If you were born in Mainland China and are applying for a U.S. green card, you will need to submit a notarial China birth certificate. That’s true regardless of whether you are filing a Form I-485 (Application to Adjust Status) with USCIS or are applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad.
Category: Employment-Based Immigration
EAD Renewal Still Pending? 540-Day Automatic Extension
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is experiencing significant delays renewing employment authorization documents (EADs). To prevent a lapse in employment authorization in these circumstances, upon filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, the automatic extension of employment authorization is being increased to 540 days. Previous regulations provided that upon filing a Form I-765… Continue reading EAD Renewal Still Pending? 540-Day Automatic Extension
USCIS Announces New Cycle Time Goals
I recently wrote about how USCIS processing times for family-sponsored immigration, which increased during the Trump administration, remain stubbornly high. For example, adjudication of a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of a citizen’s spouse or child, can take up to 16 months. And that’s just the first of multiple steps for the… Continue reading USCIS Announces New Cycle Time Goals
USCIS Albuquerque Field Office Updates
The USCIS Albuquerque Field Office provided the following updates during the Mar. 17, 2022, stakeholder meeting. Processing Times for Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status January: 11.01 average months, 185 cases adjudicated February: 9.7 average months, 203 cases adjudicated March: 11.67 average months, 55 cases adjudicated to date Some cases have experienced delays because the… Continue reading USCIS Albuquerque Field Office Updates
Guide to the Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status
Welcome to the Guide to Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status. Here you can: Learn: The below plain-English guide explains the requirements and procedures for the I-485. Research: The below guide includes 100+ footnotes with references to legal authorities. Ask Questions: You are welcome to ask questions of a general nature in the Comments section below. Consult… Continue reading Guide to the Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status
Does a Short Stay Establish a “Residence” for Immigration Law Purposes?
The article addresses the question, does a short stay establish a “residence” for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)? This may seem like a trivial question, but it comes up in many contexts for U.S. immigration cases. For example, the following forms all appear to ask about residence history: INA § 101(a)(33) defines… Continue reading Does a Short Stay Establish a “Residence” for Immigration Law Purposes?
COVID Vaccination Requirements for Immigrant Visa Applicants
Effective Oct. 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) requires applicants to receive a full COVID-19 vaccine series prior to being issued an immigrant visa.
Social Security Number Application Now Part of Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status
Applicants filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, can now request that they be issued a Social Security number (SSN), according to a USCIS announcement on Aug. 8, 2021. The Form I-485 asks, “Do you want the SSA to issue you a Social Security card?” After the I-485 is approved, “USCIS will electronically transmit the… Continue reading Social Security Number Application Now Part of Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status
Police Certificates Now Valid for 2 Years, Says U.S. State Dep’t
Applicants for U.S. immigrant visas and K-1 (fiancée) visas are required to submit a set of civil documents in support of their application. This includes, for example, birth, marriage, and police certificates. Effective June 15, 2021, the U.S. State Department has extended the validity of police certificates to 2 years. See 9 FAM 504.4-4(A) and… Continue reading Police Certificates Now Valid for 2 Years, Says U.S. State Dep’t
Immigrant Visa Issuances at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou (Apr. 2021)
The Visa Office has published the following statistics for immigrant visa issuances at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou in April 2021. The first thing that stands out is the huge increase in issuance of FX visas (for spouses and children of permanent residents, and their children). In April 1,324 FX visas were issued, compared to… Continue reading Immigrant Visa Issuances at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou (Apr. 2021)
Biden Revokes Trump’s Health Insurance Requirement for Immigrant Visa Applicants
On May 14, President Biden revoked former President Trump’s proclamation requiring that immigrant visa applicants buy health insurance. Proclamation 9945 had never gone into effect because it was tied up in litigation. Plaintiffs in Doe vs. Trump that the proclamation was an unlawful exercise of power reserved for Congress. It would have required immigrant visa… Continue reading Biden Revokes Trump’s Health Insurance Requirement for Immigrant Visa Applicants
State Dep’t Creates National Interest Exceptions for Regional COVID Entry Bans
The Secretary of State has opened up cracks in the the entry bans for foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, or South Africa within 14 days of applying for a visa or seeking entry to the United States. These entry bans were created by Presidential Proclamations 9984… Continue reading State Dep’t Creates National Interest Exceptions for Regional COVID Entry Bans
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)… Continue reading USCIS Update: Biometrics Appointment Delays
USCIS Filing Fees Update: Gov’t Withdraws 9th Circuit Appeal
Dec. 29, 2020 Update Yesterday, the government filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Immigrant Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., a legal challenge to the USCIS final rule from Aug. 20, which increased filing fees and required new versions of… Continue reading USCIS Filing Fees Update: Gov’t Withdraws 9th Circuit Appeal
How to Read the State Department Visa Bulletin
Under U.S. immigration law, there is an annual quota on the number of persons who may be granted lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in any category. The monthly Visa Bulletin explains to whom an immigrant visa number is immediately available.
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? USCIS requires biometrics appointments in connection with various types of applications, such as for adjustment of status (Form I-485), reentry permits (Form I-131), employment authorization (Form I-765), and naturalization (Form N-400). Once… Continue reading Can USCIS Reuse Biometrics Submitted Previously?
Public Charge Litigation Update: Court of Appeals Stays Order Vacating DHS Public Charge Rule Nationwide
“Public charge” is a ground of inadmissibility. Grounds of inadmissibility are reasons that a person could be denied a green card, visa, or admission into the United States. A battle is being fought out in federal courts across the country over the legality of a Trump administration attempt to modify public charge rules.
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… Continue reading Trump Suspends Entry of Immigrants Who Are “Risk” to Labor Market
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. 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.… Continue reading Applying for a Replacement or New Immigrant Visa
FAQ: Outstanding Professors and Researchers
To qualify in the outstanding professor or researcher category, you must demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. You must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area.