More than 123,000 Afghans were brought to the United States since the fall of the Afghan government in August 2021. Of those, thousands have yet to be given a permanent immigrant status. Today a special immigrant visa (SIV) is available to Afghans who worked for more than one year for the U.S. military or international forces in conjunction with the U.S., but the requirements make it difficult to obtain. USCIS and the State Department have announced an update for SIV applications to ease the process. Read our latest blog to learn more.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status in March of 2021. The TPS was designated for 18 months, and was set to expire in two months. However, as of July 11, the Department of Homeland Security has announced an extension of that designation for another 18 months. Read our latest blog to learn whether you qualify for this extension and how to renew your current TPS status.
There’s been a lot in the news lately about Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and this month brings even more. Beginning July 1, 2022, USCIS issued a new travel authorization document to TPS beneficiaries: Form I-512T, Authorization for Travel by a Noncitizen to the United States, and will no longer be using Authorization for Parole of an Alien Into the United States (Form I512L). Read our latest blog to learn how this affects you as a TPS recipient.
It’s no secret that USCIS is woefully behind on working through immigration petitions that have been submitted to it. In another attempt to quicken employment authorization document (EAD) processing times USCIS has announced that it will stop sending out “combo cards” - an EAD card that also gave the benefit of international travel through a process called advanced parole. Read our latest blog to learn more about this announcement.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is just that - a temporary status that doesn’t lead to a path of permanent residency. But a new legal settlement is giving hope for those that were caught in the lingering uncertainty of removal and residency. Read our latest blog to learn how this may impact you.
It feels like such a distant memory at this point, but remember just over two years ago when you could travel across borders and not need to show a negative COVID test or proof (or exception) of a COVID vaccine? Well the United States, in conjunction with the CDC (Center for Disease Control), has taken a first step to return the country back to pre-pandemic travel guidelines. Read our latest blog to learn what the new travel rules are.
About six weeks ago the Department of Homeland Security designated Cameroon as the latest country to be granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Now the registration process has opened and we encourage all eligible Cameroonians in the U.S. who are without status or are anticipating losing status to apply for TPS. Read our latest blog to learn how to apply for this status.
More than 44,000 children in the United States are waiting to receive green cards through the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) program, but like many other immigrant visa classifications in the U.S., the wait for those with pending SIJS visa applications has been far longer than the government intended. Recognizing this wait, the U.S. just announced a way for SIJS candidates to obtain employment authorization. Read our latest blog to learn more.
Rules usually represent something that is put in place almost permanently - a standard to go by that is steady and reliable. In the world of agency based immigration law though, rules seem to change almost weekly. In the case of a proposed rule change announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the change is welcome. If put in place, the proposed rule will change how DHS applies the public charge rule of inadmissibility. Read our latest blog to learn about the potential new rule.
After a two-month wait since it was first announced, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has finally published Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghanistan in the Federal Register, meaning that the registration period for TPS is now open for Afghans meeting certain criteria. Read our latest blog to learn about whether TPS is right for you or a loved one.
Did you know that the Biden Administration has kept in place some Trump-era restrictions regarding immigrants? In a recent Court decision one of those restrictions regarding asylum seekers and employment authorization was ruled invalid. Read our latest blog to learn more about this ruling.
USCIS Increases Automatic Extension Period of Employment Authorization for Certain Renewal Applicants
It is not often that the U.S. government admits to being inefficient and in trouble, but USCIS is finally admitting to what we’ve all known for some time - there is an extreme backlog in the processing of employment authorization documents. Read our latest blog to learn what USCIS is doing about it.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) recipients have been through a lot of shifts in the last few years. Roughly 620,000 Dreamers have gone through a yo-yo of high expectations and broken promises with multiple opposing view court rulings in the last five years. Now another change is poised to likely take place. Read our latest blog to learn about the government's proposed rule regarding DACA and employment authorization.
Do you have Ukrainian family members that you want to bring to the United States? Last week the Biden Administration announced a new process called Uniting for Ukraine, which will allow Americans to be able to sponsor Ukrainians to come to the United States. On April 25, 2022 the portal for it opened up on the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) website. Read our latest blog to learn how you can help your Ukrainian family members.
Just two and a half hours from our office is one of the largest populations of Cameroonians in the United States. Along with California, the Washington D.C. area is home to the majority of the thousands of Cameroonians who live in this country. As the conflict in Cameroon intensifies, the Department of Homeland Security announced Cameroon as the latest country to be designated for Temporary Protected Status. Read our latest blog to learn more about TPS for Cameroon.
U.S. Allows Direct Filing of I-130 Petitions at Consulates for Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens Fleeing Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Ukraine
If you have immediate relatives who have had to flee Ukraine due to the Russia-Ukraine War, you are not alone in wanting them to be able to emigrate to the United States. There are nearly one million Americans of Ukrainian descent in the U.S., and many have reached out to us about how to enable their relatives to join them here. There is a process that has been announced for immediate relatives - and that is in person Form I-130 filing at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The U.S. has also opened the process to people who have recently fled Ethiopia and Afghanistan. Read our latest blog to learn more about this process.
USCIS to Expand Premium Processing and Establish Internal Goals to Reduce Long Processing Times and Severe Backlogs
We hear it and we see it every day. Immigrants inside the United States and hopeful immigrants outside of it who have been waiting for years, sometimes decades, to be reunited here. Currently there is a 15 year backlog on visas just for U.S. citizens to emigrate their siblings to the United States, and that is after the initial USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) case has been approved. Other types of immigration cases vary widely in their processing times and the government is finally recognizing how harmful this backlog is. Read our latest blog to learn the changes USCIS is trying to implement to reduce the backlogs.
Biden Administration Focuses on Family Relations as it Announces U.S. will Accept 100,000 Ukrainian Refugees
The war in Ukraine has gone on for far longer than anyone expected. Recently the United Nations announced that more than 4 million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began, and that number is expected to quickly grow. Read our latest blog to learn how President Biden plans to help those evacuated.
Recently the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was reauthorized by Congress until 2027, providing the way for certain immigrant victims of domestic abuse to stay on a path to immigration, without having to involve that abusive family member in the immigration process. Additionally, USCIS released new policy guidance about VAWA. Read our latest blog to learn more about the reauthorization and new policies.
Legal uncertainty. That term describes what thousands upon thousands of Afghans have experienced regarding their immigration status since arriving in the United States in August 2021 and the months following. The Biden administration is attempting to bring clarity to some of that uncertainty with the announcement of temporary protected status (TPS) for Afghans. Read our latest blog to learn what this means and if TPS will help you or a loved one.
The Biden Administration is seeking to renew the U.S.’s place on the STEM world stage by ensuring that the best and brightest STEM minds will be able to study in, and even immigrate to, the United States. Read our latest blog to learn what this means for the STEM community.
Like many in the United States you may have been wondering whether the U.S. will open its doors to Ukrainians as war refugees, or in some other capacity. While that has yet to be announced, the Biden Administration did announce yesterday that Ukrainian nationals in the U.S. as of March 1, 2022 will be allowed to stay in the country, under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Read on to learn more about this special designation and see if you or a loved one is eligible for TPS.
The validity length for EAD cards depends on what kind of immigration status a person holds in the United States. For some visa holders, an EAD card only lasts for one year, which means that after about six months of holding it, the renewal process starts again. USCIS has been struggling with an EAD backlog - and now the USCIS is trying to change those statistics with its latest EAD policy alert - which announces that in the interest of “reducing the burden on both the agency and the public,” certain filing categories will be issued initial and renewal EAD cards with up to a two year validity period.
There’s been pretty clear direction about the requirements (or non-requirements) to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are a visitor to the United States versus whether you are a citizen or permanent resident, but what if you are somewhere in between? For those who are ready and able to adjust your status or apply for permanent residence (also known as a green card) in the United States, will you be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19? Read on to find out.