The federal government is now in partial shutdown due to a failure by President Trump and Congress to agree on how to fund the government. How does this impact key immigration agencies? During a shutdown, personnel funded by annual congressional appropriations are furloughed and not permitted to work. Exceptions are made for “essential” personnel. And the shutdown doesn’t apply to positions funder by user fees rather than annual appropriations.Continue reading “How the Government Shutdown Impacts Immigration Agencies”
President Trump baldly asserted this week that he can issue an executive order ending birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S. to undocumented parents. My initial reaction was frustration. How can the President claim–with no explanation–the power to act in a way that appears contrary to the plain words of the U.S. Constitution? Is this a serious proposal that just sounds like a flippant remark, or is it merely a cynical political ploy to rally his base before the midterm elections?Continue reading “Trump’s Wrong Assertion That He Can End Birthright Citizenship by Executive Order”
|“We cannot just sit idly by and watch our most vulnerable neighbors become collateral damage, stemming from hard-lined ideologies. Together, we stand against these changes. No one should have to choose between food and family.”|
|— Op-ed opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed rule that would put at risk foreign nationals’ eligibility for green cards if previously, while lawfully residing in the U.S., they lawfully accessed public benefits such as food stamps or Medicaid.
|“We the Indians of the Onandaga Tribe of the Six Nations Confederacy of New York State, after giving due consideration to the [Citizenship Act of 1924] … are not in any way capable of taking up the responsibilities of citizenship such as which the aforementioned [Act] is designed to enforce on the Indians…. [T]he [Act] is a destructive and an injurious weapon [that abrogates] the Treaty between the United States and the Six Nation Indians concluded in March 3, 1792.”|
|— Letter from the Chiefs of the Onandaga Nation to President Calvin Coolidge, Dec. 30, 1924, protesting the Citizenship Act of 1924. The Act declared that all Indians born within the United States are U.S. citizens. Indians had mixed reactions. Some considered the Act a way to secure long-denied political rights. Others, such as the Onandaga chiefs, considered the Act to be a tool for forced assimilation and weakening of their tribe’s rights as a nation.
If you were born in Mainland China and are applying for a U.S. green card, you will need to submit a 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. Both agencies look at specifications in the State Department’s Reciprocity Schedule for what type of birth certificate is required. The Reciprocity Schedule was updated on Apr. 4, 2016. It now states:
Continue reading “What Type of China Birth Certificate Is Required for U.S. Immigration?”
There are backlogs in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processing of applications and petitions. This leaves businesses and families to wonder what the processing times are. In March 2018, the agency began a pilot program to calculate processing times for some cases in a new way. Continue reading “How USCIS Calculates Processing Times for Petitions and Applications”
The Trump Administration intends to crack down on F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors who violate the terms of their status. Under a new policy, effective August 9, 2018, even a minor, unintentional violation could trigger “unlawful presence.” Remaining in the U.S. for too long after such a violation could result in being barred from returning to the U.S. for 3 or 10 years, depending on the circumstances. Students and exchange visitors need to learn what activities trigger unlawful presence and what remedial steps to take after a violation. Continue reading “Students and Exchange Visitors Face Harsh New “Unlawful Presence” Rule from Trump Administration”
Gerry Shih reports for the AP today that the U.S. government may pursue sanctions on Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses in the western region of Xinjiang. Shih has recently reported elsewhere on a sweeping security crackdown in the region.Continue reading “AP: Potential Visa Sanctions on Chinese Officials Over Xinjiang Abuses”
The latest Immigrant Visa Instructions published by the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou on Nov. 24, 2017, require that an applicant who has “ever used another name or alias on legal documentation or for other official purpose must provide a certified alias certificate” (别名证明文件). Continue reading ““Alias Certificates” Required from Immigrant Visa Applicants at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou”
The Trump administration’s war on immigration has included an array of tactics. There have been full frontal assaults, such as the Muslim ban, cancellation of DACA, the border wall, and the RAISE Act. Simultaneously, the Trump administration is using the tactic of death by a thousand cuts: numerous assaults in the administrative agencies and courts intended to make immigration slower, more expensive, and painful. Here’s but one example. Continue reading “Death by a Thousand Cuts: Evisceration of the Foreign Service”
Chodorow Law Offices will be closed during the upcoming Chinese National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holidays.
- Sept. 30 (Saturday): Open.
- Oct. 2-8: Closed.
- Oct. 9 (Monday): Open.
Similarly, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates General will be closed, on the following schedule:
- Oct. 2-8: Closed.
- Oct. 9: Closed for Columbus Day (U.S. holiday).
Best wishes for the holidays. In the event of an emergency during the holidays, you can reach your case manager or attorney by cell phone.
On August 2, White House adviser Stephen Miller held a press conference defending President Donald Trump’s support for the RAISE Act, legislation that would reduce legal immigration to the United States.
CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked whether the bill is in keeping with Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, The New Colossus, at the base of the Statue of Liberty, which reads in part: Continue reading “Steve Miller, Meet Saum Song Bo: What the Statue of Liberty Symbolizes”
Automated Passport Control (APC) is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that expedites the entry process by providing an automated process through CBP’s Primary Inspection area. Continue reading “What Are Automated Passport Control and Mobile Passport Control?”
Daniel Bell, Why Anyone Can Be Chinese (Wall St. Journal, July 14, 2017): Daniel Bell is a Canadian by birth who has who has taught political science in China for twenty years, speaks Chinese, and studies Confucian philosophy. In this essay, he writes, “I identify with Chinese culture” but objects that “no one considers me Chinese” because he is white. He wishes that China would “embrace those” like him “who meet the cultural criteria of Chineseness.” He recommends that China institute a “meritocratic immigration policy open to all.” / Bell’s most recent book, The China Model (2015), analyzes the philosophical and practical flaws of democracy, while arguing for the “China Model” in which a society’s leaders are chosen on the basis of meritocracy–through examinations and performance evaluations. Let’s put aside momentarily the question of to what extent China’s party-state really is meritocratic. Let’s also put aside the question of whether embracing “the cultural criteria of Chineseness” equates to merit. Bell’s yearning to belong is understandable because it is a primal, universal urge. But how can his proposed “meritocratic immigration system” overcome racial conceptions of what it means to be Chinese, especially since Bell says that “the obstacles are not legal”? Continue reading “Quick Takes on Visa Law News”
Make your lunch productive by joining 12-15 motivated young professionals from within the AmCham China community to discuss U.S. and China visa issues. Mar. 8, 12pm, Deloitte Beijing Office. Read more.
This year’s H-1B season has many of us nervously watching President Trump’s moves. Just last week the President signed executive orders to build his promised wall at the border with Mexico and to find and deport unauthorized immigrants. A third executive order last Friday barring refugees and travelers from seven countries deemed predominantly Muslim has heightened the anxiety among foreign nationals and prompted protests. His pen has not yet reached the H-1B program, but that could happen in his first 100 days. Continue reading “Be Prepared for Likely H-1B Visa Changes”
Get the latest on China’s implementation on the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs’ Notice on Implementation of Plans for Employment Licenses for Foreigners Coming to China for Work (国家外国专家局关于印发外国人来华工作许可制度试点实施方案的通知) and the Ministry of Commerce’s Interim Measures on Record-filing Administration for the Establishment and Alteration of Foreign-Invested Enterprises (外商投资企业设立及变更备案管理暂行办法). The target audience is HR managers and foreigners working, investing, or doing business in China. Read more.
Every people has creation myths, whether it’s the Bible’s Adam and Eve or the Daoists’ primordial chaos separating into yin and yang. For America, Thanksgiving is part of the creation myth. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Celebrates America’s Tradition as a Nation of Immigrants”
The U.S. Embassy provided a briefing to American Chamber of Commerce members on the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) platform on October 21. The presenter was Christine Parker, visiting from the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington to help with EVUS promotion. Continue reading “Slides from EVUS Briefing by U.S. Embassy in Beijing (Oct. 21, 2016)”
Starting Nov. 29, Chinese holders of 10-year U.S. visitor visas must be enrolled in the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) to travel to the U.S. On Oct. 21 at 9:30am, the U.S. Embassy will be providing a briefing to AmCham China members. Read more.
In the United States, persons charged with serious crimes are entitled to court-appointed lawyers if they cannot afford one. But the government is under no such obligation to provide professional legal representation to immigrants facing deportation, because they are facing civil, not criminal, charges. And that often means that even children in immigration court are left to defend themselves against trained attorneys representing the government and arguing for deportation. Continue reading “Mexicans and Chinese: Why Such Different Experiences in Immigration Court?”