E-Verify Enhances Security; Now Checks Passports and Passport
Nov 10, 2010: The E-Verify program's security system has
just been enhanced, says USCIS and Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) representatives. The new enhancements include enabling
E-Verify to automatically check the validity and authenticity of
all US passports and passport cards used as employment verification
documents. As of November 10, E-Verify employers can verify the
identity of new employees who present US passports or passport
cards by comparing data on the documents with federal
“U.S. passport photo matching is another in the long line of
enhancements we have made to improve the integrity of the E-Verify
system,” said DHS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “Adding
U.S. passport photos expands our current photo matching efforts and
will play a significant role in preventing and detecting the use of
fraudulent documents—all part of major anti-fraud
initiatives undertaken by the Department.”
New Application and Petition Fees for Immigrants/Nonimmigrants
Will Be in Effect on November 23.
Nov 05, 2010: USCIS has posted a reminder to immigration
applicants and petitioners that its new fee schedule will go into
effect on November 23, 2010. All applications and petitions that
are postmarked/filed on or after that date must include the new
fee. If they do not include the new fee, they will be rejected by
The new fee schedule was published in the Federal Register on
September 24, after a review of public comments. Application and
petition fees in the new schedule have risen about 10 percent on
average; the naturalization application fee was not raised.
For a full list of the new schedule of fees, please visit: http://bit.ly/aBFapM .
ETA Extends Comment Period for Proposed H-2B Rule.
Nov 04, 2010: In early October, the Employment and Training
Administration (ETA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to
change the process by which nonimmigrant workers in temporary or
seasonal non-agricultural employment are authorized to work in the
U.S. In addition, this proposed rule would change the ways that
regulations are enforced to employers of such workers.
As part of this proposed rule, ETA has allowed for a comment period
for the text of the rule up to November 4, 2010. However, the
agency received a number of requests to extend this comment period
and has fulfilled these requests. The comment period for this
proposed rule will now be open an additional 8 days, to November
USCIS Terminates California EB-5 Foreign Investor Program.
Oct 29, 2010: The federal government has ended the Victorville,
California EB-5 foreign investor program, the first time that USCIS
has ended an EB-5 program. According to USCIS, the program was
unable to demonstrate that it could meet the criteria to raise
funds through the EB-5 program.
Victorville's application for EB-5 status in June 2009, which
enabled the city to solicit loans of $500,000 from foreign
citizens, as long as those funds were used to create a minimum of
10 local jobs each. USCIS asked for further information from the
city repeatedly, but did not receive more information. The final
notice of termination was sent by USCIS on October 20.
Backlog of Immigration Cases Continues to Grow.
Oct 27, 2010: A new record for the number of immigration cases
awaiting review was made this September. At the end of September
2010, there were a total of 261,083 immigration cases awaiting
review by the Immigration Courts, according to the Transactional
Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). This backlog has grown by five
percent since the end of June 2010 and is over 1/3 higher than the
backlog reported at the end of Fiscal Year 2008. Wait times,
however, have declined since the last report released by TRAC (June
2010). The average wait time for pending cases nationally is now
456 days, compared to 459 days at the end of June 2010. California
has the longest average wait time (630 days). Massachusetts and
Nebraska have the second and third longest average wait times,
respectively (Massachusetts – 615 days; Nebraska – 519 days).
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