总统宣告: 美国将暂停某些中国学生和研究人员的 F 和 J 签证

川普总统周五 (5月29号)宣称说中国当局利用一些中国学生,主要是研究生和博士后研究人员,来收集美国的知识产权。 因此,与中国人民解放军有当前联系或曾经与中国人民解放军有联系的,来自中国的本科以上的中国学生或研究人员极有可能被中国当局利用,需引起特别关注。 鉴于上述情况,川普总统宣布从 2020年6月1日开始,美国国务卿和国土安全部将严格审批申请 F (学生)或 J (访问)签证进入美国学习研究的中国学生。美国国务卿和国土安全部将有60天的时间审查自己内部的规章制度并向总统提供建议。

美国国务卿和国土安全部目前并没有详细的方案来执行川普总统的宣告,一般来说,移民局会按照每个案例的特殊情况进行审批,但也不排除根据技术专业而大量排挤中国学生的可能性。很多将会受影响的学科可能包括航空航天,生物生化,石化能源。

这项宣告将会影响很多正在准备秋季返校以及已经拿到了录取通知书在等待签证的留学生。即使持有效签证在手的学生也有可能在入境时被海关询问而拦截。使馆也有可能在学生返校前取消学生签证。  我们建议学生们留心之前签证时所留下的联系方式,因为这将是使馆的主要交流渠道。

川普总统的法令不影响美国绿卡, 美国公民或绿卡的配偶,美国军队成员以及配偶或子女,以及寻求庇护,难民身份的人员。白宫的原文在此

不能旅行,签证过期,我现在该怎么办?

在过去的两周里,由于#冠状病毒 #COVID-19,许多国际航班被取消以及停运, 很多国家也关闭了国土边境从而阻止游客进出,这引起了许多困在国外的人们极度的恐慌。 2020年3月时候,美国国务院宣布,所有领事馆的移民(IV)和非移民签证(NIV)面试都被暂停。

那么,我的签证过期意味着什么呢?我要怎么办?

以上的旅行限制对很多人造成了极大的困扰。使家庭团聚以及重返工作岗位难上加难。很多家庭无法团圆,重大人生历程没有亲人陪伴。雇主们处于迷茫之中,由于其雇员没有具体的返回日期,雇主也无法预料的未来需求。许多的美国签证都有根据法规允许的最长期限,因此领事官员无权延长签证的有效期。但是,好消息在于,领事馆可以重新打印签证

领事馆能够重新签发签证,前提是所有证明文件(例如无犯罪记录,体检等)均未过期。如果证明文件已过期,则要求申请人在重新签发签证之前获得新版本。不同的领事馆有不同的签证程序。申请人必须联系自己的领事馆要求重新签发签证。

对于持有有效签证或者在宽限期期间内滞留在美国但无法离开美国的人,例如旅游签证,学生签证,免签证访问人员等,许多人已经使用I-539表格申请延长或更改其身份,但这意味着申请人需要支付高额费用。其他人则认为,如果超期不超过180天,短暂的停留不会有太大问题。逼近不是每个人都可以承受高额的移民延期申请费用的。这些选择都是可以的。

美国移民律师协会(AILA)已针对美国公民及移民服务局(USCIS)提起申诉,呼吁由于#冠状病毒,移民局应该立即暂停所有移民福利申请期限,并使得正当维持美国非移民身份的人自动延长其有效期限,以便在美国的外国公民可以维持身份。在我们等待这场诉讼的结果的同时,我们敦促大家保持关注并照顾自己。

 

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.

EAD Automatic Extensions for Six TPS-Countries

El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan TPS EAD extension

DHS is automatically extending TPS Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) validity listed for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan through January 4, 2021. These EADs should have category code of A-12 or C-19. Read the automatic extension notice here.

What is TPS?

TPS is a temporary immigration benefit for certain countries suffering from on-going armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. It allows qualified individuals in the U.S. to stay here for a limited time period as ordered by the President. 

What are my rights at work?

Persons covered by TPS can receive the Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). TPS workers, like everyone else, have the right to provide their choice of valid documentation to demonstrate their identity and work authorization. An employer that treats TPS workers differently in the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify) based on the worker’s citizenship status or national origin may violate anti-discrimination laws.

Blanket Extension

When the government extends a country’s TPS,  USCIS sometimes issues a blanket extension of all expiring EADs for that country, to allow time for USCIS to issue new EADs. Such extension can be found here. If USCIS automatically extends your EAD, you do not have to show an I-797C with your EAD to keep working. An employer should not  ask for additional documentation to prove employment eligibility.

Renewal Application

If the government does not issue a blanket extension for TPS EADs, a TPS worker can apply for a renewal EAD, the worker can present the current TPS EAD with the I-797C receipt notice showing that USCIS received the EAD renewal application. This document combination is valid for 180 days after the original EAD expiration date, and are valid for employment eligibility verification purposes. 

遗孀的移民福利

如果提交 I-130 移民申请的申请人去世了,I-130 请愿书将自动被撤销. 因此,对于已经悲伤失去亲人的移民家庭来说,这真是雪上加霜。但是, 即使在请愿人去世后,我们有三种的补救措施一是的某些受益人和家庭成员仍可继续寻求移民福利。

三种可能的补救措施是:

  1. 美国公民遗孀的幸存者福利;
  2. 某些幸存亲属的其他福利;
  3. 以人道主义缘由来补救I-130申请。

这些补救措施,可能可以帮助某些家庭成员移民美国。否则他们将失去申请绿卡的机会。我们将详细的查看着三种补救措施。

1. 美国公民遗孀的幸存者福利;

美国公民的遗孀被列入直系亲属。 如果他们在美国公民申请人去世后两年内提交 I-360 遗孀自行申请或自动将已经提交的 I-130 自动转换为 I-360,则继续有资格移民 。 他们还必须表现出诚信婚姻,并证明他们没有再婚。申请人必须证明他们与美国公民合法结婚并且在申请时没有合法分居或离婚。 在通知美国公民移民局申请人死亡后,USCIS将自动将待审批准的 I-130 表格转换为I-360 遗孀表格自行申请。

遗孀和随行的孩子如果是 2009年10月28日前申请的I-130的受益人并且后来被批准为 I-360 的自我申请,则不会积累非法逗留时间 (unlawful presence). 但是如果遗孀没有之前申请的 I-130的话,会将被定为累计了非法逗留时间。 在美国非法逗留超过 180天的情况是三年不能入境美国的, 如果在美国逗留超过365天的话, 是10年不能入境美国的。这样的情况, 遗孀将必须有其他的合适亲属来申请豁免。

2. 某些幸存亲属的其他福利;

INA§204(l)涵盖了几类未决或批准的请愿书。 移民法第 204(l)条 不仅在请愿人去世时提供保护,而且在某些情况下,当主要受益人或其他主要申请人去世时也提供保护。以内的包括人群有:

  • 在请愿人去世时,待决或批准的I-130申请的主要受益人和随行的孩子;
  • 当主要受益人去世时,待审或批准的I-130申请的随行的孩子;
  • 当主要受益人去世时,待审或批准的I-140就业申请的随行的家属;
  • 当请愿人去世时,待审或批准的I-730难民/庇护相关请愿的受益人;
  • 当主要T或U签证受益人去世时,申请的随行的家属;
  • 主要庇护人员去世时, 随行的家属;

法规要求申请人在亲属去世时居住在美国并继续居住在美国。这些申请人在移民签证面谈时将有可能需要申请豁免。对于豁免的理由,美国公民及移民服务局将认定亲属的死亡是极端的困境。

3. 以人道主义缘由来补救I-130申请。

这种有限的救济只能由批准的请愿书的主要受益人提出要求。申请人可以直接向移民局提出人道主义补救要求。请愿人去世后,受益人应该先收集担保人的材料, 然后递交. 要求恢复人道主义的个人应提供以下证据:

  • 对美国家庭生活的影响,特别是对于受益人的美国亲属的打击;
  • 高龄或健康问题;
  • 例如政府处理时间异常冗长; 和
  • 任何其他有利的因素。

USCIS办公室在自行决定人道主义补救的请求。由于缺乏标准化表格,USCIS办公室决定很难预测。

结论

请愿人去世后,寻求移民的受益人面临着许多挑战。 根据每个人不同的情况,在美国公民请愿人去世后,美国公民配偶及其子女列为“直系亲属”,204(l)以下的保护或人道主义恢复可能使他们能够继续处理他们的案件。204(l)也为许多幸存者提供了广泛的报道。 同时来说,人道主义补救是一种有限的酌情救济,这些都可能是幸存者可以追求的唯一途径。

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

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.

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.

USCIS New Affirmative Asylum Interview Scheduling Order

USCIS will now schedule asylum interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings.

USCIS announced that starting January 29, 2018, the Asylum Division will give priority to the most recently filed affirmative asylum applications when scheduling for interviews. For the original post, see https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum/affirmative-asylum-interview-scheduling. The asylum scheduling bulletin has been taken down.

USCIS will give priority to recent filings. USCIS says to do so will reduce the incentive to file for asylum solely to obtain employment authorization. USCIS says if the cases are processed quicker, it will allow the government promptly place such individuals into removal proceedings. USCIS will now schedule asylum interviews in the following order of priority:

  • First priority: Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS.
  • Second priority: Applications that have been pending 21 days or less.
  • Third priority: All other pending affirmative asylum applications will be scheduled for interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings.

In addition, Asylum office directors may consider, on a case-by-case basis, an urgent request to be scheduled for an interview if such request is submitted. Source: USCIS Website

What Does the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act Seek To Do

There had been many talks around the Republican-backed proposal: Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. In a nutshell, it will significantly reduce the number of people allowed to legally immigrate to the United States. Although unlikely to pass Congress, what changes does the RAISE Act seek to bring exactly?

First, the RAISE Act seeks to eliminate the Diversity Visa Program. The Diversity Visa Program gives immigrant visas to nationals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For a list of countries/areas by region whose natives are eligible for DV-2018 and DV-2017, please refer to the DV Instructions.

Second, the RAISE Act seeks to cap the number of refugees who may be admitted in any fiscal year to 50,000 and requiring the President to “annually enumerate the number of aliens who were granted asylum in the previous fiscal year.” Limiting refugee numbers has always been President Trump’s priority, and it is no surprise the RAISE Act mentions it.

Third, in the family-sponsored immigration arena, the RAISE Act wants to change the definition of “Child” at INA §101(b)(1) from an unmarried person “under age 21” to an unmarried person “under age 18,” and change the definition of “Immediate Relative” at INA to include only children and spouses of U.S. citizens (removes parents of adult U.S. citizens). Similarly, it seeks to only allow children and spouses of LPR (green card) holders to immigrant to the U.S. This will effectively eliminate the following current available categories: (1) unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (FB-1); (2) unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs (FB-2B); and (3) married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (FB-3); and (4) brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (FB-4). Parents of U.S. citizens will remain unaffected because under the new legislation, a new category for parents of USC citizens above the age of 21 will be created. The legislation seeks to cap the worldwide level of family-sponsored immigrants  admissions to 88,000 per fiscal year. The effort will significantly reduce the number of family based immigration and make many ineligible to reunite with their families in the United States.

All the above are part of the administration’s efforts to limit the number of immigrants to the U.S. Further, it seeks to replace of Employment-Based Immigration Categories with Immigration Points System. On the numbers, it seeks to limit the number of points-based immigrants to 140,000 (including spouses and children) per fiscal year. This so-called Points-Based System comes with an online portal and a required fee of $160. President Donald Trump has already announced his support for a the points system.

The immigration point system seeks to prioritize immigrants based on their degrees and skills. If they have equal points and equal educational attainment, they will be further ranked according to their (1) English language proficiency test scores; and (2) age, with applicants nearest their 25th birthdays ranked higher. And every 6 months, USCIS is said to invite the highest ranked applicants to file a petition for a points-based immigrant visa. If you want to see if you qualify to immigrate to the U.S., test your scores from Times.com here: http://time.com/4887574/trump-raise-act-immigration/.

Last but not least, the RAISE Act will prohibit naturalization of an individual if the person who submitted an affidavit of support on his or her behalf failed to reimburse the federal government for all means-tested public benefits received by the individual during the 5-year period immediately after the individual became an LPR. It therefore seems that, at no fault of the individual seeking naturalization, she or he might be barred from it. It is unclear whether the individual seeking naturalization is allowed to reimburse the government.

The Act does not mention temporary work visas such as H-1B and H-2 or temporary visitor (B-1/B-2) or student visas (F-1). Its focus remains on the number of available immigrant visas.

Read the full RAISE Act here: https://www.cotton.senate.gov/files/documents/170802_New_RAISE_Act_Bill_Text.pdf If interested, you can read this excellent summary of each section from American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA): 17080732