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Immigration Blog

Travel Bans Out, Vaccinations In

October 27, 2021|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

Effective Monday, November 8, 2021, the United States will begin requiring all noncitizen nonimmigrants who are traveling to the United States by air to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the United States, except in limited circumstances. Under this new policy, announced by the White House on Monday, October 25, 2021, the United States will no longer be enforcing the country-by-country travel restrictions that have been in place since January 2020, and will instead move towards an air travel policy relying primarily on vaccination.

DOL and DOJ Settle with Facebook Regarding Alleged Discrimination and Use of PERM

October 25, 2021|Contributed by: Zachary New

The Department of Labor and Department of Justice have separately announced settlement agreements with Facebook regarding alleged discrimination against U.S. workers in its use of the “PERM” program—the regulatorily mandated process for an employer to sponsor a worker for permanent residency.  In the settlement, Facebook admits no wrongdoing, and in many ways, the settlement has business immigration lawyers scratching their heads.
The PERM process is one that is, by design, strange.  It is a test of the U.S.

Immigration Judge Quotas Suspended

October 24, 2021|Contributed by: Ryland Warner

In 2018, the Trump administration implemented a new quota system for immigration judges at the Executive Office of Immigration Review (“EOIR”). Under these new quotas, Denver Immigration Judges were required to more than double their case completion rate, deciding 3.5 cases per day. Without access to discovery in removal proceedings, immigrants are often dependent on filing requests for their relevant files from USCIS, CBP, ICE, and the Department of State. These agencies can take months to sometimes years to provide results.

Update on Travel Ban Litigation (Kinsley v. Blinken)

October 5, 2021|Contributed by: Joseph & Hall P.C.

The judge has finally made a decision on our case. You can read it here.
We won! The judge told the State Department that it is illegal to use regional travel bans as an excuse to refuse to process visas. Congratulations and huge thanks to all of you who stepped up to help us fight this injustice. We are so happy that many of you have already received your visas.
This ruling is good for all of you who still have visa applications pending,

Options for Vulnerable Afghans Seeking to Evacuate Afghanistan

September 20, 2021|Contributed by: Luke Niermann

With the ongoing instability and crisis in Afghanistan, many individuals at risk in Afghanistan are seeking to evacuate the country. Depending on the individual’s particular circumstances there may be several legal pathways to consider in trying to obtain entry to the U.S.

Humanitarian Parole: This is temporary discretionary authorization to enter the United States and can be granted when there is a compelling emergency and an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit to allowing a person to temporary enter the U.S.

USCIS to Begin Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination

September 15, 2021|Contributed by: Ryland Warner

On September 14, 2021, USCIS announced that immigrant applicants would be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for approval of their Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. Most applicants filing for adjustment of status to become lawful permanent residents are required to submit a Form I-693.  This new requirement will go into effect on October 1, 2021.
No specific brand of vaccine is required, although the CDC lists Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna,

TPS Designations for Six Countries Extended through December 31, 2022

September 14, 2021|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

On September 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the automatic extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for the following countries, through December 31, 2022:

El Salvador
Haiti
Honduras
Nepal
Nicaragua
Sudan

The automatic extension includes TPS-based Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
Current TPS beneficiaries are not required to pay any fees or file any applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to maintain their status or to have their employment authorization extended.

COVID Vaccines Required for Green Card Applicants Starting October 1, 2021

August 31, 2021|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

On August 17, 2021, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the United States will begin requiring applicants for lawful permanent residence (“green card applicants”) to be fully vaccinated. The requirement will apply both to adjustment of status applicants inside the United States and to immigrant visa processing (“consular processing”) applicants applying at U.S. embassies and consulates outside the United States.
This change will apply to any applicant completing their medical examination on or after October 1,

USCIS’s Rush to Approve Green Cards by September 30

August 30, 2021|Contributed by: Zachary New

In immigration laws, there is a certain number of green cards or immigrant visas that may be issued each year, which are further broken down by the country of origin of the applicant for permanent residency.  There are generally 226,000 available for family-sponsored permanent residents, and 140,000 available for employment-sponsored permanent residents.  The law can get a bit tricky, and digging into the weeds shows us why the Department of State or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is only just starting to adjudicate applications for,

New Plan Proposed to Reshape Certain Asylum Processing Procedures

August 26, 2021|Contributed by: Luke Niermann

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security along with the Department of Justice published a proposed rule aimed, in part, at speeding up the processing of asylum claims by individuals encountered at or near the southern border.
Currently, individuals seeking asylum who enter the U.S. and are subject to expedited removal (a process whereby immigration officers can quickly deport certain noncitizens) will have an interview with an asylum officer to determine whether they have a credible fear of persecution.

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