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Biden Beats Trump: What’s Next for Immigration Law?

What are the consequences for immigration law of Joe Biden’s election as the 46th president of the United States? The Trump administration’s legacy will have been to reduce legal immigration by up to 49% – without any change to the Immigration and Nationality Act but instead through hundreds of regulatory and sub-regulatory actions. The administration has strived,…

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Find a USCIS Field Office

Inexplicably, USCIS has removed from its website contact information for its field offices. If you go to the Find a USCIS Office page, there is still a link for Field Offices, but that page no longer lists contact information. But contact information can still be found in an archived version of this webpage from May…

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COVID-19 Uncategorized

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:…

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COVID-19 Uncategorized

Feb. 4 Update: Trump Bans Entry of Noncitizens Present in China During Prior 2 Weeks

President Trump has issued a Jan. 31 proclamation barring entry to the U.S. of noncitizens present in China during the two weeks prior to attempting to enter the U.S. CBP has issued a Feb. 4 Notification of Arrival Restrictions Applicable to Flights Carrying Persons Who Have Recently Traveled from or Were Otherwise Present Within the…

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IRS Departing Alien Clearance (Sailing Permit)

Before departing the U.S., certain noncitizens must obtain from IRS a certificate of compliance. This document is also popularly known as a “sailing permit” or “departure permit.” One of two forms is filed with IRS: Form 1040C, U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax Return: This form is used by persons leaving the U.S. to report both…

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Immigration Quotes and Quips

Feel free to suggest a quote or quip in the comments.

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U.S. Judge Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers’ Digital Devices Unconstitutional

Reuters reports that yesterday, a federal judge ruled that U.S. border agents need “reasonable suspicion” but not a warrant to search travelers’ smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry. The ruling sets a higher standard than the one CBP agents must apply to conduct routine searches of electronic devices under current…

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Shanghai Online Temporary Residence Registration for Foreigners

Shanghai Daily reports that foreigners and persons from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan arriving in Shanghai can now complete the temporary residence registration (临时住宿登记) process online instead of going to the police in person.

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Highlights of the Dep’t of Homeland Security Public Charge Rule

On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule related to public charge in the Federal Register. The rule was set to take effect on October 15, 2019, but is currently tied up in litigation. The rule will not apply to immigration applications filed before it takes effect.

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Ji Chaoqun Arrested on Charges of Acting as an Illegal Agent for the Chinese Government

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Sept. 25 the arrest of Ji Chaoqun on the charge that he was as an agent of the Chinese government acting in the U.S. without registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

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Suspect Pleads Guilty in “Birth Tourism” Scheme

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports that Li Dongyuan has entered a plea of guilty on charges that she ran a birth tourism scheme. The agency’s full press release follows:

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IRS Updates Instructions to Order Tax Transcripts

A technical glitch is impacting persons whose last tax return had a foreign address. They are unable to create an IRS online account, and so are unable to use Get Transcript Online.

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USCIS Partial Retreat: Some International Field Offices, including Beijing and Guangzhou, Will Remain Open

Aug. 9 Update: USCIS announced in a news release today that they have cancelled plans to close operations at 7 international field offices: Beijing, Guangzhou, Nairobi, New Delhi, Mexico City, San Salvador, and Guatemala City. The news release calls these operations “cost-effective and high value”: they will continue to “adjudicate complex immigration petitions that require…

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Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration Maintaining LPR Status During Stays Abroad Naturalization and Citizenship Temporary Visas Uncategorized Waivers / Visa Denials

Making a Congressional Inquiry for Help with Your Immigration Case

A member of the U.S. Congress may be willing to inquire with a Federal immigration agency, such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS), if you are having problems with your case.

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Filing Tax Returns When Married to a Nonresident Alien

Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident married to a spouse living overseas? Maybe you are living overseas together, or maybe you are in the U.S. waiting for your spouse to immigrate.

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USCIS Processing of I-751s in Disarray

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ processing of Forms I-751, Petitions to Remove Conditional Resident Status is in a state of disarray. Sandra Feist writes for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that USCIS has been adding new procedural delays and hurdles to I-751s, like brick after brick in an “invisible wall” making life difficult for…

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Spring Festival Closings

Happy Lunar New Year! The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in China will be closed Feb. 4 to 7. Chodorow Law Offices will be closed for the official holiday, Feb. 4 to 10.

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How the Government Shutdown Impacts Immigration Agencies

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?

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Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration Uncategorized

How USCIS Calculates Processing Times for Petitions and Applications

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.

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AP: Potential Visa Sanctions on Chinese Officials Over Xinjiang Abuses

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.