Temporary Protected Status Designation for Yemen

The Department of Homeland Security has announced Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Designation for Yemen for 18 months due to the ongoing armed conflict within the country. Yemen is experiencing widespread conflict and a resulting severe humanitarian emergency, and requiring Yemeni nationals in the United States to return to Yemen would pose a serious threat to their personal safety. As a result of Yemen’s designation for TPS, eligible nationals of Yemen residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The designation means that, during the designated period, eligible nationals of Yemen (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen) who are approved for TPS will not be removed from the United States and may receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been both “continuously physically present” and “continuously residing” in the United States since September 3, 2015. Applicants also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS.

Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all TPS-related fees based on inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.

Source: Department of Homeland Security

New Immigration Forms

On August 7, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services published updates to the following forms:
• I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act,
• I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member
• I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act
• I-864W, Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support Exemption
Each updated form is a new edition dated 07/02/15.  USCIS will continue to accept the 03/22/13 editions until 10/05/15. Starting 10/06/15, USCIS will only accept the 07/02/15 editions.  The edition date can be found at the bottom of the page on the Form and Instructions.

In addition, USCIS updated the corresponding I-864 Form and Barcode Requirements.

Source: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Temporary Immigration Relief Measures Available for Individuals Affected by Typhoon Soudelor

To assist victims of the Typhoon Soudelor, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Service has announced the following:

On August 2, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor caused extensive damage in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). USCIS reminds customers affected by Typhoon Soudelor that certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief may be available to them. USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to maintain lawful immigration status or obtain certain other immigration benefits.

Eligible individuals may request or apply for temporary relief measures, including:
• A change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
• Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
• Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and
• Assistance to Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when LPRs are stranded in a place that does not have a local USCIS office.
USCIS may also exercise its discretion to allow for filing delays resulting from the typhoon. This may include, for example:
• Assistance to those who have not appeared for an interview or submitted required forms of evidence. You may show how the typhoon prevented you from appearing or submitting documents as required; or
• Assistance to those who have not been able to respond to a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NOID). USCIS will extend the deadline for individuals to respond to RFEs or NOIDs by 30 days. This will apply to all RFEs and NOIDs with a deadline of August 2 through September 2, 2015. During this time, USCIS will not issue denials based on abandonment of an application or petition in the CNMI.
USCIS will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updated guidance as needed.
To learn how to request relief or more about how USCIS assists customers affected by unforeseen circumstances in their home country, visit uscis.gov/humanitarian/special-situations or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-767-1833).

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Service

Temporary Protected Status for Nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued the following announcement:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015, is the deadline for eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) to register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This deadline marks the end of DHS’ 90-day extension of the initial registration period. The TPS designations for these three countries run from Nov. 21, 2014, through May 21, 2016.

Eligibility
To be eligible for TPS, you must demonstrate that you meet all eligibility criteria, including that you have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014, and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. You must also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS.
Additionally, you may apply for TPS even if you are a Liberian national currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum. If you are a DED-covered Liberian national and you have an EAD or have applied for an EAD, you do not need to apply for another EAD related to this TPS designation. However, if you are granted TPS, you may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.
Registering
To register, you must submit:
• Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.
• The biometrics services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if you are 14 years old or older.
• Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether you want an EAD.
• The Form I-765 application fee or a fee-waiver request, but only if you want an EAD. If you do not want an EAD, no application fee is required. There is no I-765 fee for initial applicants under the age of 14, or 66 and over; these applicants may receive their initial EAD cards for free.
Fees and Fee Waivers
If you cannot pay the fee, you may request that we waive the Form I-765 application fee or biometrics fee. However, you must file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request. You must also send in supporting documentation with your fee-waiver request. We will reject your TPS application if you do not submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.
Additional information about TPS for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone —including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file—is available at uscis.gov/tps.
This Web alert is also available in French.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, http://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/tps-registration-deadline-liberia-guinea-and-sierra-leone-august-18-2015

 

Immigration Relief for Nepali Nationals

As a result of the earthquake that struck Nepal, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that certain immigration relief measures may be available to Nepali nationals.  Eligible Nepali nationals may request the following relief:
• Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even if the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
• A grant of re-parole;
• Expedited processing of advance parole requests;
• Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
• Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate;
• Consideration for waivers of fees associated with USCIS benefit applications, based on an inability to pay; and
• Assistance replacing lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as Permanent Resident Cards (green cards).

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Finding a Doctor for Green Card Medical Examination

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Find a Doctor locator will assist you in locating a doctor authorized to perform medical examinations for green card applicants.  You simply enter your address or ZIP code to search for a doctor based on distance.  The locator will give you directions and find you local transportation.  Also, there is a helpful checklist of what to bring with you to your doctor visit.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Oral Argument Before the Fifth Circuit in the Texas Executive Action Injunction Lawsuit

On April 17, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard arguments challenging and defending the injunction that was ordered by a federal judge stopping the implementation of President Barack Obama immigration executive action,  This executive action would have provided relief from deportation to more than five million undocumented U.S. residents. To listen to the oral arguments, click here State of Texas, et al v. USA (Oral Argument Recording).  Note there is a 20 second delay before the start of the arguments.

Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

According to the National Immigrant Law Center, “Immigrant youth granted deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have been able to obtain driver’s licenses in nearly every state.”  Juan Escalante, a writer for the Huffington Post, posted a very interesting article entitled List of States Considering Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants Growswhich provides a list of states opposing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.  Also, the National Immigrant Law Center has published a map which depicts the states that offers driver’s license and those that do not.

Source: National Immigrant Law Center’s article and map and Juan Escalante.

 

Immigration Help for Yemeni Nationals

Responding to the crisis in Yemen, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that there are certain immigration relief measures that are available upon request for Yemeni Nationals. These measures include:

  • Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even if the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
  • Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;
  • Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and
  • Consideration for waiver of fees associated with USCIS benefit applications, based on an inability to pay.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

New Form for Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a revised form for petitions for nonimmigrant worker, Form I-129.  This form is for use by nonimmigrant workers coming to United States temporarily to perform services or labor, or to receive training, as an H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1 or R-1 nonimmigrant worker. This form amy also be used to request an extension of stay in or change of status to E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1 or TN, or one of the above classifications for an alien.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and immigration Services