Friday, August 7, 2009

CIS to increase employer site visits

USCIS has received significant funding for a substantially increased volume of random site visits to employer petitioners. Over the coming year, many thousands more employers will be visited by USCIS, often unannounced.

FDNS (Office of Fraud Detection and National Security) visits are to verify the existence of the employer, discuss the information that the employer has provided to USCIS in their petition(s) and whether the foreign national is working in accordance with the terms of their admission to the USA. Sometimes the visits relate to an approved petition, and sometimes they are used to check information in a pending petition.

Officers commonly ask about the employer’s business; the worksite; the number of employees; whether the employer filed the immigration petition in question; whether the foreign national is actually employed by the employer; the foreign national’s position, job duties and salary; and the foreign national’s qualifications for the position, educational background, previous employment and immigration history, residence and dependents in the United States. Typically, the FDNS officer will want to talk to the HR representative and perhaps also the foreign national.

If you are contacted about an upcoming site visit, please contact your immigration attorney immediately. If you receive an unannounced site visit - please contact us as soon as possible afterwards to discuss. In either situation, it is important to cooperate with the CIS representative as far as possible

Links: FDNS fact sheet

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Permanent residence (green card) petitions down by half

The Associated Press reports that the number of employers filing immigrant petitions has declined dramatically in the past two years. According to AP, CIS received about 1/2 the number of I-140s in Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 than it did in each of the previous years.
There were almost 235,000 applications submitted in fiscal 2007, almost 104,000 the following year, and fewer than 36,000 through the first eight months of fiscal 2009, according to data obtained by the AP.
One side-effect of the drop in applications is that I-140s are now being processed much faster than before, the report notes.

The decline in filings is attributed to "weak job market, long waits for immigrant visa availability, deep job cuts in sectors that have traditionally lured large numbers of applicants and more competition from American job seekers."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New medical forms for consular applicants

The US State Department has updated the forms to be used by panel physicians for people applying for permanent residence via US consulates. Doctors should begin using the following forms immediately:
  • DS-2053, Medical Examination for Immigrant or Refugee Applicant (1991 TB TIs)
  • DS-3024, Chest X-Ray and Classification Worksheet (1991 TB TIs)
  • DS-3026, Medical History of Physical Examination Worksheet (all posts), and
  • DS-3025, Vaccination Documentation Worksheet (all posts).
The remaining forms should be used starting on 10/1/09:
  • DS-2054, Medical Examination for Immigrant or Refugee Applicant (2007 TB TIs)
  • DS-3030, Chest X-Ray and Classification Worksheet (2007 TB TIs).
People who have already completed their medical exams using the older version of the forms do not have to have new exams. For more details, see here.

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