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16 February 2010

Haiti and Immigration: Confronting the Rumors

We've heard a number of rumors circulating about the help USCIS is providing to those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Three of the most common rumors are listed below and followed by the facts:

Rumor #1 - People may fly to Haiti to bring back one adult and one child.

The facts: Only those who are otherwise eligible to be admitted in a valid immigration status or have been granted humanitarian parole will be allowed to enter the United States lawfully from Haiti. Anyone traveling to Haiti to bring family to the United States should confirm that their relative falls within one of these categories before making the difficult journey.

Rumor #2 - You can pay someone $5000 (or any amount) to get a visa for your family in Haiti.

The facts: People may seek to take advantage of visa applicants by offering to obtain the visa for $5000 or some other sum of money. No one can guarantee that paying $5000 (or any amount) for their assistance will result in the granting of a visa for a family member in Haiti. To protect yourself from becoming a victim of immigration fraud, please see our "Don't Be a Victim of Immigration Fraud" webpage.

Rumor #3 - USCIS will delay adjudication of any non-Haitian applications and petitions.

The facts: USCIS had taken steps to allocate all available resources to handle the influx of Haiti TPS/earthquake relief-related applications while continuing to process its pre-existing workload. There may be some delays due to the increased workload generated by the Haiti relief efforts, but USCIS is processing applications received from all applicants and petitioners.

Rumor #4 - There is a fee charged to make an InfoPass appointment.

The facts: InfoPass appointments are free. You can schedule your InfoPass appointment online.

Rumor #5 - USCIS charges a fee to download or obtain Temporary Protected Status forms.

The facts: All USCIS forms are available at no charge on our website or by calling the USCIS Forms hotline at (800) 870-3676.
To stay informed, please continue to visit USCIS.gov, where we post information as it becomes available. If you are unsure about anything you may have heard relating to this topic, please leave a comment in our comment section.

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40 Comments:

At February 18, 2010 at 6:30:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be honest, I think the "Rumor #3" is a solid fact. As devastating the earthquake was, I think it's ridiculous that they should be given a higher priority than people that have been waiting months if not years. If you want to help then you should hire more people, focus on process improvement and streamlining the immigration process. I'm so sick and tired of waiting.. Five months to process an I-129F is completely unacceptable. I think the Vermont Service Center has shut down all non-Haitian adjudication.

 
At February 18, 2010 at 10:21:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm agree. Processing times for I-129F at Vermont went from averaging 54 days Aug-Oct. To nearly 95% of November cases still pending. I can't wait until the next election, so I can try to affect some change in the administrative positions.

 
At February 19, 2010 at 12:09:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Rumor #3 seems to have more truth to it. I too am a Nov I-129F filer and have not seen any progress. What upsets me is that I am a productive tax paying citizen who paid a $400+ processing fee to the USCIS/VSC and can't even get a decent response as to where I am in the whole I-129F process. Much less any communication as to why it appears that no I-129F applications for Nov have been processed. I don’t understand why the needs of USC don’t take precedence over non-USC. Very disheartening.

 
At February 20, 2010 at 10:45:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The fact" to rumor three is that any excuse for a delay is a very poor excuse indeed. However, expect a lot of those.

 
At March 1, 2010 at 9:22:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of desperate people waiting to be rescuue in Haiti; I hope thre's a way we can host some love one ;even temporary ; because the situation is more catastrophic than it seems .the suvivors won't last if we dont help them.

 
At March 1, 2010 at 2:30:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have my mother that is affected by the earth quake in haiti not really physicly,but her house is collapse and she was sleeping in the street, now she is in the hospital because she's having a second stroke that's affected her badly in her brain according to one of the us doctors that went to haiti in the general hospital in port au prince base of the earth quake, her living condition is terrible, when she's discharged she'll perhaps go back sleeping in the street wich can cause her to die earlier, i would like to know in a such of terrible situation like this, how can i get her here in united states by a visa for treatment, or how the humanitarian visa can apply to her so she can get here as fast as possible as soon she get discharged from the hospital and i am a us citizen too.

 
At March 10, 2010 at 8:08:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumor #3 - If we know we have an increased workload, does it not make sense to hire additional people to help with this increase which would give many out of work people the opportunity to earn a living and at the same time give ALL people the same opportunity? Most of those waiting for approval are not in much better situations.

 
At March 11, 2010 at 2:02:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would help move people through the system if the USCIS would use the information already gathered at the US Embassies such as fingerprints, photos,and other documents. It makes little sense to require another round of fingerprints, photos etc just weeks after it was done. The USCIS employees should be evaluated on how much they get done not how much redtape and gum they throw in the works. I'm a US citizen helping a frustrated future citizen.

 
At March 14, 2010 at 7:55:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that it is only fair that the Haiti applications receive priority status given that fact this is an EMERGENCY situation.In addition to Haiti TPS,USCIS should also EXPEDITE the I-130 petitions also. I can imagine how it feels to be a U.S Citizen, wanting to be with their family in Haiti,which is literally so close to America that they are neighbors and cannot do so. Time is ticking....countless lives have already been lost.Anyone with a decent and unselfish heart should understand.

 
At March 16, 2010 at 11:01:00 AM EDT , Blogger USCIS Blog Team said...

Since we began posting information on the situation in Haiti back in January, we’ve received many comments from our readers. We have posted information regarding Haitian Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Orphan Adoptions, and confronting rumors about Haiti and immigration, but many readers have asked about their Haitian relatives and how they can bring them to the United States.

Today we posted a new page on our website explaining who may be eligible to petition to bring certain family members to the United States from Haiti. To learn more about this click here.

 
At March 17, 2010 at 9:05:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I filed a I-130 and the Chicago lockbox received and sent to California Service Center verses the Vermont Service Center. My case was supposed to serviced by Vermont but instead is stuck in Californian Service Center which is known for it's back logs. I am very disapointed that our family members are put on the back burner due to this.

 
At March 25, 2010 at 10:59:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have applied for my I129 and I539 (for my wife) on Jan 12th 2010 and waiting for the approval. Meantime I was blessed with a boy baby. Now I wonder why it's taking more than 2 months even though USCIS mentioned as 2 months for processing I129. I can understand the workload of USCIS but what makes me frustrated is that, after paying plenty of taxes and working legally for many years, why USCIS is taking so much time. Also because of this delay I am unable to concentrate on getting new jobs (even though getting many offers, I am unable to take any decision). Can anyone from USCIS will help to resolve this issue. This is not just a issue, but this is life for many of us.

Also my concern is that after waiting for so long and if USCIS sends negative decision after my current I-94 expires, what will be my position. Then I will have no time even to get a new job with new H1B or even take care of my family. Then my situation will become really worse.

 
At March 25, 2010 at 6:25:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am from one of the poorest Nations in Africa and i have lived and worked in this Great Nation for almost 9yrs and have been thoroughly assimilated into the country that i will not be able to survive in my African origin.I have lived according to the law yet adjusting my status to permanent residency is a nightmare.Is it possible that the compassionate aspect of this Great Nation grant someone like me permanent residency?

 
At March 26, 2010 at 1:57:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Wilhem S Bernavil said...

Addressing Rumor #3: For those of us who are concern about the fact that there are delays, particularly from the Vermont Service Center. Please verify that TPS applications for Haitians who are qualified are required to submit their applications to the following USCIS Serice Centers depending on your state of residence: Chicago, IL 6060; 6063; Dallas, TX 75266; Lewisville, TX 75067; Phoenix, AZ 85074 and 85034. There is no mention of the Vermont Service Center on the Federal register for submitting application for TPS.

Unless I am mistaking, I don't think TPS for the Haitians is the only cause for the delays at the Vermont Service Center, or if at all it is cause of the delays.

This is an agency that made lots of improvement in the past years. Their receipts notice process has improve greatly; their use of the internet to notify you if you choose to sign for the service online is awesome, their agents are friendlier in comparison to some I have come across in the pass, you can call their 800 number for information, etc...

Take it from me, they improved...greatly!
Those of us who had received services under the INS before the agency change name to USCIS, you know what I am talking about.

Is there any room for more improvement? Absolutely!
We all have to find room for improvement.

I understand the anxiety of waiting for two months can sometimes feel like a year.Please take in consideration: verification for proper documents, background checks and many other sensitive information that needs to be verified, must go through the standards required by the Agency.

Meanwhile we are waiting for a decision, let us find something to keep our minds off the duration of the process--before you know it.... "VOILA."

Enjoy!

Wilhem S. Benravil

 
At April 2, 2010 at 12:23:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

people, let's have a little bit of heart here alright, first of all i am an american citizen and iu have family in haiti. my husband and child actually survived the earthquake PRAISE GOD.haiti is like a war zone right now food is expensive, no job, no school, the country is pretty much shut down. of course USCIS should do everything in their power to help us and expedite the i 130 so that the lawful citizens of this country can reunite with their families. if that means hold back other applications then so be it... my country is in a STATE OF EMERGENCY PEOPLE. and i am ever so grateful for what the states is doing right now to help us. as they would do for any other country should they ever be in that situation... God forbid... stop being so thoughtless and heartless people... alright... complaining ain't gonna help nothing.

 
At April 14, 2010 at 4:59:00 AM EDT , Anonymous ДСП said...

"The fact" to rumor three is that any excuse for a delay is a very poor excuse indeed. However, expect a lot of those.

 
At May 8, 2010 at 6:45:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Yason said...

Also my concern is that after waiting for so long and if USCIS sends negative decision after my current I-94 expires, what will be my position. Then I will have no time even to get a new job with new H1B or even take care of my family. Then my situation will become really worse.

 
At July 10, 2010 at 5:48:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I file I 130 for my parents in Haiti, I am a US citizen. I requested expedited service, it takes only one month to get the approval. I have to say that I was afraid when I learned that my case was sent to California but everything went quick. You guys need to keep on calling them, at least once a week, that's what I did. Now they sent my case to NVC, I am gonna request another expedited service so that my parents can be here at the end of this year.

 
At July 24, 2010 at 11:17:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Neville said...

It seems crazy you have to keep on their case so much to get something done.

 
At July 25, 2010 at 2:42:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Gene Gill said...

The people of Haiti deserve better!!! thanks for at least setting up this blog so that people can have a form of support and feedback. Hire more people temporarily to get through this emergency.

 
At July 26, 2010 at 3:40:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Matthew Lord said...

With something so terrible happening, the people of Haiti deserve so much better than this. This blog is a nice resource and discussion area in order to help people and provide support to get through this event.

The people of Haiti deserve better, and thanks for conveying that.

 
At July 28, 2010 at 9:17:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Amanda Ford said...

I think it make perfect sense to help people throughout the world when there is a natural disaster. But a disaster should not affect immigration status. It sounds to me that is exactly the position the USCIS has taken.

 
At July 31, 2010 at 3:22:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Rosacea said...

I agree. Maybe hiring more people to get through the backlogs would be helpful. It's sad that it's taking so long for some cases.

 
At August 9, 2010 at 10:03:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The biggest rumor missing in above list are two more rumors.
1. USCIS deliberately make it longer and tougher the whole application processing so that they can justify the increase the fee and get additional recourses from federal government. For me just another reason why we need private sector not big government.
2. USCIS is deliberately trying to bring conflict between spouses by making whole application process longer. One or two months is understandable as it takes time for background check and to review application. Rest of the time is just another way to make money and to bring conflict in spouses early marriage.

 
At August 16, 2010 at 11:42:00 PM EDT , Blogger Daniel Tetreault said...

It is nice to know that InfoPass appointments are free. Thanks for dispelling the myths.

Daniel Tétreault.

 
At September 6, 2010 at 12:15:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Samantha Reveley said...

There are always fraud everywhere you turn. There are people who rejoice in gaining on others suffering. It is a good thing that these misconceptions are put to rest. It is always easy to get scammed online if you don't know what you are getting into. I hope the relief keeps coming to the people of Haiti.

 
At September 13, 2010 at 1:03:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Alex @ Jacksonville Roofing said...

Can't believe there are so many such nonsense rumors on Hiati. Good that the FACTS are known now.

 
At March 20, 2011 at 2:35:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Febco 765 said...

I think that the recent tsunami in Japan is one that will experience much of the same gossip and rumors that Haiti did. It's important that people remember that there are people in need, and we shouldn't worry about the gossip. Just do your part where you can.

 
At October 13, 2011 at 8:21:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Ipod Dock Reviews said...

$5000 is a bit much O_O

 
At November 14, 2011 at 1:02:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thanks to all of yours, for the Blessing shared wit my Pepoles. It is a rumor said pepoles ben living in USA sens 2000 tru 2009 will have they stays situations reconcidered.
I will be interessted to no the trut.
Sincerly God Blesse.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 1:42:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don really know why USCIS take lies about helping us as haitian, we human please, we love our love ones like you guys....you guys take soo long for anything, eventhough we pay and we believe when your office the processing time is 6 months, specially Vermont we believe in that, we stress about it, we can'y wait to have a mail....why you guys play with our personalities, our brain, most of us are tired of that processing time, if you guys need more money to give a better service let us know, we need to pay to have our love ones living with no stress for Green Card. Abouut the TPS you guys still let them wait, they can't even looking for jobs, they suffering, they can have stroke at any moment in their lives...please, Vermont ask for a rise at the end we will receive a better service...If i knock your door, is because I need you, i need your help, help means save life, open brain, get relax.....May God bless you and give you an open brainto understand needy peopple!!!!!

 
At August 14, 2012 at 3:49:00 PM EDT , Anonymous EJ said...

Great Article. Its good to know what is going on out there. Keep it coming!

 
At August 20, 2012 at 5:29:00 AM EDT , Anonymous SEO Company said...

USCIS had taken steps to allocate all available resources to handle the influx of Haiti TPS/earthquake relief-related applications while continuing to process its pre-existing workload.

Thanks for your share...

 
At September 23, 2012 at 10:35:00 PM EDT , Blogger Nguyen kim said...

I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!
{Khau trang Dr Kim}

 
At May 6, 2013 at 11:51:00 AM EDT , Anonymous barame said...

Thank you... As horrible as it was the laws should not be bent or broken to allow free flow immigration into our country.

 
At December 25, 2013 at 9:11:00 AM EST , Anonymous david said...

There are a lot of desperate people waiting to be rescuue in Haiti; I hope thre's a way we can host some love one ;even temporary ; because the situation is more catastrophic than it seems .the suvivors won't last if we dont help them.

 
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