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USCIS Joins Digital Age With Credit Card Pilot Program

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USCIS has created a pilot program wherein they will start accepting credit card payments for certain applicants. These applicants are: U nonimmigrants filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; and Petitioners filing Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers with premium processing or when filing a Form I-907 to upgrade an […]

No More “Bridging the Gap” for Students

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On July 20, 2021, USCIS issued a policy alert stating that applicants who are in the process of changing their status to F-1 no longer need to apply to change or extend their nonimmigrant status to “bridge the gap” between the two statuses. Previously, applicants who wanted to change their status to F-1 had to […]

Proposed Pathways to Greencards for DACA and TPS Recipients

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As a part of the initial items on its legislative agenda, the Biden administration and congressional Democrats have proposed two pieces of legislation aimed at immigration reform. One proposed act is HR 6, the American Dream and Promise Act. This Act predominantly considers the reshaping of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and […]

Proposed New Pathways to Citizenship and Proposed Immigration Changes

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The Biden administration has proposed HR 117, the US Citizenship Act, which addresses key components and introduce new provisions to existing immigration law. The proposed statute additionally signify a substantial turn from current border and immigration administrative practices, taking a more aimed approach to immigration reform than its previous administration. Particularly, the US Citizenship Act […]

Prosecutorial Discretion or its informal name “How to get the Government to Drop its Immigration Case Against You”

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Prosecutorial discretion allows the government to choose whether or not to take enforcement action against a person. In the immigration context, US government attorneys have discretion when to terminate removal proceedings against an immigrant. In May 2021, USCIS issued a memorandum which encouraged US government attorneys to use prosecutorial discretion to expedite cases and move […]

New Work Permit Rules

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On September 11, 2020 the US District Court for Maryland in Casa de Maryland v. Chad Wolf,  issued an injunction against the Trump administration’s limitation on work permits for asylum seekers. Under the court order, members of Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) or Casa de Maryland are given certain benefits. These benefits are: 1) ability […]

EOIR Amends the Regulations Regarding Processing of Immigration Appeals

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The DOJ finalized a rule on December 11, 2020 with far-reaching changes to the process for appealing immigration decisions. The rule will amend the Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”) regulations regarding the handling of appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). The rule removes various procedural protections, emphasizing a perceived need to speed […]

New Asylum Regulation to Drastically Affect Asylum Cases

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On December 11, 2020, DHS published a final rule titled “Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review”. The rule, scheduled to go into effect on January 11, 2020, creates substantial procedural and evidentiary barriers for asylum seekers, including those fleeing gang-based, gender-based, and family related violence. Essentially, the rule […]

DACA Restored

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On December 4th, a federal judge in New York overturned the Trump administration’s latest effort to limit the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. This decision means that starting December 7, hundreds of thousands of people should be able to apply for DACA for the first time. The court order states that DHS’ July […]

USCIS Policy Update on Adjustment of Status Applications

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has updated its policy manual regarding DHS’ discretion in adjudicating adjustment of status applications. The policy update now includes a list ( although not comprehensive) of positive and negative factors that may impact the how DHS’ decision in adjudicating the application and whether a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted. […]