EAH Immigration Blog

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...
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772 Hits

USCIS Formally Proposes New Public Benefits Rule that Will Hinder Admissibility to U.S.

On October 10, 2018, USCIS published a proposed rule that would expand the definition of “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” which is intended to determine whether a foreign national is inadmissible because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. Having received cash benefits from...
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834 Hits

Buyer Beware: Report Says Many USCIS Civil Surgeons Have History of Wrongdoing

According to a news article in the New York Times , dozens of doctors – USCIS civil surgeons – tapped by the federal government to screen immigrants applying for green cards have a history of “egregious infractions.” The report conducted by a federal watchdog agency looked at more than 5,500...
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910 Hits

Judge Temporarily Blocks Termination of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan

On October 3, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen issued a preliminary injunction against the government from terminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. The judge ruled that the government must maintain TPS, and employment authorizations for TPS beneficiaries from those countries, while a...
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743 Hits

USCIS Formally Proposes New Public Benefits Rule that Will Hinder Admissibility to U.S.

On October 10, 2018, USCIS published a proposed rule that would expand the definition of “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” which is intended to determine whether a foreign national is inadmissible because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. Having received cash benefits from...
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684 Hits

USCIS Announces New Policy Guidance for Validity Period of Medical Examination

USCIS has announced a revision to the policy guidance for the validity period of Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, effective November 1, 2018. The revised policy will require applicants to submit a Form I-693 with a civil surgeon signature and date that is no more than...
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2184 Hits

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Latest News on Using Premium Processing: The fee to premium process those cases that are eligible increased to $1,410 effective October 1, DHS has announced. USICS also announced that it was suspending premium processing for all H-1B cases until...
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802 Hits

USCIS Implements New Notice to Appear (NTA) Policy

Effective October 1, USCIS began implementing its policy of referring cases to the immigration court through the issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA) on denied status-impacting applications, thus increasing its enforcement actions to a whole host of cases that normally are not automatically referred for proceedings. Service of the...
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1389 Hits

Visa Availability for EB-1 Remains Uncertain; Pending Adjustment of Status Applicants Must Wait

The EB-1-1 (employment-based first preference) became oversubscribed during the summer. While this is normal because the summer is the end of the U.S. fiscal year, visas in this category historically always have become available again October 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year, and green cards would be issued....
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1228 Hits

Update on Long Pending EAD/AP Applications at the National Benefits Center

We are seeing long delays in the adjudication of Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, processed by the National Benefits Center (NBC). Processing times for the NBC as of September 2018 indicate that I-765 applications based on pending I-485 adjustment of status applications...
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77123 Hits

F-1 “Cap-Gap” Status and Work Authorization Extension Only Valid Through 9/30/2018

USCIS has reminded F-1 students whose cap-subject H-1B petition remains pending that they risk accruing unlawful presence if they continue to work on or after October 1 (unless otherwise authorized to continue employment), as their “cap-gap” work authorization is only valid through September 30. While USCIS regulations allow an F-1...
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906 Hits

DHS Sued Over Silent Approach to Third-Party Worksite Placements for OPT

A lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Texas is alleging that DHS violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by publishing a rule affecting the F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for STEM students. The original rule DHS published extending OPT employment for STEM students was properly implemented through the...
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748 Hits

Morale at ICE Reaches New Low

As criticism of the agency increases, dissent is forming with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In a letter addressed to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) proposed a deconstruction of ICE into its two main but independent components, HSI and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). The latter...
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Unmarried A and G Domestic Partners May No Longer Be Eligible for Visas as “Immediate Family Members”

In recent communication, it appears that the Department of State will only accept the accreditation of spouses of newly arrived officers and employees of international organizations and embassy staff, both same-sex and opposite-sex, as members of the immediate family of the principal A or G visa holder, as of October...
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831 Hits

Receipt of Public Benefits May Hinder Admissibility to the U.S.

The Department of State has been scrutinizing individuals applying for green cards under the public-charge bar. Some of these non–U.S. citizens must show that they are not likely to become dependent on the government for cash assistance or long-term care. In making a public-charge determination, the government must look at...
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846 Hits

EB-1 Retrogression and Not Likely to Become Current in October

Historically, at the end of the fiscal year, visa preference categories further retrogress or become backlogged for the first time, only to become current again on October 1. This has been the pattern for the employment-based first preference (extraordinary ability, outstanding professors/ researchers, and multinational executives and managers) for years....
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1181 Hits

New De-Naturalization Unit Investigating Previously Approved N-400 Applications

While U.S. citizens by birth can never be stripped of their citizenship, naturalized citizens do not enjoy that same security if their citizenship was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation. Sometimes this revocation is warranted. This past January, ICE filed a civil denaturalization complaint against a former Bosnian paramilitary member who...
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891 Hits

Significant Changes to F, J and M Visa Holders’ Maintenance of Status Now in Effect

USCIS’s new policy regarding “unlawful presence” for foreign students (academic and vocational) and exchange visitors and their dependents is now in effect. This means that foreign students (F-1, J-1, M-1) will begin accruing unlawful presence on the day after the student violates the terms of his or status, such as...
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999 Hits

USCIS Postpones Launch of New Notice to Appear Policy Due to Implementation Issues

Around the same time that USCIS issued its new policy regarding RFEs and NOIDs, USCIS updated its guidance for referring cases to the immigration court through the issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA), and thus increasing its enforcement actions to a whole host of cases that normally are not...
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853 Hits

USCIS Not Obligated to Issue RFEs and NOIDs in the Case of a Deficient Filing

At the same time that immigration judges are having their discretion restricted, USCIS adjudicators are having their discretion expanded. The governing regulations explicitly provide an adjudicator the discretion to deny a case outright if the record does not establish eligibility for the immigration benefit, or issue a Request for Evidence...
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988 Hits