IMMIGRATION ALERT: Recent News from DOS, DOJ, and INS
Homeland Security Act of 2002: * On November 25, 2002, President Bush signed the “Homeland Security Act of 2002” into law, which establishes the Department of Homeland Security and includes provisions which may significantly alter the visa issuance process at U.S. Consulate/Embassy posts and adjudication of INS petitions. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. Department of State: * DOS issued a Worldwide Caution on November 20 reminding the country that U.S. citizens and interests remain at increased risk of terrorist attacks and that U.S. citizens should continue to exercise caution and remain vigilant with regard to their personal security. * Individuals wishing to obtain visas from U.S. Consulates in December are urged to plan ahead, as the visa units are typically very busy in December. * The U.S. Embassy in Paris, France has recently implemented an on-line status system for E visa (Treaty Trader/Investor) applications at www.amb-usa.fr/consul/forms/evpending.pdf. The website shows status information, such as reference number, date application received, anticipated decision date, and listing of missing information/items. Department of Justice/Immigration and Naturalization Service: * President Bush also signed into law a provision whereby an individual is eligible to extend H-1B status in one year increments beyond the six-year limitation, if 365 days or more have elapsed since the filing of a labor certification application (that is filed on behalf of or used by the alien) or an immigrant visa petition. This legislation recognizes that Department of Labor backlogs have precluded some H-1B visa holders from being eligible to apply for one-year extensions of H status pursuant to the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act of 2000. * Nationals or citizens of designated countries who were last admitted to the U.S. before 09/30/2002 are now required to register at an INS district or sub-office, as part of the second phase of the Special Registration program. At this time designated countries include: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, U.A.E., and Yemen. Additional information relating to INS’ Special Registration program may be obtained by visiting INS’ website at www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/lawenfor/specialreg/index.htm. * In its endeavor to enforce the rule that all non-citizens notify the INS of any change of address, the INS has issued a new version of Form AR-11, Change of Address, and a new mailing address for such filings. Such notices may sent to the following address: INS, Change of Address, P.O. Box 7134, London, Kentucky 40742-7134. Should you have any questions concerning the above or any other employment-based immigration matter, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Luis Campos, Partner and Chair of the Immigration and Nationality Practice Group, at (972)739-8608, [email protected]; Ms. Cindy Kang at (972)739-8605, [email protected]; or Ms. Jacquelyn Prickett at (972)739-8607, [email protected]. Thank you.
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