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USCIS to End Certain Categorical Parole Programs


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USCIS to End Certain Categorical Parole Programs

Move ensures alignment with Executive Order 13767


Release Date: Aug. 2, 2019


WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced its intention to terminate two categorical parole programs, consistent with Executive Order (E.O.) 13767, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, and to better ensure that parole is used only on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the law. Parole is a process that allows foreign nationals to temporarily enter or remain in the United States, including those who are otherwise inadmissible. The programs to be terminated are the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program and the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program.

Under both of these categorical parole programs, individuals with approved family-based immigrant petitions have been authorized to enter and work in the United States while waiting for their green card to become available. The decision to end these parole programs ends the expedited processing that was made available to these populations in a categorical fashion. It follows an extensive review to better ensure that parole authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act is exercised on a case-by-case basis when there is a significant public benefit or urgent humanitarian reason. Categorical parole refers to programs designed to consider parole for entire groups of individuals based on pre-set criteria.

“Under these categorical parole programs, individuals have been able to skip the line and bypass the proper channels established by Congress. With the termination of these programs, these individuals will no longer be permitted to wait in the United States for their family-based green card to become available, consistent with the rules that apply to the rest of the world,” said USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli. “Parole is to be used on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. USCIS is committed to exercising this limited authority in a manner that preserves the integrity of our immigration system and does not encourage aliens to unlawfully enter the United States.”

While USCIS begins the process to terminate the Haitian Family Reunification Parole and Filipino World War II Veterans Parole programs, the agency continues to review all remaining categorical parole programs. USCIS will not terminate any program until we complete required administrative changes to Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and the form is approved for public use. The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) process will provide notice to the affected individuals, explain the reasons USCIS is taking action, and provide public comment periods on the termination of these programs.

Current parolees will maintain their current period of parole until its expiration, unless it is otherwise terminated. USCIS will also process all pending cases to completion. In addition, parolees who have not adjusted status or been admitted may request parole under the non-categorical process by filing Form I-131, in accordance with the form instructions. Additional information on applying for non-categorical parole is available on the Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole for Individuals Outside the United States page.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).


Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/02/2019






02/24/2019

H-1B簽證補件率大增 5企業通過率99%


(World Journal) 編譯陳韻涵


外國技術人員要留在美國工作愈來愈難。(Getty Images)

外國技術人員要留在美國工作愈來愈難,川普政府22日公布數據顯示,當局要求專業技術人員H-1B簽證申請者補件的比率大幅增加,核准的比率卻下降。

公民和移民服務局(USCIS)數據顯示,以2018年第四季為例,60%替外國員工提出申請的公司被要求提供更多資料(補件),相較2017年同期為46%,2016年最後一季則僅28%。

在通過率方面,2018年第四季為75%,2017年同期為83%,2016年同期為92%;這些數據包括延長已持有者的H-1B簽證,以及為新聘雇員申請的企業。

2018財政年度的H-1B簽證核發率在30大企業中顯著不同;其中五間企業的通過率為99%,分別是蘋果(Apple)、臉書(Facebook)、Google、英特爾(Intel )和微軟(Microsoft)。


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電商巨擘亞馬遜(Amazon)和資訊科技巨頭思科(Cisco)的申請通過率為98%,摩根大通(JPMorgan)則有97%的核准率;申請率高但核准率低的企業則為高知特(Cognizant,68%)、凱捷(Capgemini,60%)。

USCIS發言人潔西卡‧柯林斯(Jessica Collins)表示,配合川普行政命令「買美國貨,雇美國人」(Buy American and  Hire American),USCIS已實施多項改革措施;申請企業最常被問到該職位是否為具專業技術的特殊崗位(specialty occupation)、聘僱雙方是否為勞資關係,以及雇員在持有簽證期間的工作內容。

USCIS局長西斯納(L. Francis Cissna)已指示收緊審核程序,以保護美國員工的利益,仍會核准大多數申請,但審查會更嚴格以強化移民政策。



Feb. 22, 2019 

H-1B Quarterly Request for Evidence (RFE) FY2015-FY2019 Q1 Top 30 Employers (PDF, 65 KB)



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02/24/2019

Trump administration denying, delaying more foreign skilled-worker requests

By Yeganeh Torbati

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is denying and delaying more skilled-worker visa petitions than at any time since at least 2015, in keeping with its promise to increase scrutiny of foreign workers, according to data the government released on Friday.

U.S. officials say they have made reforms that prioritize American workers, cut down on fraud and streamline the immigration process. But lawyers who help employers apply for the visas say the agency is rejecting legitimate applications and tying up requests in bureaucratic red tape.


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The data provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that adjudicates the visas, extends to the 2015 fiscal year, encompassing the last two years of the Obama administration and the first two years of the Trump administration.

Republican President Donald Trump campaigned in 2016 on restricting immigration, and early in his presidency issued an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees USCIS, to tighten its policies on H-1B visas. The visas are intended for foreign workers who generally have bachelor’s degrees or higher to work in the United States, often in the technology, healthcare and education sectors.

In the 2018 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, the government issued “initial denials” to over 61,000 H-1B applications. In that time, the government issued decisions on over 396,000 applications.


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That is more than double the number of such denials over the prior year, even as the total number of applications the government completed dropped by about 2 percent between 2017 and 2018.

And denials look set to increase even further this year. In the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year, the government issued initial denials to nearly 25,000 H-1B applications, a 50 percent increase over the same period last year.

The majority of petitions are still being approved, but the approval rate is dropping. In 2015, the approval rate was 96 percent, compared with 85 percent last year.

“USCIS has made a series of reforms designed to protect U.S. workers, increase our confidence in the eligibility of those who receive benefits, cut down on frivolous petitions, and improve the integrity and efficiency of the immigration petition process,” said Jessica Collins, a USCIS spokeswoman.






The government data also show that the administration is issuing far more “requests for evidence” in response to H-1B applications. Such requests, or RFEs as they are known, often challenge the basis of the original petitions and require employers and attorneys to submit additional paperwork. Receiving an RFE from the government can add several months and thousands of dollars in legal fees to the cost of applying for a visa, attorneys say.

The number of completed H-1B petitions that drew an RFE reached over 150,000 last year, compared with 86,000 in 2017, a 75 percent increase.

Ron Hira, a professor at Howard University and critic of the H-1B program, said the data suggests USCIS is giving employers a fair opportunity to justify their petitions through the RFE process.

“It also makes one question whether the Obama administration was doing an adequate job in ensuring the integrity and accountability of the H-1B program,” Hira wrote in an email.


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He also noted that large tech companies, such as Microsoft Corp, Amazon, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc, enjoyed H-1B approval rates last year of 98 percent or 99 percent, according to USCIS, while firms that have been criticized for using H-1B workers to replace Americans saw their petitions approved at far lower rates.

But immigration attorneys say many of the denials and RFEs are violating the laws and regulations governing the program.

Some companies are successfully challenging the denials in federal court. Entegris Professional Solutions, a Minnesota company, sued USCIS in December over the rejection of an H-1B application for one of its employees.

This month, USCIS reopened the case and granted the petition, said Matthew Webster, one of Entegris’ attorneys on the case.











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