us visa rule for international stem students

Changes in US Visa to Retain International STEM Students

Visa changes in the US aim to attract and keep foreign students. The Biden administration is making visa changes to retain STEM international students. The movements are designed to support innovation in the United States while engaging in competition such as China. President Biden’s administration has promised to find ways to improve the legal immigration system due to the actions of the Congress.

What are the Changes?

The Biden administration has made a number of policy changes to make it easier for international students and professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to stay in the United States. The new policy, long called for by Silicon Valley and other companies, is designed to keep foreign students educated in the US in STEM, to encourage innovation while keeping pace with competitors such as China, senior government officials said.

DHS has added 22 major fields to its list of fields of study that entitle international students to stay in the United States for as long as 3 years after their time of graduation. The changes expand how many fields foreign students can study in, to be eligible to work in the United States on student visas. The announcement comes after years of declining international registration.

What are the Expert Feedbacks and Views?

Experts say the changes put the US on an equal footing with other countries. The Biden administration’s latest policies aim to make the United States more attractive to international students seeking science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees. In particular, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) included May 22 in the list of qualified fields of study for the Optional Practice Training (OPT) program. This program allows graduates to stay in the US and work up to 36 months after graduation. J-1 exchange visa students studying STEM will also be able to stay for up to three years due to a separate rule change. Previously, students with a J-1 visa, popular among graduates, could only work in the United States for 18 months.

In addition, the U.S. Civil and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced new educational rules that make it easier for those who have a STEM Ph.D to qualify for an Einstein visa.

USCIS also announced that it will streamline the process for potential STEM immigrants to qualify for the National Interest Exemption and obtain green cards. Recent steps by the administration to make the United States a more attractive destination for international students were praised by Sarah Spreitzer, assistant vice president of the American Board of Education.

He said the changes would raise US awareness of other countries competing to attract this group of students, including the United Kingdom and Canada, with similar or stronger programs such as OPT. According to a statement submitted to the Federal Register, the majors are:

  • Bio Energy
  • Cloud computing
  • Forest resources production and management
  • Forestry, general
  • Human-centered technology design
  • Geobiology
  • Anthrozoology
  • Climate science
  • Mathematics and atmospheric/oceanic science
  • Data science, general
  • Environmental geosciences
  • Geography and environmental studies
  • Industrial and organizational psychology
  • Social sciences, research methodology and quantitative methods
  • Mathematical economics
  • Earth systems sciences
  • Economics and computer science
  • Data analytics, general
  • Financial analytics
  • Data analytics, other
  • Business analytics
  • Data visualization

Nearly 525 major disciplines are now on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List. DHS rarely updates the OPT list, which makes this change huge. The ministry has promised to update this list annually, to keep pace with the changing trend in higher education. These additions are important to potential international students because many want to know if they can know after graduation before enrolling if they can work in the United States.

It only makes it easier for students to identify their fields and clarifies expectations. The White House statement emphasized that the changes could lead to more innovation and STEM jobs in the United States. History is full of instances of the capacity of the US to attract talent from across the world and inspire innovative change. This innovation has created new opportunities, industries and employment for people in the United States. These changes come shortly after the Biden administration simplified aspects of the student visa application process, another step that could increase enrollment. Immigration officials no longer have to analyze a student’s chances of immigrating to the United States after graduation before deciding whether to issue a student visa.

COVID-19 and its Aftermath

Previously, applicants had to prove the intention of non-immigrants when applying. The pandemic affected the enrollment of foreign students, but enrollment numbers continued to decline before the start of COVID-19. In US schools, the number of enrollment of international students fell by 15% in the academic year 2020-2021, according to the State Department’s Office of Education and Cultural Affairs Open Department 2021 report. The number of applicants has decreased in the last five years.

A report from the Institute of International Education of November 2021 suggests that international enrollment could improve. The report found that the number of enrollment of international students

in US institutions increased by 8% between Autumn 2020 and Autumn 2021. Students have now decided to move to the US due to some of these active changes that have taken place. The biggest change is the addition of 22 new fields to the STEM OPT program. Under OPT, foreign students graduating from US universities can stay and work in the US for up to a year after graduation, and in such cases they must file a work visa application.

Although some have country-specific visas, many graduates find themselves in the fight for the required place in the annual lottery for only 85,000 H-1B specials. However, those who complete a designated degree program in science, mathematics, technology or engineering can extend their work permit for another 24 months in the US, and get many opportunities to obtain an H-1B lottery visa. Innovation in STEM can help address the complex challenges we face today and contribute to the security and protection of the nation.

studying in the us how to get your visa from immigration attorney long island

Studying in the U.S. : How to Get Your Visa?

If you earn an academic credit or are on the verge of completion of an academic program of study, a B-2 visa is not appropriate.The U.S. student visa is a type of non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals who wish to study at universities in the United States. This visa gives them permission to enter the country temporarily, and work while they are studying. In return, students agree to apply for jobs upon graduation from their studies.

Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States. With the help of an Immigration lawyer Long island, getting a U.S. student visa can be much easier for you.

How to Get a U.S. Student Visa?

There are a few key factors to consider when applying:

  • Check with your university. Visit uscis.gov and follow the instructions in your student visa application. You can also look at www.usajc.org
  • Make sure you have a copy of your passport and other government documents.
  • Look for all the required documents (e.g., passport, medical, vehicle registration) on your application form.
  • When applying for a student card, you will be asked for your photo and fingerprints.
  • In addition to the above, your college or university may require you to submit a photo for the college. Once you are admitted, the school will need the photo of you and the student you’re applying to join.
  • The school may also require your fingerprint to be taken.
  • Finally, check out the local newspaper or website for an online application or for other information. You may also contact a local Immigration lawyer Richmond Hill to find out proper information regarding the same.
  • Do not hesitate to apply for U.S. citizenship.
  • Get started now and do not delay. Apply soon. To learn more about applying online and getting a visa, see the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website.
  • Follow the steps on the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service’s “Get Started” page. If you do, the U.S. citizenship will automatically become available to you.
  • A student should make his application at least two weeks before the expected graduation date.
  • Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if you are required to pay it before your interview. If your visa is approved, you may also pay a visa issuance fee, if applicable to your nationality.

As you begin to think about funding sources for your educational and living expenses in the United States, remember that you cannot count on working in the United States unless you have been granted a teaching or research assistantship and also have a valid visa.

Green card and Gay Marriage: Immigration for Same-Sex Spouses in NYC

Until recently, LGBTQ+(homosexual) couples did not have the same immigration rights as heterosexual couples. The Pride community now has the right to obtain permanent resident status (Green Card) through a same-sex spouse who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Under federal law, gay and lesbian spouses now have access to the same immigration rights and benefits previously only available to heterosexual couples.

In the past, if a non-resident spouse in a same-sex (homosexual) union wanted to obtain a Green Card, they would have to ask their employer to sponsor them. Some even sought political asylum. With the recent changes in federal law, these impediments are no longer in the way of gay and lesbian couples. The Immigration attorneys at Gehi & Associates – Attorneys at Law P.C. are proud to represent same-sex couples seeking permanent residency through spousal sponsorship.

Recently, a gay married couple who had a lot of trouble in their first Adjustment of Status (AOS) Interview was prepared for weeks by the highly experienced Attorneys at Gehi & Associates. They were more than ready for their second round. The Immigration officer at USCIS, being immensely satisfied, had approved them right on the spot.

If you would like to get more information or speak directly with a lawyer at our firm about your case, please do not hesitate to call our marriage-based immigration attorneys at (718) 263-5999 today!

WhatsApp now at (929) 389-1534 to book your Free Personal Consultation with our renowned immigration attorneys in NYC or visit us at our Jackson Heights Office: 74-09 37th Avenue, Suite 205, Queens, NY 11372! 

WhatsApp ahora al (929) 389-1534 para reservar su consulta personal gratuita con nuestros reconocidos abogados de inmigración en Nueva York o visítenos en nuestra oficina de Jackson Heights: 74-09 37th Avenue, Suite 205, Queens, NY 11372.

Biden Administration: Immigration Latest Update

Since newly-elected President Biden’s rise to power, we are witnessing changes that directly have a positive impact on the US immigration system.

One of the most notable changes took place on February 24, 2021, when President Biden revoked the Immigrant Visa ban which was outlined in the Presidential Proclamation 10014. This was issued by former President Trump. According to this ban, immigrant visas were suspended due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. President Biden’s move to revoke this ban will enable several thousand awaiting applicants to pursue their green cards.

Another noteworthy move by President Biden took place on January 25th, 2021, when the “Buy American Hire American” order was revoked. This order too came into effect under the leadership of former President Trump. According to this order, the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security were required to come up with and propose new rules that would favor and protect US workers. This had a direct impact on various employment visa programs such as the H1-B visas.

In March 2017, the US saw what could be termed as one of its most discriminatory bans – the prohibition of entry for travelers who came from predominantly Muslim countries. This ban also applied to travelers from a few African countries. The country saw a lot of chaos due to this ban, travelers were denied entry into the US, and several families were separated without notice. On January 20th this year, President Biden revoked this ban as well.

The President has further proposed the eight-year path to citizenship, which will impact an estimated 11 million people.

The legal immigration system will witness several noticeable changes as well. The current per-country cap on visas might be eliminated or changed, there will be a provision to rapidly acquire green cards for next of kin (children and spouses) of permanent residents of the US, and most importantly, the system will have a good look at previously rejected visas in order to reduce the number of green card backlogs. With respect to the children of those who made an entry with the help of H1-B Visas, there is a possibility that they won’t be forced to leave the United States.

We can expect more changes in the US immigration system under the Biden Administration. During his presidential candidacy, Biden stated that Trump’s action on immigration was a rather unrelenting assault on the American Value system. He went on to say that he will “undo the damage”, while parallelly ensuring that border enforcement will be maintained.

We are now at the threshold of what could be a fair, efficient, and just immigration system. Hopefully, President Biden’s immigration reforms will pave the way to a new America that can be called home to millions of immigrants.

1100 International Students will lose their OPT permits – Homeland Security

On Wednesday, October 21, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security said that Optional Practical Training (OPT) program work permits of more than 1,100 international students would not be renewed or restored in the next few months following a program-crackdown.

The OPT permit allows international students to work in their field of study on a student visa while they are in the United States.

According to DHS, there are more than 220,000 international students present in OPT programs. Out of these 220,000 students, 1,100 students are involved in fraud. The fraud includes working in a place that doesn’t identify with the student’s field of study.

Out of 1,100 international students, USCIS sent warning letters to 700 students to alarm them that their permit will be denied. For another 400, the permit will not be renewed after expiry over the next few months.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) found 15 non-immigrant students who professed to be employed by organizations that don’t exist. ICE arrested these 15 students on Wednesday. Top officials of DHS and ICE officials state their enforcement effort began in January.

DHS acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said that it would create those jobs for American workers by disavowing the visas. Cuccinelli connected the crackdown to job losses due to the economic decline brought on by Covid-19.

Cuccinelli said that the target is not just the international students but also consequences within some of these universities.

Schools have assigned officials that approve the work placement of their students in OPT, he stated, adding that they have occupied with “a willful ignorance or a level of negligence” and “we completely hope to end a reasonable number of these school officials.”

He feels that the university employees who work towards managing the international students’ population are not fulfilling their duties. They do not satisfy their commitment to the U.S. government and the American people. He clarified that he wouldn’t endure such behavior under a Trump administration.

OPT is a key driver of overall international student enrollment in the United States.

The Trump administration has been taking action against OPT and international students. The authorities state they are attempting to combat foreign influence, particularly from China. They also stated that the Chinese government is utilizing its students to steal research and intellectual property. A month ago, They renounced the visas of more than 1,000 suspicious Chinese students.

The Trump administration is likewise moving to force two-and four-year limits on visas for international students.

Article Source: Yahoo


Gehi & Associates is a law firm with three offices in Queens, New York, that has successfully assisted thousands of clients in every aspect of immigration law. Its attorneys have decades of experience in advising and representing clients in the most complex immigration matters, including their applications to adjust status to lawful permanent residency, family-based immigrant visas, employment-based visas, visitor and non-immigrant visas, travel permits and employment authorization, applications for asylum and withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture, and challenging deportation and removal. The firm’s principal attorney, Naresh M. Gehi, Esq., provides complimentary in-person consultations to assess how best to proceed with your matter. To inquire about our free consultations, please email us at info@gehilaw.com.

Work Visas During COVID-19

We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.

The Trump administration, both prior to entering office and after, have made a point to condemn illegal immigration, not legal. The idea, in theory, is that people need to enter the country legally and in doing so, bring something to offer –for instance, work experience being brought to the United States to contribute to the work-force. However, as with anything in politics, theory usually does not end up playing out in practice.

Despite how much the Trump administration has defended its anti-immigration sentiments with shades of positivity thrown towards legal immigration, it has proven to be not only against legal immigration, but also legal immigration. You would think with sentiments of merit-based immigration that the Trump administration would be all for work visas. However, the Trump administration has been anything but against work visas. 

On June 22nd, 2020, the Trump administration put a temporary suspension on all new work visas. This includes H-1B visas, visas for students on work-study programs, and almost all other work related visas. To quote the announcement from the New York Times, “The order also restricts the ability of American companies with global operations and international companies with U.S. branches to transfer foreign executives and other employees to the United States for months or years long stints. And it blocks the spouses of foreigners who are employed at companies in the United States.” Nearly half a million potential workers will not be allowed into the United States until at the very least the end of 2020. 

If you are someone who is seeking to work in the United States through the H1B visa, H-4 visa, the L visa and/or the J visa, you will not be able to obtain said visas due to the ban. Likewise, there has been a ban on applying for Green Cards until the end of the year as well. This blocks hundreds of thousands of people from working in the United States from other countries.

Nonetheless, if you are in the United States already and you already have a Green card or a visa, there is nothing to worry about. This ban does not take away your right to live in the United States.

The implications of this ban economically will likely be astronomical, as all of the fortune 500 companies have declared outrage as a response to the ban. Many of their employees are foreign workers who have done a great deal to make these companies great. Such a lack of workers is bound to diminish the productivity of these companies, and in turn, hamper the economy until the ban is lifted. For America itself: a large amount of our economy will now be outsourced to other countries –because the workers that would have come to the United States will now attempt (to likely success) to take their business elsewhere. 

We can see how absurd this decision is, for exactly the same reason as the absurdity in denying asylum seekers. Firstly, automation is what takes away jobs, not immigrants. Secondly, we can now test people for the coronavirus who are attempting to enter the country with a work visa. The jobs that are being lost due to the pandemic are not the jobs work visa holders come to the U.S. to obtain –i.e. High-skill, high-wage jobs (scientists, professors, educators, etc.) Hence, the rationale behind this ban is extremely illogical and the ban itself is unwarranted.

What might you be able to do as an alternative to this work visa ban? You might be a professor who was looking to teach in the United States or a scientist looking to do research in the United States. Is all hope lost for you if you do not have a visa? Not exactly. You do have some options.

Firstly, a big question is: “what do I do if I lose my job due to COVID-19 and I have an H1B visa?” Job losses are running rampant. In the U.S., unemployment rates are at the lowest they have been since the Great Depression. Amongst those losing their jobs have been individuals with H1B visas. If you are simply an American citizen, when you lose your job during COVID the solution is quite straight forward: file for unemployment.

The solution for those on an employment-based visa like an H1B is not as straightforward as this, however. For those of you with an H1B visa who have lost their job due to COVID-19, here are your options:

(1) Find a new employer to sponsor you: simply looking for a new job, where your employer can sponsor you is your best option. Firstly, because you will return to work and secondly because your visa will no longer expire as a result of termination.

(2) Get a spousal support visa: We all know getting a new job in the United States is very difficult. If you lose your job on an H1B visa, you have 60 days to find a new one or else your visa will expire, causing you to lose your legal status, and in turn, put you at risk for deportation. If your spouse is employed, however, you are eligible to apply for a spousal support visa and can stay in the country.

(3) Change status to visitor or student visa: If you are single, or, your spouse does not work, option number 2 might not work for you. However, you can apply for either a visitor’s visa (B-1/B-2 visa) or a student visa (F-1 visa). However, with a student visa, you must also apply for schooling.

Next, “what if I want to work in the U.S. but am now barred due to the recent bans on work visas?” 

You do have other options, even within the constraints of the new policies. No need to doom and gloom! There might still be hope for you even before the temporary ban expires! 

Here are a few ways: 

For one, not all instances of H-1B visas are included in the recent ban. There are some exceptions in the H-1B ban. If you already had a valid visa prior to the ban, you are exempt from the ban. Likewise, if you are a Canadian entering into the United States under the non-immigrant status of J, L, or H, you do not have to worry about this recent ban. 

Another option you can take to get into the United States is the TN visa. The TN visa is for Canadians and Mexicans who wish to work in the United States as high skilled workers. For instance, if you are a professor from Canada wishing to come to America to teach here, you can apply for a TN visa. 

Evidently, the E-3 visa was not mentioned as being part of the work visa ban. Hence, if you are eligible for an E-3 visa and you are from Australia, you can pursue obtaining one to work in the United States. 

Next, you can apply for the O-1 visa. If you are a big CEO of a company or an inventor of some sort –really, someone of exceedingly great capability– you should not worry about getting a visa to live in the U.S. If we are going to talk about “merit-based immigration,” those of the highest merit seem to get the best deal. 

The P visa is worth taking into some consideration if you are an entertainer or an athlete. For instance, many MLB players are from other countries. For a while, the MLB was not running any baseball games. As of July 2020, however, the MLB –and all other sports– are back playing games. If you are an athlete in a division of American sports from another country, you can apply for a P visa. Same for entertainers: now that movies and television shows are being filmed again, you can apply for a P visa if you are an actor or another sort of entertainer and need to work in the U.S. for your next gig. 

A great option during this time has been the E-2 visa. Under the E-2 visa, if you are a business owner or an entrepreneur, you are eligible to either bring your business to America or start a new one in America. You are even eligible for this if you are looking to buy a business –or a facet of one (a franchise)– in America. For instance, if you are from Turkey and you are looking to buy a piece of a fitness franchise in America, you are eligible for the E-2 visa. It is crucial to know, however, that an initial investment is required for the E-2 visa. This is a generalization –as cases may vary, and prior results do not guarantee future outcomes— but a downpayment here might be around $150,000, depending on the business. Not all countries are eligible for this however. If you are from China, India or an Arab state, because no investment treaties exist between the U.S. and these countries, you cannot be a citizen of the countries and obtain an E-2 visa willy-nilly. Rather, you must become a citizen of a country that has an investment treaty with the U.S. and offers citizenship by investment. Such locations include: 

  • Portugal 
  • Ireland
  • Saint Kitts 
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Vanuatu 
  • Spain
  • Grenada
  • Cyprus 
  • Saint Lucia
  • Dominica
  • Malta
  • Cayman Islands
  • Anguilla 
  • Moldova
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom

Finally, I do not encourage getting married to a U.S. citizen for the sake of getting entry into the U.S. Such behavior is immoral and betrays the trust of your spouse. Indeed, it is tantamount to abuse. But, if your genuine spouse just so happens to be a U.S. citizen, your spouse can sponsor you for a Green Card. This will allow you to come to the United States and to work here legally. Not only this, but it will reunite you with your spouse in these especially trying times –no one needs any extra loneliness during a time of imperative social distancing. 

Sources:

https://www.goldenvisas.com/country/page/2

https://www.forbes.com/sites/andyjsemotiuk/2020/06/26/12-alternatives-for-immigrants-blocked-by-trumps-proclamation/#614098892102

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We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.

 

International Students and Online Courses

We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.

COVID-19 has drastically altered the way in which schooling operates. Many students who were used to and enjoyed their in-person classes are now sitting in their pajamas at home on zoom, instead of in the classroom. This is the case at all levels of education, from those in earliest childhood, up to the graduate school level.

During this crisis there have been countless threats against the status of international students in the United States. Some of them have been quite serious, such as the potential deportation of all international students who are in universities that are operating fully online.

Despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases, and the ever present danger of the virus, the Trump administration has continuously pushed schools to reopen for in-person classes. This has been for almost purely political reasons. Which is to say, many Americans simply want a return to normalcy. This is, understandable, but almost all of the medical scientists who understand the current pandemic advise against this. Indeed, there will almost certainly be no such return to normalcy until a vaccine is available. The earliest projections for such a vaccine is January 2020. So we have quite a ways to go when it comes to returning to normal. We cannot simply ignore the fact that there is a pandemic that kills immuno-compromised individuals at a rapid level.

Yet, the president and his administration seem to think they can ignore such facts. Pandemic-fatigue has kicked in and many people are very fed up with being at home, out of work, and alone. We got comfortable in the ordinary world, and we desperately want that back –even though for health reasons, the worst thing we can do at the moment is go back to how everything was prior to the outbreak.

In an effort to force schools to reopen for in-person classes, Trump gave the nation a profoundly unjust ultimatum. In early July 2020, President Trump signed an executive order that mandated that international students of schools that are fully online will lose their visa status and will be deported. Of course, this drew outrage, but it was a profoundly serious ultimatum. On the one hand, many schools –Harvard, for example– already vowed to keep classes fully online at least for the fall 2020 semester. On the other hand, institutions like NYU have made it clear that they will be going back to business as usual in the fall 2020 semester –i.e. In-person classes. Thus, for many international students, the future looked dim and confused. This got even more complicated for students who were below the university level, who were also entailed in this policy. Which is to say, students who are children would be deported and stripped of their visa status if their schools remained online. This was for many people, of course, terrifying

The backlash to this policy was –rightly– immense. Several states and universities collectively sued the federal government for this unjust policy. Swiftly, the response from the federal government was to completely walk back this policy. Which is to say, if you are an international student in the United States, you will not be deported or lose your visa status if your school remains online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, this is a relief. However, many international students reacted quicker than others to the initial policy. While many students simply stayed put and hoped that their school would simply make the adjustments to hybrid and/or in-person courses, others made plans to go back home.

If you fall into the latter category, you might be helped by the fact that you can be refunded for travel expenses. For instance, if you have purchased plane tickets to go back home, you can get a refund for them –and in some instances, you do not have to pay a fee for such a refund (as many travel expenses are entitled “non-refundable”). For instance, you can get a refund on your plane tickets within 24 hours of making a purchase. So if you have made a purchase of a plane ticket to go home and you have done so within the last 24 hours, you can still get a refund without a charge! In other cases, however, you might have to pay a fee to cancel your flight. However, keep this in mind: the cancelation fee is much better than paying the costs of losing your visa status and/or being deported. It might cost you $200 to cancel your flight home, but it would have potentially cost you your life to have to go back home. That is certainly a worthy wager. The residence of this policy was a big win for immigration: Trump and his administration have time and time again looked for any opportunity to deport people and take away the rights of immigrants –legal or illegal. In this instance, the public stepped up and said “no” and won. It was a magnificent thing to behold and we ought to be proud as a nation to have stood up for our students and their rights to get educated in this country.

In sum: international students, do not fear. While COVID-19 might be impairing your studies by forcing you to take classes online, you will not be deported for something that is not your fault. If you’re an international student, and are in the United States for school, you are here to stay insofar as you are a student –and for most of you, by the time COVID is over, you will very likely be eligible for some form of a work permit or visa. International students should feel safe in saying that they can stay in the U.S. for the long-haul.

Source

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We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.

Changes in Asylum

We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.

The Trump era has been a rough time in America for asylum seekers. The longer the Trump administration has been in office, the greater the range of restrictions on those seeking asylum. Refugees are always a present phenomenon in the domain of immigration, but during a pandemic, it is understandable that more people will be seeking asylum. Despite the fact that the United States was the worst-hit country in terms of numbers by the COVID-19 pandemic, the infrastructure of the American health care system was capable of withstanding the crisis better than many countries. Especially 3rd world countries, where widespread disease is as common as McDonald’s is in the United States. 

 

While President Donald Trump and his administration have made names for themselves when it comes to anti-immigration policies, this has been especially true during the COVID-19 era. Fundamentally, they have used this era as an opportunity to be as anti-immigrant as the laws permit –part of such laws, luckily, includes the degree to which democrats and immigration-friendly republicans can block the president and his administration. This has been the case on almost all fronts of immigration, but we will begin here by talking about asylum. 

 

Since COVID-19 forced the United States to effectively shut down, thousands of individuals who were here in the hopes of seeking asylum have been sent back across the border. Indeed, in March of 2020, Donald Trump proclaimed an executive order which basically told border patrol agents to deport incoming asylum seekers as quickly as possible, rather than actually process them as thoroughly as possible. This is an order which, of course, is terrible. It has been deemed illegal under national law by the United Nations and it has been widely criticized as unethical: because it is. Nonetheless, there has not been any legal challenge to this law and despite the fact that the Trump administration claimed it was only temporary, it remains in place still. To be candid, what this really is, is almost a wholesale ban on asylum-seeking. Those who were already in the country seeking asylum, who were being processed, are now being deported at greater numbers, and those who are coming to the U.S. for new asylum proceedings are being turned around upon entry. Thousands of children have been displaced in the process and the health of asylum seekers has been put at a profound risk –sending such individuals back to countries that simply has little to no medical infrastructure to deal with the seriousness of the COVID-19 crisis.

What about those individuals who have not been deported? This is something to feel lucky about in some ways, but in other ways not so much. On the one hand, you will not have to go back to the country you were fleeing from just yet, or ever. Which is to say, you still have the opportunity to have your asylum granted. Hence, not all hope is lost. On the other hand, however, it is the case that your case for asylum has almost definitely been delayed. Given this, it might be the case that you are now in an asylum center –a place that is notorious for dangerous conditions, like poor sanitation, medical care, and even food. A huge danger here is that many of these asylum seekers will contract the coronavirus, only to be left to a system –or lack thereof, more precisely– that will be unable to help them under such circumstances. This danger is not just a potential, but rather, a reality: there have already been cases in asylum seeker camps where individuals have tested positive for COVID-19.  And while many of these suspensions have ended, many have not. Indeed, some of these suspensions have been extended as far out as 2021!

 

How long will this last? It is difficult to say. Most experts believe that Trump will try to extend this ban out as long as he is in office. Likewise, many experts also believe that the ban might still be in place even if Trump is not reelected due to the COVID-19 crisis –many Americans support such bans, as travel restrictions across the globe, of all forms, has become a new norm due to the risk of spreading disease. Which is to say, the fate of asylum seekers in America is extremely uncertain. It could be that if Trump is not reelected, Joe Biden might reinstate some of the pre-COVID freedom for asylum seekers, or, out of sheer fear of COVID-19, might keep much of this ban until the pandemic is over. Given Biden’s immigration plan –which on most fronts, is pro-immigration–, it is much more likely that he will force ICE to back off and loosen the restrictions on immigration. Given that the democratic party –even those within it who are ordinarily more traditionally liberal– is tilting more and more towards progressive ideas, Biden is likely to dip his feet in these ideas. 

Thus, the important thing to keep in mind here is that while the situation regarding asylum at the moment is dismal, it is only temporary. There will not be a permanent and/or all-encompassing ban of asylum seekers in the United States. For now, a few things need to be encouraged in order to ensure the safety of current asylum seekers. Number one is that social distancing protocols need to be enforced and medical supplies need to be allocated to asylum centers and detention areas. To have a population of individuals fleeing the virus and other terrible conditions, only to be thrust into terrible conditions in enclosed spaces is profoundly unethical and unwise. Next, the United States needs to lift the executive order on asylum seekers, which seeks to push them away at the border more readily. At this point in the pandemic, we have testing. If people test positive at the border for COVID-19, we can ask them to quarantine for 2 weeks and then to come back and get retested. Negative tested individuals should have no issue getting processed. Given the overabundance of testing available now, this really should not be an issue. It is clear that the executive order was one that is simply taking advantage of the situation, rather than one that has the health of people in mind. Ultimately, our immigration policy should have ethics in mind, not politics. The hope is that with our next president this will end up being the case –and more and more, this looks likely: thus, don’t despair yet! 

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Sources:

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/coronavirus-refugee-asylum-law/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/30/us-asylum-seekers-covid-19-mexico-matamoros

https://trac.syr.edu/phptools/immigration/mpp/

https://time.com/5830807/asylum-seekers-coronavirus-mpp/

We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.

Live Q&A with Attorney Naresh Gehi on August 19th

We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.

In the domain of law, and in particular, immigration law, getting your questions answered seems nearly impossible. Many people will give you the run-around and in the end, you will end up feeling hopeless and unanswered.

This might not even be the fault of the person you are asking questions of. After all, immigration law is very difficult material to have an expert’s grasp on.

For this very purpose, we here at Gehi & Associates will be hosting a live question and answers session with our principal attorney Naresh Gehi. This will be occurring next Wednesday, August 19th, on Zoom and it can be attended by clicking this link.

With several decades of experience in the field of immigration law, Naresh Gehi will be able to answer any immigration-related question that you have and will be able to do so live. The rules are simple:

  1. Join us on Zoom
  2. Have your microphone and camera ready
  3. Raise your hand
  4. When Requested, Turn on Your Microphone and ask us your questions

It’s as simple as that.

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Attorney Advertisement: Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes 

We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.

The Cost Of Applying for U.S Citizenship is Increasing

We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.

If you thought that the cost of applying for citizenship in the United States was already pricey, think again. The cost of applying for citizenship in the U.S. will now be increasing again.

What is this new cost? Starting on October 2nd, 2020, those eligible to apply for legal immigration in the U.S. will pay $1,160 for an online application or $1,170 for an in-person paper application or by mail.

This is 80% higher than the current fee, which is $640.

On top of this, fee waivers that have in the past helped low-income immigrants apply for U.S. citizenship are also being eliminated.

It was already difficult enough to get into the U.S. legally. Now, due to politics, the USCIS needs to make up funds somehow. And this is the way they have decided to do so.

Attorney Advertisement: Prior Results Don’t Guarantee Future Outcomes. 

We are Gehi & Associates. We are NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island immigration lawyers. We are here to serve our NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island communities. We do bankruptcy, family/divorce, immigration and all forms of law. Please come to one of our Queens offices. Email us at info@gehilaw.com to set up your free initial personal consultation.