News in Brief:
The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:
First-Time Third Country H-1B Applicants Can Apply in Vancouver for Their Visas: The U.S. Consulate General at Vancouver, B.C., Canada has confirmed that it will accept applications by third country nationals (non-Canadians) applying for their first H-1B visa stamp, even if it is based on a university degree issued outside the U.S. or Canada. Normally, foreign nationals must appear at a U.S. consulate in their home country for the first visa stamp in a particular classification.
Citizenship Discrimination Continues to be a Focus of DOJ Enforcement Activity: In the past few months, the DOJ’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices has settled two more cases where employers have discriminated against noncitizens in their hiring practices. The settlements include fines against the employer and mandate that those responsible for hiring employees undergo I-9 compliance and discrimination training.
Updates on TPS and Deferred Enforced Departure: The following is an update and roundup of the current status of TPS for some 12 countries:
- El Salvador: DHS extended TPS for El Salvador for an additional 18 months, effective 9/10/16 through 3/9/18. The 60-day re-registration period expired on 9/6/16.
- Guinea: TPS for Guinea, which was set to expire on 11/21/16, was extended for six months for the purpose of an orderly transition, and will then terminate on 5/21/17.
- Haiti: A number of senators have urged the DOS and DHS to grant TPS to eligible Haitian nationals in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and the ongoing cholera epidemic. TPS had been granted to Haiti in 2010 in the wake of a devastating earthquake. While DHS issued a statement that removal flights to Haiti had been suspended temporarily in light of Hurricane Mathew, it also advised that it intends to resume those flights as soon as possible.
- Honduras: DHS extended the designation of Honduras for TPS for 18 months, from 7/6/16 through 1/5/18. The 60-day re-registration period expired on 7/15/16.
- Liberia: Deferred Enforced Departure for certain Liberians was extended for an additional 18 months, from 10/1/16 through 3/31/18. USCIS will automatically extend for six months current DED-based EADs that have an expiration date of 9/30/16. These EADs will now be valid through 3/31/17.
- Nicaragua: DHS extended the designation of Nicaragua for TPS for 18 months, from 7/6/16 through 1/5/18. The 60-day re-registration period expired on 7/15/16.
- Nepal: Some 130 organizations have requested that DHS re-designate Nepal for TPS for an additional 18 months. TPS is set to expired on 12/21/16.
- Sierra Leone: TPS for Sierra Leone, which was set to expire on 11/21/16, was extended for six months for the purpose of an orderly transition, and will then terminate on 5/21/17.
- Sudan: DHS extended Sudan’s designation for TPS, effective 5/3/2016 through 11/2/2017.
- South Sudan: DHS extended South Sudan’s designation for TPS, effective 5/3/2016 through 11/2/2017.
- Syria: DHS extended and re-designated Syria for TPS for 18 months, from 10/1/16 through 3/31/18. The redesignation allows additional individuals who have not yet applied and who have been continuously residing in the U.S. since 8/1/16 to obtain TPS, if otherwise eligible.
- Yemen: TPS for Yemen was designated on 9/3/2015 for an additional 18 months, until 3/3/17.