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How Is the Coronavirus Outbreak Impacting U.S. Visa Services in China?

The State Department has announced that “Due to China’s extension of the Lunar New Year Holiday to February 2nd, the U.S. Embassy and consulates will be closed on Thursday and Friday, January 30 and 31, 2020.”  Any other announcement about how the coronavirus outbreak may impact U.S. visa services in China, such as about cancellation […]

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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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U.S. State Department Appeals to Ninth Circuit a Ruling That Same-Sex Couple’s Child Acquired Citizenship Upon Birth Abroad

Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks have twin sons, born four minutes apart. The U.S. State Department has maintained that one is a U.S. citizen and one is not. The same-sex couple has been fighting the U.S. government in federal court for citizenship rights for their young child.

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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. 

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“Alias Certificates” Required from Immigrant Visa Applicants at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou

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).

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Death by a Thousand Cuts: Evisceration of the Foreign Service

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 […]

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Firm News Uncategorized

National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival

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 […]