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28 March 2013

E-Verify Celebrates 2012!

We made many gains for the public last year. Let’s recap!

New Resources for Users:
Expanded Services:
  • Self Check became available nationwide in February 2012, giving everyone over the age of 16 access. A great tool for all job seekers, Self Check is a free, easy-to-use service that confirms your employment eligibility. 
  • Florida became the second state to join Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE). This fraud-prevention initiative makes it possible to verify department of motor vehicles information against the issuing state’s records.
Technical Enhancements:
  • E-Verify now supports mobile Web browsing as well as four major browsers: Internet Explorer (version 6.0 and above), Firefox (version 3.0 and above), Chrome (version 7.0 and above) and Safari (version 4.0 and above).
Employee Rights:
  • The Employee Rights Toolkit helps stakeholders educate workers on their rights in the employment eligibility verification process and more. Workers can use its multimedia and print resources to easily find information they need.
  • USCIS partnered with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to create new Employee Rights webinars.
Growth:
  • E-Verify enrollment increased by 35% in 2012 and continues to grow by more than 1,500 employers each week. As of Jan. 12, 2013, more than 424,000 employers are enrolled to use E-Verify at more than 1.2 million worksites.
We expect E-Verify to keep growing and moving forward in 2013, providing vital assistance to even more users and stakeholders.

Signing up for E-Verify is easy. Visit the new enrollment page to get started.

Find information on E-Verify on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up to receive E-Verify updates and our newsletter.

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What’s new with SAVE?

We’ve upgraded the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program’s website. We added a variety of features that will help the agencies that participate in SAVE as well as people who apply with these agencies for benefits.

SAVE is an online service available through USCIS.gov. Federal, state and local benefit-issuing agencies and institutions use it to determine the immigration status of their applicants.

SAVE’s New Website

The first thing you may notice is that we’ve totally redesigned the SAVE website. We’ve made the main page more visually appealing and added a series of option buttons to improve navigation. It’s now much easier to find information about SAVE webinars and publications, and on how to request a SAVE expert to speak at an upcoming event, among other choices.

SAVE Self-Assessment Guides

We’ve also introduced the SAVE Self-Assessment Guide, a tool that USCIS personnel use to ensure they use the program properly. These USCIS workers can access the guide to get step-by-step instructions for setting up internal monitoring procedures.

For Benefit Applicants

Access to more materials: An option button links to another recent SAVE development: Expanded availability of benefit applicant materials. Here visitors will find fact sheets, fliers and brochures in English and other languages that explain the SAVE program and what applicants for public benefits should do if they need to correct their immigration records.

SAVE Case Check: The website now links to the newest SAVE enhancement, SAVE Case Check. This free and easy-to-use service allows benefit applicants to check the progress of immigration status verification requests that SAVE-participating agencies submit on their behalf.

SAVE Case Check reduces the need for applicants to visit their benefit-granting agency repeatedly while their immigration status is being verified. Applicants can return to the agency to continue their application for a benefit after SAVE Case Check indicates the verification process is complete. The service also helps participating agencies save time and resources.

SAVE Case Check is currently being piloted with 47 SAVE agencies in 15 states. Participation is open to all 1,030 current SAVE agencies.

Agency Search Tool: The SAVE website now features an Agency Search Tool that lists all 1,030 agencies participating in the program. Use this database to learn which agencies in your state participate in SAVE, or to see if a particular benefit-granting agency uses it. You can filter your search by agency type (federal, state or local) or by benefit category (badging agency, background investigation or department of motor vehicles).

Learn More

Browse the new website, contact us, or take our free webinar to learn how SAVE can serve you.

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A Journey to a Better Life: USCIS Officer Bao Dinh’s Story

Immigration Services Officer Bao Dinh is always ready to offer help and advice to anyone who has a question about their case. Like many USCIS employees, Dinh is an immigrant and a naturalized U.S. citizen. However, few people who meet and work with this soft-spoken man can imagine the hardship and danger that was a part of much of his early life.

Dinh grew up and lived in Saigon during the height of the Vietnam War. As a young man, he graduated from the National Institute of Administration, a preparatory school for civil servants. Dinh soon took a job with the government of South Vietnam, which assigned him to assist people in rural areas. Traveling between Saigon and the war-torn countryside, Dinh had many close calls. Shelling and shootings by communist guerillas occurred on a daily basis. He remembers his house being damaged by a mortar round. Fortunately, he was not home at the time.

Shortly after the capture of Saigon by North Vietnam in 1975, Dinh was arrested and sent to a “re-education” concentration camp where he was held as a political prisoner and forced to labor in state-run rice fields and coconut plantations for six years. After his release in 1981, he returned to his home in Saigon, but the government attempted to exile him to the countryside. They told him that he was not welcome in the city and repeatedly harassed his family. He and his wife decided to keep their home in Saigon, but twice they paid smugglers to help them escape Vietnam. Each time, storms forced the boat to turn back. The cost of the escape attempts also depleted Dinh’s finances, and he began to lose hope of a better life in another land.

In March 1991, Dinh was finally able to leave Vietnam as a refugee to the United States through a program to assist political prisoners. He was very excited and relieved to escape a life of peril, oppression and harassment. When Dinh arrived in California, he worked several jobs and earned an associate degree. After working as a clerk, he applied for a job opening in 2002 with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (the predecessor of USCIS). Dinh was hired, and has since been promoted several times.

Bao Dinh (right, standing) discusses the naturalization process with members of the Vietnamese community in February, 2013
Bao Dinh (right, standing) discusses the naturalization process with members of the Vietnamese community in February, 2013 

Today, Dinh helps other immigrants who have questions about immigration benefits or their case status. He also recently participated in a Vietnamese-language outreach program called “Giao Tiep,” which informs and educates Vietnamese speakers on what is required to become a U.S. citizen. After traveling a perilous and difficult path in life, he is proud to assist other immigrants seeking a better life in the United States.

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04 March 2013

Provisional Waivers Introduced

Beginning March 4, certain immigrant visa applicants who are the spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives), and have been unlawfully present in the United States, can start applying for provisional unlawful presence waivers through a new process.

The new provisional unlawful presence waiver process is for certain individuals who seek a waiver of inadmissibility only for unlawful presence. They can now apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver while in the United States and before departing for their immigrant visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Under the current process, which continues to remain in effect, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States have to travel abroad and be found inadmissible at their immigrant visa interview before they can apply for an inadmissibility waiver. 

The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members go through the process of becoming lawful permanent residents of the United States. For eligibility details and information on the process, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/provisionalwaiver

Presentan exención provisional por presencia ilegal

Comenzando el 4 de marzo, ciertos solicitantes de visa que son cónyuges, hijos o padres de ciudadanos estadounidenses (familiares inmediatos) y han estado presentes ilegalmente en los Estados Unidos, pueden comenzar a solicitar la exención provisional por presencia ilegal mediante un nuevo proceso.

El nuevo proceso de exención provisional por presencia ilegal es para ciertos individuos que buscan una exención de inadmisibilidad sólo por presencia ilegal. Ahora estas personas pueden solicitar una exención provisional por presencia ilegal mientras están en los Estados Unidos y antes de partir a su entrevista de visa en un Consulado o Embajada de EE.UU. en el extranjero. Bajo el proceso actual, que permanece en vigor, los familiares inmediatos de ciudadanos estadounidenses que no son elegibles a ajustar su estatus en los Estados Unidos tienen que viajar al extranjero y resultar inadmisibles durante su entrevista de visa de inmigrante antes de poder solicitar una exención de inadmisibilidad.

Se espera que el nuevo proceso acorte el tiempo que los ciudadanos estadounidenses permanecen separados de sus familiares inmediatos mientras éstos pasan por el proceso de convertirse en residentes permanentes legales de los Estados Unidos. Para aprender detalles sobre la elegibilidad e información sobre el proceso, por favor visite http://www.uscis.gov/exencionprovisional.

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