A new policy update from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services will make it easier for children of non-immigrant visa holders in the US to shift to a F-1 student visa, benefiting the children of thousands of H-1B visa holders in the US. Under the previous policy, applicants needed to maintain status up to 30 days before the program start date, which required them to file multiple visa extensions to ensure that they do not have a ‘gap’ in status.
“To prevent a ‘gap’ in status, USCIS will grant the change of status to F-1 effective the day we approve an applicant’s Form I-539, application to extend/change non-immigrant status. If we approve an application more than 30 days before the student’s program start date, the student must ensure they do not violate their F-1 status during that time,” said the policy update. Continue reading “The Economic Times: Policy change to benefit children of H-1B visa holders in the US”
A federal judge in Texas ordered the U.S. government on Friday to close the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to new applicants, saying the Obama administration did not have the legal authority to grant deportation relief and work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Granting a request by Texas and other Republican-led states, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen required the Biden administration to stop approving new applications for DACA, blocking tens of thousands of immigrant teenagers and young adults from accessing the Obama-era legal protections.
Hanen did not order the government to strip the work permits and deportation protections from the more than 616,000 immigrants who are already enrolled in DACA.
Continue reading “CBS News: Judge orders U.S. to close DACA program to new applicants, calling it illegal”
Backlogs, processing delays, and revenue shortfalls are nothing new at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency has long suffered from severe structural problems that hurt people who depend on it for work authorization, adjustment of status, naturalization, and many other immigration benefits.
However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agency operations has made a bad situation much worse. As the 2021 Annual Report of the USCIS Ombudsman describes, the agency is now experiencing backlogs of applications and petitions “at record levels,” as well as drastically reduced “customer service functions.”
Continue reading “Immigration Impact – The COVID-19 Pandemic Made USCIS Backlogs Go from Bad to Worse”