On July 14, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed to expand eligibility for provisional waivers of certain grounds of inadmissibility in order to encourage eligible aliens to complete the visa process abroad, promoting family unity, and improving administrative efficiency.
In expanding the current provisional waiver process, DHS plans to:
1. Eliminate current limitations on the provisional waiver process that restrict eligibility to certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. This provisional waiver process would be made available to all aliens who are statutorily eligible for waivers of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence and meet certain other conditions.
2. Eliminate the current restriction that limits extreme hardship determinations only to aliens who can establish extreme hardship to U.S. citizen spouses or parents. This would permit an applicant for a provisional waiver to establish the eligibility requirement of showing extreme hardship to any qualifying relative (namely, U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents).
This will help persons who otherwise are qualified for immigrant visas but would trigger a three or ten year bar if they depart the United States. The provisional waiver allows them to obtain a waiver of this bar before departing for the immigrant visa interview outside the country. To read the full proposal, click here.
USCIS has announced the formal implementation of the new rule which requires H-1B petitioners to pre-register electronically in order to be eligible to file a petition for the immigration fiscal year which commences October 01, 2020. The earliest date for filing H-1B petitions in April 01, 2020, however the pre-registration period commences March 01, 2020.
This month, our law firm, together with Co-Counsel Louis A Gordon, won a major victory in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case impacts many immigrants who have suffered from bad or ineffective advice from prior Counsel. The Court in its published decision, Flores v Barr, overturned a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling which denied our client, the Petitioner, the opportunity to have his case reopened because of ineffective assistance of his prior immigration lawyer.
Investors and EB5 industry professionals have been anxiously waiting for the publication of a final regulation regarding the EB5 Program. USCIS has now published the final regulation which modifies the proposed rule which was announced in February this year.
New Zealand citizens can now obtain E-1 and E-2 treaty trader and investor visas to work in the U.S. These categories, which allow up to 2 years’ renewable stay, are determined by trade treaties secured between the U.S. and the foreign country or by Congressional legislation.
Citizens of New Zealand who are already inside the U.S. may file Form I-129 to change status – a spouse or child of such an applicant should file Form I-539 to change status to match the E-category applicant.
The latest Visa Bulletin, published by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) earlier this month, confirms industry predictions of a waiting list for Indian-born EB-5 investors. Starting in July 2019, EB-5 visas will be available only to those Indian-born investors who filed their petitions before 05/01/2017. This cut-off date creates a waiting list of approximately two years, which is significantly shorter than the waiting list currently facing mainland Chinese-born investors, which currently stretches back to 10/01/2014.
Starting June 10, 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume Premium Processing for all remaining H-1B petitions. This completes a trial arrangement whereby USCIS allowed limited Premium Processing starting May 20 for H-1B petitions with a Change of Status. The approach was introduced after recent years eliminated Premium Processing altogether, resulting in lengthy delays, with some H-1B petitions remaining under adjudication even after the usual annual start date of October 1.