EAH Immigration Blog

USCIS Makes Clear: Controlled Substance–Related Activity is Conditional Bar to Good Moral Character Determinations for Naturalization Purposes

USCIS has issued guidance to clarify that violation of federal controlled-substance law established by a conviction or admission, including for marijuana, remains a conditional bar to establishing good moral character (GMC) for naturalization, even where that conduct would not be a state law offense. Moreover, an applicant who is involved...
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10 Hits

What? I’m Suddenly Not a U.S. Citizen?

Immigration lawyers have always encountered people who thought they were U.S. citizens only to find out they aren’t. The issue often arises when the individual goes to renew his/her driver’s license and doesn’t have a birth certificate or passport, or when the person seeks to renew his passport. Whether this...
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47 Hits

Denaturalization Efforts by USCIS

The Trump administration is creating a new office within USCIS to focus on identifying immigrants who are suspected of cheating to get their green cards or citizenship and to initiate denaturalization proceedings against them. The new denaturalization office will be located in Los Angeles and will have a least a...
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52 Hits

Nonimmigrant Visitor Overstays – Next Focus for Administration

The White House recently announced in a Presidential Memorandum that it is focusing on B-1 and B-2 visitor overstays and will begin engaging with relevant governments to identify conditions contributing to high overstay rates among their nationals, and make appropriate recommendations. Twenty countries have overstay rate of more than 10...
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81 Hits

Immigration Lawyers and Advocates Sue Immigration Court in El Paso

AILA and the American Immigration Council recently filed a lawsuit against the U.S. immigration court in El Paso, claiming that the court at the El Paso Service Processing Center (SPC) has arbitrary and unjust rules that decrease asylum-seekers’ chances of staying in the country. The complaint draws from interviews of...
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66 Hits

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: H-1B Cap Reached in First Week of Filing: USCIS has received enough H-1B cap-subject visa petitions to exceed the statutory limit of 65,000 visas (plus 20,000 Master’s cap visas). In fact, over 201,000 petitions were received this year, a...
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108 Hits

E-2 Visas Available May 1, 2019 to Israeli Citizens

The U.S. embassy in Israel announced that an E-2 treaty investor agreement has been signed between the United States and Israel and will become effective May 1, 2019. Accordingly, Israeli citizens will be able to apply for E-2 visas at the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv. The embassy...
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91 Hits

Another Blow to Asylum Seekers: Attorney General Strips Their Eligibility for Bond

On April 16, the Attorney General (AG) issued a decision in an asylum case, ruling that asylum seekers who entered between ports of entry – even if they establish a credible fear of persecution – are no longer eligible for release on bond by an immigration judge. The decision sweeps...
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77 Hits

Proposal to Rescind H-4 Work Authorization Pending at OMB

It looks like DHS is close to publishing a regulation that will eliminate the eligibility for employment authorization of certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status. Commonly known as the H-4 EAD rescission regulation, the rule was sent to the Office of...
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140 Hits

DOS Offers Guidance to Derivative Beneficiaries Completing Form DS-160

How a derivative beneficiary (of an immigrant petition) should answer the question on a DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application, “Has an immigrant petition ever been filed on your behalf” is not clear and often perplexing. On its face, it appears that if the derivative beneficiary (spouse or child) was listed on...
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137 Hits

Department of State’s “Invisible Wall”

Recent data released by the Department of State reveal that it too is laying brick after brick of an invisible wall that is curbing legal immigration to the United States. Visa inadmissibility statistics in FY 2018 reveal an uptick in just one year of almost 10,000 visa denials on public...
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181 Hits

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Cap-Subject H-1Bs Filed April 2018 Remain Pending; Premium Processing Now Available for H-1B Petitions Filed on or Before 12/21/2018: Inexplicably, numerous FY 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions (filed in April 2018 for visas that became available on October 1, 2018)...
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169 Hits

Updated Guidance on Spousal Petitions Involving Minor Spouses

USCIS has updated its guidance identifying factors officers should consider when adjudicating a Form I-130 spousal petition involving a minor. Those factors include: (1) whether the marriage was lawful in the place it was celebrated; (2) if the couple resides outside the place of celebration, whether the marriage is recognized...
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149 Hits

Partner Camila Palmer wins Asylum case!

"JUSTICE PREVAILS AGAIN IN    IMMIGRATION COURTS EVEN IN THE “POST-A-B-“ ERA — Outstanding Analysis By Judge Eileen Trujillo Of The U.S. Immigration Court In Denver, CO, Recognizes “Women In Mexico” As PSG, Finds Nexus, Grants Asylum, Distinguishes A-B- Congrats to NDPA warrior (and former EOIR JLC) Camila Palmer of...
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257 Hits

U.S. Embassy in Caracas Suspends All Visa Services

On January 25, 2019, the Department of State announced that the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, suspended routine visa services due to the ordered departure of nonemergency personnel. The consular section advised that it is focused on providing emergency services for U.S. citizens. The State Department has not yet designated...
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190 Hits

Immigration Court Backlog Grows by 26 Percent

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times , the administration’s plan to shrink the ballooning backlog of immigration cases by mandating that immigration judges hear more cases has failed, according to the latest data, with the average wait for an immigration hearing now more than two years....
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157 Hits

Update on USCIS Practice of Denying Pending Advance Parole Travel Permit for Abandonment Due to International Travel

Most foreign nationals who apply for advance parole (travel permit) (Form I-131) in conjunction with an adjustment of status application must wait for the travel document to be issued before traveling abroad; otherwise, their adjustment case will be considered abandoned and the travel permit denied. But what happens when that...
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326 Hits

New I-539 Form Must Be Used Starting on 3/11/2019

USCIS announced that it has revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and that starting March 11, 2019, it will only accept the new version of the form. A new Form I-539A, also effective March 11, replaces the amendment pages normally used for children. (Parents or guardians may sign...
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208 Hits

The “Invisible Wall”: USCIS Processing Times Now at “Crisis Level” and Policy Changes Transform Agency from Service-Oriented to Enforcement-Driven

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently analyzed published USCIS data for fiscal years 2014 through 2018 and found a crisis-level of delays in the agency’s processing of applications and petitions for immigration benefits under the Trump Administration. While perhaps no real surprise to foreign nationals and their lawyers waiting...
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527 Hits

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Marriage to U.S. Citizen and Naturalization: Naturalization applicants filing on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen – filed after three years of obtaining permanent residency – must continue to be married from the time of filing for...
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238 Hits