COVID-19 Advisory

Considerations for Legal Permanent Residents Outside of the US Due to COVID-19 Restrictions

By Radhika Balaji, Associate Attorney The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedent amount of uncertainty—several proclamations, travel restrictions, and government lock downs have prevented many from freely traveling back to the US. Unfortunately, amidst the pandemic, the USCIS has not provided relief to Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) of the US who are stuck out…

USCIS Offices Reopening – Updates – Q&A

By Radhika Balaji, Associate Attorney After Shelter-in Place Orders began being lifted across the country, USCIS began reopening its offices in the beginning of June. Since then, reopening of the USCIS MPLG has received several questions related to interview and biometrics appointments as well as case processing. We answer some of them below. Q1. When…

DOS Clarifies June 22nd Proclamation— Additional Details on National Interest Exception Requirements

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr As we reported last month, on June 22, 2020, President Donald Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of H-1B and H-2B visas and accompanying dependents, certain J visas, and L visas and accompanying dependents, and extending the April 2020 suspension on certain immigrants.  banning visa issuance through December 31, 2020.…

ICE announces temporary modifications to the SEVP online study policy for nonimmigrant students for fall 2020

On July 6, 2020, the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced certain adjustments to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) online study policy for nonimmigrant students for Fall 2020. A Temporary Final Rule is anticipated to be published in the Federal Register by the Department of Homeland Security soon. Spring/Summer and Fall 2020 Semesters…

International Students under fire by the Trump Administration – will we still be able to attract international talent?

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold and impact all aspects of society, concerns have arisen as to the future of the F-1 OPT program under the Trump Administration. This post describes the history of OPT, the legal challenges and attacks on OPT, and, while no action has been taken to change…

USCIS Plans to Reopen Offices and Public Services on June 4th

On May 27th, the USCIS announced that it expects to begin reopening domestic offices and public services beginning on June 4th or later. All asylum interviews, naturalization ceremonies, interviews, appointments, and biometrics appointments canceled due to office closures will be automatically rescheduled. All applicants will be issued new notices confirming the rescheduled event.

USCIS Makes Technical Updates to its Policy Manual to Clarify Guidance on Portability for Physicians with approved NIW immigrant petitions

On Wednesday May 20, 2020, USCIS updated its Policy Manual to clarify guidance on portability for physicians with an approved immigrant  petition based on a national interest waiver (NIW) applying for adjustment of status and the applicability of the two-year foreign residence requirements to certain NIW physicians. This change was made in Chapter 8 of…

Trump’s Proclamation: More Bark than Bite?

President Trump’s Immigration Proclamation only limits a narrow set of potential immigrants, with little impact on protecting the U.S. labor market. It instead appears to be a stepping stone to pursuing an anti-immigrant agenda. On April 22, 2020, President Donald Trump signed a Proclamation intended to suspend the entry of immigrants who purportedly present a…

President Trump’s Proposed Executive Order to Ban Immigration Will Unlikely Be What He Tweeted

At 10:06 pm Eastern on April 20, 2020, President Donald Trump stated his intent to assert the most sweeping policy for immigration in U.S. history, by tweet. This was later followed by a Whitehouse press conference on April 21, 2020, where he narrowed the scope to 60 days with possible extensions and to only target…

COVID-19 MPLG Update: Immigration Operation Updates and Closures

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, various government departments and agencies have suspended a wide range of in-person immigration operations. Updated instructions and processes have also been provided for certain immigration filings. Below, we provide several links to track the most up-to-date information on the government’s response to immigration