EAH Immigration Blog

COVID 19 – UPDATE: Department of Homeland Security: USCIS, ICE, and CBP

USCIS USCIS Offices Reopened for Most Nonemergency Services As of June 4, 2020, many domestic USCIS field offices and asylum offices re-opened for normal face-to-face services to the public on an appointment basis. Application support centers (ASCs) remain closed but are expected to open beginning in mid-July. This means all...
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Other Travel Restrictions

With specific exceptions, foreign nationals who have been in any of the following countries during the past 14 days may not enter the United States: China; Iran; European Schengen area; United Kingdom; Republic of Ireland; and Brazil. Exceptions are available for essential workers. Moreover, the United States, Canada, and Mexico...
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Presidential Proclamation Extends Travel Ban

Effective June 24, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation that extends his previous order that banned certain immigrant visas from being issued by the Department of State and suspends the entry of foreign nationals who are outside of the United States who need to apply for an H-1B, H-2B, J-1...
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New More-Stringent Requirements in “Cancellation of Removal” Cases Involving Medical Hardship; Could Set Precedent for Other Hardship Cases

On March 31, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the appellate level administrative court for immigration matters, held in a cancellation of removal case (a remedy available to LPRs who are in deportation proceedings) that, to the extent that a claim is based on the health of a qualifying relative,...
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News in Brief

H-1B Cap Reached During Registration Period: 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) and ran its random selection lottery. In fact, over 275,000 registrations were received this year. Employer-petitioners selected have 90 days to submit their...
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Bar Associations Condemn Racism and Xenophobia Related to COVID-19

More than 1,000 hateful acts of discrimination, including serious violent acts, directed toward Asians and Asian Americans have been reported in the last two weeks of March, with new incidents coming in daily. These hateful acts have been committed against Asians and Asian Americans of all ages, with victims as...
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Department of Justice and the Immigration Courts

Like USCIS and ICE, most immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) continue to operate and are processing cases; however, some courts have temporary closures due to COVID-19. Receipt stamps continue to be issued for defensive applications, motions, pleadings, and evidentiary filings. Likewise, the courts continue to issue...
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Department of Labor

While the Department of Labor (DOL) has a limited role in immigration-related cases, it plays a significant role in H-1B (and H-1B1 and E-3) petitions and PERM labor certification-based immigrant visa applications: Guidance for H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Employers H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 employees’ terms and conditions of employment are...
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Department of State and U.S. Embassies Abroad

All U.S. embassies and consulates have suspended all routine nonimmigrant and immigrant visa services, and no announcement has been made about when DOS plans to reopen them. It is likely that posts will reopen on a rolling basis depending on the circumstances on the ground. In fact, little guidance has...
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Department of Homeland Security: USCIS, ICE, and CBP

USCIS: Many immigration benefits and requests are submitted to USCIS service centers by mail and those offices continue to operate and are processing cases. Receipt notices are being issued, as are work permits, travel permits, green cards, I-797 Approval Notices, and other official notices. And, while requests for evidence (RFEs)...
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News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: “Birth Tourism” New Rule in Effect: In late January, DOS issued a final rule establishing a rebuttable presumption that a B visa applicant who a consular officer believes will give birth during her stay in the U.S. is traveling...
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USCIS Begins Accepting Green Card Applications under Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness

USCIS will begin accepting applications to adjust to LPR status from certain Liberian nationals under Section 7611 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020, Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF), signed into law on December 20, 2019. To be eligible for permanent residence under LRIF, a Liberian national must...
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Interview Waivers for Certain NIV Applicants

Do you know that many U.S. consulates provide an option for the NIV interview to be waived if certain criteria are met? This option is important to consider when, increasingly, NIV applicants are subject to long wait times either for scheduling an NIV interview or waiting for visa issuance post...
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Consular Computer Problems and Delays at National Visa Center

It’s not just you! Foreign nationals who consular process their immigrant visas applications at U.S. consulates abroad and thus avail themselves of the State Department’s system for submitting documentation have been experiencing a myriad of technical problems and interview scheduling delays. First, applicants are experiencing problems in paying their visa...
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Expanded Travel Ban 3.0: Who is Covered?

On February 21, President Trump’s newest Presidential Proclamation went into effect expanding the Travel Ban 3.0 to include certain foreign nationals of the following six countries: Eritrea : All immigrants, except Special Immigrants who have provided assistance to the U.S. government. Kyrgyzstan : All immigrants, except Special Immigrants who have...
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Permanent Injunction Issued to Enjoin Enforcement of F, M, J Nonimmigrant “Unlawful Presence” Policy Memo

In early February, a nationwide permanent injunction was granted by a federal district court, enjoining USCIS from enforcing its August 9, 2018, Policy Memorandum entitled “Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J and M Nonimmigrants.” The decision is important for many reasons: First, the decision saves thousands of F, J,...
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Update on Corona Virus Outbreak and U.S. Travel Ban Expansion to Schengen Area Countries

On March 11th, 2020, President Trump issued a new Presidential Proclamation expanding the scope of two previously issued travel bans suspending entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States, with exceptions detailed below, in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 or“COVID-19”. The Proclamation, entitled, Suspension of Entry as Immigrants...
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Coronavirus’s Impact on Individuals Seeking Entry into the United States After Travel in China and on U.S. Consular Processing in China

In light of the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the Trump Administration has taken several measures to control and limit the entry of individuals potentially exposed the virus in China from entering the United States. On January 31, President Trump issued a Proclamation suspending entry of certain immigrants and...
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H-1B Registration for Cap-Subject Petitions Opens March 1

Beginning on March 1, employer-petitioners will be able to begin the H-1B cap-subject petition registration process for FY2021. Such employers must electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee per beneficiary before filing a petition for H-1B visa status for a beneficiary. If approved, the visa would become...
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New Public Charge Rules Go Into Effect for Most Green Card Applicants and Others

Beginning on February 24, 2020, DHS and the Department of State (DOS) began implementation of a new standard of whether an applicant for admission to the U.S. or for adjustment of status is likely to become a “public charge” under the inadmissibility ground in the immigration laws. “Public charge” is...
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