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

Pre-Flight COVID Test Temporarily Waived for Shanghai Departures

In recognition of the fact that current lockdowns in Shanghai may prevent individuals from getting a pre-departure COVID-19 test, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that effective immediately the test requirement is waived for U.S. citizens; U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents (LPRs); noncitizens in possession of a valid U.S. immigrant visa;… Continue reading Pre-Flight COVID Test Temporarily Waived for Shanghai Departures

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Categorized as COVID-19

USCIS Processing Times for I-130s and I-129Fs Remain Stubbornly High

ContentsSummaryMethodologyTable 1: Processing Times for standalone I-130s for immediate relativesTable 2: Numbers of I-130s received, approved, denied, and pending at each service center Summary This article focuses on processing times for Forms I-130 (Petitions for Alien Relatives) on behalf of immediate relatives (i.e., spouses, parents, and children under age 21) and Forms I-129F (Petitions for… Continue reading USCIS Processing Times for I-130s and I-129Fs Remain Stubbornly High

USCIS Expands Interview Waivers for I-751s

On Apr. 7, 2022, USCIS updated its guidance regarding the circumstances under which an interview can be waived for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Per the updated policy, USCIS officers may consider waiving an interview if: the record contains sufficient evidence that the marriage was bona fide, not entered into for the… Continue reading USCIS Expands Interview Waivers for I-751s

COVID Vaccination Requirements for Nonimmigrants

ContentsOverviewCovered Nonimmigrants and ExceptionsCOVID-19 Vaccination RequirementNote on Unapproved Chinese VaccinationsProof of Vaccination 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… Continue reading COVID Vaccination Requirements for Nonimmigrants

U.S. Consulates in Shanghai and Shenyang Temporarily Closed (Updated)

Shanghai Due to local health control measures, the visa unit at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai is currently closed. They expect to remain closed until the lockdown is lifted, according to ustraveldocs.com. The United States has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas, including Mission China’s personnel and their families. On… Continue reading U.S. Consulates in Shanghai and Shenyang Temporarily Closed (Updated)

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

U.S. Expats Can File I-130s Abroad for Afghan, Ethiopian, and Ukranian Immediate Relatives

The State Department announced on March 17 that a U.S. citizen who is physically present overseas with Afghan, Ethiopian, or Ukrainian immediate family members may ask to file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate that processes immigrant visas. This is an exception to the general rule that… Continue reading U.S. Expats Can File I-130s Abroad for Afghan, Ethiopian, and Ukranian Immediate Relatives

USCIS Albuquerque Field Office Updates

The USCIS Albuquerque Field Office provided the following updates during the Mar. 17, 2022, stakeholder meeting. Processing Times for Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status January: 11.01 average months, 185 cases adjudicated February: 9.7 average months, 203 cases adjudicated March: 11.67 average months, 55 cases adjudicated to date Some cases have experienced delays because the… Continue reading USCIS Albuquerque Field Office Updates

China Police Certificates

ContentsBackground InformationNote on Unobtainable Police CertificatesGetting a Quote from Our Law FirmWe Can Assist NationwideClient TestimonialsFurther Reading Our law firm routinely assists clients in obtaining China police certificates for purposes such as immigration (to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries) or employment background checks. Our clients include foreign nationals, including former… Continue reading China Police Certificates

New Police Certificate Rules Issued by China’s Ministry of Public Security

ContentsKey PointsTranslationChapter I. General ProvisionsChapter II. Application and AcceptanceChapter III. Inquiry and NotificationChapter IV. Objections and ComplaintsChapter V. Legal ResponsibilitiesChapter VI. Supplementary Provisions Attachments Our law firm has a team that helps foreigners and residents of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan apply for mainland China police certificates, also known as certificates of no criminal conviction… Continue reading New Police Certificate Rules Issued by China’s Ministry of Public Security

Guide to the Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status

Contents1. Introduction1.1 Choosing Between Adjustment and Consular Processing1.2 Rights and Obligations of Permanent Residents2. Requirements2.1 Physical Presence in the U.S.2.2 Eligibility to Receive an Immigrant VisaConcurrent FilingTermination or Revocation of Visa PetitionDerivative Family Members2.3 Visa Availability Requirement2.4 Not “Restricted”The Section 245(i) Exception to “Restricted” Foreign NationalsThe Section 245(k) Exception to “Restricted” Foreign Nationals2.5 Not “Ineligible”2.6… Continue reading Guide to the Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status

Guide to Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Contents1. Introduction1.1 Scope of This Guide1.2 Derivative BeneficiariesWhat is a Derivative Beneficiary?Should an LPR File a Separate I-130 for a Child?1.3 Conditional Resident Status1.4 Preference Categories, State Department and USCIS Classifications2. Requirements: I-130 for Spouse2.1 The Petitioner Must Be a U.S. Citizen or LPR2.2 The Petitioner Must Not Have Been Convicted of Specified Offenses against… Continue reading Guide to Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Eileen Gu: What’s the Deal with Her Nationality?

ContentsFacts and AmbiguitiesIs Eileen an American Citizen?Is Eileen a Chinese Citizen?Conclusion Eileen Gu (谷爱凌) is a Chinese-American freestyle skier competing in three events at the Winter Olympics in Beijing: halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air. At the same time, the San Francisco native is the subject of intense controversy for switching from the U.S. to China’s… Continue reading Eileen Gu: What’s the Deal with Her Nationality?

Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes

Certain classes of naturalization applicants are eligible to count time residing abroad towards meeting the requirement of “continuous residence” in the United States. The table below serves as a quick reference guide on certain “continuous residence” and “physical presence” provisions for persons residing abroad under qualifying employment. Employer or Vocation Provision Continuous Residence Physical Presence… Continue reading Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes

Calling the USCIS Contact Center

ContentsGeneral TipsTips for Requesting an InfoPass AppointmentTips for Requesting an Expedite (Adjudication or Biometrics)Tips for Rescheduling an Interview or Biometrics The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 has updated its phone-tree system. This summary of how to use the system draws on helpful practice tips from the Contact Center’s webpage and… Continue reading Calling the USCIS Contact Center

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