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Customer Service Tools Unavailable March 1

USCIS will conduct system maintenance from 12:01 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. (Eastern) on Sunday, March 1.

During this time, our online tools will be unavailable, including:

  • USCIS ELIS
  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address Online
  • Check Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • FOIA Status Check
  • Office Locator
  • Forms by Mail

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Re-registration Deadline for El Salvador TPS is March 9, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015, is the deadline for current El Salvador Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries to re-register for the 18-month extension of TPS that runs from March 10, 2015, through Sept. 9, 2016. The law requires USCIS to withdraw TPS for failure to re-register without good cause. Therefore, if you fail to re-register by this deadline, you may lose your TPS and your work authorization.

You can find details and procedures for re-registering for TPS on the USCIS website and in the Federal Register notice announcing the extension of TPS for El Salvador.

Eligible El Salvador TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the registration period and request employment authorization will receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with an expiration date of Sept. 9, 2016. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants whose EADs expire in March may not receive their new EADs until after their current ones have expired. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS El Salvador EADs with a March 9, 2015, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through Sept. 9, 2015.

To re-register, you must submit:

You may request that USCIS waive the Form I-765 application fee or biometrics fee based on an inability to pay. To do so, you must file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request. You must also send in supporting documentation with your fee-waiver request. USCIS will reject the TPS application of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.

Additional information about TPS for El Salvador —including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file—is available at uscis.gov/tps and the TPS El Salvador page.

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Dialogue with USCIS Director León Rodríguez

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder teleconference on Tuesday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Eastern), with USCIS Director León Rodríguez.   During the session, Director Rodríguez will highlight agency initiatives and listen and respond to issues of concern to the stakeholder community.

To join the session
We recommend that you call in 10 to 15 minutes before the start time.

Toll-free number:  1-877-917-5786 
Passcode:  Director


Note to Media: This engagement is not for press purposes.  Please contact the USCIS Press Office at (202) 272-1200 for any media inquiries. If you have questions regarding the engagement or other stakeholder matters, please email us at Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov.

We look forward to engaging with you!
 

Meeting Invitation

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EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: Stakeholder Engagement

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invited you to participate in a
stakeholder engagement session on Friday, Dec. 5, from 1 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern to discuss
the Immigrant Investor Program. This engagement is part of our efforts to enhance
dialogue with external stakeholders regarding the program, also known as EB-5.

During the first part of this engagement, we provided EB-5 program updates from fiscal
year 2014 and discussed initiatives for fiscal year 2015. The second part of the engagement
was a question-and-answer session.

 

Meeting Invitation

Executive Summary

Director's Comments

EB-5 Stakeholder Engagement Power Point Presentation



 

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Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

Beginning May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as long as the H-1B nonimmigrant has already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. Specifically, H-4 dependent spouses may apply for Employment Authorization if the H-1B visa holder: 

  • Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or 
  • Has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. The Act permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status.

The Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses final rule (H-4 rule), effective on May 26, 2015, seeks to support the goals of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers and minimizing the disruption to U.S. businesses resulting from H-1B nonimmigrants who choose not to pursue LPR status in the United States. 

Although draft H-4 rule was published in May 2014, finalizing it is part of the executive actions on immigration that President Obama announced in November 2014. Extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants is one of the initiatives to modernize, improve and clarify visa programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs.

The Office of Management and Budget has reviewed the USCIS request for changes to the Form I-765 and its instructions (covered under OMB Control Number 1615-0040), resulting from the H-4 rule. We will update this Web page with guidance on filing Form I-765 on May 26, 2015, the date the H-4 rule becomes effective. Important note: USCIS will not accept Form I-765 submitted by H-4 dependent spouses until the H-4 rule takes effect on May 26, 2015. If you submit an application for employment authorization under the (c)(26) eligibility code before May 26, USCIS will reject the filing. We will return the Form I-765 and filing fee, and you will have to re-file the request when the rule takes effect.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require a Bachelor’s or higher degree and theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as science, engineering and computer programming. In addition to specialty occupation workers, the H-1B classification applies to individuals performing services related to a Department of Defense cooperative research and development project or coproduction project, and individuals performing services of distinguished merit and ability in the field of fashion modeling.

Visit our H-1B Visa Web page for more information on eligibility for the H-1B program.

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DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants Seeking Employment-Based Lawful Permanent Residence

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced today that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. DHS amended the regulations to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States.

Finalizing the H-4 employment eligibility was an important element of the immigration executive actions President Obama announced in November 2014. Extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants is one of several initiatives underway to modernize, improve and clarify visa programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs. 

“Allowing the spouses of these visa holders to legally work in the United States makes perfect sense,” Rodríguez said. “It helps U.S. businesses keep their highly skilled workers by increasing the chances these workers will choose to stay in this country during the transition from temporary workers to permanent residents. It also provides more economic stability and better quality of life for the affected families.”

Eligible individuals include certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who: 

  • Are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or 
  • Have been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. The Act permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status.

DHS expects this change will reduce the economic burdens and personal stresses H-1B nonimmigrants and their families may experience during the transition from nonimmigrant to lawful permanent resident status, and facilitate their integration into American society. As such, the change should reduce certain disincentives that currently lead H-1B nonimmigrants to abandon efforts to remain in the United States while seeking lawful permanent residence, which will minimize disruptions to U.S. businesses employing them. The change should also support the U.S. economy because the contributions H-1B nonimmigrants make to entrepreneurship and science help promote economic growth and job creation. The rule also will bring U.S. immigration policies more in line with those laws of other countries that compete to attract similar highly skilled workers.

Under the rule, eligible H-4 dependent spouses must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with supporting evidence and the required $380 fee in order to obtain employment authorization and receive a Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD). USCIS will begin accepting applications on May 26, 2015. Once USCIS approves the Form I-765 and the H-4 dependent spouse receives an EAD, he or she may begin working in the United States.

USCIS estimates the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment authorization under this rule could be as high as 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 annually in subsequent years. USCIS reminds those potentially eligible that this rule is not considered effective until May 26, 2015. Individuals should not submit an application to USCIS before the effective date, and should avoid anyone who offers to assist in submitting an application to USCIS before the effective date.

For more information on USCIS and its programs or about this rule and filing procedures, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

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Tammy Meckley, Associate Director, Enterprise Services Directorate

Background Experience/Significant Achievements:

With more than 15 years of experience with the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, as well as service in the private sector, Meckley has been successful in many key executive positions where she has led mission support and management programs. Her knowledge and experience crosses many DHS components outside USCIS, including: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, and the Office of the United States Trustee for the Southern District of Maryland.

Education:

Meckley graduated magna cum laude from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in business management and hails from Punxsutawney, PA.
 

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Daniel Renaud, Associate Director, Field Operations Directorate

Background Experience/Significant Achievements:

Renaud has served as a federal immigration professional since 1988.  His career began with the Legalization program in Vermont. In 1989, he later joined the Vermont Service Center as an adjudicator and was promoted to supervisor in 1996. Renaud was selected as a branch chief in the Headquarters Field Services Operations Division, where he was responsible for providing operational guidance to field offices. In that capacity, he served as operations coordinator on the LIFE Act implementation team and was the project manager for the indirect and direct mail processes. He was also a key player in planning and establishing the National Benefits Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and the USCIS/Treasury Lockbox in Chicago, Illinois.

Education:

Renaud has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Vermont in Burlington.

 

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Dialogue with USCIS Director León Rodríguez

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invited you to participate in a stakeholder teleconference on Wednesday, Feb. 25 from 3 to 4 p.m. (Eastern), with USCIS Director León Rodríguez. During the session, Director Rodríguez highlighted agency initiatives and listened and responded to issues of concern to the stakeholder community.


Meeting Invitation

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Important Information for Pending Cases During the Transition from the Current Version of the Form G-28 to the Revised Version

Release Date: Feb. 18, 2015

We are aware that some attorneys and accredited representatives who recently filed the current version of the G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, may have received a courtesy copy instead of an original document. This occurred because we recently made necessary system changes to incorporate the new features that appear on the revised Form G-28. Release of the new Form G-28 has been temporarily delayed and, as a result, is not yet available for public use. We expect the new Form G-28 will be out soon, however, in the interim, USCIS adjusted its notice mailing process until the new form is available for public use.

During the Transition

Until the new Form G-28 is available for public use, we are working to ensure that attorneys and accredited representatives with a valid G-28 on file receive original notices for any cases currently pending with USCIS. We encourage attorneys and accredited representatives to alert their clients to the fact that they may receive an original notice. We will provide more information as soon as the revised Form G-28 is available for public use. Once the new Form G-28 is available for use, attorneys and accredited representatives will be required to submit the new form reflecting their clients’ preferences for mailing of notices or secure documents.

Background

We published a final rule, Notices of Decisions and Documents Evidencing Lawful Status, on Oct. 29, 2014, which became effective on Jan. 27, 2015.  This rule explains how a customer can choose to have any notices or secure documents sent directly to an attorney or accredited representative, if they are represented.

We revised the Form G-28 to include two new boxes so that applicants, petitioners, and requesters can state their mailing preferences for notices and secure documents. If the customer does not select a preference, we will send all official original notices and secure documents directly to the applicant, petitioner, or requester. The attorney or designated representative will receive a courtesy copy when appropriate. If the customer indicates a preference for notices or secure documents to be sent to their representative, USCIS will mail all official original notices or secure documents to the representative of record.
 

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