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2009 News
 
December 2009
12/30/09 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Sudan from the current expiration of May 2, 2010 to the new expiration date of November 2, 2011. Sudanese TPS beneficiaries must re-register for TPS benefits during the re-registration period from December 31, 2009 to March 1, 2010. For further information, visit the "Questions and Answers" publication on the USCIS website.
   
12/22/09 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2010. The "final receipt date" for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2010 is December 21, 2009.  
   
12/16/09 Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced a new policy today for arriving aliens with credible fear claims that goes into effect on January 4, 2010. Under this new policy, aliens arriving at a port of entry who are determined to have a credible fear of persecution will automatically be considered for parole into the United States. Previously, these arriving aliens had to affirmatively request parole in writing.
   
12/02/09

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a memorandum providing additional guidance on the processing of I-130 petitions and I-485 applications for surviving spouses of deceased U.S. citizens and their qualifying children.

 
November 2009
11/13/09

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has indicated that a filing fee increase may be imminent. The agency has experienced a significant revenue shortfall due to a steep decline in the number of new applications being filed.

 
October 2009
10/30/09

President Obama has announced that the HIV/AIDS travel ban, barring HIV-positive visitors/immigrants from entering the United States, will be lifted on January 4, 2010. This ban has been in effect since 1987. The final regulation will be published on Monday.

 
10/28/09

On October 28, 2009, President Obama signed into law a bill to end the "widow penalty," Public Law Number 111-83. The new law eliminates the 2-year marriage requirement for widow(er)s of U.S. citizens seeking permanent residence in the United States. A widow(er) who was married less than 2 years at the time of the U.S. citizen spouse's death can file an I-360 self-petition from October 28, 2009 - October 28, 2011. After October 28, 2011, the self-petition must be filed within 2 years of the U.S. citizen spouse's death.

 
10/26/09

Dyson Law, P.C. is proud to announce the selection of Attorney Stephanie Dyson as a 2009 Massachusetts Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in the field of immigration law. Attorney Dyson was previously selected as a "Rising Star" for immigration law in 2008 as well. Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars are selected as the up-and-coming attorneys in their respective practice areas by their peers and verified by the attorney-led research staff at Law & Politics magazine.

 
10/20/09

The U.S. Senate has approved a bill to eliminate the "widow penalty." Under current law, a widow(er) of a U.S. citizen cannot obtain permanent residence in the United States if his or her marriage is less than 2 years old at the time of the U.S. citizen's death. The proposed changes eliminate the 2-year marriage requirement, allowing widow(er)s to pursue permanent residence so long as the widow(er) has not remarried, can prove that the marriage was in good faith, and applies for permanent residence within 2 years of the U.S. citizen spouse's death. President Obama will likely sign the bill into law in the near future.

 
September 2009
9/29/09

The U.S. Department of State has announced that applications for the 2011 Diversity Visa Program Lottery must be submitted between noon, Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 2, 2009 and noon, Eastern Standard Time on Monday, November 30, 2009. For additional information and instructions on the diversity lottery, please visit the U.S. Department of State's website.

 
9/15/09

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has opened a new field office and fingerprinting center at 2 Mill Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The new office serves the counties of Berkshire, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, and Worcester.

 
August 2009
8/31/09

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued guidance concerning eligibility for deferred action for surviving spouses and children of U.S. citizens, where the U.S. citizen died prior to the 2nd anniversary of the marriage, even where the U.S. citizen did not petition for the spouse and children prior to his or her death.

 
July 2009
7/27/09

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") for nationals of Somalia. The 60-day re-registration period runs from July 27, 2009 to September 24, 2009. All employment authorization documents are automatically extended for 6 months through March 17, 2010 to allow sufficient time for processing of these renewal applications.

 
7/17/09

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has naturalized the first non-immigrant to enlist in the military under the new Department of Defense's MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest) recruiting program. In this case, the non-immigrant is a medical professional who joined the Army. The MAVNI pilot program allows up to 1,000 non-citizens with medical or foreign language/cultural expertise, who are not green card holders, but who have been in the United States for at least 2 years, to join the Army and apply for naturalization.

 
June 2009
5/22/09

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the FBI have finally cleared the name-check backlog which has delayed the final adjudication of many pending immigration applications.

 
May 2009
5/4/09

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has provided updated information concerning the number of H-1B filings for Fiscal Year 2010. The current H-1B cap count is updated on a regular basis.

 
March 2009
3/26/09

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a Fact Sheet and Question and Answer Sheet on the extension of Deferred Enforced Departure for eligible Liberians.

 
3/20/09

President Obama has issued a memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security to extend Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians for an additional 12 months. Deferred Enforced Departure allows eligible Liberians the temporary right to live and work in the United States.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a Fact Sheet and Question and Answer Sheet to provide further guidance.

 
February 2009
2/15/09

The Secretary of Defense has authorized a pilot program to recruit up to 1,000 non-citizens for the U.S. military. Qualified individuals would be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. According to a recent New York Times article, "the Army’s one-year pilot program will begin in New York City to recruit about 550 temporary immigrants who speak one or more of 35 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Igbo (a tongue spoken in Nigeria), Kurdish, Nepalese, Pashto, Russian and Tamil. Spanish speakers are not eligible. The Army’s program will also include about 300 medical professionals to be recruited nationwide. Recruiting will start after Department of Homeland Security officials update an immigration rule in coming days."

 
 
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