Updates from the Network
Alliance for Immigrant Neighbors in Des Plaines, Illinois
La Luz Hispana in Hampton, Iowa
Arkansas Justice Collective in Springdale, Arkansas
New Bethel Community Development Corporation in Biloxi, Mississippi
Tri-County Health Network in Telluride, Colorado
Spotlight on the National Visa Center
The following are our top six tips to prevent cases from going off track at the National Visa Center, or NVC.
Tip 1: Familiarize yourself with the various I-864 forms. Form I-864, or the Affidavit of Support, comes in its original form I-864, I-864A, I-864EZ and I-864W. Be sure you understand which form to use and what documentation will be required with each of them. If you submit the wrong form or omit documentation, the NVC may send you an assessment letter, and you must correct your submission at the consular interview.
Tip 2: Make sure all forms are complete and documentation is submitted. Submit all pages of all forms, even if those pages are blank. Check form instructions to determine if blank spaces should be filled with “N/A,” i.e., not applicable. Check CEAC to ensure that all documentation has been submitted. Electronic processing is faster than paper processing by mail. Submit copies, as NVC does not need or accept original documents. NVC prefers tax transcripts rather than forms 1040 and W-2, but will accept either one.
Tip 3: Do not let your case be terminated for failure to act. By law, see INA 203(g), a visa petition will be terminated if the applicant or representative has not communicated with NVC for more than one year. If a case will take more than a year to process, make sure you contact NVC within one year of your last communication, and keep documentation to contest any unjustified termination. Logging into an applicant’s CEAC account is considered contact with NVC for the purposes of avoiding termination of the applicant’s or their dependents’ cases. As an exception to this rule, NVC will not terminate a case for failure to act if there is a pending I-601A at USCIS.
Tip 4: Know when to follow up. Once USCIS approves a case, allow at least six weeks for the case to arrive at NVC. Use that time to prepare by collecting the necessary documentation. After documentation is finalized with the NVC, and if the petition is current on the Visa Bulletin, allow at least 90 days before following up about a consular appointment. NVC receives appointment times and dates from posts on a monthly basis, not a rolling basis.
Tip 5: Know how to follow up. If you are the attorney or representative of record, you can send an email inquiry to NVCAttorney@state.gov. Use the case number or receipt number as the subject line of your message. If your representation has not yet been registered and you are assisting the applicant to make an inquiry, you should use the NVC’s online inquiry form at nvc.state.gov/ask. For immigrant visas, call the Customer Assistance Center at 1-603-334-0700; for nonimmigrant visas, call 1-603-334-0888. As previously reported, NVC has temporarily changed the operating hours of the call center to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. NVC expects to revert to longer hours in the summer of 2019.
Tip 6: Know how to handle expedite requests. If your client’s priority date is current, i.e., a visa is available, but a child may age out soon or your client has a medical emergency, you can request expedited processing (see NVC’s FAQ no. 8) through the channels of contact described in Tip 5. Consular sections must approve requests for expedited action on most cases. Therefore, once you have submitted your request, do not wait to hear back from NVC before paying fees, submitting applications or taking other actions to advance your case. If the consular section is unable to approve your request for expedited processing, you will be able to move forward more quickly through standard processing.
New FAQs on Public Charge Inadmissibility
Both the Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services took major steps in 2018 to alter the assessment of the public charge ground of inadmissibility. CLINIC has produced two new FAQs on public charge inadmissibility to help you counsel your clients.
You can access them through the links below and on our Public Charge resource page.
This FAQ addresses common issues of concern for intending immigrants regarding recent changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual and proposed changes to the public charge regulations.
This resource describes the new developments and the circumstances in which they may impact your lawful permanent resident clients.
Are you considering sponsoring a child out of federal immigration custody? This fact sheet gives some information about the risks of this process and where to find more resources.
By Reena Arya
On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a precedential decision in Thuraissigiam v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security that paves the way for federal court review of negative credible fear decisions. Thanks to the decision, asylum seekers in the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction who have received a negative credible fear decision by the asylum officer and the immigration judge can now seek review of that expedited removal order in the federal district court via a habeas corpus petition.
By Ilissa Mira
Two recent developments will extend protections for holders of Temporary Protected Status from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, Nepal and Honduras, despite decisions by the Department of Homeland Security to terminate TPS designations for each of these countries.
Updates from the Center for Immigrant Integration (March 2019)
This month, CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration highlights the work of Cabrini Immigrant Services of New York City and their immigrant leadership program. Boston College’s upcoming Global Migration Conference examines worldwide exclusionary policies towards immigrants and how to combat them. The mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs prepares for their weeklong celebration of Immigrant Heritage week. Highly skilled newcomers are working low-paying jobs to overcome relicensing barriers for a chance to work their prospective careers. Don’t forget to check out the Immigrant Integration training calendar for upcoming events and trainings throughout the country!
This month’s promising initiative article highlights Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC’s work to help immigrants become effective agents of change in their community through the creation of a leadership development program.
We update our learning calendar as soon as new events are announced. Bookmark it and check back periodically to find a wide variety of integration-focused events being hosted around the nation. Up next: Easter Sunday: Immigrant Heritage Walking Tour of Coney Island in English and Mandarin!
Outside Events, Webinars and Resources
Global Migration Conference: Inclusion and Exclusion, April 11-12, 2019. Hosted by Boston College, the conference will focus on the worldwide increase of exclusionary policies towards immigrants and what policymakers, activists, refugee rights advocates and mental health professionals can do to address and protect the rights of non-citizens.
New York's Immigrant Heritage Week, April 15-21, 2019. Every year, the city of New York celebrates Immigrant Heritage Week in appreciation of April 17, 1907, the date on which most newcomers arrived at Ellis Island and began their integration journey. Festivities are held throughout the city and include performances, programming and exhibitions.
Integration in the News
A growing number of highly skilled newcomers in the United States face overwhelming relicensing requirements, which is both lengthy and costly. In fact, internationally-trained medical professionals can take up to eight years to get relicensed and dentists must pass both sections of the National Board Dental Examinations, in addition to graduating from a U.S.-accredited college. These barriers lead many highly skilled immigrants to work jobs unrelated to their professional backgrounds and training, pay low salaries, and do not require formal education. New York, Montana and Maryland are making statewide efforts to reduce these barriers.