1. On December 11, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it had approved the statutory maximum of 10,000 petitions for U-1 nonimmigrant status (“U visas”) for fiscal year 2015. Each year, 10,000 U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcement authorities investigate or prosecute those crimes. A U visa petition requires certification that the victim has been helpful to law enforcement.
2. On December 18, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) posted a notice in the Federal Register announcing that as of February 17, 2015, USCIS will begin requiring the filing of an Application for Travel Document and payment of its associated fee or approval of a fee waiver request from individuals who are applying for the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program on behalf of a beneficiary in Cuba. USCIS offers certain beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant petitions the opportunity to be paroled into the United States to apply for lawful permanent resident status, rather than remain in Cuba waiting for their immigrant visas to become available.
3. On January 5, 2015, DHS posted notice in the Federal Register announcing that the Secretary of Homeland Security (“Secretary”) is extending the designation of the Syrian Arab Republic (“Syria”) for Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for 18 months, from April 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016, and redesignating Syria for TPS for 18 months, effective April 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.
4. On January 7, 2015, DHS posted notice in the Federal Register announcing the Secretary is extending the designation of El Salvador for TPS for 18 months from March 10, 2015, through September 9, 2016.
5. Starting January 15th, 2015, the consulates of Mexico in the United States began issuing copies of birth certificates registered in Mexico. To obtain their certified copies, Mexican nationals should visit the nearest consulate, present an official proof of identity, fill out an application and provide their Clave Única de Registro de Población in case they have one. The cost of each certified copy will be $13.00 dollars.
6. On January 29, 2015, USCIS announced it would begin accepting requests for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) on February 18, 2015. The expansion increases the population eligible for the DACA to people of any current age who entered the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years.
7. On February 2, 2015, USCIS announced it had received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated limit, or “cap” on the total number of foreign nationals who may seek a visa or otherwise obtain H-2B status for the first half of fiscal year 2015. January 26, 2015 was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date prior to April 1, 2015.
See AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14121144.
See AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14121840.
See AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 15010541.
See AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 15010741.
See AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 15011545.
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