Registration Period for Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone Temporary Protected Status Extended

The Temporary Protected Status Registration Period for Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone has been extended to August 18, 2015. The USCIS strongly encourages all eligible applicants to apply as soon as possible. The original application period was set to end May 20, 2015.

According to USCIS, “you may apply for TPS even if you are a Liberian national currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum. If you are a DED-covered Liberian national and you have an EAD or have applied for an EAD, you do not need to apply for another EAD related to this TPS designation. However, if you are granted TPS, you may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.”

Temporary Protected Status Designation for Nepal Announced

The Department of Homeland Security announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is now offered to eligible nationals of Nepal living in the United States due to the earthquake of April 15, 2015. The TPS designation for Nepali, including nationals and people without nationality that permanently resided in Nepal, is effective June 24, 2015 through December 24, 2016.

The registration period will last 180 days, beginning June 24, 2015 and ending December 21, 2015. Applicants must satisfy all eligibility criteria as outlined by the USCIS, including current residence in the United States and required security checks. Full details about eligibility and application for this designation are available at

USCIS Message Regarding Initial Registration Deadline for TPS

Eligible nationals of Syria who do not currently hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are facing a deadline of Monday, July 6, 2015, to register for TPS. The redesignation period for TPS for Syrian nationals runs from Jan. 5, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016.

According to USCIS, “to be eligible for TPS, you must demonstrate that you meet all eligibility criteria, including that you have been ‘continuously residing’ in the United States since Jan. 5, 2015, and ‘continuously physically present in’ the United States since April 1, 2015. You must also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS.”

USCIS and Boston Partner to Strengthen Citizenship Awareness and Education

USCIS and the city of Boston have signed a letter of agreement to expand a partnership to strengthen citizenship education and awareness efforts. The agreement will remain in effect for three years.

“USCIS is proud to partner with Mayor Walsh to provide immigrants with greater access to information and resources as they pursue the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship here in ‘The Cradle of Liberty’,” said Rodríguez. “We look forward to working with the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians and other city services in providing tools to help immigrants contribute to a thriving, welcoming and innovative Boston.”

Under the agreement, USCIS and Boston plan to:

? Provide citizenship information through schools, community centers and other city facilities.
? Expand community partnerships to hold naturalization information sessions throughout Boston.
? Broadcast citizenship education videos and public service announcements highlighting the letter of agreement on the city’s public access television station, Boston City TV, and city websites.
? Raise awareness of how to avoid immigration scams.

USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Second Half of FY2015

One June 5, 2015, USCIS announced that it had reopened its H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year 2015. USCIS now announces that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year 2015. June 11, 2015 was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before October 1, 2015.

According to USCIS, “the final receipt date is the date when USCIS received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the statutory limit of 66,000 H-2B workers for FY 2015.”

USCIS will reject new H-2B petitions that request an employment start date before October 1, 2015; and were received after June 11, 2015.

USCIS and NYC Partner to Strengthen Citizenship Awareness and Education

USCIS has joined forces with the Office of the Mayor of New York City to strengthen citizenship education and awareness efforts in New York City. This partnership will remain in effect u ntil December 31, 2018.

“USCIS is proud to collaborate with Mayor de Blasio and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in a meaningful community partnership to help permanent residents learn more about citizenship and the naturalization process,” said USCIS Director Léon Rodríguez. “The Statue of Liberty is one of our nation’s greatest symbols of welcome, while the public libraries are the city’s most welcoming resources. Now more than ever, New Yorkers can begin their journey to U.S. citizenship at their local libraries. It is fitting that we sign this agreement with the city so close to Ellis Island, and with its own rich history as a beacon for new Americans.”

New York City is home to immigrants from more than 190 countries. Since 2004, more than 1.1 million permanent residents have become U.S. citizens in the New York City metropolitan area. USCIS and the City of New York plan to:

? Provide citizenship information through the City of New York and public library websites;
? Expand community partnerships to hold naturalization information sessions throughout the City of New York;
? Offer training on the naturalization process to library staff members; and
? Raise public awareness of immigration services scams.

USCIS to Publish Processing Times for Certain Benefits

On June 9, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services started publishing processing times for certain benefits processed at its international offices and International Operations Division headquarters. Customers can use this information to better manage their expectations for when their cases will be processed at these USCIS offices. USCIS intends to update this information every quarter.

Access this information by visiting the USCIS Processing Time Information for International Operations Offices page.

USCIS Re-opens H-2B Visa Program for Second Half of FY15

Today, USCIS reopened the FY2015 H-2B cap and are now accepting requests for new H-2B workers with an employment start date between April 1 and September 30, 2015.

On April 2, 2015, USCIS announced that it had accepted and approved a sufficient number of H-2B petitions to meet the annual cap of 66,000 H-2B visas. Between June 3, 2014 and March 26, 2015, USCIS had accepted roughly 3,900 petitions, consisting of about 77,000 beneficiaries. It believed this number was sufficient enough to use up the FY15 cap.

A recent analysis of the issuance of H-2B visas and USCIS petition data show that the number of actual H-2B visas issued by DOS is “substantially less than the number of H-2B beneficiaries seeking consular notification listed on cap-subject H-2B petitions approved by USCIS.” Because of this, USCIS has determined that there are still available H-2B visa numbers for the second half of FY15.

In light of this new information, USCIS has determined that there are still available H-2B visa numbers remaining for the second half of the FY15 cap.

Not All Green Cards Include a Signature

USCIS informs the public that green cards do not always include the holder’s signature. In certain cases, USCIS may waive the signature requirement, such as for children under the age of consent or individuals who are physically unable to provide a signature.

According to USCIS: “Since February 2015, we have been waiving the signature requirement for people entering the United States for the first time as lawful permanent residents after obtaining an immigrant visa abroad from a U.S. Embassy or consulate.”

When USCIS issues a green card without a signature, the card will say “Signature Waived” on the front and back of the card where a signature would normally be located.