EAH Immigration Blog

Practical Questions and Answers Regarding Submission of DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Applications

The State Department’s Visa Office recently provided guidance and practical advice on the submission and processing of DS-160 nonimmigrant visa applications based on some frequently asked questions: Q: If an applicant completes a Form DS-160 for one consular post and then applies for a nonimmigrant visa at a different post, is...
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Round Up of Key Immigration Court Cases Challenging Administration’s Immigration Policy

According to Stuart Anderson, Executive Director of the nonpartisan public policy organization the National Foundation for American Policy, no president has been sued over his immigration policies as much as President Trump. In a recent article in Forbes, Mr. Anderson provides an analysis of the key immigration cases and issues facing...
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DHS Proposes to Change Fee Schedule and to Introduce New Forms

DHS promulgated a proposed rule that would make changes to the USCIS fee schedule by a “weighted average increase of 21 percent,” or about an 18 percent overall fee hike. The rule would also add new fees, change forms, and introduce several new forms. Some of the most common applications and...
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Holiday Travel: Review Your Documents Now

Now is a good time for foreign nationals who will be departing the United States for travel abroad over the holidays to review their travel documents to ensure that their reentry into the U.S. is as seamless as possible. Depending on an individual’s current status and whether he or she is...
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1216 Hits

It’s Official: H-1B Registration Required for Cap-Subject Petitions; Registration Dates: March 1-20, 2020

USCIS announced that it is implementing the registration process for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced-degree exemption, for FY2021. Such employers must first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee before filing a petition for H-1B visa status for a beneficiary....
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1448 Hits

Employers Beware: SSA Resumes Issuance of “No-Match” Letters

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed issuing no-match letters. No-match letters state that a certain number of wage reports for name and SSN combinations do not match SSA records. Employers should be mindful that SSA no-match letters can potentially lead to issues related to immigration enforcement, including an ICE audit...
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1248 Hits

Attempts to Limit Minor “UAC” Asylum Seekers

On May 31, 2019, USCIS announced a policy limiting USCIS asylum jurisdiction over applicants previously determined to be “unaccompanied alien children” (UAC). The memo reversed a 2013 policy, often referred to as the “Kim memo,” that specified that USCIS took jurisdiction over asylum applications filed by applicants who had previously been...
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1528 Hits

On-Site Inspections for F-1 STEM OPT Employment

There have been recent reports that ICE has started to conduct on-site inspections for STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment. According to DHS’s Study in the States website, an on-site visit will address how the salary of STEM OPT employees is determined, whether there is sufficient structure to provide supervision and...
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1227 Hits

It’s Not Just Your Case – USCIS Has Increased Bureaucracy for U.S. Companies Petitioning for Needed Foreign Personnel

Not only has USCIS increased the red tape and bureaucracy for U.S. companies sponsoring foreign workers, but USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli boasts about it! It’s the latest example of administration officials lauding efforts to make it more difficult for employers to obtain what economists often consider to be a company’s...
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Venezuelan Passports Automatically Extended for Five Years Beyond Expiration Date

On June 7, 2019, the National Assembly of Venezuela published a decree automatically extending the validity of Venezuelan passports for an additional five years from their printed date of expiration. While DOS has recognized this extension of passport validity for visa issuance and other consular purposes, CBP has not made a...
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26462 Hits

Following Up With USCIS: How to Navigate the USCIS Contact Center

Foreign nationals who need assistance at a local USCIS field office or who want to follow up with USCIS on their pending cases, especially when the case is long pending, are advised to use the USCIS Contact Center. The following is advice on how to navigate the system, which is inherently...
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68179 Hits

Visa Bulletin: EB-1 Preference Categories Still Backlogged; DOS Provides Explanation and Projections

Those foreign nationals who have approved employment-based first preference (EB-1) petitions are wondering, why is the category still backlogged when historically the category “re-sets” and becomes current on October 1 with the start of the new U.S. fiscal year? For Indian nationals, the backlog is particularly troublesome because there have been...
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New Proclamation Mandatory Insurance for Entering Immigrants

On October 4, 2019, President Trump issued a Proclamation suspending the entry of immigrants who do not have approved health coverage or the ability to pay for foreseeable medical issues within 30 days of entering the United States. This means that outside of very limited exceptions, any nonresident applying for an...
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1350 Hits

News in Brief

USCIS Formally Proposes H-1B Registration Process: USCIS published a proposed rule that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to pay a $10 fee for each electronic registration they submit to USCIS for the H-1B cap selection process. Comments were due October 4, 2019. USCIS has not yet announced...
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Understanding DOS’s Interim Final Rule on Public Charge

On October 11, 2019, DOS issued an interim final rule amending DOS regulations regarding how consular officers will determine whether a nonresident is ineligible for a visa because he or she is likely to become a public charge. Although the DHS final rule on public charge was enjoined from implementation on...
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2732 Hits

Courts Enjoin DHS Public Charge Rule

On October 11, 2019, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York enjoined and restrained DHS and USCIS from “enforcing, applying, or treating as effective” the DHS Public Charge Final Rule. The rule was slated to go into effect on October 15, 2019. In addition, the court specifically...
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1453 Hits

DOJ Moves to Decertify Immigration Judges Union with NLRB

In early August, the Department of Justice (DOJ) petitioned the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) in an effort to strip immigration judges of their right to be represented by a union. In the petition, DOJ claims that the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) is no longer a valid union because...
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Venezuela to Start Issuing “No Objection Statements” Needed for J-1 Waivers

Officials at the Embassy of Venezuela have confirmed that it will begin issuing “no objection” statement letters for Venezuelans seeking a waiver of the two-year foreign residency requirement that attached to their J-1 visa status. (No-objection letters are the first consular services to be provided by the new government.) Officials are...
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4108 Hits

EB-5 Green Cards: Minimum Investment Amounts Will Increase to $1.8 Million and $900,000

USCIS published its final regulations governing EB-5 investor visas on July 24; the new rules go into effect on November 21, 2019. The major change created by the new regulations is to increase the minimum investment amounts that foreign investors must invest to obtain an EB-5 green card. Starting on November...
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1417 Hits

Immigration Bills to Watch

Congress has adjourned for its annual summer recess and will be returning after Labor Day to address a number of immigration bills. The following are worth watching: Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (H.R. 1044) passed the House of Representatives on July 10; its Senate companion bill (S. 386)...
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1786 Hits