U.S. immigration weekly briefing – November 3rd, 2017

Last update: April 23, 2019

Lottery program criticized

The President of the United States encouraged Congress to eliminate the ‘Diversity Visa’ program following October 31st, 2017 terrorist attack in New York. 50,000 green cards are available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries. However, not all countries are eligible. When more than 50,000 natives of a country immigrated to the United States in the previous five years (2013-2017). Among those who cannot participate are Mexico, Pakistan, and Brazil. See details…

15-year history and social media handles part of certain visa applications

Form DS-5535 asks for a 15-year address, employment, travel history; as well as a 5-year history of public profiles used to create or share content. The visa officer may require this additional information for all applicants requiring ‘greater scrutiny’.

Emphasis on F-1 returning home after studies

The State Department updated its guidelines to emphasize that if the F-1 applicant’s ‘present intent is not to depart the United States at the conclusion of his or her study’, then the F-1 visa must be denied.

No change to J-1 Exchange Programs so far

In its liaison meeting with immigration lawyers, the State Department confirmed that it ‘continues to implement J-1 exchange visitor programs at the same levels we have for the past few years.

Awaiting final decision on TPS for Honduras and Nicaragua

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) allows, as summarized by Axios ‘certain foreign individuals to stay in the United States because the government judges their home countries too dangerous to return to, either due to civil wars, environmental disasters or epidemics’. According to reporting by Miroff and DeYoung of the Washington Post, the State Department said that TPS was no longer needed for:

  • Nicaraguans, Hondurans (final decision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Monday the 6th of November)
  • Haitians (final decision at the end of November)
  • Salvadorans (final decision early January 2018).

U.S. family immigration weekly briefing – October 13th, 2017

White House immigration demands, visa bulletin, I-129 filing address, Sudan's TPS, new USCIS Director, and asylum rules.

Weekly Briefing October
U.S Immigration weekly briefing – October 20th, 2017

Travel ban blocked, analysis of the visa bulletin, quotas for immigration judges, and fight over sanctuary cities.

Weekly Digest Oct 28 2017
U.S. immigration weekly briefing – October 28, 2017

Change of rules for H1B renewals, resumption of refugee program, tensions with Turkey and Indonesia.