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Trump administration announces changes to US Citizenship Test

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The Trump administration has announced  that it will revise the current test to become a citizen of the United States.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a statement that it is revising the current citizenship test “to ensure it continues to serve as an accurate measure of a naturalization applicant’s civics knowledge and that it reflects best practices in adult education assessments.”

The agency did not include details about the exact changes, but said that a working group is reviewing and updating questions. In addition, that group will also “assess potential changes to the speaking portion of the test.”

The new test will be implemented in either December 2020 or early 2021, after analysis of a pilot beginning this fall. The test was last revised in 2008.

Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli also said in the statement that the agency has the responsibility of  “updating, maintaining, and improving” the test in an effort “to help potential new citizens fully understand the meaning of U.S. citizenship and the values that unite all Americans.”

-Agencies

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Trump tightens Work Permit Rules for Immigrants Paroled into the US

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The Trump administration on Monday issued a new policy guideline that tightens in issuance of work permits to immigrants who have been paroled into the United States, including those who are otherwise inadmissible.

In the new policy guideline, contained in Volume 10 of the Policy Manual, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that the agency has discretion to grant employment authorization to foreign nationals, and that applicants “are not entitled to employment authorization.”

USCIS says it will grant discretionary employment authorization on a case-by-case basis, “taking into account all factors and considering the totality of the circumstances of each individual case.” Such factors include the immigrant’s criminal record, and immigrant having been subject to a final removal order, or misrepresentation to an immigration officer.

Work permits are normally issued to foreign nationals who are paroled into the US for several reasons such as when adjusting status from a non-immigrant visa holder such as F-1 to an immigration visa holder/permanent resident or from an expired status to a green card holder. They are also issued to refugees/asylum applicants, as well as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries.

USCIS states that the need for the guidance arose from the “national emergency at the U.S. souther border where foreign nationals are entering the U.S. illegally.”

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Immigration advocates say the move is one of Trump administration’s efforts to limit the number of work permits issued. “This is where they were heading from the beginning. They want to see fewer [wok permit] issued,” Natalie Tynan, an immigration lawyer, and former Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy unit chief said.

-Mwakilishi.com

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Permanent Residence Draw held in Canada as 3600 Candidates invited to apply

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The Canadian government has invited 3,600 individuals who participated in the Express Entry to apply for the country’s permanent residence in the latest draw held on Tuesday, August 20th.

The cut-off Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score for the August 12th draw was 457, which is the lowest score since May 1st.

Foreigners participating in the Express Entry draw are ranked based o the CRS score, which is based on factors such as the applicant’s age, education, skills level, work experience, proficiency in English or French, family ties to Canada, among others.

In order to qualify for the Express Entry pool, candidates must first meet the eligibility requirements for one of Canada’s three Federal High Skilled Economic-class immigration categories – the Federal Killed Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates enter a pool, and the best candidates are picked in a draw that takes place every two weeks. An Invitation to Apply (ITA) then gives the candidate the go-ahead to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
56,200  ITAs have thus far in 2019 been issued through the Express Entry program. The government has set a target of 81,400 ITAs for 2019 through this program.

To be eligible for the August 20th draw, candidates had to have submitted their profiles before March 24th, 2019.

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You can check if you meet the minimum score and also apply for Express Entry here.

SOURCE: Mwakilishi.com

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Trump now makes it harder for Immigrants to get Green Cards and deny citizenship to those who “can’t support themselves”

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The Trump administration has announced new policy that makes it tougher for legal immigrants in the United States to obtain permanent residency or citizenship.

In a policy titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” that appeared Monday on the Federal Register, the administration says immigrants who use public benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, or public housing will be considered a “public charge”. Becoming a pubic charge or likely to become a pubic charge is grounds to be denied a green card.

“Through the public charge rule, President Trump’s administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America,” Acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ken Cuccinelli said at a White House briefing on Monday.

Analysts say the new move could dramatically reduce family-based legal immigration from Mexico, Central America and Africa, where intending green card holders are economically disadvantaged.

Under US law, only US citizens and legal permanent residents who have had their green cards for at least five years are eligible to apply for federal public benefits.

Source: –Mwakilishi.com

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