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

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?

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)