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Leon Rodriguez Sworn in as USCIS Director

Rodriguez Becomes Fourth Director to the World’s Largest Immigration Service

WASHINGTON—Leon Rodriguez was sworn in today as the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a ceremony at USCIS headquarters. Rodriguez, born in Brooklyn, and raised in Miami, comes to USCIS with a broad legal background and will lead the nearly 18,000 employee agency charged with administering the nation’s immigration and naturalization system.

Leon Rodriguez sworn in as USCIS Director“This is both an exciting and challenging time for USCIS,” Rodriguez said. “Our role in administering our nation’s immigration and naturalization laws has never been more important. I look forward to working with the entire USCIS family, including our partners and constituents, to ensure that our mission is carried out with fairness and integrity.”

Leon Rodriguez was confirmed by the Senate in June 2014 as the director of USCIS.  He previously served as the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held from 2011 to 2014. From 2010 to 2011, he served as chief of staff and deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Previously, Mr. Rodriguez was county attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland from 2007 to 2010. He was a principal at Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver in Washington, D.C. from 2001 to 2007.

He served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2001, first as chief of the White Collar Crimes Section from 1998 to 1999 and then as first assistant U.S. Attorney until his departure. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Rodriguez was a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division at DOJ from 1994 to 1997 and a senior assistant district attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in New York from 1988 to 1994. He received a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.

 

 

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Leon Rodriguez, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Background Experience/Significant Achievements:

Leon Rodriguez was confirmed by the Senate in June 2014 and sworn in on July 9, 2014, as the director of USCIS.  He previously served as the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held from 2011 to 2014. From 2010 to 2011, he served as chief of staff and deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Previously, Mr. Rodriguez was county attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland from 2007 to 2010. He was a principal at Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver in Washington, D.C. from 2001 to 2007. He served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2001, first as chief of the White Collar Crimes Section from 1998 to 1999 and then as first assistant U.S. Attorney until his departure. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Rodriguez was a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division at DOJ from 1994 to 1997 and a senior assistant district attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in New York from 1988 to 1994.

Education:

He received a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.


 

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Universal Accreditation Act Goes into Effect on July 14, 2014

On January 14, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA). This new law will go into effect on July 14, 2014.

The law brings changes to intercountry adoption law and practice. Specifically, the UAA extends the safeguards provided by accreditation under the Department of State accreditation regulations for Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) adoptions to non-Hague Adoption Convention (orphan) adoptions. Effective July 14, 2014, agencies or persons providing adoption services in orphan adoptions must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider, in accordance with the UAA and the Department of State accreditation regulations for cases governed by the Hague Adoption Convention.

Changes to Intercountry Adoption Law and Practice

The UAA changes intercountry adoption law and practice. These changes include:

  • Home-study preparation: All home studies submitted to support a Form I-600A or Form I-600 must be conducted by an individual or agency authorized to conduct home studies for Hague Adoption Convention cases. Additionally, the adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that the same home study that is provided to prospective or adoptive parents or USCIS is submitted to the child’s country of origin in a timely manner.
  • Home-study elements: All home studies must comply with the Hague Adoption Convention home study requirements.
  • Definitions: 8 CFR 204.3(e) and certain definitions in the orphan regulations no longer apply in orphan cases.
  • Duty of disclosure: A Form I-600A applicant or Form I-600 petitioner, his or her spouse, and any adult members of the household have a duty of disclosure in completing these forms, during the home study process, and throughout the adoption process.
  • Identifying a primary provider: The Form I-600 petitioner must identify a primary adoption service provider that is responsible for:
    • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations,
    • Supervising and being responsible for supervised providers where used, and
    • Developing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

Changes to Form I-600A and Form I-600

The implementation of the UAA affects the adjudication of:

New versions of Form I-600A and Form I-600 will not be available until after July 14, 2014, the date the UAA goes into effect. Applicants and petitioners should continue to use the most current edition of both forms. Additional information regarding the availability of the new Form I-600A and Form I-600 will be provided as soon as it is available.

Public Comment

We are currently accepting public comments on our UAA interim guidance and would appreciate your feedback by August 13, 2014.

More Information

For additional information, please visit our Universal Accreditation Act page.

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USCIS Will Naturalize Nearly 9,000 New Citizens During Independence Day Celebrations

Citizenship candidates to take the Oath at public libraries and historic landmarks

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Lori Scialabba will help USCIS celebrate our nation’s 238th birthday as the agency welcomes approximately 9,000 new U.S. citizens during more than 100 naturalization ceremonies across the country from June 30 to July 4.

“We’re honored to celebrate Independence Day by welcoming new U.S. citizens at ceremonies across the United States,” said USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba. “It’s our pleasure to celebrate the fulfillment of their dreams of citizenship at the same time we celebrate the birth of our country.” 

Citizenship candidates will take the Oath of Allegiance during numerous ceremonies, including: Nevada’s Las Vegas City Hall; Old Salem Museum and Gardens in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Turner Field in Atlanta; the Miramar Branch Library & Education Center, Miramar, Florida; Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona; the New York Public Library in New York City; the Seattle Center in Seattle; the National World War II Museum in New Orleans; the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library in Memphis, Tennessee; and California's Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara, California.

This year’s celebration of Independence Day and U.S. citizenship also will feature special naturalization ceremonies at sites integral to America’s history, including: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia; Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia; the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota; the USS Midway in San Diego, California; the Battleship New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey; and Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater, New York.

To view a list of 2014 Independence Day naturalization ceremonies, visit www.uscis.gov/news. USCIS encourages new citizens and their families and friends to share their ceremony experience and photos afterward via Twitter and other social media, using the hashtag #newUScitizen.

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Asylum Division Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting - January 2014

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invited you to participate in a quarterly stakeholder engagement on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss the work of the Asylum Division.

The purpose of this engagement was to provide updates and statistics regarding the Asylum Division. During the engagement, USCIS officials were available to answer your questions.

Meeting Invitation

Questions and Answers

Minors FY2014 Quarter1

Issuance of Revised Procedures Regarding Trafficking Victims for the Affirmative Asylum Procedures Manual

Changes to Case Categories Requiring Asylum Headquarters Review

 

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National Hockey League (NHL) and Vermont Service Center Meeting

On June 27, 2014, Vermont Service Center hosted an engagement with National Hockey League (NHL) representatives. The questions and answers are provided below for the benefit of interested stakeholders.

 

Questions and Answers

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Celebrating Independence Day with Naturalization Ceremonies

On July 4, Americans celebrate the day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776. USCIS marks this occasion each year by holding special naturalization ceremonies across the country.  

This year, we will welcome nearly 9,000 new citizens during more than 100 naturalization ceremonies between June 30 and July 4. A list of highlighted ceremonies is below.

We welcome you to share your ceremony experiences and photos via Twitter and other social media, using the hashtag #newUScitizen. You can also follow @USCIS on Twitter and Facebook.com/USCIS.

 

 

Date City, State

Location

Jun. 30, 2014

Barrington, RI

Barrington Public Library

Jun. 30, 2014

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas City Hall

Jun. 30, 2014

Harpers Ferry, WV

Harpers Ferry National Park

Jul. 1, 2014Pawtucket, RI

Pawtucket Public Library

Jul. 1, 2014Modesto, CA

Modesto Junior College, Performing Arts Media Center

Jul. 2, 2014Fort Jackson, SC

Fort Jackson

Jul. 2, 2014San Diego, CA

USS Midway Museum (military ceremony)

Jul. 2, 2014Sacramento, CA

Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum (children's ceremony)

Jul. 2, 2014Santa Cruz, CA

University of California, Santa Cruz, Porter College

Jul. 2, 2014Providence, RI

Providence Public Library

Jul. 2, 2014New York, NY

New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwartzman Building

Jul. 2, 2014Atlanta, GA

Turner Field, Home of Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball

Jul. 2, 2014Keystone, SD

Mount Rushmore National Memorial 

Jul. 2, 2014Middletown, CT

Russell Library

Jul. 2, 2014Miramar, FL

Miramar Branch Library and Education Center

Jul. 3, 2014Fort Sill, OK

Fort Sill (military ceremony)

Jul. 3, 2014Santa Clara, CA

California's Great America Theme Park

Jul. 3, 2014Brooklyn Center, MA

Earle Brown Heritage Center

Jul. 3, 2014Bangor, ME

Husson University

Jul. 3, 2014Indianapolis, IN

Presidennt Benjamin Harrison Home

Jul. 3, 2014Tampa, FL

John F. Germany Public Library

Jul. 3, 2014Greenville, SC

Upcountry History Museum

Jul. 3, 2014Greely, CO

Centennial Village in Greely

Jul. 3, 2014Memphis, TN

Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library

Jul. 3, 2014Orem, UT

Scera Park

Jul. 3, 2014Anchorage, AK

Kincaid Outdoor Center

Jul. 3, 2014St. Louis, MO

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Old Courthouse

Jul. 3, 2014Pearl Harbor, HI

USS Missouri (military ceremony)

Jul. 3, 2014South Port, NC

Fort Johnston, Historic Garrison House

Jul. 3, 2014Pawtucket, RI

McCoy Stadium, Home of Pawtucket Red Sox of Minor League Baseball

Jul. 3, 2014Des Moines, IA

Principal Park, Home of the Iowa Cubs of Minor League Baseball

Jul. 3, 2014Trenton, NJ

Arm and Hammer Park, Home of the Trenton Thunder

Jul. 3, 2014New Britain, CT

New Britain Stadium, Home of the Britain Rock Cats of Minor League Baseball

Jul. 4, 2014Charlottsville, VA

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Jul. 4, 2014Phoenix, AZ

South Mountain Community College

Jul. 4, 2014Tucson, AZ

Saguaro National Park

Jul. 4, 2014Winston-Salem, NC

Old Salem Museums and Gardens

Jul. 4, 2014Portsmouth, NH

Strawbery Banke Museusm

Jul. 4, 2014Mount Vernon, VA

George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens

Jul. 4, 2014Camden, NJ

Battleship New Jersey

Jul. 4, 2014Annapolis, MD

William Paca House & Garden

Jul. 4, 2014Stillwater, NY

Saratoga National Historical Park

Jul. 4, 2014New Orleans, LA

National World War II Museum

Jul. 4, 2014Burlington, VA

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum

Jul. 4, 2014Raleigh, NC

Raleigh Capital Building, North Carolina State Capital Celebration

Jul. 4, 2014Seattle, WA

Seattle Center

Jul. 4, 2014Los Alamos, NM

Bandelier National Monument

Jul. 4, 2014Philadelphia, PA

Betsy Ross House (children's ceremony)

Jul. 4, 2014Yakima, WA

State Fair Park

Jul. 4, 2014Philadelphia, PA

Liberty Bell Center (children's ceremony)

Jul. 4, 2014Albany, NY

New York State Supreme Court

Jul. 4, 2014San Antonia, TX

Alamodome

Jul. 4, 2014Kissimmee, FL

Give Kids the World Village

Jul. 4, 2014Palm Beach, FL

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum

 

 
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AAO Decision Data

This page contains a link to relevant statistics on AAO decisions. The statistics are organized by the USCIS form number associated with the underlying benefit category.  The process in which USCIS reviews and adjudicates immigration benefits and any subsequent appeals is outlined below:

  • Initial immigration benefit adjudication. Eligible applicants and petitioners generally receive approvals when USCIS initially adjudicates their applications and therefore do not need to appeal an unfavorable decision.

  • Initial field review of appeals. When USCIS denies a benefit request and an applicant files an appeal, the USCIS office that denied the benefit will first review the appeal and determine whether to take favorable action and grant the benefit request. This process is called “initial field review.” If that office does not take favorable action, it will forward the appeal to the AAO for appellate review. While specific data are not currently available, a significant number of appeals are favorably resolved during initial field review.

  • AAO appeal decisions. When adjudicating an appeal on the merits, the AAO generally sustains (approves), dismisses (denies), or remands (returns) the appeal. For appeal disposition data on benefit categories that are commonly appealed to the AAO, visit the AAO appeal statistics page.
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USCIS ELIS Document Library

USCIS created the USCIS ELIS document library as an electronic tool used by an approved regional center for the Immigrant Investor Program (also known as EB-5). The USCIS ELIS document library:

  • Provides regional center representatives the ability to electronically store organizational and transactional documents for foreign nationals who have invested in the commercial enterprise within the approved regional center;
  • Allows immigrant investors to attest that the electronic documents associated with their investment are true and accurate; and
  • Enables the immigrant investors to link to their electronic or paper-filed Form I-526 petition with documents stored in the document library.

To use this tool you must be a document library manager authorized by an approved regional center. For more information on approved regional centers and the EB-5 program, see the links listed on the right.

 

Regional center employees can create a USCIS ELIS document library by following the steps below. For more information on how to use the document library, please see Guidance for Regional Center Document Library Managers: How to Create a Document Library and Deal Package.

 

Once a regional center has established a USCIS ELIS document library, they can upload deal packages and invite immigrant investors to access electronic copies of their investment documents. For information on how to attest the accuracy of your investment documents, please see How to Attest to the Deal Package.

 

Create a USCIS ELIS Document Library:

 

Image of laptop with USCIS ELIS logo

Create USCIS ELIS account.

  • Note: When you select account type, choose Document Library Manager. Save your USCIS ELIS Account ID.

Image of laptop with table on screen

Request access to a new Document Library.

Image of envelope with blue background

Receive Passcode to Access Document Library.

  • You will receive a document library passcode by mail from USCIS.

 

Enter your document library passcode.

  • Once you enter your passcode, you will have access to your document library. You can manage your library to create deal packages.

Image illustrating hard copy files being transferred to a laptop

Upload files to your document library.

  • Click the Manage Folders and Upload Files button to create folders and upload files into your document library.

Notes: You cannot have files with the same name within the same folder. And, you cannot rename or delete documents once uploaded.

Image of folder illustrating network accessibility

 

Manage your document library.

  • You cannot have identical file names in the same folder.
  • You also cannot rename, modify, or delete documents once uploaded. Changes to the documents would require the creation of a separate deal package reflecting the updated documents.

Several managers with access.

  • If multiple document library managers have access to your document library, click refresh periodically to update the page.
  • Also, save regularly to preserve your work.

 

How to Create a Deal Package Button     How to Attest to a Deal Package Button    

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Further Action Notice (FAN) Revision for Web Services

The pre-populated ‘Employer Representative Name’ field requirement was removed from the Further Action Notice for Web service users. Employers must now fill in the blank field providing the name of the Employer Representative that initiated the case. Users may electronically or manually fill in this field.

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