DHS announced that it has designated Yemen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months. TPS allows qualifying individuals to remain and work lawfully in the United States until conditions in their home countries improve. The new designation allows qualifying individuals from Yemen to apply for TPS and work authorization as of September 3, 2015. The 180-day registration period is open through March 1, 2016. The effective period of Yemen TPS expires on March 3, 2017. Prior to the expiration, DHS will decide whether to extend it for another 18 months, and will provide instructions for re-registering and renewing employment authorization documents at that time.
The Department of Homeland Security designates a country for Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) when conditions – such as ongoing armed conflicts or environmental disasters – make it unsafe for those citizens who are in the United States to return home. Because of the recent Ebola outbreaks in western Africa, DHS designated Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone for TPS in November 2014.Continue Reading...
DHS to Negotiate new Preflight Inspection Offices in Nine European Countries and the Dominican Republic
The Department of Homeland Security today announced it will negotiate with ten airports in Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom to open preflight inspection offices, where U.S. Customs & Border Protection agents will inspect travelers for immigration, customs and agriculture requirements before they board U.S.-bound flights. After a year-long analysis by DHS, the Department of State, and the Transportation Security Administration, these ten airports were selected, from more than twenty that submitted letters of interest, as the most likely to facilitate both U.S. security and U.S. travel. Preclearance locations currently exist only in Canada, the Caribbean, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates, at a total of 15 foreign airports. With successful preflight screening, a foreign traveler normally avoids all screening at his or her U.S. destination airport.
DHS announced that it is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Somalia who already hold TPS. TPS allows qualifying individuals to remain and work lawfully in the United States until conditions in their home countries improve. The new extension allows qualifying individuals from Somalia to reapply for TPS and work authorization that will be valid until March 17, 2017. The re-registration period is now open and ends on July 31, 2015. Unlike other TPS extensions, interim work permission is not automatically extended at this time. Applicants are encouraged to submit their employment authorization renewal applications as soon as possible since their current employment authorization documents expire in September.
The USCIS announced today that it will suspend Premium Processing of H-1B extension petitions from May 26, 2015, through July 27, 2015, in order to implement the new H-4 spouse employment authorization rule in a timely manner. Premium Processing will still be available for H-1B petitions subject to the H-1B cap, and for all other immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions for which the service is available. H-1B extension petitions filed before May 26, 2015, but still pending as of that date, will not be processed under Premium Processing. Refunds will be issued for those filings.
In February 2015 USCIS unveiled a new regulation permitting certain H-4 spouses to apply for employment authorization starting on May 26, 2015. This regulation has been well received by H-1B workers and their spouses, and U.S. companies that seek to attract and retain highly skilled H-1B workers. However, as could be expected, certain individuals and organizations that oppose the expansion of legal immigration benefits have come out against the regulation.Continue Reading...