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EIG Week in Review (Dec 13, 2013)

December 13, 2013

Highlights

  • January 2014 Visa Bulletin Released
  • USCIS Announces Approval of 10,000 U Visas for 5th Consecutive Fiscal Year
  • Taiwan Unofficially Changes Re-Entry Permit Requirements for Alien Residents
  • “Parole in Place” Policy Implemented for U.S. Military Family Members

January 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The U.S. Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for January 2014.  As expected, there is a continuous movement in the third preference (EB-3) category, with the priority date moving up to April 1, 2012 for all countries, excluding India and the Philippines.  India EB-2 remains at November 15, 2004 for January.

The January bulletin movement can be summarized as follows:

EB-1

  • All countries remain current.

EB-2

  • The world-wide quota, Mexico, and the Philippines remain current.
  • Persons in the EB-2 category and born in China are current if they have a priority date of December 8, 2008 or earlier (jump of 1 month).
  • Persons in the EB-2 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date of November 15, 2004 or earlier (no change from December bulletin).

EB-3 

  • Persons in the EB-3 category and falling into the world-wide quota are current if they have a priority date of April 1, 2012 or earlier (jump of 6 months).
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in China or Mexico are also current if they have a priority date of April 1, 2012 or earlier (jump of 6 months).
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date of September 1, 2003 or earlier (no change from December bulletin).
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in the Philippines are current if they have a priority date of February 15, 2007 or earlier (jump of 38 days).

The complete Visa Bulletin can be found at: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_6228.html


USCIS Announces Approval of 10,000 U Visas for 5th Consecutive Fiscal Year

USCIS has granted the statutory maximum 10,000 U-1 nonimmigrant visas for fiscal year 2014.  U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcements authorities in the U.S. investigate or prosecute those activities violating U.S. laws.

Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000.  More than 89,600 victims and their family members have received U visas since the program was implemented in 2008.

USCIS will resume issuing U visas on October 1, 2014, when the visas will become available again.


Taiwan Unofficially Changes Re-Entry Permit Requirements for Alien Residents

Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency has unofficially announced that it will no longer be issuing re-entry permits once an individual files an application for an alien resident certificate.  As a result, applicants are advised not travel outside of Taiwan until the alien resident certificate has been issued.

If traveling, a copy of a flight itinerary, confirming travel dates, and a signed explanation letter requesting expedited issuance of alien resident certificate must be provided by the applicant.  The expedited process will take approximately five working days.


“Parole in Place” Policy Implemented for U.S. Military Family Members

According to a new United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy, spouses, parents, and children of U.S. military personnel (that is, those serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, or who previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve) who unlawfully entered the U.S. without inspection, and who are now in the U.S., may now be eligible for “parole in place.”  Such eligibility is at the sole discretion of USCIS.

Beneficiaries of “parole in place” would be allowed to remain in the U.S.; however, this measure would not grant them legal status and would not erase any periods of prior unlawful status.  “Parole in place” would make certain immediate relatives of military members, who would otherwise be ineligible due to inadmissibility, eligible for adjustment of status if the only impediment to adjustment of status was entry without inspection.  Such determination will also be left to the discretion of USCIS.

Based on the new USCIS policy, absent a criminal conviction, or what USCIS refers to as, “other serious adverse factors,” “parole in place” would be an appropriate exercise of discretion for those eligible.  The parole would be authorized for one-year increments, with eligibility for re-parole as necessary.