Friday, 30 November 2012

USCIS Makes Changes to Form I-131, the Application for Travel Document, to Better Reflect Requirements for DACA Recipients

30 Nov 2012
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has, over the past year, published two notices regarding information collection on Form I-131, the Application for Travel Document. While no comments were received in connection with these two notices, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) did have some recommendations, which are now reflected in the instructions to Form I-131.

In addition, USCIS is revising the instructions of Form I-131 to include clear guidance regarding the ability of Deferred Action under Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to request advance parole documents under certain circumstances. USCIS has noted an increase in the number of respondents utilizing this form, as DACA recipients who are able to establish a need to travel outside of the U.S. will be able to request advance parole documents.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

USCIS Introduces New Enhancements to e-Request Service

22 Nov 2012
Last week, USCIS announced the expansion of services it offers in its e-Request system. The agency’s e-Request system enables its users to inquire about applications and petitions they have submitted. On November 19, a series of enhancements were introduced to the system, including:

The ability to create a service request for all forms to either inquire about an application or petition’s status if it is outside of the normal processing time, or notify USCIS of an administrative error in a notice or document sent to the user from USCIS.

The ability to inquire about an Application Support Center appointment notice or other notice a user was expecting to receive in regards to Form I-90 or N-400.

The site is now also accessible to individuals with disabilities, per section 508 of the U.S. law.

Friday, 9 November 2012

DOL Guidance for Employers Affected by Hurricane Sandy Requesting Extensions to Respond to Requests for Information/Documentation

09 Nov 2012
In response to questions related to the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the northeast United States, the Department of Labor (DOL) has released a Q&A with details of changes and amendments to federal process. According to DOL, because Hurricane Sandy has generated significant damage to businesses on the East Coast, the agency recognizes that employers and their representatives affected by the hurricane may not be able to timely respond to requests for information or documentation. DOL will individually review requests for extension of time to respond due to storm-related delays.

Employers and authorized representatives unable to timely respond to inquiries from the Office of Foreign Labor Certification should use specific email addresses when submitting requests for extension of time to respond.

Questions and requests for extensions related to inquires from the Chicago National Processing Center for the H-2A, H-2B and H-1B visa programs should be emailed to with the subject line, Hurricane Sandy.

Questions and requests for extensions related to inquiries regarding prevailing wage determination from the National Prevailing Wage Center should be emailed to with the subject line, Hurricane Sandy.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Temporary Immigration Benefit Relief Measures Available to Those Affected by Hurricane Sandy

02 Nov 2012
USCIS has posted a reminder to immigrants and nonimmigrants affected by Hurricane Sandy of certain benefits and relief that may be available to them. Eligible individuals may apply or request the temporary following relief measures:
  • Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for someone currently in the U.S., even when the request is filed after the expiration of the authorized period of admission;
  • Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Expedited review and adjudication of off-campus employment authorization applications from F-1 students who are experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and
  • The provision of assistance to legal permanent residents who are stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents.

USCIS Publishes New Form I-140

02 Nov 2012
USCIS has published a new Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The form is now available online at the USCIS website and through our firm. USCIS notes that it changed the format of the form to improve intake processing. In addition, the federal agency added Adobe fillable fields to make it easier to complete the form digitally.

Please note that editions dated January 6, 2010, and later will be accepted by USCIS until December 30, 2012. After that date, USCIS will only accept the October 1, 2012, edition.