Biden Proclamation Continues COVID-Related Entry Suspensions

On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed a proclamationcontinuing the suspension of entry of certain travelers fromthe Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic ofIreland, Brazil, China, and Iran, and expanding restrictionsto include travelers from South Africa. U.S. citizens andlawful permanent residents are not subject to theproclamations. The full text of the January 25 proclamation…

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Green Card Holders Staying Abroad Over 6 Months Risk Abandonment

What do you need to do to preserve your status as a lawful permanent resident (LPR)? This question is now critical for persons unable to travel due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic or related travel restrictions. If you are abroad for 6 months or more per year, you risk “abandoning” your green card. This is especially…

USCIS Update: Biometrics Appointment Delays

In a December 29, 2020 Stakeholder Message, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided an update on biometrics appointment delays at Application Support Centers (ASCs) due to COVID-19. USCIS collects biometrics for certain kinds of applications, including but not limited to: Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (including reentry permit)…

Can USCIS Reuse Biometrics Submitted Previously?

If an individual previously submitted biometrics in connection with a prior application, can USCIS reuse those biometrics in connection with a new application? Once a USCIS application support center collects an applicant’s biometrics, the FBI conducts a “name check” on the applicant. If fingerprints were taken for a naturalization application, the FBI response is valid…

Consular Posts May Prioritize K-1 Visas

On Aug. 31 the State Department announced that consular posts may give high priority to K-1 (fiancée) visas: Effective August 28, as it becomes safe to resume more consular operations at each U.S. mission, posts are authorized to give K visa cases high priority.  Applicants should check the website of their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate…

Update: USCIS Cancels Employee Furlough, But Processing Delays Loom

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on Aug. 25 that the agency will abandon plans for administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30. USCIS expects to cover budget shortfalls, which were the announced reason for the furloughs, through spending cuts and increased revenue. USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow…

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National Interest Exceptions to Travel Bans for Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Presenting a “Risk” to the Labor Market

The President’s travel bans are causing chaos for international travel. On July 22, the State Department announced the following about national interest exceptions to the travel bans: On June 22, the President signed Presidential Proclamation (P.P.) 10052, which extends P.P. 10014, which suspends the entry to the United States of certain immigrant visa applicants, through…

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July 14 Update: U.S. State Dep’t Announces Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services Worldwide

On July 14, the U.S. State Department announced that U.S. Embassies and Consulates are beginning a phased resumption of routine visa services that have been suspended due to COVID-19. This will occur on a post-by-post basis. This is in addition to emergency and mission-critical visa services that posts have been providing since March. The State…

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Trump Amends Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Presenting a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market

If you’ve been keeping count, the President has now issued three different proclamations restricting visa issuance and entry of noncitizens allegedly presenting a risk to the U.S. labor market in the wake of COVID-19. They are: Version 1.0 (Apr. 23): President issues  Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market…

Routine Visa Appointment Availability in China

June 24 update: Bloomberg is reporting that dozens of U.S. diplomats are preparing to return to Beijing next month. Reportedly, some are concerned that the Chinese government could have access to their DNA samples from COVID-19 testing. And some are concerned that dependent family members may be separated if they test positive. June 20: The…

Trump Issues Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Presenting a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market

President Trump on June 22 issued a Proclamation expanding on his prior Apr. 23 Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak. You can think of this as Proclamation version 2.0. Extension of Ban on Certain Immigrants Version 1.0 banned the entry…

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Diplomatic Tussle Continues Over U.S.-China Flights

China has made some concessions, apparently in response to a June 3 Trump administration order that would bar four Chinese passenger carriers from operating into and out of the U.S. effective June 16. Four Chinese carriers have maintained flights to and from the U.S. in recent weeks. They are Air China, China Eastern, China Southern…

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Apr. 24 Update: USCIS Suspends In-Person Services Until at Least June 4

On Apr. 24, USCIS announced that USCIS offices are preparing to reopen “on or after June 4”: On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is readying offices to reopen on…

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Trump Suspends Entry of Immigrants Who Are “Risk” to Labor Market

President Trump has published Executive Order 10014, suspending immigration, as he had previously tweeted about. Effective Date: The proclamation becomes effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (ET). Whose Entry Is Suspended? The order suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who: Is outside the United…

Trump Tweets of Plan to “Suspend Immigration”

Apr. 23 Update: President Trump just issued the executive order suspending immigration he tweeted about. See Trump Suspends Entry of Immigrants Who Are “Risk” to Labor Market. So President Trump has announced on Twitter that he intends to issue an Executive Order that will “suspend immigration” in light of how COVID-19 has devastated the economy:…

Applying for a Replacement or New Immigrant Visa

An immigrant visa is generally valid for a period of up to 6 months. You must enter the U.S. within this 6-month period.[1] Consular officers do not have the authority to extend the validity of an immigrant visa (IV). But, as explained below, it may be possible to apply for a replacement or new IV.…

COVID-19 and the Public Charge Rule

Here are key points on COVID-19 and the public charge rule: 1. Will getting tested, treatment or preventative care for COVID-19 impact my client’s immigration application under the public charge rule? On March 13, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the agency will not consider “testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines,…

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Emergency Visa Appointments for Medical Professionals

On Mar. 26, 2020, the U.S. State Department announced: We encourage medical professionals with an approved U.S. non-immigrant or immigrant visa petition (I-129, I-140, or similar) or a certificate of eligibility in an approved exchange visitor program (DS-2019), particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to review the website of their…

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China: Temporary Suspension of Entry by Foreign Nationals Holding Valid Visas

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China National Immigration Administration Announcement on the Temporary Suspension of Entry by Foreign Nationals Holding Valid Chinese Visas or Residence Permits March 26, 2020 In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, China has decided to…

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