USCIS Issues Clarifying Guidance on NAFTA TN Status Eligibility for Economists

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it is clarifying policy guidance (PDF, 71 KB) on the specific work activities its officers should consider when determining whether an individual qualifies for TN nonimmigrant status as an economist.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) TN nonimmigrant status allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily enter the U.S. to engage in specific professional activities, including the occupation of economist. The agreement, however, does not define the term economist, resulting in inconsistent decisions on whether certain analysts and financial professionals qualify for TN status as economists.

TN nonimmigrant status is intended to allow a limited number of professionals and specialists to work temporarily in certain specifically identified occupations in the United States. This updated guidance provides USCIS officers with a specific definition of one such category – economists – allowing them to adjudicate applications in a way that complies with the intent of the agreement.

This policy update clarifies that professional economists requesting TN status must engage primarily in activities consistent with the profession of an economist. Individuals who work primarily in other occupations related to the field of economics — such as financial analysts, marketing analysts, and market research analysts — are not eligible for classification as a TN economist.

Source: USCIS Issues Clarifying Guidance on NAFTA TN Status Eligibility for Economists

Appeals court rules that Trump’s third travel ban is illegal

Another legal setback for Trump.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled that Trump’s travel ban, the third he has proposed since becoming president, is illegal.

The third travel ban, issued in September, imposed “indefinite and significant restrictions and limitations on entry of nationals” from seven countries —  Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Source: Appeals court rules that Trump’s third travel ban is illegal

Time Mag: Here’s What Is — and Isn’t — in the Travel Ban the Supreme Court Just Upheld

President Donald Trump’s third iteration of the travel ban can go into effect while lower courts review its merits, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

What’s in the ban?

On Sept. 24, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation that indefinitely blocks the travel of most citizens from Iran, Chad, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members are also banned from entering the U.S. and visa holders who are Venezuelan nationals are to be subjected to additional screening.

What happens next?

The Supreme Court ruling does not keep the lower court challenges from going forward. According to SCOTUSBlog, oral arguments are scheduled in the Ninth Circuit in Seattle on Wednesday and in the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, on Friday.

 

More Here

USCIS Guidance on DACA Renewal Requests Affected by Mail Service Issues

[I]n light of the mail service delays identified by USPS, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke has directed USCIS to accept DACA renewal requests from individuals who resubmit their DACA renewal request with individualized proof that the request was originally mailed in a timely manner and that the cause for receipt after the Oct. 5, 2017, deadline was the result of USPS mail service error.

Source: USCIS Guidance on DACA Renewal Requests Affected by Mail Service Issues

USCIS Updates Policy to Ensure Petitioners Meet Burden of Proof for Nonimmigrant Worker Extension Petitions | USCIS

WASHINGTON — Under updated policy guidance (PDF, 97 KB), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is instructing its officers to apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial petitions and extension requests for certain nonimmigrant visa categories. The guidance applies to nearly all nonimmigrant classifications filed using Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

Source: USCIS Updates Policy to Ensure Petitioners Meet Burden of Proof for Nonimmigrant Worker Extension Petitions | USCIS

 

The USCIS used to give deference to the initial decision. Makes sense because the officer making the initial decision is certainly as qualified as the officer reviewing a renewal or extension petition and it conserved limited resources. Efficient use of resources and respect for prior decisions is not what the Trump admin is about though.

‘It looks like we’re afraid of foreigners’: Army turns away some green-card holders – The Washington Post

The U.S. Army has stopped enlisting some immigrants who are legal permanent residents while mandating lengthy delays for others, part of a controversial effort across the military to tighten security in the ranks by subjecting foreign-born recruits to tougher background checks.

Source: ‘It looks like we’re afraid of foreigners’: Army turns away some green-card holders – The Washington Post

Muslim Ban 3.0 is Live

On September 24, 2017, the President issued a Presidential Proclamation titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats.”

Source: New Presidential Proclamation on Visas September 24, 2017

Again a total joke other than the hardships it will cause families. Lawyers start your engines and take this one down…

Exclusive: U.S. won’t issue some visas in four nations in deportation crackdown

The U.S. State Department on Wednesday will stop issuing certain kinds of visas to some citizens of Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone because the nations are not taking back their citizens the United States wants to deport.

Source: Exclusive: U.S. won’t issue some visas in four nations in deportation crackdown

Court Decisions Ensure TPS Holders in Sixth and Ninth Circuits May Become Permanent Residents | American Immigration Council

Two courts of appeals have held that a grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may make an individual eligible for adjustment of status. In Ramirez v. Brown, 852 F.3d 954 (9th Cir. 2017), and Flores v. USCIS, 718 F.3d 548 (6th Cir. 2013), the courts held that a grant of TPS constitutes an “admission” for purposes of adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Thus, TPS recipients who initially entered without inspection (EWI) satisfy the “inspected and admitted or paroled” statutory requirement. INA § 245(a).

Source: Court Decisions Ensure TPS Holders in Sixth and Ninth Circuits May Become Permanent Residents | American Immigration Council

Chicago: Mexican Consulate to pay for DACA extensions for qualified applicants

“Mexican nationals should know that the Mexican government is providing financial and legal assistance to DREAMers that need it,” Luis Adrian Sosa Morales, of the Cosulate General of Mexico in Chicago, told Hoy. “We will always support them.”

The consulate will cover anywhere between $300 to the full $495 to those who qualify. To learn more, visit the Consulate at 204 S. Ashland Ave. or call its Protection Department at 312-738-2023 before October 5.