EAH Immigration Blog

Lawsuit Challenges Legality of USCIS Unlawful Presence Policy for Fs, Js, and Ms; Members of Congress Weigh In, Too

Guilford College filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of an 8/9/18 USCIS policy memorandum, “Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants,” as contrary to the statutory unlawful presence provisions, and violative of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Guilford asks the...
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More on Employment-based Immigrant Visa Numbers

With only modest movement in the employment-based preference categories for the first quarter of the fiscal year (Oct.–Dec.), the Visa Office had hoped that more dramatic forward movement in some of these categories would start in January. Unfortunately, the Visa Office does not have sufficient data to evaluate visa demand, and...
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Trump’s Limitations on Asylum Put on Hold

On November 9, 2018, President Trump issued a proclamation barring anyone who entered between ports of entry from seeking asylum. This proclamation was to be valid for 90 days or until the creation of a “safe third country” agreement with Mexico, whichever occurred first. Of course, such an agreement would only...
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1471 Hits

Marijuana Use is No Laughing Matter to CBP

The legal landscape regarding the use and cultivation of marijuana is changing in the United States, Canada, and many other countries. Many questions are arising as to the impact of marijuana-related activities on one’s admissibility to the United States. As a matter of U.S. federal law, marijuana is still a controlled...
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1612 Hits

Employers Beware: ICE Workforce Investigations Surge in FY2018

Are you compliant? The law requires employers to review documents from each worker they hire to verify that the worker is legally present in the United States and authorized to be employed. This is done on Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. While the Obama Administration had made worksite enforcement a major...
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1743 Hits

USCIS to Eliminate Self-Scheduling InfoPass Appointments by End of September

USCIS wants to eliminate the way in which customers can use InfoPass. Currently, in most jurisdictions, an individual who wants to discuss his or her case with an immigration representative can make an appointment online through the InfoPass system, assuming an appointment is available. But appointments have become harder and harder...
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5245 Hits

USCIS Expedite Process for H-1B Filings

Given the suspension of premium processing for many H-1B filings, employers who have an urgent need that demands prompt adjudication of their H-1B petitions can request an expedite. USCIS, however, will only expedite a petition if it meets one or more of the following expedite criteria: Severe financial loss to company...
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1758 Hits

USCIS Proposes H-1B Pre-Filing Registration Process

In early December, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule to implement a pre-filing registration system for U.S. employers seeking to file cap-subject H-1B petitions. The new system would require that employers electronically pre-register their intent to petition for an H-1B beneficiary during a two-week registration period. There...
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1230 Hits

CBP Reminds Travelers to Allow 72 Hours for ESTA Authorization

With the holidays rapidly approaching, international travelers using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for travel to the United States are reminded to apply as soon as possible but not less than 72 hours before their international flight is scheduled to depart. Due to changes in the ESTA application processing,...
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1429 Hits

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 is...
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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 the...
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1534 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 doctors across...
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1534 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 lawsuit...
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1292 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 the...
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1239 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 60...
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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 February...
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1423 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 NTA...
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2583 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. Not...
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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 range...
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97334 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 student...
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1537 Hits