April 26

Immigration Scam Alert!

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a fraud alert on April 19, 2017, to warn the public about a scam using the DHS OIG hotline telephone number. Scammers have identified themselves as “U.S. Immigration” employees and have altered their caller ID to seem like the call is coming from the DHS OIG hotline (1-800-323-8603). They then demand that the individual provide or verify personally identifiable information, often by telling individuals that they are victims of identity theft.

 

USCIS officials will never threaten you or ask for payment over the phone or in an email. If they need payment, they will mail a letter on official stationery requesting payment. Do not give payment over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official. In general, they encourage you to protect your personal information and not to provide details about your immigration application in any public area.

 

How to Report a Call from a Scammer

If you receive a scam email or phone call, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at http://1.usa.gov/1suOHSS. If you are not sure if it is a scam, forward the suspicious email to the USCIS webmaster at uscis.webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov. USCIS will review the emails received and share with law enforcement agencies as appropriate. Visit the Avoid Scams Initiative at www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams for more information on common scams and other important tips.

April 26

Take Action: Support the H-2B Returning Worker Exemption

The H-2B returning worker exemption provides important relief from the annual cap on H-2B visas by exempting an H-2B worker from the current fiscal year’s cap if they have worked for the petitioning employer during the previous three years. The provision was in effect until September 30, 2016. Employers are encouraged to contact their senators and representatives and ask them to reach out to their party leaders to support the inclusion of the H-2B returning worker exemption in any funding bill to keep the federal government open past April 28, 2017.

April 20

USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

USCIS announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (i.e., green card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. The redesigned cards contain enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017, but will continue using existing card stock until current supplies are depleted. Both existing and new green cards and EADs are valid until the expiration date shown on the card.

April 20

Practice Alert: NVC Requiring Mexican Police Clearances for IV Applicants

DOS provided guidance regarding the March 6, 2017, revision to the reciprocity schedule for Mexico, in which the National Visa Center (NVC) now requires immigrant visa (IV) applicants to obtain police clearances. The current reciprocity schedule for Mexico states that the appropriate police certificate is required for any IV applicant who is 18 and over, and who has resided in Mexico for more than six months since the age of 18.