Venezuela Gets Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months

“The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens.”
“It is in times of extraordinary and temporary circumstances like these that the United States steps forward to support eligible Venezuelan nationals already present here, while their home country seeks to right itself out of the current crises.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas
Photo Credit: “Venezuela refugee women volunteering at Comedor Fundación Nueva Vida Cúcuta” by Cristal Montanez Venezuela is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas is designating Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 2022.

Accoding to dhs.gov web site, “this new designation of TPS for Venezuela enables Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.”

Only individuals who can demonstrate continuous residence in the United States as of March 8, 2021 are eligible for TPS under Venezuela’s designation.

Eligible individuals will need to apply within 180 days for TPS (Temporary Protected Status) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Full details HERE

H-1B Registration Period Opens on March 9

USCIS announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap will open at noon Eastern on March 9 and run through noon Eastern on March 25. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to fill out petitioner and beneficiary information and submit their registrations.

A confirmation number will be assigned to each registration submitted for the FY 2022 H-1B cap. This number is used solely to track registrations; you cannot use this number to track your case status in Case Status Online.

Prospective H-1B cap-subject petitioners or their representatives are required to use a myUSCIS online account to register each beneficiary electronically for the selection process and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each registration submitted on behalf of each beneficiary. Prospective petitioners submitting their own registrations (U.S. employers and U.S. agents, collectively known as “registrants”) will use a “registrant” account that will be available soon. Representatives may add clients to their accounts at any time, but both representatives and registrants must wait until March 9 to enter beneficiary information and submit the $10 fee. Prospective petitioners or their representatives will be able to submit registrations for multiple beneficiaries in a single online session. Through the account, they will be able to prepare, edit, and store draft registrations prior to final payment and submission of each registration.

If we receive enough registrations by March 25, we will randomly select registrations and send selection notifications via users’ myUSCIS online accounts. We intend to notify account holders by March 31.

An H-1B cap-subject petition may only be filed by a petitioner whose registration for that beneficiary was selected in the H-1B registration process.

We will conduct public engagements and other outreach activities to ensure that representatives and registrants are familiar with the electronic registration process. 

Additional information, step-by-step registration instructions, and helpful videos are available on the H-1B Electronic Registration Process page.

Results Notifications

On March 31, USCIS will begin notifying employers as to which workers were selected in the lottery. For each person chosen in the lottery, USCIS will provide their employer with a selection notice.  If the person is selected in the H-1B lottery, the notice must be printed by the employer and submitted together with the person’s H-1B petition.

A registrant’s USCIS online account will show one of the following statuses for each registration:

• Submitted: The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been completed, this registration remains eligible, unless subsequently invalidated, for selection in any subsequent selections for the fiscal year for which it was submitted.

• Selected: Selected to file an H-1B cap petition.

• Not Selected: Not selected – not eligible to file an H-1B cap petition based on this registration.

• Denied: Multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.

• Invalidated-Failed Payment: A registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, or otherwise invalid.

H-1B Selection Process Rule Effective Date Delay

USCIS has also announced that DHS is delaying the effective date of the H-1B Selection Process final rule until Dec. 31, 2021. USCIS will apply the regulations currently in place (random selection) to the initial registration period, and, any subsequent registration period for the FY 2022 registration process that takes place before Dec. 31, 2021.

Additional information is available in the Federal Register notice

Restoring Faith in Our Immigration System

The title says it all! It is the new Executive order signed today by President Biden, at the White House.

Long awaited and certainly long overdue, this certainly sets a new tone in US immigration policy:

The Federal Government should develop welcoming strategies that promote integration, inclusion, and citizenship, and it should embrace the full participation of the newest Americans in our democracy.

Full text of Executive Order Here

This is actually the third in a series of Orders signed by the President today, aimed at setting US Immigration policy onto a new course, changing the path for the better.

The first order, is the reestablishment of an Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families.

“It removes the stain on our reputation for what these separations caused.” – President Biden declared.

The second order is “Executive Order on Creating a Comprehensive Regional Framework to Address the Causes of Migration, to Manage Migration Throughout North and Central America, and to Provide Safe and Orderly Processing of Asylum Seekers at the United States Border”.

It is obvious that there are real changes coming, and many questions will surely arise. As always, we are here to help answer them and provide the best help possible for theparticular needs of our clients. Do not hesitate to contact us no matter what those questions might be. A brief description of your particular situation will help us prepare the answers most appropriate for you. You can send it to us HERE

President-Elect Joe Biden to Propose 8-Year Citizenship Path

The signs are promising for our clients!

As the new President is getting sworn in, America’s immigrants have a new hope to a more decisive plan of action for their full integration into the American society. Among the many sweeping reforms President Biden will present, an eight-year path to citizenship for all immigrants will be unveiled, The Times reports.

Under the legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfill other basic requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization, if they decide to pursue citizenship.

https://time.com/5930687/us-immigrants-citizenship/

Check back often on our web site for updates on the upcoming news!

Photo credit: “Vice President Joseph Biden 6” by West Point – The U.S. Military Academy is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Do Not Let Your International Travel Jeopardize Your Immigration Status

If you are scheduled to travel to the US, please be advised that yesterday the CDC issued an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight! You will need to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This Order will go into effect on January 26, 2021.

Important! Remember!

If you or someone you know are travelling internationally, and are awaiting your final interview at USCIS, please remember that you will not be able to enter a USCIS field office without first having been in the U.S. for a minimum of 14 days!

USCIS field offices are automatically cancelling scheduled any final interview for anyone who has been outside the U.S. within 14 days prior to it.

USCIS is using its own information to track if you have been outside of the U.S. We caution you to schedule your international travel accordingly.

As always, we are here to help. If you have any questions or need assistance with any of these new developments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

Image credit: “A Trio of Surgical Masks” by Wootang01 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0