Does a Short Stay Establish a “Residence” for Immigration Law Purposes?

The article addresses the question, does a short stay establish a “residence” for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)? This may seem like a trivial question, but it comes up in many contexts for U.S. immigration cases. For example, the following forms all appear to ask about residence history: USCIS Form N-400, Application… Continue reading Does a Short Stay Establish a “Residence” for Immigration Law Purposes?

USCIS Processing Times for Immediate Relatives (I-130s) and Fiancé(e)s (I-129Fs)

This post includes two tables: Table 1 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). More specifically, these processing times are for standalone I-130s, meaning I-130s not filed together with Form I-485, Application to Adjust… Continue reading USCIS Processing Times for Immediate Relatives (I-130s) and Fiancé(e)s (I-129Fs)

China: Foreign Nationals Must Register Their Residence with Local Police within 24 Hours

Foreign nationals in China must register their temporary residence with the public security bureau (PSB). This registration is a prerequisite to filing with the PSB Exit-Entry Administration an application for a new visa, stay certificate, or residence permit. In many cities, no police certificate will be issued to a foreigner unless temporary residence registration was previously completed.… Continue reading China: Foreign Nationals Must Register Their Residence with Local Police within 24 Hours

COVID-Related Entry Bans to Be Lifted by U.S.; Vaccination to Be Required

ContentsFully VaccinatedCOVID-19 TestContact TracingWhat About U.S. Citizens?Unanswered Questions On Sept. 20, the U.S. government announced it will lift COVID-related entry bans on foreign travelers from European Union, China, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and India beginning November 2021. Instead, foreign travelers from all countries will need to show: proof they are fully vaccinated and a negative… Continue reading COVID-Related Entry Bans to Be Lifted by U.S.; Vaccination to Be Required

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”). If both partners are absent, a “double proxy marriage” occurs. A Utah marriage via video conference is valid for purposes of… Continue reading Utah Marriage Over Zoom Is Valid for Immigration Purposes

Social Security Number Application Now Part of Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status

Applicants filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, can now request that they be issued a Social Security number (SSN), according to a USCIS announcement on Aug. 8, 2021. The Form I-485 asks, “Do you want the SSA to issue you a Social Security card?” After the I-485 is approved, “USCIS will electronically transmit the… Continue reading Social Security Number Application Now Part of Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status

Certain Hong Kong Residents to Be Granted Deferred Enforced Departure

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on Deferred Enforcement Departure for certain residents of Hong Kong: “Today President Biden issued a memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security to take appropriate measures to defer for 18 months the removal for Hong Kong residents presently in the United States.  This decision… Continue reading Certain Hong Kong Residents to Be Granted Deferred Enforced Departure

Police Certificates Now Valid for 2 Years, Says U.S. State Dep’t

Applicants for U.S. immigrant visas and K-1 (fiancée) visas are required to submit a set of civil documents in support of their application. This includes, for example, birth, marriage, and police certificates. Effective June 15, 2021, the U.S. State Department has extended the validity of police certificates to 2 years. See 9 FAM 504.4-4(A) and… Continue reading Police Certificates Now Valid for 2 Years, Says U.S. State Dep’t

319(b) Expeditious Naturalization: USCIS Washington DC Field Office Procedures Update

The USCIS Washington DC Field Office has provided an update regarding their procedures for appointments and oath ceremonies for applicants for expeditious naturalization under section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Section 319(b) allows the spouses of U.S. citizens employed abroad by certain U.S. employers to qualify for naturalization without completing the normally required… Continue reading 319(b) Expeditious Naturalization: USCIS Washington DC Field Office Procedures Update

The Importance of A-Files

Borderless Magazine recently ran an informative story about “A-files” and the importance of a filing a request under FOIA (the Freedom of Information Act) to USCIS for copies of one’s A-file. A-files contain records of all interactions between a noncitizen and immigration agencies and officers. This includes copies of previously filed applications and petitions. This… Continue reading The Importance of A-Files

Who Automatically Acquires Chinese Citizenship at Birth?

This table summarizes who is automatically a Chinese citizen at birth according to the Nationality Law: Place of Child’s Birth Citizenship of Parents Citizenship of Child Source of Law China One or both is Chinese Chinese Nationality Law, article 4 “ Both parents are:(a) stateless or uncertain nationality; and (b) have settled (定居) in China. Chinese Nationality… Continue reading Who Automatically Acquires Chinese Citizenship at Birth?

Cato Institute on Welcoming Immigrants from China

“The United States Should Welcome Immigrants from China,” proclaims an article on the Cato Institute website by Alex Nowrasteh and John Glaser. The authors see that competition with China is dominating America’s foreign policy discourse in a way reminiscent of the Cold War. The authors blame this poisoned discourse in part on President Biden’s failure… Continue reading Cato Institute on Welcoming Immigrants from China

Immigrant Visa Issuances at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou (Apr. 2021)

The Visa Office has published the following statistics for immigrant visa issuances at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou in April 2021. The first thing that stands out is the huge increase in issuance of FX visas (for spouses and children of permanent residents, and their children). In April 1,324 FX visas were issued, compared to… Continue reading Immigrant Visa Issuances at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou (Apr. 2021)

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… Continue reading Green Card Holders Staying Abroad Over 6 Months Risk Abandonment

U.S. Retaliates Against China for Failure to Repatriate Deportees

The U.S. has imposed visa sanctions on certain Chinese nationals in retaliation for the Chinese government’s failure to repatriate deportees from the U.S. By 2017, there was a backlog of nearly 40,800 Chinese nationals who had been ordered deported by the U.S. but who had not been removed because China was dragging its feet in issuing travel documents,… Continue reading U.S. Retaliates Against China for Failure to Repatriate Deportees

U.S. State Department Loosens Citizenship Requirements for Children Born Abroad thru Assisted Reproductive Technology

The State Department announced on May 18 that it is easing restrictions on the ties children born abroad must have with their parents in order to automatically acquire citizenship at birth abroad under section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The U.S. will now only require children born abroad to have a “genetic or… Continue reading U.S. State Department Loosens Citizenship Requirements for Children Born Abroad thru Assisted Reproductive Technology