USCIS Awards FY 2021 Citizenship and Integration Grants
On Sept. 20, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the award of $10 million in grants to 40 organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents (LPRs) for naturalization. The grants also aim to promote prospective citizens’ integration into American civic life by funding educational programs designed to increase their knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics. Located in 25 states, these organizations will receive federal funding to support citizenship preparation services for LPRs through September 2023.
USCIS Reaches Settlement Agreement in “No Blank Space Rejection Policy” Case
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reached a settlement agreement in the case of Vangala et al. v. USCIS et al., No. 4:20-cv-08143(N.D. Cal.). The agreement allows certain individuals to receive updated receipt dates for resubmitted immigration benefit applications or petitions originally rejected under the former “No Blank Space” rejection policy.
Registration Period Extended to 18 Months for TPS Applicants from Venezuela, Syria and Burma
WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security today published a Federal Register notice (FRN) announcing extensions of the registration periods from 180 days to 18 months for initial (new) applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under the designations of Venezuela and Burma, and the redesignation of Syria. This notice also provides certain specific corrections to the FRN regarding Venezuela (86 FR 13574).
New USCIS Asylum Office to Open in Tampa on Aug. 2
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will open a new asylum office in Tampa on Aug. 2, in response to an increasing asylum workload in Florida. The new office becomes the eleventh asylum office in the country and the second in Florida, joining the existing Miami Asylum Office. The Tampa and Miami asylum offices will divide the state’s asylum workload.
DHS Announces Registration Process for Temporary Protected Status for Haiti
The Department of Homeland Security today posted for public inspection a Federal Register notice that provides information about how to register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas previously announced this 18-month designation of Haiti for TPS on May 22.
TPS Applicants from Five Designated Countries Can Now File Initial Applications Online
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applicants who are eligible nationals of Burma, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela or Yemen, or individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those countries, can now file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, online, if they are applying for TPS for the first time.
DHS Announces Extension and Redesignation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status
The Department of Homeland Security today published a Federal Register notice (FRN) extending and redesignating Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from Sept. 18, 2021, through March 17, 2023. Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas made the decision to extend and redesignate Somalia for TPS after consultation with interagency partners and careful consideration of the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Somalia.
DHS releases Interagency Strategy for Promoting Naturalization
WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released the Interagency Strategy for Promoting Naturalization, a whole-of-government approach to breaking down barriers to U.S. citizenship and promoting naturalization to all who are eligible, as outlined in President Biden’s Executive Order 14012.
USCIS Naturalization Policies Issued Since January 2021
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to making the naturalization process both welcoming and accessible to all who are eligible. As part of that effort, President Biden issued Executive Order 14012: Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration System and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans. Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued the following naturalization policies designed to support implementation of this Executive Order:
USCIS to Celebrate Independence Day with Naturalization Ceremonies Across the Country
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will celebrate Independence Day this year by welcoming more than 9,400 new citizens in 170 naturalization ceremonies between June 30 and July 7. These ceremonies demonstrate our commitment to welcoming immigrants. USCIS is proud to welcome people from all over the world as our newest U.S. citizens during this celebration of Independence Day.
USCIS Updates Policies to Improve Immigration Services
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued new policy updates in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify the criteria and circumstances for expedited processing; improve request for evidence (RFE) and notice of intent to deny (NOID) guidance; and increase the validity period for initial and renewal employment authorization documents (EADs) for certain noncitizens with pending adjustment of status applications.
DHS Announces Open Registration for Temporary Protected Status for Burma
The Department of Homeland Security today published a Federal Register notice (FRN) designating Burma for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective May 25, 2021, through Nov. 25, 2022. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas previously announced on March 12 that Burma would be designated for TPS.
Rescheduling Biometric Services Appointments by Phone
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that applicants, petitioners, requestors and beneficiaries may now call the USCIS Contact Center (800-375-5283) to reschedule their biometric services appointments scheduled at a USCIS Application Support Center.
Update on USCIS Visitor Policy
In light of some states and municipalities relaxing mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reminds the public that we will continue to enforce our visitor policy in all USCIS facilities.
DHS Secretary Statement on the 2019 Public Charge Rule
Today, DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the government will no longer defend the 2019 public charge rule as doing so is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.
Secretary Mayorkas Designates Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months
New Designation Allows Eligible Venezuelans to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents
WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas is designating Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 2022. 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.
USCIS Modifies H-1B Selection Process to Prioritize Wages
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced a final rule that will modify the H-1B cap selection process, amend current lottery procedures, and prioritize wages to protect the economic interests of U.S. workers and better ensure the most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment program.
USCIS Ending Two Categorical Parole Programs
In keeping with the agency’s August 2019 announcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a Federal Register notice requesting public comments on revisions to Form I-131, Application for Travel Document to remove sections relating to the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) and the Filipino World War II Veterans (FWVP) Parole programs.
USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors who are responding to
USCIS Announces a Revised Naturalization Civics Test
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today plans to implement a revised version of the naturalization civics test. The agency first announced plans to revise the civics test in July 2019.
DHS, Trump Administration Protect American Jobs from Unfair International Competition
Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the transmission to the Federal Register of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would prioritize the selection of H-1B registrations (or petitions, if the registration process is suspended) based on corresponding wage levels in order to better protect the economic interests of U.S. workers, while still allowing U.S. employers to meet their personnel needs and remain globally competitive.
DHS Proposes Rule to Strengthen Affidavit of Support Process
The Department of Homeland Security today announced it will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking that would increase the integrity of the nation’s lawful immigration system, make it easier to hold immigrant sponsors accountable for failing to meet the obligations of contracts they sign with the federal government, and align agency policy in accordance with the May 2019 Presidential Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens.
USCIS Response to Preliminary Injunction of Fee Rule
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Deputy Director of Policy Joseph Edlow issued the following statement in response to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining fee increases for citizenship and other immigration benefits.
USCIS Averts Furlough of Nearly 70% of Workforce
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that the agency will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30 as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts.
USCIS Adjusts Fees to Help Meet Operational Needs
Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced a final rule that adjusts fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests to ensure U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recovers its costs of services.
USCIS Rule Strengthens Employment Eligibility Requirements for Asylum Seekers
USCIS today announced a regulatory change to deter aliens from illegally entering the United States and from filing frivolous, fraudulent, or otherwise non-meritorious claims for asylum to obtain an employment authorization document. This rule does not alter asylum eligibility criteria in any way and will be effective on Aug. 25.
DHS and USDA Move to Protect American Farmers and Ensure Continued Flow of America’s Food Supply
The Department of Homeland Security, with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.
FY 2021 H-1B Cap Petitions May Be Filed as of April 1
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2021, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, may now be filed with USCIS if based on a valid selected registration.
USCIS Launches New Online Form for Reporting Fraud
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today launched a new online tip form to help the public provide the agency with information about immigration fraud. The new online form, available on the USCIS public website, prompts the form user for the information that the USCIS’ fraud investigators need to investigate allegations of immigration benefit fraud or abuse.
DHS Implements Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today implemented the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule. Under the final rule, DHS will look at the factors required under the law by Congress, like an alien’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status, education and skills, among others, in order to determine whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge. The rule now applies nationwide, including in Illinois.
USCIS Updates Process for Accepting Petitions for Relatives Abroad
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that, as part of the adjustment of its international footprint to increase efficiencies, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, will only be processed domestically by USCIS or internationally by the Department of State in certain circumstances beginning Feb 1, 2020.
DHS Obtains Another Judicial Victory on Implementing Public Charge Inadmissibility Rule
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security obtained a pivotal judicial victory today after the U.S. Supreme Court stayed a nationwide injunction that prevented the agency from enforcing its regulatory interpretation of section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a long-standing law that makes an alien inadmissible if the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge.
USCIS Proposes to Adjust Fees to Meet Operational Needs
The Department of Homeland Security will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to adjust the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Immigration Examinations Fee Account fee schedule.
USCIS Implements $10 Fee for H-1B Visa Registration
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a final rule that will require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration submitted by petitioning employers, once it implements the electronic registration system.
USCIS Adjusting Premium Processing Fee
Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced beginning on Dec. 2, it is adjusting the fee to request premium processing for certain employment-based petitions.
USCIS Updates Fee Waiver Requirements
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has revised Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, by removing the means-tested benefit criteria that was previously used as a factor in determining whether an applicant was exempt from paying for filing fees or biometric services. Individuals may still request a fee waiver if their documented annual household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or they demonstrate financial hardship.
USCIS Policy Manual Update
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).
USCIS Helps Detect Marriage Fraud Ring
John H. Durham, United States attorney for the District of Connecticut; the acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston; and a supervisory immigration officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office of Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS), announced that Jodian Stephenson, also known as “Jodian Gordon,” 35, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty on Aug. 19, in New Haven federal court to a conspiracy charge stemming from her arrangement of numerous fraudulent marriages so that non-U.S. citizens would receive U.S. immigration benefits.
USCIS Announces Final Rule Enforcing Long-Standing Public Charge Inadmissibility Law
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.
USCIS to End Certain Categorical Parole Programs
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.
USCIS Detects and Assists in Conviction of U-Visa Fraud Perpetrators
A jury convicted two residents of South Carolina individuals of conspiracy to defraud the United States by attempting to fraudulently acquire “U-Visas” for three foreign nationals. Miguel Bautista-Manuel, age 41, of Mexico, and Travis Lee Nixon, age 29, of Greenville, were sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a conspiracy to defraud the United States.
USCIS Announces Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Opportunities
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today it is accepting applications for two funding opportunities under the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program that will provide up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.
New Rulemaking Brings Significant Changes to EB-5 Program
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will publish a final rule on July 24 that makes a number of significant changes to its EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, marking the first significant revision of the program’s regulations since 1993. The final rule will become effective on Nov. 21, 2019.
USCIS Announces Plan to Improve the Naturalization Test
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is revising the current naturalization test with improvements to ensure it continues to serve as an accurate measure of a naturalization applicant’s civics knowledge and that it reflects best practices in adult education assessments.
USCIS to Celebrate Independence Day by Welcoming Nearly 7,500 New Citizens
This week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will celebrate the Declaration of Independence and the birth of our country by welcoming almost 7,500 new citizens in nearly 110 naturalization ceremonies between July 1 and July 5. Our naturalization ceremonies will be held in venues across the country, and include several notable ceremonies.
Executives of Staffing Companies Charged with Visa Fraud
Four executives of two information technology staffing companies have been arrested on charges of fraudulently using the H-1B visa program to gain an unfair advantage over competitors, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced yesterday.
Naturalization Fact Sheet
Naturalization is the most significant immigration benefit the United States offers. Over the last decade, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) welcomed more than 8 million naturalized citizens into our great American family. In fiscal year 2019, we naturalized 843,593 people.
Cuccinelli Named Acting Director of USCIS
Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan today announced that Kenneth T. (Ken) Cuccinelli will serve as the new acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), effective June 10, 2019.
USCIS Assists in Conviction and Sentencing of Visa Fraud Perpetrator
A federal court in Orlando sentenced Marvin Mushia Smith to 10 months’ imprisonment for visa fraud after a multi-year investigation by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Orlando’s Homeland Security Investigation team (HSI) and various other U.S. federal agencies.
USCIS Releases 2018 Statistical Annual Report
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today released the Fiscal Year 2018 Statistical Annual Report, which provides statistical information on the most popular and widely-used benefits and programs administered by the agency.
Five Individuals Involved in Marriage Fraud Scheme Plead Guilty
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that five individuals have pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to charges related to their participation in fraudulent marriages so that non-U.S. citizens would receive U.S. immigration benefits.
Nearly 100 Charged in Massive Marriage Fraud Scheme
A total of 50 people are now in custody following the return of a 206-count indictment alleging varying roles in a large-scale marriage fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and District Director Tony Bryson of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Queens Immigration Attorney Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Operating Asylum Fraud Scheme
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Andreea Dumitru, a/k/a “Andreea Dumitru Parcalaboiu,” an immigration attorney based in Queens, New York, was sentenced to five years in prison in connection with her operation of a scheme to submit fraudulent asylum applications to United States immigration authorities.
Consultants From California And Texas Charged With Visa Fraud And Conspiracy
A federal grand jury indicted Kishore Dattapuram, Kumar Aswapathi, and Santosh Giri, charging the defendants in a visa fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin.
Rochester Man Sentenced For Visa Fraud
U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced last week that Anjaneyulu Katam, 46, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of visa fraud, was sentenced to serve 12 months and one day in prison and fined $5,000 by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci.
McKees Rocks Man Sentenced for Role in Marriage Scam
A resident of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to one year of probation on his conviction of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to commit offenses against the United States, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
USCIS Announces FY 2020 H-1B Cap Season Start, Updates, and Changes
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the start of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap season, start dates for premium processing of cap-subject H-1B petitions, and the launch of its new H-1B data hub, while reminding petitioners of its new H-1B cap selection process.
USCIS Provided Assist Leading to Indictments on Conspiracy to Commit Marriage Fraud and Related Immigration Charges
Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced that a federal grand jury in Raleigh has returned an indictment charging Levan Lomtatidze, 44, a citizen of the country of Georgia; Melissa Anne Godshall, 31, a citizen of the United States; and Robert J. Kennerley, 46, a citizen of the United States, with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, marriage fraud, aiding and abetting, visa fraud and false statements in immigration proceedings.
USCIS Makes Two More Applications Available for Online Filing
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that applicants can now complete and file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, and Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 online.
JTF-W STC Arrests USCIS Target Tied To Illicit Funds, Marriage Fraud
On January 8, 2019, agents assigned to the Joint Task Force - West, South Texas Corridor’s McAllen Joint Targeting Team (JTT) in coordination with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Constables Office, arrested Edsgardo Coss-Vallejo on suspicion of marriage fraud and currency smuggling.
New USCIS Tool Calculates Fees, Helps Avoid Incorrect Payments
We launched a new Online Fee Calculator to assist members of the public in calculating the correct fee amount to include when filing their forms with USCIS at an agency lockbox facility. A list of forms processed at USCIS Lockbox facilities is available on the USCIS website.
Five Individuals Charged in Connection with Marriage Fraud Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Peter C. Fitzhugh, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston, and Christopher W. Fonda, supervisory immigration officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, announced on Friday that five individuals have been charged with federal offenses related to their participation in fraudulent marriages so that non-U.S. citizens would receive U.S. immigration benefits.
DHS Proposes Merit-Based Rule for More Effective and Efficient H-1B Visa Program
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to first electronically register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a designated registration period. Under the proposed rule, USCIS would also reverse the order by which USCIS selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B cap and the advanced degree exemption, likely increasing the number of beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected for an H-1B cap number, and introducing a more meritorious selection of beneficiaries.
Queens Immigration Attorney Found Guilty Of Operating Asylum Fraud Scheme
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Andreea Dumitru, also known as “Andreea Dumitru Parcalaboiu,” an immigration attorney based in Queens, New York, was found guilty in Manhattan federal court of asylum fraud, making false statements to immigration authorities, and aggravated identity theft on Nov. 19, 2018, following a two-week trial before United States District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.
USCIS Simplifies Access to Online Data
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has consolidated the data pages on its website to include all data on one page.