United African Organization

UAO aims to serve as the African Community Resource Clearinghouse wherein constituents gather, access information, share experiences, exchange views, and coordinate organizational capacity development. UAO's hub of resources on this website is intended to assist community members in navigating services, programs and resources that are available to help them cope better in the United States.

KNOW Your RIGHTS

February 6, 2017NancyBlog, Immigration, Resources

UAO is hosting “Know Your Rights” information sessions in our communities. Click Here to Request an information session.

 TRAVEL ADVISORY:
   
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
 KNOW YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS
 KNOW YOUR SAFETY PLAN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

USCIS Introduces New Fee Schedule

USCIS has published the final rule on their services fee schedule, the notice is available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-25328.  This rule is effective December 23, 2016. Applications or petitions mailed, postmarked, or otherwise filed on or after December 23, 2016 must include the new fee.

 The new rule establishes a three-level fee for Application for Naturalization, Form N–400.

  • First, DHS will increase the standard fee for Form N–400 from $595 to $640.
  •  Second, DHS will continue to charge no fee to applicants who meet the requirements of sections 328 or 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) with respect to military service and applicants with approved fee waivers.
  • Third, DHS will charge a reduced fee of $320 for naturalization applicants with family income greater than 150 percent and not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

 Below, please find a copy of the table of changes for common applications:

Application/Petition

Current Filing Fee

NEW Filing Fee

I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)

$340.00

$535.00

 

I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

$420.00

$535.00

 I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

$1,070.00

$1,225.00

N-400, Application for Naturalization

$680.00

$725.00

N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship

$600.00

$1,170

 I-131, Application for Travel Document

$360.00

$575.00

 I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

$380

$410.00

 I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

$590.00

$680.0

 

USCIS recalls 3-year DACA permits issued after 2/16/2015

Important Information for Some DACA Recipients Who Received Three-Year* Work Authorization: Fact Sheet

If you are a DACA recipient who received a three-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD) after February 16, 2015, it was likely mistakenly issued and must be returned.

Approximately 2,100 DACA recipients were issued three-year Employment Authorization Documents, rather than two-year EADs, afterthe  February 16, 2015, court injunction was in place. USCIS has taken action to correct this issue for these individuals and has updated their records to reflect a two-year period of deferred action and employment authorization. USCIS has re-issued and mailed the corrected two-year EADs to these individuals. USCIS has also notified these individuals that the three-year EADs are no longer valid and must be immediately returned, along with any related approval notices. USCIS is carefully tracking the number of returns of these invalid EADs and continues to take steps to collect the remaining cards. Read more →

TPS Registration Deadline for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone is May 20, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015, is the deadline for eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) to register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The TPS designation runs from Nov. 21, 2014, through May 21, 2016.

Eligibility

To be eligible for TPS, you must demonstrate that you meet all eligibility criteria, including that you have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014, and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. You must also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. Read more →

Are You from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone?

Sondra Furcajg discusses Temporary Protected Status for Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone

TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS): LIBERIA, GUINEA, SIERRA LEONE

WHAT IS TPS?

  • On November 20 2014, USCIS designated Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to Ebola, which is making it unsafe for citizens of those countries to return.
  • TPS designation is effective November 21, 2014 and remains in effect for 18 months. You can register for TPS between November 21, 2014 and May 20, 2015.
Read more →

President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration

November 21, 2014NancyBlog, Immigration

On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

These initiatives include:

  • Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years | Details
  • Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, provided they pass required background checks | Details
  • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens | Details
  • Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs | Details
  • Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee | Details

Important notice: These initiatives have not yet been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. Beware of anyone who offers to help you submit an application or a request for any of these actions before they are available. You could become a victim of an immigration scam. Subscribe to this page to get updates when new information is posted.

Source:http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction

Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

Department of Homeland Security Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

Release Date: November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON— Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.  As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at www.uscis.gov/tps.

The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.

To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014.  Applicants also undergo thorough security checks.  Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. The eligibility requirements are fully described in the Federal Register notices and on the TPS Web page at www.uscis.gov/tps

Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum may apply for TPS. If they do not apply for TPS within the initial 180-day registration period, they risk being ineligible for TPS because they will have missed the initial registration period. Liberians covered by DED who already possess or have applied for an EAD do not need to also apply for one related to this TPS designation. However, such individuals who are granted TPS may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.

Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all fees based on demonstrated inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.

All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.

Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check My Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).

For more information about USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

Source: http://www.uscis.gov/news/dhs-announces-temporary-protected-status-designations-liberia-guinea-and-sierra-leone

Understanding Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

The Immigration Act of 1990 first introduced the concept of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS is granted to immigrants who are physically present in the United States and who are unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflicts (such as civil war); environmental disasters (such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or epidemics); or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Temporary protected status is rarely granted and only in extreme situations. The current situation in Nigeria, for example, does not seem to meet the threshold for Department of Homeland Security to grant TPS. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti, however, resulted in USCIS granting all Haitians in the United States TPS in 2011. Further, the recent situation in South Sudan also lead to TPS designation.

Beneficiaries of temporary protected status may remain in the United States and obtain work and travel authorization; however, TPS does not lead to permanent resident status—i.e. green card—and may be terminated at any time, thus reverting individuals back to their previous immigration status.

In order, to be eligible individuals must:

  • Be a national of the designated country;
  • File during open registration period;
  • And have been continuously physically present (CPP) and have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for the designated country.

You may NOT be eligible for TPS or maintain your existing TPS if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;
  • Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements;
  • Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
  • If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required (typically every 18 months), without good cause.

Individuals from the following TPS countries are eligible for TPS designation as long as they meet these eligibility requirements:

  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Syria

The application process is as follows: (1) you must first file your petition; (2) USCIS will contact you upon receipt of your application; (3) you must then go to the Application Support Center; (4) USCIS will determine your work eligibility and adjudicate your application; (5) and finally, your application will either be approved or denied.

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