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USCIS News for the Month of May 2012

USCIS is the nodal agency that sends out notifications of the latest changes, in any immigration process. Here is a list of the updates for May 2012.

Re – Designation and Extension of TPS status to Somalia

Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the DHS, has announced an extension, to the already existing Temporary Protected Status to Somalia. This extension starts from Sept 18, 2012, and will be till March 17, 2014. Re-registration for this is open to Somali nationals from May 1, 2012, through July 2, 2012. Somalis who are not under the TPS can also make use of this re-designation starting from May 1, 2012, through Oct 29, 2012.

In order to be eligible to re-register, a Somali national must have continuously resided in the United States since May 1, 2012. Also maintaining a continuous physical presence in the United States since Sept 18, 2012, is a requisite. Those who are applying for re-registration should file the following forms

  • Form I- 821 – Application for temporary protected status
  • Form I- 765 – Application for Employment Authorization. Should pay the necessary application fee only if they want an EAD
  • Fee for biometrics if they are above 14 yrs or older

If they want a fee waiver, then Form I -912 (Request for a fee waiver) should be submitted with a written request. The TPS forms can be downloaded for free from the USCIS website or can be ordered through the toll-free line at 1-800-870-3676.

Upgraded e- request features

Customers who are making use of this electronic facility will now be able to intimate the USCIS of any kind of typographical errors on their green card, EAD or similar immigration benefit papers. Additionally, those customers who had not received any appointment, for their I-90 or N-400 applications, from the respective Application Support Center, can also make an inquiry. These facilities have been made available to the users from May 11, 2012, onwards.

Precedent Appeals decision on P-3 Nonimmigrant visa petition

Recently, a musical group from Argentina was denied a performing artists’ visa. The main reason behind this was that they failed to strongly establish the fact that their performance was ‘culturally unique’, as required by this particular P-3 visa. Skirball Cultural Center had filed a nonimmigrant petition based on their behalf which was eventually rejected.

However, the USCIS’s AAO (Administrative Appeals Office) has now approved this P-3 nonimmigrant visa petition after an expert review. This included the crew’s entire record with written evidences and testimonies. As per the decision, ‘culturally unique’ style of entertainment is not restricted to the traditional art forms only but will include a hybrid or a fusion of more than a culture or region.

This precedent decision is the third of its kind since 2010 and they are important in supporting the USCIS’s commitment to a consistent administration of immigration benefits.

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