August 2019 USCIS Announcements Roundup

Below are the updates by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the month of August 2019.

USCIS to End Certain Categorical Parole Programs

Announced on August 2nd:

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced its intention to terminate two categorical parole programs, consistent with Executive Order (E.O.) 13767, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, and to better ensure that parole is used only on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the law. Parole is a process that allows foreign nationals to temporarily enter or remain in the United States, including those who are otherwise inadmissible. The programs to be terminated are the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program and the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program.”

Read the full announcement at USCIS.

USCIS Will Adjust International Footprint to Seven Locations

Announced on August 9th:

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today plans to maintain operations at its international field offices in Beijing and Guangzhou, China; Nairobi, Kenya; and New Delhi, India. Previously, Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli directed the agency to continue operating in Guatemala City, Guatemala; Mexico City, Mexico; and San Salvador, El Salvador, as part of a whole-of-government approach to address the crisis at the southern border.

While retaining these seven international offices, USCIS plans to close the remaining thirteen international field offices and three district offices between now and August 2020. The first planned closures are the field offices in Monterrey, Mexico, and Seoul, South Korea, at the end of September. These organizational changes will allow more effective allocation of USCIS resources to support, in part, backlog reduction efforts.”

Read the full announcement at USCIS.

USCIS Announces Final Rule Enforcing Long-Standing Public Charge Inadmissibility Law

Announced on August 12th:

“Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a final rule that clearly defines long-standing law to better ensure that aliens seeking to enter and remain in the United States — either temporarily or permanently — are self-sufficient and rely on their own capabilities and the resources of family members, sponsors, and private organizations rather than on public resources.

This final rule amends DHS regulations by prescribing how DHS will determine whether an alien is inadmissible to the United States based on his or her likelihood of becoming a public charge at any time in the future, as set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The final rule addresses U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) authority to permit an alien to submit a public charge bond in the context of adjustment of status applications. The rule also makes nonimmigrant aliens who have received certain public benefits above a specific threshold generally ineligible for extension of stay and change of status.”

Read the full announcement at USCIS.

USCIS Returns Unselected Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

Announced on August 15th:

“USCIS has returned all fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in our computer-generated random selection process. On May 17, USCIS announced that it had completed data entry of all selected H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2020.

If you submitted an FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petition that was delivered to USCIS between April 1 and April 5, 2019, and you have not received a receipt notice or a returned petition by August 29, you may contact USCIS for assistance.”

Read the full announcement at USCIS.

USCIS Issues Guidance on Discretionary Employment Authorization for Parolees

Announced August 19th:

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today issued policy guidance (PDF, 305 KB) in the USCIS Policy Manual to address its discretion to grant employment authorization to foreign nationals who are paroled into the United States, including those who are otherwise inadmissible.

Certain foreign nationals may be paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. Parolees are not entitled to employment authorization solely because they are paroled into the United States, but instead must establish eligibility and apply for employment authorization. USCIS will only consider employment authorization for parolees when, based on the facts and circumstances of each individual case, USCIS finds that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted.”

Read the full announcement at USCIS.

USCIS Policy Manual Update

Announced August 28th:

“Our latest update to the USCIS Policy Manual defines “residence” as it relates to citizenship for children of certain U.S. government employees and members of the U.S. armed forces who are employed or stationed outside the United States, to conform with the definition of residence in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This guidance rescinds previously established USCIS policy, which stated that certain children who were living outside the United States were considered “residing in” the United States.

As a result, it changes the process that parents of such children must follow to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship for their children. Under the previous policy, parents of those children could file either Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, or Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322, on behalf of their children. As of Oct. 29, 2019, these parents must file Form N-600K to obtain U.S. citizenship for any child who did not acquire citizenship at birth or while residing in the United States. Therefore, we will apply current guidance to all applications filed before Oct. 29, 2019.”

Read the full announcement at USCIS.

Changes to Direct Filing Addresses for Certain H-1B Form I-129 Petitions

Announced August 30th:

“On Sept. 1, we will change the direct filing addresses for certain petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker….Please see our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker page to determine where to file your Form I-129. Starting Oct. 1, we may reject Forms I-129 that are filed at the wrong service center.

Read the full announcement at USCIS.

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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.