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Tuesday, September 29 2020

A federal judge in California blocked a Trump administration rule that would've hiked up naturalization fees by more than 80% and charged a first-time fee for asylum applicants, days before the regulation was set to take effect.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for the country's immigration and naturalization system, updated and finalized its fee structure after a nearly nine-month review earlier this year.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White granted a motion Tuesday that will stop U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from imposing the fee changes that were expected to go into effect Friday. Though the ruling was made in California, the decision calls for the fees to be blocked across the country because of the various local and state governments that argued against the fee changes.

USCIS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However in another recent decision USCIS was permitted to re-institute the I-944 and the Trump Public Charge Rules that more aggressively target legal immigration by family members to the US. 

With that said, the same decision that blocked the USCIS fee increase also created doubt that the any changes made by the Trump Administration since the resignation of Kristen Nielson in in April 2019 were not lawful as Trump failed to follow federal law in appointing her replacement Chad Wolf. Therefore all changes done by Chad Wold since early 2019 could well be found to be invalid as Chad Wolf was not actually lawfully in charge of the Department of Homeland Security when actions he worked on were ordered. 

Posted by: Christopher M. Pogue, Esq AT 08:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 14 2020

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors 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;

Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5,

Receipt of Derogatory Information Aer Grant;

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.

Notice/Request/Decision Issuance Date: This flexibility applies to the above documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice, or decision is between March 1, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021, inclusive.

Response Due Date: USCIS will consider a response to the above requests and notices received within 60 calendar days aer the response due date set in the request or notice before taking any action. Additionally, we will consider a Form N-336 or Form I-290B received up to 60 calendar days from the date of the decision before we take any action

Posted by: Christopher M. Pogue, Esq AT 10:13 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 02 2020

Fiance Visa Processing is functioning again for case already approved by USCIS, but not yet forwarded to the Embassy or Consulate. US Embassy and Consulates Posts will resume K visa application processing as local conditions and resources allow.

Applicants should check the website of their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for updates on what services that post is currently able to offer. Where an embassy indicated on its website that is allowing routine visa scheduling we are recommeding that clients contact the Post directly for the case file to be forwarded from the National Visa Center (NVC) to the Post for interview scheduling.

The process for interview will vary widely Post to Post, so in each case it will be important to keep in close contact with the local post and follow their local instructions closely to ensure timely visa stamping interview scheduling.

The 1-129 Petition for Alien Fiance(e) is typically valid for four months; however, consular officers may revalidate the 1-129 petition in four month increments. For most cases impacted by the suspension of routine visa services or COVID-19 travel restrictions it will not be necessary to file a new 1-129 petition.

Posted by: Christopher M. Pogue, Esq AT 11:38 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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