On October 4, 2019, President Trump issued a proclamation that will require legal immigrants to gain approved health insurance coverage within 30 days of their entry to the U.S, unless they can prove that they are in a financial position that allows them to cover their own foreseeable medical expenses...
On June 17, 2019, USCIS announced that it will be implementing a national strategy to decrease differences in processing times based on location for both naturalization applications and adjustment of status applications. Since 2015, USCIS has experienced an increase in processing times due to higher than expected volumes received during fiscal years 2016 and 2017 that did not decrease as originally expected. Fiscal year 2017 receipts were up 15.6% from fiscal year 2016, and fiscal year 2016 receipts were up 25.5% from fiscal year 2015. The increased filing volumes did not affect field offices equally, which resulted in some disparity among processing times. USCIS will now begin to shift caseloads between field offices to decrease processing times. As a result, applicants may be scheduled to appear for an interview at a field office outside of their normal jurisdiction. This change will not affect where applicants attend their biometrics appointments. If you are interested in learning more about adjustment of status or naturalization, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!
If you are a foreign national present in the U.S. and wish to travel outside of the U.S., you may come across a situation when you need to complete an Application for an Advance Parole Travel Document. Anyone who is applying for or who has already applied for this document should take note of a recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICIS) update to determine if it is applicable to them. If a foreign national applies for an advance parole travel document and departs the U.S. without possession of this document that is valid for the entire time the applicant is abroad, USCIS will consider the pending application abandoned. In that situation, an applicant would be responsible for beginning the entire application process from scratch. USCIS also notes that it is possible for an individual to have an approved advance parole document while another advance parole document is pending with the agency. Individuals are permitted to travel on the approved advance parole document, so long as the document is valid for the entire time abroad. In this situation, a pending Application for an Advance Parole Travel Document will not be considered abandoned. The main distinction USCIS highlights with this update […]
Obtaining a U.S. Green Card is a two-step process. The first step is filing either an I-130 or I-140 petition. The Form I-130 is designated for family members who are filing on behalf of their foreign national relative, while the I-140 is reserved for employers sponsoring a foreign national employee. The second step of the immigrant visa process is asking the government to create an actual green card for the applicant. There are two ways to do this: (1) Adjustment of Status, which can be used to apply for lawful permanent residency (green card) when the applicant is present in the U.S.; and (2) Consular Processing, which is used to apply for a green card when the applicant is outside the U.S. Both methods of filing have advantages and disadvantages, and a decision should be made based on the applicant’s location at the time of filing, future travel and work plans, and the individual’s preference for processing. The chart below provides a broad overview of the two available options. Please note: This information should not be considered comprehensive or applicable to any individual case. Information specific to individual cases can be obtained through consultation with an attorney at our firm. […]
USCIS announced yesterday that beginning on October 1, 2017, they will begin expanding in-person interviews for applicants moving from an employment-based nonimmigrant status to Lawful Permanent Resident status through the filing of an Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) application. This change comes as part of President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” It is part of USCIS’s comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the U.S. immigration system. Previously, employment-based adjustment of status applicants did not require an in-person interview with USCIS officers in order for their application for permanent residency to be adjudicated. However, USCIS did have the ability to call an applicant in for an interview if they felt the need arose. USCIS notes that conducting in-person interviews will now provide USCIS officers with the opportunity to verify the information provided in an individual’s application, to discover new information that may be relevant to the adjudication process, and to determine the credibility of the individual seeking permanent resident status in the United States. This change will likely result in over 100,000 additional in-person interviews conducted each year, which we […]
Foreign nationals who wish to “adjust” their non-immigrant status to immigrant status (permanent resident status) often have several questions about their current status while the adjustment is pending. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you better navigate the adjustment of status process. Q: Can I travel while my Adjustment of Status is pending? In order to travel while your adjustment of status is pending, you will need a travel document called an Advanced Parole (AP). This is critical as traveling without an Advanced Parole can be considered abandoning your application and will terminate the process. The Advance Parole document is typically applied for on Form I-131 and is usually included as part of the standard Adjustment of Status package. Advance Parole will grant permission for a foreign national who is applying for a green card to leave the country and re-enter while the green card petition is still pending. For more information on Advanced Parole, click here. Q: Does traveling under Advanced Parole affect my current status? When you re-enter the U.S. with your Advance Parole travel document, you will continue to hold whatever status is valid. If your Advanced Parole (AP) expired while you are abroad, however, you […]
There are several advantages and disadvantages to the process of Adjusting your Status from within the United States or going through Consular Processing from abroad after deciding to depart the country. Here we break down the pros and cons of each process and provide some tips for completing either option. If you must file an I-140 before making a decision to adjust your status or depart for abroad consular processing, make sure to select the consular processing option in Part 4 Question 1 of Form I-140. This will allow for both options to remain available to you as it is much easier to switch to Adjustment of Status after selecting Consular Processing than it is to change to Consular Processing after selecting Adjustment of Status. If you decide Adjustment of Status … Make sure the forms are carefully drafted with the correct filing fees and supporting documentation. Be aware that processing delays may still occur. Employment-based Adjustment of Status, unlike most family-based cases, is less likely to require an interview. Adjustment of Status – Advantages Adjustment of Status – Disadvantages • Predictability of timing and government communication • Increased access to manage any problems • AC-21 portability (ability to change […]