USCIS Lockbox Delays

USCIS lockbox delays are the topic of a Mar. 10 update to the agency’s COVID-19 webpage: “As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, an increase in filings, current postal service volume and other external factors, you may experience a delay of four to six weeks in receiving your receipt notice after properly filing an application or…

DHS to Stop Defending Trump’s Public Charge Rule in Court

DHS has released the below statement that it will no longer pursue appellate review of judicial decisions invalidating or enjoining the Trump administration’s 2019 public charge rule. Once the judicial invalidation of the 2019 rule becomes final, the 1999 interim field guidance on public charge will apply. This is fantastic news, but it does not…

Biden Rescinds Presidential Proclamation 10014, Which Prohibited Entry of Immigrants Who Are “Risk” to Labor Market

On February 24, 2021, President Biden rescinded Presidential Proclamation 10014, which prohibited the entry of certain immigrants into the United States due to possible harm to economic interests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden asserts that the ban “harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from…

USCIS Rolls Back Trump-Era Civics Test Changes for Naturalization Applicants

On Feb. 22, USCIS announced it is rolling back Trump-era 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. As background, on…

Guide to Naturalization in the United States

Contents1. Introduction2. Requirements for Naturalization2.1 Age2.2 Lawfully Admitted for Permanent Residence2.3 Continuous Residence in the U.S. after Becoming a Lawful Permanent ResidentThe General RuleEarly FilingAbsence for a Continuous Period of One Year or MoreAbsence for a Continuous Period of Between Six Months and One YearAbsence for a Continuous Period Shorter Than Six MonthsAfter a Break…

Will Biden Dump Trump’s Public Charge Rule?

The Immigration and Nationality Act provides that a foreign national who is likely at any time in the future to become a “public charge” is inadmissible. The public charge ground of inadmissibility has existed in some form since at least 1882. The underlying public policy is that, generally, foreign nationals in the U.S. should rely…

Biden Proclamation Continues COVID-Related Entry Suspensions

On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed a proclamation continuing the suspension of entry of certain travelers from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil, China, and Iran, and expanding restrictions to include travelers from South Africa. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are not subject to the proclamations. The full…

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Categorized as COVID-19

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…

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…

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,…

Poll: Which USCIS Office Is Best for a 319(b) Expeditious Naturalization Interview?

One of the advantages of expeditious naturalization under section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act is that an applicant can choose the USCIS office where their interview will be held. (For background information about expeditious naturalization under section 319(b), see here). Poll: Please use the comments section below to explain your reasons for which…

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? USCIS requires biometrics appointments in connection with various types of applications, such as for adjustment of status (Form I-485), reentry permits (Form I-131), employment authorization (Form I-765), and naturalization (Form N-400). Once…

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,…