USCIS Ombudsman Issues its 2011 Annual Report
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 16, 2012 – The Ombudsman's Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released its 2011 Annual Report.
The independent Ombudsman's Office assists employers and individuals with difficulties such persons encounter in processing cases with USCIS. The Annual Report recommends ways of resolving problems that the agency faces in serving the public.
“The concept of an in-house public assistant to help resolve issues that applicants and petitioners – users of the agency's services – encounter, is a good one,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, a Dallas immigration lawyer. “Like the agency it is a part of, movement in meaningfully addressing issues raised is slow,” Rabinowitz added. “Still, I can report positive outcomes from Ombudsman office intervention. More done quicker, though, is the goal.”
The 2011 Annual Report, which covers the reporting period between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012, identified several areas of concern and provided recommendations for improvement. The report is mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and the areas of concern are based on case inquiries handled by the Ombudsman's Office, of which there were more than 4,500 during this reporting period.
The recommendations fell into four major categories: Employment; Family and Children; Humanitarian; and Customer Service.
In the Employment category, the Ombudsman's Office recommended reducing delays for individuals and employers seeking employment authorization. The Office acts as liaison to address issues with the VIBE program, EB-5 immigrant investor issues and the EB-1 program.
In the Family and Children category, the report made recommendations to improve adjudication of petitions through the Special Immigrant Juvenile program and address concerns raised by conditional residents, petition survivor benefits and U.S. Military service members' needs.
Regarding Humanitarian concerns, the report called for more transparency and consistency in the USCIS deferred action program and recommended better coordination of the employment authorization process for asylum seekers.
Finally, the Ombudsman's Office recommended that Customer Service be improved by making changes in the agency's Service Request Management Tool and its Petition Information Management Service.
Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
14901 Quorum Drive, Suite 580
Dallas, Texas 75254
- USCIS to Raise Immigration Filing Fees
On October 24, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security announced new filing fees which USCIS will be charging for immigration benefits. The new fees become effective on December 23, 2016. USCIS calculates the increases to be a weighted average of 21 percent. Federal law requires DHS to review its fee structure biennially and make fee ...
- Department of State Changes Passport Rules Based on New Legislation
The U.S. Department of State has issued a final regulation that provides changes and updates to passport rules based on recent legislation. The new enactments that affect passport rules are the International Megan’s Law (IML), which provides for advance notification of traveling sex offenders to prevent the exploitation of children and other sex crimes, and ...
- Continuing Resolution Funds the Federal Government and Extends 2 Immigration Programs
On September 29, 2016, the President signed legislation which funds the federal government for a short term until December 9, 2016, preventing a government shutdown and extends two immigration programs which otherwise would have sunset on September 30,2016. H.R. 5325 Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika ...