Category Archives: Refugee/Asylee

Blog articles in this category include information for refugees and asylees and issues related to refugee and/or asylum status in the United States.

USCIS Fee Increases Effective December 23rd

uscis fee increasesEffective December 23, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase the fees that must be submitted with the majority of its immigration forms. The USCIS fee increases, which were finalized in an announcement yesterday, can be found in a final rule published in the Federal Register. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23, 2016, must include these new fees or USCIS will reject your submission.

During the early summer of 2016, USCIS announced fee increases would be coming. The USCIS fee increases became official yesterday. Fees increased by a weighted average of 21 percent for many forms. While fees for some forms increased only modestly, fees for other forms such as Form N-600 ballooned by 95 percent. Continue reading

USCIS Receipt Number Explained

USCIS Receipt Numbers ExplainedAfter you’ve filed almost any application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they will respond by mailing you a Form I-797, Notice of Action, within approximately 1-2 weeks. The I-797, Notice of Action, is commonly known as a receipt letter.

For applicants that have incorrectly filed or included the wrong payment, this receipt letter will indicate that the case has been rejected. The applicant will need to refile. If you’ve prepared the form correctly and followed the USCIS directions carefully, this receipt letter will indicated that your case has been accepted. Once the form has been accepted, USCIS will begin reviewing your case.

The receipt letter contains a unique 13-digit receipt number. Also known as a case number, it’s a very important number to help you track the progress of your case or identify a particular immigration filing.
Continue reading

Central American Deportations Persist

3 Reasons Deportations Continue Despite Claims of Persecution

ice arrests and deports asylum seekersAs a part of a new nationwide enforcement effort, the Obama Justice Department is rounding up hundreds of Central American migrants who have arrived in recent years and have been ordered by immigration judges to leave.

‎“This should come as no surprise,” said Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security. “I have said publicly for months that individuals who constitute enforcement priorities, including families and unaccompanied children, will be removed.”

After Central American migrants were initially detained, several were sent to federal detention centers. But many more were released to live with relatives or friends in the U.S. while their cases were considered in court. For those that have been ordered removed, immigration enforcement officials are detaining migrants at their homes in preparation for deportation to their home countries.

The new stepped-up effort has targeted hundreds of families who are fleeing the escalating violence and harsh economic conditions in countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. In most cases, these migrants are seeking asylum based on a fear of persecution in their home countries. But many of these asylum cases are being denied. Continue reading

What Happens at a Biometrics Appointment

what happens at biometrics appointmentWhen you apply for a benefit from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — such as a work permit, citizenship, green card or even a green card renewal — a standard part of the process is a biometrics appointment (also known as a biometrics screening).

Although it may sound scary, it is a very routine portion of the process and shouldn’t be a worry for most people. But it is important to understand what happens at the appointment, what to expect and who should be concerned. Continue reading

Happy New Year is Happy Birthday for 200,000+ Refugees

refugeeSince 1975, Americans have welcomed over 3 million refugees from all over the world. Refugees have built new lives and homes in communities of all 50 states. The “refugee” designation is given to someone who has fled from his or her home country and cannot return because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.

Many of these refugees have another commonality – a January 1 birthday. Continue reading