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Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

Acting Secretary McAleenan Announces Designation of Poland into the Visa Waiver Program

Poland is the latest country to be designated into the Visa Waiver Program, meaning that, as of November 11, 2019, Polish citizens will be able to apply to travel to the United States for up to 90 days for purposes of business or pleasure without first obtaining a U.S. visa. A small piece of good[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

USCIS Updates Fee Waiver Requirements

USCIS announced today that it was revising the criteria for the Form I-912, which allows applicants to request waivers from filing fee and biometric fee requirements. Previously, the use of mean-tested benefits (such as SNAP and TANF) was used as a factor in considering whether an individual was exempt from paying these fees; the new[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

November 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

After another longer-than-usual wait, the November 2019 Visa Bulletin was finally released yesterday. No particularly noteworthy developments this month. Most categories saw a decent amount of forward movement, with the exception of EB1 India, which remained at its 1 January 2015 priority date. The outlook for that category is not ideal, as it is expected[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

Cuccinelli Announces USCIS’ FY 2019 Accomplishments and Efforts to Implement President Trump’s Goals

Today, USCIS released a self-congratulatory statement emphasizing its FY 2019 statistics and accomplishments, particularly in the context of implementing and enforcing Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli praised the agency’s “significant steps to mitigate loopholes in our asylum system, combat fraudulent claims, and strengthen the protections we have in place.” Of course, those of[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

USCIS Clarifies Special Immigrant Juvenile Classification to Better Ensure Victims of Abuse, Neglect and Abandonment Receive Protection

Yesterday, USCIS announced that it was clarifying requirements for the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification. Mainly, USCIS is now requiring concrete evidence of a court’s intervention to provide relief from abuse, neglect, or abandonment, to ensure that the SIJ classification is not being used as a vehicle to obtain an immigration benefit. Needless to say,[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

“Public Charge” Rule ENJOINED Nationwide

Friday afternoon saw the judicial hammer dropped, as the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a nationwide preliminary injuction against the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed “Public Charge” rule, which was set to take effect in mere days. A much welcome victory on the immigration front, the decision saw[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

The Perils of “Public Charge”

On October 15th 2019, the processing of immigration cases will turn on its head. It’s no exaggeration. With the introduction of ‘public charge’ by way of form I-944 (declaration of self-sufficiency), the green card adjudication process will face it’s biggest change since immigration began. In family-based cases, not only will people have to file the[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

October 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

After a longer than usual wait, the October 2019 Visa Bulletin was just released today. It was a bit of a mixed bag, with certain categories experiencing significant advancement, returning to priority dates from earlier this year, and some unanticipated retrogression. The most disappointing development was EB1 India, which only returned to its 1 January[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

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 Immigration law update

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[…]