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 Processing Times for I-130s and I-129Fs Remain Stubbornly High

Summary This article focuses on processing times for Forms I-130 (Petitions for Alien Relatives) on behalf of immediate relatives (i.e., spouses, parents, and children under age 21) and Forms I-129F (Petitions for Alien Fiancé(e)s) who will apply for their visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. Table 1 below, based on our firm’s monthly check… Continue reading USCIS Processing Times for I-130s and I-129Fs Remain Stubbornly High

USCIS Expands Interview Waivers for I-751s

On Apr. 7, 2022, USCIS updated its guidance regarding the circumstances under which an interview can be waived for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Per the updated policy, USCIS officers may consider waiving an interview if: the record contains sufficient evidence that the marriage was bona fide, not entered into for the… Continue reading USCIS Expands Interview Waivers for I-751s

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

U.S. Expats Can File I-130s Abroad for Afghan, Ethiopian, and Ukranian Immediate Relatives

The State Department announced on March 17 that a U.S. citizen who is physically present overseas with Afghan, Ethiopian, or Ukrainian immediate family members may ask to file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate that processes immigrant visas. This is an exception to the general rule that… Continue reading U.S. Expats Can File I-130s Abroad for Afghan, Ethiopian, and Ukranian Immediate Relatives

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

Guide to Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

1. Introduction 1.1 Scope of This Guide Family reunification is a key policy underlying U.S. immigration law. This Guide discusses how a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) can file with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Such a petition is the first step for a relative… Continue reading Guide to Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

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: USCIS Form N-400, Application… Continue reading Does a Short Stay Establish a “Residence” for Immigration Law Purposes?

Utah Marriage Over Zoom Is Valid for Immigration Purposes

Generally speaking, a proxy marriage is a wedding in which one or both of the individuals being united are not in the physical presence of the officiant. An absent party may be represented by another person (“proxy”). If both partners are absent, a “double proxy marriage” occurs. A Utah marriage via video conference is valid for purposes of… Continue reading Utah Marriage Over Zoom Is Valid for Immigration Purposes

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

State Dep’t Update on Public Charge

Trump’s USCIS public charge rule is dead, and his State Department public charge rule is at death’s door. Here’s the latest announcement, dated Mar. 26, 2021, from the State Department: On July 29, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York enjoined the Department of State from “enforcing, applying, implementing,… Continue reading State Dep’t Update on Public Charge

USCIS Stops Applying Trump’s 2019 Public Charge Rule

It’s time to celebrate! USCIS has stopped applying the Trump administration’s 2019 public charge rule, also known as the “wealth test.” As background information, the United States has long refused to admit foreign nationals who are likely to become a “public charge.” According to 1999 Interim Field Guidance, a public charge was defined as a… Continue reading USCIS Stops Applying Trump’s 2019 Public Charge Rule

DHS to Stop Defending Trump’s Public Charge Rule in Court

DHS has released the below statement that it will no longer pursue appellate review of judicial decisions invalidating or enjoining the Trump administration’s 2019 public charge rule. Once the judicial invalidation of the 2019 rule becomes final, the 1999 interim field guidance on public charge will apply. This is fantastic news, but it does not… Continue reading DHS to Stop Defending Trump’s Public Charge Rule in Court