USCIS to Bid Adieu to its Legacy e-Filing System
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will soon replace its legacy e-Filing system with the new Electronic Immigration System. The agency has decided to put an end to its e-Filing system in order to maintain data security standards. Some of the USCIS forms were available for online filing in the USCIS legacy e-Filing system. Once the agency puts an end to this system, USCIS customers will need to file paper versions of those forms.
Following are the forms that are currently available in the legacy e-Filing system.
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
- Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status
- Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service
Applicants will not be able to start new forms in this e-Filing system after August 30, 2015. Those who have started draft forms and who start forms before August 30, 2015 will need to complete and submit those forms by September 20, 2015. After August 30 the legacy e-Filing system will be decommissioned. Only paper versions of the above forms will be available.
USCIS will adjudicate the forms that have already been filed through this system. Applicants need not worry about the forms they have already filed. Once the agency decommissions the legacy e-Filing system, it will transition to the new Electronic Immigration System which will be faster and more secure than the former. The forms currently available in the legacy e-Filing system may not be available immediately in the new system. However, USCIS is likely to add those forms to the new system in future.
USCIS to Transfer Some Cases From Vermont Service Center to California Service Center
USCIS has announced that some immigration cases will be transferred from the Vermont Service Center (VSC) to the California Service Center (CSC). USCIS has taken this step in order to balance workloads. Cases of applicants who have filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence will be transferred from VSC to CSC.
Applicants whose cases are being transferred will receive a notice from the USCIS with information on the transfer date and on the new service center that will process their cases. Their receipt numbers will remain the same and there will be no change in processing times. However, the agency may need additional time to transfer cases from one location to the other. The transfer notice also may include their application receipt numbers.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Extended for Haiti
Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation has been extended for an additional 18 months which will be effective January 23, 2016 through July 22, 2017. Haiti, devastated after a major earthquake, was designated for TPS on January 21, 2010. Taking into account the prevailing unfavorable conditions, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is extending the TPS designation period.
Haitian TPS beneficiaries must re-register for TPS between August 25, 2015 and October 26, 2015, the 60 day re-registration period. Applications for TPS re-registration will not be accepted before August 25, 2015.
TPS re-registrants can apply for new Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). Those re-registering for TPS now will receive work permits with an expiration date of July 22, 2016. As some will not be able to receive new work permits before their existing permits expire, USCIS will extend the current EADs of re-registrants for an additional six months. So the EADs of re-registrants that were set to expire on January 22, 2016 will be valid through July 22, 2016.
Re-registrants must file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status along with Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Applicants need not pay the filing fee for Form I-821 but the I-765 application filing fee must be paid by those who want a work permit. TPS applications that do not include Form I-765 will not be considered. Filing fee for Form I-765 need not be paid by the applicants who do not want an EAD. People who cannot afford the filing fee can request the USCIS to waive their fees by submitting a written request or by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.