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Summary of President Trump’s April 22, 2020 Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market

Law Office of Tricia Wang April 23, 2020

The proclamation becomes effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (ET).

Trump’s Executive Order suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who:

  • Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
  • Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and
  • Does not have a valid official travel document (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document) on the effective date, or issued on any date thereafter that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.

The following categories are exempted from the proclamation:

  1. Lawful permanent residents (LPR)
  2. Individuals, and their spouses or children, seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, (as determined by the Secretaries of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or their respective designees)
  3. Individuals applying for a visa to enter the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program
  4. Spouses of U.S. citizens
  5. Children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees seeking to enter on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa
  6. Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives (as determined by the Secretaries of DHS and State based on the recommendation of the Attorney General (AG), or their respective designees)
  7. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
  8. Individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee (SI or SQ classification)
  9. Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees).

It is within the discretion of the consular officer to determine if an individual is within one of the exempted categories outlined above.

Nonimmigrant visa holders are not included in the proclamation. However, the proclamation requires that within 30 days of the effective date, the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and recommend to the President other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers.

Asylum seekers are not included in the ban. The proclamation states that it does not limit the ability of individuals to apply for asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

Prioritized Removal.

Individuals who circumvent the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation or illegal entry will be prioritized for removal.

Expiration.

The proclamation expires 60 days from its effective date and may be continued as necessary. Within 50 days from the effective date, the Secretary of DHS shall, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor, recommend whether the President should continue or modify the proclamation.


Did you fall out of status due to your lawyer’s mistake?

Law office of Tricia Wang April 16, 2020

It is very important to maintain your lawful nonimmigrant status in the United States. If you fall out of status, it can make you become ineligible to apply change of status to another visa status, or to apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident down the road. Once you fall out of status, you will start accruing unlawful presence, which may result in you getting subject to 3-year or 10-year bar depending on the length of your unlawful presence.

But what if you fall out of status is due to no fault of your own? The most recent United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision says applicant should not be held responsible for failing to maintain lawful status where the failure was due to lawyer’s mistake.

In Peters v. Barr, 4/2/20, the Court granted the petition for review, holding that the petitioner remained eligible for adjustment of status because she had reasonably relied on her attorney’s assurances that he had filed the correct I-129 petition necessary to maintain her lawful immigration status, and thus her failure to maintain lawful status continuously since entering the United States occurred through no fault of her own. The court found that 8 CFR §1245.1(d)(2) was invalid to the extent that it excludes reasonable reliance on the assistance of counsel from the circumstances covered by the statutory phrase “other than through no fault of his own.”


USCIS Addresses COVID-19 Delays in Extension/Change of Status Filings

Law office of Tricia Wang April 15, 2020

Generally, nonimmigrants must depart the United States before their authorized period of admission expires. Due to COVID-19, USCIS recently issued the below guidance:

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, and many of our forms are available for online filing.

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 reminds petitioners and applicants that it can consider delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic when deciding whether to excuse delays in filing documents based on extraordinary circumstances.


Is your Immigrant Visa expiring and you are still stuck in your country due to Covid-19?

Law office of Tricia Wang April 13, 2020

During the most recent meeting of the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) with the Department of State (DOS) Visa Office, the Visa Office states that “If a visa has been issued but the applicant cannot travel, State may be able to re-print a visa foil if the underlying documents have not expired. Where the documents expire while waiting to be able to travel to the U.S. the applicant will be required to obtain new documents.”

No further details about what to do and when can this get done. You are suggested to contact the US Consulate that issued your immigrant visa for further instructions.


IS YOUR IMMIGRANT VISA “REFUSED”? IS YOUR APPLICATION STUCK IN “ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSING”?

Law office of Tricia Wang April 11, 2020

During the most recent meeting of the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) with the Department of State (DOS) Visa Office, DOS revealed a very interesting change made to the CEAC (Consular Electronic Application Center) application status messaging. It goes as the following:

After a visa application is filed, it must be either approved or refused. Applications delayed by administrative processing are considered refused. Such applications can be reinstated where an applicant cures a deficiency in an application, or a security background issue is resolved.

What is the reason behind this change? It is to avoid the mandamus lawsuit!!!

“State further explained that mandamus lawsuits seeking court order to compel adjudication of applications delayed by long-pending administrative processing have pointed out that previous CEAC messaging suggested that the case has not been adjudicated.” So in response, State now changed the messaging to indicate an application is either “issued” or “refused” so that they don’t get sued!! Very creative, right?


A Good Lawyer Makes all the Difference!

Law office of Tricia Wang April 10, 2020

This is a difficult case. After the insurance company offered $50,000 in compensation, it refused to increase it. Attorney Lundry of our law firm, with his in-depth knowledge of personal injury and insurance laws, strives to obtain double compensation (Collateral Source rule) for clients “lost wages”. The case was originally scheduled for trial in May this year. Considering the impact of the Covid-19 on the court system and the many uncertainties under the epidemic, we helped the client analyze various pros and cons, and decisively resolved the case for the $ 130,000 settlement. Our client is very appreciative of our work.

case settlement

U.S. Permanent Residents Unable to Travel Back to U.S. Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Law office of Tricia Wang March 30, 2020

Per USCIS guidance, green card holders who find themselves in this situation may consider preserving evidence of their intentions to return to the United States by taking the following potentially helpful steps to “maintain ties to the U.S.”:

  • Maintain a residence in the U.S. This can be through the ownership of a home or renting an apartment.
  • Maintain bank accounts, credit cards and investments in the U.S. to show financial ties.
  • Maintain insurance in the U.S., including home, health, and life insurance.
  • File U.S. tax returns.
  • Have utilities, a driver’s license, and car ownership in the permanent resident’s name.

Additionally, green card holders should consider carrying with them evidence of their ties to the U.S. after an extended absence abroad, in case they are questioned at the airport regarding their absence from the U.S. Under current circumstances, if a green card holder is questioned upon reentry to the U.S. after a long stay in China, for example, he or she should be prepared to explain the reasons for the extended absence, including coronavirus-travel restrictions. CBP is well-apprised of the “2019-nCoV” outbreak.

As a result of the coronavirus, a number of U.S. permanent residents may face such health screenings as well as questioning by CBP about their lengthy trips abroad after being forced to cancel their initial return flights to the U.S. However, as one example of showing “ties to the U.S.,” individuals in this situation should retain their canceled trip itineraries, including plane tickets previously purchased for their short trips, and bring these documents with them once able to safely travel back to the United States. It may be necessary for green card holders to show these documents and explain to the CBP officer, if questioned about the extended absence abroad, that they had in fact planned a short trip and had full intentions of returning to the U.S., but due to the unforeseen and dangerous circumstances surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, they were forced to cancel an earlier return flight to the U.S. and rebook it for a later date once travel restrictions were eased or it was safe for them to travel.


USCIS gives 60-day grace period for RFE responses

Law office of Tricia Wang March 30, 2020

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is adopting a measure to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020.

Any response to an RFE, NOID, NOIR, or NOIT received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken. Any Form I-290B received up to 60 calendar days from the date of the decision will be considered by USCIS before it takes any action.


Embassies and consulates will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020

Law office of Tricia Wang March 20, 2020

In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020. As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services.

Our overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. Services to U.S. citizens continue to be available. More information is available on each Embassy’s website. This does not affect the Visa Waiver Program.

Although all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments are cancelled, the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee is valid and may be used for a visa appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. Applicants with an urgent matter and need to travel immediately should follow the guidance provided at the Embassy’s website to request an emergency appointment.


DOS Suspends Routine Visa Services at All U.S. Embassies and Consulates

Law office of Tricia Wang March 20, 2020

In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020.

As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services.

Our overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.

Services to U.S. citizens continue to be available. More information is available on each Embassy’s website. This does not affect the Visa Waiver Program.

Although all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments are cancelled, the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee is valid and may be used for a visa appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. Applicants with an urgent matter and need to travel immediately should follow the guidance provided at the Embassy’s website to request an emergency appointment.


USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for FY2021 Cap-Subject Petitions

Law office of Tricia Wang March 17, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced the temporary suspension of premium processing service for fiscal year (FY) 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions.

Petitioners filing FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not be able to request premium processing when USCIS begins accepting cap-subject petitions on April 1. Until premium processing resumes for FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 concurrently filed with a cap-subject H-1B Form I-129.

As USCIS has done in the past, premium processing will resume in a two-phased approach during the FY 2021 cap season so that USCIS can best manage premium processing requests. The first phase will include FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status. The second phase will include all other FY 2021 cap-subject petitions.


Important USCIS Closure Notice

Law office of Tricia Wang March 17, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has temporarily closed our San Francisco and San Jose Field Offices; Oakland, Salinas, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Rosa Application Support Centers; and the San Francisco Asylum Office due to a local Shelter-In-Place order (San Francisco County and City Public Health Order; Santa Clara County Public Health Order).

USCIS will send notices with rescheduling instructions to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments impacted by this closure. USCIS will automatically reschedule Application Support Center (ASC) appointments due to the office closure. You will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Individuals who had InfoPass or other appointments at the field office must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center. If an applicant received an appointment notice rescheduling a ceremony originally scheduled for March 18 or 25, please disregard. USCIS will send an updated notice once the office reopens.

Individuals who need an emergency interview or other services from the closed offices should call the USCIS Contact Center.

Additionally, USCIS is postponing all in-person public engagement and outreach events in the San Francisco area for the duration of the office closure. (We Community Relations Officers and other employees are still working remotely or in the office, so emergency situations can be addressed. However, we urge folks not to violate the shelter-in-place orders.)

Requests for Evidences that are due during the closure for the San Francisco or San Jose Field Offices will have a one-month extension. If you have questions about specific situations, let us know.


New form DS-5540 beginning use Feb 24, 2020

Law office of Tricia Wang March 10, 2020

If you are applying for your family relatives overseas, please be advised that the new form DS-5540 is beginning use Feb 24, 2020.

On October 15, 2019 the Department of State published an interim final rule to align its public charge standards with those of the Department of Homeland Security. On October 24, 2019, State published proposed form DS-5540, Public Questionnaire. OMB approved the form on February 20, 2020, for use beginning February 24, 2020.

There will be a transition period in which applicants will not be required to submit the form to be documentarily qualified at NVC or KCC. However, applicants may complete the form and submit it to NVC or KCC with other documents, or provide it at the time of the interview. The consular officer may also elicit relevant information verbally.

After February 24, 2020, any applicant who the consular officer believes may be ineligible under the public charge provision, as it relates to the totality of the circumstances, will first be requested to complete the DS-5540 to ensure a complete picture of the applicant’s age, health, assets, education and skills are evaluated before a public charge finding is made.

In IV cases where there are derivative family members, only the principal applicant will be required to complete the DS-5540.

Form DS-5540 requests an applicant to provide proof of health insurance if the applicant responded “yes” to question 4 or 4A and to also provide a copy of his/her latest tax return if taxes were filed in the United States within the three previous years prior to interview. Applicants should also consider bringing any additional supporting documents to the interview to establish assets, skills, liabilities or other information provided on the Form DS-5540 should the consular officer find it useful in making a public charge determination based on the totality of the circumstances.

Under current procedures, if an applicant submits a DS-5540 with other supporting documents to NVC, it will not be reviewed at NVC, but will remain with the paper or electronic case file that is sent to post.

K-1 visa continue to be subject to the public charge determination when applying for a visa. DHS also may make a public charge determination at the time of admission and adjustment. However, K-1 is a nonimmigrants visa classification, therefore PP9945 (DS-5540) does not apply to K-1s.


You hit a vehicle stalled in the middle of the freeway during a pitch black night. Are you at fault?

Law office of Tricia Wang February 27, 2020

We have a client who crashed into such a stalled vehicle in the middle of the freeway at midnight. In the beginning the liable party’s insurance company insisted that our client was the one at fault and should be held liable for this accident. After our relentless effort, the liable party’s insurance finally accepted 100% liability and we were able to achieve a settlement that exceeded our expectations.

The goal of Law Office of Tricia Wang is to help our clients get the highest compensation they deserve. If unfortunately you get seriously injured in an auto accident, please contact us immediately by phone 510-791-0232, or through WeChat. Our website:

http://www.wangslaw.com


How Does the New Public Charge Rule Affect You?

Law office of Tricia Wang February 24, 2020

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented a new rule, effective February 24, 2020, to decide who will be considered a “Public Charge” (someone that is likely to need financial assistance from the government). The Department of State (DOS) is also seeking to have its Public Charge rule take effect on the same day.

On or after February 24, 2020, you will need to provide additional information and documents to USCIS as part of your application. This includes information about your health, family, education, income, assets, liabilities, receipt of any public benefits, and an Affidavit of Support from a financial sponsor. If you are found to be inadmissible as a Public Charge, you may be able to pay a bond and still adjust, change or extend your status.

What Benefits Are Problems for Public Charge?

  • Cash Assistance for Income Maintenance (includes TANF, SSI, and federal, state, and local assistance programs)
  • SNAP or Food Stamps
  • Medicaid (with exceptions listed below)
  • Housing Assistance (Public Housing or Section 8 Housing Vouchers and Rental Assistance)

What Benefits May My Family and I Still Receive?

Any benefits not on the above list are NOT considered as public benefits under the public charge rule, such as:

  • Benefits received by the immigrant’s family members
  • Benefits received by U.S. Armed Forces Service Members
  • Emergency medical assistance
  • Medicaid received by (1) children under 21; (2) during pregnancy or within 60 days of pregnancy; or (3) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Heath Insurance under the Affordable Care Act
  • Social Security and Medicare
  • WIC
  • CHIP
  • Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
  • Pell grants and student loans
  • Worker’s Compensation or Unemployment Benefits
  • Tax-related cash benefits

If you want more information about public charge or to learn if you might be eligible for immigration benefits or relief, speak to a reputable immigration lawyer.

For consultation with an experienced immigration attorney, call 510-791-0232, or email us at tricia@wangslaw.com. We are also available on WeChat! Chat with us by looking for “TriciaWangLawOffice”


NEW FORMS, NEW RULES starting FEB 24, 2020

Law office of Tricia Wang February 7, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published revised forms consistent with the final rule on the public charge ground of inadmissibility, which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including USCIS, will implement on Feb. 24, 2020. Beginning Feb. 24, 2020, applicants and petitioners must use new editions of the following forms below (except in Illinois, where the rule remains enjoined by a federal court):

  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • Form I-485 Supplement A, Supplement A to Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i)
  • Form I-485J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j)
  • Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (PDF)
  • Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA
  • Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member
  • Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA
  • Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver

In addition, except in Illinois, applicants for adjustment of status subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility and the Final Rule will be required to submit Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency. Certain applicants whom USCIS invites to submit a public charge bond will use the new Form I-945, Public Charge Bond, for that purpose, and the new Form I-356, Request for Cancellation of Public Charge Bond, to request cancellation of a public charge bond.

Certain classes of aliens (such as refugees, asylees, petitioners under the federal Violence Against Women Act, and certain T and U visa applicants) are exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility and therefore are not subject to the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule. For more information about the classes of aliens who are exempt from the final rule, please see the USCIS Policy Manual.

Reporting Information About Benefits

The final rule requires aliens to report certain information related to public benefits. Instructions for Form I-944 require aliens subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility to report and submit information about whether the alien applied for, was certified or approved to receive, or received certain non-cash public benefits on or after Oct. 15, 2019.

Instructions for Forms I-129, I-129CW, and I-539 require the petitioner or alien to report whether the alien received public benefits since obtaining the nonimmigrant status the alien seeks to extend or change.


A Good Lawyer DOES make a Great Difference

Law office of Tricia Wang January 20, 2020

This is a personal injury case that we have just concluded. In this case, we won a compensation of US $130,000 for our client. The client's former lawyer suggested that the client to accept US $10,000 to settle the case with the insurance company and dropped the client when the client declined.

We are very pleased that we are able to achieve this fair compensation for our client.

Law Office of Tricia Wang handles cases of car accidents and injuries. Our law firm has more than 20 years of experience in personal injury claim negotiation and litigation. We are willing to provide you with legal assistance wholeheartedly and strive for the highest compensation for you.

case settlement