H-1B Season Update

Good news for those who filed H-1B petitions with a request for premium processing:  USCIS announced today that it will begin premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing on April 27, 2015. More H-1B Information

H-1B Cap Reached

 

USCIS announced today that it has reached the H-1B Cap for 2016, including both the general category and the cap for advanced degree holders. USCIS will use a lottery system to select H-1B petitions that will be processed for a start date of October 1, 2015. USCIS cannot yet announce the date of the lottery due to the large number of H-1B petitions received.   Petitions not selected by the lottery will be returned along with the filing fees.

How to Avoid Immigration Scams

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It is very important to be careful of immigration scams.  We expect that in the next few months a new kind of immigration application may become available to those who are undocumented and meet the requirements for a new  expanded kind Deferred Action.  Click here for tips on how to prepare for this new program. There is nothing you can file now for this new program.  Be careful of following the advice of anyone who tells you that you can apply now. You may not only waste your money, you may end up committing fraud, and or getting deported.

For more information on how to recognize an immigration scam go to Immigration Scams.

Some people may be able to apply for Deferred Action under the Program under the old program.  For information on the  old program go to  Who Can Apply for DACA (Deferred Action) Now.

 

 

 

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Syracuse University will honor Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with a series of events in April 2015. The Office of Multicultural Affairs is hosting a series of events to highlight achievements and provide information on the heritage of these groups.  For more information on these events click on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Employment for Husband or Wife of Some H-1B Workers


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Some husbands or wives of H-1B workers may file an application for permission to work in the US beginning May 26, 2015.

Who can apply?

  1. Must be in H-4 status and be married to an H-1B worker, and
  2. H-1B husband or wife must fit into one of the following groups:
    1. The H-1b worker has an approved I-140, but must wait to apply for a green card until an immigrant visa (green card) becomes available based on the Visa Bulletin (H-1B can file application for extension of status in three-year increments until he or she can apply for a green card, or
    2. H-1B  spouse can file application for extension of status in one-year increments because either a Labor Certification or an I-140 was filed for him or her before the end of the 5th year in H-1B status.

A husband or wife of an H-1B worker who meets the above requirements may file an Application for Employment Authorization on Form I-765 beginning May 26, 2015 with supporting evidence and a $380 filing fee.

What supporting Evidence is Required?

  1. Marriage certificate showing marriage to current H-1B husband or wife
    1. Evidence that shows H-1B husband or wife meets the above requirements for filing an application for extension of H-1B status beyond 6 years
  2. Entry Documents from Most Recent Entry to US
    1. I-94, either card (front and back) or printout
  3. Copy of most recent EAD
  4. If H-4 has never received an EAD, submit copy of government-issued identity document showing picture, name and date of birth, such as,
    1. Passport
    2. Birth certificate with a photo ID
  • Visa issued by foreign consulate, or
  1. -National identity document
  2. Two identical color photographs of yourself, taken within 30 days of filing your application

Warning!! No H-4 EAD applications will be accepted before May 26, 2015. Do not pay anyone to file an EAD application for you before that date.

 

 

 

 

H-4 Employment

Who Can Apply for DACA (Deferred Action) Now (Feb. 2015)?

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Requirements for DACA

Although the expanded DACA Program has been delayed, there is currently a program in place for those who meet the following requirements:

1. Under Age 31 on June 15, 2012

2. Arrived in US before 16th Birthday

3. Continuously Resided in US from June 15, 2007 to present

4. Entered  US Without Inspection (sometimes called illegal entry) before June 15, 2012

5. Currently in school, have graduated from high school, or have GED, or honorably discharged from military

6. Age 15, or older, at time of application

 

Complicating Factors that require careful evaluation before filing a DACA Application

1. No documents, or few documents, showing presence in US

2. Criminal Charges

3. Previous immigration application

4. Absences from US since June 15, 2007 ( or 5 years before filing)

Seek advice from an experienced immigration lawyer if any of the above complicating factors applies to you. 

 

Benefits of an Approved DACA Application

1. Protection from deportation for 3 years

2. Able to apply for permission to work in the US

3. Able to apply for a Social Security Number

 

Risks in Applying for DACA

1. If you apply, and you are not eligible, you could be deported.

2. Some kinds of denials, may make you permanently unable to file immigration applications in the future. For example, some kinds of criminal convictions may be a permanent bar to entering the US.

Some Children in Central America May Be Able Join Parents in US

 Central Amer Children

 

The Central American Minors (CAM) Refuee/Parole Program began accepting applications from parents in the US in December 2014 for unmarried children, under age 21 who reside in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. This includes parents who are in the US under deferred action programs.  CAM is meant to provide  an alternative to the difficult journey that children have been making  on their own to join their parents in the US.  For more information on who is eligible for this program and how to apply, click on Central American Minors.

 

 

Deferred Action for Children (DACA) – February 18th

 

DREAM Act

USCIS will begin accepting deferred action  immigration applications for children (DACA) who arrived in the US before their 16th birthday using the new, expanded requirements on February 18, 2015. This program provides temporary relief from deportation.  It allows those whose applications are granted to apply for permission to work legally in the US.

 

Requirements for Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

1.  Arrived in US before 16th birthday

2. Continuously lived in US from June 1, 2010 to present

3. Physically present in US on June 15, 2012

4. Entered US without inspection (sometimes called illegally) before June 15, 2012, or any lawful immigration status ended on or before June 15, 2012.

5. Applicant must be age 15 or older

6. Education Requirements: Currrently in School, or graduated from high school, or GED, or honorably discharged from military

7. No convictions for felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors, and not a threat to national security or public safety

For information on how to avoid scams see Avoid Scams.

 

Birth Certificates for Mexican Citizens

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If you were born in Mexico and are now in the US, you may be able to get your birth certificate from a Mexican consulate in the US. For more information on getting a birth certificate from a Mexican consulate in the US click on Mexican Birth Certificates.

An executive action by President Obama last November provides for some undocumented immigrants in the US to apply for something called Deferred Action for Parents or DAPA.  If you had a US citizen or permanent resident child in the US by 11/20/2014 you may be able to apply for Deferred Action.  This is not an immigration status, but does provide protection from deportation for those who are eligible for it.  For more information on the requirements click on Deferred Action.

DACA Renewal

 

child immigrants

Reminder to those who have already applied for DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. If your approved DACA application is expiring, you may request that it be renewed.  USCIS recommends that renewal applications be filed 120 days (four months) before your period of deferred action expires.   To determine whether you are eligible to file an application to renew DACA, and for information on how to apply go to:  Renew DACA.