Common Waivers of Inadmissibility

If a consular officer denies a visa application, there is no appeal. Still, there may be several ways to challenge a visa denial, such as requesting reconsideration, supervisorial review, or an advisory opinion, or resubmitting the application. If a visa denial cannot be overcome, it may be possible to request a “waiver.” A waiver is somewhat analogous to a pardon in criminal law, in that a waiver forgives an ineligibility, allowing visa issuance.

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…

USCIS Policy Manual Update on Immigrant Membership in the Communist Party

During the Trump administration, immigration lawyers have become accustomed to “shock by memo,” meaning backdoor rules announced by government memo with no prior notice, typically on a Friday afternoon, which leave us scrambling to help clients understand how the new rules may apply to applications filed months or years ago under a different memo.[1] On…

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.

Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship

Did you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes inadmissible (i.e., ineligible) for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key…

“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…

“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…

U.S. Airports to Screen Wuhan Flights for Coronavirus

The CDC has announced: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will implement enhanced health screenings to detect ill travelers traveling to the United States on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan, China. This activity is in response to an outbreak in China…

What is Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility?

An individual who an immigration officer or consular officer has determined is inadmissible to the United States as an immigrant or to adjust status in the United States, and certain nonimmigrant applicants who are deemed inadmissible, must file the Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, to seek a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility.

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…

Making a Congressional Inquiry for Help with Your Immigration Case

If you are having problems 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) on your behalf.

Findream LLC Operator Indicted for OPT-Related Scam

The below July 26, 2019, press release is from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Huang Weiyun has been indicted on allegations that, among other things, she sold letters falsely verifying that F-1 students were eligible for optional practical training (OPT) based on employment with her company, Findream LLC.

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…

Students and Exchange Visitors Face Harsh New “Unlawful Presence” Rule from Trump Administration

May 3, 2019 Update: The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina today issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that temporarily prevents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) August 8, 2018 policy memo that sought to change how days of unlawful presence are counted…