Travel for TPS Beneficiaries

USCIS has updated its policy manual to clarify the effect of travel outside the United States by Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries who are subject to removal proceedings.

In particular, this update (PDF, 317 KB) covers beneficiaries who have final removal orders, and who depart the United States and return with an advance parole travel document. TPS beneficiaries in removal proceedings who travel abroad temporarily with the authorization of DHS remain subject to those removal proceedings. If they are under a final order of removal, the travel does not execute or fulfill the order. The alien in question remains subject to the removal order.   

The Executive Office for Immigration Review of the Department of Justice will generally have jurisdiction over an adjustment of status application filed by a TPS beneficiary subject to removal proceedings. USCIS continues to have jurisdiction over requests from aliens initially paroled into the United States. By statute, upon return to the United States with TPS travel authorization, TPS beneficiaries retain the same immigration status they held before departing the United States.

Social Media Disclosure

This is a reminder that the Department of State updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms to request additional information, including social media identifiers, from most U.S. visa applicants worldwide.

This update – which we initially announced last year in the Federal Register – is a result of the President’s March 6, 2017, Memorandum on Implementing Heightened Screening and Vetting of Applications for Visas and other Immigration Benefits and Section 5 of Executive Order 13780 regarding implementing uniform screening and vetting standards for visa applications. 

USCIS Expands on N400 Good Moral Character

USCIS has expanded its policy re: unlawful acts that may prevent an applicant from meeting the good moral character (GMC) requirement for naturalization:

On Dec. 10, USCIS issued separate policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual about how two or more convictions for driving under the influence or post-sentencing changes to criminal sentencing might affect GMC determinations.

In the Immigration and Nationality Act, Congress determined that good moral character is a requirement for naturalization,” said USCIS Deputy Director Mark Koumans. “USCIS is committed to faithfully administering our nation’s lawful immigration system, and this update helps to ensure that our agency’s adjudicators make uniform and fair decisions concerning the consideration of unlawful acts on good moral character when determining eligibility for U.S. citizenship.

AOS Filing 12/19

If USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state whether you may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications.

Otherwise, they will indicate that you must use the Application Final Action Dates to determine when you may file your adjustment of status application.

See the following link here for the month of December 2019:

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo

12/19 Visa Bulletin

The Visa Bulletin provides updated priority date information for family-based and employment-based green cards.

Immigrants to the US are classified into two categories – those requiring placement on a waiting list and those not through their relationship to a US immediate relative.

Further, there are numerical quotas on the green cards that require a priority date. If the number of applicants in a year is over the available visa numbers, those applicants are placed on a waiting list and are given a priority date, which estimates when an applicant would get a visa based on the number of previous applicants on the waiting list. Below are preference category information and visa allocations.

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES
First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

Below is the link for the Visa Bulletin for December 2019.

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-for-December-2019.html

For more information, contact ALO at 978-905-9992.

U Visa Law Enforcement Guide

USCIS has published the U Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide (PDF, 1.58 MB) to provide law enforcement and other certifying agencies with helpful information and best practices for the U visa certification process.

This guide will assist law enforcement and other certifying agencies, who play a critical role in the U visa adjudication process, and will ensure they have the resources they need to provide a properly completed certification for immigrant victims of crime. 

Law enforcement authorities and other certifying agencies provide certifications for U nonimmigrant status (U visa) petitioners. Individuals seeking a U visa because they have been a victim of a serious crime resulting in substantial mental or physical abuse must establish their eligibility. 

USCIS Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification, is a required certification to establish eligibility for U nonimmigrant status. The Form I-918, Supplement B, must be signed by an authorized official of the certifying agency (PDF, 1.58 MB) and the official must confirm the petitioner was helpful, is currently being helpful, or will likely be helpful in the detection, investigation or prosecution of a case. 

Poland VWP Designation

The Secretary of Homeland Security, designated Poland into the Visa Waiver Program after determining it met all program requirements.  Poland’s participation in VWP goes into effect on November 11, 2019.  Polish nationals can now apply to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a U.S. visa. Prospective travelers will have to obtain an approved travel authorization prior to their travel to the United States.  Applications should be made at least 72 hours in advance of travel through the Department of Homeland Security Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

SIJS Classification Update

USCIS has issued updates regarding the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Classification.

This update reaffirms and clarifies that:

The petitioner must have been a juvenile under relevant state law when the juvenile court order was issued;

USCIS requires evidence of a court’s intervention to provide relief from abuse, neglect, or abandonment beyond a statement that the juvenile is dependent on the court; and

USCIS will no longer require evidence that a state court had the authority to place a petitioner in the custody of an unfit parent in order to make a qualifying determination regarding parental reunification for purposes of SIJ classification.

USCIS guidance on new AOS for CPRs

USCIS issued policy guidance (PDF, 382 KB)explaining when USCIS may adjust the status of an alien whose Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) status has been terminated.

An alien with CPR status is generally ineligible to adjust their status on a new basis under the provisions of section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. However, USCIS may adjust an alien’s status if their CPR status has been terminated and:

The alien has a new basis for adjustment of status;

The alien is otherwise eligible to adjust status; and

USCIS has jurisdiction over the adjustment of status application.

AOS Filing Chart 11/19

If USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state whether you may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications.

Otherwise, they will indicate that you must use the Application Final Action Dates to determine when you may file your adjustment of status application.

See the following link here for the month of November 2019:

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo