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Immigration Law Blog

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Updated USCIS Policy Guidance Eliminates “Deference” Given To Prior Determinations Of Eligibility When Adjudicating Nonimmigrant Visa Extension Petitions

Updated policy guidance from the USCIS, effective as of October 23, 2017, instructs officers to apply the same level of scrutiny when reviewing nonimmigrant visa extension requests even where the petitioner, beneficiary, and underlying facts are unchanged from a previously approved petition.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Do Local Police Have to Detain Illegal Immigrants?

Are local law enforcement agencies required to detain undocumented immigrants on behalf of the federal government? A new finding suggests that jurisdictions that partake in Secure Communities, a program whereby the FBI crosschecks the fingerprints of any individual taken into custody by local law enforcement officials against a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) database, do not have to adhere to federal requests to retain undocumented immigrants. The findings come from documents obtained from the Internal Department of Homeland Security and could drastically affect the way local law enforcement agencies treat undocumented immigrants.


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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

UPDATE: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for All Applicants Seeking H-1B Visas

10/3/2017 UPDATE:  U.S. Citizenship

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions.  For additional information regarding the above, please visit USCIS website.


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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Differences Between Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas

A U.S. visa is an authorization, typically in form of a stamp inside a passport, which demonstrates that a U.S. consular official has determined that the traveler is eligible to enter the U.S. for the purposes stated in the visa. The United States issues two classes of visas, an Immigrant Visa and a Non-Immigrant Visa.


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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Department Of State Issues Notice of Registration for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued a notice providing information on how to apply for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, under which 50,000 diversity visas will be available. The notice includes information on eligibility, entry period, completing the electronic entry form, selection of applicants, photo requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).


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Thursday, September 14, 2017

USCIS Is Now Denying Pending Forms I-131 for Abandonment Due to International Travel

In the past, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved advance parole renewal applications for individuals who travel abroad during the pendency of the application with a valid Advance Parole document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa. 


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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

USCIS to Expand In-Person Interview Requirements for Certain Permanent Residency Applicants

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that, effective October 1, 2017, it will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applications that currently do not require interview for approval.


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Friday, August 25, 2017

Client Alert: Green Card Applicants: USCIS Is Denying Pending Forms I-131 for Abandonment Due to International Travel

In a departure from previous policy, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun denying I-131 Applications for Advance Parole if the Applicant has departed the U.S. while the application is still pending.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) announced on August 18, 2017 that “it has received reports from members that USCIS has been denying Form I-131 advance parole applications for abandonment in instances where the applicant has traveled abroad during the pendency of the application.  The pending Form I-131 application is being denied even if the applicant has a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa to return to the United States.


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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Studying in the United States

The United States boasts some of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world and for many international scholars, it’s the dream of a lifetime to come study at one of them. Unfortunately, acceptance into a school isn’t enough to allow a nonimmigrant to commence studies in the U.S., they also must obtain the appropriate visa. Generally speaking, there are two different types of visas available to students: the F-1 visa and M-1 visa. The desired course of study and the type of school determines which will be needed. An F-1 visa is required to attend university or college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory or another academic institution (including a language training program). While an M-1 visa is generally required for study at a vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution.


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Monday, July 17, 2017

The Two Paths to Asylum

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

This, according to Emma Lazarus’s famous poem “The New Colossus,” is what the Statute of Liberty cries to the world. It is a reminder that America opens its doors to the most desperate of immigrants, those whose very life is threatened if they return to their home country.  In this day and age many of these immigrants are refugees seeking asylum.


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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Redesigned Form for Green Card Applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a revised Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485). Form I-485 is the application required to be filed for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident status while in the US. The new version of the Form I-485 should increase the efficiency of the adjudication process by reducing errors and requests for evidence.


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