The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:
Indian Nationals Eligible to Join Global Entry and Can Avoid Long Immigration Inspection Lines: Citizens of India now join a select group of countries — including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and South Korea — whose nationals can participate in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program. Global Entry gives pre-screened, low-risk travelers a faster entry process into the United States. While the individual application requirements vary depending on the traveler’s country of citizenship, all travelers must undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview to apply. The application fee is $100 and once approved, it is valid for 5 years. Global Entry members are also eligible for the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) PreCheck program, which allows for expedited airport screening at TSA checkpoints in specific airports. Global Entry members who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents must maintain updated visa information with CBP. If a Global Entry member obtains a new visa, or obtains a new petition for a work visa, the member must notify CBP in-person at a Global Entry Enrollment Center.
Express Deportations: The Attorney General has instructed his federal prosecutors practicing before district courts to request “judicial orders of removal” from the judge in their cases involving aliens. This ensures that a convicted foreign national will be deported on completion of the criminal sentence instead of being sent to an immigrant detention center to await proceedings in immigration court and then a deportation order from an immigration judge. A district judge can legally issue such an order, but under previous administrations, it would only be requested in the most extreme circumstances.
Biometrics Required of All Naturalization Applicants, with Some Exceptions: USCIS has announced that every naturalization applicant must provide biometrics regardless of age, unless the applicant qualifies for a fingerprint waiver due to certain medical conditions. For some 20 years, USCIS has waived the fingerprint requirements for naturalization applicants age 75 or older because of difficulty in capturing readable fingerprints from this age group. However, electronic processing of applications and improved technology now allows USCIS to capture fingerprints for applicants of all ages. USCIS will continue to make special arrangements to accommodate the needs of applicants with disabilities and homebound or hospitalized applicants.
Immigration Courts Still Backlogged and Unlikely to Change Soon: The Trump Administration is doing everything in its power to address the backlog in immigration courts. It received funds from Congress to hire additional judges and current judges have been relocated to the Southern border. But, with a 40 percent average increase in immigration arrests since President Trump assumed office, more people are before the immigration court. Given the numbers, it will be extremely difficult to reducing the overall court backlog anytime soon.
New I-485 and I-9 Forms: Applicants for adjustment of status are reminded that as of 8/25/2017, a new Form I-485 (version 6/27/2017) is required. A new Form I-9 (version 07/17/17 N) is mandatory on 9/18/17.