EAH Immigration Blog

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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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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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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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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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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Updates on Naturalization Requirements

USCIS has made some changes regarding the eligibility requirements for U.S. citizenship. Among other requirements, applicants for U.S. citizenship must pass a government and civics test. In November 2020, USCIS updated policy guidance on the naturalization civics test, increasing the general bank of questions to 128, the number of exam questions...
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BIA Narrows Legal Options Available to Foreign Nationals Harmed by Their Attorney’s Legal Mistakes in Immigration Court

In yet another blow to the rights of foreign nationals, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently denied a motion to reopen a case where the attorney representing the foreign national admitted to committing legal error and acknowledged that he was ineffective in removal proceedings. The BIA held “acceptance of responsibility...
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Federal Court Partially Block’s Trump’s Proclamation on Immigrant Visa Issuance During COVID-19

On December 11, a federal district court ordered that the State Department stop enforcing Section 1 of Presidential Proclamation 10014, which prohibits the issuance of immigrant visas to selected immigrants. President Trump indicated that the Proclamation was intended to protect the U.S. labor market during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it appears...
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Class Action Can Help First-Time Hs, Ls, and Js Overcome Presidential Proclamation

A class action filed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) may provide relief for H, L, and J applicants who would not otherwise be able to apply for a visa at a consulate abroad. The suit was filed in response to Presidential Proclamation 10052 (6/22/20, amended 6/29/20), which suspended entry...
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USCIS Proposes Replacing H-1B Lottery with Salary-Based Selection

While two proposed rules have been overturned, there remains one proposed rule moving through the rulemaking process that would have the effect of usurping the authority of Congress and converting H-1B program into an “advanced level only” visa. On November 2, DHS proposed to amend its regulations governing the process by...
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Changes to the Business Immigration Landscape

In November, USCIS and the Labor Department tried to change prevailing wage rules applied to the PERM and H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visa programs. But on December 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California set aside the agencies’ interim final rule because it did not follow...
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New Regulations Impacting Asylum Seekers and Immigration Court

On December 11, DOJ and DHS announced a new final rule governing the procedures of asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) — set to go in effect on January 11, 2021, nine days before President-elect Biden’s inauguration. The immigration bar quickly announced its opposition to...
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USCIS Lockbox Centers Experiencing Significant Delays for Processing Receipt Notices

USCIS recently acknowledged that its lockbox facilities are experiencing significant delays for processing receipt notices. This is a result of increased filings in recent weeks coupled with facility capacity restrictions necessary to protect the health and safety of the lockbox workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. The uptick in filings is likely...
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Court Victory in FOIA Delays Class Action

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, on December 17, granted summary judgment in favor of two nationwide classes suing the DHS, USCIS, and ICE for failing to timely produce the class members’ immigration files (A-Files). The court found that the agencies’ practice of failing to produce the...
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Federal Judge Orders DHS to Restore DACA and Accept Initial DACA Applications

On December 4, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York ordered the DHS to begin accepting new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The court had previously held that Chad Wolf was not lawfully serving as DHS Acting Secretary when he issued a...
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High Hopes and Significant Challenges for Biden Administration on Immigration Policy

In a recent article in the Washington Post, readers were asked for the one word that sums up 2020. “Exhausting” was one of the top three words. Exhausting (and relentless, too) is an apt description of the four-year long frontal attack on immigration law, policy, and procedu res imposed by the...
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IMMIGRATION UPDATES

Status of Declaration of Self-Sufficiency (Form I-944) in Limbo as Courts Decide Its Fate and USCIS Considers Whether to Continue to Implement As of this writing on August 17, USCIS has not provided guidance on whether the Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, Form I-944, is required in adjustment of status cases outside of...
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USCIS FEE INCREASES

Naturalization, Adjustment, and Other USCIS Fees to Increase Significantly on October 2 On October 2, 2020, new fees for filing USCIS applications and petitions go into effect, as well as the elimination of certain fee exemptions and changes to fee-waiver requirements. The final rule increases USCIS fees by a weighted average...
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