Presidential Proclamation to Block Entry for Uninsured Immigrants

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...
Continue Reading

Back to School: Tips for International Students

As summer break comes to an end for many F-1 international students, it is important to keep in mind a few tips for a smooth entry into the U.S. for the upcoming school semester. When you re-enter at a U.S. Port of Entry, you should carry the following documents: your valid passport...
Continue Reading

CBP to Launch New Online System for Filing Nonimmigrant Waiver Applications

On May 30, 2019, CBP announced that a new online system, known as e-SAFE, will be launched in mid-2019 for electronic filing of Forms I-192 and I-212. This system allows eligible nonimmigrants, who do not require a visa to enter the United States, to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility via Forms I-192 and I-212. Advantages of applying online: Applicants can view their application status; Applicants can receive electronic communication; Applicants can submit additional information upon request, and Applicants can receive electronic notification of a decision in near real time. e-SAFE will accept online application payments and all supporting documents. Once the application is paid and submitted, the applicant will receive an electronic receipt of the application, and notification that he or she has 45 days to report to a CPB e-SAFE designated port of entry to provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) to complete the application. The list of locations currently processing electronic filings is limited as of now and includes: Peace Bridge, New York Lewiston Bridge, New York Rainbow Bridge, New York Peace Arch, Washington Pacific Highway, Washington Point Roberts, Washington Toronto Pearson International Airport Other locations will be added gradually. The paper filing is still an alternative […]
Continue Reading

Breaking News: Certain Ports of Entry No Longer Allowing L-1 Renewal Applications for Canadian Citizens

Berardi Immigration Law has recently learned that certain ports of entry along the Canadian border are now refusing to process petitions for renewal L-1 applications that are presented by Canadians pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This new policy affects both individual and blanket L petitions.  Initial reports indicated that this was a problem only at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) locations near Calgary. However, it has since expanded throughout several ports of entry and preclearance locations including Toronto Pearson International Airport (preclearance), Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary, Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (preclearance), Edmonton, Seattle, Pembina, Warroad, Pt. Roberts, Sumas, and more. Over the weekend, we have been informed that the Peace Bridge located in Buffalo, New York is now also enforcing this policy. This impacts all ports of entry under the Buffalo jurisdiction, including the Rainbow Bridge, Queenston/Lewiston Bridge, and Thousand Islands Bridge and all ports of entry on the northern New York/Canadian border. All L-1 renewal petitions for Canadians must now be submitted directly to USCIS for adjudication. The ports of entry that are refusing to process these petitions are relying on a section of the regulations (8 CFR §214.2(l)(15)(i)), which state that petition extensions […]
Continue Reading

Whirlpool Rapids Bridge Closing Temporarily

On April 1, 2019, the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, which spans the international border between Canada and the United States in Niagara Falls, will be temporarily closing. The closure is necessitated by the upcoming removal of the 1,700-foot Niagara Scenic Parkway viaduct above the bridge and customs plaza. The removal of the viaduct is part of a larger project for the renovation of the parkway along the Niagara River Gorge. The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, which is overseeing the redesign project, is hopeful that the project will ultimately expand the waterfront, increase access to the Niagara River Gorge, and add new green space to the area. The bridge is scheduled to be closed for 35 days until May 5, but these dates are tentative. Despite the closure, the Amtrak trains that run on a track on top of the bridge will continue to operate during the demolition. However, the closure of the bridge will certainly affect travel into, and out of, the United States because the NEXUS enrollment center at the bridge will also be closed temporarily. To help alleviate the loss of this entry point, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and the Rainbow Bridge will offer extended hours of NEXUS lane availability. […]
Continue Reading

Government Shutdown’s Continued Impact on Immigration

The government shutdown that began in December 2018 has become the longest U.S. government shutdown in history and is having some major impacts on immigration processing. Customs and Border Protection officers are considered essential staff due to the important role they play in national security at the U.S. border and ports of entry. This ultimately means that processing at ports of entry is occurring as usual. TNs and L-1 visas continue to be processed at ports of entry despite the shutdown, as officers are still adjudicating them. It is important to remember that while CBP officers are still working, they are not being compensated for their work at the present. Fortunately, they will be reimbursed once the shutdown ends, but it is still important to keep in mind when crossing the border and interacting with officers.  Unfortunately, other immigration-related areas are being impacted; specifically, the Admissibility Review Office. The Admissibility Review Office (ARO) is a subset of CBP that processes waiver applications. This office is not considered essential for government shutdown purposes and is not active until a federal budget is passed. This means that, at present, no Applications for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant for Canadians at the […]
Continue Reading

New Canadian Law Will Make Travel to Canada with a Past DUI More Difficult

Following the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada, the Canadian government is cracking down on driving violations that occur while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. New legislation is scheduled to take effect on December 18, 2018 and will have a major impact on visitors to Canada.  Under current law, non-Canadians who have ever been arrested or convicted of driving under the influence may be deemed criminally inadmissible to Canada and denied entry. This is regardless of whether the offense is a misdemeanor or felony. While United States law differentiates the severity of certain offenses in determining criminality, Canadian law does not in this context. The consequences of the current law are harsh; however, after 10 years without any additional offenses, individuals are deemed rehabilitated. This means they are able to enter Canada with no additional paperwork, fees or waivers.  After December 18th, the consequences of driving while under the influence will be even more severe. Individuals will no longer be considered rehabilitated, even after a 10-year period with no new offenses. According to Correctional Service Canada, anyone who has already been deemed rehabilitated prior to the new legislation taking effect will not be affected and can continue to […]
Continue Reading