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EIG Dispatch – December 23, 2014

December 31, 2014

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sarah Saldaña Confirmed as Next ICE Director
  • USCIS to Delete E-Verify Records from 2004
  • United Kingdom Implements Registered Traveler Service for Certain Foreign Nationals
  • Canada Issues Work Permits to Certain Spouses Waiting for Permanent Residency
  • Immigration Processing Times May Be Slow During the Holidays

Sarah Saldaña Confirmed as Next ICE Director

The U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama’s nominee, Sarah Saldaña, as the next director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  The Senate voted 55-39 to confirm with only two Republicans voting in favor of her confirmation after Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee withdrew their support.

Ms. Saldaña will be the first Hispanic woman to lead ICE after having a long and successful career as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Texas.  As a prosecutor, her specialization was criminal prosecution, specifically bank and mortgage fraud, civil rights, human trafficking, and public corruption.

USCIS to Delete E-Verify Records from 2004

Beginning January 1, 2015, USCIS will begin disposing of E-Verify records that are more than 10 years old. Employers who have been using E-Verify since December 31, 2004 and want to record and store case transactions must take immediate action to download reports.  In order to retain case information, employers should download and save the Historic Records Report.  The report will include all records for cases created on or before December 31, 2004.  The report is only available until December 31, 2014.

Under National Archives and Records Administration regulations, USCIS will continue to dispose of E-Verify records annually for the purposes of minimizing security and privacy risks.  USCIS will notify employers when the Historic Records Report is available.

United Kingdom Implements Registered Traveler Service for Certain Foreign Nationals

The U.K. is opening its Registered Traveller Service (RTS) to nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the U.S., who routinely travel to the U.K. via Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Applicants approved for enrollment in the RTS will be able to use ePassport gates and the UK/EU channel (Heathrow) or the Registered Traveller Lane (Gatwick).  In addition, RTS members will no longer be required to fill out a landing card upon arrival.

Those interested in RTS membership must first receive an invitation code issued by airlines and Border Force officers. Currently, there is a waiting list to obtain an invitation and those who wish to be added to the list can contact: RegisteredTravellerGeneralEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

Once applicants receive an invitation code, they can then apply online.  New applicants will be charged a non-refundable fee of £50 for twelve months membership, even if the application is unsuccessful.

Canada Issues Work Permits to Certain Spouses Waiting for Permanent Residency

Effective December 22, 2014, the Canadian federal government will start issuing open work permits to spouses of Canadian citizens and permanent residents already living in Canada but waiting for permanent residency.  Prior to the new policy, spouses and common-law partners of Canadians could not apply for work permits before approval in principle decisions were made.  The policy enables new applicants to submit a work permit application with their primary application for permanent residence.  Those with a pending permanent residence application can submit a work permit application by mail to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville.  Applicants who have already received an approval in principle can apply for a work permit online.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will begin issuing work permits to eligible applicants in the current spouse or common-law partner in Canada class.  Permanent resident applications received after December 22, 2014 will have their application for an open work permit processed within four months of receipt.

Immigration Processing Times May Be Slow During the Holidays

EIG wishes to remind everyone that immigration processing times by government offices may be slower throughout the world due to reduced staff and reduced hours of operation for the holidays.  This may result in slower processing of work and residence permits as well as delays in visa processing.  These delays will likely continue into the new year.