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Lawful Permanent Residence

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

USCIS Updates Policy Manual for Submitting Form I-693

Please be advised that Policy Guidance for the validity period of Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, is being revised by USCIS.  USCIS officers use Form I-693 to determine whether an applicant for an immigration benefit in the United States is inadmissible under the health-related grounds of inadmissibility.  As of November 1, 2018, the updated policy will go into effect.

As such, applicants filing an underlying application (i.e. Form I-485 for adjustment of status) will be required to submit Forms I-693 signed by a civil surgeon no more than 60 days before submission of filing.  This will allow for a two-year period of validity following the civil surgeon’s signature date. Although USCIS will continue to retain the current two-year maximum validity period, a more effective way of calculating the validity period will be implemented in order to enhance operational efficiencies and reduce the number of requests to applicants for an updated Form I-693, including the reduction of delays in adjudicating underlying applications based on fewer requests for updated forms.


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Friday, September 28, 2018

USCIS to Begin Implementing New PM on NTAs on October 1, 2018


On September 26, 2018, USCIS issued an update that they will begin implementing their June 28th Policy Memorandum (PM) 602-0050.1 pertaining to the referral of cases and issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in cases involving “inadmissible and removable” individuals.  For more information about this new Policy Memorandum, please see our previous blog entry on this subject.
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Monday, June 18, 2018

USCIS extends validity of permanent resident status to 1.5 years (previously 1 year) after filing I-751 or I-829

In light of the recent increase in the USCIS processing times for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, and Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, beginning June 11, 2018, USCIS will begin issuing Form I-751 or I-829 receipt notices valid for 18 months (previously 12) past the expiration date printed on the conditional Permanent Resident Card (“green card”) after filing a Form I-751 or I-829.

Additionally, USCIS will issue new receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents whose Forms I-751 or I-829 were still pending as of June 11, 2018. Those receipt notices will also serve as evidence of continued status for 18 months past the Permanent Resident Card expiration date.


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Monday, May 14, 2018

USCIS Implementing More Secure Mail Delivery Service


USCIS has announced that it will begin to use U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service to mail Green Cards and other secure documents starting April 30, 2018.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Types of Legal Entry into the United States

Foreign nationals may legally enter the United States by obtaining a visa. There are two types of visas, the immigrant visa and the non-immigrant visa. Immigrant visas allow aliens to enter and reside in the U.S. for the long term. Non-immigrant visas are issued for limited periods of time and for specific purposes, such as tourism, business, study, temporary work or medical treatment.


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

U.S. Department of State Provisionally Revokes all Valid Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas for Nationals of Countries Affected by Recent Executive Order


Following the Executive Order signed on Friday, January 27, 2017 titled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, the United States Department of State has announced that it has provisionally revoked all valid nonimmigrant and immigrant visas of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen with the exception of the following nonimmigrant visa classifications: A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO, C-2, or certain diplomatic visas, or any visa exempted on the basis of a determination made by the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security pursuant to section 3(g) of the Executive order on a case-by-case basis and when in the national interest.

The full text of the revocation directive can be found at http://www.politico.
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Monday, January 30, 2017

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Friday, January 27, 2017 Instituting a Travel Ban for Nationals of Certain Countries


On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”. This Executive Order had the effect of banning nationals of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, or Yemen from entering the United States for a period of at least 90 days (potentially longer). This travel ban includes foreign nationals who have dual citizenship with one of the listed countries as well as another foreign country not on the list. U.S.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

USCIS Publishes Final Rule For Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs


On November 18, 2016, USCIS published a final rule implementing the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (“AC21”) and the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (“ACWIA”) which will go into effect on January 17, 2017. The new rule will modernize and improve several aspects of certain employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs. It will also amend existing regulations in order to make it easier for U.S. employers to hire and retain certain foreign workers who are the beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Refugee Status in the United States

A person may request entry into the United States as a refugee if he or she is located outside of the United States, can demonstrate that he or she is facing persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, is not firmly resettled in another country, and is otherwise admissible to the United States.

In order to begin the process to apply for refugee status, an individual must first be referred to the US Refugee Admissions Program. Having a family member admitted to the United States as a refugee may help the determination. Immediate family members, including spouses and unmarried children under the age of twenty one, can be included in the application. Same sex partners who are unmarried may link their applications and ask to be resettled in the same geographic area. There are no fees to apply for entry to the United States as a refugee. Refugees have a right to expedited processing if they are facing an acute medical or protection problem. Once an individual or family is approved, they will receive a medical examination, a cultural orientation, and a loan for travel expenses.

Refugees are permitted to work immediately upon entering the United States. They must apply for a green card within one year of their entry, but are excused from paying application fees as well as fees for fingerprinting and biometrics. Refugees are permitted to travel abroad, but to reenter the United States, they must first obtain a Refugee Travel Document. If a refugee returns to the country from which he or she originally fled, the refugee must explain the reason for his or her return and how he or she was able to escape persecution. If these travel restrictions are not met, he or she may not be permitted to reenter the United States. Refugees have all the rights of American citizens including the right to free speech, free exercise of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures and self-incrimination, the right to own property, the right to an education and access to housing, the right to petition the courts for relief, and the right to public assistance where appropriate.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

All Visa-Exempt Foreign Nationals Visas Must Now Apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Entry Into Canada


The Canadian government is now mandating that all visa-exempt foreign nationals, including U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, who fly or transit to Canada must apply for and receive an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to their trip. Exceptions include U.S.

Travelers can apply for an eTA online on the Canadian government’s official website. In order to apply, travelers will need: a valid passport from a visa-exempt country (U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents can also apply using a U.S. Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571) or a valid Permit to Reenter the U.S. (Form I-327)); a credit card (a regular or prepaid Visa, MasterCard, or American Express); and a valid email address. Applications cost $7 CAD and most applications are approved within minutes of applying. If a traveler’s application is not approved immediately, they will receive an email within seventy-two (72) hours advising them of next steps.


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Monday, January 11, 2016

Entrepreneurial Immigrants: Building the American Dream

The American Dream of starting your own business and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is alive and well. In fact, it is the creation and growth of small businesses that is instrumental in helping America recover from the Great Recession. What many do not realize is that a significant percentage of new business ventures in this country are started by immigrants.  Despite their business startup prowess, Immigrants face a multitude of legal issues as they start new ventures in the United States.

Read more . . .


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