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From our friends at AILA:

AILA Doc. No. 19110834 | Dated November 14, 2019

DHS proposed rule which would make changes to the USCIS fee schedule. DHS proposes to adjust USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 21 percent, add new fees, and make other changes, including form changes and the introduction of several new forms. Comments are due 12/16/19. (84 FR 62280, 11/14/19). If you are interested in commenting on the proposed USCIS fee increase click on the following link: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCIS-2019-0010-0001

The following table includes current fees for USCIS forms and proposed changes.

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference Percent Change
G-1041 Genealogy Index Search Request $65 $240 $175 269 percent
G-1041A Genealogy Records Request $65 $385 $320 492 percent
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $455 $415 -$40 -9 percent
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document $445 $490 $45 10 percent
I-129/129CW Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker $460 *DHS is proposing to separate Form I-129 into several forms. See below.  
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) $535 $520 -$15 -3 percent
I-129CW (Proposed) Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker $460 $705 $245 53 percent
I-129E&TN (Proposed) Application for Nonimmigrant Worker: E or TN Classification $460 $705 $245 53 percent
I-129H1 (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-1 Classification $460 $560 $100 22 percent
I-129H2A (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2A Classification $460 $860 (named); $425 (unnamed) $400 (named) 87 percent
I-129H2B (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2B Classification $460 $725 (named); $395 (unnamed) $265 (named) 58 percent
I-129L (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: L Classification $460 $815 $355 77 percent
I-129MISC (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-3, P, Q, or R Classification $460 $705 $245 53 percent
I-129O (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: O Classification $460 $715 $255 55 percent
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $535 $555 $20 4 percent
I-131 Application for Travel Document $575 $585 $10 2 percent
I-131 Travel Document for an individual age 16 or older $135 $145 $10 7 percent
I-131 I-131 Refugee Travel Document for a child under the age of 16 $105 $115 $10 10 percent
I-131A Application for Carrier Documentation $575 $1,010 $435 76 percent
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $700 $545 -$155 -22 percent
I-191 Application for Relief Under Former Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) $930 $800 -$130 -14 percent
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant $930/585 $1,415 $830/ $485 142/52 percent
I-193 Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa $585 $2,790 $2,205 377 percent
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal $930 $1,040 $110 12 percent
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion $675 $705 $30 4 percent
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant $435 $455 $20 5 percent
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status $1,140 $1,120 -$20 -2 percent
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years) $750 $1,120 $370 49 percent
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur $3,675 $4,015 $340 9 percent
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status $370 $400 $30 8 percent
I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal $0 $50 $50 N/A
I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative $775 $810 $35 5 percent
I-600A Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition $775 $810 $35 5 percent
I-600A/I-600 Supp. 3 Request for Action on Approved Form I-600A/I-600 N/A $405 $405 N/A
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility $930 $985 $55 6 percent
I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver $630 $960 $330 52 percent
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (Under Section 212(e) of the INA, as Amended) $930 $525 -$405 -44 percent
I-687 Application for Status as a Temporary Resident under Section 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act $1,130 $1,130 $0 0 percent
I-690 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility $715 $770 $55 8 percent
I-694 Notice of Appeal of Decision under Section 210 or 245A $890 $725 -$165 -19 percent
I-698 Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of the INA) $1,670 $1,615 -$55 -3 percent
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence $595 $760 $165 28 percent
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization $410 $490 $80 20 percent
I-800 Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative $775 $810 $35 5 percent
I-800A Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country $775 $810 $35 5 percent
I-800A Supp. 3 Request for Action on Approved Form I-800A $385 $405 $20 5 percent
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits $600 $590 -$10 -2 percent
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Renewal) $0 $275 $275 N/A
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition $465 $500 $35 8 percent
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status $3,750 $3,900 $150 4 percent
I-881 Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal $285/570 $1,800 $1,515/$1,230 532/216 percent
I-910 Application for Civil Surgeon Designation $785 $650 -$135 -17 percent
I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program $17,795 $17,795 $0 0 percent
I-924A Annual Certification of Regional Center $3,035 $4,470 $1,435 47 percent
I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant $230 $1,515 $1,285 559 percent
I-941 Application for Entrepreneur Parole $1,200 $1,200 $0 0 percent
N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention $270 $1,320 $1,050 389 percent
N-336 Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings $700 $1,755 $1,055 151 percent
N-400 Application for Naturalization $640 $1,170 $530 83 percent
N-400 Application for Naturalization (Reduced Fee) $320 *DHS is proposing to remove the reduced fee option    
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes $355 $1,600 $1,245 266 percent
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document $555 $545 -$10 -2 percent
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship $1,170 $1,015 -$155 -13 percent
N-600K Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 $1,170 $960 -$210 -18 percent
  USCIS Immigrant Fee $220 $200 -$20 -9 percent
  Biometric Services Fee $85 $30 -$55 -65 percent
  Dishonored Payments (Returned Check Fee) $30 $0 -$30 -100 percent

 

How does this affect us? 

  • The proposed rule would force USCIS customers to pay more for less. USCIS is proposing a 21% overall fee hike without offering evidence that this increase will reverse the ongoing deterioration of the agency’s immigration benefit services. In fact, in key respects the rule would further weaken USCIS’s case processing standards. If implemented, families, protection seekers, and American businesses throughout the country would face the dual burden of increased fees and decreased services.
  • The proposed fee hikes, coupled with the elimination of vital fee waivers, would price many individuals and families out of our legal immigration system. If the rule is implemented, application fees for green cards, along with associated work and travel authorization, would surge by 79%, and for citizenship by 83%. The rule would also eliminate fee waivers for those form types as well as for numerous others. Moreover, the rule would significantly raise fees for DACA renewal requests. Taken together, these changes constitute yet another brick in the Trump Administration’s “invisible wall” restricting legal immigration.
  • USCIS should rescind its inefficient policies rather than ratchet up fees to subsidize them. In recent years, USCIS’s own inefficient policies have comprised core drivers of its crisis-level case processing delays. Now the agency is proposing higher fees to fund their continued implementation—in effect, foisting onto the public the costs of its own inefficiency. To fix the backlog, the agency should start by ending bad policies—not by raising fees to underwrite them.
  • By imposing a fee on asylum applications, the rule could result in the deportation and even death of vulnerable protection seekers. Only three countries in the world charge fees for asylum—now the United States, one of the world’s wealthiest countries – threatens to become the fourth. The proposed fee for affirmative asylum applicants could prove prohibitive for many protection seekers. Children and families lacking financial recourse could be compelled to return to the countries they fled, only to face further persecution or even death.
  • The rule’s proposed transfer of over $200 million in USCIS applicant fees to ICE defies the agency’s service-oriented statutory mandate. Congress created USCIS to function as a service-oriented immigration benefits agency, distinct from the immigration enforcement missions of ICE and CBP. Yet the proposed transfer to ICE for immigration enforcement purposes makes clear that USCIS is prioritizing ICE’s work over its own.
  • Though the rule seeks to justify its fee increases in large part by citing a need for more staffing, over the past year the agency diverted hundreds of its employees to perform enforcement work for ICE and CBP. In recent years, the rate of new applications and petitions filed with USCIS has declined appreciably. Yet the rule asserts that the agency needs far more resources to properly process its workload. The rule fails to explain why, if that is the case, USCIS sent hundreds of its employees to perform enforcement work for ICE and CBP in FY 2019.
  • The proposed rule is bad for business. Among other harmful changes, the rule relaxes the premium processing deadline from 15 calendar days to 15 business days, which will result in slower adjudications at higher prices—and as a consequence, slower hiring for American businesses facing critical workforce gaps and an inefficient agency lessening its own accountability standards.
  • Consistent with longstanding practice, USCIS should extend the comment period for the proposed rule from 30 to 60 days. Although the proposed rule is more than twice as long as USCIS’s most recent fee schedule rule, the comment period is half that of its predecessor. A 30-day period is wholly insufficient for the publicly to properly comment on a regulation of this size and complexity.

 

Citation: AILA Doc. No. 19111438 and AILA Doc. No. 19110834.

WASHINGTON — The Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has determined that termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras is required pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. To allow for an orderly transition, she has determined to delay the effective date of the termination for 18 months. The designation will terminate on January 5, 2020.

The decision to terminate TPS for Honduras was made after a review of the environmental disaster-related conditions upon which the country’s original 1999 TPS designation was based and an assessment of whether those originating conditions continue to exist, as required by statute. Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the disruption of living conditions in Honduras from Hurricane Mitch that served as the basis for its TPS designation has decreased to a degree that it should no longer be regarded as substantial. Thus, as required under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.

Since 1999, conditions in Honduras that resulted from the hurricane have notably improved. Additionally, since the last review of the country’s conditions in October 2016, Honduras has made substantial progress in post-hurricane recovery and reconstruction from the 1998 Hurricane Mitch.

To allow for an orderly transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for Honduras will be delayed 18 months to provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible. Honduran citizens in the United States who benefited from TPS may still receive other protections under our immigration system for which they are eligible.

The 18-month delayed effective date will also provide time for Honduras to prepare for the return and reintegration of its citizens. During this timeframe, DHS will work with the Department of State and the Government of Honduras to help educate relevant stakeholders and facilitate an orderly transition. In addition to materials posted online, DHS components will participate in outreach activities such as teleconferences, town halls, and roundtables to ensure that affected populations have a full and accurate understanding of their rights and obligations.

Honduran citizens with current TPS registrations will be required to re-register for TPS and apply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to legally work in the United States until the termination of Honduras’ TPS designation becomes effective January 5, 2020. Further details about this termination for TPS, including the re-registration period, will appear in a Federal Register notice. Honduran TPS beneficiaries should not submit re-registration applications until the re-registration period is announced through the Federal Register notice.

What do those letters and numbers mean in your receipt number?  Let’s use the following example:  WAC-15-123-12345.

The first three letters (WAC) reference which USCIS Service Center was initially assigned to process your petition.  I say “initially assigned” because sometimes, due to processing backlogs, etc., USCIS can “transfer” your case to a different location.  If this happens, the Receipt Number will not change.  The first three letters represent the following Service Centers:

  • Vermont Service Center                 EAC, VSC
  • California Service Center               WAC, CSC
  • Nebraska Service Center               LIN, NSC
  • Texas Service Center                     SRC, TSC
  • National Benefits Center                MSC, NBC
  • ELIS (Efiling)                                  IOE
  • Potomac Service Center                YSC

The next two digits (two numbers) represent the fiscal year in which the USCIS application was filed.  In our example above,  “15” means that it is received by USCIS in the 2015 fiscal year.  USCIS’ fiscal year starts in October of the previous year.  In other words, the above application was filed sometime between October 2014 and October 2015. 

The three digits represent the business workday that the application was actually logged into the system.  In other words, the 123rd business workday.  The last five digits simply serve to make the application number unique and do not serve any other function.

See our upcoming article about understanding the function and importance of Priority Dates

We hope you have found this helpful!

As we continue to monitor the situation regarding the future of the DACA program, below are some key talking points about the Supreme Court's recent decision to decline to hear the DACA case without first being heard by the lower courts. 

  • The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the Trump administration's appeal of a federal judge's ruling that requires the government to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program open for renewals.
  • Under lower court orders that remain in effect, the Department of Homeland Security must continue to accept applications from the roughly 700,000 young people who are currently enrolled in the program, known as DACA, as well as individuals whose DACA grant has expired.
  • The lower court's decision does not allow Dreamers to apply for DACA if they have never before applied for the initiative, including Dreamers who are aging into eligibility, couldn't afford the filing fees, or are newly eligible for the initiative. These Dreamers remain at risk of deportation, as do the DACA recipients whose protections have expired while they wait for USCIS to process their renewal applications.
  • In a brief order, the court said simply, "It is assumed the court of appeals will act expeditiously to decide this case."
  • While Monday's denial gives Dreamers a breath of relief while the case works its way through lower courts, Congress must still act immediately to pass the Dream Act.
  • Congress needs to stop kicking the can down the road and move forward on the Dream Act now.
  • A bipartisan Dream Act was first introduced in 2001. It is shocking that nearly 20 years later, while Dreamers are still making America a better and stronger nation, Congress has not found the courage to provide them with protection from deportation, and secure for them the promise of a better life as Americans.
  • Dreamers across the country deserve the certainty that only permanent legislative protections can bring.
  • While some thought the Supreme Court would take up the case, in practice, the justices rarely accept appeals asking them to bypass the lower courts if there is no split in view among the circuits. The justices rejected the Trump Administration's effort to bypass the lower courts.
  • DACA allows children of undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, to remain here if they were under 16 when their parents brought them to the U.S. and if they arrived by 2007. DACA recipients can renew their applications every two years.
  • Monday's action by the Supreme Court leaves the DACA challenge pending, expected to be taken up by the 2nd and 9th Circuit courts.
  • Truly, Congressional action, and a permanent fix for Dreamers is the only solution that makes sense both pragmatically and morally.

BACKGROUND ON THE CASE IN QUESTION

  • On Jan. 9, a federal judge in San Francisco, William Alsup, ruled in favor of the University of California and its president, former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano. They sued to keep the program going after the Trump administration said in September that it would end it within six months. Alsup said Attorney General Jeff Sessions had wrongly concluded that DACA was put in place without proper legal authority.
  • The Justice Department immediately said it would contest that ruling before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California. But government lawyers also asked the Supreme Court to take the highly unusual step of agreeing to hear the case, bypassing the appeals court.
  • The Supreme Court has agreed only about a dozen times in the past century to immediately take a case and bypass the federal appeals courts, and those case usually involve a national emergency, such as nationwide strikes in the steel and coal industries.
  • In asking the court to take the case, the Justice Department took another unusual step in declining to ask the justices to block the lower court order in the meantime, which would have allowed the government to shut DACA down as planned. Such a start-and-stop approach, the government said, would frustrate the goal of winding the program down in an orderly way.

AILA Doc. No. 18022632

From the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: 

Release Date: 

September 5, 2017

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

En español

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly wind down of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

“This Administration’s decision to terminate DACA was not taken lightly. The Department of Justice has carefully evaluated the program’s Constitutionality and determined it conflicts with our existing immigration laws,” said Acting Secretary Elaine Duke. “As a result of recent litigation, we were faced with two options: wind the program down in an orderly fashion that protects beneficiaries in the near-term while working with Congress to pass legislation; or allow the judiciary to potentially shut the program down completely and immediately. We chose the least disruptive option.”

On June 29, the attorneys general of Texas and several other states sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asserting that the DACA program is unlawful for the same reasons stated in the Fifth Circuit and district court opinions regarding an expansion of the DACA program and the now-rescinded program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The letter noted that if DHS did not rescind the June 2012 DACA memo by September 5, 2017, the states would seek to amend the DAPA lawsuit to include a challenge to DACA.

Yesterday, Attorney General Sessions sent a letter to Acting Secretary Duke articulating his legal determination that DACA “was effectuated by the previous administration through executive action, without proper statutory authority and with no established end-date, after Congress' repeated rejection of proposed legislation that would have accomplished a similar result. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.” The letter further stated that because DACA “has the same legal and constitutional defects that the courts recognized as to DAPA, it is likely that potentially imminent litigation would yield similar results with respect to DACA.” Nevertheless, in light of the administrative complexities associated with ending the program, he recommended that the Department wind down the program in an efficient and orderly fashion, and his office has reviewed the terms on which the Department will do so.

Based on guidance from Attorney General Sessions, Acting Secretary Elaine Duke today issued a memo formally rescinding the June 15, 2012 memorandum that created DACA, and initiating an orderly wind down of the program. This process will limit disruption to current DACA beneficiaries while providing time for Congress to seek a legislative solution. The details are contained in Acting Secretary Duke’s September 5 memorandum, and in our Frequently Asked Questions.

DAPA ImageThusday, Jun 23, 2016

Washington D.C. – Today, the Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in United States v. Texas, the case challenging expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).  This means that the Fifth Circuit’s decision upholding the preliminary injunction against these initiatives will stand. This ruling does not impact the original DACA program launched in 2012. The decision is a huge disappointment for immigrant families and their defenders. It’s bad for American communities, workers and the economy. We will continue to explore all available legal avenues and will urge the government to do the same. Ultimately the nation needs a permanent solution to our outdated immigration system, and that must come from Congress. The fight will continue. 

Original Story: http://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/newsroom/release/supreme-court-issues-disappointing-split-decision-united-states-v-texas

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