USCIS Transferring Certain Cases from Vermont Service Center to California Service Center

USCIS has begun transferring certain cases from its Vermont Service Center to its California Service Center. Cases affected include Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-751, the Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence.

If your Form I-130 case is being transferred, USCIS will send you a notice listing the transfer date and the new location where your case will be processed. Your original case receipt number will not change and your case’s processing time will not change, with the exception of the additional time needed to transfer the file to the new location.

If your Form I-751 case is being transferred, USCIS will send you a notice listing the transfer date and the new location where your case will be processed. Your original case receipt number will not change and your case’s processing time will not change, with the exception of the additional time needed to transfer the file to the new location.

USCIS to Discontinue Legacy e-Filing System

USCIS intends to discontinue its legacy e-Filing system so that it can focus its resources on the replacement Electronic Immigration System. This legacy system offered online filing for numerous USCIS forms. After the decommissioning of the legacy e-Filing system, you will be required to use paper forms when filing all categories of the following forms:

  • Form I-131, the Application for Travel Document
  • Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
  • Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization
  • Form I-821, the Application for Temporary Protected Status
  • Form I-907, the Request for Premium Processing Service

The last day you may start a new form in the e-Filing system is August 30. All forms must be completed and submitted online by September 20. Cases pending that were submitted through the legacy e-Filing system will not require any action on your part.

New Report Finds Decrease in Mexican Migration to U.S.

According to a new report, the number of people leaving Mexico to reside in the United States (legally and illegally) has sharply declined over the last decade. Researchers at the University of Texas San Antonio and the University of New Hampshire report that, between 2008 and 2012, about 819,000 people migrated from Mexico to the United States. This is a 57 percent decrease from the previous time period (2003-2007) when 1.9 million Mexicans migrated to the United States.

According to the publication’s authors, the major reason for this decline is a change in economics in the U.S. Additional reasons include a declining Mexican fertility rate, stronger border security and enhanced detention and deportations of illegal migrants.

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Lawsuit Against Obama Administration Executive Immigration Initiatives

Last week a federal appeals court unanimously rejected a lawsuit on behalf of Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The ruling states that Arpaio’s challenge to the Obama adminsitration’s executive initiatives on immigration have no legal standing.

According to the appeals court, “We conclude that Sheriff Arpaio has failed to allege an injury that is both fairly traceable to the deferred action policies and redressable by enjoining them, as our standing precedents require …. [Sheriff Arpaio’s] allegations that the policies will cause more crime in Maricopa County are unduly speculative.”

Customs and Border Protection Starts Enhanced Mobile Testing of Biometric Data at Atlanta Airport

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has started testing a new, enhanced mobile device to collect biometric data from a small set of foreign national air travelers leaving the U.S. at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Officers of CBP will compare biometric data collected via this handheld device to the biometric data collected when the foreign traveler entered the U.S.

“CBP is relentless in its pursuit of new and innovative technology that will assist officers in their efforts to provide national security and efficiently facilitate trade and travel through our nation’s ports of entry,” said Office of Field Operations Assistant Commissioner Todd Owen. “Thorough testing will ensure that we deploy the right technology in a way that enhances security, protects privacy and improves the process.”

Upcoming Deadline for TPS Applications for Nationals from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone

USCIS has issued a reminder to nationals of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone that individuals seeking temporary protected status (TPS) should apply by the August 18, 2015 deadline in order to be considered for the status. TPS provides temporary relief to individuals who are unable to return to their home country due to a natural disaster or civil unrest. Applicants for TPS from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone should include proof that the applicant has been continuously residing in the U.S. since November 20, 2014, In addition, TPS requires security background checks.

USCIS Updates Processing Times for Immigrant Investor Visa Program Office

USCIS has updated processing times for the Immigrant Investor visa program. Below is a list that shows the form number, form name and processing times for the form processed by the Immigrant Investor Program Office.

Form I-526, the Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
Used by an entrepreneur wishing to immigrate to the United States
Processing timeframe: 13.4 months

Form I-829, the Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions
Used to remove lawful permanent resident conditions for immigrant investors
Processing timeframe: 13.6 months

Form I-924, the Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor
Used to apply for regional center status
Processing timeframe: 11.5 months

U.S., Canada and Mexico Join to Create North American Trusted Traveler Program

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is joining with Public Safety Canada and the Secretariat of Governance of Mexico to describe first steps to create a North American Trusted Traveler network. This new agreement, signed by the Secretary of Homeland Security, will make it easier for eligible travelers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico apply for expedited screening programs.

As part of this agreement, Mexican nationals who are member’s of Mexico’s Viajero Confiable program will be able to apply for the U.S.-Canada NEXUS trusted traveler program. Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS will be able to apply for the Viajero Confiable program. U.S. citizens are currently eligible to apply to both trusted traveler programs.

“Trusted Traveler programs are a vital tool to facilitate international travel and trade,” said Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security. “I am pleased to work together with Canada and Mexico to lay the groundwork for expedited arrival screening for pre-approved travelers from all three countries. We are committed to enhancing the travel experience through our risk-based approach to aviation security, and this expanded partnership will benefit travelers all across North America.”

USCIS Receives Nearly All Identified Invalid DACA Work Permits

USCIS notes that it has accounted for nearly all of the approximately 2,600 identified invalid work permits that require return to the federal agency. Only 22 recipients have failed to return their work permits or certify good reason for not returning them by the July 30, 2015, deadline. The 22 individuals who did not comply have been terminated from the DACA program.

This particular recall only applied to some of the DACA individuals who received a work permit after the February 16, 2015, court order. An approximately 108,000 individuals with valid 3-year DACA work permits are not affected.