Statement from the White House Press Secretary: Is Immigration Reform in the U.S. on the Radar?
President Donald J. Trump just concluded a successful bipartisan and bicameral meeting on immigration reform. During the closed-door portion of the meeting, they reached an agreement to negotiate legislation that accomplishes critically needed reforms in four high-priority areas: border security, chain migration, the visa lottery, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
Re-Registration Period Now Open for Nicaraguans with Temporary Protected Status
TPS Nicaragua Ending in January 2019
WASHINGTON— Current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Nicaragua’s designation who want to maintain that status through the program’s termination date of Jan. 5, 2019, must re-register between Dec. 15, 2017 and Feb. 13, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Register and on www.uscis.gov/tps.
All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Applicants may also request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Both forms are free on USCIS’ website at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.
USCIS will issue new Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) with a Jan. 5, 2019 expiration date to eligible Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, however, DHS recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on Jan. 5, 2018. Accordingly, DHS has automatically extended the validity of EADs issued under the TPS designation of Nicaragua for 60 days, through March 6, 2018. Additionally, Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and properly file applications for an EAD will have the validity of their current EADs automatically extended for up to 180 days from the date their current EADs expire, through July 4, 2018.
In November, former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke determined that conditions in Nicaragua no longer support its designation for TPS. Duke made her decision to terminate Nicaragua’s TPS designation after reviewing country conditions and consulting with appropriate U.S. government agencies. However, Duke delayed the effective date of the termination by one year from the current expiration date of Jan. 5, 2018, to allow time for an orderly transition for those affected. With the delayed effective date, Nicaragua’s TPS designation will end Jan. 5, 2019.
Nicaraguans with TPS may wish to consult with qualified immigration attorneys or practitioners about their eligibility for another immigration status or benefit, or whether there is any other action they may want to take regarding their individual immigration circumstances.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).
USCIS to Begin Accepting Applications under the International Entrepreneur Rule
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today it is taking steps to implement the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), in accordance with a recent court decision.
The IER was published during the previous administration to provide an unlimited number of international entrepreneurs a new avenue to apply for parole, enter the U.S., and use American investments to establish and grow start-up businesses. Parole is a discretionary grant made by the Secretary of Homeland Security and is granted only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. The rule established new criteria to guide the adjudication of parole applications from certain foreign entrepreneurs, providing them with temporary permission to come to the country. The rule did not afford a path to citizenship, which only Congress can do.
On Jan. 25, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13767, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, which requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that parole authority is exercised only on a case-by-case basis, and only when an individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit due to the parole.
Guidance on how to submit IER applications is available on our International Entrepreneur Parole page.
While DHS implements the IER, DHS will also proceed with issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) seeking to remove the Jan. 17, 2017, IER. DHS is in the final stages of drafting the NPRM.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and Instagram (@USCIS).
Supreme Court Allows Trump Travel Ban to Take Effect
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the third version of the Trump administration’s travel ban to go into effect while legal challenges against it continue. The court’s orders mean that the administration can fully enforce its new restrictions on travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim. For now, most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea will be barred from entering the United States, along with some groups of people from Venezuela. The restrictions vary in their details, but in most cases, citizens of the countries will be unable to emigrate to the United States permanently and many will be barred from working, studying or vacationing here. Iran, for example, will still be able to send its citizens on student exchanges, though such visitors will be subject to enhanced screening. Somalis will no longer be allowed to emigrate to the United States, but may visit with extra screening.
TPS FOR NICARAGUA IS SET TO EXPIRE WHILE TPS FOR HONDURAS IS EXTENDED
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Nicaragua, with a delayed effective date of January 5, 2019. This means that all Nicaraguans who are currently on TPS will either have to leave the US after this date or change status to a new visa category (if eligible). DHS also determined that additional information was necessary regarding the TPS designation for Honduras, and as a result, it will be automatically extended to July 5, 2018.
Trump Third Travel Ban has been Blocked
On October 16, 2017, Judge Derrick K. Watson, a federal judge, in the state of Hawaii largely blocked the Trump administration from implementing the third travel plan decreed by the Trump Administration. The latest ban was set to fully go into effect in the early morning hours of October 17 barring various types of travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea, and Venezuela. Judge Watson wrote that the latest ban "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be 'detrimental to the interests of the United States.'" This means that there is an injunction that prevents the government from barring nationals from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Somalia. Nevertheless, the bar remains for nationals of Venezuela and North Korea.
DoD Announces Policy Changes to Lawful Permanent Residents and the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) Pilot Program
The Department of Defense announced today a change to policies regarding initial screening of Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) and qualifying service for the purposes of military naturalization. These changes reflect lessons learned from the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) Pilot Program. While the Department recognizes the value of expedited U.S. citizenship achieved through military service, it is in the national interest to ensure all current and prospective service members complete security and suitability screening prior to naturalization.
On October 13, 2017 DoD authorized a change to two policies:
(1) Initial security and suitability screening for LPRs, and;
(2) Certifications of honorable service for the purposes of expedited naturalization.
Effective immediately, all LPRs must complete a background investigation and receive a favorable military security suitability determination (MSSD) prior to entry in the active, reserve, or guard service.
This is a change from the current policy, which allows for LPR recruits to ship to initial military training as long as their background investigation had been initiated, and they had cleared all other entry screening requirements.
Effective immediately, in order for a foreign national entering service in the active, reserve, or guard service to receive a certification of honorable service for the purposes of expedited naturalization (citizenship), he or she must:
- Complete all security and suitability screening requirements and receive a favorable MSSD, and;
- Complete the initial military training requirements of the service of which they are a member, and;
- Complete at least 180 consecutive days of active duty service, or at least one year of satisfactory service in the selected reserve.
This is a change from the current practice of certification of honorable service for the purpose of expedited naturalization after “one day of service.”
For currently serving service members, to include those in the Delayed Training Program, they must complete all security and suitability screening requirements prior to a certification of honorable service. Those who may have received a certification of honorable service prior to the completion of all security and suitability screening requirements will have that certification recalled and decertified until, at a minimum, screening requirements are complete.
DoD and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) have established a process to allow for the review and recertification of recalled forms once the individual completes requisite screening requirements.
ATTENTION DIVERSITY VISA, GREEN CARD LOTTERY APPLICANTS
Due to a technical issue, the DV-2019 entry period that began on October 3 has been closed. Entries submitted during October 3-10 are not valid and have been excluded from the system; they will not count as a duplicate entry. The technical issue has been resolved and a new full entry period will begin at noon, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday October 18, 2017 and will run until noon Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday November 22, 2017. Only entries submitted during this period will be accepted and considered for selection in the lottery. Please throw away any confirmation number or other documentation that you have if you submitted an entry during Oct. 3-10.
The Deadline to Submit DACA Renewal Requests is October 5th
USCIS issued a reminder regarding the October 5, 2017, deadline for DACA recipients to properly file renewal requests and associated applications for employment authorization. These requests must be properly filed and physically received by the agency at the proper filing location no later than October 5, 2017. Also, during the AILA SCOPS Liaison Committee call on September 27, 2017, USCIS confirmed that only persons whose current DACA expires between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, are eligible to renew their deferred action grant.
NOW YOU CAN OBTAIN A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER WHEN YOU FILE FORM I-765, APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION.