EAH Immigration Blog

News in Brief

TPS for Venezuelans: DHS has designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective 3/9/21 through 9/9/22. The notice also provides information about Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and DED-related EADs for eligible Venezuelans. TPS Extended for Syria: USCIS announced the extension of the designation of Syria for TPS for...
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Certain Regulatory Requirements Suspended for Syrian and Venezuelan F-1 Nonimmigrant Students

Effective April 22, the DHS will provide relief to Syrian and Venezuelan citizens who are in the United States as lawful F-1 nonimmigrant status. DHS has recognized that due to the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria and the current humanitarian crises in Venezuela, F-1 nonimmigrant students...
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323 Hits

Flexibilities Announced for Certain F-1 Applicants Filing for OPT

USCIS has experienced delays at certain lockboxes in issuing receipt notices for Form I‐765 for optional practical training (OPT) for F‐1 students. These delays are due to COVID‐19 restrictions, a dramatic increase in filings of certain benefit requests, postal service volume and delays, and other external factors. In an effort to...
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334 Hits

Bill Passes Virginia State Legislature Expanding Jurisdiction for Special Immigrant Juvenile Cases

On March 18, 2021, Virginia passed legislation allowing for juvenile and family courts to retain jurisdiction of matters where a child has petitioned the court to make findings that would allow them to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) before the age of 21. The law goes into effect on...
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1119 Hits

President Biden Keeps Refugee Numbers at Record Lows Due to Political Pressure

On April 16, 2021, President Biden signed an order limiting U.S. refugee admissions to 15,000 despite previously promising to increase the refugee admissions to 62,500 in this fiscal year and promising in February to raise the admissions rate to 125,000. This cap on admissions matches President Trump’s historical low in 2020,...
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448 Hits

DOS Provides Information on National Interest Exceptions (NIE) for Regional COVID Proclamations

On April 8, 2021, the DOS announced that the travel of immigrants, fiancé(e) visa holders, certain exchange visitors, and pilots/aircrew traveling for training or aircraft pickup, delivery, or maintenance is in the national interest for purposes of approving exceptions under the geographic proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19. These proclamations restrict the...
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1243 Hits

H, L, and J Visa Processing Resumes; Presidential Proclamation 10052 Expires

Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021. Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance....
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499 Hits

COVID and Telecommuting Implications on Immigration Compliance

COVID-19 has led to a shift by employers toward more permissive telecommuting policies. Given that certain regulations in both the H-1B and PERM contexts are location-specific, compliance is not always apparent.  For F-1 foreign students, issues have arisen due to online and in-person study. Telecommuting in the H-1B Context All H-1B...
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692 Hits

All Immigrants are Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States

On April 19, 2021, all adult persons in the United States are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of nationality or immigration status, including undocumented immigrants. The vaccines are free for all recipients, even those who do not have medical insurance. Each of the available vaccines for distribution in the United States...
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478 Hits

USCIS to Defer to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in Requests for Petition Extensions

For more than a dozen years, USCIS directed its officers to generally defer to prior determinations of eligibility when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts as an initial petition or application. The deference policy was most often exercised in the context of extensions of Form I-129 work-related visa...
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373 Hits

News in Brief

USCIS Extends Premium Processing to E-3 Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions:  Effective February 24, petitioners filing a nonimmigrant visa petition requesting a change or extension of status to E-3 classification will have the option to request premium processing service for their petition. The E-3 visa classification applies only to nationals of Australia who...
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626 Hits

Educational Requirements for Naturalization Restored to 2008 Version

USCIS updated guidance in its Policy Manual regarding the educational requirements for naturalization. The update, effective 3/1/21, provides that USCIS will revert to administering the 2008 civics test to applicants who filed for naturalization before 12/1/20, or who will file on or after 3/1/21. In the waning days of the Trump...
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560 Hits

U.S. Citizenship Act and Dreamers Act Introduced in Congress

On February 18, 2021, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 was formally introduced in both houses of Congress. If passed, the bill would bring citizenship to millions of foreign nationals and drastically reform the immigration system. In addition to providing a roadmap to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA)...
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560 Hits

OIG Report on DOJ’s “Zero-Tolerance Policy”: Simply Appalling

In January, the DOJ Office of the Inspector General issued its report on the agency’s planning and implementation of its “zero-tolerance policy” for immigration offenses involving illegal entry and attempted illegal entry into the United States. The policy was announced and led by then Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April 2018....
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547 Hits

CBP Ports Resume Accepting NIEs for Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, and Brazil

In late January 26, several CBP Ports of Entry (POEs at LAX, BWI, and EWR) indicated that they no longer had the authority to approve National Interest Exception (NIEs) related to the COVID-19 country-specific, health-related travel restrictions imposed on the Schengen Area, the U.K., Ireland, and Brazil recently maintained by the...
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646 Hits

USCIS Announces New Process for Green Card Extension While I-90 Is Pending

USCIS has implemented a new process extending green cards during the pendency of an I-90 application. Instead of issuing extension stickers at USCIS field offices, USCIS will issue a revised receipt notice for Form I-90 that extends the validity of green card for 12 months (12 months from the expiration date...
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5429 Hits

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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1351 Hits

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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996 Hits

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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683 Hits

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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731 Hits