Immigration Update

September 2012                                                   Vol. 4 Issue 8

In the September 2012 Issue
DREAMers to Receive Licences
September Visa Bulletin
The End of The I-94 Card
DACA Beneficiaries Loose Coverage
Russia and U.S. Agreement
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With summer drawing to a close, there is a new fiscal year upon us and new opportunities ahead for many U.S. immigrants and non-immigrants. The enactment of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has opened as well as closed some doors for those who qualify under the law. The September Visa Bulletin has been released and there are many predictions as to how October's Bulletin, being the first of FY2013, will shift many priority dates. We have focused our efforts on these particular issues in this month's Immigration Update and will continue to do so as news becomes available.


DREAMers to Receive Florida Drivers' License

Those who have been granted deferred action by USCIS under DACA and have been approved for a work permit are eligible to apply to receive a Florida driver's license. Applicants must bring a valid government-issued document, two proofs of residential address and proof of social security number, along with the deferred action letter from DHS to their local DMV in order to apply for a license. If the customer is a youth who is seeking a first-time issuance, he or she must be sure to complete the traffic law substance abuse course or a driver's education course as required by Florida Statutes.


September  Visa Bulletin and October Predictions
US Visa
This month's Visa Bulletin contained no surprises as the EB-1 category remains unchanged across the board and EB-2 China and India remain unavailable.    October 1st, the beginning of the new fiscal year, will bring surprises and planning.  EB-2 India priority date is expected to retrogress to 2006 and expected to stay there for some time due to high demand.  The EB-2 China priority date is expected to move a little faster than India.  The EB-3 saw a larger progression than normal, partly because of the DOS' goal of having all EB-3's claimed by September 30.  However, EB-3 is expected  to continue to move very slowly for FY 2013.  To view the September Visa Bulletin, click here.
Going Paperless - The end of the I-94 card 
Soon many non-immigrants arriving at U.S. air and sea ports will  no longer receive a paper I-94 card.  This change is aimed at reducing costs and errors and expedite processing. 
These travelers will  receive a stamp in their passport and CBP will create an electronic record of their arrival. Most of those arriving at a land border will continue to receive a paper I-94 card. This change will impact many other areas including: employers' Form I-9 verification, the issuance of social security and driver's licenses, USCIS' extensions and changes of status, among others.  We will follow this transition and provide updates. 
DACA Beneficiaries Will Have No Coverage Under  HHS Amendment

 The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) clarified the definition of "lawfully present" to exclude those who have been granted Deferred Action under DACA. These beneficiaries will not be eligible to receive coverage under the Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) Program offered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which prohibits non-grandfathered health insurance coverage issuers from denying health care coverage or inflating rates based on preexisting conditions.  To read more, click here. 

Russia and U.S. Immigration Agreement - Good for Business
 As of September 9, 2012, Russian and American travelers for business or tourism will be eligible to receive visas valid for multiple entries during a period of 36 months. The agreement eases visa processing time for travelers from both countries (under 15 days in most cases), and the U.S. will be reducing the reciprocity fee for Russian issued visas (B-1 and B-2) from $100 to $20.  No formal invitation will be required to apply for a business or tourism visa, although applicants seeking Russian tourist visas must continue to hold advance lodging reservations and arrangements with a tour operator.  To read more click here. 



       Marks Gray attorneys attended the 4th Annual Jaguars Kick-off Luncheon presented by JAXUSA Partnership to support the Jaguars' 2012 football season.


  Marks Gray employees kicked off their Lee Denim Day Campaign for the fight against Breast Cancer. The firm will be holding a jean day and collecting donations on October 5th in support of finding a cure.

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Giselle Carson
Attorney at Law
Marks Gray, P.A.
1200 Riverplace Blvd., Suite 800
Jacksonville, FL 32207
(904) 398-0900
If you need assistance with any immigration-related issues, please contact Giselle Carson or Thyra Reveron at (904) 398-0900.

Marks Gray, P.A. is dedicated to customer service. We monitor proposed and current developments in the law. The contents of this newsletter are not intended as legal advice related to individual situations. If you have any questions about your particular situation, please contact a lawyer.