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Obama Administration Encourages Lawful Permanent Residents to Become Citizens

Lately there has been a push by the Obama administration and the USCIS to encourage and celebrate US citizenship. The USCIS launched a citizenship campaign to raise awareness about citizenship and education about the naturalization process. President Obama also utilized Citizenship Day, which occurred in September, to encourage legal permanent residents and those eligible for citizenship to start the naturalization process. The USCIS has also taken steps to ease the naturalization application process, which may help to speed the process for those seeking US citizenship. These pushes may be in an effort to increase the number of US citizens in time for the next presidential election.

us-flag-in-boston-1443856USCIS Launches Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Campaign

Part of Obama’s executive action for immigration reform established last November is to increase awareness and promote easy access to naturalization. To help meet these goal the USCIS has taken steps to promote citizenship. In July the USCIS launched a campaign to increase education and raise awareness about the importance of naturalization.

Also to make sure potential applicants are aware of their eligibility, the USCIS will begin electronically notifying lawful permanent residents who may be eligible to begin naturalization. A message will pop-up on the USICS website when the lawful permanent resident replaces or renews a green card which will notify the applicant that it may be time to apply for citizenship.

Obama Urges Lawful Permanent to Seek Naturalization

Only U.S. citizens will be allowed to elect the next US President. With the 2016 Presidential Election just around the corner, Obama has encouraged those eligible to become a citizen to begin the naturalization process. On September 17th, Citizenship Day, Obama released a video encouraging legal permanent resident to take the final step in the immigration process and become a US citizen.

The USCIS has made the naturalization process easier by allowing credit card payments for the naturalization fee. The USCIS will also expand mobile services to rural communities to boost access to its resources. This may ease the immigration process and increase the number of US citizens before the 2016 election.

According to the Department of Homeland Security over 700,000 persons were naturalized in 2013. With Obama’s urging to legal permanent residents to apply for citizenship and the steps taken by the USCIS to ease the naturalization process, it’s possible even more legal permanent residence will become citizens this year in time for the 2016 presidential election.

Naturalization Process

Naturalization is the process by which a person become a US citizen. A person can become a citizen at birth, derive citizenship through one’s parents or apply for naturalization. Generally those who apply for naturalization are required to take an English test and a test on US history and government. Once the naturalization process is complete the applicant is required to turn in the legal permanent resident card, if applicable. The new US citizen can then register to vote.

Contact

To discuss how to gain lawful permanent residence or how to apply for naturalization contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal. Attorney Khandewal has over 10 years experience with immigration law and is conveniently located in the Silicon Valley.

Tags: #Department of Homeland Security, #naturalization, #Obama, #USCIS

How to a Renew Green Card

A green card is the documentation granted to lawful permanent residents (LPR) by the USCIS which demonstrates that the holder is authorized to legally work and live in the United States. Green cards generally expire after 10 years. If the green card expires, it must be renewed for the holder to continue to receive the benefits of lawful permanent residence.

avvo-1Things to watch out for
Expiration dates: The expiration date on the green card will determine the time tofile for renewal.

Helpful Tip
The expiration date is printed on the front of the green card and is easily found.

Timelines to keep in mind
– The type of green card dictates the timeline for renewal. Conditionalpermanent residents have different timelines for renewal than LPRs.
– Instead of 10 years, conditional permanent residents have green cards thatare only valid for 2 years. Conditional permanent residents should begin therenewal process 90 days before the green card expires.

– LPRs have green cards that are valid for 10 years. LPRs should begin therenewal process 6 months before the green card expires.

Process for Renewal
When it’s time to renew the green card, the applicant must first file an applicationfor renewal. This can be done online or by mail. The form for this process is Form I-90.

Replacing a green card
Sometimes green cards can be misplaced or stolen. In this case an application should be filed to replace the green card. The form for replacing a green card is the same form for renewing a green card, Form I-90. Replacing a green card should also be filed if it was issued to the LPR before the age of 14. Once the LPR reaches 14 years old, the LPR should file form I-90 for a new green card. However, if the LPR turns 16 years old before the green card expires, then the applicant does not need to file for a new green card upon reaching the age of 14.

Denials
Denials of green cards can occur. In this case a motion to reconsider the case or toreopen the case can be filed, which asks the USCIS to reconsider the denial. Thisprocess can be complicated but is an effective way to deal with a renewaldenial.

A green card is the LPR’s proof that the LPR is legally authorized to work and live inthe US. It’s important that the green card be renewed timely and kept current. Production of a currentvalid green card is the LPR’s proof of ability to live and work in the US on apermanent basis and receive other benefits given to permanent US residents. Todiscuss renewing a green card, filing a motion to reopen a green card case or anyother issue surrounding green cards, contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal.Attorney Khandelwal has 10 years experience as an immigration attorney and canassist with any green card issues.

Cited Sources:

Renew A Green Card, March 30, 2015, USCIS

 

Tags: #Green card, #immigration law, #lawful permanent residents lawful permanent residents, #USCIS

Change of H-1B Workplace Requires Amended Petition

H-1B holders working at multiple worksites must have a Labor Condition Application (LCA) on file for each worksite. Last week the USCIS Administrative Appeals released a decision that states any geographic change in the workplace listed on the LCA accompanying all H-1B visas requires filing an amended application. Also, any material change in the terms and conditions of the employment requires the filing of an amended H-1B with a new LCA.

Matter of Simeio Solutions, Inc., the case decided last week, reinforced this requirement. In the instant case, a foreign worker in India obtained an H-1B and applied for the visa at the United States Embassy in New Delhi. During the interview at the embassy the applicant indicated that he performed services not reflected in his application. This prompted an investigation by the USCIS, which included a visit to the worksite.

The USCIS investigators were unable to locate the worksite as listed on the LCA. After contacting the petitioner’s director of operations it was revealed that the worksite had moved to an employee’s home. Ultimately the court concluded that a change in worksite location is a material change in the application and requires the filing of an amended application.

Many United States employers require their employees to conduct work at multiple worksites. According to the State of California Employment Development Department, approximately 6% of employers in California conduct business at multiple work locations. These employers make up about 44% of California’s total employment. This suggests that many workers in the United States may work for a single employer at multiple workplaces. Foreign workers may also be expected to work at multiple worksites.

Foreign workers in the United States should take note of the worksite listed on their LCA and ensure it matches their place of employment. Multiple worksites can be listed on a single LCA or multiple LCAs can be filed with a single H-1B application. All LCAs should accompany the H-1B application. If the Immigration department conducts an unscheduled audit of a workplace listed on the H-1B application, and finds that the foreign worker is not performing services there, it may have serious immigration consequences.

The USCIS reserves the right to audit/inspect the worksites listed on an H-1B petition. Audits can occur at anytime and can occur without notice. Employers must ensure that the foreign workers are working in accordance with their H-1Bpetitions that includes the LCA.

If a foreign worker is assigned to a different work location that is not listed on the LCA that accompanied his/her H-1B application, an amendmentmust be filed. Contact the Law Office Of Sweta Khandelal today to discussfiling your amended application. Attorney Sweta Khandelwal is an immigration attorney with extensive experience in employment based immigration applications.

Cite Sources:

Matter of Simeio Solutions, Inc., April 9, 2015, U.S. Department of Homeland Security,USCIS Administrative Appeals Office.

Multiple Worksite Report, State of California Employment DevelopmentDepartment, 2014

 

 

Tags: #H-1B visa, #immigration law, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #USCIS

April Visa Bulletin

The April Visa Bulletin has been released. With it comes news of standstills for some and advancements for others. How the visa bulletin works is that every month, based on a complicated formula, the State Department publishes a chart for green card visa availability. The quota is based on one’s priority date. A priority date for a green card seeker based on an employer or business relationship is based on the date of the petition filed with USCIS or the date the labor certification application is accepted for processing by the Department of Labor (if labor certification is required). A priority date for a green card seeker based on a family relationship is based on the date the petition is filed with USCIS.

EMPLOYMENT BASED

There is a mix of good news and bad news for people seeking employment-based green cards. All of the categories that remained current this month in March are also current for next month in April. Advancements for the other categories with priority dates, however, have been modest. The largest advancement was a by month and a half for the EB-3 and “Other Workers” categories for green card seekers from the Philippines. Green card seekers from other countries only experienced advancements by a month, however EB-2 visa seekers from China only saw an advancement of less than a month.

April 2014 (DD/MON/YY)

Employment- BasedAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedChina – mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1stCCCCC
2ndC08MAR0915NOV04CC
3rd01OCT1201OCT1215SEP0301OCT1215JUN07
Other Workers01OCT1201OCT1215SEP0301OCT1215JUN07
4thCCCCC
Certain Religious WorkersCCCCC
5th
Targeted
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
CCCCC

 

March 2014 (DD/MON/YY)

Employment- BasedAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedChina – mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1stCCCCC
2ndC15FEB0915NOV04CC
3rd01SEP1201SEP1215SEP0301SEP1201MAY07
Other Workers01SEP1201SEP1215SEP0301SEP1201MAY07
4thCCCCC
Certain Religious WorkersCCCCC
5th
Targeted
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
CCCCC

 

FAMILY BASED (DD/MON/YY)

For the family based categories, there has only been modest movements forward or standstills. The largest advancement forward again comes from the Philippines, where FB-1 green card seekers saw an advancement of a month and a half. FB-2B green card seekers from India and China and the remaining countries (i.e. excluding China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines) also saw a month and a half jump forward. but also modest advancements were seen for visa seekers from India. The remaining categories, however only saw an advancement of a month or less.

If you have questions about how to receive a green card, the visa bulletin, or any other immigration questions, an experience immigration attorney can assist you.

April 2014 (DD/MON/YY)

Family-SponsoredAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCHINA-mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F122FEB0722FEB0722FEB0701NOV9301NOV01
F2A08SEP1308SEP1308SEP1315APR1208SEP13
F2B22OCT0622OCT0622OCT0601MAY9308JUN03
F315JUL0315JUL0315JUL0322JUN9322FEB93
F422NOV0122NOV0122NOV0122NOV9601OCT90

 

March 2014

Family-SponsoredAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCHINA-mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F101FEB0701FEB0701FEB0715OCT9315AUG01
F2A08SEP1308SEP1308SEP1315APR1208SEP13
F2B01SEP0601SEP0601SEP0601MAY9308JUN03
F315JUN0315JUN0315JUN0308JUN9315FEB93
F408NOV0108NOV0108NOV0115NOV9601SEP90

 

Tags: #immigration law, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #USCIS, #visa bulletin

March Visa Bulletin

The Visa Bulletin for next month – March 2014 – has been released, and there hasn’t been much movement and even some stagnation. How the visa bulletin works is that every month, based on a complicated formula, the State Department publishes a chart for green card visa availability. The quota is based on one’s priority date. A priority date for a green card seeker based on an employer or business relationship is based on the date of the petition filed with USCIS or the date the labor certification application is accepted for processing by the Department of Labor (if labor certification is required). A priority date for a green card seeker based on a family relationship is based on the date the petition is filed with USCIS.

EMPLOYMENT BASED

There is a mix of good news and bad news for people seeking employment-based green cards. All of the categories that remained current in February are also current in March. Green card seekers from China will also be happy to know that the EB3 (skilled workers and professionals) and Other Workers (unskilled workers) categories have moved forward by three months to September 1, 2012. However, the EB2 category (advanced degree holders and persons of exceptional ability) only moved forward for one month for China to February 15, 2009. Green card seekers in the EB2 category from India were unfortunately hit with a standstill at November 15, 2004, and the EB3 category only saw modest movement of two weeks forward to September 15, 2003. Mexico’s EB2 and EB3 categories also moved forward together by three months to September 1, 2012. Green card seekers from the Philippines in the EB2 and EB3 categories similarly moved forward, but by only two weeks to May 1, 2007. For all other countries, the EB3 and Other Workers subcategory moved forward three months to September 1, 2012.

MARCH 2014 (DD/MON/YY)

Employment- BasedAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedChina – mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1stCCCCC
2ndC15FEB0915NOV04CC
3rd01SEP1201SEP1215SEP0301SEP1201MAY07
Other Workers01SEP1201SEP1215SEP0301SEP1201MAY07
4thCCCCC
Certain Religious WorkersCCCCC
5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
CCCCC

FEBRUARY 2014 (DD/MON/YY)

Employment- BasedAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedChina – mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1stCCCCC
2ndC08JAN0915NOV04CC
3rd01JUN1201JUN1201SEP0301JUN1215APR07
Other Workers01JUN1201JUN1201SEP0301JUN1215APR07
4thCCCCC
Certain Religious WorkersCCCCC
5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
CCCCC

FAMILY BASED

For the family based categories, there has generally been positive movement all around, but each country has suffered either a standstill or even retrogression. For Chinese green card seekers, most of the family based categories have moved forward by a month except the F2A (spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders) and F4 (brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens) categories. China’s F2A category saw no movement and is stuck at September 8, 2013, while China’s F4 category only saw movement by about two and a half weeks to November 8, 2001. India saw the exact same movements as China. Mexico unfortunately was hit with a retrogression in its F2A category, meaning that the priority date was moved back by over a year to April 15, 2012. Movement in the visa categories in the Philippines were mostly stagnant, except a one month movement forward in the F4 category to September 1, 1990 and a two week movement forward in the F2B category (Unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders) to June 8, 2003. For green card seekers from all other countries, there was modest movement of a month forward for all categories except for the F2A category, which remained stagnant.

MARCH 2014 VISA BULLETIN (DD/MON/YY)

Family-SponsoredAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCHINA-mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F101FEB0701FEB0701FEB0715OCT9315AUG01
F2A08SEP1308SEP1308SEP1315APR1208SEP13
F2B01SEP0601SEP0601SEP0601MAY9308JUN03
F315JUN0315JUN0315JUN0308JUN9315FEB93
F408NOV0108NOV0108NOV0115NOV9601SEP90

FEBRUARY 2014
VISA BULLETIN (DD/MON/YY)

Family-SponsoredAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCHINA-mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F101JAN0701JAN0701JAN0701OCT9315AUG01
F2A08SEP1308SEP1308SEP1301SEP1308SEP13
F2B08JUL0608JUL0608JUL0601MAY9322MAY03
F315MAY0315MAY0315MAY0301JUN9308FEB93
F422OCT0122OCT0122OCT0108NOV9608AUG90

IF you have questions about how to receive a green card, the visa bulletin, or any other immigration questions, contact our office today.

Tags: #immigration law, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #USCIS, #visa bulletin

The Government Shutdown’s Effect on US Immigration

The government shutdown has been the leading story in the news over the past week. The effects of the shutdown cannot be understated, especially on the American immigration system. This article will explore the numerous consequences the government shutdown has on the various aspects of the American immigration system.

Fortunately, USCIS operates based on the filing fees paid with each application or petition. Thus, the lack of authorized funding from Congress (which is the cause of the government shutdown) will have little effect on USCIS directly. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security in its entirety will continue to operate, which includes Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and of course USCIS. However, the good news may end there.

The Department of Labor and its Employment and Training Administration (“DOL-ETA”) relies significantly, if not entirely, on appropriated funds and thus any visa petition that DOL-ETA must first process before reaching USCIS is stalled indefinitely throughout the government shutdown. The shutdown of the DOL-ETA affects many nonimmigrant visa petitions, including H-1B, H1B1, and E-3 visas and affects new visa petitions, visa transfers, and extensions and amendments by USCIS or the US Department of State (“DOS”) for those employers who have not secured a certified LCA prior to the shutdown. Those seeking green cards may also be affected. The shutdown of the DOL-ETA means that those employers sponsoring green cards may seek further backlogs if the DOL-ETA has not yet certified recruitment efforts through the PERM Labor Certification process. The PERM Labor Certification process was already experiencing a six month backlog before the government shutdown. This is sure to cause significant and disruptive delays for many businesses.

The Immigration Courts as well as the DOL’s Office of Administrative Law Judges with be slowed down or shutdown. Activities at the Immigration Courts will also be slowed down, and the DOL’s Office of Administrative Law Judges will be unable to perform any case-related activities.

E-Verify is also unavailable, including enrollment, verification, viewing or taking action on any case, terminating accounts, running reports, and other key functions of E-Verify. E-Verify Customer Support will also be closed, which includes telephone and email support.

Visas that require processing solely through USCIS and/or the DOS will continue to function as normal. Examples include the L, TN, O, and H-3 visa categories. However, it is unclear how much of a ripple effect the shutdown will have and eventually disrupt USCIS or DOS operations as the shutdown drags on.

If you have questions about how the shutdown can affect your immigration plans or your current immigration case, contact our office today.

Tags: #Department of Homeland Security, #immigration law, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #USCIS

L-1A Guidelines Clarified, USCIS Gets Reprimanded

The Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”), where USCIS decisions get appealed, gave a decision that not only clarified the standards for approving L-1A visas, but also reprimanded USCIS for constantly applying a more difficult and incorrect standard. This is a a positive development for the L-1A petitioner in the case, and the strong language of the opinion should shape the law for future petitioners and beneficiaries to come.

The clarification specifically was for properly applying the law for new office Executives and Managers seeking an extension of status beyond the initial one year. Normally, the AAO simply reverses USCIS and remands the matter. This opinion went one step further and approved the extension request without remand.

The case involved a newly formed US corporation (Petitioner) that was the wholly owned subsidiary of a Japanese parent company involved in packaging for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. The Petitioner was created to test the North and South American markets for manufacture, import, distribution and sale of its products. USCIS’ California Service Center (CSC) denied the extension, stating that the structure of the US company made approval impossible; the US company’s structure solely involved the beneficiary and two full-time US workers. The CSC did not even consider evidence submitted on several other issues to support approval.

Many small organizations face the issue of demonstrating eligibility for a L-1 visa that requires the company to show that the foreign national will either supervise over a team of executives and managers; or will manage a function or division within the company. Small organizations do not have the need to hire a large staff, especially when we have lean and efficient ways to do business like contracting to outside suppliers, working out of a shared office space, and others. AAO held that CSC erred by omitting to consider the fact that the beneficiary actually managed a larger team of workers/suppliers/vendors besides the two US employees.

The AAO clarified the correct standard. First, the AAO described that when examining the executive or managerial capacity of the beneficiary, USCIS should, inter alia, to the description of the job duties in the broader context of the facts and circumstances of the case

In addition, the AAO clarified that the petitioner need only establish that the beneficiary devoted more than half of his time to managerial duties.

As this decision demonstrates, even USCIS can get the law wrong on occasion. It is up to expert attorneys and their well-researched arguments in order to set the law straight, or at least work within USCIS’ interpretation of the law even if erroneous. Even before the AAO’s decision, attorney Sweta Khandelwal had successfully argued that small companies have different business requirements and may be eligible for an L-1A visa even though they have limited hiring needs in the US.Contact our office if you need assistance with your L-1A case or any other immigration issues today.

Tags: #AAO, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #L-1A, #USCIS

Visa Bulletin Jumps in September 2013

The month of August was a great time for those who applied in the Family-based 2A category (spouses and children of legal permanent residents) as we have previously discussed here. It looks like USCIS has continued pushing visa applications along and have made more categories current.

For September, the F2A categories remains current, meaning those who have already filed applications years ago and those filing applications today can find a visa available. The other family categories, unfortunately, have not made such great advancements. The chart below illustrates a comparison of the August and September Family-based visa bulletins:

AUGUST 2013 (DD-M-YY)

Family-SponsoredWorldwideCHINA- mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F1

1-Sep-06

1-Sep-06

1-Sep-06

1-Sep-93

1-Jan-01

F2A

C

C

C

C

C

F2B

1-Dec-05

1-Dec-05

1-Dec-05

1-Feb-94

22-Dec-02

F3

8-Dec-02

8-Dec-02

8-Dec-02

1-May-93

1-Dec-92

F4

22-Jun-01

22-Jun-01

22-Jun-01

22-Sep-96

8-Jan-90

 

SEPTEMBER 2013(DD-M-YY)

Family-SponsoredWorldwideCHINA- mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F1

15-Sep-06

15-Sep-06

15-Sep-06

8-Sep-93

8-May-01

F2A

C

C

C

C

C

F2B

15-Feb-06

15-Feb-06

15-Feb-06

22-Feb-94

22-Jan-03

F3

22-Jan-03

22-Jan-03

22-Jan-03

15-May-93

22-Dec-92

F4

22-Jul-01

22-Jul-01

22-Jul-01

8-Oct-96

15-Feb-90

 

The employment based categories, however, have made much larger strides. The EB-3 category for professionals, skilled workers, and unskilled workers jumped ahead by 1.5 years for most countries. This makes applications for an EB-3 visa filed before July 10, 2010 available for those applicants. Unfortunately, applicants from the Philippines only saw a 2 month jump to December 1, 2006.

However, India did see a dramatic increase in the EB-3 category. Applicants from India only saw an eight month jump to September 22, 2003. Applicants from India also saw a jump in the EB-2 category, jumping ahead by 5 months to June 15, 2008.

If you have any questions about what these jumps in visa availability mean for you, or if you have any other immigration related questions, contact our office today.

Tags: #2-A Category, #F2-A, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #USCIS, #visa bulletin

Legal Issue Series – What to do about Delayed OPT Extensions

For many foreign students on F-1 visas, the practical American training they receive is just as important as their education. To this end, many F-1 students seek “OPT” or Optional Practical Training extensions so that they can stay longer to receive practical training. These OPT extensions are valuable because it allows for additional time to stay in the United States, hands-on practical training, and often time to seek other immigration options as the applicant’s final school year winds down. This article will look at some of the issues someone could face while seeking an OPT extension.

One such issue is when an OPT extension application has been pending with USCIS for more than 90 days. This can be a difficult time for a foreign student who is essentially in immigration limbo as they await such a prolonged and delayed adjudication of their OPT extension. Without such an extension, they usually cannot work and must have to immediately return to their home country if their application is denied. Should someone face a USCIS Form I-765 application that has been pending more than 90 days, they should either call 1-800-375-5283 to request an expedited I-765 adjudication because it is outside normal processing times. The other option is to make the same request in an in-person InfoPass appointment at http://infopass.uscis.gov.

The other issue is the limited period one can stay unemployed under an OPT extension. The number of maximum days allowed to be unemployed varies depending on the type of industry the foreign student is working in and when the unemployment occurs. Furthermore, not only do days not formally being employed count towards the total number of days allowed to be unemployment, but so will days spent employed in a non-qualifying job. However, time spent before the issuance of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card does not count towards this cap. Foreign students should seek advice from their university or an immigration attorney to make sure their employment qualifies and to navigate any unemployment issues.

Foreign students may find themselves in particularly difficult situations because of the need to coordinate between universities, private immigration attorneys, and their personal lives. Contact our office today if you have any questions regarding your foreign student visa or other immigration issues.

Tags: #EAD, #f-1 visas, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #USCIS

USCIS Publishes E-Verify Program Reports

The E-Verify system is an optional screening tool for employers used to check an employee’s work authorization status. With mandatory E-verify participation a part of the CIR Bill (SB 744), it would be prudent for current and future business owners to be familiar with the E-verify system and its effectiveness.

To this end, USCIS has recently published numerous reports on the effectiveness and user experiences of the E-verify program. The “Findings of the E-Verify User Survey”, “Findings of the Case Study of E-Verify Employer Agents and Their Clients”, “Arizona Mandatory E-Verify Experience Evaluation Findings”, and “Evaluation of the Accuracy of E-Verify Findings” are the four reports recently released by USCIS. Below is a summary of the findings of the four reports:

Findings of the E-Verify User Survey

Some of the key findings of this report were that employers continued to express high levels of satisfaction with the E-Verify in 2010 and that E-Verify usage rapidly increased between 2008 to 2010. In particular, usage almost tripled from 1.7 million cases submitted from April through June in 2008 to 4.6 million cases submitted during the same period in 2010. Employers also showed increased rates of procedural compliance and there was an increase in the percentage of employers who prescreen their potential hires. Finally, employers that were mandated to participate were found to be more compliant than voluntary employers.

Findings of the Case Study of E-Verify Employer Agents and Their Clients

This study made some interesting findings about E-Verify Employer Agents (EEAs, formerly known as Designated Agents or DAs). One was that the EEA’s clients used them because they lacked the time or resources to administer the E-Verify requirements themselves or because they were required to by statute. The report also found that the program is still growing and is in need of some additional guidance: The majority of EEAs received training from both USCIS and outside sources and desired additional training. The survey respondents also desired a USCIS helpline or resource desk dedicated to EEAs to support them in the field. The report also found both EEAs and their clients were satisfied with the E-Verify program.

Arizona Mandatory E-Verify Experience Evaluation Findings

This report focused on 126 of Arizona’s employers. After the passage of Arizona’s Legal Arizona Workers Act in 2007, the report found a huge increase in employer enrollments into the E-Verify program. The most frequently provided reason for not joining was simply not knowing about the E-Verify program. A majority of the employers (79 out of 125) stated that they would continue to use E-Verify if it were not mandatory. The report also found that the number of unauthorized workers and undocumented immigrants decreased due to the E-Verify program.

Evaluation of the Accuracy of E-Verify Findings

This report was a more in-depth study and a continuation of a 2009 study that analyzed the accuracy of the E-Verify program. Among finding a 94% accuracy rate for Final Nonconfirmations (“FNC”) and an increased ability to correctly identify substantial numbers of unauthorized workers, the report also found that some inaccurate FNCs were due to employers who did not clearly explain the Tentative Nonconfirmation process or failed to notify their workers completely. The report also found that some agency database issues also contributed to inaccurate data.

Given the possible increased prevalence of E-Verify and its possible mandatory use, employers should not only learn what E-Verify is but also how to stay compliant with its requirements.

Tags: #E-Verify, #EEA, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #USCIS




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