On January 19, 2021, a Final Rule issued by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) will become effective that will “increase the fees for those EOIR applications, appeals, and motions that are subject to an EOIR-determined fee, based on a fee review conducted by the EOIR.” These fee increases apply to Forms EOIR-26, 29, 40, 42A, 42B, 45 and motions to reopen or reconsider before the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ) and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). This Rule was first Proposed back on February 28, 2020 by the Department of Justice.
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on December 31 of 2020, extending the bans on certain immigrant and non-immigrant visas that were previously banned as per his proclamations on April 22 and June 22 of 2020, respectively. Although these orders were supposed to expire on December 31 of 2020 itself, the President invoked the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on jobs in late 2020 to justify protecting US workers by continuing both of the bans.While the ban would primarily hurt applicants for the H-1B visa, it would
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri A recent source of controversy in the Trump Administration’s typically hardline approach to illegal immigration concerns the surveillance of social media by Homeland Security Investigations to track down immigrant activity, violations, and First-Amendment-protected expression disapproved of by authorities that lead to detention and deportation. This has entailed searching and gathering information from electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, thumb drives, and cell phones. Searching these devices and using tools to unlock encrypted information on these devices of those coming near the US border with
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri EB-5 and other professional green card applicants can finally breathe a sigh of relief while going through the application process. Last week, on December 2, 2020, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed bill S.386, known as the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. If approved by the President (whoever that will be), it would be of immense benefit to green card applicants of different categories, for it would remove the “caps on the number of immigrants who can be approved for permanent residency permits (“green cards”)” and help clear
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri The creation of anonymous corporations for illicit purposes such as money laundering, the sale of pirated and counterfeit goods, human trafficking, and the drug trade has been a source of great concern for the U.S. government. These corporations are used to hide stolen assets and are without clearly identified owners, making it difficult to hold anyone to account. A range of groups have called for legislation demanding transparency from newly formed reporting corporations to hinder the creation of these anonymous shell corporate structures used to
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri In what counts as a severe blow to the Trump administration’s revamped immigration system in its final month, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an order to reinstate the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) to its pre-Trump administration status. Before President Trump tried to end it in September of 2017, DACA served to permit young immigrants without legal status but had been brought over as children, to live and work legally in the U.S. This was
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri As noted before on this blogsite, on October 8, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security issued an interim final rule that was meant to revamp the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa program. Called Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program, this interim final rule changed the definition requirements for “specialty occupations,” among other aspects, in order to make applications for the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa more challenging. The overall purpose behind the changes was to decrease reliance on the H-1B program and encourage employers to look more to
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri In what came as a shock to immigration attorneys and clients applying to stay in the US and halt deportation proceedings, the Department of Justice imposed new deadlines for stay applications that critics say have left attorneys and clients in a mess. Last week on November 24, 2020, the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which overseas US immigration courts, set up new deadlines by which immigrants in certain cases must file an application with the immigration court to stay in the United States within
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri Over the past year, immigration activists have steadfastly opposed the Trump Administration’s changes to the Public Charge Rule, which denied green card applicants who would likely use various types of public assistance, such as Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers. Legal challenges have been especially persistent, with the first wave of lawsuits leading to a hold placed on the policy by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which was in turn reversed by the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote in January 2020. Concern was
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri As part of its efforts to further entrench his immigration policy during the home stretch of his Presidency, the Trump Administration is pushing forward as many regulatory actions as possible in a short period of time. Its latest proposal continues the Trump administration’s emphasis on restricting opportunities for immigrant workers in order to leave them open to American workers. On November 17, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a rule to cancel work authorization for non-resident aliens, subject to final removal awaiting deportation.