Republican and Democrats sponsor the Afghan Adjustment Act

From a humane perspective, dealing with uncertainty in terms of legal residency and future is believably the most traumatizing thing to happen. And that is precisely what the Afghan refugees on humanitarian parole had been subjected to for almost a year after
the Talibans wreaked havoc in Afghanistan.

But on Tuesday, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has introduced the Afghan Adjustment Act which opens a door for the newly arrived Afghans with temporary status in the U.S. It allows them to undergo additional vetting to apply for legal residency, and end a period of the tormenting uncertainty concerning their citizenship status.

It is expected that it will enhance the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) procedure, broadening the SIV eligibility by including groups that worked with the American forces such as the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command and the Female Tactical Teams of Afghanistan, the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command, the Afghan Air Force, and the Special Mission Wing of Afghanistan. With an establishment of a task force to implement a plan to support the Afghans residing outside the States but has the eligibility for the SIV status and requires the State Department to respond to congressional inquiries about SIV applications. The task force will be led by the US Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defence, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the director of national intelligence, and the FBI as reported by the Hill State.

What particularly raises hope in this regard is that three minority Republicans, including Senator Lindsey Graham, have joined hands with three majority Democrats in introducing an identical version of the Afghanistan Adjustment Act in the thinly divided Senate, therefore, elevating its chances of passage in Congress and garnering 60 votes in the Senate.

Murkowski said “This month, we mark the one-year anniversary of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the end of America’s longest war at nearly 20 years. During the withdrawal, and the weeks that followed, I worked diligently with my staff, and alongside our military and our federal agency partners, to urgently evacuate American citizens, vulnerable Afghans, and our Afghan allies; brave individuals who risked their lives supporting our troops and mission in Afghanistan. More than 76,000 Afghan evacuees were brought to the United States, and many of them were given humanitarian parole – a temporary immigration status typically granted for one to two-year periods. Alaska has welcomed over 100 Afghan evacuees who are now settling in as valuable members of our communities across the state,”.

“I never supported indefinite American troops’ presence in Afghanistan, but I shared the concerns about the lasting negative impact that complete withdrawal would have. Those concerns have become reality as the Taliban wreaks havoc on Afghanistan, condemning millions to live under oppression, and sentencing our allies who were unable to evacuate to death. It is unlikely that Afghans brought to the United States on temporary status will be able to return to their homes in the near, mid, or even long-term future. At the same time, there are allies and vulnerable Afghans who are desperately trying to leave their crumbling nation, and who live under great risk. The United States must ensure that we keep our promises to our Afghan allies, and provide certainty for those who fled to the United States and have no place to return. I am proud to join my Senate colleagues in legislation to give innocent Afghans hope for a safer, brighter future.”

Green Card Eligibility based on Special Immigrant Juvenile Classification

 

The Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification provides special children who have been subjected to state juvenile court proceedings in connection with abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis under state law to seek lawful permanent residence in the United States. USCIS determines if a juvenile is eligible for SIJ classification by adjudicating a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. The USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 6, Part J – Special Immigrant Juveniles bears more useful information for this procedure.

 

For the eligibility of adjustment of the status, one must file an application for the registration of Permanent Residence or Adjustment of status through Form I-485 and it is important to be physically present during the filing for it. After the Inspection and Admission by the USCIS gaining approval of the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, the petitioner will be regarded as an SIJ.

There is no certain age limit to abide by in order to apply for a Green card as an SIJ.

If a situation so arises that one had filed their Form I-360 at an age lower than 21, their SJI-based Form I-485 will not be denied if their age by then is older than 21. One must be unmarried during the filing of the adjustment application and during the final adjudication of the form.

 

The only time when the adjustment of the status can be barred if there is any history of any act of violation. For the Green Card, one must be admissible to the nation; as a Special Immigrant Juvenile, one is exempted from the grounds of Inadmissibility as mentioned in INA 212(a).  In cases of Inadmissibility, a waiver will be provided by the law or some other form of relief to subjugate the inadmissibility. One can apply for a waiver of inadmissibility or other forms of relief through a Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, and Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal.

 

Immigrant visas for Special Immigrant Juveniles stem from the visa category of EB-4 for special immigrants.

The requisite documents are :

  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
  • Copy of the Form I-797, Approval or Receipt Notice, for the Form I-360 SIJ petition (unless the filing of the Form I-360 is done together with the Form I-485);
  • Two passport-style photographs;
  • Copy of a government-issued identity document with photograph (if available);
  • Copy of the birth certificate;
  • Copy of the passport page with the nonimmigrant visa (if applicable);
  • Copy of the passport page with the admission or parole stamp (if applicable);
  • Copy of the Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, or copy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) admission or parole stamp on the travel document (if applicable);
  • Certified police and court records of any juvenile delinquency findings, criminal charges, arrests, or convictions (if applicable);
  • Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (if applicable);
  • Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (if applicable); and
  • Documentation of past or present J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status (if applicable), including proof of compliance with or waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement under INA 212(e) (for more information, see Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement).

 

For family members, one may file a petition for the qualifying family members through the process of Immigration based on Family after the person is granted the Green card.

If one is granted a Green Card based on their SIJ classification and it is naturalized in the future, they can apply for their natural or prior adoptive parents to get a Green Card. This is applicable even for a caring, custodial parent.

 

Generally, if one has a pending Form I-485 and they leave the United States without an advance parole document, their application will be abandoned. In case of a pending Form I-485, one may apply for employment authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

 

 

ASYLUM BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY

Social groups have been regarded as one of the most important grounds for granting asylum, especially when they are based on unchangeable and immutable factors. Therefore several categories come under the definition of Social groups. 

With reference to some of the early decisions in Matter of Toboso-Alfonso, 20 I&N Dec. 819 (B.I.A. 1990), Pitcherskaia v. INS, 118 F.3d 641 (9th Cir. 1997), and Hernandez-Montiel v. INS, 225 F.3d 1084 (9th Cir. 2000) , the courts have recognized sexual orientation to be a social group , people who identity to be homosexual and transgender with special regard. 

Although in most of the scenarios, it has been noticed that most of the denials of asylum in the LGBTQ community stems from issues relating to inability to establish the alleged facts or from legal technicalities, but if any individual is to face persecution on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity, here are some of the documents one is required to provide during the hearing : 

 

  • Details of the incident of harm during the asylum application and testimony: Name, Date, Facts, and Reasoning for believing the occurrence to be persecution on account of being a part of the LGBT+ community.  
  • Evidence of membership in the LGBTQ+ community to be regarded as a member of the social group. 
  • Information about the native country and proof of ostracization or brutality faced there by the individual owing to their gender orientation or sexuality. ( One can go through the U.S. Department of State ” Country Reports on Human Rights ” for information to support their claim. )

All of the documents, applications, and testimonials must be plausible, comprehensive, and concordant to the facts claimed to establish one’s plea firmly to the Immigration judge or officer in question. It will increase the chances of their asylum being granted. 

 

In order to prove the LGBTQ+ identity, it is necessary to submit copies of the documents relevant to their identity and bring the originals during the hearing. Specific examples of relevant documents are : 

 

  • New birth certificates with their revised gender identity or orientation.  
  • A marriage certificate proving matrimony with someone of their preferred gender or sexual orientation. 
  • Memberships in recognized LGBTQ+ organizations. 
  • Sworn affidavits from people who confirm the gender identity or sexual orientation of the person. 

 

The questions from the judge or office arising in this aspect must be appropriate, meaningful, and relevant to the concern in hand. 

 

For more information, it is most advisable to consult with our Immigration attorneys who specialize in Asylum laws and serving the queer community. We promise to be of service to you and fulfill our duties to give you the justice you are looking for. 

 

BASIC OVERVIEW OF WHAT THE U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW DEALS WITH

Immigration Law in the United States is a wide arena to deal with as it encompasses various situations a person might have to encounter relating to traveling from a different country.

 

The most common scenarios and streams of Immigration Law are :

 

  • Visiting the country: Visitors of the United States often come due to the purposes of tourism or meeting loved ones or with medical needs or for social meetings or events.

They go through a process of proving their eligibility for the required visas and go through the application process. For this category, the visitors require a B-2 visitor visa.

For Business purposes, the visitors are required to apply for a B-1 business visa.

 

 

  • Employment in the U.S.: For obtaining access to employment in the United States, it is important for the employee to gain the status of a permanent resident to be able to cater to any job opportunity in any part of the country. But in cases of not qualifying for permanent resident status, they are to apply for a temporary work visa.

 

 

  • Green Card Acquirement: The Permanent Resident Card i.e. the Green Card is given to immigrants or parolees but it has some of the most important criteria to abide by in order to obtain permanent citizenship through this card.

 

It is provided mainly to highly skilled employees and employers, immediate relatives of the citizens of the U.S.A., eligible refugees and seekers of asylum, long time residents. A limited number of Green Card visas are issued and as the process is a tedious and complex one thereby only selected immigrants are eligible for it.

 

  • Naturalization: The process of Naturalization i.e. becoming a naturalized citizen is an extensive procedure with heaps of paperwork, background confirmation, interview, and testing, ending with the mandatory oath of allegiance. Naturalization comes with similar benefits as that of a natural-born citizen of the U.S. thereby this process is a popular one.

 

  • Process of Border entry: The cross-border entry rules might be a cumbersome process but the correct consultancy and the right procedure make the experience painless. The process is incorporated with the subsection of ” Border Entry Rules ” which includes all the border crossing formalities with additional border entry information. The overview mainly is applicable on
  • Lawful Permanent Citizens who are Green Card Holders.
  • Citizens from foreign countries
  • Citizens of Canada and Mexico
  • Trust Traveler programs

 

Visit www.gehilaw.com for more details

For Free Consultation call (718) 263-5999

 

 

 

What is the time frame for visa processing in the United States?

Visa processing in the United States, although is looked after by the most appropriate professionals with laws guarding it, might not be the most predictable procedure in the administrative curriculum of the country.

 

There is no one processing time to predict when it comes to a visa application process in the U.S. As the U.S. administration reviews every application process on a case-by-case footing thereby the reviewing process can vary with the kind of immigration process in concern.

 

Usually, for temporary non Immigrant visas, the time frame goes till a few weeks or months whereas immigrant visa applicants can take up to years. The US visa processing time depends on the type of visa that one is applying for.

After the processing, the applicant is likely to receive a reply of affirmation on the application, and the consulate is to deliver the document. The delivery of the visa can take up to two other workdays.

 

On average, the processing duration for each of the visas is as follows :

  • E1 visa: 2 to 4 weeks i.e. almost a month
  • E2 visa: 4 to 6 weeks i.e. more than a month
  • E3 visa: 2 months
  • F1 visa: A few days, comparatively shorter than the other visa application processes.
  • F2 visa: Few days to 2 weeks i.e. up to 14 days
  • J1 visa: 1 to 4 months
  • Q1 visa: 15 days to 3 months
  • M1 visa: 4 weeks on a minimum
  • B1 visa: Few weeks to 2 months
  • B2 visa: Similar to B1, this takes a duration of a couple of weeks to 2 months too.
  • H1B visa : 3 to 6 months
  • H1B1 visa: 4 to 6 months
  • H2A visa: Generally it takes no more than 120 days but as it is seasonal in nature, the time duration varies.
  • H3 visa: 4 to 6 weeks
  • H4 visa: As it is dependent on the H-type visa holder i.e. a spouse or parent, therefore the time duration depends on the time taken to process their visa.
  • L1 visa : 3 to 4 months
  • L2 visa: 15 days to 1 month
  • R1 visa: 8 to 9 months
  • P1 visa : 3 to 6 months
  • I visa: 10 days
  • O visa: 2 to 3 months
  • C visa: 5 working days
  • T visa: Being dependent on the applicant’s status and the evidence of deserving the visa they provide to the authorities, the duration varies.
  • U visa: 12 to 18 months

 

Applications facing refusal under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) pending further processing, can take up to 60 days the processing from the date of the visa interview. In certain situations, the processing might take more than 6 months.

 

Applicants who are required to apply for a waiver of ineligibility to obtain the visa should be aware that they might have to wait for up to 6 to 8 months from the date of their interview in order to get a reply.

 

It must be taken note that during cases of emergency, the State Department grants appointments and interview processing in an expedited time frame provided the U.S. embassy or consulate of the country of the applicant is well informed beforehand.

USCIS Extends COVID-19-related Flexibilities.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is extending some flexibilities regarding COVID-19 through October 23, 2022, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors. Under these flexibilities, the USCIS takes consideration of a response received within 60 calendar days after the due date ascribed in the following requests or notices before taking any action, if the request or notice was issued between March 1, 2020, and Oct. 23, 2022, inclusive:

Requests for Evidence;
– Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
– Notices of Intent to Deny;
– Notices of Intent to Revoke;
– Notices of Intent to Rescind;
– Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers;
– Notices of Intent to Withdraw – Temporary Protected Status; and
Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.

Additionally, the USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or a Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), if:

The form was filed up to 90 calendar days from the issuance of a decision; USCIS laid down that decision between Nov. 1, 2021, and October 23, 2022, inclusive.
In an effort to take the lessons learned from the pandemic posture, USCIS has been evaluating which flexibilities can and should be extended permanently. As a result of this evaluation, the reproduced signature flexibility announced in March 2020, will become permanent policy on July 25, 2022.

 

For more details refer USCIS website.

Apply for EB Visa in USA

How to Get Visa Sponsorship in the US, Even If You Don’t Have a Job Offer?

For most foreign nationals, there are two main ways to obtain a green card family and work. For non-US individuals lacking a family member with permanent residence, family options are impossible or come with an annual wait. Employment-based options can be further divided into two options at the initiative of the employer and at the initiative of the employer (also called own-initiative petitions).

Employer-initiated options are the more common of the two these include job certification, which applies to all jobs, and outstanding researcher professor (EB-1B), which only applies to a career or permanent faculty.

The only two categories of immigrant work visas in which a foreigner can even petition are the National Interest Waiver (EB-2) and the Extraordinary Ability (EB-1).

Limits of Employers

Many employers have limits on who sponsors permanent housing and when. They can only provide sponsorship for certain positions or employees who have been in office for more than a specified period of time. On the other hand, an employer may have a waiting period in which employees are not entitled to sponsorship until they are on a temporary visa with the company or institution for a certain period of time.

Positions that are temporary in nature (such as postdoctoral fellows, medical staff collaborators or visiting faculties) or part-time are not suitable for categories supported by employers. If you are researching categories of permanent residence that do not require employer sponsorship, keep in mind that your options and qualifications for these categories will improve as your career progresses. Your resume will be stronger and if you advance to a higher position and the employer can sponsor (and possibly pay) your permanent residence process. It is therefore important not only to consider whether you are entitled to your own petition, but whether it is worth trying it now.

If you are starting now, it may be possible to obtain a work permit if you have an I-485 permanent residence application, which will make it easier to find a new job. In addition, it is easier for you to get on the path to US citizenship, your spouse can work and you can travel without getting a new visa stamp in your passport. In addition, if you are a legal permanent resident (LPR), your children may be eligible for college financial aid and you may be eligible for many types of US government grants for their work.

Extraordinary ability (EB-1A)

Distinctive Ability is the highest level of immigration, which is reserved for individuals who can prove that they are one of the highest percentages of professionals in their field, nationally or internationally. There are no restrictions for fields that can be incorporated here. Category EB1-1 does not require employer sponsorship and needs no proof of employment for work. This category requires reference letters from colleagues in the field (including independent reference letters) and documentary evidence that the applicant is one of the highest percentages in the field and has achieved lasting national or international recognition. If an individual has received a Nobel Prize or a very similar high-level award for achievement in the field, no further proof is required. However, most individuals should provide more and more evidence that they have achieved at least three rules of conduct for this category.

In addition to meeting the above three criteria, individuals must be able to demonstrate generally presented evidence that demonstrates that they are at the forefront of their field. This can be demonstrated in various ways, such as high citations published in leading journals in the field and evidence that others in the field use individual work. Please keep in mind that each case is different – many talented young candidates are not yet ready to apply for this category, but there may be other options. We also often meet knowledgeable and knowledgeable people who do not realize that they are eligible for this category. Update resume or CV, including details of at least six references (including at least three references that did not work or did not work with you), and send them to us via the contact page. We will help you consider your qualifications.

National Interest Waiver (NIW or EB-2)

Many of the same letters and evidence as described above can be used to demonstrate that the applicant met the NIW criteria. The criteria for this category can be considered stricter but less specific. The applicant’s proposed efforts must be of substantial merit and national interest. The applicant must be in a good position to facilitate the proposed effort. In balance, it may be beneficial for the United States to reject a job offer and job requirements in the EB-2 category. Significant earnings cover broad areas such as business, entrepreneurship, science, technology, culture, health and education.

The national interest scale is intended to exclude people who perform significant work with a local influence, such as teachers or social workers. The candidate’s proposed employment should have the potential to influence the industry or sector in a broader sense and go beyond creating value for the institution, client or customer. A business project can reach this standard if it has great potential to attract American workers. or have other significant positive effects on the economy, especially in an economically depressed area. The second jump is not easy to complete.

USCIS and Factors Considered

In order to determine whether the applicant is well placed to make progress in the proposed effort, factors would be considered by USCIS – such as education, skills, knowledge, and individual success records a model or plan for future activities progress towards efforts and the importance of potential customers, users, investors.

USCIS often focuses on past results as an indicator of future chances of success. For researchers, USCIS look at whether their previous work had served as an impetus for progress in this area or provoked substantial positive discussion in the wider academic community. To meet this gap, the applicant can demonstrate that external researchers have determined, for example, the applicant’s performance or that the discovery is widely implemented, licensed for industrial use, etc. Finally, to eliminate whether the applicant meets the third point, USCIS considers the following factors- if, in view of the nature of the candidate’s qualifications or the proposed aspirations, it may be impractical to obtain a job offer or to obtain a job certificate.

The U.S. had announced an extension of 1.5 years for certain expiring work permits. What will it mean for the immigrants?

The government administration of the United States of America had established an extension of the expiration validity of the work permits. 

It had been decided that many of the Immigrants would have the allowance to use their expired work visas for the next 18 months i.e. a year and a half and the announcement was made on May 3rd, 2022, and had been put to effect from May 4th, 2022. 

 

The precise rules of the USCIS are that :

  • Immigrants with a 180-day extension and a work permit that is expired will gain an extension period for the authorization of Employment and the validity of their Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Non-citizens still under the prior extension period of 180 days will be provided an extra sum of 360 days totaling up to 540 extended days will gain an extension for EAD validity.
  • Applicants with a valid EAD who applied for a renewal of the EAD will receive a 540-day extension period in case the renewal fails to process before the expiration of EAD.

 

For the immigrants, this is a boon, especially for the working Indian Immigrants looking for refuge in the country without any legal hindrance in their period of inhabitance and employment. Along with running their households and supporting their families sans any chances of instability. 

It will acknowledge the unprecedented immigrant applications submitted to the Legal Immigration agency of the country which will result in a lower shortage of labor and more work opportunities for the people. 

Therefore this visa program is most beneficial and alluring to the Indian and Chinese populations wishing to make their way in the United States. 

Films to watch to learn about American Immigration

The United States of America has historically harbored a rich history of Immigration since the old days. Inevitably, therefore, it has had various phases in the history of Immigration with spectacular stories in it or inspired by it. 

 

We agree that Gehi and Associates is a law firm specializing in Immigration and we share impeccably informative articles for you on a regular basis but even we lawyers believe we can make learning interesting for each of us once in a while! 

So here is a short list of some of the best, old films based on Immigration to paint a big screen representation of the extensive history of this nation and how Immigration has evolved over the years. 

 

  • I Remember Mama (1948) 

Based on a story close to an American’s heart, this movie is based on the tale of a family of immigrants, with dreams of a land of milk and honey instead, find a lean existence in their new country in the turn of a new century.  

 

  • Avalon (1990)

From a global perspective, this film was inspired by the director’s own background as the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants. Therefore there is a subtle picture of the culture clash between elders and the second generation; a whiff of the Holocaust, American Holiday celebrations and family unions. Sounds like quite a treat, we believe. 

 

  • Moscow On The Hudson (1984) 

Life is nothing but unforgiving in this stellar. Set in rural America, this immigrant story delineates a brutal picture of the hard lives of the people away from the big cities dealing with Immigration and migration. 

 

  • The Godfather Part II (1974)

A classic now that is, isn’t it? 

” I believe in America “, well this film in our opinion does not solely talk about the trail of establishing the business in the heart of this bustling country but how it was not money that had built his belief in this country but the very search for a home and the promise of nothing but one chance to its immigrants. 

 

  • An American Tail (1986)

” A young Russian mouse gets separated from his family during their migration trip to America. Being completely new to the country he lands in, will he be able to trace his family? “

And you thought we lawyers will exclusively stick to movies that trace the journey of Immigration of only humans? Animated movies are often not regarded with enough seriousness as much as it deserves to be. And we believe that it is the essence and not just the elements of the tales that matter to portray the message of a film. So this one is a must-watch for a better understanding but with its sweet share of innocence and entertainment. 

 

If you like this list, let us know and we will update more such lists to make learning more fun and Immigration more known to you all! 

 

New development to improve the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Programme

The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security of the U.S. have announced a development in the SIV Program aimed to streamline the application process for Afghan applicants.

From this week onwards, the new applicants can
– File only one form, a revised form DS-157, as their petition instead of filing the Form I-360, Petition for Special Immigrant Status, with DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

In order to make the program more efficient, it is expected that this change will eradicate the hindrances for applicants and reduce the time required for the application processing. This change does not diminish any of the robust security vetting processes required before the benefit is processed and granted.

We believe it is one of the many steps the U.S. administration has taken to ameliorate the SIV process while protecting national security. Since the beginning of the processing, resources have thoroughly surged for this noteworthy program and every stage has been statutorily reviewed to process it swiftly wherever and however possible.