I hope many of you have seen this, but thanks to AILA’s continued advocacy, CIS has agreed to accept original signatures. More to come, we hope, regarding other requests, such as 90 day extensions on RFE, NOID, etc.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency announced by President Trump on March 13, 2020, we will accept all benefit forms and documents with reproduced original signatures, including the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond.
USCIS already accepts various petitions, applications and other documents bearing an electronically reproduced original signature. This means that a document may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that the copy must be of an original document containing an original handwritten signature, unless otherwise specified. For forms that require an original “wet” signature, per form instructions, USCIS will accept electronically reproduced original signatures for the duration of the National Emergency. This temporary change only applies to signatures. All other form instructions should be followed when completing a form.
Individuals or entities that submit documents bearing an electronically reproduced original signature must also retain copies of the original documents containing the “wet” signature. USCIS may, at any time, request the original documents, which if not produced, could negatively impact the adjudication of the immigration benefit.
We sent the message below to Foley Law Offices clients who have interviews scheduled with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The bottom line is the USCIS is closed at least until April 1st.
I am writing to inform you that your upcoming interview with USCIS has been cancelled. USCIS has canceled all “in person” interviews, including naturalization ceremonies, until April 1st.
You do not have to do anything. USCIS will re-schedule all appointments when it is safe to resume interviews. We will put you on a 30-day calendar and continue to update you as we move forward together.
Foley Law Offices will remain open but most communication will be via email and telephone. If you have specific questions about your case, please email me ([email protected]) or if you would prefer to discuss your situation, call me at (617) 378-8540.
Copied below is the stakeholders email I received from USCIS announcing the shut down. Please use this down time to continue to collect evidence (ie: bank statements, photographs, etc.) of the bona-fides of your case.
Be safe! We will get though this together.
Foley Law Offices, P.C.
10 Post Office Square
Suite 800 South
Boston, MA 02109
Ph: (617) 850-9018
Cell: (617) 378-8540
Effective March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is suspending routine in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This suspension of public service will be in effect until at least April 1.
Educating yourself and practicing good hygiene are the strongest tools against infection. Get the latest facts by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 website.
USCIS Contact Center
As of March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has suspended routine in-person services until at least April 1 to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). USCIS staff will continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public. However, USCIS will provide emergency services for limited situations. To schedule an emergency appointment contact the USCIS Contact Center.
USCIS domestic field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by this closure.
When USCIS again resumes normal operations, USCIS will automatically reschedule Application Support Center appointments due to the office closure. You will receive a new appointment letter in the mail.
Want some good news for a change? A bill which could give Irish citizens access to thousands of US visas every year has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Once again, it was Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal pushing the buttons that lead to a unanimous voice vote in the House last week that could lead to Ireland being added to the E-3 visa program. The legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate where only one senator (Tom Cotton of Arkansas) blocked it two years ago.
Sources close to Congressman Neal and to the Irish government tell me there has been a lot of behind the scenes politicking and they are confident of a unanimous Senate vote. The bill would then be sent to President Trump and the consensus is that he will sign it into law.
If it becomes law, it opens a legal path to the United States for thousands of Irish citizens. Under the current law, only Australian citizens can apply for the 10,500 E-3 visas that are available every year. The Irish would get the ones not used by the Australians. In recent years, about half (5,500) have gone unused.
An E-3 visa means legal employment but it does not lead to Legal Residency/Green card and it is not for everyone. In order to qualify, applicants must be employed in a speciality occupation, have a legitimate offer of employment in the U.S. and possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials.
The Irish Government is working on a reciprocal arrangement, which would ease restrictions on Americans who wish to retire to Ireland and enable U.S. citizens to work in Ireland on a similar basis.
E-3 visas are for two years, but can be renewed indefinitely. They allow the spouses of recipients to work in the U.S., but not their children.
In order to qualify, applicants must be employed in a speciality occupation, have a legitimate offer of employment in the U.S. and possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials.
There’s no indication when the U.S. Senate will take up the legislation but it is being pushed aggressively by the Irish government and Irish-American leaders in Congress
Beginning October 1, 2020, you will need a REAL ID or other acceptable ID such as a valid passport to fly within the U.S.
REAL ID is a Federal Security Standard for IDs that was created in 2005 as a result of increased federal security measures after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The cost to obtain a REAL or Standard driver’s license/ID card is the same.
For more information visit https://www.mass.gov/guides/massachusetts-identification-id-requirements
I had the good fortune of spending a little time recently with the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. She was the guest of the Irish American Partnership at its annual women’s Christmas breakfast.
Ambassador Power was born in Ireland and her Irish heritage is very much a part of who she is today. Before she became President Obama’s U.N. ambassador, she was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. She is now teaching at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that, as part of the adjustment of its international footprint to increase efficiencies, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, will only be processed domestically by USCIS or internationally by the Department of State in certain circumstances beginning Feb 1, 2020.
Are you feeling lucky? The U.S. Government is now putting forward an immigration program which allows a class of 50,000 immigrants known as ‘diversity immigrants’ to be issued Legal Residency/Green Cards. Applicants selected for the program must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements. There is no cost to register for the DV-2020.
Unfortunately, not everyone can apply. DV-2020 is not open to immigrants from:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories and Vietnam.
Do not submit and entry unless you meet both of these requirements.
- Individuals born in countries whose natives qualify may be eligible to enter.
- Each DV applicant must have:
- A high school education or equivalent. This is defined as successful completion of a 12 year course of formal elementary and secondary education.
- Two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.
You must also provide the following information in order to complete your entry:
- Your name – exactly as it appears on your passport.
- Gender – male or female.
- Birth date – day, month, year.
- City where you were born.
- Country where you were born.
- Country of eligibility for the DV program.
- Entrant photographs. (Recent photographs taken within the last six months of yourself, your spouse and children, etc).
- Mailing address.
- Country where you live today.
- Phone number.
- Email address.
- Highest level of education you have achieved.
- Current marital status and your spouses information.
- Number of children and their information.
Entries are being accepted until 12pm on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. No late entries or paper entries are accepted and the law only allows for one entry per person.
Completing your Electronic Entry:
To Apply – Go to dvlottery.state.gov. Your entry must be complete in full. Complete your entry yourself, avoiding secondary or professional help.
It is extremely important that you retain your confirmation page and your unique confirmation number once your entry is completed. You can also check the status of your entry after applying when you return to dvlottery.state.gov.
The Department of State will randomly select individuals by computer from among qualified entries. All DV-2020 entrants must go to the Entrant Status Check using the unique confirmation number saved from their DV-2020 online entry registration to find out whether their entry has been selected in the DV program. Entrant Status Check will be available on the E-DV website at dvlottery.state.gov beginning May 7, 2019 until September 30, 2020.
For more information on DV-2020 visit the link below:
If you have any other questions regarding you eligibility, call our office at