U.S. Immigration Updates- Week of November 7, 2022

E-Verify Operations Have Resumed and Preferred Dates Released for Employees to Resolve Nonconfirmations

E-Verify has reminded employers that operations have resumed and released preferred dates for employees to visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) to resolve their Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) (mismatches of Social Security numbers). E-Verify said that the timeframes are recommended, not required, but that all employees must visit SSA to resolve their TNCs by September 29, 2023, or their cases will automatically get Final Nonconfirmations.

The SSA provided the following information:

SOURCES: ABIL Immigration Insider, November 6, 2022, and https://www.e-verify.gov/social-security-administration-resumes-e-verify-operations


CBP Discontinuing Passport Entry Stamps and Transition to Online I-94 Records

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated the I-94 process for most nonimmigrants arriving by air and sea. According to reports, this means that in many cases, foreign nationals no longer receive an entry stamp in their passports at ports of entry documenting their arrival.

Employers should advise their foreign national employees to check the accuracy of their I-94 Arrival/Departure Records on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website soon after they enter the United States, as errors are common. The site requires the name, date of birth, and passport number. The I-94, not the passport, visa, or prior approval notice, documents a nonimmigrant’s status, approved length of stay in the United States, and departure information.

In case of an I-94 error, there is an online CBP system for requesting corrections, but some practitioners report months-long delays and agency inaction. They recommend contacting the appropriate CBP office directly or sending a Deferred Inspections email instead to get I-94 records corrected.

Earlier this year, CBP also announced that it is issuing electronic I-94s at land ports of entry. For land arrivals, CBP is no longer issuing paper I-94s to nonimmigrants upon arrival except in limited circumstances and upon nonimmigrant request if feasible. Nonimmigrants can access Form I-94s online at the CBP website or via mobile application.

SOURCES: ABIL Immigration Insider, November 6, 2022, and https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-03-18/pdf/2022-05758.pdf


Accrediting Agency’s Loss of Recognition May Affect Certain Foreign Students and H-1B and I-140 Applicants

A Department of Education (DOE) decision to no longer recognize the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency immediately affects two immigration-related student programs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced:

· English language study programs; and

· F-1 students applying for a 24-month science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) optional practical training (OPT) extension.

USCIS said the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will provide guidance to affected students in notification letters if their schools’ accreditation is revoked. However, students enrolled at an ACICS-accredited school should contact their Designated School Officials immediately “to better understand if and how the loss of recognized accreditation will affect their status and/or immigration benefits applications,” USCIS said.

ACICS-accredited schools will be unable to issue program extensions, and students will only be allowed to finish their current session if the ACICS-accredited school chooses to voluntarily withdraw its accreditation or is withdrawn by SEVP, USCIS explained. Students whose ACICS-accredited school can provide evidence of a DOE-recognized accrediting agency or evidence in lieu of accreditation within the allotted timeframe may remain at the school to complete their programs of study.

SOURCES: ABIL Immigration Insider, November 6, 2022, and https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/acics-loss-of-recognition-may-affect-certain-students-applying-for-english-language-study-and-24

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