EAH Immigration Blog

News in Brief

USCIS Extends Premium Processing to E-3 Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions:  Effective February 24, petitioners filing a nonimmigrant visa petition requesting a change or extension of status to E-3 classification will have the option to request premium processing service for their petition. The E-3 visa classification applies only to nationals of Australia who...
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Educational Requirements for Naturalization Restored to 2008 Version

USCIS updated guidance in its Policy Manual regarding the educational requirements for naturalization. The update, effective 3/1/21, provides that USCIS will revert to administering the 2008 civics test to applicants who filed for naturalization before 12/1/20, or who will file on or after 3/1/21. In the waning days of the Trump...
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462 Hits

U.S. Citizenship Act and Dreamers Act Introduced in Congress

On February 18, 2021, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 was formally introduced in both houses of Congress. If passed, the bill would bring citizenship to millions of foreign nationals and drastically reform the immigration system. In addition to providing a roadmap to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA)...
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443 Hits

OIG Report on DOJ’s “Zero-Tolerance Policy”: Simply Appalling

In January, the DOJ Office of the Inspector General issued its report on the agency’s planning and implementation of its “zero-tolerance policy” for immigration offenses involving illegal entry and attempted illegal entry into the United States. The policy was announced and led by then Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April 2018....
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454 Hits

USCIS Announces New Process for Green Card Extension While I-90 Is Pending

USCIS has implemented a new process extending green cards during the pendency of an I-90 application. Instead of issuing extension stickers at USCIS field offices, USCIS will issue a revised receipt notice for Form I-90 that extends the validity of green card for 12 months (12 months from the expiration date...
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933 Hits

CBP Ports Resume Accepting NIEs for Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, and Brazil

In late January 26, several CBP Ports of Entry (POEs at LAX, BWI, and EWR) indicated that they no longer had the authority to approve National Interest Exception (NIEs) related to the COVID-19 country-specific, health-related travel restrictions imposed on the Schengen Area, the U.K., Ireland, and Brazil recently maintained by the...
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487 Hits

Consular Processed Immigrant Visas: Backlog of 380,000 Waiting to Immigrate

The suspension of most legal immigration processing outside of the U.S., combined with staffing shortages and logistical challenges related to the pandemic at U.S. consulates around the world, has left hundreds of thousands of otherwise eligible visa applicants in limbo, and experts warn that the backlog could take years to resolve....
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1059 Hits

Supreme Court to Decide If TPS Recipients Are Eligible to Adjust Status

The Supreme Court will decide if a grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) satisfies the requirements of “inspection and admission” for purposes of adjustment of status. A favorable Court decision could allow TPS recipients to adjust status even if they entered without inspection and had never been paroled. This case should...
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875 Hits

Biden Administration Issues New Enforcement Priorities

On February 18, 2021, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) acting director Tae Johnson issued a memorandum offering interim guidance on the agency’s new enforcement priorities. According to the memo, ICE will prioritize the following groups of people for detention and deportation during the interim period: People considered to pose a national...
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598 Hits

First 100 Days of the Biden Administration on Immigration

Since coming into office, the Biden Administration has taken significant steps in tackling America’s broken immigration system, including overturning many of President Trump’s executive orders and proclamations on immigration. President Biden has stayed true to his promise to reform the immigration system, and the executive orders that he has issued within...
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635 Hits

H-1B Registration for Cap-Subject Petitions Opens March 9

Beginning on March 9, employer-petitioners will be able to begin the H-1B cap-subject petition registration process for FY2022. 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 available...
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News in Brief

H-1B FY2022 Season: Time to Start Process Well in advance of the March 20, 2021 Registration Deadline: Employers who seek to register their employees for the FY2022 H-1B lottery are encouraged to gather necessary documents now to avoid any delays in registering and processing your paperwork. EADs automatically extended to 10/4/2021...
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674 Hits

DOS Pilot Program Requires Certain B-1/B-2 Applicants to Post Bond as Condition of Visa Issuance

A DOS temporary final rule creating a six-month pilot program under which certain applicants may be required to post a bond as a condition of visa issuance. The Visa Bond Pilot Program went into effect on December 9. Under the program, consular officers will require visa bonds be posted by visa...
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589 Hits

Updates on Naturalization Requirements

USCIS has made some changes regarding the eligibility requirements for U.S. citizenship. Among other requirements, applicants for U.S. citizenship must pass a government and civics test. In November 2020, USCIS updated policy guidance on the naturalization civics test, increasing the general bank of questions to 128, the number of exam questions...
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532 Hits

BIA Narrows Legal Options Available to Foreign Nationals Harmed by Their Attorney’s Legal Mistakes in Immigration Court

In yet another blow to the rights of foreign nationals, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently denied a motion to reopen a case where the attorney representing the foreign national admitted to committing legal error and acknowledged that he was ineffective in removal proceedings. The BIA held “acceptance of responsibility...
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669 Hits

Federal Court Partially Block’s Trump’s Proclamation on Immigrant Visa Issuance During COVID-19

On December 11, a federal district court ordered that the State Department stop enforcing Section 1 of Presidential Proclamation 10014, which prohibits the issuance of immigrant visas to selected immigrants. President Trump indicated that the Proclamation was intended to protect the U.S. labor market during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it appears...
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544 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...
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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...
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350 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...
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368 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...
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