Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Temporary Protected Status Stretched for Six Months.

An additional six months of extension for the designations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).This extension has been done by Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security. Though there have been major progresses in the conditions in all three countries since their designations for TPS in November 2014, the enduring effects of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and continued recovery challenges support this six-month extension

The extended designation is effective May 22, 2016, through Nov. 21, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourage beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible. TPS extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Nov. 21, 2016.

Submission Process for Re-registering for TPS:
To re-register, current beneficiaries should submit the following forms:

  • Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee)
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether they want an EAD
  • The Form I-765 application fee (or a fee-waiver request) only if they want an EAD. No application fee is required if the re-registrant does not want an EAD.
  • The biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are age 14 or older.

Submission Process for Individuals who still have a pending initial TPS Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone application:
New Form I-821 is not needed for the individuals who still have a pending initial TPS Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone application.However, if they currently have a TPS-related EAD and want a new EAD, they should submit:

  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • The Form I-765 application fee, regardless of their age and
  • A copy of the receipt notice for the initial Form I-821 that is still pending

One who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver requests USCIS will reject that applicant’s TPS application. Applicants may request that USCIS waive any fees based on an inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. All USCIS forms are provided for free. Forms are available at USCIS website uscis.gov/forms or applicants can request forms by mail or call toll-free 1-800-870-3676.

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H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017

USCIS will start accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap from April 1, 2016. The H-1B visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require the imaginary or practical application of highly specialized knowledge, such as engineers, scientists, and computer programmers.

The required cap on H-1B visas for FY 2017 is 65,000.The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap. The number of petitions received will be monitored and notified to the public by an agency when the H-1B cap has been met.
To Avoid Delays in Processing:

USCIS is expecting to receive more than 65000 petitions during the first five business days of this program. In order to avoid delays in processing, H-1B petitioners must follow all legal and regulatory requirements.

USCIS has developed detailed information, including an optional checklist, Form M-735, Optional Checklist for Form I-129 H-1B Filings, on how to complete and submit an FY 2017 H-1B petition. The optional checklist for FY 2017 will be available within the next week. Employers should take action as early as possible to initiate any cap-subject H-1B petitions. Cases will be acknowledged on the date USCIS receives a properly filed petition with the appropriate fees.

Mark Zuckerberg to Support Obama’s Efforts on Undocumented Immigrants

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and other Silicon Valley leaders have advised the Supreme Court to sustain Barack Obama’s executive actions that seek to protect undocumented immigrants to stay in the US.

The Facebook founder, along with Reid Hoffman LinkedIn co-founder, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, prominent angel investors and venture capitalists Ron Conway, Jeremy Levine and representatives of upwards of 60 companies advised the Supreme Court to support Obama’s efforts to allow millions of immigrants to stay in the U.S.

Silicon Valley Says:

The court brief released by FWD.us on Tuesday argues that the immigration system is shattered and advised the Supreme Court to allow Obama’s executive actions to be implemented for the sake of the U.S. economy. For Silicon Valley, the issue has been both personal and commercial.

Other Companies Says:

Facebook, LinkedIn and other companies say they need more visas for high-skilled immigrants. In recent times company faced a backlash in India aimed at trying to offer free mobile broadband service to some users, but only to access certain websites, such as Facebook. Many of the allusions point to theoretical studies and press trainings rather than other court cases. “Failure to address the status of undocumented immigrants and their families,” the brief says, “also wear away the long-term skills base of our workforce.”

DHS to launch known Employer Pilot Program

The Employer pilot program is announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This program is to assess a new process for employers seeking to hire certain workers through employment-based visa categories.
The program will be designed to make adjudications more efficient and less costly and also to reduce paperwork and delays for both the department and U.S. employers who seek to employ foreign workers.

GOALS OF THE KNOWN EMPLOYER PILOT PROGRAM

  • Reducing the amount of paperwork filed by employers and retained by USCIS
  • Encouraging the stability in the settlement of employment-based petitions and applications.
  • Restructuring the adjudicative process to achieve greater efficiency within USCIS
  • Providing greater support to CBP and DOS in support of greater efficiency and consistency at ports of entry and consular posts.

Under the Known Employer pilot, up to nine preselected employers will file applications requesting that USCIS predetermine that they meet certain requirements relating to certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa classifications. Employers will create a profile in the Web-based Known Employer Document Library (KEDL), and upload documents relating to the requirements, when making this request.

USCIS officers will review and decide whether a prospective employer has met certain requirements relating to the visa classifications, and if USCIS approves the employer’s predetermination request, the employer may then file petitions or applications for individual employees without needing to resubmit company information with each petition or application.

No additional fee is charged to participate in this program. At any time, USCIS may terminate or extend the pilot at any time. DHS and DOS will solicit on going feedback from the participants.