State of Immigration in the US

Several immigration-related issues are happening in the United States. On one hand, the Trump administration signed a new order pausing temporary work visas. On the other side, the Supreme Court told the government that they couldn’t eliminate DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). What are the implications of these events? How will this affect your pending immigration case and application?

Andres Mejer, New Jersey immigration attorney, author, and an immigrant himself shall break down these current immigration issues for you to understand what is really going on.

Immigration Changes after the April 22 Proclamation

The administration has suspended Temporary Work Visas suspended until Dec 31, 2020. This was based on the proclamation announced on April 22, 2020, while the extension was announced on June 20, 2020.

Visas issuance are on hold for the following: 

  • H1B visa and their dependents (this affects college graduates who studied in the US and are now looking for work in the US)
  • H2B visas and their dependents (this impacts those in landscaping, restaurants, and hotels )
  • J visa, for example, intern, trainee, teach, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program Plus their dependents
  • L- visa (intracompany transferees from outside the US to the US) and their dependents.

The April 22 proclamation applies to those outside of the US from April 22, 2020 who need to apply for any of the four types of visas above or those who want to apply for a new visa.

Who Can Enter the U.S.?

The April 22, 2020 proclamation does not prevent re-entry for those with valid travel documents issued before April 22, 2020.

Exemptions. Moreover, the following groups that are exempted from this proclamation: green card holders, spouses or children of a U.S. Citizen, foreigners seeking to enter the US to work on the US food supply chain (For example, farmworkers coming to the US on an H2B visa); and anyone who DHS determines would be in our national interest: those critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the US; providing care to COVID 19 patients, involved in COVID 19 medical research; necessary for economic recovery; and children who would age out for a visa (meaning they turn 21 and would no longer be dependents of their parents).

What Can You Expect in July?

In line with the presidential proclamation and other U.S. immigration changes, you can expect that application fees will continue to increase. Moreover, the price increase will take effect once the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) signs off on it.

Here are some of the possible increase in fees: nNaturalization Application (N400) from $640 to $1170 (83% increase), AOS or Adjustment of Status (I-485) from $1,225 to $2,195, Asylum application (I-589) from $0 to $50, and DACA renewal fee from $495 to $765.

Fee waivers for Naturalization applications, AOS, I-90 (green card renewal or replacement) and employment authorization can also be eliminated. 

What Are The Implications For DACA Recipients?

Contrary to false reports, DACA recipients won’t keep their work visas. Instead, they need work authorization called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The EAD does NOT give you a legal status or authorization to stay in the United States as it only provides legal authorization to work for a period of time.

In contrast, a work visa is a legal status and work authorization. It is temporary and usually considered as a non-immigrant visa, which makes the owner ineligible to apply for a green card unless they qualify for exemptions. If you want to know more about this, you can have a meeting with an immigration attorney near you, or via phone call. 

Should You Wait To File?

If you’re eligible for DACA, apply now. You may request a report of the Seven Eligibility Requirements for DACA from Andres Mejer Law. Check if you qualify for advance parole as this will help you get legal entry. If you are unsure, you can speak with one of our immigration lawyers. We can also help you find out if you qualify for legal status so you can start your application process early.

Putting off your application will cost you more since fees continue to go up. Another motivation to start applying early is the potential delays in processing due to USCIS’s notification about a furlough. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has notified its staff that they will be furloughed. This was supposed to start on July 20, 2020 but has now changed to August 3, 2020. If around 13,000 workers are expected to be laid off, how do you think that would affect your application?

Don’t wait until the fees skyrocket and avoid waiting for too long to get your application approved. Contact Andres Mejer Law today to get started with your petition.