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USCIS Reports Backlog Reduction in 2022 Report

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Feb 05, 2023 | 0 Comments

USCIS has announced a turnaround on its terrible backlog rates - detailing in its 2022 Progress Report the ways that the federal agency has worked in the past year to reduce its enormous caseload. Read our latest blog to learn where USCIS's infamous backlog currently stands, and if the agency's new stated commitments will affect your case.

USCIS Recommends Including the Medical Exam with Green Card Application

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Jan 29, 2023 | 0 Comments

There is always a bit of confusion when people start a green card application.  Many wait years and years to qualify to file a green card application, but don’t realize that certain decisions when filing can cause the application to process differently - either slower or faster. Although you may question whether it is best to file the mandatory Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, with a green card application or not, USCIS has finally made it clear. Read our latest blog to learn what the best step is when filing!

U.S. Parole Process Announced for Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, & Venezuela

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Jan 23, 2023 | 0 Comments

Do you have family members or close friends in Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, or Venezuela that you wish could be in the United States? You may be able to help them come live here, for a two year time period. On January 6, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new program by which a U.S. based supporter can petition to sponsor a national of Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, or Venezuela. We’ve got the answers you are looking for about it, read our latest blog to learn more.

USCIS Tests the Waters for Naturalization Exam Updates

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Jan 18, 2023 | 0 Comments

If you had to guess, what percentage of those applying would you say pass the naturalization test every year? And for fun, what percentage of natural-born Americans would you guess would be able to pass the U.S. naturalization test? A typical USCIS interview for citizenship includes an English exam comprised of verbal, reading, and writing tests, as well as 10 civics questions chosen from a pool of 100 questions. Although it has used this format for years, USCIS has decided to redesign its exam, and is looking for people to participate in its trial for updates to the current naturalization test. Read our latest blog to learn more!

Pele’s Immigration to the United States and Impact on Soccer

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Jan 13, 2023 | 0 Comments

The world has lost a legend.  Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, known to the world as Pelé, was the king of football (soccer), an icon who won three World Cup championships, and a recipient of the rare O-1 visa, for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement. Read our latest blog to learn more about the O-1 visa and Pelé's impact on the world.

Final Public Charge Rule Goes Into Effect

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Jan 05, 2023 | 0 Comments

Deadlines are always important in the immigration world and one we want you all to be aware of involves the new public charge rule which went into effect December 23, 2022.  While the rule is particularly significant for immigrants and immigration lawyers, its official start date impacts one of the most common immigration petitions submitted to USCIS, the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, also known as a green card application.  Read our latest blog to learn about the change to the public charge rule.

House of Representatives Passes Bill to Help Deported Veterans and Non-Citizen U.S. Military Servicemembers

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Dec 18, 2022 | 0 Comments

92.  That’s the number of U.S. military veterans that were deported between 2013 and 2018, a period that was governed by both Democrat and Republican administrations.  In at attempt to help those deported, the House of Representatives has just passed the Veteran Service Recognition Act, a bill aimed at helping deported veterans and noncitizens currently in the U.S. Armed Forces. Read our latest blog to learn more about this bill, which now goes to the Senate for a vote.

USCIS Makes New Recommendations for Paper Filings

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Dec 18, 2022 | 0 Comments

Although the world has clearly moved into ‘The Digital Age’, government agencies are often far behind modern technology, and USCIS is no exception. Because of the vast amount of paper petitions it receives, USCIS has announced new recommendations for paper filings in order to avoid scanning delays. Read our latest blog to find out how best to send paper filings to USCIS.

House Democrats Make Late Push for DACA Reform

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Dec 07, 2022 | 0 Comments

“The American public supports DACA recipients. What’s the holdup?” That’s the question Representative Lou Correa (D-Calif.) is asking, and it deserves a response. Some senators are trying to push a vote for DACA reform in the last few weeks of 2022. Read our latest blog to learn more, and how you can contact your Virginia Senators to have your voice be heard.

US Embassies Report Reduction in Wait Time for Visa Interviews

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Nov 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

It seems like a rare moment when the government can report a positive statistic, but when it happens there is reason to celebrate.  The State Department (which manages U.S. embassies and consular processing of visas) is reporting processing immigrant visa applications at 130% of pre-pandemic monthly averages, which translates in the last year to having processed 8 million non-immigrant visas. Read our latest blog to learn about the reduction in visa interview wait times and how this is impacting embassies in Central America.

DACA Becomes a Final Rule - What Does This Mean for DREAMers?

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Nov 17, 2022 | 0 Comments

We know you are probably frustrated and tired.  We are right there with you. After six years of lawsuits and broken promises about DACA, it can sometimes feel like politicians have forgotten what they need to fight for. While it definitely is not a permanent solution, the Biden Administration is keeping its summer promise to make DACA a federal rule.  Read our latest blog to learn about the Department of Homeland Security’s new Final Rule to preserve and fortify DACA , which recently went into effect.

Immigrant Visa Services Expanded at U.S. Embassy in Cuba

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Nov 06, 2022 | 0 Comments

An estimated 2.3 million Hispanics of Cuban origin live in the United States, with 66% of those living in Florida. For those hoping that their relatives still in Cuba may have a way to join them things just got a bit easier. The State Department announced that limited immigrant visa services will resume at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba. Read our latest blog to learn more about the expanding visa services in Cuba.

USCIS Makes it Easier for Applicants with Disabilities to Naturalize

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Oct 30, 2022 | 0 Comments

Have you or a close family member wanted to become a U.S. citizen but felt like it was nearly impossible because of the English language and civic exam requirements? Good news! USCIS has announced an update to its Form N-648, the Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions. Read our latest blog to learn if this updated guidance will help you or your family member be able to naturalize.

Government Creates New Parole Program for Venezuelans

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Oct 24, 2022 | 0 Comments

Venezuela is still in crisis.  The country, which has seen economic upheaval, political turmoil, and a lack of basic goods for the last several years, has lost more than 7 million of its citizens recently, all fleeing the humanitarian crisis in the country. In speaking to the crisis the Biden Administration has announced a new limited parole program for up to 24,000 Venezuelans. Read our latest blog to see how this new program could assist you or your loved ones.

Appeals Court Rules Against DACA but Does Not End Program

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Oct 17, 2022 | 0 Comments

The population of Virginia Beach is about 463,000 people. When you combine that with the population of Norfolk, which is roughly 260,000 people, you get over 700,000 - the amount of people registered as DREAMers with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).  A new court ruling impacts Dreamers in a big way, read our latest blog to learn about it.

Good News for Green Card Holders Needing to Renew

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Oct 11, 2022 | 0 Comments

People talk a lot about obtaining a Green Card (lawful permanent resident card) in the United States, but not a lot of focus is put on what happens afterwards. USCIS has made a new announcement for Green Card holders needing to renew. Read our latest blog to learn more!

USCIS is Changing Naturalization Policies for Military Service Members in Response to Legal Settlement

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Oct 03, 2022 | 0 Comments

As it has often been said, there is no greater sacrifice to our country than that of those willing to give their lives to maintain freedom and democracy. And yet sometimes those members of the military have to fight at home, to advocate for the rights they are supposed to already be entitled to.  A recently settled lawsuit will affect USCIS policy regarding expedited naturalization for U.S. military members - read our latest blog to learn more.

The Arlington Immigration Court is Moving

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Sep 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

Remember that immigration backlog we keep telling you about? In 2019 the immigration court in Arlington, Virginia had the third largest backlog of immigration cases in the United States. Today, the Department of Justice is attempting to help the issue. The Arlington Immigration Court is moving to Annandale and an additional immigration court has opened in Sterling, Virginia. Read our latest blog to learn about the new immigration courts in Virginia and what will happen to the cases previously at the Arlington court.

Re-Registration Process for Venezuelan Temporary Protected Status Holders Opens Up for a Limited Time

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Sep 16, 2022 | 0 Comments

Photo by Ronal Labrador on Unsplash Approximately 111,700 people are in a position this week to extend their time in the United States.  On September 8, 2022 the re-registration process for Venezuelan TPS (Temporary Protected Status) holders opened, and will be open until November 7, 2022, lasting 60 days. Any Venezuelan national who currently has TPS status will need to re-register during that time in order to maintain their status.  Read our latest blog to learn how to re-register.

USCIS Caught in Worst Backlog to Date

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Sep 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

Have you ever googled “USCIS backlog”? The results are full of stories, reports, and policy announcements that we already know - the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency is woefully behind on processing cases.  We recognize that many of you know this because you a...

Is the Biden Administration Making DACA a Permanent Law?

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Sep 06, 2022 | 0 Comments

We know that many of our clients and readers have felt the strain of the last few years, feeling unsure of their continued legal status in the country that is supposed to be home. In the last six years roughly 700,000 Dreamers have been presented with a multitude of politicians - all with broken promises about DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Now the Biden Administration is attempting to rectify the legal procedure by turning DACA into a federal rule, instead of just an executive order. Read our latest blog to learn more about this ongoing situation.

An Excess of Green Cards to go to Waste?

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Aug 26, 2022 | 0 Comments

Do you remember that famous Oprah episode from 2004? “You get a car and YOU get a car!” Well it seems that if it chose to, the U.S. government could have a similar situation of giveaways, but with employment-based green cards. Read our latest blog to learn about the visa dilemma USCIS has found itself in during the last month of its fiscal year.

Hope Renewed for Afghans in U.S.

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Aug 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

If there is anything the United States Congress is known for, sadly, as of late it is refusing to work across the aisle, even for matters that the general public support, regardless of political party. However, an immigration issue with widespread bipartisan public support is helping the Afghan evacuees, with 81% of the American public agreeing that the U.S. should assist them. It has now been one year since Afghanistan fell, and one year since Afghan evacuees started arriving on U.S. soil. Read our latest blog to learn about what Congress is trying to pass to help the evacuees.

Possible USCIS Fee Increases in the Works

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Aug 14, 2022 | 0 Comments

We all know the basics of how normal businesses work - how much money a business makes impacts who they are able to hire and how they are able to run the business. But did you know that USCIS, a government agency, also runs on that business model? USCIS is almost entirely fee-based and is apparently feeling the effects of inflation. Read our latest blog to learn about why the Biden Administration is reviewing changes to the USCIS fee structure.

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