Visas for Parents to Accompany F-1 Student to the U.S.

The B-2 (visitor for pleasure) visa is as flexible as a world-class gymnast. The State Department has announced that a B-2 visa may be used by parents to accompany a minor with an F-1 (student) visa to the U.S. As background, its well known that an F-1 student’s spouse and children (under age 21) can get… Continue reading Visas for Parents to Accompany F-1 Student to the U.S.

COVID Vaccination Requirements for Nonimmigrants

Overview Persons seeking to enter the U.S. by air as nonimmigrants are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an Oct. 24, 2021, Presidential Proclamation and a CDC Order, which was amended effective Apr. 14, 2022. This is in addition to a requirement that air passengers ages 2 or older,… Continue reading COVID Vaccination Requirements for Nonimmigrants

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 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

ZTE Visa Fraud Allegations Found Credible by Texas Federal Judge

A Texas federal judge has found to be true allegations of visa fraud by ZTE, a partially state-owned Chinese telecommunications and information technology company. Judge Ed Kindeade’s findings were made in the context of a hearing on whether to revoke ZTE’s probation for violating Iran sanctions. ZTE was on probation after pleading guilty in 2017… Continue reading ZTE Visa Fraud Allegations Found Credible by Texas Federal Judge

Proposed Settlement in University of Northern New Jersey Class Action

A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and foreign nationals who enrolled in University of Northern New Jersey, a fake school created by the agency as part of an immigration sting. The proposed settlement would resolve claims that ICE violated the due process protections of the… Continue reading Proposed Settlement in University of Northern New Jersey Class Action

COVID-Related Entry Bans to Be Lifted by U.S.; Vaccination to Be Required

On Sept. 20, the U.S. government announced it will lift COVID-related entry bans on foreign travelers from European Union, China, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and India beginning November 2021. Instead, foreign travelers from all countries will need to show: proof they are fully vaccinated and a negative coronavirus test taken within 3 days of boarding… Continue reading COVID-Related Entry Bans to Be Lifted by U.S.; Vaccination to Be Required

Certain Hong Kong Residents to Be Granted Deferred Enforced Departure

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on Deferred Enforcement Departure for certain residents of Hong Kong: “Today President Biden issued a memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security to take appropriate measures to defer for 18 months the removal for Hong Kong residents presently in the United States.  This decision… Continue reading Certain Hong Kong Residents to Be Granted Deferred Enforced Departure

Students and Academics in China Exempted from COVID-Related U.S. Visa and Entry Ban

The State Department has just announced an exception to the COVID-related visa and entry ban for persons present in China. Namely, applicants for F-1 student visas and J-1 exchange visitor visas for academic programs will qualify for a “national interest exception” (NIE) to the ban, so they may be issued visas and enter the United… Continue reading Students and Academics in China Exempted from COVID-Related U.S. Visa and Entry Ban

USCIS Update: Biometrics Appointment Delays

In a December 29, 2020 Stakeholder Message, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided an update on biometrics appointment delays at Application Support Centers (ASCs) due to COVID-19. USCIS collects biometrics for certain kinds of applications, including but not limited to: Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (including reentry permit)… Continue reading USCIS Update: Biometrics Appointment Delays

USCIS Filing Fees Update: Gov’t Withdraws 9th Circuit Appeal

Dec. 29, 2020 Update Yesterday, the government filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Immigrant Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., a legal challenge to the USCIS final rule from Aug. 20, which increased filing fees and required new versions of… Continue reading USCIS Filing Fees Update: Gov’t Withdraws 9th Circuit Appeal

State Dep’t Limits B (Visitor) Visa Validity for Communist Party Members

On Dec. 2, the State Department issued new restrictions on B1/B2 (visitor for business or leisure) visas for members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and their families. While other Chinese citizens may obtain multiple-entry visas valid for entry within 10 years, under a 2014 reciprocal agreement between Presidents Obama and Xi Jinping, CCP members… Continue reading State Dep’t Limits B (Visitor) Visa Validity for Communist Party Members

Public Charge Litigation Update: Court of Appeals Stays Order Vacating DHS Public Charge Rule Nationwide

“Public charge” is a ground of inadmissibility. Grounds of inadmissibility are reasons that a person could be denied a green card, visa, or admission into the United States. A battle is being fought out in federal courts across the country over the legality of a Trump administration attempt to modify public charge rules.

Trump Amends Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Presenting a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market

If you’ve been keeping count, the President has now issued three different proclamations restricting visa issuance and entry of noncitizens allegedly presenting a risk to the U.S. labor market in the wake of COVID-19. They are: Version 1.0 (Apr. 23): President issues  Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market… Continue reading Trump Amends Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Presenting a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market

Routine Visa Appointment Availability in China

June 24 update: Bloomberg is reporting that dozens of U.S. diplomats are preparing to return to Beijing next month. Reportedly, some are concerned that the Chinese government could have access to their DNA samples from COVID-19 testing. And some are concerned that dependent family members may be separated if they test positive. June 20: The… Continue reading Routine Visa Appointment Availability in China

Trump Suspends Entry of Chinese Students and Researchers: First Impressions

The President has issued a May 29, 2020, Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China.The proclamation appears to be counter-productive, a distraction from real measures needed to fight Beijing’s theft of sensitive technologies, and an attempt to boost Trump’s electoral odds by stoking xenophobia.

“Administrative Processing”: a Black Hole for Visa Applicants

For the uninitiated, “administrative processing” (AP) is State Department-speak for a temporary visa refusal pending further investigation of a visa application. (9 FAM Appendix E, 404). The applicant typically learns of the temporary refusal when, at the conclusion of the interview, the consular officer issues a written notice stating that under section 221(g) of the Immigration… Continue reading “Administrative Processing”: a Black Hole for Visa Applicants

“Birth Tourism” Restricted by New State Department Rule

The State Department has published a Jan. 24 rule taking aim at birth tourism. The rule prohibits issuance of a B-2 (visitor for pleasure) visa if the applicant’s primary purpose for traveling to the U.S. is to gain citizenship for a child by giving birth in the U.S. The new rule will not prohibit pregnant… Continue reading “Birth Tourism” Restricted by New State Department Rule

U.S. Consulate in Shenyang Consular Section Relocating to Maoye Mall

The U.S. Consulate in Shenyang’s Consular Section is moving to the 5th Floor of Maoye Mall at 185 Qingian Avenue (茂业天地购物中心青年大街185号). That’s near subway line 2 Shitushuguan Stop (市图书馆站). Take Exit B. If you are entering the mall before 10 AM, use the dedicated consular section entrance located to the right of Starbuck’s Coffee. Routine… Continue reading U.S. Consulate in Shenyang Consular Section Relocating to Maoye Mall