EB-2

Without New Laws or Walls, Trump Presses the Brake on Legal Immigration

A scientist recruited by the renowned Cleveland Clinic is stuck in India because his visa is delayed. An entrepreneur courted by Silicon Valley companies had his application denied. Many green card applicants have new interviews to pass.

The Trump administration has pursued its immigration agenda loudly and noticeably, ramping up arrests of undocumented immigrants, barring most travel from several majority-Muslim countries and pressing the case for a border wall.

But it has also quietly, and with much less resistance, slowed many forms of legal immigration without the need for Congress to rescind a single visa program enshrined in the law.

USCIS to Expand In-Person Interview Requirements for Certain Permanent Residency Applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applicants whose benefit, if granted, would allow them to permanently reside in the United States. This change complies with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” and is part of the agency’s comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system.
 
Effective Oct. 1, USCIS will begin to phase-in interviews for the following:
 
• Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
 
• Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant.
 
Previously, applicants in these categories did not require an in-person interview with USCIS officers in order for their application for permanent residency to be adjudicated. Beyond these categories, USCIS is planning an incremental expansion of interviews to other benefit types. 
 
“This change reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” said Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament. “USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States.”
 

Automatic Extensions of EADs Provided by the “Retention of EB-1, EB- 2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers”

Some "good news" in the torrent of disastrous Executive Orders on Immigration.

On Jan. 17, 2017, a final rule, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” amending DHS regulations went into effect. The new amendments provide for automatic extensions of the validity periods of certain Employment Authorization Documents (Form I-766) for up to 180 days for individuals who:

• Timely filed to renew an Employment Authorization Document (EAD);
• Are applying to renew an EAD in the same category as the previous EAD (A12 and C19 are considered the same category for this extension); and
• Are in a category that is eligible for the extension. 

New Expanded Standards for Permanent Residence Under National Interest Waivers

Until now, Matter of New York State Dep't of Transportation (22 I&N Dec. 215) ("NYDOT") set the standard for determining "National Interest Waiver" cases in the Employment-Based Second Preference category.  With the precedent setting new case Matter of DHANASAR (26 I&N Dec 884), decided on December 27, 2016 by the AAU, an expanded standard of proof has been established.