USCIS Updates for the Month of February 2012

E-Verify Self-Check

The E-Verify self-check service is now available nationally. USCIS announced that this free online service, “is available in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.”

E-Verify is a result of efforts between the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. This service allows people to check their own employment eligibility status. It also guides them on how they can keep their DHS and SSA records updated. The service was launched in March 2011 and this announcement shows that USCIS has fulfilled its goal of making this service available nationally within one year. In fact, they have delivered ahead of schedule.

Outreach Program to Chinese Immigrant Community

On February 6, 2012 Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that there would be a series of public engagement programs conducted in Chinese and that these programs would be called “Jiao Liu” — meaning “engagement” in Chinese. The Director said that they had launched a similar program last year in Spanish called “Enlaces.” which also means “engagement” in Spanish.

The first of the “Jiao Liu” was conducted by USCIS on February 16, 2012. It was modeled on the Spanish-language “Enlaces”. This session was on “The Naturalization Process: Becoming a United States Citizen.”

“Jiao Liu” provides assistance to customers in the form of information about the services and benefits offered by the USCIS. The sessions will address topics related to immigration and citizenship. While USCIS officials and experts would participate in these programs, they will not offer legal advice to the participants.

Director Mayorkas’ Testimony

On February 15, 2012 Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. His testimony was about the efforts of USCIS to, “to protect the integrity of our nation’s immigration system and to help safeguard our nation’s security.”

USCIS Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) Initiative

Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), launched the USCIS Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) Initiative on February 22, 2012. To launch this initiative, the Director Mayorkas hosted an Information Summit at the NASA Research Park in Moffett Field, California.

As a part of the event, Director Mayorkas conducted a naturalization ceremony for 20 people from Silicon Valley. He also recognized five American immigrant entrepreneurs, who are naturalized citizens, as Outstanding Americans by Choice.