Legal Advice

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Update on FAM Changes to Public Charge

In January 2018, the Department of State revised the public charge provisions of the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). Most significantly, 9 FAM 302.8-2(B), which previously stated that “[a] properly filed, non-fraudulent Form I-864 [Affidavit of Support] … should normally be considered to meet the INA 212(a)(4) requirements and satisfy the totality of the circumstances analysis,” […]

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Special Naturalization Provisions for Children

USCIS issued a policy alert updating the USCIS Policy Manual with guidance to clarify certain special naturalization provisions for children. In general, the spouse of a U.S. citizen who resides in the United States may be eligible for naturalization based on the marriage under section 319(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Children who […]

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EB-5 Regional Center Sunset

EB-5 Regional Center program is scheduled to sunset on September 30, 2018. Here are some updates to keep in mind: Non-Regional Center EB-5 Has No Sunset. It is important to remember that only the EB-5 Regional Center Program has a sunset date. If only direct job creation is requested by a client (non-Regional Center), then […]

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Talking Points and Background Information on USCIS RFEs and NOIDs Guidance

What is It? On July 13, 2018, USCIS issued new guidance regarding adjudicator discretion to deny a request for an immigration benefit without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). The new policy makes it easier for USCIS to deny an application or petition without first issuing an RFE […]

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“Buy American, Hire American” – Hurting U.S. Companies?

On April 18, 2017, President Trump issued the “Buy American and Hire American” (BAHA) Executive Order[1], ushering in a new immigration regime in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).[2] While the laws have not changed, the presidential directive has radically transformed DHS’s approach to adjudicating immigration cases, some would argue, to the detriment of some […]

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New Complaint Accuses ICE of Threatening Undocumented Parents Into Signing Deportation Papers or Never Seeing Their Kids Again

A complaint filed with the Department of Homeland Security accuses ICE of engaging in the “pervasive, illegal practice” of coercing the undocumented immigrant parents separated from their children at the border into signing documents, including deportation documents, they may not have understood. The complaint comes via the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, filed […]

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Who Qualifies for the STEM OPT Extension?

Who is Eligible for the STEM OPT Extension? Certain F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees may apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT). To qualify for the 24-month extension, you must: Have been granted OPT and currently be in a valid period of OPT; Have […]

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EB-5 Visa Waiting Lines

On April 23, 2018, Mr. Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, spoke at an EB-5 industry conference regarding visa waiting lines for EB-5 investors.iiHe indicated that EB-5 visa applicants chargeable to mainland China and Vietnam now face visa backlogs for the foreseeable future, and that EB-5 […]

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Visa Applicants Being Asked if Americans Can Do Their Jobs

Questions arose at consulates following ‘Hire American’ order More scrutiny, but not necessarily more denials An unexpected question has been popping up for some temporary employment visa applicants during their interviews at U.S. consulates: “Why can’t an American do this job?” “How do you even answer that question?” David Strashnoy of Stone Grzegorek Gonzalez in […]

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New USCIS Policy on Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today posted a policy memorandum (PDF, 113 KB) (PM) that provides guidance to USCIS adjudicators regarding their discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when required initial evidence was not submitted […]

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