EAH Immigration Blog

Bill Passes Virginia State Legislature Expanding Jurisdiction for Special Immigrant Juvenile Cases

On March 18, 2021, Virginia passed legislation allowing for juvenile and family courts to retain jurisdiction of matters where a child has petitioned the court to make findings that would allow them to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) before the age of 21. The law goes into effect on...
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36 Hits

President Biden Keeps Refugee Numbers at Record Lows Due to Political Pressure

On April 16, 2021, President Biden signed an order limiting U.S. refugee admissions to 15,000 despite previously promising to increase the refugee admissions to 62,500 in this fiscal year and promising in February to raise the admissions rate to 125,000. This cap on admissions matches President Trump’s historical low in 2020,...
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DOS Provides Information on National Interest Exceptions (NIE) for Regional COVID Proclamations

On April 8, 2021, the DOS announced that the travel of immigrants, fiancé(e) visa holders, certain exchange visitors, and pilots/aircrew traveling for training or aircraft pickup, delivery, or maintenance is in the national interest for purposes of approving exceptions under the geographic proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19. These proclamations restrict the...
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202 Hits

H, L, and J Visa Processing Resumes; Presidential Proclamation 10052 Expires

Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021. Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance....
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169 Hits

COVID and Telecommuting Implications on Immigration Compliance

COVID-19 has led to a shift by employers toward more permissive telecommuting policies. Given that certain regulations in both the H-1B and PERM contexts are location-specific, compliance is not always apparent.  For F-1 foreign students, issues have arisen due to online and in-person study. Telecommuting in the H-1B Context All H-1B...
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153 Hits

All Immigrants are Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States

On April 19, 2021, all adult persons in the United States are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of nationality or immigration status, including undocumented immigrants. The vaccines are free for all recipients, even those who do not have medical insurance. Each of the available vaccines for distribution in the United States...
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176 Hits

USCIS to Defer to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in Requests for Petition Extensions

For more than a dozen years, USCIS directed its officers to generally defer to prior determinations of eligibility when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts as an initial petition or application. The deference policy was most often exercised in the context of extensions of Form I-129 work-related visa...
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News in Brief

USCIS Extends Premium Processing to E-3 Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions:  Effective February 24, petitioners filing a nonimmigrant visa petition requesting a change or extension of status to E-3 classification will have the option to request premium processing service for their petition. The E-3 visa classification applies only to nationals of Australia who...
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391 Hits

Educational Requirements for Naturalization Restored to 2008 Version

USCIS updated guidance in its Policy Manual regarding the educational requirements for naturalization. The update, effective 3/1/21, provides that USCIS will revert to administering the 2008 civics test to applicants who filed for naturalization before 12/1/20, or who will file on or after 3/1/21. In the waning days of the Trump...
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365 Hits

U.S. Citizenship Act and Dreamers Act Introduced in Congress

On February 18, 2021, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 was formally introduced in both houses of Congress. If passed, the bill would bring citizenship to millions of foreign nationals and drastically reform the immigration system. In addition to providing a roadmap to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA)...
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288 Hits

OIG Report on DOJ’s “Zero-Tolerance Policy”: Simply Appalling

In January, the DOJ Office of the Inspector General issued its report on the agency’s planning and implementation of its “zero-tolerance policy” for immigration offenses involving illegal entry and attempted illegal entry into the United States. The policy was announced and led by then Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April 2018....
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345 Hits

CBP Ports Resume Accepting NIEs for Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, and Brazil

In late January 26, several CBP Ports of Entry (POEs at LAX, BWI, and EWR) indicated that they no longer had the authority to approve National Interest Exception (NIEs) related to the COVID-19 country-specific, health-related travel restrictions imposed on the Schengen Area, the U.K., Ireland, and Brazil recently maintained by the...
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372 Hits

USCIS Announces New Process for Green Card Extension While I-90 Is Pending

USCIS has implemented a new process extending green cards during the pendency of an I-90 application. Instead of issuing extension stickers at USCIS field offices, USCIS will issue a revised receipt notice for Form I-90 that extends the validity of green card for 12 months (12 months from the expiration date...
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494 Hits

Consular Processed Immigrant Visas: Backlog of 380,000 Waiting to Immigrate

The suspension of most legal immigration processing outside of the U.S., combined with staffing shortages and logistical challenges related to the pandemic at U.S. consulates around the world, has left hundreds of thousands of otherwise eligible visa applicants in limbo, and experts warn that the backlog could take years to resolve....
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804 Hits

Supreme Court to Decide If TPS Recipients Are Eligible to Adjust Status

The Supreme Court will decide if a grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) satisfies the requirements of “inspection and admission” for purposes of adjustment of status. A favorable Court decision could allow TPS recipients to adjust status even if they entered without inspection and had never been paroled. This case should...
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695 Hits

Biden Administration Issues New Enforcement Priorities

On February 18, 2021, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) acting director Tae Johnson issued a memorandum offering interim guidance on the agency’s new enforcement priorities. According to the memo, ICE will prioritize the following groups of people for detention and deportation during the interim period: People considered to pose a national...
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First 100 Days of the Biden Administration on Immigration

Since coming into office, the Biden Administration has taken significant steps in tackling America’s broken immigration system, including overturning many of President Trump’s executive orders and proclamations on immigration. President Biden has stayed true to his promise to reform the immigration system, and the executive orders that he has issued within...
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518 Hits

H-1B Registration for Cap-Subject Petitions Opens March 9

Beginning on March 9, employer-petitioners will be able to begin the H-1B cap-subject petition registration process for FY2022. 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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News in Brief

H-1B FY2022 Season: Time to Start Process Well in advance of the March 20, 2021 Registration Deadline: Employers who seek to register their employees for the FY2022 H-1B lottery are encouraged to gather necessary documents now to avoid any delays in registering and processing your paperwork. EADs automatically extended to 10/4/2021...
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573 Hits

DOS Pilot Program Requires Certain B-1/B-2 Applicants to Post Bond as Condition of Visa Issuance

A DOS temporary final rule creating a six-month pilot program under which certain applicants may be required to post a bond as a condition of visa issuance. The Visa Bond Pilot Program went into effect on December 9. Under the program, consular officers will require visa bonds be posted by visa...
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