US Immigration News

New York court blocks public charge rule

On July 29, 2020, Judge George B. Daniels of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a new injunction blocking implementation of the Trump Administration's "public charge rule." This is a nationwide injunction, and also applies to the State Department. Judge Daniels's previous injunction against the public charge rule, issued in October 2019, was put on hold by the Supreme Court pending further proceedings in the district court. However, the new injunction was based on evidence that the public charge rule has deterred immigrants from seeking medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is...

Coronavirus impacts US border travel and immigration

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on travel to the United States, processing of US visa applications overseas, and processing of immigration applications in the United States. Here are some important updates: Air travel to the United States from China, Iran, Europe (the Schengen Area), Ireland, the UK and most recently Brazil has been limited to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, certain close relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, spouses and children of citizens and permanent residents, and other listed exceptions. Click here for the Presidential Proclamation regarding Europe. The other proclamations contain similar provisions. There are no new...

Trump expands entry bar to H-1Bs, H-2Bs, Ls and Js

On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a new proclamation - expanding his earlier April 22 proclamation - to bar several classes of nonimmigrants from entering the United States. Both the immigrant and nonimmigrant bars now extend to December 31, 2020. The new proclamation prohibits persons from entering the United States on certain nonimmigrant visas. These include all H-1B, H-2B, and L visas. The proclamation also includes J-1s in the following categories: intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, and summer work travel program. The proclamation extends to dependents of these persons entering as H-4s, L-2s, or J-2s. The proclamation does not...

Huge DACA Victory in U.S. Supreme Court!

On June 18, 2020 the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration's attempt to rescind the DACA program. In a 5-4 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court ruled that the rescission of DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act. The Court held that the decision to rescind DACA was "arbitrary and capricious." The Court emphasized that the Secretary of Homeland Security did not adequately consider options available to maintain elements of the DACA program. Click here to read the complete decision. This is a tremendous victory for supporters of DACA. DACA stands for "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals."...

Trump issues order suspending issuance of some immigrant visas for 60 days

US President Donald Trump has issued an order effective April 24, 2020 prohibiting the the entry of new immigrants to the US for 60 days. The order applies only to persons seeking immigrant visas at consulates outside the United States. The order does not affect persons who already have green cards or immigrant visas. The order does not affect persons adjusting status within the U.S. The order also does not affect persons holding or applying for nonimmigrant visas such as F-1, H-1B, L-1, TN, or B-1/2. Also excluded from the order are persons applying for immigrant visas as the children...

New Public Charge rule to take effect February 24, 2020.

On January 27, 2020 the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Trump Administration's new "Public Charge" rule to take effect everywhere in the United States except Illinois. Lower courts had issued preliminary injunctions blocking the rule until lawsuits challenging the rule were decided. The Supreme Court in turn has now blocked ("stayed") these preliminary injunctions. The lawsuits themselves will continue, so the effect of the Supreme Court's ruling is temporary. However, for now, the Trump Administration is free to implement the rule. One lower court ruling in Illinois was not yet before the Supreme Court, so that is why the Public...

Federal judge blocks new Trump health insurance proclamation

On Saturday, November 2, 2019 Judge Michael Simon of the Federal District Court in Portland, Oregon issued a nationwide temporary restraining order blocking the government from carrying out President Trump's health insurance proclamation. This proclamation would have ordered consular officers to refuse immigrant visas to thousands of legal immigrants, unless they could prove they would have health insurance within thirty days of arriving in the United States. The proclamation would have taken effect the next day, on November 3. The lawsuit was brought by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and other public interest groups, on the grounds the proclamation was "plainly...

USCIS publishes Public Charge Rule

On August 12, 2019 USCIS published an Advance Copy of the final Public Charge Rule. The formal version will be published on August 14, 2019 and will take effect 60 days later, i.e., October 13, 2019. It will apply to applications filed on or after that date, and to benefits received on or after that date. It will not apply to benefits received before the effective date of the rule. Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states that non-citizens are inadmissible to the United States if they are "likely to become a public charge." This law applies both to...

Big changes to EB-5 program will take effect November 21, 2019

On July 24, 2019, USCIS published a new final rule making sweeping changes to the EB-5 immigrant investor program. Petitions filed on or after November 21, 2019 will be subject to the new rules. The changes include the following" The minimum investment amount will increase from $500,000 to $900,000 for targeted employment areas, and from 1 million to $1.8 million for other investments. Designation of targeted employment areas will be done by USCIS, not by the states, in order to eliminate "gerrymandered" TEAs. Immigrant investors who need to file new EB-5 petitions will be allowed to retain priority dates. Immigrant investors...

F2A category becomes current for July 2019

The August 2019 Visa Bulletin announced that the 2A Family Second Preference class has become current. The 2A Family Second Preference includes spouses and unmarried minor children of lawful permanent residents. Until recently, there was about a two year backlog between filing the I-130 petition and availability of an immigrant visa. This backlog is due to the limited number of immigrant visas that are available every year in the preference categories. The 2A category was made current to ensure that all the available visas for this category were used up before the end of the U.S. fiscal year on September...