New Electronic System for Travel Authorization Fee for

Visa Waiver Program Travelers Takes Effect September 8

Aug 25, 2010: The Department of State (DOS) has just posted a

cable providing clarification on the Travel Promotion Act of 2009

(TPA), a new rule that would require travelers from Visa Waiver

Program countries to pay operational and travel promotion fees when

applying for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

The interim final rule, which goes into effect September 8, 2010,

will include these fees in the ESTA program, which total $14. The

fees, matched by private sector contributions, will be used to fund

the Corporation for Travel Promotion.

Payment of the new $14 fee is required through credit or debit card

payments. The ESTA form that is currently in use provides detailed

information to aid in the payment process.

The goal of the TPA is to attract international visitors to the

United States. DOS will work with the Corporation for Travel

Promotion to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information to

international visitors about travel documents and various

requirements for entry into the United States.

Utah Legislator Introduces Restrictive Immigration

Enforcement Legislation

Aug 21, 2010: A conservative Utah state legislator has proposed

a new restrictive immigration regulation similar to

Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement bill. The

bill, introduced by State Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (R), had its first

hearing this week and contains a number of provisions similar to

those in the Arizona legislation that were blocked by a federal

judge earlier this month.

Included in Sandstrom's bill is the requirement that

police, when stopping individuals for other violations, question

people's immigration status if they have reasonable

suspicion that the person is in the U.S. illegally.

A group of Utah legislators had traveled to Arizona this summer to

obtain guidance on how to draft such a law. Similar groups from

Tennessee and Colorado have also recently traveled to Arizona for

the same purpose.

USCIS Posts Reminder to Eligible El Salvadoran Nationals

to Re-Register for Temporary Protected Status

Augr 18, 2010: USCIS has posted a reminder to nationals of El

Salvador, as well as people with no nationality who last habitually

lived in El Salvador, who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS), to

file their re-registration applications for this status before the

re-registration period ends on September 7, 2010. The 18-month

extension of this status for El Salvadorans will be effective until

March 9, 2010.

USCIS notes that people who have previously received TPS must now

re-register for this status during this re-registration period. If

you do not re-register during this period (without a good reason),

your TPS benefits will be withdrawn. This includes employment

authorization and protection from removal from the U.S.

To re-register, a TPS beneficiary should file both the Application

for Temporary Protected Status on Form I-821 and the Application

for Employment Authorization on Form I-765, with the required fees

(or fee waiver request). If you are not requesting employment

authorization or an extension of employment authorization, Form

I-765 is still required, but the accompanying fee is not

required.

New DHS Rule Extends Employment Authorization for

Dependents of Foreign Officials

Aug 12, 2010: In the August 9 Federal Register, the Department

of Homeland Security (DHS) amended regulations regarding employment

authorization for dependents of foreign officials (those classified

as A-1, A-2, G-1, G-3 and G-4 nonimmigrants). The new final rule

will expand the list of dependents who are eligible to work in the

U.S. from spouses, children and qualifying sons and daughters of A

& G foreign officials to additional include any foreign

family member who is categorized by the Department of State as

qualifying.

This change to regulations will give the Department of State more

flexibility when they are entering into agreements with other

nations and those agreements include provisions to extend

employment authorization to immediate family members of foreign

officials.

This rule became effective on August 9, 2010

DOS Publishes Final Rule Related to Exchange Visitor

Program

Aug 11, 2010: In the August 11 Federal Register, the Department

of State (DOS) published a final rule related to the Exchange

Visitor Program. In June of 2007, DOS had published an interim

final rule that would amend portions of the Exchange Visitor

Program that related to trainees and interns. The interim rule

would remove the distinction between "non-specialty

occupations" and "specialty

occupations," establish a new internship program and amend

the selection criteria for participation in a training

program.

This final rule includes some changes to the interim final rule,

including the permission to use telephone interviews to screen

potential participants for eligibility in a training program,

removing the requirement that sponsors obtain a Dun &

Bradstreet report of companies for whom participants would be

placed. The final rule also clarifies regulations related to

verification of Worker's Compensation coverage for

participants and the use of an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

to find out if a third-party training host organization is a viable

business entity. Additionally, the final rule clarifies that

trainees and interns may repeat training and internship programs,

in certain cases.

This final rule will be effective September 10, 2010

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