Saturday, December 8, 2018

Worcester Man Sentenced for Marriage Fraud

Six women from Sub-Saharan Africa married defendant to gain legal status in U.S.

BOSTON—A Worcester man was sentenced Tuesday in connection with entering into six fraudulent marriages in order to evade immigration laws.

Peter Hicks, 57, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to two years of probation.  In September 2018, Hicks pleaded guilty to one count of marriage fraud.  Hicks was arrested and charged in January 2018 and released on conditions following an initial appearance. 

In 2014, federal law enforcement agents uncovered evidence that Hicks married six foreign national women from Sub-Saharan Africa between 2003 and 2013.  Hicks filed for immigration benefits for four of his six wives.

During a routine interview as part of his application for bene

Friday, December 7, 2018

DHS and DOL Propose Modernizing Recruitment Requirements for H-2B Employers to Protect U.S. Workers

ALERT: The public comment period for this notice of proposed rulemaking has been extended from December 10, 2018 to December 28, 2018. Additional details on the comment period extension are available in the Federal Register notice, posted for public inspection on December 6.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with the Department of Labor (DOL), has published a joint notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would modernize the recruitment requi

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

USCIS Offices Closed Wednesday

WASHINGTON—President Trump has declared Wednesday, Dec. 5, a national day of mourning to remember the life and legacy of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States. Accordingly, all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices will be closed Wednesday. USCIS will reschedule all naturalization ceremonies, interviews, and appointments set for that day.

USCIS will schedule new dates and promptly inform those affected. All applicants with biometric appointments scheduled for Wednesday will receive a new appointment notice within three weeks.

The USCIS Contact Center will

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Five Individuals Charged in Connection with Marriage Fraud Scheme

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Peter C. Fitzhugh, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston, and Christopher W. Fonda, supervisory immigration officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, announced on Friday that five individuals have been charged with federal offenses related to their participation in fraudulent marriages so that non-U.S. citizens would receive U.S. immigration benefits.

On Nov. 19, 2018, a federal grand jury returned indictments charging Carl Jarrett, 35, of Bridgeport; Kenol Noel, 34, of Bridgeport; Ricky Owen, 39, of Bridgeport; and Marvin Williams, 59, of New York City, with submitting false immigration documents after entering multiple “marriages” with non-U.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Tools Outage

USCIS will conduct system maintenance on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, from 5 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. (Eastern).

During this time, our online tools may be unavailable, including:

  • Check My Case Status
  • e-Request
  • Change of Address Online
  • Check Processing Times
  • Civil Surgeon Locator
  • FOIA Status Check
  • Office Locator
  • Forms by Mail

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Friday, November 30, 2018

DHS Proposes Merit-Based Rule for More Effective and Efficient H-1B Visa Program

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to first electronically register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a designated registration period. Under the proposed rule, USCIS would also reverse the order by which USCIS selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B cap and the advanced degree exemption, likely increasing the number of beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected for an H-1B cap number, and introducing a more meritorious selection of beneficiaries.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

USCIS Clarifies the L-1 One-Year Foreign Employment Requirement

USCIS has published a policy memorandum (PDF, 121 KB) (PM) clarifying the requirement that a qualifying organization employ a principal L-1 beneficiary abroad for one continuous year out of the three years before the time of petition filing (“one-year foreign employment requirement”). This clarification is intended to ensure consistent adjudication of L-1 petitions by providing a standard basis for calculating time for the one-year foreign employment requirement.

The L-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager (L-1A) or an employee with specialized knowledge (<a ta