EAH Immigration Blog

USCIS Proposes Replacing H-1B Lottery with Salary-Based Selection

While two proposed rules have been overturned, there remains one proposed rule moving through the rulemaking process that would have the effect of usurping the authority of Congress and converting H-1B program into an “advanced level only” visa. On November 2, DHS proposed to amend its regulations governing the process by...
Continue reading
  564 Hits
564 Hits

Class Action Can Help First-Time Hs, Ls, and Js Overcome Presidential Proclamation

A class action filed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) may provide relief for H, L, and J applicants who would not otherwise be able to apply for a visa at a consulate abroad. The suit was filed in response to Presidential Proclamation 10052 (6/22/20, amended 6/29/20), which suspended entry...
Continue reading
  628 Hits
628 Hits

Changes to the Business Immigration Landscape

In November, USCIS and the Labor Department tried to change prevailing wage rules applied to the PERM and H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visa programs. But on December 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California set aside the agencies’ interim final rule because it did not follow...
Continue reading
  585 Hits
585 Hits

New Regulations Impacting Asylum Seekers and Immigration Court

On December 11, DOJ and DHS announced a new final rule governing the procedures of asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) — set to go in effect on January 11, 2021, nine days before President-elect Biden’s inauguration. The immigration bar quickly announced its opposition to...
Continue reading
  769 Hits
769 Hits

USCIS Lockbox Centers Experiencing Significant Delays for Processing Receipt Notices

USCIS recently acknowledged that its lockbox facilities are experiencing significant delays for processing receipt notices. This is a result of increased filings in recent weeks coupled with facility capacity restrictions necessary to protect the health and safety of the lockbox workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. The uptick in filings is likely...
Continue reading
  2390 Hits
2390 Hits

Court Victory in FOIA Delays Class Action

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, on December 17, granted summary judgment in favor of two nationwide classes suing the DHS, USCIS, and ICE for failing to timely produce the class members’ immigration files (A-Files). The court found that the agencies’ practice of failing to produce the...
Continue reading
  627 Hits
627 Hits

Federal Judge Orders DHS to Restore DACA and Accept Initial DACA Applications

On December 4, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York ordered the DHS to begin accepting new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The court had previously held that Chad Wolf was not lawfully serving as DHS Acting Secretary when he issued a...
Continue reading
  592 Hits
592 Hits

High Hopes and Significant Challenges for Biden Administration on Immigration Policy

In a recent article in the Washington Post, readers were asked for the one word that sums up 2020. “Exhausting” was one of the top three words. Exhausting (and relentless, too) is an apt description of the four-year long frontal attack on immigration law, policy, and procedu res imposed by the...
Continue reading
  619 Hits
619 Hits

IMMIGRATION UPDATES

Status of Declaration of Self-Sufficiency (Form I-944) in Limbo as Courts Decide Its Fate and USCIS Considers Whether to Continue to Implement As of this writing on August 17, USCIS has not provided guidance on whether the Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, Form I-944, is required in adjustment of status cases outside of...
Continue reading
  1175 Hits
1175 Hits

USCIS FEE INCREASES

Naturalization, Adjustment, and Other USCIS Fees to Increase Significantly on October 2 On October 2, 2020, new fees for filing USCIS applications and petitions go into effect, as well as the elimination of certain fee exemptions and changes to fee-waiver requirements. The final rule increases USCIS fees by a weighted average...
Continue reading
  1419 Hits
1419 Hits

GOVERNMENT AGENCY UPDATES

Department of Homeland Security: USCIS, ICE, and CBP USCIS USCIS Extends 60-Day Period for Responses DueThe due date for responses to all USCIS requests for evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) dated before September 2 is automatically extended 60 days. USCIS Offices Reopened for Most Nonemergency ServicesUSCIS reopened...
Continue reading
  1003 Hits
1003 Hits

News in Brief

Acting DHS Secretary and Deputy Named to Posts Illegally: The Government Accounting Office found that, under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, current Acting DHS Secretary, Chad Wolf, as well as Kenneth Cuccinelli, the current “Senior Official Performing the Duties of” DHS Deputy Secretary, were named to their positions by...
Continue reading
  952 Hits
952 Hits

TRAVEL UPDATES

National Interest Exception to Travel Bans Foreign nationals who are subject to the current travel bans may apply for what is called a “national interest exception,” which are being decided by consular officers abroad. Individuals seeking such are directed to follow the instructions on the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate’s website...
Continue reading
  1075 Hits
1075 Hits

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Children Currently in Detention Ordered Released: Due to COVID-19, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered that all children currently held at ICE Family Residential Centers (FRCs) for more than 20 days must be released by July 17, 2020,...
Continue reading
  1164 Hits
1164 Hits

Additional Employment-Based Visas Expected Starting October 1 – One Silver Lining of the Pandemic

The State Department’s Visa Control and Reporting Division – the division that is responsible for establishing cut off dates in the monthly Visa Bulletin – estimates that there will be an additional 57,200 visas available for employment-based immigrants in the FY2021, which begins October 1, 2020. This is because there has...
Continue reading
  1340 Hits
1340 Hits

Obtaining Stamp (I-551) That Extends Green Card

There are times when a lawful permanent resident (LPR), in order to extend his green card, needs a stamp in her passport, called an I-551 (ADIT) stamp. In the past, an LPR typically was able to schedule an appointment with a local USCIS office to obtain an ADIT stamp from USCIS...
Continue reading
  29202 Hits
29202 Hits

USCIS Seeks $1.2 Billion in Emergency Funding to Avoid Furloughing Employees

In May, USCIS first notified Congress of a projected budget shortfall and asked for $1.2 billion in emergency funding that would stretch into the beginning of the next fiscal year. Recently, USCIS formally notified the American Federation of Government Employees that nearly 70 percent of the agency’s employees could face extended...
Continue reading
  941 Hits
941 Hits

Regressive Changes to Employment Authorization for Foreign Nationals Seeking Asylum

In an upsetting move, USCIS issued a new rule drastically limiting foreign national’s eligibility for employment authorization based on a pending asylum application. The rule is scheduled to go into effect on August 25, 2020. Absent good cause, foreign nationals who entered the United States without authorization are ineligible for work...
Continue reading
  932 Hits
932 Hits

Another Blow to Asylum Seekers: Supreme Court Holds Restrictions on Removal Orders Do Not Violate Constitution

In another June decision, the Supreme Court held that restrictions on the ability of asylum seekers to obtain review of expedited-removal orders under a federal habeas statute do not violate the Constitution’s Suspension Clause or Due Process Clause. The Supreme Court ruled that asylum seekers with expedited orders of removal seeking...
Continue reading
  965 Hits
965 Hits

Supreme Court Blocks Trump’s Attempt to Terminate DACA

In a narrow 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court blocked, perhaps only temporarily, President Trump’s attempt to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The majority held that the Administration failed to provide adequate reasoning to justify ending the DACA program, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Court reasoned that...
Continue reading
  754 Hits
754 Hits