EAH Immigration Blog

USCIS FEE INCREASES

Naturalization, Adjustment, and Other USCIS Fees to Increase Significantly on October 2 On October 2, 2020, new fees for filing USCIS applications and petitions go into effect, as well as the elimination of certain fee exemptions and changes to fee-waiver requirements. The final rule increases USCIS fees by a weighted average...
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GOVERNMENT AGENCY UPDATES

Department of Homeland Security: USCIS, ICE, and CBP USCIS USCIS Extends 60-Day Period for Responses DueThe due date for responses to all USCIS requests for evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) dated before September 2 is automatically extended 60 days. USCIS Offices Reopened for Most Nonemergency ServicesUSCIS reopened...
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News in Brief

Acting DHS Secretary and Deputy Named to Posts Illegally: The Government Accounting Office found that, under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, current Acting DHS Secretary, Chad Wolf, as well as Kenneth Cuccinelli, the current “Senior Official Performing the Duties of” DHS Deputy Secretary, were named to their positions by...
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TRAVEL UPDATES

National Interest Exception to Travel Bans Foreign nationals who are subject to the current travel bans may apply for what is called a “national interest exception,” which are being decided by consular officers abroad. Individuals seeking such are directed to follow the instructions on the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate’s website...
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News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Children Currently in Detention Ordered Released: Due to COVID-19, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered that all children currently held at ICE Family Residential Centers (FRCs) for more than 20 days must be released by July 17, 2020,...
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Additional Employment-Based Visas Expected Starting October 1 – One Silver Lining of the Pandemic

The State Department’s Visa Control and Reporting Division – the division that is responsible for establishing cut off dates in the monthly Visa Bulletin – estimates that there will be an additional 57,200 visas available for employment-based immigrants in the FY2021, which begins October 1, 2020. This is because there has...
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Obtaining Stamp (I-551) That Extends Green Card

There are times when a lawful permanent resident (LPR), in order to extend his green card, needs a stamp in her passport, called an I-551 (ADIT) stamp. In the past, an LPR typically was able to schedule an appointment with a local USCIS office to obtain an ADIT stamp from USCIS...
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USCIS Seeks $1.2 Billion in Emergency Funding to Avoid Furloughing Employees

In May, USCIS first notified Congress of a projected budget shortfall and asked for $1.2 billion in emergency funding that would stretch into the beginning of the next fiscal year. Recently, USCIS formally notified the American Federation of Government Employees that nearly 70 percent of the agency’s employees could face extended...
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Regressive Changes to Employment Authorization for Foreign Nationals Seeking Asylum

In an upsetting move, USCIS issued a new rule drastically limiting foreign national’s eligibility for employment authorization based on a pending asylum application. The rule is scheduled to go into effect on August 25, 2020. Absent good cause, foreign nationals who entered the United States without authorization are ineligible for work...
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Another Blow to Asylum Seekers: Supreme Court Holds Restrictions on Removal Orders Do Not Violate Constitution

In another June decision, the Supreme Court held that restrictions on the ability of asylum seekers to obtain review of expedited-removal orders under a federal habeas statute do not violate the Constitution’s Suspension Clause or Due Process Clause. The Supreme Court ruled that asylum seekers with expedited orders of removal seeking...
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Supreme Court Blocks Trump’s Attempt to Terminate DACA

In a narrow 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court blocked, perhaps only temporarily, President Trump’s attempt to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The majority held that the Administration failed to provide adequate reasoning to justify ending the DACA program, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Court reasoned that...
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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 in-person...
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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 are...
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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 and...
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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, an...
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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 petitions....
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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 young...
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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 new...
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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 governed...
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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 been...
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