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Immigration Law

News Excerpts From the Aug. 1, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

IRS Adopts New Policy on ITINs |

On June 30, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service announced that Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers will expire only if not used on a federal tax return for five consecutive years. The IRS will not begin deactivating ITINs until 2016 in order to give all interested parties time to adjust and to allow the IRS to reprogram its systems.

Previously, an ITIN would expire automatically after five years, even if regularly used by the taxpayer to which it was assigned.

The new policy will apply to any ITIN, regardless of when it was issued. Taxpayers whose ITINs have been deactivated may reapply using IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

The IRS has issued more than 20 million ITINs since 1996, only a quarter of which are currently used on tax returns.

UAA Effective July 14; Agencies Revise Rules and Policies 

The Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 became effective on July 14, 2014. As of that date, all agencies or persons providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents, in support of Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, or Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider, in accordance with the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 and the Department of State accreditation regulations at 22 CFR Part 96 for Hague Adoption Convention cases.

The UAA requires that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in non-Hague Adoption Convention (“orphan”) cases under INA §101(b)(1)(F) follow the same accreditation or approval process required of ASPs providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in Hague Adoption Convention cases under INA §101(b)(1)(G). The UAA assures families pursuing intercountry adoption that, regardless of the country from which they intend to adopt, the ASP they choose will need to comply with the same standards of practice and ethical conduct.

The UAA does not apply to grandfathered cases, that is, cases where the prospective/adoptive parents filed Form I-600A or Form I-600, before July 13, 2013; or cases where the prospective adoptive parents submitted an application to the relevant competent authority (the application need not designate a specific child) or the prospective adoptive parents accepted a match proposed by a competent authority or appropriate entity before July 13, 2013.

USCIS issued an interim policy memorandum providing guidance on the implementation of the UAA, as well as the statutory change to INA §101(b)(1)(F) in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. The June 30th memorandum, PM 602-0103, revises Chapter 21. 5(b)(4), Chapter 21.5(d), and Chapter 21.5(e) of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual; AFM Update AD14-06. This memorandum, open for comment until August 13, 2014, remains in effect until further notice. It is reprinted below at Appendix A.

Similarly, the Department of State published an interim final rule amending the rule on the accreditation and approval of ASPs in intercountry adoptions and reflecting the applicability of Convention standards in non-Convention adoption cases, 79 Fed. Reg. 40,629 (July 14, 2014), “Adoptions: Regulatory Change To Clarify the Application of the Accreditation Requirement and Standards in Cases Covered by the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act.” DOS will accept comments on the proposed regulation up to September 12, 2014. This rule is reprinted below at Appendix B.

Bender's Immigration Bulletin

[This is an excerpt from the Aug. 1, 2014, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]

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