EAH Immigration Blog

More on the Government’s Attempts to Restrict Asylum Protection

It seems like every month the Administration comes up with yet another way to restrict the ability of asylum seekers to obtain protection from persecution in order to deter the flow of refugees. On April 29, President Trump issued a memorandum ordering changes to U.S. asylum policies. The memo orders the...
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News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: USCIS Begins Premium Processing for H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions: On June 10, USCIS resumed premium processing for all remaining FY2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions. Petitioners may file a Request for Premium Processing Service, with the USCIS service center processing their petition on...
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1014 Hits

Conditional Residents (I-751 Applicants) Should Expect Interviews by USCIS

In late 2018, USCIS issued a new policy memo that limits when officers can waive the interview requirement for Form I-751, the petition certain marriage-based green card holders must submit to remove the condition on their permanent residence. Under the previous policy guidance dated 2005, USCIS officers were advised that interviews...
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42136 Hits

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 in...
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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 issue...
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1119 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 dozen...
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7955 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 percent,...
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988 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 attorneys...
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993 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 modest...
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986 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 advises...
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883 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 aside...
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895 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 Management...
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993 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 an...
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1514 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 charge...
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1043 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) remain...
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1028 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 as...
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969 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 an...
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1120 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. Since October...
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1074 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 individual...
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4179 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 on...
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1192 Hits