Immigration News Update August 2020— USCIS Raises User Filing Fees Significantly

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There has been, as always, a drumbeat of news on Immigration over the last two weeks. Perhaps none as significant and long lasting as the notice that on October 2, 2020, USCIS will be raising filing fees across the board. Some of these fee increases are deceptively hidden, such as no longer including work or travel permits in the Adjustment of Status filing fees, effectively doubling the cost for filing for a “green card.” Other increases are designed to punish business for needing to use foreign workers, like L and H visa filing fee increases. Remember, this is the agency that removed “customer service” from its mission statement at the beginning of the Trump Administration, has dramatically increase processing times for all types of cases, and now cries that it has to furlough employees because it is not taking in enough money, but, yet, gave a billion dollars to ICE for enforcement and managed to mismanage its way into this crisis. Can you say “Congressional Oversight”?
Read below for more on these and the other immigration news of the day.
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Here is the Immigration News You NEED to Know Now

UP-TO-DATE IMMIGRATION NEWS

DHS to Raise Fees Significantly for Many Immigration Benefits – DHS announced a final rule, to be published on August 3, 2020, and take effect 60 days later, that will increase significantly many immigration and naturalization fees charged by USCIS, and reduce some others. It also removes certain fee exemptions; changes fee waiver requirements; establishes multiple fees for nonimmigrant worker petitions; alters premium processing time limits; and makes changes related to setting, collecting, and administering fees, among other things.
Judge Orders Inquiry Into DHS False Statements in Trusted Traveler Case – A U.S. District Judge ordered a “limited inquiry” to address “deeply troubling revelations” about DHS’s admittedly false and misleading statements made in court related to a lawsuit the New York Attorney General filed to prevent the Trump administration from excluding New York applicants from the Trusted Travelers Program.
Justice Dept. Settles Claim Against Staffing Company for Favoring Temporary Visa Workers Over U.S. Workers – The settlement resolves a claim that a staffing company discriminated against U.S. workers because of their citizenship status when it posted a job advertisement specifying a preference for non-U.S. citizens who held temporary work visas.
OFLC Transitions Site to New Web Domain – OFLC is transitioning to a new web domain as of August 3, 2020. As of that date, the OFLC website will become part of the main DOL website.
SEVP Issues ‘Clarifying’ Q&A for Foreign Students re Online-Only Coursework Visa Ban – SEVP released new guidance on the Trump administration’s shifting policy on foreign students taking online coursework in the fall.
USCIS Postpones Staff Furloughs After ‘Surplus’ Memo Surfaces – USCIS announced that planned furloughs of more than 13,000 of its employees have been postponed for a month.
State Dept. Issues Guidance on National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers From the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland – DOS released updated guidance stating that certain business travelers, investors, treaty traders, academics, and students may qualify for national interest exceptions to COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
State Dept. Issues One-Month Extension for Immigrant Visa Medical Exams – DOS announced that the CDC approved a one-month extension for medical examinations conducted between January 1 and June 30, 2020.
USCIS Issues Clarifying Guidance on EB-5 Deployment of Investment Capital USCIS issued a policy alert regarding the deployment of investment capital, including further deployment after the job creation requirement is satisfied. USCIS said the clarifications apply to all Form I-526 and I-829 petitions pending on or after July 24, 2020.
USCIS Releases Visitor Policy re COVID-19 Restrictions – USCIS has released guidance on face masks and social distancing for visitors to its facilities.
USCIS Ombudsman Assists With, Reports on Card Delays – The USCIS Ombudsman recently reported on the agency’s delays in printing green cards, employment authorization documents, and other secure documents, and offered help.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Trade Associations Sue Trump Administration to Stop Restrictions on Nonimmigrant Visas – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Retail Federation, and several others sued the Trump administration on July 21, 2020, seeking an injunction to block President Trump’s recent proclamation suspending new nonimmigrant visas.
Trump Administration Agrees to Rescind New Foreign Student Online-Only Ban – The Trump administration agreed to rescind its new policy to bar nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students taking only online classes for the fall 2020 semester from entering into or remaining in the United States.
J-2 visas.
Phased Resumption of Services Begins for Visa and Passport Processing; MRV Fees Paid During Suspension Remain Valid – The resumption will occur on a post-by-post basis. Each individual U.S. embassy or consulate’s website should be consulted for information regarding operating status and which services it is currently offering.
Plaintiffs Prevented From Entering U.S. Sue Trump Administration, State Dept. – Several lawsuits were filed recently by individuals and organizations affected by the Trump administration’s bans on the entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States.
OFLC Releases Public Disclosure Data and Selected Program Statistics for Third Quarter of FY 2020 – The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has released public disclosure data through the third quarter of FY 2020 drawn from employer applications requesting prevailing wage determinations and labor certifications for the PERM, H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, H-2A, H-2B, CW-1, and Prevailing Wage programs.
USCIS Consolidates Policy Guidance on Applying Discretion in Agency Adjudications – USCIS recently consolidated existing policy guidance regarding agency officers’ application of discretion in adjudications.
Proposed Rule Would Include Pandemic-Related “Emergency Public Health Concerns” for Consideration in Asylum/Withholding of Removal Eligibility Determinations – EOIR issued a proposed rule that would amend existing regulations to clarify that DHS and DOJ may consider emergency public health concerns based on communicable disease due to potential international threats from the “spread of pandemics” when deciding whether there are reasonable grounds for regarding a person as a danger to the security of the United States and, thus, ineligible for asylum or withholding of removal.
DOJ Settles With Florida Company Re Immigration-Related Discrimination Claims – The settlement resolves claims that Bel USA discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens by requiring them to provide specific and unnecessary immigration documents when verifying their work authorization.
President Trump Alludes to New Plans for DACA – After President Trump’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals through the Supreme Court failed, at least in the short term, he referred to an “executive order” and a “bill” interchangeably that would make unspecified reforms. He is literally blowing smoke here. His new plans for DACA was to make DACA more limited. He is evil.
ABIL Global: Germany – The COVID-19 pandemic thwarts a new skilled immigration law.
For Details on these and other topics, click www.immigration.net!

Government Agency Links

Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, and the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:
USCIS Service Center processing times online: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplay.do
Department of State Visa Bulletin:

Kuck Baxter Immigration — In The News

Charles Kuck spoke to WSB-TV about the Supreme Court’s DACA decision: Immigration attorney says Supreme Court victory over DACA doesn’t mean program’s not still in danger
Charles Kuck wrote an Editorial on the impact of the Supreme Court’s DACA decision and what comes next: Commentary: Saving DACA Permanently Means Setting Georgia Up for Recovery
Charles Kuck spoke to the Arizona Republic about the effect of the new Student visa policy issued by ICE this week: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2020/07/06/ice-foreign-students-leave-us-universities-online-only/5387580002/w-19-and-uscis-ice-and-eoir-how-to-not-respond-to-a-crisis
Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC published its US legal guide for Corporate Immigration. It can be found at https://iclg.com/practice-areas/corporate-immigration-laws-and-regulations/usae
mber/Firm News
Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC has an office in Adel, Georgia, near the Irwin, Folkston, and Stewart Detention Centers, which hold more than 6,000 detained immigrants. The new office is managed by our Senior Counsel Elizabeth Matherne, the former Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Irwin Detention Project.
We have changed the location of our podcast–The Immigration Hour— to Stitcher. We are entering our 13th year of continuous broadcasts. Listen each week for our latest take on immigration and immigration law!
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Feel free to reach out with any questions or for help in your immigration case at 404-816-8611 or immigration@immigration.net.

 

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