Can’t Travel, Visa Expires, What Do I Do Now?

A lot of people stuck abroad have experienced panicking moments in the past two weeks when flights are cancelled and borders are closed due to the #COVID-19 shutdown. In March, 2020, the U.S. Department of State announced that immigrant (IV) and nonimmigrant visa (NIV) appointments at ALL Consulates are suspended due to coronavirus. Many countries are also restricting exiting and entering in order to control spread of the pandemic.
So what does this mean when my visa expires? 
These travel restrictions have made family unity and returning to work difficult, if not impossible. Employers are now in the dark with no specific return date for their valued employees and facing uncertainties as to their future needs. Since many visas have a maximum period allowed pursuant to regulation, consular officers do not have the authority to extend visa validity. However, the consular may be able to re-print a visa once travel becomes possible.
Consulates are able to re-issue a new visa provided that all supporting documents, such as police certificates, medical examinations, etc., have not expired. If the supporting documents have expired,  the applicant will be required to obtain new copies prior to the re-issuance of the new visa. Applicants will have to contact the consulate for the re-issuance and different consulate has different procedures. 
For people who are stuck in the U.S. either on valid visas or during grace period, but are not able to leave the U.S. to return to their home countries, options are also limited. Many have applied to extend or change their status using the Form I-539, but this also comes with a hefty fee. Others are banking on the fact that a brief overstay won’t be too problematic if it is limited to 180 days.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has filed a complaint against USCIS calling for the immediate suspension of immigration benefit deadlines and the maintenance of status for nonimmigrants in the U.S. in light of the pandemic, urging USCIS to extend its filing deadlines so that lawfully present foreign nationals in the United States can maintain status during the pandemic.
While we wait for the outcome of this lawsuit, we urge everyone to stay tuned and take care of yourselves. 

Ley de Libertad de Información

Para solicitar un registro de inmigración sobre usted, pruebe el nuevo Sistema de Registros de la Ley Libertad de Información. Hay una cantidad de registros de inmigración de USCIS disponibles a solicitud. Usted puede crear una cuenta de USCIS en línea para solicitar y recibir documentos digitalmente, y eliminar el tiempo y los gastos asociados con el envío de peticiones por correo.

Para comenzar, visite first.uscis.gov y cree una cuenta. Después de crear una cuenta de USCIS en línea y vincularla a su caso, podrá iniciar una sesión en el centro de entrega digital para ver y descargar los registros que solicitó.

Visite la página FOIA de CBP para solicitar registros de la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza de archivos de no extranjeros.

Para solicitar registros de que no sean de inmigración o un registro de inmigración en nombre de otra persona, debe usar una de las opciones de solicitudes por correo, fax o correo electrónico que se muestran a continuación. Esos tipos de procesos de peticiones aún no están en línea, ¡pero lo estarán pronto! También puede usar el Formulario G-639, pero no es obligatorio.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office
P.O. Box 648010
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010

  • Si puede escanear la firma notarial o la firma realizada bajo pena de perjurio del sujeto del registro, adjúntelo a un correo electrónico y envíelo a uscis.foia@uscis.dhs.gov.
  • USCIS no recopila los números de Seguro Social en relación con las solicitudes FOIA.
  • FOIA es gratis. 

USCIS Service Fee Change Show 21 Percent Increase

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to adjust USCIS fees by an increase of 21 percent. Read the federal regulation here DHS claims that current USCIS fees leaves the agency a shortfall of $1.3 billion per year and the fee increase is necessary to recover the full operating costs.

USCIS says it has conducted small entity analysis based on a representative sample of the impacted population, The new rules introduce form changes as well as several new forms.

The most important forms with a fee increase are as follows:

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $535 $555 $20
I-131 Application for Travel Document $575 $585 $10
I-131 Travel Document for an individual age 16 or older $135 $145 $10
I-131 I-131 Refugee Travel Document for a child under the age of 16 $105 $115 $10
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant $930/585 $1,415 $830/ $485
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal $930 $1,040 $110
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion $675 $705 $30
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant $435 $455 $20
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years) $750 $1,120 $370
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur $3,675 $4,015 $340
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status $370 $400 $30
I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal $0 $50 $50
I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative $775 $810 $35
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility $930 $985 $55
I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver $630 $960 $330
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence $595 $760 $165
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization $410 $490 $80
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Renewal) $0 $275 $275
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition $465 $500 $35
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status $3,750 $3,900 $150
I-924A Annual Certification of Regional Center $3,035 $4,470 $1,435
I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant $230 $1,515 $1,285
N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention $270 $1,320 $1,050
N-336 Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings $700 $1,755 $1,055
N-400 Application for Naturalization $640 $1,170 $530
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes $355 $1,600 $1,245

This may prove to have significant financial consequences for several groups, including people who have previously been removed from the U.S. and is eligible to re-enter the U.S. (an $830 increase in fees), U visa family members (an $1,285 increase to qualify as U-1), people who seek to naturalize as U.S. citizens (a $530 increase) people whose naturalization have been denied and are seeking review (a $1,055 increase). We recommend that if you are eligible for the above filings, we need to get them in as soon as possible.

Forms that will becomes cheaper are as following:

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $455 $415 -$40
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) $535 $520 -$15
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $700 $545 -$155
I-191 Application for Relief Under Former Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) $930 $800 -$130
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status $1,140 $1,120 -$20
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship $1,170 $1,015 -$155
N-600K Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 $1,170 $960 -$210
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document $555 $545 -$10
  USCIS Immigrant Fee (consular processing green card fee) $220 $200 -$20
  Biometric Services Fee $85 $30 -$55
  Dishonored Payments (Returned Check Fee) $30 $0 -$30
I-910 Application for Civil Surgeon Designation $785 $650 -$135
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits $600 $590 -$10

The deceased fees, comparing to the increases, are minimal. In addition, DHS is proposing to separate Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, into several forms, including the following:

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference
I-129CW (Proposed) Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker $460 $705 $245
I-129E&TN (Proposed) Application for Nonimmigrant Worker: E or TN Classification $460 $705 $245
I-129H1 (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-1 Classification $460 $560 $100
I-129H2A (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2A Classification $460 $860 (named); $425 (unnamed) $400 (named)
I-129H2B (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2B Classification $460 $725 (named); $395 (unnamed) $265 (named)
I-129L (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: L Classification $460 $815 $355
I-129MISC (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-3, P, Q, or R Classification $460 $705 $245
I-129O (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: O Classification $460 $715 $255

If you have any reliefs pending and need assistance, we recommend everyone take the opportunities now.

美国签证申请人须提交社交媒体网站平台的用户信息

U.S. visa applicants required to provide social media information

2019年5月31日,美国国务院更新了移民和非移民签证申请表的申请信息,包括社交媒体网站平台的用户信息。此更新仅适用于新的签证申请。

美国政府宣称收集这些额外的信息将将便于国土安全局审查申请人并确认他们的身份。社交媒体“用户信息”是个人在社交媒体网站平台上使用的任何名称,包括但不限于Facebook,Twitter和Instagram。如果申请人在过去五年中使用了签证申请中列出的任何社交媒体平台,签证上将需要相关的社交媒体“用户信息”。领事官员将用签证面谈和签证申请表格上面采集的社交媒体信息来确定申请人是否合格。

申请人必须提供列出的社交媒体网站平台上使用的所有的用户信息。如果签证申请人没有社交媒体帐户怎么办?签证申请人将需要回答与社交媒体相关的问题。 该表格允许申请人回答“无”。从未使用社交媒体的签证申请人不会因未能提供社交媒体而被拒绝。 申请人应尽可能完整和诚实地完成申请,以避免任何延迟处理。 如果未能在签证申请或签证面谈中提供准确和真实的答复,可能会导致拒绝签证。

本部门更新仅适用于签证申请人,而不适用于免签证的个人。领事官员将不会要求用户密码。领事官员不能根据申请人的种族,宗教,种族,国籍,政治观点,性别或性取向拒绝签证。 以下是所有社交媒体网站平台的清单

  • Ask.FM
  • Douban 豆瓣
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Myspace 我的空间
  • Pinterest
  • QZone(QQ) QQ空间
  • REDDIT
  • SINA WEIBO 新浪微博
  • TENCENT WEIBO 腾讯微博
  • TUMBLR
  • TWITTER 推特
  • TWOO
  • VINE
  • VKONTAKTE(VK)
  • YOUKU 优酷
  • YOUTUBE

Certain Nonimmigrants Can Now File To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Online

In certain circumstances, individuals can file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, online. The online filing is restricted to a single applicant (without co-applicants, or legal or accredited representation) and can be used in the following scenarios:

  • B-1 temporary visitor for business;
  • B-2 temporary visitor for pleasure;
  • F-1 academic student with a specific status expiration date;
  • F-2 spouse or child of an academic student with a specific expiration date;
  • M-1 vocational student; or
  • M-2 spouse or child of an M-1 student.

Individuals can also now file the following USCIS forms online:

USCIS Announced New Online Tool Calculates Fees

USCIS has launched a new Online Fee Calculator to assist applicants calculating the correct fee amount when filing their forms with USCIS.

USCIS’ Online Fee Calculator will determine the exact filing and biometric fees an individual needs to include with their forms and will have the most up-to-date fee information. When using the Online Fee Calculator, applicants select a form, or combination of forms, and answer a series of questions. The tool then calculates the correct fee amount that the filer must submit.

USCIS accepts payment via check, money order, or credit card with Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

If you need assistance with immigration, feel free to contact us at 913-717-7112 for a free consultation.

美国移民局发布了关于I-751面试豁免政策

USCIS may waive the requirement for an interview and adjudicate the Form I-751 without conducting an interview.

一般而言,美国移民局官员必须面试所有临时绿卡(conditional permanent resident)申请十年正式绿卡 (I-751表)的请愿人。  新规于2018年12月10日生效,适用于2018年12月10日或之后收到的所有I-751表格。

在调整身份时,婚龄不满2岁的外国公民将成为临时绿卡持有人。这些外国人被视为临时绿卡持有人。这些人的子女也可以获得临时绿卡。为避免在两年后终止临时绿卡身份,有临时绿卡的永久居民必须申请 I-751十年绿卡。在提交I-751表格时,临时绿卡持有人必须提交确定婚姻真实性的所需证据。作为I-751表格裁决的一部分,临时绿卡持有人必须出席面试。美国移民局可以判决或确定绿卡持有人的可信度。

美国移民局目前可以在不进行面试的情况下裁定I-751十年正式绿卡的申请。如果以下的情况达到的话,移民局官员可以不要求面谈:

  • 移民局有婚姻真实性的充分证据;
  • 对于2018年12月10日/之后收到的I-751表格,移民局已与I-751主要请愿人进行了面谈(例如,表格I-485或表格I-130);
  • I-751表或支持文件中没有任何欺诈或虚假陈述的迹象;和
  • 没有复杂的事实或问题需要面谈来解决问题或疑虑。

无论I-751表格是联合申请还是个人申请,上述考虑因素都适用。

如果请愿人和/或配偶居住在美国境外,该I-751案件将被扣留一段时间,直至请愿人和/或配偶返回美国,并且他们能够提供美国地址。 如果临时绿卡持有人通知移民局他/她已返回美国,移民局将恢复处理I-751表格。

在此下载新规:18121035

移民美国 – 大幅收紧公众福利影响美国绿卡, 前方的道路很曲折

新规加大美国公共福利对绿卡的影响

美国移民局提议的新的 ”Public Charge” 的规则将大幅影响享受过公众福利的美国移民或者非移民申请人。根据现行政策,如果没有收到现金援助或长期政府资助的机构护理,正确填写的非欺诈性I-864表格(经济保障书)通常足以解决任何福利领取者的问题。但是新的政策及那个完全颠覆这个理念。

  • 首先,新提议将重新定义“福利领取者”,以包括使用某些公共福利的任何人,即使是在有限的时间段内和适度的金额。 它还将扩大特定公共福利的清单,涵盖医疗补助和补充营养援助计划(SNAP)等。 审批时移民局将全面考虑正面以及负面因素。 “负面”因素包括在提交申请之前的36个月内使用指定的公共福利,收入水平低于联邦贫困指南的125%。
  • 与现行法规不同之处是,新提议要求非移民在美国寻求改变身份或延长身份时证明他们没有收到并且不太可能获得确定的公共福利。
  • 新提议将建立一个公共收费债券系统,允许USCIS酌情允许某些个人情况,发布最低10,000美元的债券以克服“福利领取者”的决定。

新提议将用无定形测试取代简单明了的现行政策。新提议要求审判员权衡无限数的因素,以确定申请人是否可能成为福利领取者。 此外,国土安全部声称每个案例的具体事实和情况都必须要备考虑,这就可能导致不一致和不公平的裁决。以下的因素都有可能被考虑:

  • 申请人的健康状况或疾病是否足以干扰该人照顾他或她自己,上学或上班的能力,以及该病情是否可能要求医疗手术;
  • 申请人的家庭规模,构成申请人“家庭”的个人至少需要提供50%的财务支持,但不包括食宿等非现金支持;
  • 申请人的信用评分,但是新提议也没有任何有意义的标准来确定什么构成“好”或“差”的信用评分或历史;
  • 经济赞助人与申请人的关系有多紧密,美国移民局觉得亲密的家庭成员“在必要时更有可能在经济上支持外国申请人”。

新提议将创建一个新的I-944移民表格 – 自给自足声明 (Declaration of Self-Sufficiency ,国土安全部预计平均I-944表格准备时间为4小时30分钟。申请人需要提交所有家庭成员三年的税单,而在美国还需要获得提交信用评分信。

当然,并不是所有的福利都都会规划在新规定以内。目前的“福利领取者”规定,医疗补助计划(Medicaid)不算作“福利领取者”的福利。 在新提议中,除紧急医疗补助以外,医疗补助计划(除了孕妇分娩)都将被视为公共收益。如果新规则生效,通过医疗补助计划的产前护理将被视为公共费用。 如果它是通过儿童健康保险计划 Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)支付的,有可能不算,因为CHIP不在新的提议中。 在过去36个月内收到公共福利是一个非常重要的负面因素。但是在新规则生效之前过去收到的医疗补助将不计算在内。

新的福利政策复杂多变,如果你在申请美国移民福利的过程之中,我们事务所可以给您提供更多的信息。

USCIS关于拒绝申请书的最新政策

美国公民及移民服务局7月份2018年发布了一项新的拒绝政策,规定移民审判员可以不发出RFE或NOID,而直接拒绝某些请愿或请求。如果移民审判员认定这些申请表格缺乏初始证据或者是没有提供足够证据证明受益人具备请愿资格可以直接拒绝申请 。这项新的政策的有效实施日期是9月11号2018年。

值得注意的是,本政策中实施的政策取消了2013的政策。 本政策旨在阻止用作“占位符”请愿并鼓励申请人,请愿人和请求者勤勉地收集和提交所需证据。 美国公民及移民服务局声称这项政策并非旨在惩罚申报人因无辜的错误或对证据要求的误解。

这项政策将不会影响大部分真实真诚的申请书。 比方说,婚姻绿卡的最基本条件是有效婚姻, 如果申请人缺乏有效婚姻证明但是仍然提交了移民绿卡申请的话,将有被拒的可能性。 这项新的政策可能会导致很多无意过失的申请遭到拒绝。如果申请人自己准备申请材料,无心之中遗落了基本条件的证明,可能会导致申请费用被扣申请被拒。但是如果基本申请条件都以满足,移民局还是会继续发送FRE或者给予解释的机会。

详细政策看这里:18071377

USCIS Updates Guidances and Policies for Benefits Applications

Be careful petitioners and applicants, your application for immigration benefits may be denied if you do not have all evidence to prove you are eligible. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) issued a new memo, to give its officers the right to deny visas if applications do not include all the necessary information when submitted.

CIS officers no longer need to first seeking additional evidence that might be needed to complete an application, or issuing a notice stating the intent to deny a request to adjudicate.

USCIS announced recently that it would also begin initiating removal/deportation proceedings against visa applicants who lack immigration status when their visa applications are denied.  For example, if you are are out of status when you applied for change of status, therefore, you are ineligible to change status, CIS will deny your application and start removal proceedings. Or you may be a F-1 student applying for the H-1b lottery, but due to all sorts of administrative delays, your H-1b is not adjudicate until your F-1 expired, and then unfortunately it gets denied and you are out of status. CIS can also place you in removal proceedings.

Despite CIS saying the new memos are “not intended to penalize filers for innocent mistakes or misunderstandings of evidentiary requirements,” it certainly feels that way. Immigration enforcement has always been the realm of ICE, not CIS. USCIS adjudications are often inconsistent and often arbitrary. Applicants have the choices to appeal CIS decision or to seek review, and such options will be lost.