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Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

1 Month Until Final Public Charge Rules Take Effect

In just a little over a month, on October 15, 2019, the “Public Charge” rules will take effect, and will fundamentally change how USCIS makes public charge determinations for those applying for greencards. The rule will significantly raise the standard for how greencard applicants are judged in their ability to remain “self-sufficient.” It is difficult[…]

Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

DHS Proposes Changes to Immigration and Travel Forms to Collect Social Media Information

Earlier today, DHS proposed changes to several immigration-related and travel-related forms, publishing a 60-day notice and request for comments in the Federal Register. The proposed changes will allow DHS to collect social media information from applicants seeking immigration-related benefits and from individuals seeking to be admitted into the United States. The immigration-related forms DHS is[…]

Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

September 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The September 2019 Visa Bulletin was released last week, bringing further retrogression in many employment-based preference categories. Most significantly, EB1 India is currently unavailable, meaning that visas are not authorized for anyone under this category regardless of priority date. Moreover, we have received breaking news that, despite the dates listed on this visa bulletin, the[…]

Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

USCIS Announces Plan to Improve the Naturalization Test

USCIS announced today that it is revising the current naturalization test which, among other things, tests applicant’s knowledge of civics and U.S. history, government, and constitutional values. Earlier this spring, former USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna issued a memorandum instructing USCIS to revise and update the test, and also formalized a decennial (every 10 years) revision[…]

Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

August 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The August 2019 Visa Bulletin was just released, and with it came unprecedented retrogression in almost all employment-based categories. EB1 All Countries retrogressed nearly two years, to a final action date of July 1, 2016. In addition, EB2 All Countries and EB3 All Countries, which had remained current for a significant amount of time, also[…]

Tahmina Watson Visa Bulletin

USCIS Expands FIRST: A Fully Digital FOIA System

USCIS announced today that it expanding into a fully digital FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) system, becoming the first government agency to do so. As a brief and general overview, FOIA requires, upon request, disclosure of previously unreleased documents and information controlled by the United States Government and its agencies. USCIS’ FIRST system will now[…]

Presidential Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens

Yet another reminder to all of our readers of President Trump’s recent memo making it mandatory for state and local agencies to sue I-864 sponsors for all means-tested benefits that are paid to adjustment of status applicants/beneficiaries. These means-tested benefits programs include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).[…]

USCIS Aims to Decrease Processing Times for N-400 and I-485

  USCIS announced recently a new strategy aimed at reducing processing times for N-400s and I-485s, both of which have nearly doubled in the past several years. The strategy calls for shifting caseloads between field offices, from ones inundated with backlogs to those field offices with less traffic. For applicants, this means getting scheduled for[…]

Presidential Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens

A reminder to all of our readers of President Trump’s recent memo making it mandatory for state and local agencies to sue I-864 sponsors for all means-tested benefits that are paid to adjustment of status applicants/beneficiaries. These means-tested benefits programs include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The[…]

July 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The July 2019 Visa Bulletin was just released. Two major developments that will occur for next month is that the F2A family-based preference category will become current for all countries (including India, China, and Mexico), and that EB5 India will retrogress, from current to a priority date of 1 May 2017. F2A is expected to[…]