Immigration Help Available to Those Affected by Hurricanes

We offer immigration services that may help people affected by unforeseen circumstances, including disasters such as hurricanes.

The following measures may be available on a case-by-case basis upon request:

  • Changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States. Failure to apply for the extension or change before expiration of your authorized period of admission may be excused if the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;
  • Re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Expedited processing of advance parole requests;
  • Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate;
  • Consideration of fee waivers due to an inability to pay;
  • Assistance for those who received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to submit evidence or otherwise respond in a timely manner;
  • Assistance if you were unable to appear for a scheduled interview with USCIS;
  • Expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card); and
  • Rescheduling a biometrics appointment.

Note: When making a request, please explain how the impact of a hurricane created a need for the requested relief.

To learn how to request these measures, call the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283. For customers who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind or have speech disabilities which require accommodation: TTY / ASCII: 800-877-8339,  voice: 866-377-8642, video relay service (VRS): 877-709-5798.

Visit our Office Closings page to determine if an office is open and to learn about rescheduling appointments. In particular, if your InfoPass appointment was affected by a hurricane, you can reschedule your appointment online or by calling the National Customer Service Center.

All Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, requirements remain in place. Those affected by hurricanes should review Form I-9 acceptable documents and receipts for more information on how to complete the form if an employee’s documents are lost, stolen, or damaged. Visit I-9 Central for more information.

Visit our Special Situations page or call the National Customer Service Center for more information about how we provide assistance to individuals affected by unforeseen circumstances.

Learn more about the federal government response to recent hurricanes:

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Premium Processing Now Available for All Petitioners Seeking H-1B Visas

Release Date:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions. 

H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time. If that time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application.

In addition to today’s resumption of premium processing for H-1B visa extension of stay petitions, USCIS had previously resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers and certain H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap.

For more information on how the H-1B visa program is being used, visit the Buy American, Hire American: Putting American Workers First page. This page provides data and information about the hiring practices of employers who use H-1B visas to hire foreign workers. 

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

 

-USCIS-

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Update to Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Purpose of Form

Certain foreign nationals, who are eligible to work in the United States, use Form I-765 to request an employment authorization document (EAD).

Number of Pages

Form 2; Instructions 19.

Edition Date

07/17/17. Starting 12/04/2017, we will only accept the 07/17/17 edition. Until then, you can use the 01/17/17 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Where to File

The filing address depends on the eligibility category you entered in Question 16. Please check the filing locations for Form I-765 for a list of mailing addresses.

Filing Tips for Form I- I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Complete all sections of the form. The form will be rejected if these fields are missing:

  • Number 1 – Full Name
  • Number 3 – U.S. Mailing Address
  • Number 6 – Date of Birth
  • Number 20 – Eligibility Category

Don’t forget to sign your form! We will reject and return any unsigned form.

Filing Fee

The filing fee for Form I-765 is $410. You must also pay an $85 biometric services fee, for a total of $495, if you are filing with one of the following eligibility categories: 

(c)(33) Requesting consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA);

(c)(35) A beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition and you are facing compelling circumstances; or

(c)(36) A spouse or unmarried dependent child of a beneficiary of an employment-based immigrant petition who is facing compelling circumstances.

There is no biometric services fee for any other eligibility category.

Some individuals may be exempt from paying fees. See the form instructions for more information.

Special Instructions

If you are filing your application at a USCIS Lockbox facility:

Note: To be considered for DACA, you must file:

  • Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals;
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization;
  • Form I-765 Worksheet; and
  • The correct fee.

If you do not submit all of the above, we will reject your request and return it to you. The 90-day period for reviewing Form I-765 filed together with Form I-821D begins if and when USCIS decides whether to defer action in your case.

Note to U Petitioners: Principal U nonimmigrant petitioners are employment authorized incident to status, after the underlying petition for U nonimmigrant status is approved an employment authorization document is automatically issued without filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

Derivative family members residing inside the United States are also employment authorized incident to status; however, an employment authorization document is not automatically issued. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, may be filed for a derivative to obtain an employment authorization document.

Employment authorization for principals and derivatives can only be issued after the underlying U nonimmigrant status petition is approved, regardless of when the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, is filed.

If the statutory cap is reached in a fiscal year and we use the waiting list process described at 8 CFR 214.14(d)(2), petitioners for U nonimmigrant status and derivatives in the United States can apply for employment authorization using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, based on deferred action.  An application for employment authorization based on deferred action can only be approved after DHS has deferred action in your case, regardless of when the Form I-765 is filed.

Note to Asylum Applicants: If you are an asylum applicant, please refer to the asylum webpages for criteria for eligibility, including information about the calculation of the 180-day Asylum EAD Clock.

This page can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/i-765

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New USCIS Form Streamlines Process to Obtain a Work Authorization Document and Social Security Number Simultaneously

Release Date:

WASHINGTON – Based on a new information-sharing partnership between U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), foreign nationals in certain categories or classifications can now apply for work authorization and a social security number using a single form – the updated Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

To lawfully work in the United States, foreign workers in some categories and classifications need both an employment authorization document (EAD) from USCIS, and a Social Security number (SSN) from the SSA. Previously, applicants needed to submit a Form I-765 to USCIS for an EAD, and then submit additional paperwork in-person at their local Social Security office to obtain an SSN.

The revised USCIS form includes additional questions that allow applicants to apply for an SSN or replacement card without visiting a Social Security office. Starting today, USCIS will transmit the additional data collected on the form to the SSA for processing. Moving forward, applicants who receive their approved EADs from USCIS should receive their Social Security card from SSA within the following two weeks.

EADs serve as documentation to show employers that an individual is authorized to work in the U.S. for a specific time period. SSNs are used to report wages to the government, and to determine an individual’s eligibility for certain benefits. USCIS encourages all U.S. employers to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires through E-Verify.

For additional information on applying for employment authorization, visit USCIS’ EAD page or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center.

For more information on applying for a Social Security card, see this fact sheet (PDF).

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

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Deadline to Submit DACA Renewal Requests Approaching On Oct. 5

Release Date:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reminding eligible Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients that they have one week to properly file their DACA renewal requests and associated applications for employment authorization. As previously announced, for recipients whose DACA and work authorization expire between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, inclusive, USCIS will continue to accept renewal requests through Oct. 5, 2017. These requests must be properly filed and physically received by the agency at the proper filing location no later than Oct. 5. The mailing address and instructions can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-821d-addresses. Renewal requests that are granted will be valid for two years, unless otherwise terminated or revoked.

Individuals with DACA and associated work authorization that expire after March 5, 2018, are no longer eligible to submit a renewal request. However, their current DACA and work authorization will remain valid until they expire, unless otherwise terminated or revoked. 

Individuals with DACA and associated work authorizations that expired on or before Sept. 4, 2017, who had not properly filed a renewal request that was received on or before Sept. 5, 2017, are also no longer eligible to request renewal.

Based on legal guidance issued by the Attorney General, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke issued a memorandum on Sept. 5, 2017, initiating an orderly wind-down of DACA. Additional information on this topic can be found on the USCIS website.

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

– USCIS –

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Employers Must Use Form I-9 With a Revision Date of 07/17/17 N

Beginning Sept. 18, 2017, employers must use Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with revision date 07/17/17 N, to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986, or for the reverification of expiring employment authorization of current employees (if applicable).

This date is found on the lower left corner of the form. Prior versions of the form will no longer be valid for use.  Employers who fail to use Form I-9, 07/17/17 N on or after Sept. 18, 2017 may be subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Employers should continue to follow existing storage and retention rules for each previously completed Form I-9.

Employers can complete Form I-9 electronically on a fillable PDF or by hand by downloading the PDF using the latest version of the free Adobe Reader. The Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari web browsers will prompt you to open or save the form. Visit I-9 Central for more information.

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USCIS No Longer Accepting Petitions for One-Time Increase to the Temporary Nonagricultural Visa Program

Release Date:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is no longer accepting petitions from U. S. employers seeking to hire temporary nonagricultural workers under the one-time increase to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 H-2B cap announced in July.

For the first time, in May, Congress delegated its authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to increase the number of temporary nonagricultural work visas available to U.S. employers through FY 2017.

After consulting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly determined there were not enough qualified and willing U.S. workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural labor to satisfy the needs of some American businesses in FY 2017. Consequently, additional H-2B visas were made available to American businesses that could establish they would likely suffer irreparable harm if they could not hire all the H-2B workers requested in their FY 2017 petitions. An additional 15,000 visas were made available under a final rule published in July. USCIS previously met the FY 2017 cap for H-2B visas in March.

Following the filing deadline guidance included in July’s final rule, USCIS has stopped accepting petitions and is rejecting any FY 2017 H-2B cap-subject petitions received after Sept. 15. With the close of the petition period on Sept. 15, USCIS has tabulated that it has received a total request of 13,534 workers.

In its commitment to protect U.S. workers, USCIS required petitioning employers to attest, under penalty of perjury, that their business would likely suffer irreparable harm if they could not hire all their requested H-2B workers before the end of the fiscal year. Some employers were also required to conduct a fresh round of recruitment efforts for U.S. workers before being allowed to petition for additional foreign workers.

Petitions that have been submitted but are not approved by USCIS before Oct.1 will be denied, and any associated fees will not be refunded.

USCIS will continue to accept FY 2017 H-2B petitions for workers who are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap.

Additional information about how the supplemental FY 2017 H-2B visas are being used, including information about the petitioning employers, can be found on the One-Time Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2017 webpage.

The agency also continues to encourage the public to report H-2B program fraud and abuse by emailing reporth2babuse@uscis.dhs.gov.

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

– USCIS –

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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Some Categories of Applicants Seeking H-1B Visas

Release Date:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year year (FY) 2018 cap. The FY 2018 cap has been set at 65,000 visas. Premium processing has also resumed for the annual 20,000 additional petitions that are set aside to hire workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher educational degree.

H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, academic research, and accounting. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If the 15- calendar day processing time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application. This service is only available for pending petitions, not new submissions, since USCIS received enough petitions in April to meet the FY 2018 cap.

In addition to today’s resumption of premium processing for H-1B visa petitions subject to the FY 2018 cap, USCIS previously resumed premium processing H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers and for certain H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap. Premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions, such as extensions of stay.

USCIS plans to resume premium processing for all other remaining H‑1B petitions not subject to the FY 2018 cap, as agency workloads permit. However, remaining petitioners may submit a request to expedite their application if they meet the specific agency criteria. USCIS reviews all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis, and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.

USCIS will release future announcements when we begin accepting premium processing for other H-1B petitions, not subject to the FY 2018 cap.

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

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Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan Extended for 18 Months

Release Date:

WASHINGTON—Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of South Sudan (and eligible individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) through May 2, 2019. After consulting with the appropriate U.S. government agencies, and reviewing country conditions, acting Secretary Duke determined that an 18-month extension of South Sudan for TPS is necessary because the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted the 2016 TPS redesignation have persisted.

Current beneficiaries of South Sudan’s TPS designation seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register. The deadline will be published in the Federal Register and on www.uscis.gov/tps  later this week. Those who re-register and request a new employment authorization document (EAD) may receive an automatic extension of their expiring EAD for up to 180 days from the date their current EAD expires. If a beneficiary’s EAD request is approved, they will receive a new EAD with an expiration date of May 2, 2019. TPS beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to re-register and file their EAD applications as early as possible to avoid lapses in documentation of employment authorization.

Additional information about TPS for South Sudan, including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file is available online at uscis.gov/tps. Further details about this extension of TPS for South Sudan, including the application requirements and procedures, will appear in a Federal Register notice to be published soon.

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).  

– USCIS –

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Temporary Protected Status for Sudan to Terminate in November 2018

Release Date:

WASHINGTON—Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke has determined that conditions in Sudan no longer support its designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) after reviewing country conditions, and after Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials’ consultations with the appropriate U.S. government agencies. Acting Secretary Duke is extending benefits for beneficiaries of Sudan TPS for 12 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on Nov. 2, 2018.

Current beneficiaries of Sudan’s TPS designation seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register. The deadline will be published in the Federal Register and on www.uscis.gov/tps later this week. Those who re-register and request a new employment authorization document (EAD) may receive an automatic extension of their expiring EAD for up to 180 days from the date their current EAD expires. If a beneficiary’s EAD request is approved, they will receive a new EAD with an expiration date of Nov. 2, 2018. TPS beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to re-register and file their EAD applications as early as possible to avoid lapses in documentation of employment authorization.

Although TPS benefits will no longer be in effect starting Nov. 2, 2018, TPS beneficiaries will continue to hold any other immigration status that they have maintained or acquired while registered for TPS. The Department of Homeland Security urges individuals who do not have another immigration status to use the time before the termination becomes effective in November to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible.

Additional information about TPS is available at uscis.gov/tps. A Federal Register notice containing further details will be published soon.

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

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