卡一般可以在作废前90天内提出申请换取。 工卡的政府费用跟你的申请类别是有关的。例如,学生的OPT工卡需要缴费,庇护的首次工卡是免费的。现在来说的话,移民局需要最少75天来审批。 超过90天的并不罕见。在你收到回执条以后,你可以自己到USCIS的网站上查询审批进度。

问: 堪萨斯驾照很难考么?有中文么?

答:堪萨斯驾照首先有笔试,然后有路考。笔试的题目需要认真学习。有些问题还是很刁钻的。你有三次的笔试机会,如果你通不过的话,你必须要等待很久才能重新要求笔试。路考的话,关键在于成熟稳重,不要犯不该犯的小错误。实在紧张的话,我推荐提前实地演习,熟悉路况。我尚未听说堪萨斯州有中文试卷。如果有读者跟我的经验不同,欢迎分享。我会建议提前咨询你想去的那个考试站。路考可以携带翻译。其他州会有中文试卷,比如说加利福尼亚。每个州的法律都是不一样的。

问:驾照有效期多久?

答:这个跟你的身份是有关的。学生的驾照一般和I-20表的作废日期一致,其他的会跟工卡或者绿卡到期日期一致。如果你的驾照过期很久了再去换的话,根据你的过期时间长短,可能会让你重新考试的。牢记:无证驾驶是违法的。

问:游客身份可以办理堪萨斯州驾照?

我的经验是游客身份一般不能办理堪萨斯州驾照。一,游客的身份证明堪萨斯居民有挑战性。旅游签证的有效期只有6个月。二,而且你必须要有社会安全号码或者要有社安局出示的说明为什么你没有社安号码。三,是保险问题。保险购买一般也需要社安号。无保险开车是非法的。但是,我听说加利福尼亚车管局可以让游客办理驾照。

问:国际驾照有用么?

中国大陆居民是不可以办理国际驾照的。中国不是联合国1949年日内瓦道路交通公约的成员国。国际驾照就是有效驾照的翻译本,必须要跟驾照一起使用。国际驾照必须要在居住国办理。解释一下:如果你有美国驾照,你可以在美国办理国际驾照,然后去其他国家使用。但是你的中国驾照是不能用来在中国办理国际驾照的。即使你可以使用你的中国驾照租到车,但这并不是有法律效力的证件。开车不出事不遇到警察什么的自然没关系,万一出事或遇到较真的就比较麻烦。

 

How To: Temporary Residents in the United States applying for a Kansas Driver’s License

In July 2011, Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) began utilizing the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s “Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement System” (SAVE), to determine the status of temporary residents in the United States when such applicants apply for a Driver’s License.

If you are a temporary resident to the United States, follow these instructions for obtaining a SAVE Verification when applying for a Kansas Driver’s License:

  1. Visit a Full Service Driver’s License Exam Station. A list of all locations can be found at http://www.ksrevenue.org/dmv-dlstations.html
  2. At the Exam Station, you must present all original government issued documents that pertain to your immigration status, including the following:Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 2.42.58 PM
  3. The Driver’s License Examiner will use your documents to verify your immigration status with SAVE. If your immigration status is verified, the process to obtain a Kansas Driver’s License will continue.
  4. If your immigration status is NOT verified, you will be required to fill out a SAVE Verification – Request Form (download here: save verification request form) and provide copies of all documents used for the initial verification to the Driver’s License Examiner via USPS mail to Division of Vehicles, SAVE Coordinator, PO Box 2188, Topeka, KS 66601-2188 or via e-mail: LAWFUL.PRESENCE@KDOR.KS.GOV
  5. The Driver’s License Examiner will send all of your documents to the home office where additional verification will be administered by the SAVE Coordinator.
  6. After additional verification is received, you will be notified via mail, email or phone as to your immigration status.