EAH Immigration Blog

Attempts to Limit Minor “UAC” Asylum Seekers

On May 31, 2019, USCIS announced a policy limiting USCIS asylum jurisdiction over applicants previously determined to be “unaccompanied alien children” (UAC). The memo reversed a 2013 policy, often referred to as the “Kim memo,” that specified that USCIS took jurisdiction over asylum applications filed by applicants who had previously...
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On-Site Inspections for F-1 STEM OPT Employment

There have been recent reports that ICE has started to conduct on-site inspections for STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment. According to DHS’s Study in the States website , an on-site visit will address how the salary of STEM OPT employees is determined, whether there is sufficient structure to provide...
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348 Hits

It’s Not Just Your Case – USCIS Has Increased Bureaucracy for U.S. Companies Petitioning for Needed Foreign Personnel

Not only has USCIS increased the red tape and bureaucracy for U.S. companies sponsoring foreign workers, but USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli boasts about it! It’s the latest example of administration officials lauding efforts to make it more difficult for employers to obtain what economists often consider to be a...
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448 Hits

Venezuelan Passports Automatically Extended for Five Years Beyond Expiration Date

On June 7, 2019, the National Assembly of Venezuela published a decree automatically extending the validity of Venezuelan passports for an additional five years from their printed date of expiration. While DOS has recognized this extension of passport validity for visa issuance and other consular purposes, CBP has not made...
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1145 Hits

Following Up With USCIS: How to Navigate the USCIS Contact Center

Foreign nationals who need assistance at a local USCIS field office or who want to follow up with USCIS on their pending cases, especially when the case is long pending, are advised to use the USCIS Contact Center. The following is advice on how to navigate the system, which is...
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3299 Hits

Visa Bulletin: EB-1 Preference Categories Still Backlogged; DOS Provides Explanation and Projections

Those foreign nationals who have approved employment-based first preference (EB-1) petitions are wondering, why is the category still backlogged when historically the category “re-sets” and becomes current on October 1 with the start of the new U.S. fiscal year? For Indian nationals, the backlog is particularly troublesome because there have...
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898 Hits

New Proclamation Mandatory Insurance for Entering Immigrants

On October 4, 2019, President Trump issued a Proclamation suspending the entry of immigrants who do not have approved health coverage or the ability to pay for foreseeable medical issues within 30 days of entering the United States. This means that outside of very limited exceptions, any nonresident applying for...
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News in Brief

USCIS Formally Proposes H-1B Registration Process: USCIS published a proposed rule that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to pay a $10 fee for each electronic registration they submit to USCIS for the H-1B cap selection process. Comments were due October 4, 2019. USCIS has not yet...
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504 Hits

Understanding DOS’s Interim Final Rule on Public Charge

On October 11, 2019, DOS issued an interim final rule amending DOS regulations regarding how consular officers will determine whether a nonresident is ineligible for a visa because he or she is likely to become a public charge. Although the DHS final rule on public charge was enjoined from implementation...
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1105 Hits

Courts Enjoin DHS Public Charge Rule

On October 11, 2019, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York enjoined and restrained DHS and USCIS from “enforcing, applying, or treating as effective” the DHS Public Charge Final Rule. The rule was slated to go into effect on October 15, 2019. In addition, the court...
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469 Hits

DOJ Moves to Decertify Immigration Judges Union with NLRB

In early August, the Department of Justice (DOJ) petitioned the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) in an effort to strip immigration judges of their right to be represented by a union. In the petition, DOJ claims that the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) is no longer a valid union...
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434 Hits

Venezuela to Start Issuing “No Objection Statements” Needed for J-1 Waivers

Officials at the Embassy of Venezuela have confirmed that it will begin issuing “no objection” statement letters for Venezuelans seeking a waiver of the two-year foreign residency requirement that attached to their J-1 visa status. (No-objection letters are the first consular services to be provided by the new government.) Officials...
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1667 Hits

EB-5 Green Cards: Minimum Investment Amounts Will Increase to $1.8 Million and $900,000

USCIS published its final regulations governing EB-5 investor visas on July 24; the new rules go into effect on November 21, 2019. The major change created by the new regulations is to increase the minimum investment amounts that foreign investors must invest to obtain an EB-5 green card. Starting on November...
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451 Hits

Immigration Bills to Watch

Congress has adjourned for its annual summer recess and will be returning after Labor Day to address a number of immigration bills. The following are worth watching: Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (H.R. 1044) passed the House of Representatives on July 10; its Senate companion bill (S....
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656 Hits

“Expedited Removal” Expanded

Created in 1996, expedited removal is a process by which low-level immigration officers can quickly deport certain noncitizens who are undocumented or have committed fraud or misrepresentation. Since 2004, immigration officials have used expedited removal to deport individuals who arrive at our border, as well as individuals who entered without...
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447 Hits

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Trump Expands Executive Order on Venezuela: An August 5th Executive Order (EO) further extends the scope of a 2015 and subsequent EOs impacting Venezuelans. The latest EO directs that all property and interests in property of the Government of...
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538 Hits

Know Your Rights If ICE Comes Knocking at Your Door!

Immigration enforcement raids dominated the news in July and August. While new ICE raids in 10 cities in July did not materialize, a raid in Mississippi on August 7 resulted in the detention of some 680 undocumented immigrants in what a federal prosecutor described as a record-setting operation, “the largest...
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Visa Bulletin for September: Many Categories Now “Unavailable” through September 30, 2019

At an August 16 liaison meeting with the State Department, the American Immigration Lawyers Association was made aware that following a review of the dates listed in the September 2019 Visa Bulletin , the entire EB-3 category has immediately been made “unavailable” for the remainder of FY2019. This means that...
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599 Hits

New Public Charge Rule, Effective October 15, 2019

DHS published a new public charge rule that dramatically changes the standard of whether an applicant for admission to the U.S. or for adjustment of status is likely to become a “public charge.” “Public charge” is not defined in the immigration law, but since 1999, the term has meant a...
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8307 Hits

All USCIS International Offices to Close by March 2020

USCIS will close its international offices, starting with Ciudad Juárez (Mexico) and Manila (Philippines). All offices, including the main district offices for the separate regions, are scheduled to close by March 10, 2020. In September 2019, the Monterrey, Mexico, office is projected to close, as well as the station in...
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746 Hits