USDHS Launches New Online Employment Verification System

September 27th, 2007

The US Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) upgraded E-Verify (formerly Basic Pilot), its internet-based system that helps employers screen for illegal workers while hiring.  According to the website Government Executive.com, approximately 23,000 employers nationwide participate in E-Verify, a voluntary employment eligibility verification program. Through the program, employers can check the immigration status of newly hired workers by matching the information they present against the databases of the Social Security Administration and Homeland Security.

All new hires must present identification and work authorization documentation to the employer through the I-9 process.  There is a list of acceptable documents on the Form I-9.  The upgraded E-Verify allows employers to compare photos on green cards and employment authorization documents with the photos in DHS’s database, which were stored when the documents were created. If the photos don’t match, it is probable that the documents are fraudulent.

The Illinois legislature recently prohibited employers from participating in the E-Verify program, claiming that verification takes too long and is too riddled with flaws, potentially causing employers to discriminate against employees. 

USCIS Announces New Naturalization Exam

September 27th, 2007

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it will administer a new naturalization test beginning in October 2008.  It has published the 100 questions and answers that comprise the civics component of the new naturalization test. 

All applicants who file for naturalization after October 1, 2008, will be required to take the new redesigned exam.  For those applicants who file before October 1, 2008, but who are interviewed after October 1, 2008, they will have the choice of taking the redesigned exam or the current one.

DOS Issues Visa Bulletin for October 2007

September 12th, 2007

The US Department of State has issued its October 2007 Visa Bulletin.  The good news is that visa numbers are now current for all of EB-1 and for the EB-2 worldwide category. 

USCIS Publishes New U Visa Regulations for Victims of Crime

September 12th, 2007

USCIS has published an interim rule on the new regulations for the nonimmigrant U visas for victims of crime who assist governmental officials in investigating and prosecuting crimes.  In order to be eligible for the U visa, the alien victim of criminal activity must have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse because of the activity; have information about the activity; and must be willing to assist governmental officials in its investigation of the crime.  Also, the crime must have violated US law or have occurred in the U.S. 

A person granted a U visa may remain in the U.S. for four years and may be accompanied by a spouse, parent, child or unmarried sibling under 18.

For more information about the U visa, please see the USCIS fact sheet.