New U.S. Bridge Visa Foil

The U.S. has begun issuing a new “Bridge” visa foil, replacing the “Lincoln” visa foils currently in use by consular posts worldwide. It will be rolled out gradually as posts exhaust their existing stocks of “Lincoln” visa foils, which were first issued in 2002.

Shanghai COVID Restrictions Impacting Local U.S. Consulate Services

In response to outbreaks of COVID-19 throughout the People’s Republic of China, Shanghai city officials recently implemented guidelines and changes to the local health code which may limit movement and interrupt plans for U.S. Consulate-provided routine services for U.S. citizens and U.S. visa applicants.

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

ContentsSummaryMethodologyTable 1: Processing Times for standalone I-130s for immediate relatives and I-129FsTable 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… Continue reading USCIS Processing Times for I-130s and I-129Fs Remain Stubbornly High

Utah Marriage Over Zoom Is Valid for Immigration Purposes

Generally speaking, a proxy marriage is a wedding in which one or both of the individuals being united are not in the physical presence of the officiant. An absent party may be represented by another person (“proxy”). Historically, some reasons for proxy marriage have included separation due to military service, imprisonment, or travel restrictions; or when a couple… Continue reading Utah Marriage Over Zoom Is Valid for Immigration Purposes

SHI Jianxiang, Wanted in China, Convicted of U.S. Visa Fraud

A fugitive Chinese businessman was sentenced Friday to one year in prison after he was convicted on two counts of visa fraud for hiding a Marshall Islands passport he held under another name. See Carolina Bolado, Wanted Chinese Businessman Gets One Year for Visa Fraud, Law360 (Oct. 14, 2022) (subscription only). U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles sentenced SHI Jianxiang Shi to 12 months… Continue reading SHI Jianxiang, Wanted in China, Convicted of U.S. Visa Fraud

Expeditious Naturalization under Section 319(b) for Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad

New Citizens Saying the Pledge of Allegiance

Are you considering applying for expeditious naturalization as the spouse of a U.S. citizen employed abroad by a U.S. company, the U.S. government, an international organization, a research institution, or a religious organization? Chodorow Law Offices can help:

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.

China Won’t Cooperate in Repatriating Deportees in Wake of Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit

There is nothing new about U.S. complaints regarding China’s lack of cooperation in repatriating its citizens who have been ordered deported. Nevertheless, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suspended cooperation in such cases in retaliation for the visit by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. China also canceled other efforts… Continue reading China Won’t Cooperate in Repatriating Deportees in Wake of Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit

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

Translation: Notary Department of the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China, Notice Regarding Handling Certificates of No Criminal Conviction for Foreigners’ Periods of Residence in China (1990)

What follows is an unofficial translation of the Notary Department of the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China, Notice Regarding Handling Certificates of No Criminal Conviction for Foreigners’ Periods of Residence in China (关于办理外国公民在华居住期间是否受过刑事制裁证明的通知), Dept. Doc. No. 55 (May 15, 1990), available at China Court Laws and Regulations Index, http://fgcx.bjcourt.gov.cn:4601/law?fn=chl341s663.txt&truetag=2&titles=&contents=&dbt=chl. Title: Notice… Continue reading Translation: Notary Department of the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China, Notice Regarding Handling Certificates of No Criminal Conviction for Foreigners’ Periods of Residence in China (1990)

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 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

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