CHILD STATUS PROTECTION ACT MAY OFFER HOPE TO DEPENDENTS AGING OUT OF GREEN CARD ELIGIBILITY
With the employment-based priority dates for EB-2 and EB-3 nationals from India and China in retrogression, the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) may provide some protection to dependents who turn twenty-one while waiting for their green card applications to be approved. To be eligible for the CSPA, a dependent must have an immigration petition or adjustment of status application pending on or after the CSPA effective date (August 6, 2002), have a calculated CSPA age under twenty-one, must remain unmarried, and must have “sought to acquire” lawful permanent residence within one year of visa availability. The CSPA determines the age of the dependent at the time of the visa availability by calculating their age when the immigration petition on which the Adjustment of Status is based and approved. They also must have a current priority date according to the Final Action Dates chart of the Visa Bulletin.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION EXTENDS TPS PROTECTIONS FOR FOUR COUNTRIES THROUGH JUNE 2024
Last week, DHS announced that immigrants from Nepal, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua will continue to receive work permits and deportation protection through June 30, 2024. As of December 2021, nearly 250,000 Salvadorans, 76,000 Hondurans, 15, 000 Nepalis, and 4,000 Nicaraguans were enrolled in the TPS program. This number has only risen in the last year and these protections afford nationals of these countries a confirmed period in which they are guaranteed to be able to stay in the country legally.
NEW INFORMATION FOR REQUESTS FOR NONIMMIGRANT WAIVERS IN NONIMMIGRANT CASES
The Secretary of State and DHS have authorized consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for applicants of H-1, H-3, H-3, L, O, P, and Q visas who are applying for the visa in their country of nationality or residency. Applicants who were previously issued any type of visa, who have never been refused a visa and have no apparent or potential ineligibility. First time applicants for these visas who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program are also eligible. Similar protocol has been put in place for F, M, and J visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of a VWP participating country who have previously travelled to the U.S. with a valid ESTA. These applicants still must apply from their country of nationality or residence and must never have been denied a visa nor have any ineligibility. This authority is currently only extended through the end of 2022.
CBP TO PHASE OUT PHYSICAL PASSPORT STAMPS IN TRANSITION TO ONLINE I-94 ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE RECORDS
While the I-94 process is currently automated for most nonimmigrants arriving in the United States, CBP has states that the physical stamping will be completely phased out. The digitization of the I-94 form has several benefits but also carries a heavy risk of error. Foreign nationals who have their I-94 records online should check the CBP website to ensure that the information is accurate.