USCIS Immigration 101 Guide for Congress (PowerPoint) by yaofenji

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									USCIS and Immigration 101
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           USCIS and Immigration 101
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             Main Table of Contents
About US

Privacy Information & Enforcement Sensitive Issues

About Resources

About Immigration Benefits

Case Status

Processing Time

InfoPass

OLA Contact

Department of State


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USCIS and Immigration 101
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       ABOUT US




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INS to DHS - March 3, 2003:
 1 Agency into 3 Agencies




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        Immigration – Key players
Department of State                    U.S. Citizenship
Bureau of Consular Affairs             and Immigration
                                       Services




Department of Justice                    Department of
                                         Labor




  U.S. Customs and                     U.S. Immigration
  Border Protection                    and Customs
                                       Enforcement


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                  Agency Functions
• STATE Department (Consular Affairs) is the only agency that issues visas

• USCIS includes, but not limited to: Family and Employment-based
  Application Adjudication (e.g. Adjustment of Status and Naturalization) and
  International Benefit Programs

• ICE includes, but not limited to: Investigations, Detention and Removal,
  Interior and International Enforcement

• CBP includes, but not limited to: Inspections (Port-of-Entry), Border Patrol
  and International Enforcement (including Container Security)




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                  USCIS PROGRAMS
• 18,000 USCIS Government Employees and Contractors Work in 250
  offices around the World on Programs Including:

   –   E-Verify Work Authorization
   –   Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE)
   –   Green Card (permanent residence) Issuance
   –   Permanent and Temporary Employment-based Visa Programs
   –   Citizenship through Civilian and Military Naturalization
   –   Humanitarian Parole
   –   Refugee and Asylum
   –   Temporary Protected Status
   –   Inter-Country Adoptions
   –   Family based immigration


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        USCIS Agency-Wide Daily Statistics
On an average day, USCIS will…
• Process 135,000 national security background checks
• Answer 41,000 calls at our toll free Customer Service line
• See 12,000 visitors at 86 local offices
• Fingerprint and photograph 11,000 applicants at 129 Application Support
  Centers
• Screen employment eligibility of more than 80,000 new hires
• Adjudicate 30,000 applications
• Welcome 18,300 new permanent residents, issue 18,300 green cards
• Welcome 3,400 naturalized citizens, 30 in the U.S. military
• Process 400 refugees applications, grant asylum to 40 individuals
• Help American parents adopt 100 foreign-born orphans

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North East Region
(Districts 1-7)

South East Region
(Districts 8-11)

Central Region
(Districts 12-19)

Western Region
(Districts 20-26)




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•   USCIS Service Centers:
     – California (CSC), Nebraska (NSC), Texas (TSC) and Vermont (VSC)
     – Mail-based facilities that adjudicate and process petitions and applications for immigration
       benefits that typically do not require an interview.

     – Congressional Constituent Services:
         • Each service center has a Congressional Inquiry Unit.
         • Each of these units is responsible for addressing inquiries brought to the service
           centers by Congressional offices.
     – 2 Types of Service Center Jurisdiction:
         • By Geography: Jurisdiction for a particular service center is geographically divided
           according to the state/district/territory where an applicant resides.
         • By Form Type: Particular service centers may also possess exclusive nationwide
           jurisdiction for a particular caseload. Typically, two service centers share jurisdiction
           over a form type.

•   National Benefit Center (NBC):
     – Performs centralized front-end processing of applications and petitions that do require field
        office interviews (primarily family-based I-485s and N-400s).

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                  Service Center Statistics


On an average day, USCIS Service Centers…
•   Process 15,000 applications and petitions
•   Issue 15,000 green cards
•   Process 2,700 Requests for Evidence (Initial issue as well as responses)
•   Receive 900 pieces of correspondence
•   Process 2,400 Service Request Management Tool inquiries on cases




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       The Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA)

•   OLA serves as the principal point of coordination to Congress regarding
    USCIS operations and policies.
•   OLA conducts/manages responses to all Congressional casework inquiries.
•   OLA Consists of:
    1. A Washington DC based headquarters unit with 3 branches;
       • Legislative
       • Operations
       • Outreach (Partnering with USCIS local leadership and liaisons)
    2. Over 120 Congressional liaisons located across our USCIS domestic
       offices.



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        A Year in the Life of OLA-FY 2010
• Telephone Inquiries from Congressional Offices
   – > 80,000 relating to immigration policy and casework nationwide
   – 12,266 HQ OLA
• Written Inquiries
   – > 12,000 relating to immigration policy and casework nationwide
   – 2,977 HQ OLA
• E-Mail Inquiries
   – > 128,000 relating to immigration policy and casework nationwide
   – 8,293 HQ OLA
• Meetings and Briefings
   – HQ OLA organized almost 130 meetings/briefings with Members and/or
     staff.
   – Numerous field meetings/briefings for Congressional District
     caseworkers.
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                 Inquiries: Helpful Tips

•   Telephonic: Best when dialogue is required, or
    an emergency exists that requires immediate
    attention.



                •   Email: Great for simple status checks and
                    requests regarding USCIS policies and
                    procedures

•   Written: Recommended when a case is
    complicated, and USCIS will need to review
    documents. Should be limited in number, as
    they take longer to resolve.
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                  Telephone Inquiries
USCIS OLA national response goals require that telephone inquiries receive an
initial response by the close of the next business day.




                          Phone
                                     Initial
                          inquiry
                                     response
                          received




Even if a liaison is not able to completely resolve the matter by that time, the
liaison must make contact and offer a definite plan of action.


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                     E-mail Inquiries
E-Mail inquiries shall be resolved, or at least acknowledged with an initial
response, within 5 business days of receipt.




                          E-mail
                                                         Initial
                          inquiry
                                                         response
                          received




An acknowledgement should detail the next steps and a plan for resolution of
the inquiry. If only an acknowledgement can be given in the first 5 business
days, we will strive to resolve or at least provide a meaningful response on all
pending inquiries within 30 days of receipt.

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         Formal Written and Faxed Inquiries
Formal written correspondence and faxes shall be resolved or initially
acknowledged within 10 business days of receipt.




                        Written or
                        Faxed
                        inquiry
                        received

                                                         Initial
                                                         response




Acknowledgement should detail next steps and a plan for resolution. If only an
acknowledgement can be given in the first 10 business days, we will strive to
resolve or at least provide a meaningful response on all pending inquiries
within 30 days of receipt.

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Privacy Information and Enforcement
           Sensitive Issues




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                 Privacy Release Requirements

    • To remain in compliance with the Privacy Act, as well as the Department
    of Homeland Security policy and regulations, USCIS may not disclose,
    any information without the consent from the subject of the records.

    • Family members, friends, and attorney or authorized representative
    (even if there is a G-28) or other interested parties may not authorize the
    release of information on behalf of the person who is the subject of the
    record.

    • Inquires requesting general information or non-case specific
    information do not require a privacy release.



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                 Privacy Release Requirements
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    • Congressional staffers must possess a privacy release for all case
    specific inquiries.

    • Even if the individual who is the subject of the records is outside of the
    United States, there must still be a release. Common examples are
    approved form 1-730’s when the inquiry is really about the beneficiary’s
    processing or interview, Form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds of
    Inadmissibility), of Refugee applications.




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Requests for Expedited or Special Processing
USCIS cannot expedite solely on the basis of an expedite request from a
congressional office.

Expedited processing may be considered in line with USCIS policy, for
example:

     Severe financial loss to a company or individual
     Extreme emergent or humanitarian situation
     Military readiness or other national interest situation
     USCIS error or other compelling interest of USCIS




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Become familiar with the USCIS website,
 it is an excellent tool at your disposal!
             www.uscis.gov




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      RESOURCES




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           How Do I…? Customer Guides

These guides answer questions regarding immigration benefits. The series
provides information on 50 main application procedures.


   U.S. Citizens                                     Refugees and Asylees

   Permanent Residents                               Employers

   Nonimmigrants                                     General Information




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                       Congressional Staff FAQ




The link below will show you some of the
most frequently asked questions from
congressional staffers.




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                           Forms
USCIS FORMS ARE FREE: Your constituent should never pay anyone for copies of our
forms.

USCIS forms are always FREE to download on our site, or order by mail or phone at 1-
800-870-3676. Most USCIS forms can be downloaded and filled out using the latest
version of Adobe Reader . "DS" forms are available on the Department of State
website.

Shortcut links now on all forms pages: For example, Form I-130 is at www.uscis.gov/i-
130 - Form N-400 is at www.uscis.gov/n-400 - and so on.

E-Notification: When filing at Lockbox facilities in Chicago, Phoenix, or Lewisville, TX,
your constituent may sign up to receive an email and/or text notification that their
application has been accepted. See "G-1145,E-Notification of Application/Petition
Acceptance" for more.




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                   Laws and Regulations
The USCIS LAWS section provides information on laws, regulations and
interpretations controlling immigration and the work of the immigration-related
components of the Department of Homeland Security.

The LAWS section includes several legal resources linked on the left column of
this page. These links include information on:

Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR)
Immigration Nationality Act
Administrative Decisions
Finding Legal Advice
Handbooks and guides
Immigration Policy and Procedural Memoranda

And much more.


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                      Glossary

Immigration law has a number of highly technical terms that may not
mean the same thing to the average reader.

To inform USCIS.gov users, we provide this glossary of immigration
terms and acronyms.




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ABOUT IMMIGRATION BENEFITS




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                     CASE STATUS


Your constituent can view the status of their case online.
They must enter the corresponding application receipt
number in the location identified in the USCIS website. The
13-character application receipt number can be found on
application notices your constituent received from USCIS.




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                     PROCESSING TIMES

USCIS usually processes cases in the order
they are received. For each type of application
or petition we have specific workload
processing goals.

We have created a table you can use to
determine how long we are taking to process
an application or petition at a particular office.




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                       INFO PASS


InfoPass is a free service that lets your constituent
schedule an appointment with a U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigration Officer by
using the Internet at any time of day or night. If your
constituent has an immigration issue that is best
handled by a trained USCIS Immigration Officer,
InfoPass will let them schedule their appointment
instead of requesting it in person at your local USCIS
office.




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    IMMIGRATION BENEFITS
       Table of Contents

Permanent Residence                       Citizenship


Working in the US                         Family


Humanitarian                              Adoption


Visit the US                              Military


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        LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENCE
A permanent resident is someone who has been
granted authorization to live and work in the United
States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status,
your constituent is granted a permanent resident
card, commonly called a "green card." Your
constituent can become a permanent resident
several different ways. Most individuals are
sponsored by a family member or employer in the
United States. Other individuals may become
permanent residents through refugee or asylee
status or other humanitarian programs. In some
cases, your constituent may be eligible to file for
themselves.




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                         CITIZENSHIP
Deciding to become a U.S. citizen is one of the most
important decisions in your constituent’s life.

Citizenship Through Naturalization
Generally, permanent residents (green card holders)
age 18 or older who meet all eligibility requirements for
naturalization may submit a Form N-400, Application for
Naturalization. For more information, visit our
Citizenship Through Naturalization page.

Citizenship Through Parents
If eligible, you can “acquire” or “derive” U.S. citizenship
through a qualifying U.S. citizen parent(s). For more
information, visit our Citizenship Through Parents page.




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                  NATURALIZATION TEST
Most naturalization applicants are required to
take a test on:

- English
- U.S. History
- Government

 We provide resources to help your constituent
prepare. For more information, visit
our Naturalization Test page. Get study materials
from the Citizenship Resource Center.




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                      WORKING IN THE U.S.
The United States welcomes thousands of foreign
workers in multiple occupations or employment
categories every year. These include artists,
researchers, cultural exchange participants,
information technology specialists, religious workers,
investors, scientists, athletes, nurses, agricultural
workers and others. All foreign workers must obtain
permission to work legally in the United States. Each
employment category for admission has different
requirements, conditions and authorized periods of
stay. It is important that your constituent adhere to
the terms of their application or petition for admission
and visa. Any violation can result in removal or denial
of re-entry into the United States.



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                 WORKING IN THE U.S.
                                  (Continued)


Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Worker
A temporary worker is an individual seeking to
enter the United States temporarily for a
specific purpose. Nonimmigrants enter the
United States for a temporary period of time,
and once in the United States, are restricted to
the activity or reason for which their
nonimmigrant visa was issued.




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                 WORKING IN THE U.S.
                                 (Continued)



Permanent (Immigrant) Worker
A permanent worker is an individual who is
authorized to live and work permanently in the
United States. Immigrants enter the United
States to take up permanent residence.




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                 WORKING IN THE U.S.
                             (Continued)
Information for Employers & Employees

Employers must verify that an individual whom
they plan to employ or continue to employ in the
United States is authorized to accept employment
in the United States. Individuals, such as those
who have been admitted as permanent residents,
granted asylum or refugee status, or admitted in
work-related nonimmigrant classifications, may
have employment authorization as a direct result
of their immigration status. Other aliens may need
to apply individually for employment
authorization.



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               WORKING IN THE U.S.
                             (Continued)
Temporary Visitors For Business

To visit the United States for business purposes
your constituent will need to obtain a visa as a
temporary visit or for business (B-1 visa), unless
they qualify for admission without a visa under
the Visa Waiver Program. For more information on
the topics, select the category related to your
constituents situation to the left side of the
webpage.




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      STUDENTS AND EXCHANGE VISITORS
The United States welcomes thousands of foreign
students and exchange visitors every year.

If your constituent wishes to pursue full-time
academic or vocational studies in the U.S., they may
be eligible for one of two nonimmigrant student
categories. The “F” category is for academic
students and the “M” is for vocational students.
If they wish to participate in an exchange program
they may be eligible for the “J” category for
exchange visitors. The J visa is for educational and
cultural exchange programs designated by the
Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.




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                          FAMILY
Your constituent’s status determines which relatives (or
future relatives) may be eligible to receive immigration
benefits. In order to help a family member immigrate,
your constituent must be a:

-U.S. Citizen

-Lawful Permanent Resident

-Refugee admitted as a refugee within the past 2 years

-Asylee granted asylum within the past 2 years




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                      HUMANITARIAN
USCIS provides a number of humanitarian programs and
protection to assist individuals in need of shelter or aid
from disasters, oppression, emergency medical issues
and other urgent circumstances.

Listed below are the humanitarian benefits we offer:

-Battered Spouse, Children and Parents

-Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Crimes

-Humanitarian Parole

-Temporary Protective Status

-Special Situations


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                         MILITARY



                    Citizenship for Military Members & Dependents
Members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces, and their dependents may be eligible
for citizenship under special provisions of law.

                     Family Based Survivor Benefits (for Relatives)
A person who is the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a United States citizen, whose
citizen spouse, parent, or child dies during a period of honorable service in an active
duty status in the U.S. Armed Forces may be eligible for certain "survivor" immigration
benefits, including citizenship.



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     FAMILY BASED SURVIVOR BENEFITS
A person who is the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a United States citizen,
whose citizen spouse, parent, or child dies during a period of honorable service in
an active duty status in the U.S. Armed Forces may be eligible for naturalization.

Generally, service in the armed forces means service in one of the following
branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, certain reserve
components of the National Guard, and the Selected Reserve of the Ready
Reserve.

Surviving family members seeking immigration benefits are given special
consideration in the processing of their application for permanent residence or for
classification as an immediate relative.




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                      VISIT THE U.S.
There are two types of nonimmigrant visas
available for people who want to visit the United
States.

 The B-1 visa is for individuals who wish to visit
the United States temporarily for business
purposes, (e.g. conferences) or for medical
treatment, or to accompany a family member
who requires medical treatment.

The B-2 visa is for individuals who wish to visit
the United States temporarily or to visit family
or friends.



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                   Department of State
                      Visa Services
The Visa section of the Department of State
website is all about U.S. visas for foreign
citizens to travel to the U.S. Before traveling to
the U.S., a citizen of a foreign country must
generally obtain a nonimmigrant visa for
temporary stay or an immigrant visa for
permanent residence. The type of visa your
constituent will need is based on the purpose of
their travel.




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                          Visa Bulletin

Under the current statutes, many immigrant
visa and lawful permanent resident (LPR)
applicants must wait a period of time prior to
receiving their LPR card. This is because
the United States puts limits on the number
of certain types of immigrants that can be
approved each year. To help everyone keep
track of their petitions the Department of
State publishes a monthly “Visa Bulletin.”
The bulletin summarizes the availability of
immigrant petitions.



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                   Contacting OLA
• Your Local USCIS Office Congressional Liaison Is The Best Initial Contact:
   – For Constituent Casework (there are exceptions to this rule)
   – For Details on USCIS Events in Your Area
   – NOTE: Please first inquire at our local office working the case. If
     need be, elevate to your Regional Congressional Liaison. If need
     be, elevate to Headquarters.
• Please Contact HQ OLA For the Following:
  Subject Matter
   – Administrative Appeals            - Humanitarian Parole
   – Overseas case inquiries           - National policy questions
   – Prior attempts to obtain casework assistance unsuccessful
   Email: usciscongressionalinquiries@uscis.dhs.gov
   Phone: (202) 272-1940; Fax: (202) 272-1955

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