EAH Immigration Blog

Immigration Lawyers and Advocates Sue Immigration Court in El Paso

AILA and the American Immigration Council recently filed a lawsuit against the U.S. immigration court in El Paso, claiming that the court at the El Paso Service Processing Center (SPC) has arbitrary and unjust rules that decrease asylum-seekers’ chances of staying in the country. The complaint draws from interviews of attorneys...
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News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: H-1B Cap Reached in First Week of Filing: USCIS has received enough H-1B cap-subject visa petitions to exceed the statutory limit of 65,000 visas (plus 20,000 Master’s cap visas). In fact, over 201,000 petitions were received this year, a modest...
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803 Hits

E-2 Visas Available May 1, 2019 to Israeli Citizens

The U.S. embassy in Israel announced that an E-2 treaty investor agreement has been signed between the United States and Israel and will become effective May 1, 2019. Accordingly, Israeli citizens will be able to apply for E-2 visas at the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv. The embassy advises...
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694 Hits

Another Blow to Asylum Seekers: Attorney General Strips Their Eligibility for Bond

On April 16, the Attorney General (AG) issued a decision in an asylum case, ruling that asylum seekers who entered between ports of entry – even if they establish a credible fear of persecution – are no longer eligible for release on bond by an immigration judge. The decision sweeps aside...
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700 Hits

Proposal to Rescind H-4 Work Authorization Pending at OMB

It looks like DHS is close to publishing a regulation that will eliminate the eligibility for employment authorization of certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status. Commonly known as the H-4 EAD rescission regulation, the rule was sent to the Office of Management...
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783 Hits

DOS Offers Guidance to Derivative Beneficiaries Completing Form DS-160

How a derivative beneficiary (of an immigrant petition) should answer the question on a DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application, “Has an immigrant petition ever been filed on your behalf” is not clear and often perplexing. On its face, it appears that if the derivative beneficiary (spouse or child) was listed on an...
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1193 Hits

Department of State’s “Invisible Wall”

Recent data released by the Department of State reveal that it too is laying brick after brick of an invisible wall that is curbing legal immigration to the United States. Visa inadmissibility statistics in FY 2018 reveal an uptick in just one year of almost 10,000 visa denials on public charge...
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844 Hits

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Cap-Subject H-1Bs Filed April 2018 Remain Pending; Premium Processing Now Available for H-1B Petitions Filed on or Before 12/21/2018: Inexplicably, numerous FY 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions (filed in April 2018 for visas that became available on October 1, 2018) remain...
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836 Hits

Updated Guidance on Spousal Petitions Involving Minor Spouses

USCIS has updated its guidance identifying factors officers should consider when adjudicating a Form I-130 spousal petition involving a minor. Those factors include: (1) whether the marriage was lawful in the place it was celebrated; (2) if the couple resides outside the place of celebration, whether the marriage is recognized as...
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777 Hits

U.S. Embassy in Caracas Suspends All Visa Services

On January 25, 2019, the Department of State announced that the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, suspended routine visa services due to the ordered departure of nonemergency personnel. The consular section advised that it is focused on providing emergency services for U.S. citizens. The State Department has not yet designated an...
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894 Hits

Immigration Court Backlog Grows by 26 Percent

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, the administration’s plan to shrink the ballooning backlog of immigration cases by mandating that immigration judges hear more cases has failed, according to the latest data, with the average wait for an immigration hearing now more than two years. Since October...
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812 Hits

Update on USCIS Practice of Denying Pending Advance Parole Travel Permit for Abandonment Due to International Travel

Most foreign nationals who apply for advance parole (travel permit) (Form I-131) in conjunction with an adjustment of status application must wait for the travel document to be issued before traveling abroad; otherwise, their adjustment case will be considered abandoned and the travel permit denied. But what happens when that individual...
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3481 Hits

New I-539 Form Must Be Used Starting on 3/11/2019

USCIS announced that it has revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and that starting March 11, 2019, it will only accept the new version of the form. A new Form I-539A, also effective March 11, replaces the amendment pages normally used for children. (Parents or guardians may sign on...
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931 Hits

The “Invisible Wall”: USCIS Processing Times Now at “Crisis Level” and Policy Changes Transform Agency from Service-Oriented to Enforcement-Driven

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently analyzed published USCIS data for fiscal years 2014 through 2018 and found a crisis-level of delays in the agency’s processing of applications and petitions for immigration benefits under the Trump Administration. While perhaps no real surprise to foreign nationals and their lawyers waiting for...
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News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Marriage to U.S. Citizen and Naturalization: Naturalization applicants filing on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen – filed after three years of obtaining permanent residency – must continue to be married from the time of filing for naturalization...
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907 Hits

Baltimore Sues Administration’s Change to “Public Charge” Evaluation Conducted by Consular Officers

The city of Baltimore filed a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s efforts to curtail legal immigration by penalizing people who use public benefits, alleging that the Administration’s expanded definition of “public charges” has had a chilling effect on the city’s immigrant community, which Baltimore officials see as key to its revival. The...
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951 Hits

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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1298 Hits

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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1004 Hits

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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835 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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1021 Hits