Biden Lifts the Travel Ban on Muslim-Majority Countries

On Jan. 20, his first day in office, President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation revoking the travel ban on Muslim-majority countries first put into place by President Trump in 2017. Biden’s proclamation orders the State Department to resume visa processing and to put into place a plan for (a) adjudicating visa applications by persons who…

Green Card Holders Staying Abroad Over 6 Months Risk Abandonment

Contents1. Introduction2. The Judicial Definition of “Temporary”3. Is There a “Return Every 6 Months” Rule”?4. Keeping a Valid Entry Document5. Applying for A Reentry Permit6. Proving Ties to the U.S. Outweigh Ties Abroad7. A Note on Taxes8. What Will Happen in the Airport if the CBP Officer Suspects Abandonment?8. Keep in Mind the Separate Requirements…

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)…

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…

USCIS Processing Times for I-129Fs and I-130s for Immediate Relatives

This post includes two tables: Table 1 shows numbers of I-130s received, approved, denied, and pending at each service center. Source: USCIS Performance Data. Table 2 shows processing times at all Service Centers for: Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relatives, filed by U.S. citizens for immediate relatives (i.e., spouses, parents, or children under 21). In…

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…

Job Opening: Bilingual Paralegal (Shenyang)

Our firm is growing! We are looking for a paralegal to work under lawyer supervision to manage all steps of U.S. immigration cases before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the State Department, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Case types include, for example: permanent residence (e.g., through family, investment, or employment) nonimmigrant visas (e.g., B,…

Civics Test Changed for Naturalization Applicants

USCIS has announced changes to the civics test for naturalization applicants. The purpose of the civics test is for a naturalization applicant to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States. This new test goes into effect on December 1, 2020,…

Can USCIS Reuse Biometrics Submitted Previously?

If an individual previously submitted biometrics in connection with a prior application, can USCIS reuse those biometrics in connection with a new application? Once a USCIS application support center collects an applicant’s biometrics, the FBI conducts a “name check” on the applicant. If fingerprints were taken for a naturalization application, the FBI response is valid…

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.

Biden Beats Trump: What’s Next for Immigration Law?

What are the consequences for immigration law of Joe Biden’s election as the 46th president of the United States? The Trump administration’s legacy will have been to reduce legal immigration by up to 49% – without any change to the Immigration and Nationality Act but instead through hundreds of regulatory and sub-regulatory actions. The administration has strived,…

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…

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:

Applying to Renounce Chinese Citizenship

Applying to Renounce Chinese Citizenship

A child may automatically acquire dual citizenship in China and another country at birth. For example, a child born in China to a Chinese parent and a U.S. citizen parent may acquire both nationalities. Similarly, a child born in the U.S. to a U.S. citizen parent and a Chinese parent who has not settled in the…

Consular Posts May Prioritize K-1 Visas

On Aug. 31 the State Department announced that consular posts may give high priority to K-1 (fiancée) visas: Effective August 28, as it becomes safe to resume more consular operations at each U.S. mission, posts are authorized to give K visa cases high priority.  Applicants should check the website of their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate…

Update: USCIS Cancels Employee Furlough, But Processing Delays Loom

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on Aug. 25 that the agency will abandon plans for administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30. USCIS expects to cover budget shortfalls, which were the announced reason for the furloughs, through spending cuts and increased revenue. USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow…

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