Key Family Immigration News
Green Card Suspension – Impact Zone
April 23rd, 2020
Type: Family AND Employment based (as well as the Lottery);
Process: Consular Processing (NOT Adjustment of Status);
Family Categories: All Family Preferences (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4), as well as IR-P (parents of U.S. Citizens);
Employment Categories: All, except EB-5;
Who exactly? If your Interview at a U.S. Consulate abroad has not taken place yet (or if your interview took place, but you did not get your passport back with the Immigrant Visa), you are impacted.
What about ‘temporary’ Visas? Not impacted.
What about challenges in Courts?
The order will be challenged. An injunction lifting the order is not certain however, considering that the Supreme Court re-affirmed the President’s Authority to determine who could enter the United States during the ‘travel ban’.
But this order mentions ‘the economy’ as the reason, so the Presidential authority is much weaker than if ‘pandemic’ or national security’ had been used as a reason.
Immigration Planner’s prediction is that this suspension will be lifted by a U.S. Circuit Judge through an injunction within the next two to three weeks (this is a prediction, not a fact).
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State Department cancels interviews at most U.S. consulates abroad
March 18th, 2020
Effective immediately, Green Card Interviews are cancelled at most U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide. Although not specifically stated, it seems that all countries with ‘Travel Advisory’ that is Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4 cancelled Interviews.
Who is impacted?: Consular Processing (not Adjustment of Status)
What is the ‘Travel Advisory’ for my country?: see here
Embassy / Consulate specific information?: see here
USCIS suspends all in-person services until at least April 1, 2020
March 17th, 2020
USCIS domestic field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by this closure. USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date and location for the interview. When USCIS again resumes normal operations, USCIS will automatically reschedule Application Support Center appointments due to the office closure. You will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Individuals who had InfoPass or other appointments at the field office must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center, once field offices reopen to the public.
Europe -> U.S. Travel Suspension
March 12th, 2020
The United States will bar arrivals from 26 European countries for 30 days from midnight on Friday. The bar applies to people who have been to Europe “at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the US”.
The bar DOES NOT APPLY to returning U.S. Citizens and Green Card Holders.
‘Public Charge’ went into effect
February 24th, 2020
The new USCIS rules about Public Charge (Affidavit of Support) went into effect on Monday 24th of February in all U.S. States (including Illinois) and applicants going through Adjustment need to file Form I-944 while applicants going through Consular Processing need to prepare or file Form DS-5540.