Several US Immigration programs extended to 2012
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed recently that a number of immigration programs will be extended at least until 30 September 2012. This is following the signing of the Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act of 2010 by President Obama on 28 October 2009. This covers the following programs:
J-1 nonimmigrant exchange visitors
Health Departments can continue to request waivers to the two year foreign residence requirements for J-1 nonimmigrant exchange visitors
US immigration will continue to accept applications under the “Conrad 30” program to enable foreign medical graduates to adjust status to another visa category without the usual two year foreign residence requirement. Previously, you could only apply for this if the J-1 visa status had been granted before 30 September 2009. This program is now extended to 30 September 2012.
E-Verify is operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in conjunction with the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are currently more than 168,000 employers using the program at about 640,000 work places in the US to electronically determine the right to work by newly hired employees. From 1 October 2009 to 23 November 2009 over 1.3 million employment verification enquiries were made using the E-Verify system. Almost all of these queries were automatically processed.
Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Pilot Program
Under the immigrant investor pilot program (also known as the EB-5 Investor Visa program) US immigration will continue to consider applications based on indirect job creation. This covers Forms I-526, Immigrant Petitions by Alien Entrepreneur, and Form I-485, Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Special immigrant visa category for non-minister religious workers
This immigrant visa covers those within a religious vocation or occupation. It also covers their spouses and dependants. Applications on Form 1-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, based on Form I-360 petitions will continue to be accepted.
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