Categories
COVID-19 Family Immigration

Consular Posts May Prioritize K-1 Visas

On Aug. 31 the State Department announced that consular posts may give high priority to K-1 (fiancée) visas: Effective August 28, as it becomes safe to resume more consular operations at each U.S. mission, posts are authorized to give K visa cases high priority.  Applicants should check the website of their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate…

Categories
Family Immigration

USCIS Processing Times for I-129Fs and I-130s for Immediate Relatives

The below table shows processing times at all Service Centers for: Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relatives, filed by U.S. citizens for immediate relatives (i.e., spouses, parents, or children under 21). In particular, these processing times are for standalone I-130s, meaning I-130s not filed together with Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status; and Forms I-129F,…

Categories
Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration Temporary Visas

Public Charge Litigation Update: Second Circuit Grants Full Stay of District Court Injunction

U.S. Court of Appeals Order (Sept. 11, 2020) A Sept. 11, 2020 court decision allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resume implementing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule nationwide. The decision stays an earlier injunction that prevented DHS from enforcing the rule. Therefore, DHS has announced that it will apply…

Categories
Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration Naturalization and Citizenship Temporary Visas

USCIS to Increase Filing Fees

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a final rule that will impose significant fee increases across the legal immigration system. The average fee increase is about 20%. The changes include increases of about 80% naturalization and 100% for adjustment of status (including employment authorization and advance parole). The agency last adjusted its fees in 2016.…

Categories
Family Immigration

Looking to Sue Over the Public Charge Rule?

The Department of Homeland Security’s new public charge rule is subject to challenge in court on multiple grounds. American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is seeking potential plaintiffs for litigation challenging the USCIS Policy Manual as it relates to pubic charge issues. Potential plaintiffs include: Persons with rejected applications, denied applications, or requests for evidence due…

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Family Immigration

Getting Married in China: a Guide for U.S. Citizens

1. Introduction This article gives an overview of the requirements and procedures for marriage in China between a U.S. citizen and a Chinese citizen.[1] Chinese law applies when getting married in China.[2] The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China cannot perform marriages. Local requirements and procedures may vary, so contact local authorities to confirm. 2.…

Categories
Family Immigration

Litigation Update: Presidential Proclamation Requiring Health Insurance

On Oct. 4, 2019, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending issuance of immigrant visas to applicants who lack either U.S. health insurance or substantial assets to cover their health expenses. For a summary, see our firm’s client alert. On May 4, 2020, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused to stay a…

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COVID-19 Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration

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…

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COVID-19 Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration

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.[1] 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.…

Categories
Family Immigration

I-130s No Longer Accepted by USCIS International Offices

USCIS will no longer accept and adjudicate Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relatives, at its international field offices.[1] The announcement was made Jan. 31 and effective the following day. This follows a period beginning Mar. 2019 when USCIS began to close most of its international offices. Still, the Trump administration should be graded “F” for failure…

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Family Immigration Temporary Visas

K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Guide

This article covers the requirements and procedures to apply for a K-1 visa, as well as the terms and conditions of K-1 status. Also covered are the rules for the fiancé(e)’s unmarried children under age 21 to apply for K-2 visas.

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Family Immigration

Guide to Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

A spouse who immigrates based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident will be granted conditional resident (CR) status if, at the time of admission as an immigrant, the marriage is less than two years old.

Categories
Family Immigration Waivers / Visa Denials

First Impression: Presidential Proclamation Barring Immigrants Lacking Health Insurance

This is my first impressions of President Trump’s Oct. 4 proclamation barring issuance of immigrant visas to applicants with no “approved” health insurance.

Categories
Family Immigration

Choosing the Best Visa Strategy for a Fiancée or Spouse: K-1, K-3, or CR1/IR1 Immigrant Visa?

A U.S. citizen planning to file a visa petition for a foreign fiancée or spouse who is outside the U.S. may have various strategies to choose from. The most common options are the K-1 fiancée visa, the K-3 visa, and the CR1/IR1 immigrant visa. This article analyzes the factors to be considered in choosing among…

Categories
Family Immigration

Top 11 Ways to Prove a Valid Marriage for Immigration

Do you have an immigration case which will require you to prove the validity of your marital relationship to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or to a U.S. Consulate? For example, are you seeking to (a) immigrate based on a spouse’s Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, (b) get a K-1 visa based on a…

Categories
Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration Temporary Visas Waivers / Visa Denials

New DHS Public Charge Rule

On August 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule governing the public charge grounds of inadmissibility, found at section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Unless litigation halts implementation of the rule, it will go into effect after 60 days, on October 15, 2019. Here is a…

Categories
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.

Categories
Family Immigration

Why Are USCIS Processing Times Increasing for Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relatives?

USCIS admits that processing times for I-130s for immediate relatives are skyrocketing. Here’s what their historic data shows: FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 (up to Mar. 31) 6.1 mo. 6 mo. 7.7 mo. 9.7 mo. 10.3 mo.

Categories
Family Immigration Temporary Visas Waivers / Visa Denials

New Social Media Question on Visa Application Forms

On May 31, 2019, the U.S. State Department updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms to request social media usernames from most immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants worldwide.

Categories
Family Immigration Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Waivers / Visa Denials

Issues for U.S. Expats Filing a Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative

Here’s a reader’s question: I am a U.S. citizen and have been living outside the U.S. for almost four years for study. I got married a year ago and would like to apply for my husband to immigrate. My question is, can I apply for him while I am outside the U.S.? I have not finished…