EAH Immigration Blog

Current State of Visa Backlog and Processing Delays; Recommendations to Eliminate Pandemic-Related Consular Backlogs

Today, individuals, families, and U.S. businesses have experienced crisis-level immigrant and nonimmigrant visa backlogs and visa processing delays at the Department of State (DOS). These backlogs and delays have had significant consequences. Families have been separated. Individuals have lost their chance at the American Dream. U.S. businesses have been unable to...
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72 Hits

DV Lottery Registration Open Until November 9 at Noon EST

The 2023 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery program began on October 6 and is open until November 9 at 12 noon EST. The DV Lottery permits natives of low immigration countries to apply for the immigrant visa (Green Card) program, a program that was designed to help diversify the pool of immigrants...
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321 Hits

USCIS Extends Time on I-751 and I-829 Receipt Notices

As of September 4, 2021, USCIS is extending the time that receipt notices can be used to show evidence of status from 18 months to 24 months for petitioners who properly file Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence), or Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent...
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198 Hits

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Effective October 1, 2021

USCIS announced that, effective October 1, applicants subject to the immigration medical examination must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the civil surgeon can complete an immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record). This update is in accordance with the CDC’s August 2021 update...
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135 Hits

Facebook Makes Immigration News: Agrees to Settlement of Millions of Dollars for Allegedly Discriminating Against U.S. Workers in Connection with the PERM Process

In a recent settlement agreement, Facebook agreed to pay a civil penalty of $4.75 million to the United States, and pay up to $9.5 million to eligible victims in response to a complaint filed by the Department of Justice alleging that it intentionally discriminated against U.S. citizen workers by designing a...
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163 Hits

DHS Issues Worksite Enforcement Memo to Improve Working Conditions of Undocumented Workers

DHS recently called for improved working conditions of the American worksite with undocumented workers in mind. In its Worksite Enforcement Memo, DHS highlighted the unsafe and unfair working conditions to which undocumented immigrants are often subject. These include getting paid substandard wages, unsafe working conditions, and fear of employer retaliation. To...
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169 Hits

Why is My Case Taking So Long to Process?

Nationwide, millions of families, businesses, and individuals applying for immigration benefits are waiting longer for USCIS to process and approve applications and petitions. Based on previously available USCIS data, in 2014, an average case took about five months to process. In 2020, an average case took more than nine months. Those...
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249 Hits

Travel Ban for Countries to be Lifted November 8, 2021

On September 20, 2021, the President announced that beginning November 8, the United States will lift the travel ban for certain countries (China, Iran, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India) and instead require proof of vaccination for all foreign travelers. Unlike the old rule that...
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190 Hits

News in Brief

DHS Automatically Extending Syrian TPS Applicants’ EADs: DHS announced it is automatically extending the validity of certain EADs with a category code of A12 or C19 issued under TPS for Syria through 3/28/22. For Form I-9, TPS Syria beneficiaries may present qualifying EADs along with an individual notice issued by USCIS...
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160 Hits

News in Brief

Redesignation of Haiti for TPS: DHS Secretary Mayorkas announced a new 18-month designation of Haiti for TPS, enabling Haitian nationals and individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti currently residing in the U.S. as of 5/21/21 to file initial applications for TPS as long as they meet eligibility requirements. Land...
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279 Hits

U.S. Citizens May Return to U.S. on Expired U.S. Passport

U.S. citizens will be able to return to the United States on an expired U.S. passport through December 31, 2021, if they: are currently abroad seeking to return to the United States;are flying directly to the United States, a U.S. territory, or have only short-term transit (connecting flight) through a foreign...
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320 Hits

Update on Children Separated at the Border Due to Trump Zero-Tolerance Policy

In February, President Biden signed an Executive Order establishing an Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families, in response to the prior administration’s use of immigration laws to intentionally separate children from their parents and legal guardians, including through the use of a zero-tolerance policy. In its first 120 days,...
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383 Hits

Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum Issued by DHS

On May 27, 2021, the DHS issued a highly anticipated memorandum for ICE trial attorneys providing interim guidance on enforcement and removal priorities and exercising prosecutorial discretion. The memorandum should allow ICE attorneys more independence, will help cases be resolved more amicably, will enhance efficiency in immigration court, and will hopefully...
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464 Hits

Department of State Priority Processing of Immigrant Visas

Because most U.S. embassies and consulates are still operating at a reduced capacity due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, DOS has announced a priority system for the processing and scheduling of interviews for immigrant visa (IV) applications. A significant backlog of applications remains for IV (as well as...
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360 Hits

USCIS Will Grant Work Permits to Victims of Crimes with Pending U Visa Applications

On June 14, 2021, USCIS announced a new policy expanding access to work authorization and protection from deportation for victims of crime who have filed good-faith applications with USCIS. Before this policy change, work authorization would not be granted until the U visa application was decided by USCIS. As USCIS is...
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3027 Hits

Attorney General Garland Vacates Trump Era Decisions Restricting Asylum

On June 16, 2021, the Attorney General mercifully vacated precedential decisions in Matter of A-B- and Matter of L-E-A- that were intended to restrict asylum. The prior decisions obstructed those seeking asylum benefits as a result of domestic abuse and gang violence due to familial ties. The old precedent also intended...
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306 Hits

Policy Updates: Eligibility for Naturalization

USCIS updated policy guidance in its Policy Manual regarding applicants’ registration to vote through a state’s department of motor vehicles or other state benefit application process and the effects on an applicant’s good moral character (GMC). This is a key development because applicants for naturalization must demonstrate GMC during the required...
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331 Hits

USCIS Ends Biometrics Requirement for Extension/Change of Status for H-4, L-2, E Visas

USCIS has temporarily suspended the biometrics submission requirement for certain applicants filing Form I-539, requesting an extension of stay or a change of status to H-4, L-2, or E nonimmigrant status. USCIS will allow adjudications for those specific categories to proceed based on biographic information and related background checks, without capturing...
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331 Hits

New USCIS Policy Announcements Expected to Benefit Applicants

Effective June 9, USCIS announced new policies on expedited processing, Requests for Evidence (RFEs), Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs), and employment authorization documents. These policies seek to alleviate the negative impact of application process delays and offer applicants additional opportunities to request that their applications be expedited. In addition, the...
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380 Hits

Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Creates Major Setback for TPS Recipients Seeking Permanent Residence

On June 7, 2021, the Supreme Court unanimous held in Sanchez v. Mayorkas that a grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) does not qualify as being “admitted and inspected” for purposes of adjustment of status. Prior to this decision, federal circuit courts were split on the issue. Accordingly, many TPS recipients...
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367 Hits