Contact Us: (617) 714-4375 | ellen@ellensullivanlaw.com
Contact Us: (617) 714-4375

May 2017

USCIS Extends Haitian TPS for Six Months; Re-Registration Required

USCIS extended TPS for eligible Haitian for six months. All currently enrolled Haitian TPS recipients MUST RE-REGISTER by July 24, 2017. The new registration will allow the applicant to apply for a new work permit (employment authorization document).

USCIS’s notice regarding the extension warns Haitian TPS recipients to “prepare for their return to Haiti in the event Haiti’s designation is not extended again, including requesting updated travel documents from the government of Haiti.” By November 22, 2017, USCIS “will re-evaluate the designation for Haiti and will determine whether another extension, a redesignation, or a termination is warranted” and will “determine whether Haiti’s TPS designation should continue.”

See USCIS notice (quoted above) at https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/temporary-protected-status-haiti-extended-six-months.

Proposed “Extreme Vetting” Topics

AILA recently posted the following information about DOS’s proposed supplemental questions for visa applications from certain nations:

 

The proposed questions includes (quoting from AILA below):

“[T]he new ‘extreme vetting’ questions for certain non-immigrants applying for visas through the consulates. State is requesting emergency review and approval from OMB by May 18, which would be valid for 180 days. Comments on the emergency request are due May 18th. Some key language from the notice is below:

The Department proposes requesting the following information, if not already included in an application, from a subset of visa applicants worldwide, in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities:

  • Travel history during the last fifteen years, including source of funding for travel;
  • Address history during the last fifteen years;
  • Employment history during the last fifteen years;
  • All passport numbers and country of issuance held by the applicant;
  • Names and dates of birth for all siblings;
  • Name and dates of birth for all children;
  • Names and dates of birth for all current and former spouses, or civil or domestic partners;
  • Social media platforms and identifiers, also known as handles, used during the last five years; and
  • Phone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years.

 

Most of this information is already collected on visa applications but for a shorter time period, e.g. five years rather than fifteen years. Requests for names and dates of birth of siblings and, for some applicants, children are new. The request for social media identifiers and associated platforms is new for the Department of State, although it is already collected on a voluntary basis by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for certain individuals. Regarding travel history, applicants may be requested to provide details of their international or domestic (within their country of nationality) travel, if it appears to the consular officer that the applicant has been in an area while the area was under the operational control of a terrorist organization as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi).

Applicants may be asked to recount or explain the details of their travel, and when possible, provide supporting documentation.” Quote from AILA.org, May 4, 2017.

Immigrants Successful In Challenging ICE Detention

Nationally, ICE is detaining immigrants who under previously administrations would not have been detained. For instance, spouses of US citizens who have filed for certain immigration benefits, for which they are eligible, are being detained at USCIS marriage interviews. While ICE has a legal argument for initial detention of these individuals, it often does not have a basis for continued detention. Moreover, in prior administrations, ICE did not detain individuals with valid immigration options for humanitarian reasons and also for economic reasons (that is, the wasted money of detaining an individual who will seek and win relief in bond proceedings).

Locally, three spouses of US citizens were detained in recent months at USCS in Lawrence. The New England Chapter of AILA reports that all three have been released through different means (one through attorney advocacy; another through a bond hearing in immigration court; and the final individual through a habeas corpus petition in federal court).

It is always smart to consult with an immigration attorney about your status. However, the current administration’s policies against immigrants makes it even more important that you talk with an immigration attorney about your status, especially before filing any applications with any government agency, before appearing at any hearing before a government agency, and before leaving the United States.

USCIS Policy Memo about Translators at USCIS Interviews

On January 17, 2017, USCIS published new guidelines on the use of translators at USCIS interviews. See https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2017/2017-17-1-RoleUseInterpreters-PM-602-0125-1.pdf.

The policy sets forth requirements for the interpreter’s qualifications including fluency, competency and impartiality. The policy prohibits the use of an interpreter who is under the age of 18, who is a witness in the case, who is biased, or who is the applicant’s representative/attorney. There is a new form, Form G-1256, that must be completed and signed by the interpreter and the interviewee.

Checking your case on USCIS.gov

If you have an application pending with USCIS you should have received a Receipt Notice from USCIS. That notice will have an application form number, Receipt Number and a Priority Date or Received Date. Also, generally at the bottom left of the form, there will be a USCIS office listed. You can check the status of your case online by going to USCIS.gov/check case status and punching in the Receipt Number. You can compare your case’s processing with processing times for the same type of application at the same service center by going to https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do;jsessionid=bacXD1OC9RCyFagQNRyeu.

Contact Attorney Ellen Sullivan if you’d like to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. Contact her at Ellen@EllenSullivanLaw.com or 617-714-4375.

© Copyright 2014 Law Office of Ellen Sullivan, P.C. This website does not constitute a representation agreement with Attorney Sullivan or anyone else at the firm. The information on this website is not intended to, nor does it in fact, replace legal advice provided by an attorney in an attorney-client consultation. Please contact our office or another immigration attorney if you would like legal counsel. Sitemap

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