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Immigration Update: Time to Play the Lottery; New myE-Verify Website Provides Tools and an Education; Free Webinar on Form I-9; New Blue Secure Ink

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Snapshots of both big picture and meaningful small-scale developments in the world of immigration.

This month: Time to Play the Lottery, New myE-Verify Website provides Protective Tools and an Education for Employees, Free Webinar on Form I-9, and new Blue Secure Ink

Time to Play the Visa Lottery

Applications for the 2016 Diversity Visa Lottery are now being accepted and must be submitted electronically by noon, Eastern Standard Time, on Monday, November 3, 2014, to be considered. Each year, the United States Department of State selects 50,000 winners who will be granted a Permanent Resident Card. The Lottery Program is designed to diversify the American population and is available to applicants (and their families) worldwide who submit a completed application and meet two eligibility requirements:

  1. The Applicant must have been born in a qualifying country (the countries Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China [mainland-born, i.e., NOT including Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan], Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom [except Northern Ireland] and its dependent territories, and Vietnam are all excluded).
  2. The Applicant must have completed the equivalent of a United States high school education or have worked two years within the past five years in an occupation which, by U.S. Department of Labor definitions, requires at least two years of training or experience, is designated as Job Zone 4 or 5, and classified in a Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) rating of 7.0 or higher. (To determine if a specific occupation qualifies, go to: http://www.onetonline.org/ and click the link for the occupation to see the Job Zone designation and SVP rating).

The lottery application is submitted online and winners will be notified of their selection by notification letter from the Kentucky Consular Center. There are 55,000 visas available, but more than that number will be selected because many winners won’t complete the necessary steps to actually complete the permanent resident process (file an adjustment of status or pursue an immigrant visa abroad). Because of the higher number of individuals selected, there are risks that some selected persons may be left out. Therefore it is very important that selected winners proceed to process their visas immediately.

myE-Verify Website for Employees

On October 6, 2014, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the launch of myE-Verify, a website designed for employees (http://www.uscis.gov/mye-verify). The site is intended to provide a one-stop shop for employees to create and maintain secure personal accounts and protect their identities. The myE-Verify site provides "Self Check," where individuals can enter personal data to confirm their authorization to work in the e-Verify system, and "myResources," which contains information on employee rights, employer’s responsibilities and a toolkit of print, video and radio resources informing employees of their rights and how the e-Verify process works.

Two additional features are now available to individuals in five states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi and Virginia) and the District of Columbia, but USCIS has plans to roll out myE-Verify across the country soon with plans for expanded features targeted to employees and job hunters. These features include:

  • myE-Verify accounts – Allows employees and job seekers to set up free and secure personal accounts to manage the use of their information in E-Verify and Self Check through the available myE-Verify features.
  • Self Lock – Allows individuals to lock their social security numbers to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent use within E-Verify. Users can proactively protect their identities from being used by others to illegally gain employment. Self Lock is available only to myE-Verify account holders.

For full details on the new myE-verify website and the official USCIS announcement, click here.

To access the myE-Verify site itself: http://www.uscis.gov/mye-verify

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