Department of State Posts FY 2012 Diversity Visa Lottery
Sep 24, 2010: Rules and guidelines for the 2012 Diversity
Immigrant Visa program have just been published by the U.S.
Department of State. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, a total of 50,000
Diversity Visas will be made available to people from countries
with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
The annual DV Lottery program gives permanent visas to people that
meet a few simple eligibility requirements. These requirements
1) Applicants must be natives of a country whose natives
2) Applicants must have either a high school education (or its
equivalent) or two years of work experience within the past five
years that requires at least two years of training or
For FY 2012, natives of the following countries are not eligible
for the lottery program, because these countries have sent more
than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years:
BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA,
MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PERU, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED
KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories,
Please note that people born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and
Taiwan are eligible. Learn more online at: http://bit.ly/aoHduH
Department of State Issues Updated Travel Warning for US
Citizens Traveling to Mexico.
Sep 22, 2010: Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of State
issued an updated travel warning to U.S. citizens planning to
travel to and live in Mexico. According to the Department of State,
while most victims of criminal violence in Mexico are Mexican
citizens associated with criminal activity, the current situation
poses serious risks to U.S. citizens in the region as well.
As of September 10, the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey has removed all
minor dependents of U.S. government personnel and family members in
other areas of northern Medico had also been previously authorized
While millions of U.S. citizens do safely visit Mexico each year,
the Department of State does strongly urge U.S. citizens to
understand the risks involved in travel to Mexico, how to best
avoid dangerous situations and who to contact if they become a
victim of crime or violence.
ICE Serves Hundreds of Notices of Inspection to U.S.
Sep 17, 2010: This week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) served hundreds of Notices of Inspection (NOI) to U.S.
companies. These NOIs were served as part of the Obama
administration's campaign to target the employers of illegal
immigrants. The NOIs give employers three days to submit their I-9
documentation for inspection. In certain cases, an extension may be
So far this year, 147 employers have been either criminally
convicted or cited with worksite violations. Fines for knowingly
hiring an illegal immigrant can be from $1,100 to $16,000 per
unauthorized worker, making it pertinent that employers follow
regulations and ensure proper validation of employees in their
Relief Offered to Certain Haitian F-1
Sep 15, 2010: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has
just announced a new special relief program for some F-1 Haitian
students who have been the victims of severe economic hardship
because of the January earthquake in Haiti. This new relief applies
to students who were lawfully present in the U.S. at the time of
the January earthquake and are enrolling in an educational
institution that is listed as certified by ICE's Student and
Exchange Visitor program (SEVIS)
The new relief program will allow eligible Haitian F-1 students to
work in the U.S., work an increased number of hours during their
school term and reduce their course load, if necessary, while still
maintaining F-1 status.
“We want to ensure that students from Haiti, who were here at
the time of January's tragic events, are able to concentrate on
their studies without the worry of financial burdens created by the
devastation of the earthquake,” said Louis Farrell, director,
SEVIS. “These students have the full support of SEVP and
designated school officials for assistance.”
How Puerto Rico's New, More Secure Birth
Certificates Will Affect the I-9 Process.
Sep 10, 2010: On July 1, 2010, the Vital Statistics Office of
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico started issue new certified copies
of birth certificates to U.S. citizens born in Puerto Rico. This
process began due to a change in Puerto Rico's birth
certificate law and enabled a higher level of security in the
issuance process of birth certificates.
As of September 30, 2010, all certified copies of birth
certificates issued before July 1, 2010 will be invalid, stated
USCIS in an official memo. Please note, however, that this new
regulation should not affect citizenship status of people born in
Puerto Rico; it only affects whether or not a certified copy of a
birth certificate is considered valid.
All forms of certified copies of Puerto Rico-issued birth
certificates will be acceptable on the Form I-9 up to September 30.
However, after that date, only Puerto Rico birth certificates
issued on or after July 1 will be acceptable as proof of identity
on the I-9 form.
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