Categories
Naturalization and Citizenship

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,…

Categories
COVID-19 Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration Maintaining LPR Status During Stays Abroad Naturalization and Citizenship

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…

Categories
Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration Temporary Visas

Public Charge Litigation Update: Court of Appeals Stays Order Vacating DHS Public Charge Rule Nationwide

ContentsU.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Nov. 3, 2020)U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Summary Judgment (Nov. 2, 2020)U.S. Court of Appeals Order (Sept. 11, 2020)U.S. Court of Appeals Order (Aug. 12, 2020)U.S. District Court Order (July 29, 2020)DHS ResponseDOS ResponseJan. 2020 Supreme Court Decision U.S. Court of Appeals for…

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Uncategorized

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,…

Categories
Family Immigration

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

The below table 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 particular, these processing times are for standalone I-130s, meaning I-130s not filed together with Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status; and Forms I-129F,…

Categories
Waivers / Visa Denials

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…

Categories
Employment-Based Immigration Family Immigration Naturalization and Citizenship Temporary Visas

USCIS Filing Fees Update: Court Enjoins Fee Increases

On September 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California stayed the implementation and the effective date of a USCIS final rule from Aug. 20, which increased filing fees and required new versions of several forms, (Immigrant Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al.). The court reasoned that the plaintiffs…

Categories
Naturalization and Citizenship

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

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:

Categories
Dual Nationality Children

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…

Categories
COVID-19 Family Immigration

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…

Categories
COVID-19

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…

Categories
COVID-19

National Interest Exceptions to Travel Bans for Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Presenting a “Risk” to the Labor Market

The President’s travel bans are causing chaos for international travel. On July 22, the State Department announced the following about national interest exceptions to the travel bans: On June 22, the President signed Presidential Proclamation (P.P.) 10052, which extends P.P. 10014, which suspends the entry to the United States of certain immigrant visa applicants, through…

Categories
Waivers / Visa Denials

Chinese Communist Party Members Targeted by Draft Trump Visa Ban

Visa bans based on Communist Party membership–like any bans based on ideology or associaiton–are an unnecessary, and most damaging, legacy of the McCarthy era.

Categories
COVID-19

July 14 Update: U.S. State Dep’t Announces Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services Worldwide

On July 14, the U.S. State Department announced that U.S. Embassies and Consulates are beginning a phased resumption of routine visa services that have been suspended due to COVID-19. This will occur on a post-by-post basis. This is in addition to emergency and mission-critical visa services that posts have been providing since March. The State…

Categories
Uncategorized

Find a USCIS Field Office

Inexplicably, USCIS has removed from its website contact information for its field offices. If you go to the Find a USCIS Office page, there is still a link for Field Offices, but that page no longer lists contact information. But contact information can still be found in an archived version of this webpage from May…

Categories
COVID-19 Temporary Visas

Trump Amends Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Presenting a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market

If you’ve been keeping count, the President has now issued three different proclamations restricting visa issuance and entry of noncitizens allegedly presenting a risk to the U.S. labor market in the wake of COVID-19. They are: Version 1.0 (Apr. 23): President issues  Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market…

Categories
COVID-19 Temporary Visas

Routine Visa Appointment Availability in China

June 24 update: Bloomberg is reporting that dozens of U.S. diplomats are preparing to return to Beijing next month. Reportedly, some are concerned that the Chinese government could have access to their DNA samples from COVID-19 testing. And some are concerned that dependent family members may be separated if they test positive. June 20: The…

Categories
COVID-19

Trump Issues Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Presenting a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market

President Trump on June 22 issued a Proclamation expanding on his prior Apr. 23 Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak. You can think of this as Proclamation version 2.0. Extension of Ban on Certain Immigrants Version 1.0 banned the entry…

Categories
Family Immigration

Looking to Sue Over the Public Charge Rule?

The Department of Homeland Security’s new public charge rule is subject to challenge in court on multiple grounds. American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is seeking potential plaintiffs for litigation challenging the USCIS Policy Manual as it relates to pubic charge issues. Potential plaintiffs include: Persons with rejected applications, denied applications, or requests for evidence due…

Categories
Temporary Visas Waivers / Visa Denials

Trump Suspends Entry of Chinese Students and Researchers: First Impressions

The President has issued a May 29, 2020, Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China.The proclamation appears to be counter-productive, a distraction from real measures needed to fight Beijing’s theft of sensitive technologies, and an attempt to boost Trump’s electoral odds by stoking xenophobia.