Tag: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

House Judiciary Committee Marks Up Legislative Proposal for Budget Reconciliation


LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL FOR BUDGET RECONCILIATIONThe House Judiciary Committee spent Monday September 13th marking up their legislative proposal for the $107.5 billion reserved for “lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants” in the reconciliation package. They are trying to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants. After this process, the text will be combined with the larger Build Back Better reconciliation plan and voted on in the House before moving to the Senate.

The first part of the legislation provides a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS/DED holders, farmworkers, and other essential workers. The provisions in the reconciliation bill would allow about eight million people to qualify for green cards. 

The second component is the recapture of unused green cards and the restoration of specific immigrant visas that were made unavailable. The former involves the recapturing and restoration of thousands of unused visas lost due to slow technical processing dating back to 1992. The majority of these will go to family-based visas, alleviating existing visa backlogs. The latter ambition will offer diversity visas to those previously selected in the diversity visa lottery but denied visas due to COVID or other travel ban restrictions. All of those unable to claim visas due to the Muslim ban will be able to reapply. 

The final part of the legislation is an investment in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Roughly $2.8 billion will be allocated to increase capacity at USCIS to support adjudication of applications and reduce processing backlogs.

This bill is essential. Undocumented immigrants have played a key role in the response to this pandemic, and the recovery of the economy in its wake is dependent upon them. A report by the Center of American Progress found that the country’s economy would expand by $1.7 trillion over 10 years if Congress were to provide a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated support for the move in a press conference this July, and Senator Bob Mendez of New Jersey has been a vocal advocate for it. It is for the betterment of all that this pathway to citizenship be created.

If you need to talk to an experienced immigration attorney. We’ve helped hundreds of couples traverse the complicated immigration and citizenship process. We would love to help you as well.  Call 617-744-7919 or email hello@cambridgeimmigrationlaw.com to get in touch.

Biden Administration Halts Enforcement of 2019 Public Charge Rule

 

This Wednesday, the Biden administration announced the end of the 2019 “public charge” restrictions following the reinstatement of a federal court order blocking the policy. The Department of Homeland Security determined the legal battles the policy incurred to be an inefficient use of government resources, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described the 2019 policy as “not in keeping with our nation’s values.”

The 2019 “public charge” rule was a Trump-era policy that targeted low-income immigrants and erected major barriers in the green card application process. It granted the government broader discretion to reject green card applications from individuals suspected of relying on public benefits. The restrictions also applied to those only considered “at risk” of reliance. It was widely denounced by immigration advocates.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will now refer to the 1999 version of the policy. This means that USCIS will no longer be considering an applicant’s receipt of “Medicaid (except for long-term institutionalization at the government’s expense), public housing, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits” when determining public charge inadmissibility. In addition, green card applicants will no longer need to include Form I-944 when applying from within the U.S.

 

Read the USCIS statement here: https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/public-charge 

Biden Scraps Trump-Era Changes to Citizen Test

 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed their plan to scrap Trump’s citizenship test this past Monday. In early December 2020, Donald Trump made several changes to the U.S. Citizenship Test that complicated the exam. Its length was doubled, the number of possible questions increased, and some answers were altered with a conservative bias. Furthermore, very little notice was given in advance of these changes, limiting the time available for participants to properly prepare. Many critics believe these changes slowed down the process and discouraged many applicants. 

The Biden administration will now be reverting back to the 2008 version of the exam. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will allow some immigrants who filed their naturalization applications between December 1st and March 1st to take either test, since many have already begun preparing for the 2020 version. However, all applicants whose first naturalization interviews take place after April 19th will have to take the 2008 version of the exam, regardless of when they filed their naturalization applications. Hopefully, the change will make the process easier and more efficient for applicants, and remove yet another barrier on their pathway to citizenship. 

How Does the Green Card Lottery Work?

The green card lottery is essentially a golden ticket to enter the United States. The visa lottery is officially known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, and it one of the simplest and least expensive ways to garner permanent U.S. resident status. Each year more than 20 million people apply for these visas, but the U.S. awards only 50,000 each year.

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Marriage-Based Green Card Document Guide

We work hard to make your immigration case easy for you. Use this easy guide to help you organize the documents that you would use if you are eligible to submit an application for a marriage-based green card application. You should consult with an attorney to figure out if you are eligible for a green card before you submit any applications or documents to the U.S. government.