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Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

USCIS Temporary Office Closure Extended until at least April 7

USCIS announced today that it is extending its closure to the public, with the exception of some limited emergency services, until at least April 7, 2020. Given current circumstances and the apparent trajectory of the COVID-19 situation in the United States, we would be shocked if this closure was not extended even further. Best to[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

News Update: USCIS Expands Guidance Related to Naturalization Requirement of Good Moral Character

USCIS issued a new policy today that will add several layers of brick to the invisible wall. Issues that were not previously considered in citizenship cases will now be part of the ‘good moral character’ assessment. We will write more about this soon. In the meantime, here is what USCIS said this morning: Copied from[…]

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

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 Immigration law update

USCIS Issues Guidance on Defining “Residence” Related to Citizenship

Yesterday, USCIS issued policy guidance which clarifies and further defines “residence” in regards to citizenship. The policy alert seeks to clarify between residence, which is defined in the INA as the person’s principal actual dwelling place in fact, and physical presence, the actual time a person is physically in the United States. The memo also[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

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[…]

Cuccinelli Named Acting Director of USCIS

  USCIS announced today that Ken Cuccinelli has now officially been named as Acting Director of USCIS. Seeing as how he was never likely to get confirmed, his appointment as Acting Director means he can continue in this position indefinitely, without any Senate confirmation or accountability to Congress. He joins a now long list of[…]

USCIS Issues Policy Guidance Clarifying How Federal Controlled Substances Law Applies to Naturalization Determinations

USCIS announced recently the issuance of policy guidance clarifying that violations of federal controlled substances laws are generally a bar to establishing good moral character, an essential prong for naturalization applications. This applies even in states that have decriminalized and/or legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana under relevant state laws.   Copied from USCIS:   USCIS[…]

Premium Processing Begins for Certain Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions on May 20

The USCIS published the below notice re. H1B Premium Process service today.  Good luck to those filing H1b applications! – Tahmina ___________ On May 20, USCIS will begin premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status on their Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Petitioners who do not file[…]

The White House Comes to Seattle- To Talk #WelcomingCitizens

June 10th 2016 was a special day in Seattle.  It was the day the White House came to Seattle! Two key immigration policy staff members from the White House visited Seattle to hold a “White House Regional Convening” at City Hall together with the city’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs.  Ms. Felicia Escobar, Special Assistant to[…]