Breaking News 11.23.2015

Eligible Nepali Students Are Extended Special Student Relief

On November 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") announced that certain F-1 Nepali students may be eligible for "Special Student Relief." Such students are eligible if they are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the devastating April 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

F-1 Nepali students eligible for Special Student Relief may request employment authorization. Eligible students may be allowed to work an increased number of hours during the semester and/or reduce their course loads while continuing to maintain F-1 student status.

The DHS Special Student Relief notice for Nepali Students is effective November 9, 2015 and will remain in effect until December 24, 2016.

If you are a Nepali student in the United States and you or your family is experiencing economic difficulty because of the earthquake in Nepal, speak to your school's International Student Office or an experienced immigration attorney.

Waiver of Nonimmigrant

Consular Interviews

A typical consular processing case for a temporary, nonimmigrant visa requires an interview at a consular post abroad before a foreign national can obtain his or her visa. A new rule issued by the Department of State helps clarify when an interview might be waived, allowing issuance of a visa without an interview.

A number of individuals are eligible for an interview waiver:

- Persons under the age 14 or over the age of 79

- Certain diplomatic, governmental personnel, or transit visa categories (travel transit through the US on the way to another country)

- Persons applying for certain reissued visas, when they recently applied for the same unexpired visa at the same consular post (for example, lost, damaged, or stolen visas)

- Visa renewals, within certain time limits, in the same category at certain posts (for example, posts in China and India)

- "Unusual or emergent circumstances"

- Where it is in the "national interest" to waive the visa interview

The new rule adds Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) nonimmigrants in the E-1 visa category to the list of those eligible to have their interview waived under the diplomatic / governmental personnel exception.

Speak to an experienced immigration attorney to learn more about whether your interview might be waived.

DAPA Headed to Supreme Court

President Obama's "DAPA" (Deferred Action for Parental Authority) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plans have been appealed to the Supreme Court, which will decide whether the President may implement the programs. In November 2014, President Obama announced new Executive Actions that would have granted temporary permission to remain in the US and work permits to parents of US citizen and permanent resident children, and also expanded DACA to include persons who arrived in the US as of January 1, 2012, and who were over 30 at the time of application. However, the President's plans were stayed in federal court, both by the US District Court and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Stay tuned to find out if the Supreme Court will order DAPA and expanded DACA implemented and if you might be eligible. We will know in the next few months whether the Court will accept the appeal, and an approximate timetable for decision.

USCIS Announcement Regarding Adjustment of Status Filing Dates in December 2015

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service ("USCIS") recently posted a discrete yet significant announcement on its website: as of December 2015 employment-based adjustment of status applicants must file their applications only under the final action dates timetable, not pre-registration dates ("dates for filing"). A "final action date" is when the visa may finally be issued. The pre-registration "dates for filing" list the earliest dates when certain applicants may apply for an immigrant visa.

This announcement signals a return to USCIS's adjustment processing framework prior the introduction of pre-registration dates just a few months ago, at least for employment-based applications. It is not yet clear whether UCSIS will permanently disallow pre-registration for employment-based applications or whether it is only a temporary measure.

Please note that this announcement does not mean that applicants must file for adjustment of status as soon as they are eligible. Every immigration case must be assessed on a case-by-case basis and sometimes there may be good reason to wait before filing for adjustment of status. An experienced immigration can provide more detailed advice about how to assess an individual case.

The December Visa Bulletin yielded modest incremental progress for final action dates. Pre-registration dates remain unchanged for family-based applications. EB-2 India's final action date advanced by ten months to June 1, 2007. This advancement means that EB-2 applicants from India may now file for permanent residence as long as their priority date is before June 1, 2007 and they meet all other eligibility requirements.

For more information, please click here.

Attorney Speaking Engagements

Ware|Immigration attorneys frequently present at regional and national conferences. They also have speaking engagements at various universities and corporations across the nations.

If you are interested in attending one of the presentations or inviting an attorney to speak at your business, please contact [email protected] to discuss possibilities.

Here are some of the upcoming engagements.

Ware|Immigration On the Web

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