Author: Sarah Collins

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The Expiration of Presidential Proclamation 10052

Since June 22, 2020, many categories of nonimmigrants have been prevented from seeking entry to the United States due to Presidential Proclamation 10052. Enacted by former President Trump, the proclamation drastically reduced visa issuance and entry for nonimmigrants around the world. The ban was set to end on December 31, 2020, but was subsequently extended through March 31, 2021, citing the false premise that these nonimmigrants threatened our country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of today, April 1, 2021, the ban has officially expired, and the Department of State (DOS) has confirmed that the ban is no longer in effect.  The DOS has issued guidance regarding the phased resumption of visa services, but ultimately concludes that consular services will operate on a “post-by-post” basis. Accordingly, visa applicants should not assume that the expiration of the visa ban will result in immediate resumption of routine nonimmigrant visa processing.

COVID-related travel restrictions and travel bans are still in effect and are changing daily. We are still advising all of our clients to pay careful attention to these changes and know the risks associated with international travel at this time.

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Say Goodbye to the Public Charge Rule!

The Public Charge Rule is finally dead, as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it will no longer pursue appellate review of judicial decisions invalidating or enjoining enforcement of the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule.  Consistent with Executive Order 14012 directing a comprehensive review of the rule, DHS determined that continuing to defend the rule is, “neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.”

DHS has announced that once the public charge rule is permanently vacated, it will be following the 1999 interim field guidance on the public charge inadmissibility provision, at which time the Form I-944 will no longer be required.

We will be updating our blog with the latest developments as we learn of them.

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National Interest Exceptions for Students Traveling from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland

On February 10, 2021, the U.S. State Department announced that students traveling from the Schengen Area, U.K., and Ireland who currently possess a valid visa will no longer need to seek a National Interest Exception (NIE)  to travel to the United States. Instead, they will be automatically considered under a general NIE and will be able to travel to the United States without needing to contact a U.S. embassy or consulate prior to travel.

F-1 and M-1 students who do not possess a valid visa are still required to obtain a visa as they normally would. Students seeking to apply for a new F-1 or M-1 visa should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate. If the applicants are found otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa, they will automatically be considered for a NIE to travel.

Business travelers, investors, academics, J-1 students, journalists, and treaty traders are still being directed to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling to apply for a national interest exception.

The attorneys at Curray York & Associates will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates to this blog as we become aware of them.

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President Biden’s Executive Orders – February 2, 2021

On February 2, 2021, President Joe Biden signed three executive orders that aim to rectify the consequences of some of the hardline regulations, policies, and guidance on immigration that were set in place by the Trump Administration.


1) Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families
The first executive order revokes the Trump Administration executive order that sought to justify separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. President Biden condemned the Trump Administration’s use of the “Zero- Tolerance” policy, stating that the Biden Administration will “protect family unity and ensure that children entering the United States are not separated from their families, except in the most extreme circumstances where a separation is clearly necessary for the safety and well-being of the child or is required by law.” The order created an interagency family reunification task force to work to reconnect the hundreds of parents and children who were separated at the border under the “Zero-Tolerance” policy. The task force will work with U.S. government agencies, key stakeholders, and representatives of impacted families to recommend steps to reunify the families and to prevent family separation from occurring in the future.


2) Southern Border and the Asylum System
The White House also issued an executive order that aims to implement a comprehensive three-part plan for safe, lawful, and orderly migration across the southern border. The Administration will first address the underlying causes of migration by confronting instability, violence, and economic insecurity, then collaborate with regional partners to provide protection and opportunities to asylum seekers. The final goal is to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers have a legal pathway to the United States and to strengthen the United States’ asylum system and resettlement capacity. The order also directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to review the Migrant Protection Protocols (“Remain in Mexico”) program.


3) “Restore Faith in our Immigration System and Promote Integration of New Americans”
President Biden also signed an executive order that requires the Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a “top-to-bottom” review of recent regulations, policies, and guidance that have been enacted as barriers to our legal immigration system. The executive order aims to ultimately reverse or rescind actions that are inconsistent with the current administration’s policy objectives to “encourage full participation by immigrants, including refugees, in our civic life; that immigration processes and other benefits are delivered effectively and efficiently; and that the Federal Government eliminates sources of fear and other barriers that prevent immigrants from accessing government services available to them.” In addition to announcing goals to streamline the naturalization process, the policy directs an interagency review of the public charge grounds of inadmissibility and revoke’s the prior administration’s policy to enforce the “legal responsibilities of sponsors of aliens.” The order also re-establishes the Obama Administration’s “Task Force on New Americans” that is focused on better integrating immigrants and refugees into American life.

The attorneys at Curray York & Associates are closely following the changes to immigration law and policy under the Biden Administration and will provide updates as we become aware of them.

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Public Charge Updates

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) rule on public charge inadmissibility went into effect, requiring the use of Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency for adjustment of status applicants in deciding whether the applicant is inadmissible based on public charge grounds. Since then, the legal status of the public charge rule has been in limbo, as nationwide injunctions have halted implementation of the public charge rule only to have the injunction’s scope limited in the same week and completely reversed the week after. The amount of uncertainty surrounding the public charge rule has made it difficult to know how to advise clients.

Most recently, on December 2, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld preliminary injunctions issued against the rule that were issued by the Northern District of California and the Eastern District of Washington. At this time, it remains unclear whether the preliminary injunction applies nationwide in scope or if it only applies to the plaintiff states (CA, DC, ME, OR, PA, WA, CO, DE, IL, MD, MA, MN, NV, NJ, NM, RI, HI). As of December 8, 2020, USCIS has not yet decided how to implement the state-specific injunction and has not updated its guidance since November 4, 2020. For now, we believe that the safest approach is to prepare and file the I-944 with adjustment of status applications.

The attorneys at Curray York & Associates will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide updates when possible.

by Sarah Collins Sarah Collins No Comments

DHS Public Charge Updates

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) rule on public charge inadmissibility went into effect, requiring the use of Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency for adjustment of status applicants in deciding whether the applicant is inadmissible based on public charge grounds. Subsequently, a U.S. District Court imposed a nationwide injunction halting implementation of the public charge rule during the COVID-19 national health emergency. The result of the injunction was that applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence were not required to submit the Form I-944.

On August 12, 2020, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals limited the scope of the injunction to just three states- New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. This means that the government may resume implementation of the public charge inadmissibility rule everywhere outside of those states, which includes requiring adjustment of status applicants to submit Form I-944. We had been hoping for some clarification from USCIS subsequent to the Court of Appeals’ decision. Unfortunately, clarification has not come and we don’t know if it will.

It is difficult to know how to advise clients when many questions remain. However, we believe the safest approach is for applicants residing in states other than New York, Connecticut, and Vermont to prepare and file the I-944 with adjustment of status applications.

The attorneys at Curray York & Associates will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide updates when possible.


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