EAH Immigration Blog

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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USCIS Lockbox Centers Experiencing Significant Delays for Processing Receipt Notices

USCIS recently acknowledged that its lockbox facilities are experiencing significant delays for processing receipt notices. This is a result of increased filings in recent weeks coupled with facility capacity restrictions necessary to protect the health and safety of the lockbox workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. The uptick in filings is likely...
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835 Hits

Court Victory in FOIA Delays Class Action

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, on December 17, granted summary judgment in favor of two nationwide classes suing the DHS, USCIS, and ICE for failing to timely produce the class members’ immigration files (A-Files). The court found that the agencies’ practice of failing to produce the...
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Federal Judge Orders DHS to Restore DACA and Accept Initial DACA Applications

On December 4, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York ordered the DHS to begin accepting new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The court had previously held that Chad Wolf was not lawfully serving as DHS Acting Secretary when he issued a...
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New Partner Announcement – Koby L. Polaski

For Immediate Release Denver, Colorado, January 4, 2021 – Elkind Alterman Harston PC, a leading full-service immigration law firm, is pleased to announce Koby L. Polaski has become its newest partner.    Koby joined EAH as a Senior Attorney in 2016.  She graduated from the University of Denver, College of Law in...
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High Hopes and Significant Challenges for Biden Administration on Immigration Policy

In a recent article in the Washington Post, readers were asked for the one word that sums up 2020. “Exhausting” was one of the top three words. Exhausting (and relentless, too) is an apt description of the four-year long frontal attack on immigration law, policy, and procedu res imposed by the...
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IMMIGRATION UPDATES

Status of Declaration of Self-Sufficiency (Form I-944) in Limbo as Courts Decide Its Fate and USCIS Considers Whether to Continue to Implement As of this writing on August 17, USCIS has not provided guidance on whether the Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, Form I-944, is required in adjustment of status cases outside of...
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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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