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Indian Consulates May Take Longer To Process Certain B1 & F1 Visas
A Limited Number Of Students, Scholars And Business Persons Involved In Highlevel Scientific Fields May Need To Have Their Visa Application Referred To The Department Of State For Additional Processing Before The Embassy May Issue A Visa. In Most Cases, This Process Takes Between Four To Six Weeks, Although It Sometimes Takes Longer.

Uscis Harlingen Office Closes Due To Hurricane Dolly
The U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services (Uscis) Harlingen Office Located At 1717 Zoy Street, Has Closed Due To Hurricane Dolly. Individuals With A Scheduled Appointment For July 22, And 23, Were Seen Today.

Uscis Lists Accomplishments, Requests $1.85 Billion In Fy 2006 Budget
The U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services, In A Press Release, Listed Out Its Accomplishments In Fy 2005 And Requested $1.854 Billion In The Fy 2006 Budget, An Increase Of $79 Million Over The Last Financial Year. The Amount Includes $100 Million For It Backlog Initiative.

Cbp Launches New Phase Of National Public Education Campaign - Reminded Travelers To Prepare For Upcoming Changes To Cross-Border Document Requirements
The U.S. Department Of Homeland Security's Customs And Border Protection (Cbp) Announced Today That It Will Launch The Next Phase Of A National Television, Print And Online Advertising Campaign During The National Football League C Season Kickoff Game, To Educate The Public About New Travel Document Requirements That Will Go Into Effect On June 1, 2009 Under The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (Whti).

Eoir Announces New Photo Standard
The Format Requirement For Photographs Filed With The Immigration Court In Conjunction With Forms Eoir40, Eoir42b, I485, And I881will Change Effective Monday, October 4, 2004.

Cgfns New India Pilot Project
Cgfns International And Ahed Global Healthcare, Inc., A Global Continuing Education Provider, Recently Announced The Rollout Of A Pilot Project In India For The Cgfns Assessment Of General Knowledge (Cgfns-Agnk) Examination. The Pilot Rollout In India Focuses On Enhancing The Employability Of Nurses Within India And In Other Non-Us Countries. The Test Does Not Substitute For The State Nursing Council Examination Required For Licensure In India. The Test Will Be Used By Schools Of Nursing And Healthcare Systems In India As A Screening Mechanism For Measuring Fundamental Nursing Knowledge And Predicting Work Success For Pre Or Post-Licensed Nurses.

Announcement Of Higher Fines For Immigration Violations
On Friday, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey Announced Higher Civil Fines Against Employers Who Violate Federal Immigration Laws. The Announcement Was Made In A Joint Briefing Today With Secretary Of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff About Newly Enacted Border Security Reforms Put In Place By The Departments Of Justice And Homeland Security. Under The New Rule, Which Was Approved By Attorney General Mukasey And Secretary Chertoff, Civil Fines Will Increase By As Much As $5,000. The New Rule Will Take Effect On March 27, 2008, And Will Be Published In The Federal Register Early This Week.

Uscis Modifies Application For Temporary Protected Status Previous Versions Of Form I821 Will Be Accepted Until June 26, 2008
U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services (Uscis) Announced Today That It Has Revised The Application For Temporary Protected Status (Form I821). The Agency Is Publishing A Notice In Today's Federal Register To Inform The Public That The New Form Becomes Effective On June 27, 2008.

Cbp Responds To Hurricane Dolly
Today At The News Conference Held At The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Jayson Ahern, Cbp Deputy Commissioner Said, "U.S. Customs And Border Protection (Cbp) Currently Is Maintaining Normal Border Security Operations At And Between Our Ports Of Entry In The Impacted Area Of The Border. We Have Established Our Lead Field Coordinator, Which Is Chief Ron Vitiello, Our Local Border Patrol Sector Chief. We Also Are Actively Maintaining Liaison Officers At Local, State And Fema Command And Coordination Centers In Order To Most Effectively Commit Our Resources To Those Agencies And Individuals In Need. We Have Approximately 3,500 Employees Who Are Living In The Impacted Area And Who Continue To Work Toward Keeping Our Country Safe.

Sevis Fee Payment Now Possible In Your Local Currency
Paying The Student And Exchange Visitor Information System (Sevis) Fee In Local Currency Is Now Possible, Thanks To A New Program Announced This Month By U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement (Ice) And Western Union.

Dol Notifies Interim Final Rule On H1b1 Labor Condition Applications
The U.S. Department Of Labor Has Issued An Interim Rule With Request For Comments Regarding The New H1b1 Visa Category Applicable To Nationals Of Chile And Singapore. The Employers Seeking To Temporarily Employ Foreign Professionals In Specialty Occupations Through H1b1 Visas Must File A Labor Attestation With The Department Of Labor.

A Customer's Guide To Infopass
The U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services Recently Published A Customer's Guide Containing Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Infopass. Infopass Is A Free, Easy And Convenient Internetbased System That Allows The Public To Make An Appointment To Speak With An Immigration Information Officer.

Uscis Announces Fy 2005 H1b Petition Filing Status
Uscis Has Announced That It Has Received 45,900 H1b Petitions That Will Count Against The Congressionallymandated Cap For Fiscal Year 2005 (October 1, 2004 Through September 30, 2005). The Limit In Fiscal Year 2005 Is 65,000.

Family-Based Immigrant Visa: Who Qualifies?
The Us Congress, By Conferring Permanent Residence Eligibility Upon Certain Family-Based Groups, Has Properly Recognized The Importance Of Family Unification In American Immigration Law. The Family-Based Immigration Falls Under Two Basic Categories: Unlimited (Immediate Relatives Of U.S. Citizens) And Limited (The "Preference" Categories). Approximately 500,000 Family-Based Immigrant Visas Are Available Each Year. Family Based Immigration Has Many Benefits For Us Citizens Or Permanent Residents That Want To Be Reunited With Family, Be It A Spouse And Children, A Newly Adopted Child, Or Brothers And Sisters. The Closeness Of The Relationship Will Determine If The Foreign National Can Be Sponsored Under The Family Based Categories, And If They Can How Long It Will Take For Them To Get The Immigrant Visa.

Image Program Launched By Ice In Puerto Rico
The U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement (Ice), In Cooperation With Several Local Businesses, This Morning Launched The Ice Mutual Agreement Between Government Employers (Image) For Puerto Rico And The U.S. Virgin Islands.

Uscis Extends Validity Of Expiring Medical Certifications I693
In A Recent Memorandum, Uscis Has Once Again Renewed Their Policy To Extend The Validity Of The Civil Surgeon's Endorsement On Form I693 For Cases That Have Been Pending For Longer Than A Year. Generally, The Endorsement On Form I693 Is Valid For One Year And This Form Is Concurrently Filed With Adjustment Of Status Applications. However Due To Various Backlog Issues, Some Of These Applications Remain Pending For Longer Than The One Year Period. If Uscis Did Not Provide This Extension Then Petitioners Would Be Forced To Undergo Another Examination And Submit A New Form I693 To Uscis After The Already Submitted Medical Examination Form Expires After One Year.

Changes Proposed For New H-2B Program

On August 20Th, 2008 The United States Citizenship And Immigration Services (Uscis) Agency Made Two Announcements That Will Have Huge Impacts On The H-2B Immigration - First To Withdraw The 2005-Issued Proposed Rule Changes To H-2B Program, And The Second To Introduce The New Proposed Changes To H-2B Program.

The Proposed Changes For H-2B Program Put Forward In January 2005 Had Suggested Making Procedural Change Such As Eliminating The Temporary Labor Certification Requirement. Today's Announcement In Effect Means That Uscis Will Abandon That Approach. Instead The New Rule Proposes A Two-Tier System, While Retaining The Current Procedural Requirements. However, India's Past Record As A Country That Has Refused To "Repatriate Its Nationals" May Cost It Heavily Under The New Rules.

The H-2B Non-Immigrant Temporary Worker Program Allows Us Employers To Bring Foreign Nationals To America To Fill Non-Agricultural Temporary Jobs For Which Us Workers Are Not Available.

Significant Proposed Changes

Let's Quickly Take A Look At What The New Two-Tier System Will Mean For The H-2B Program. According To Uscis Acting Director Jonathan Scharfen, The New Changes Will Include

  • Allowances Will Be Made In The Regulation To Allow Employers To Petition For Unnamed Foreign Employees
  • The Current Limit Of 6 Months Time That An H-2B Worker Needs To Spend Outside Of Us Between His H-2B Status Expiration And Re-Eligibility To Apply Under H Or L Status Will Be Reduced To Three Months
  • Employers Will Be Required To Provide Attestations On The Scope Of The H-2B Employment, Its Use Of Recruiters And On The Fact That The Recruiter Did Not Receive Any Fee From The Beneficiary.
  • An Approved Temporary Labor Certification Will Be Made The Mandatory Pre-Requirement For Filing An H-2B Petition
  • Once The Temporary Labor Certification Is Approved, The Employment Start Date Mentioned On It Cannot Be Changed For Any Reason
  • Employers Will Be Required To Notify Dhs Of No-Shows, Fired Or Absconding Employees
  • The Definition Of "Temporary Employment" Will Be More Clearly Defined To Eliminate The Need To Cite "Extraordinary Circumstances" When An Employment Requirement Is For More Then One Year, But Less Then Three.
  • H-2B Approvals Will No Longer Be Granted To Petitioners From Countries Which Are Blacklisted For Consistently Refusing And Unreasonably Delaying Repatriation Of Their Nationals
  • A Land-Border Exit System Will Be Establish, Under Which A H-2B Worker Admitted Through A Port Of Entry Participating In The Program Must Also Depart Only Through A Port Of Entry In The Program.

India Worried About Changes?

India Is Certainly Worried About These Changes As Along With China And Iran, It Is Among The Eight Countries That Have Been Blacklisted As Countries That Are Determined To Be Consistently Refusing Or Unreasonably Delaying Repatriation Of Workers Under Deportation Orders. As We Mentioned Above, The New Rule Proposes To Not To Grant H-2B Approvals To Petitioners From These Countries. If The Rule Goes Through As It Is, India Will Be Hard Pressed To Get Out That List. As Of Now, Indian Nationals Form A Large Percentage Of H-2B Petitioners Each Year.

The Proposed Rule Change Is Now On Its 30-Day Public Trial, Where The People Are Invited For Submitting Comments. Once Public Comments Are Received And Reviewed, Uscis Will Finalize And Publish The Rule With An Effective Date. We Urge Our Readers To Take The Time To Comment On This Law And Make Sure The New Rules Are Just And Fair To All.

Eoir Notifies Persons Eligible For Full Asylum Benefits For Fy 2004
The Executive Office For Immigration Review (Eoir) Has Notified Those Individuals In The United States With Conditional Grants Of Asylum Based On Resistance To A Coercive Population Control Program (Cpc) Who Now Are Fully Eligible For All Asylum Benefits.

Usaid Announces Business Transformation Results Report
The United States Agency For International Development (Usaid) Released A Report On Its Business Transformation Achievements On August 9, 2004 In Parallel To A Government Wide Release Of Similar Reports By Each Cabinet Department

Backlog Will Be Eliminated By 2006, Says Dhs Secretary Ridge
That Hard Work Is Paying Important Dividends And Director Aguirre's Backlog Reduction Plan Is Not Only Working, But Is Ahead Of Schedule. We Fully Expect To Meet Our Goal Of Having The Backlog Down To Zero By 2006.

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