On October 8, the U.S. State Department announced visa restrictions on Chinese government and Communist Party officials responsible for, or complicit in, repression of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region.
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… Continue reading New DHS Public Charge Rule
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.
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.
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.
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… Continue reading Issues for U.S. Expats Filing a Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative
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… Continue reading Students and Exchange Visitors Face Harsh New “Unlawful Presence” Rule from Trump Administration
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminded its officers this week that violation of federal controlled substance law, including for marijuana, is still a basis for denying naturalization. This is true, even if such activity is not unlawful under applicable state or foreign law.
Over the weekend, the Trump administration took steps to radically transform a little-known provision of immigration law that could have an outsized impact on legal immigration. In proposed regulations posted on Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicated that it would redefine the legal term “public charge” to block green cards for low-income immigrants… Continue reading The Proposed Changes to Public Charge: What You Need to Know
On September 22, 2018, the Trump administration announced the upcoming publication of a proposed rule that if implemented as written, would prevent immigrants from securing lawful permanent residence and remaining with their families in the United States, simply because at any time in the past, they received some type of basic health care support, nutrition… Continue reading Trump’s Proposed “Public Charge” Rule Intensifies War on Legal Immigrants
A new Congressional report asserts that Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs) at U.S. colleges appear to be directly subordinate to and receive political direction from the Chinese Embassy and consulates. This report raises concerns: could the U.S. government deny green cards to CSSA members? The report, entitled China’s Overseas United Front Work: Background and… Continue reading Congressional Report Raises Concerns: Could Chinese Students and Scholars Association Members Be Denied Green Cards?
Today, the Supreme Court upheld the third, reengineered version of President Trump’s travel ban by a vote of 5 to 4. Anastasia Tonello, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued the following statement:
A State Department official has spoken on background to the Associated Press, saying that more Chinese applying for F-1 visas as graduate students in fields related to science and technology will need “special clearance from multiple U.S. agencies” and that such clearances are “expected to take months for each visa application.” Other nonimmigrant visa applicants… Continue reading More Chinese Student Visa Applicants Will Be Subject to Security-Related Delays
A new National Vetting Center is being established pursuant to National Security Presidential Memorandum 9, signed by President Trump on February 6. The Center will coordinate the way agencies use biographic, biometric, and other data used to vet applicants for visas, admission to the United States, and immigration benefits, and in enforcement and removal (deportation)… Continue reading National Vetting Center Established by Trump Administration
An immigrant visa applicant sporting a tattoo may be questioned about it. The presence of tattoos is noted during the required medical exam. This may lead a consular officer to suspect the applicant has gang affiliations or has abused drugs.
If your visa is denied, you may be confused and frustrated. And consular officers may be unwilling or unable to properly explain the grounds for refusal and your options for overcoming the refusal. How can an attorney help?
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a handout on Inspection of Electronic Devices, available here. There is a section on “Why You May Be Chosen for an Inspection,” but it omits any mention of CBP’s legal position: that a person may be chosen for any reason or no reason at all: no reasonable suspicion is required.… Continue reading CBP Handout on Inspection of Electronic Devices
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published a Feb. 21, 2017, notice of its intent to collect Chinese travelers’ social media account information. There is a 60-day window for public comment. Tell CBP this is a bad idea. 2017-04-12 Update: The American Chamber of Commerce-China has submitted a comment to CBP explaining why they oppose the… Continue reading Tell CBP: Don’t Spy on Chinese Travelers’ Social Media
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent four cables to consular officers between Mar. 10 and 17 with preliminary instructions for stricter vetting of U.S. visa applicants. The cables emphasize that “all visa decisions are national security decisions” and that additional screening may “may cause interview appointment backlogs to rise.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together a quick pocket guide with a breakdown of your digital rights at the U.S. border.