President Trump issued a memo extending the DED wind-down period for current Liberian DED beneficiaries through January 10, 2021, “to facilitate uninterrupted work authorization” for those currently in the United States under DED who are eligible to apply for LPR status under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) provision of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2020. See USCIS’s information on the LRIF program.
In response to COVID-19, certain consular posts have begun alerting applicants of reduced or temporarily suspended visa services. DOS has compiled country-specific information to keep stakeholders apprised of changes. In addition, the Analytics Committee of AILA’s Global Migration Section (GMS), with generous help from GMS members, has put together a report outlining the ways countries are responding to the ongoing outbreak. The report contains general resources as well as information on 35 countries. Because of the fluidity of the situation,
There are immigration-related challenges as a direct result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Generally, nonimmigrants must depart the United States before their authorized period of admission expires. However, nonimmigrants may unexpectedly remain in the United States beyond their authorized period of stay due to COVID-19. Should this occur, the following options are available for nonimmigrants:
Apply for an Extension. Most nonimmigrants can mitigate the immigration consequences of COVID-19 by timely filing an application for extension of stay (EOS) or change in status (COS). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to accept and process applications and petitions.
If You File in a Timely Manner. Nonimmigrants generally do not accrue unlawful presence while the timely-filed, non-frivolous EOS/COS application is pending. Where applicable, employment authorization with the same employer, subject to the same terms and conditions of the prior approval, is automatically extended for up to 240 days after I-94 expiration when an extension of stay request is filed on time.
Flexibility for Late Applications. USCIS can consider delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic when deciding whether to excuse delays in filing documents based on extraordinary circumstances.
Under current regulations and as noted on USCIS’s Special Situations page, if a petitioner or applicant files an extension of stay or change of status request (on Forms I-129 or I-539) after the authorized period of admission expires, USCIS, in its discretion, may excuse the failure to file on time if it was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, such as those that may be caused by COVID-19. The length of delay must be commensurate with the circumstances. The petitioner or applicant must submit credible evidence to support their request, which USCIS will evaluate on a case-by-case basis. These special situations have been used at various times in the past, including for natural disasters and similar crises.
Flexibility for Visa Waiver Entrants. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) entrants are not eligible to extend their stay or change status. However, under current regulations, if an emergency (such as COVID-19) prevents the departure of a VWP entrant, USCIS in its discretion may grant a period of satisfactory departure for up to 30 days. Please see 8 CFR 217.3(a). For those VWP entrants already granted satisfactory departure and unable to depart within this 30-day period because of COVID-19 related issues, USCIS has the authority to temporarily provide an additional 30-day period of satisfactory departure. To request satisfactory departure from USCIS, a VWP entrant should call the USCIS Contact Center.
If you would like to discuss your options for extending or changing your status while here in the United States with an immigration attorney please click the button below for a video meeting.
On October 25, 2019, the Attorney General held in Matter of Castillo-Perez that evidence of two or more DUI convictions during the relevant statutory period establishes a rebuttable presumption of a lack of good moral character (GMC).
This is a huge change. Prior to this ruling misdemeanor DUI convictions had no impact on GMC. Because this is such a big change and it affects so many people, we will be preparing a webinar and video on this topic.
If you are interested in signing up for our free webinar and video, please click this link.
Per order of the Chief United States District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio: “There shall be no naturalization proceedings in the southern district of Ohio for a period of 45 days of this order, or until further notice of this Court. The Court will vacate or amend this General Order no later than May 28, 2020.
For more information on Naturalization, please download our free ebook here.