U.S. Army and Navy Now Allow Recruits to Start Citizenship
Process during Boot Camp.
Apr 22, 2011: The U.S. Army and Navy are now offering recruits a
way to start the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship during basic
training. This new feature involves changing the military's
no-visitors policy during boot camp, so that federal immigration
officials can assist recruits in obtaining citizenship. The
military notes that only legal immigrants can apply for citizenship
via this route, and they must complete five years of honorable
service as part of the process.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, then President
George W. Bush signed an executive order that would allow for a
speeding up of the citizenship process for military recruits. Prior
to this change in process, members of the military were required to
serve one year of honorable service prior to being able to apply
Top Republican Calls for H-1B Reform.
Apr 20, 2011: In a special hearing held by the Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa
(R-CA) called for reform of the H-1B Visa program. “There
seems little doubt that federal policies and regulations have
played a large role in hampering growth,” said Issa, who
referred specifically to the H-1B Visa Cap in his speech.
“Five years ago, Bill Gates and many others warned of the
negative impact of strict caps on H-1B visas for technology workers
on U.S. technology companies, with a commensurate positive effect
on the high-tech industries in other countries, like China and
India,” said Issa.
Issa isn't the only Republican to voice support for changing
H-1B regulations. Last month U.S. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX)
also called for an increase in the amount of H-1B visas available
USCIS Adopts Final Rule Regarding Employment Eligibility
Apr 16, 2011: Earlier this week, USCIS announced a final rule
that adopted without any changes an interim rule to improve the I-9
Form process. The federal agency had received 75 public comments in
response to this interim rule, which had been in effect since April
2009. All employers, agricultural recruiters and referrers who work
for fees are required to verify the identity and employment
authorization of each person they hire for employment in the U.S.
Key changes made to the process by which eligibility is verified
that were introduced in the interim rule and adopted in the final
rule include prohibiting the acceptance of expired documents as
proof of eligibility and the additional and modification of a
number of acceptable documents of proof.
This final rule takes effect May 16, 2011. View an FAQ published by
USCIS at: http://1.usa.gov/ijBf96.
USCIS Posts Number of FY 2012 H-1B Petitions Received.
Apr 13, 2011: The first information about petitions submitted
for the Fiscal Year 2012 H-1B program has just been posted by USCIS
and, as expected, the amount of petitions received by the federal
agency are low. As was seen last year, only a small handful of
companies have submitted requests for highly skilled workers under
the H-1B program. As of April 7, 2011, a total of 5,900 petitions
have been received for the regular cap program and 4,500 petitions
have been received for the H-1B Master's Exemption
A total of 65,000 H-1B visas are available each year, according to
current federal regulations. USCIS has also receipted 20,000 H-1B
petitions for foreign workers with advanced degrees, leaving no
additional available visa under that exemption.
ICE Changes Policy on Deportation to Haiti.
Apr 09, 2011: Earlier this week, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) posted a new policy that may lead to additional
deportations to Haiti. Just after the January 2010 earthquake that
gravely affected Haiti, ICE halted all deportations to Haiti out of
concern for people that would have been deported. In late January,
however, ICE shifted its policy and deported 27 people to Haiti.
One of those people died within days of arriving in Haiti,
potentially of cholera, and another became very sick soon after
Many immigration and human rights organizations have voiced their
concerns with ICE's reversal of policy and are asking that the
federal agency return to a halt of deportations.
“One year after the earthquake, Haiti remains in ruins and is
now confronting a cholera epidemic. Our government is sending
people back to horrific circumstances, possibly even death,”
said David Leopold, president of the American Immigration
Lawyers' Association. “AILA urges the Obama Administration
to immediately suspend deportations while life-threatening
conditions in Haiti persist.”
New Filing Location for Change of Address Forms.
Apr 06, 2011: On April 1, 2011, all USCIS Change of Address and
Alien's Change of Address forms (Forms AR-11 and AR-11 SR)
changed filing locations. The new address to file these forms is as
U.S Department of Homeland Security
Citizenship and Immigration Services
Attn: Change of Address
1344 Pleasants Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
USCIS notes that any change of address forms mailed to the old
location will be forwarded to the new Harrisonburg address until
May 16. The option of notifying USCIS of a change of address online
is also available at uscis.gov, but only for Form AR-11.
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