Changes to USCIS Processing of Removing Conditions on Residence

Changes to USCIS Processing of Removing Conditions on Residence

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a policy memo that provides revised interview guidelines to immigration officers adjudicating Petitions to Remove Conditions on Residence. As background, certain family or investment based immigrants who have a condition attached to their permanent resident status must file a petition with USCIS within a 90 days …

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DHS Issues Fraud Alert for Imposters Posing as U.S. Immigration Agents

DHS Issues Fraud Alert for Imposters Posing as U.S. Immigration Agents

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning people of a nationwide telephone spoofing scam that attempts to trick victims into divulging their personal information, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft. On March 1, 2019, the OIG issued a notice in response to reports of DHS phone …

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CRS Addresses Legal Issues in Migrant Protection Protocols for Asylum Applicants

CRS Addresses Legal Issues in Migrant Protection Protocols for Asylum Applicants

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on January 28, 2019, started implementing a new policy that requires Central American asylum seekers arriving at the southern border of the United States to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed in U.S. immigration courts. In a report released on February 6, 2019, the Congressional Research Service …

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CRS Examines Per Country Immigration Limits in Employment Based Immigration

CRS Examines Per Country Immigration Limits in Employment Based Immigration

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report on the employment-based immigration process on December 21, 2018, recommending the removal of per-country ceilings on visa numbers, or caps, for employment-based prospective immigrants applying for lawful permanent resident status. As background, the current U.S. immigration systems allots a maximum 7 percent quota to each country for …

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Court Enjoins Pentagon Policy on Permanent Residents Serving in the U.S. Military

Court Enjoins Pentagon Policy on Permanent Residents Serving in the U.S. Military

On November 30, 2018, a federal court enjoined a Trump administration policy adopted last year that called for enhanced background checks for lawful permanent residents wanting to serve in the U.S. military. The extra vetting in addition to biometrics screening and other existing requirements caused long delays that have prevented potential recruits from reporting for …

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USMCA Preserves NAFTA’s Immigration Provisions

USMCA Preserves NAFTA’s Immigration Provisions

The United States has agreed to a new trilateral trade deal with Mexico and Canada that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to a September 30, 2018, announcement. The immigration provisions contained in NAFTA have been repackaged as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) but appear to largely remain the same. The …

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Immigration Court Backlog Continues to Grow

Immigration Court Backlog Continues to Grow

A recent analysis of U.S. immigration court data has revealed a dramatic increase in the number of pending cases and average hearing wait times across many states. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University, the backlog has grown by 38 percent nationwide since President Trump assumed office. As of July 31, …

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TRAC reports on zero tolerance at the southern border

TRAC reports on zero tolerance at the southern border

A recent analysis of immigration data by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University in New York has raised questions about the effectiveness of the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance approach to illegal border entries into the United States. On April 6, 2018, the government announced a new zero tolerance policy that called for the …

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Can there be third party placements under STEM OPT?

Can there be third party placements under STEM OPT?

An April, 2018 update to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website has raised questions about third party placements of F-1 graduates under the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. The agency appears to place additional limits on STEM OPT employment by barring student workers from participating in placements at offsite locations. The USCIS …

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