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…

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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 But contact information can still be found in an archived version of this webpage from May…

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…

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…

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…

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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…

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.

Diplomatic Tussle Continues Over U.S.-China Flights

China has made some concessions, apparently in response to a June 3 Trump administration order that would bar four Chinese passenger carriers from operating into and out of the U.S. effective June 16. Four Chinese carriers have maintained flights to and from the U.S. in recent weeks. They are Air China, China Eastern, China Southern…

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Getting Married in China: a Guide for U.S. Citizens

Contents1. Introduction2. Requirements3. Procedures3.1 Jurisdiction3.2 What to Do3.3 Fees and Timing3.4 Documents Needed4. ConclusionAppendix A. Selected Marriage Registration Office Contact InformationAppendix B. Affidavit of Marriageability 1. Introduction This article gives an overview of the requirements and procedures for marriage in China between a U.S. citizen and a Chinese citizen.[1] Chinese law applies when getting married…

Litigation Update: Presidential Proclamation Requiring Health Insurance

On Oct. 4, 2019, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending issuance of immigrant visas to applicants who lack either U.S. health insurance or substantial assets to cover their health expenses. For a summary, see our firm’s client alert. On May 4, 2020, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused to stay a…

Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship

Did you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes inadmissible (i.e., ineligible) for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key…

Apr. 24 Update: USCIS Suspends In-Person Services Until at Least June 4

On Apr. 24, USCIS announced that USCIS offices are preparing to reopen “on or after June 4”: On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is readying offices to reopen on…

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Trump Suspends Entry of Immigrants Who Are “Risk” to Labor Market

President Trump has published Executive Order 10014, suspending immigration, as he had previously tweeted about. Effective Date: The proclamation becomes effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (ET). Whose Entry Is Suspended? The order suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who: Is outside the United…

Trump Tweets of Plan to “Suspend Immigration”

Apr. 23 Update: President Trump just issued the executive order suspending immigration he tweeted about. See Trump Suspends Entry of Immigrants Who Are “Risk” to Labor Market. So President Trump has announced on Twitter that he intends to issue an Executive Order that will “suspend immigration” in light of how COVID-19 has devastated the economy:…

Applying for a Replacement or New Immigrant Visa

An immigrant visa is generally valid for a period of up to 6 months. You must enter the U.S. within this 6-month period.[1] Consular officers do not have the authority to extend the validity of an immigrant visa (IV). But, as explained below, it may be possible to apply for a replacement or new IV.…

COVID-19 and the Public Charge Rule

Here are key points on COVID-19 and the public charge rule: 1. Will getting tested, treatment or preventative care for COVID-19 impact my client’s immigration application under the public charge rule? On March 13, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the agency will not consider “testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines,…

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Emergency Visa Appointments for Medical Professionals

On Mar. 26, 2020, the U.S. State Department announced: We encourage medical professionals with an approved U.S. non-immigrant or immigrant visa petition (I-129, I-140, or similar) or a certificate of eligibility in an approved exchange visitor program (DS-2019), particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to review the website of their…

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