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What Do Changes to USCIS' "Unlawful Presence" Definitions Mean for Students and Exchan

The policy memorandum regarding unlawful presence for F and M nonimmigrant students, and J nonimmigrant exchange visitors has been revised and became effective on August 9th 2018. Individuals in F, J and M status will acquire unlawful presence if they do not maintain status as of August 9th 2018. Unlawful presence means an individual is residing in the United States after their status or visa expires and not issued parole. This update to the policy is crucial for students and exchange visitor to understand as falling out of status could lead them to being banned from the United States for up to 10 years. If an individual is found to be unlawfully present in the United States for more than 18

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Releases Statement on Canada's Legalization of Marijuan

In accordance to the legalization of marijuana in Canada, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to enforce the United States laws and will not be altering them to abide by Canada’s new ruling. The U.S Federal Law governs the rules of entry for individuals wishing to travel into the United States and will remain consistent. The law currently states that the import of marijuana into the United States is illegal, even from states or countries where it is legal. The sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana or the facilitation of the aforementioned remains illegal under U.S Federal Law. Crossing the border into the United States with the possession of marijuana may le

Temporary Protective Status Survives: Court Injunction Gives Temporary Life to 300,000 TPS Holders

October 3, 2018 Norther District of California - TPS holders and families all over the nation are feeling a sense of hope with the recent immigration court injunction. Judge Edward Chen in regards to the recent case Ramos v. Nielsen pending in the Northern District of California created an injunction to prevent the Trump administration from ending the Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS is currently protecting over 300,000 individuals from returning to countries of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. The Department of Homeland Security recently planned to terminate TPS from recipients of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. TPS holders of these six countries mak

Immigration Case Denied: How USCIS is Taking Your Money While Making it Easier to Deny Your Case

In a massive shift in policy, USCIS recently announced that starting on September 11th, 2018, the Service could now deny immigration cases without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). An RFE is a notice that is given to an applicant who is seeking an immigration benefit, asking for additional information or evidence that will aid approval of their application. A NOID is a written notice that explains to the applicant or petitioner why their application is being denied and allows them the chance to explain why denial is not merited. This recent policy allows USCIS officers to use their full discretion on a case by case basis rather than giving an ap

Is Your Work Permit or Travel Permit Taking Forever? You Are Not Alone

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, continue to be heavily delayed by USCIS in its adjudication process. The current wait time is approx. 4.5 to 6.5 months for I-765 applications based on pending I-485 adjustment of status applications (Green Cards). At this time all other types of I-765 applications are taking about 5-7 months to be adjudicated. I-765 and I-131 applications that are filed along with an I-485 adjustment of status application are being reviewed for a second time prior a decision being made, pushing the entire process into much more lengthy delays. Applicants are being warned to cautiously fill out their applica

Travel Ban 3.0 Explained - A Consular Officer's Guide to Adjudication

Last month, the U.S Supreme Court lifted P.P. 9645 orders for the suspension of the distribution of visas from the following eight countries; Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela. Lifting the lower courts injections takes away the opportunity for an exemption for nationals from the eight countries who have a bona-fide relationship with a person in the United States. Individuals from North Korea and Venezuela will continue to be ruled under the P.P restrictions as this lifting did not officially affect them. Individuals who fall under the categories of the P.P and are seeking a visa will be reviewed by Consular Officers and issued a visa only when the applicant

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