I-94 System To Switch Over to Electronic Issuing
As many international students know, the I-94 document needs to be completed on the plane, prior to arrival in the US, and is the document that is stamped and attached to your passport to show that you have entered the USA. As of April 30th 2013, the Department of Homeland Security has begun rolling out their new electronic process, so the paper form will no longer be needed at entry and instead all the information will be attached to a record online that the immigration officer will pull up when a student enters. However, if travelers require a copy of their I-94 (record of admission) for any means necessary then it can be obtained from www.cbp.gov/I94. Changes are to go into effect on by the end of May.
For more information regarding the change click here.
Tax Information Available For International Students
All International Students are encouraged to file their taxes in a timely fashion. Information regarding the tax filing process and the available tools can be found here.
New Important Changes In The Social Security Application Process
Beginning August 13, 2012 all applicants requesting a new social security card or replacement card must apply at a Social Security Card Center! The local offices in your neighborhood will no longer provide this service. If you are an international student living in the New York City area, you can now go to any of the Social Security Card Centers in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx to present your application. Please note: If you live in the borough of Staten Island or New Jersey, you may still go to your local social security office.
For more information on the steps you must follow and the required documents for the social security card. and directions to each of the Social Security Card Centers, click on the links below :
USCIS begins accepting requests for consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
WASHINGTON- Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin accepting requests, effective immediately, for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. On June 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines may request, on a case-by-case basis, consideration of deferred action.
"USCIS has developed a rigorous review process for deferred action requests under guidelines issued by Secretary Napolitano," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. "Childhood arrivals who meet the guidelines and whose cases are deferred will now be able to live without fear of removal, and be able to more fully contribute their talents to our great nation."
Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. USCIS will review requests and make decisions on a case-by-case basis. While it does not provide lawful status or a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship, individuals whose cases are deferred as part of this process will not be removed from the United States for a two-year period, subject to renewal, and may also apply for employment authorization.
USCIS is committed to ensuring that this new process works within the agency's mission to administer our nation's immigration benefits, provide high quality service to the public, and safeguard the integrity of the immigration system.
To learn more about the deferred action for childhood arrivals process, please visit www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
CUNY Citizenship Now! is preparing to provide free assistance to students interested in applying for consideration of "deferred action."
Students' eligibility for consideration of Deferred Action will be assessed on a case by case basis and assistance will be provided to those students who qualify. Join the mailing list at www.cuny.edu/dreamers if you think you might qualify and you want to receive information about how to get help
Important USCIS ELIS Information for International Students
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced ELIS (Electronic Information System) that allows applicants to file the form I-539 online to request an immigration benefit. Applicants (international students or visitors) may use the I-539 to request the following:
a) Change of status (to F-1 or another category)
b) An extension of your current status (F-1 or another category)
c) Reinstatement to F-1 (student) or J-1(exchange visitor) status
The ELIS program now allows you to file any of the requests listed above using a paperless I-539 form. When using ELIS, you will be able to create a personal account and submit additional documents to complete and file your request. USCIS has introduced this new program as part of its plan to reduce paperwork and create a faster, more efficient process.
Please note that the ELIS program is still very new. Presently, you are not requiredto file your form I-539 online. Therefore, if you prefer, you may continue to use the paper format of the I-539 to file your immigration requests. USCIS will continue to accept the paper format of the I-539 until further notice. If you plan to send your request by mail, please be sure to have the ISO first review your form I-539 and supporting documents.
For more information on ELIS, please visit www.uscis.gov/uscis-elis contact Ms. Iris Aroyewun-Birchwood or Mr. Xavier Remigio in the Hunter College International Students Office.
New Regulation regarding I-20 Stamp
INFOPASS (Students who entered US/change of Status/Reinstatement)
On May 22, 2012, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) to electronically adjudicated Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Prior to the change, when a USCIS Service Center approved a Form I-539 for either an F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant, an approval stamp was placed on the accompanying form I-20 mailed to the students. Although this is a longstanding practice, USCIS discontinued this process with the deployment of ELIS.
Military Accessions Vital To National Interest (MAVNI) Recruitment Pilot
The Secretary of Defense authorized the military services to recruit certain legal aliens whose skills are considered to be vital to the national interest. Those holding critical skills - physicians, nurses, and certain experts in language with associated cultural backgrounds - would be eligible. To determine its value in enhancing military readiness, the limited pilot program will recruit up to 1,500 people per year,starting on November 21 and will continue through May 15, 2014.