Posts Tagged ‘TPS’

News in Brief!

Monday, May 9th, 2016

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:

Visa Waiver Program Users Restricted from Traveling to Libya, Somalia, and Yemen: The list of restricted countries for the Visa Waiver Program has grown by three.  Libya, Somalia, and Yemen have joined Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Syria as “red-flag” countries.  DHS has limited eligibility for the Visa Waiver Program for individuals that have visited these countries since March 1, 2011. These restrictions do not apply to dual nationals of Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, but continue to apply to dual nationals of Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Syria.  Other individuals such as journalists, government officials, and NGO employees can receive waivers on a case-by-case basis.

Petitioning for a Sibling? Consider Using a DNA Test: The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) overruled a USCIS policy that prevented consideration of sibling-to-sibling DNA tests.  The BIA held that USCIS had no real justification, scientific or otherwise, to refuse consideration of DNA tests results in sibling cases.  Therefore, a DNA test might be worthwhile to include, especially when the siblings are more advanced in years and birth certificates were issued late or not at all.  A DNA test that indicates a 99.5% match between the siblings is powerful evidence of a qualifying relationship.

TPS Designation Extended for Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia:  Recent DHS notices extended the designation of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for six months, from 5/22/16 through 11/21/16. The 60-day re-registration period runs from 3/22/16 through 5/23/16.


News In Brief: Registration for 2017 Diversity Lottery Open Until 11/3/2015; TPS Extended for Nationals from Haiti and Work Authorization Extended for Haitian F-1 Students; Update for Yemeni Nationals

Friday, November 6th, 2015

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:

Registration for 2017 Diversity Lottery Open Until 11/3/2015:  The 2017 Diversity Lottery Visa Program (DV-2017) opened on 10/1/2015 and closes at noon (EST) on 11/3/15. Applicants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States can now register using d States. For fiscal year 2016, 50,000 diversity visas (DVs) will be available.

Applicants who are selected in the lottery (“selectees”) must meet simple, but strict, eligibility requirements in order to qualify for a diversity visa. Selectees are chosen through a randomized computer drawing.

entry the electronic DV entry form (E-DV) at DOS provides information on eligibility, entry period, completing the electronic entry, selection of applicants, and FAQs.

 TPS Extended for Nationals from Haiti and Work Authorization Extended for Haitian F-1 Students:  DHS extended the designation of Haiti for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months, effective 1/23/16 through 7/22/17. The 60-day re-registration period runs from 8/25/15 through 10/26/15. Rules about re-registration and initial applications are provided at DHS also extended employment authorization for Haitian F-1 nonimmigrant students experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the 1/12/10 earthquake in Haiti.

Update for Yemeni Nationals: In September, DHS designated the Republic of Yemen for temporary protected status (TPS) for a period of 18 months, effective 9/3/15 through 3/3/17. The 180-day registration period for eligible individuals to submit TPS applications runs until 3/1/16. Meanwhile, the suspension of operations in Sana’a has led to problems for Yemeni citizens seeking to be interviewed for their immigrant visas. While the U.S. embassies in Cairo and Algiers are the designated immigrant visa (IV) processing posts for Yemeni IV cases, Yemeni citizens have difficulty traveling to Egypt since they are required to obtain visas to enter Egypt and the Embassy of Egypt in Yemen is closed. Those Yemeni citizens who made it to Egypt report waiting months before getting their interview scheduled. As a result, DOS has apparently transferred those cases to Algeria, and advises that applicants scheduled prior to August 31 and unable to appear for their interview can request transferring their case to a post where they can appear. For Yemenis unclear about where their case has been transferred, DOS advises contacting



TPS Designation for Nepal

Friday, September 11th, 2015

On June 24, DHS designated Nepal for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months based on the conditions resulting from the devastating 7.8 earthquake that struck that nation on April 25, 2015, and the subsequent aftershocks. The TPS designation for Nepal is effective June 24, 2015, through December 24, 2016. The designation means that, during the designated period, eligible nationals of Nepal (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in Nepal) will not be removed from the United States and may receive work authorization. The 180-day TPS registration period began June 24, 2015 and runs through December 21, 2015. 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 June 24, 2015. Applicants also undergo thorough security checks. Fee-waiver requests are available, but USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.

News in Brief

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:

TPS Designation for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone: As a result of the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the DHS has designated Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The designation is effective for an 18-month period from November 21, 2014, through May 20, 2015. Eligible nationals from these three countries may apply for TPS if they are already in the U.S.; if TPS is granted, they will not be removed from the U.S. and will obtain work authorization.

TPS Extended for Nationals from Nicaragua and Honduras: DHS extended the designation of Nicaragua and Honduras for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months from 1/6/2015 through 7/5/2016.

New NIV I-129 Petition Form Must be Used after Feb. 24: USCIS recently released a new Form I-129, Petitioner for a Nonimmigrant Worker, containing an edition date of 10/23/14. USCIS currently accepts I-129 forms with the new 10/23/14 edition date — as well as editions dated 10/07/11, 01/19/11, and 11/23/10 — until May 1, 2015. However, after May 1st, USCIS will only accept the 10/23/14 edition.

California Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants: Beginning January 1, undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for California driver’s licenses, thanks to AB60, which Governor Brown signed into law in 2013. This AB60 driver’s license will have a visible distinguishing feature and will subject cardholders to certain federal limits, such as entering restricted federal facilities. Further information is available on California’s DMV site.

DNA Evidence Not to Be Afforded Evidentiary Weight to Sibling to Sibling Relationships: A policy memo stating that because probability standards for sibling-to-sibling DNA test results have not been established, USCIS may not afford evidentiary weight to sibling-to-sibling DNA test results. USCIS will, however, continue to rely on DNA testing results between parents and children.

USCIS Approves 10,000 U Visas for Sixth Straight Fiscal Year: USCIS has approved the statutory maximum of 10,000 petitions for U-1 nonimmigrant status for FY2015. The agency announced that it will continue to review pending petitions for eligibility and notify eligible individuals that they are on a waiting list. USCIS will resume issuing U visas on Oct. 1, 2015. U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcement authorities investigate or prosecute those crimes.

Senators Continue to Pressure DHS and DOS to Grant TPS to Filipino Nationals

Friday, March 14th, 2014

A bipartisan group of 19 senators sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging that the State Department (DOS) recommend the Philippines for temporary protected status (TPS) designation as a result of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan three months ago. DOS is part of interagency discussions underway about whether to grant TPS.  A similar congressional letter was sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in November, and the government of the Philippines formally requested TPS designation in December.

The senators note that more than 6,000 people were killed in the storm, that more than one million homes in the Philippines were damaged or destroyed, and that more than four million people were displaced. In total, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 16 million people in the Philippines were affected by Typhoon Haiyan – nearly one out of six people in the country.

The United States currently provides TPS or deferred enforced departure (DED) to over 300,000 foreign nationals from a total of nine countries.  The senators cite several instances in which the U.S. granted TPS to citizens of other countries that have been struck by severe natural disasters, including Honduran and Nicaraguan citizens after Hurricane Mitch in 1999; Salvadorans after the 2001 earthquakes; and Haitian nationals after the 2010 earthquake.  Other countries have been granted TPS or DED as a result of civil unrest, including Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. Noting that the situation in the Philippines meets the statutory requirements for granting TPS as the law was applied to these other countries, the senators request equal consideration to the Philippines.

While under the immigration laws, the executive branch grants TPS or relief from removal, Congress has also provided TPS legislatively. Indeed, legislation that would grant TPS to Filipinos (H.R. 3602, the Filipino Temporary Protected Status Act of 2013) has already been introduced.

News in Brief…

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The following  may be of interest to our readers:

TPS Designation Extended for Somalia: DHS extended the designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from 03/18/14 through 09/17/15, with a 60-day re-registration period running from 10/31/13 through 12/30/13.

$34 Million Settlement in Infosys Case, Largest Ever for Immigration Violations:  A $34 million settlement was reached between the DOJ and Infosys Limited, an Indian corporation involved in consulting, technology, and outsourcing, in a civil suit alleging systemic visa fraud and abuse of immigration processes. The settlement is the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case.

CBP Seizing Foreign Passports: There have been reports of CBP seizing foreign nationals’ foreign passport and permanent resident cards when the LPR is referred for removal proceedings. While CBP has the right to seize the permanent resident card, since the card is issued by the U.S. government, questions are raised about CBP’s legal authority to seize a foreign passport because it is the property of the foreign government.  Stay tuned.

Unreasonable Stops at the Border: A settlement agreement was reached in October between the ACLU and an advocacy organization in a lawsuit challenging the Border Patrol’s practice of conducting or participating in vehicle stops on the Olympic Peninsula without required reasonable suspicion. While the agreement did not require the Border Patrol to admit to specific wrongdoing, the Border Patrol acknowledged and reiterated the standard for constitutionally protected vehicle stops made in non–border search situations:  officers must have reasonable suspicion of a violation of law. To be reasonable, the suspicion must be based on articulable facts constituting objectively valid reasons for an agent to suspect that the particular individual may be involved in wrongdoing. Just because a vehicle is in an area near an international border, that circumstance doesn’t establish the reasonable suspicion necessary to justify a vehicle stop.

More Countries Considered for Global Entry:  CBP announced in August that it would be expanding Global Entry to a number of additional countries. The program recently became fully operational with South Korea. CBP is currently working with the governments of Germany, Qatar, and the U.K. to expand the program; it is also working to initiate additional pilot programs with Saudi Arabia, Panama, India, and Israel. Global Entry permits frequent visitors from a country to be pre-screened and vetted, which expedites their admission upon arrival to the United States.


Modest Immigration Relief Measures Offered by USCIS to Filipinos Affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda); Philippines Government Requests TPS Designation

Friday, January 10th, 2014

In the aftermath of the typhoon that struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013, USCIS has advised that Filipino nationals affected by the typhoon may be eligible to benefits from the following immigration relief measures:

  • Change or extension of nonimmigrant status even when the individual request is filed after the authorized period of      admission has expired;
  • Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Extension of certain grants of advance parole, and expedited processing of advance parole requests;
  • Expedited adjudication of off-campus employment authorization applications for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  •  Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs);
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and
  • Assistance to LPRs stranded overseas without their green cards or travel documents.

On December 13, the government of the Philippines formally requested Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation status for its nationals currently in the U.S. for 18 months. The Philippines’ request will have to be evaluated by U.S. authorities and may take some time before it is implemented.

News In Brief

Friday, August 30th, 2013

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:

TPS Extended for Eligible Nationals from Syria: USCIS has extended the existing designation of Syria for TPS for 18 months, from Oct. 1, 2013, through March 31, 2015, due to the ongoing armed conflict in Syria. USICS has also extended to March 31, 2015, the suspension of certain requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Syria and who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the civil unrest in Syria.

Majority of DACA Cases Approved: USCIS statistics on DACA cases indicate that almost 90 percent of all cases adjudicated thus far have been approved.  Of the 365,000 cases approved, about 3,800 have been denied.

Florida, Mississippi, and Idaho Participate in RIDE Program:
Idaho now joins Mississippi and Florida in participating in a program
called the RIDE (Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify) program, an initiative through which E-Verify is able to confirm information from drivers’ licenses and state identification cards.

DOJ Enters into Memorandum of Understanding with NLRB: The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) of the Justice Department recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), formalizing a collaborative relationship that allows both agencies to share information, refer matters to each other, and coordinate investigations as appropriate. OSC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which prohibit citizenship-status and national-origin discrimination in hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee, and discriminatory Form I-9 and E-Verify practices. The NLRB is an independent agency that protects the rights of most private-sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve
their wages and working conditions.

News In Brief: E Visa Processing Now Available in Calgary; DACA Statistical Update; TPS Extended for Eligible Nationals from Honduras, Nicaragua; DED Extended for Liberians Khartoum, Sudan Resumes Full Consular Services

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

E Visa Processing Now Available in Calgary: The Calgary Consulate General has introduced E visa processing services from businesses in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories of Canada.  The consulate also has streamlined its procedures in an effort to encourage more cross-border trade and investment. First-time E visa applicants can schedule a visa appointment in 10 business days; employees of registered E visa enterprises and dependents of E visa holders can schedule appointments the next business day and will need only to provide minimal documentation at the time of their visa interview.  Qualified applicants will generally receive their visa in three to five business days after the interview. E visa processing is also available (and remains unchanged) at the U.S. consulates in Toronto and Vancouver serving businesses in those regions of Canada.

DACA Statistical Update: As of March 14, 2013, USCIS reports that more than 450,000 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applications have been received by the agency and almost 250,000 cases have been approved.

TPS Extended for Eligible Nationals from Honduras, Nicaragua; DED Extended for Liberians: USCIS has extended the designation of Honduras and Nicaragua for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months from July 6, 2013, through January 5, 2015. Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and work authorization of certain Liberians has been extended from April 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014.

Khartoum  Resumes Full Consular Services:  As of March 25, 2013, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, will resume full consular services, including nonimmigrant visa (NIV) processing, and follow-to-join refugee/asylee processing.


TPS for Somalians Extended and Redesignated Through March 17, 2014

Friday, July 27th, 2012

In May, DHS announced that it was extending the existing designation of Somalia for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months – from September 18, 2012 through March 17, 2014 – and redesignating Somalia for TPS for 18 months, effective September 18, 2012 through March 17, 2014. The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain their TPS through March 17, 2014. The redesignation of Somalia allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in the United States since May 1, 2012, to obtain TPS, if eligible. DHS has determined that an extension is warranted because the conditions in Somalia that prompted the TPS designation continue to be met: “There continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in Somalia based upon ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in that country that prevent Somalis who now have TPS from safely returning.”