Under a policy change announced by USCIS on Oct. 23, renewals of non-immigrant visas will undergo the same scrutiny as first-time applications. Before the policy update, officers could give deference to findings in previously approved applications when deciding on renewals, but now, even if the beneficiary and petitioner are unchanged, officers must treat extension requests the same as new applications.
DoD Modifies Criteria for Expedited Naturalization of U.S. Service Members
The process of becoming a U.S. citizen is time consuming and riddled with legal hurdles. Most immigrants who wish to become a naturalized citizen must reside in the United States for at least five years, but there are several exceptions to this requirement, one of which applies to service members in the U.S. armed forces.
Green Card Holders Face New Hurdle to Enlist in U.S. Coast Guard
Effective Oct. 13, all lawful permanent residents who apply for enlistment in the U.S. Coast Guard will have to pass a Military Service Suitability Determination (MSSD) and National Security Determination (NSD). According to a memorandum issued by the Department of Defense, the DoD Consolidated Adjudications Facility (CAF) will administer the MSSD and NSD after the applicant’s background investigation has completed.
DoD Enhances Vetting Requirements for MAVNI & DEP Service Members
On Oct. 13, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a memorandum enhancing the vetting and monitoring requirements for service members who accessed under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) Pilot Program. MAVNI is a program through which non-immigrants with critical skills are recruited into the U.S. military.
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Trump Administration’s Immigration Priorities Favor Highly Skilled, Young Immigrants
The Trump Administration recently released a list of immigration priorities that strongly favor highly skilled, young immigrants. The Administration has proposed a merit-based system that awards an immigrant points based on his or her economic contributions, likelihood to assimilate, and ability to be financially self-sufficient.
Arrests of Non-Criminal Undocumented Immigrants in N.J. Has Nearly Doubled
It is now widely known that arrests of undocumented immigrants in the United States have been much higher under the Trump Administration. In fact, in the first half of 2017, arrest rates were nearly 40 percent higher compared to the first half of 2016.