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Posted on: October 23rd, 2017
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New USCIS Form Streamlines Process to Obtain a Work Authorization Document and Social Security Number Simultaneously

The Social Security Administration (SSA) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have arranged a new information-sharing partnership, through which certain categories of foreign nationals are permitted to use one form, the updated version of Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to apply for both work authorization and a social security number. Prior to this agreement, applicants were required to submit a Form I-765 to USCIS and submit additional paperwork at their local Social Security office in person before being able to obtain a Social Security Number. The updated Form I-765 removes this requirement by including additional questions to USCIS which will then transmit the information to the Social Security Administration. In accordance with the new arrangement, applicants who receive their EADs from USCIS should expect the SSA to send them their Social Security card within two weeks.

For more information, view the announcement.

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Senate Confirms Trump Immigration Official as Director of USCIS

On October 5, 2017, the Senate confirmed Lee Francis Cissna as the new Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Cissna, whose candidacy was endorsed by Trump, was confirmed after Senators voted 54-43 in his favor. Various immigration advocacy groups have spoken out against Cissna as a nominee, stating that he would work to further Trump’s anti-immigration policies, citing his assistance provided for Trump’s anti-immigration executive orders. In a letter signed by over 300 groups, there is reference to an investigation by ProPublica which found that Cissna aided Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in drafts which were highly critical of USCIS for “implementing various humanitarian programs.”

For more information, view the full article.

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Defense Secretary Mattis Seeks Reinstatement of MAVNI Program; Pentagon Stiffens Green-card holder Enlistment Regulations

Military Accessions Vital to the National Interests (MAVNI), a program implemented in 2009 which permits the enlistment of foreign nationals in medical and linguistic areas and provides an expedited avenue for citizenship, was suspended a year ago, and Defense Secretary James Mattis is pushing for its reinstatement. Mattis is quoted having said “We are taking the steps obviously to save the program, if it can be saved, and I believe it can.” The program, which has produced more than 10,000 troops who have necessary skills since its inception, is still in place for those who enlisted prior to the program’s suspension. However, there are currently around 1,000 recruits whose immigration status has been compromised as a result of the program’s suspension, and the prospective cancellation of the program could result in these recruit’s deportation.

The Pentagon also announced that enlistment requirements for green-card holders will become more strenuous. Though green-card holders formerly had no lapse in between enlisting and shipping out to training, contingent upon initiation of a background check, they now must wait for the background check to be successfully completed, a process which could potentially eclipse a year, before shipping out to training. Furthermore, both green-card holders and current MAVI program beneficiaries are now required to wait 180 days after their active-duty service has started before they are eligible for U.S. citizenship, and that span extends to a full year for those enlisting in the military reserve. Prior to these changes, individuals were required only to complete basic training, a process which can take as little as weeks or even days, before they were eligible for naturalization.

For more information, view the full article.

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