Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program Extended

On September 28, 2012, President Obama signed S.3245 into law. The law provides for an extension of the authorization for the EB– 5 Regional Center Program, the Special Immigrant Non-minister Religious Worker Program, and the Conrad State 30 J–1 Visa Waiver Program for three years, until September 30, 2015. This extension means that the final date by which special immigrant non-minister religious workers must adjust status to permanent resident has now been extended by three years.

DHS to Extend Discretionary Relief to LGBT Families

The Department of Homeland Security recently extended discretionary relief to LGBT foreigners with American citizen spouses and partners.  The relief is more specifically designed for individuals who pose no national security risk. “This is a huge step forward,” said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality. “Until now, LGBT families and their lawyers had nothing to rely on but an oral promise that prosecutorial discretion would include all families. Today, DHS has responded to Congress and made that promise real. The Administration’s written guidance will help families facing separation and the field officers who are reviewing their cases.”  To read more, click here.

USCIS Announces Extension for TPS from Haiti

USCIS recently announced DHS Secretary Napolitano’s decision to extend the current Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation of Haiti for a 60-day re-registration period. Individuals who have not continuously resided in the U.S. since January 12, 2011 will not be eligible.

For more information, please schedule a consultation at 978-905-9992.

Rebenko v. Holder (1st Circuit, September 4, 2012)

The First Circuit affirmed the agency’s denial of asylum withholding of removal, and CAT relief.  The Court determined that substantial evidence supported the agency’s determination that the harassment and threats the petitioner suffered in Ukraine due to her Pentecostal faith did not rise to the level of persecution and did not establish a nexus to government acts or omissions.  To read more, click here.

H-2B Count Update

USCIS has updated the count of H-2B visa petitions for the 2nd half of FY 2012 and the 1st half of FY 2013. As of August 24, 2012, USCIS has approved filings on behalf of approximately 27,867 H2B beneficiaries for the 2nd half of FY 2012 and 1,894 H2B beneficiaries for the 1st half of FY 2013. Currently, the H-2B cap set by Congress is 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 1st half of the fiscal year (October 1 – March 31) and 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 2nd half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 30).

To learn more, please call us at 978-905-9992 to schedule a free consultation.

Deferred Action Applications Now Being Accepting

Individuals who demonstrate that they meet certain requirements may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization. To learn more about the eligibility requirements, please call us at 978-905-9992 to schedule a free consultation.

Olympic Gymnast’s Story

The Summer Olympics of 2012 have brought together athletes, coaches, fans, and spectators from across the globe.  The U.S. is currently being represented by vast groups of immigrants, reflecting that our diversity is our strength.  This is especially the case with Danell Leyva, who won bronze for the U.S. in men’s gymnastics.  Danell entered the country without inspection but was able to adjust status under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.  His story, and many others like his, can teach America about the merits of proper immigration reform and pathways for citizenship for the many undocumented individuals currently residing here.  To read more about this need for immigration reform as reflected in Danell, click here.