EAH Immigration Blog

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Polish Nationals Eligible for ESTA: In a recent rule effective 11/11/2019, DHS designated Poland as a country eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program. French E-1 and E-2 Visa Validity Period Now 25 Months: Effective 11/12/19, the maximum...
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126 Hits

Arrests and Deportations Under Trump Generally Lower Than Under Obama

According to a recent article in the Washington Post that analyzed ICE’s annual report for FY2019, ICE deported approximately 12,000 family members and unaccompanied minors of the 540,000 who crossed the border, far fewer than the millions President Trump pledged to arrest and deport. While the number of families deported...
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160 Hits

Medical Screenings Discourage Asylum Seekers

Many asylum seekers who are waiting to be heard in U.S. immigration court are currently living in tent camps on the Mexico side of the U.S. border. After waiting several months in destitute conditions, they arrive to immigration court only to find that they are being turned away from attending...
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140 Hits

Naturalization: Conditional Bar to Good Moral Character for Unlawful Acts

USCIS is also updating its policy guidance in its Policy Manual on “unlawful acts” during the applicable statutory period that reflect adversely on moral character and may prevent an applicant from meeting the good moral character (GMC) requirement for naturalization. An applicant who has committed , was convicted of, or...
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168 Hits

Impact of DUI Convictions on Good Moral Character Determinations

Certain immigration benefits require an applicant to demonstrate that he or she has good moral character (GMC) in order to demonstrate eligibility for the benefit. The good moral character standard is cited throughout the INA, and is a prerequisite to eligibility for numerous forms of immigration relief. Recently, the Attorney...
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156 Hits

USCIS Issues Policy Guidance on Post-Sentencing Changes

In immigration law, certain criminal acts have immigration consequences, rendering an applicant inadmissible, deportable, or ineligible for the immigration benefit being sought. USCIS issued policy guidance – and updated its USCIS Policy Manual – regarding how post-sentencing changes to criminal sentences affect convictions for immigration purposes. An immigrant convicted of...
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206 Hits

Practical Questions and Answers Regarding Submission of DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Applications

The State Department’s Visa Office recently provided guidance and practical advice on the submission and processing of DS-160 nonimmigrant visa applications based on some frequently asked questions: Q: If an applicant completes a Form DS-160 for one consular post and then applies for a nonimmigrant visa at a different post,...
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167 Hits

Round Up of Key Immigration Court Cases Challenging Administration’s Immigration Policy

According to Stuart Anderson, Executive Director of the nonpartisan public policy organization the National Foundation for American Policy, no president has been sued over his immigration policies as much as President Trump. In a recent article in Forbes , Mr. Anderson provides an analysis of the key immigration cases and...
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235 Hits

DHS Proposes to Change Fee Schedule and to Introduce New Forms

DHS promulgated a proposed rule that would make changes to the USCIS fee schedule by a “weighted average increase of 21 percent,” or about an 18 percent overall fee hike. The rule would also add new fees, change forms, and introduce several new forms. Some of the most common applications...
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191 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...
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233 Hits

It’s Official: H-1B Registration Required for Cap-Subject Petitions; Registration Dates: March 1-20, 2020

USCIS announced that it is implementing the registration process for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced-degree exemption, for FY2021. Such employers must first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee before filing a petition for H-1B visa status for a...
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284 Hits

Employers Beware: SSA Resumes Issuance of “No-Match” Letters

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed issuing no-match letters. No-match letters state that a certain number of wage reports for name and SSN combinations do not match SSA records. Employers should be mindful that SSA no-match letters can potentially lead to issues related to immigration enforcement, including an ICE...
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236 Hits

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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287 Hits

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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  286 Hits
286 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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  378 Hits
378 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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810 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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1918 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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766 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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383 Hits

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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447 Hits