DHS Statement on 2019 Public Charge Rule

The U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the government will no longer defend the 2019 public charge rule as doing so is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.

“The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Consistent with the President’s vision, we will continue to implement reforms that improve our legal immigration system.”

As a result, the 1999 interim field guidance on the public charge inadmissibility provision (i.e., the policy that was in place before the 2019 public charge rule) is now in effect.

TPS Designation for Citizens of Venezuela

Venezuelan has been designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 2022. This new designation of TPS for Venezuela enables Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements. Individuals must file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within the 180-day registration period. They may also apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for travel authorization.

USCIS Extends Flexibilities to Applicants Filing I-765 for OPT

USCIS has announced flexibilities for certain foreign students affected by delayed receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. These flexibilities apply only to applications received on or after Oct. 1, 2020, through May 1, 2021, inclusive. USCIS has experienced delays at certain lockboxes in issuing receipt notices for Form I-765 for optional practical training (OPT) for F-1 students. These delays are a result of COVID-19 restrictions, a dramatic increase in filings of certain benefit requests, postal service volume and delays, and other external factors.

Presidential Proposals on Immigration Reform

Since entering office, President Biden has signed six executive orders and proposed an immigration bill that would give the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. the opportunity to gain citizenship in eight years.

The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 establishes a new system to responsibly manage and secure our border, keep our families and communities safe, and better manage migration. Learn more here:

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/22246670/Fact_Sheet__America_s_Citizenship_Act_of_2021.pdf

Certain Response Flexibility

USCIS has issued the following guidance for Requests for Evidence issued post-pandemic:

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors who are responding to certain:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers;
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant;
  • Filing date requirements for Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA); or
  • Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

This flexibility applies to the above documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice, or decision is between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, inclusive.

USCIS Reverts to the 2008 Version of the Naturalization Civics Test

USCIS has announced it is reverting to the 2008 version of the naturalization civics test beginning March 1, 2021. On Dec. 1, 2020, USCIS implemented a revised naturalization civics test (2020 civics test) as part of a decennial test review and update process. USCIS determined the 2020 civics test development process, content, testing procedures, and implementation schedule may inadvertently create potential barriers to the naturalization process.

The 2008 civics test was thoroughly developed over a multi-year period with the input of more than 150 organizations, which included English as a second language experts, educators, and historians, and was piloted before its implementation.

Review Services Offered

Are you looking for cost-effective attorney support without actually hiring for the entire processing of immigration filings? Based on feedback from the community and satisfied clients, we are pleased to offer the following services:

1. Review of adjustment of status application $500: includes full review of application with two 30-minute video calls to discuss edits and additions. Also includes one 30-minute follow-up session with Attorney during adjudication of case for questions/concerns.

2. Interview Preparation $500: includes basic review of application with two 45-minute video calls. The first call is to discuss what to expect at interview. The second call is a mock-style interview where individuals are separated and asked questions as will be done at interview. This includes a preparation guide as well to use while preparing. Also includes call on day of interview to discuss last minute questions or concerns.

USCIS Flexibility

USCIS has issued the following guidance for Requests for Evidence issued post-pandemic:

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors who are responding to certain:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers;
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant;
  • Filing date requirements for Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA); or
  • Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

This flexibility applies to the above documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice, or decision is between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, inclusive.

Presidential Proclamation on Covid

On January 25, 2021 President Biden signed a proclamation continuing the suspension of entry of certain travelers from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil, China, and Iran, and expanding restrictions to include travelers from South Africa. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are not subject to the proclamations. Some other exceptions include: foreign diplomats traveling to the United States on A or G visas and certain family members of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents including spouses, children under the age of 21, parents, and siblings. There is also an exception for air and sea crew traveling to the United States on C, D, or C1/D visas. For further information, contact ALO at 978-905-9992.

Presidential Proposals

Since entering office, President Biden has signed six executive orders and proposed an immigration bill that would give the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. the opportunity to gain citizenship in eight years.

The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 establishes a new system to responsibly manage and secure our border, keep our families and communities safe, and better manage migration. Learn more here:

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/22246670/Fact_Sheet__America_s_Citizenship_Act_of_2021.pdf