I-944 Changes

USCIS has released the following information re: suspending the public benefit condition imposed with the filing of Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency.

“On July 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) in State of New York, et al. v. DHS, et al. and Make the Road NY et al. v. Cuccinelli, et al. enjoined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule for any period during which there is a declared national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak…Beginning on July 29, 2020 USCIS will apply the 1999 public charge guidance that was in place before the Public Charge Rule was implemented on Feb. 24, 2020; in other words, the public benefit condition will not be applied.”

Visa Bulletin 08/2020

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 PREFERENCESFirst: (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 August 2020.


https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-for-August-2020.html

Medical Exam Extensions Visa Applicants Overseas

Immigrant visas are limited to the validity of the medical examination for a period of six months. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved a one-month extension for medical examinations conducted between January 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020. If you were unable to travel on your issued visa or obtained your medical examination but did not receive your visa, contact the Immigrant Visa Unit of the U.S. Consulate that is adjudicating your visa application to determine whether you may be reissued a visa for one additional month. If you are not able to travel within the one additional month, consider waiting until you are able to travel and obtain a new medical examination and visa.

USCIS Deadline Flexibility

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, USCIS is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30 to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers; and
  • Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

For assistance with filing your case, please reach out to Agarwal Law Offices at 978-905-9992.

USCIS Deadline Flexibility

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, USCIS is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30 to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers; and
  • Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

For assistance with filing your case, please reach out to Agarwal Law Offices at 978-905-9992.

USCIS Update on Discretion

USCIS has updated its policy guidance regarding officers’ application of discretion in adjudications. Their press release follows:

For many immigration benefits, including certain applications for lawful permanent residence and employment authorization, requestors must show that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted, in addition to showing that they meet all other eligibility requirements. In these cases, officers typically analyze discretion at the end of the review, after they have determined the requestor meets all other applicable eligibility requirements.

The policy guidance:

  • Provides an overview and the general goals of the discretionary analysis, including the appropriate scope of discretion;
  • Provides non-exhaustive lists of discretionary factors that officers should consider on a case-by-case basis;
  • Explains how officers should generally weigh factors in a case and properly document the discretionary determination; and
  • Explains that the ultimate decision to exercise discretion depends on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.

Visa Bulletin 07/2020

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 PREFERENCESFirst: (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 July 2020.


https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2020/visa-bulletin-for-July-2020.html

DHS Covid Response

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued their weekly response to the COVID -19 pandemic.

“Responding to COVID-19 requires not just a whole of government approach, but instead a whole of America response. I am happy to represent DHS by providing support to Health and Human Services as they remind our citizens, we each have to do our parts and recognize our own personal responsibility to stop the spread; to practice the CDC guidelines and inspire those around us to do the same- together we can stop the spread.”

Update on U Visa Submissions

Starting June 29, 2020, petitioners residing in certain states must file Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, at the Nebraska Service Center, instead of the Vermont Service Center

Petitioners should determine which service center they should send these and related forms (such as Form I-192 and Form I-765) based on their state of residence. Please for more information re: filing location, contact Agarwal Law Offices at 978-905-9992.

USCIS Extends Flexibility

USCIS has announced it will be extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to the following:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers;
  • Filing date requirements for Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA); or
  • Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

This flexibility applies to the above documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1 and Sept. 11, 2020, inclusive. USCIS will consider a response to the above requests and notices received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking any action.

For guidance with an RFE, please contact Agarwal Law Offices at 978-905-9992.