EAH Immigration Blog

Department of Justice and the Immigration Courts

Like USCIS and ICE, most immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) continue to operate and are processing cases; however, some courts have temporary closures due to COVID-19. Receipt stamps continue to be issued for defensive applications, motions, pleadings, and evidentiary filings. Likewise, the courts continue to issue new...
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Department of Labor

While the Department of Labor (DOL) has a limited role in immigration-related cases, it plays a significant role in H-1B (and H-1B1 and E-3) petitions and PERM labor certification-based immigrant visa applications: Guidance for H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Employers H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 employees’ terms and conditions of employment are governed...
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1653 Hits

Department of State and U.S. Embassies Abroad

All U.S. embassies and consulates have suspended all routine nonimmigrant and immigrant visa services, and no announcement has been made about when DOS plans to reopen them. It is likely that posts will reopen on a rolling basis depending on the circumstances on the ground. In fact, little guidance has been...
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Department of Homeland Security: USCIS, ICE, and CBP

USCIS: Many immigration benefits and requests are submitted to USCIS service centers by mail and those offices continue to operate and are processing cases. Receipt notices are being issued, as are work permits, travel permits, green cards, I-797 Approval Notices, and other official notices. And, while requests for evidence (RFEs) and...
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News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: “Birth Tourism” New Rule in Effect: In late January, DOS issued a final rule establishing a rebuttable presumption that a B visa applicant who a consular officer believes will give birth during her stay in the U.S. is traveling for...
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1079 Hits

USCIS Begins Accepting Green Card Applications under Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness

USCIS will begin accepting applications to adjust to LPR status from certain Liberian nationals under Section 7611 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020, Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF), signed into law on December 20, 2019. To be eligible for permanent residence under LRIF, a Liberian national must have...
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1081 Hits

Interview Waivers for Certain NIV Applicants

Do you know that many U.S. consulates provide an option for the NIV interview to be waived if certain criteria are met? This option is important to consider when, increasingly, NIV applicants are subject to long wait times either for scheduling an NIV interview or waiting for visa issuance post interview....
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1891 Hits

Consular Computer Problems and Delays at National Visa Center

It’s not just you! Foreign nationals who consular process their immigrant visas applications at U.S. consulates abroad and thus avail themselves of the State Department’s system for submitting documentation have been experiencing a myriad of technical problems and interview scheduling delays. First, applicants are experiencing problems in paying their visa fee...
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3322 Hits

Expanded Travel Ban 3.0: Who is Covered?

On February 21, President Trump’s newest Presidential Proclamation went into effect expanding the Travel Ban 3.0 to include certain foreign nationals of the following six countries: Eritrea: All immigrants, except Special Immigrants who have provided assistance to the U.S. government.Kyrgyzstan: All immigrants, except Special Immigrants who have provided assistance to the...
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1245 Hits

Permanent Injunction Issued to Enjoin Enforcement of F, M, J Nonimmigrant “Unlawful Presence” Policy Memo

In early February, a nationwide permanent injunction was granted by a federal district court, enjoining USCIS from enforcing its August 9, 2018, Policy Memorandum entitled “Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J and M Nonimmigrants.” The decision is important for many reasons: First, the decision saves thousands of F, J, and...
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1730 Hits

Update on Corona Virus Outbreak and U.S. Travel Ban Expansion to Schengen Area Countries

On March 11th, 2020, President Trump issued a new Presidential Proclamation expanding the scope of two previously issued travel bans suspending entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States, with exceptions detailed below, in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 or“COVID-19”. The Proclamation, entitled, Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and...
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1763 Hits

Coronavirus’s Impact on Individuals Seeking Entry into the United States After Travel in China and on U.S. Consular Processing in China

In light of the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the Trump Administration has taken several measures to control and limit the entry of individuals potentially exposed the virus in China from entering the United States. On January 31, President Trump issued a Proclamation suspending entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants...
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1263 Hits

H-1B Registration for Cap-Subject Petitions Opens March 1

Beginning on March 1, employer-petitioners will be able to begin the H-1B cap-subject petition registration process for FY2021. Such employers must electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee per beneficiary before filing a petition for H-1B visa status for a beneficiary. If approved, the visa would become available...
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1058 Hits

New Public Charge Rules Go Into Effect for Most Green Card Applicants and Others

Beginning on February 24, 2020, DHS and the Department of State (DOS) began implementation of a new standard of whether an applicant for admission to the U.S. or for adjustment of status is likely to become a “public charge” under the inadmissibility ground in the immigration laws. “Public charge” is not...
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News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Polish Nationals Eligible for ESTA: In a recent rule effective 11/11/2019, DHS designated Poland as a country eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program. French E-1 and E-2 Visa Validity Period Now 25 Months: Effective 11/12/19, the maximum validity...
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1217 Hits

Arrests and Deportations Under Trump Generally Lower Than Under Obama

According to a recent article in the Washington Post that analyzed ICE’s annual report for FY2019, ICE deported approximately 12,000 family members and unaccompanied minors of the 540,000 who crossed the border, far fewer than the millions President Trump pledged to arrest and deport. While the number of families deported increased...
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3713 Hits

Medical Screenings Discourage Asylum Seekers

Many asylum seekers who are waiting to be heard in U.S. immigration court are currently living in tent camps on the Mexico side of the U.S. border. After waiting several months in destitute conditions, they arrive to immigration court only to find that they are being turned away from attending their...
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Naturalization: Conditional Bar to Good Moral Character for Unlawful Acts

USCIS is also updating its policy guidance in its Policy Manual on “unlawful acts” during the applicable statutory period that reflect adversely on moral character and may prevent an applicant from meeting the good moral character (GMC) requirement for naturalization. An applicant who has committed, was convicted of, or was imprisoned...
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1436 Hits

Impact of DUI Convictions on Good Moral Character Determinations

Certain immigration benefits require an applicant to demonstrate that he or she has good moral character (GMC) in order to demonstrate eligibility for the benefit. The good moral character standard is cited throughout the INA, and is a prerequisite to eligibility for numerous forms of immigration relief. Recently, the Attorney General...
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USCIS Issues Policy Guidance on Post-Sentencing Changes

In immigration law, certain criminal acts have immigration consequences, rendering an applicant inadmissible, deportable, or ineligible for the immigration benefit being sought. USCIS issued policy guidance – and updated its USCIS Policy Manual – regarding how post-sentencing changes to criminal sentences affect convictions for immigration purposes. An immigrant convicted of an...
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1558 Hits