Border and Enforcement News

Posted on: July 2nd, 2019
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State Dept. Notes Continued Heavy Demand, Retrogressions (Visa Unavailability) in Several Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Categories

The Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin for the month of June 2019 notes heavy demand in several employment-based visa categories:

  • There continues to be an “extremely high rate of demand” for India employment first preference (EB-1) visa numbers, which has resulted in retrogression of the final action date for the month of June to October 1, 2017. This action will be temporary.
  • Continued heavy applicant demand is expected to result in the India employment fifth preference (EB-5) category approaching the per-country annual limit during July. This is likely to result in the imposition of a July final action date in 2017. This action will be temporary, with the EB-5 date for India “most likely” advancing to the summer or fall of 2017 for October.
  • High demand also is expected to result in the Vietnam employment fifth preference (EB5) category reaching the per-country annual limit in July. This action will be temporary, with the Vietnam EB-5 date “most likely” advancing to the fall or early winter of 2016 for October.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has also announced that the agency will follow the “Final Action Dates” chart for the month for accepting I-485 Adjustment of Status applications.

Details: DOS Visa Bulletin for June 2019, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visalaw0/visa-bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-for-june-2019.html; USCIS announcement, https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/visa-availabilitypriority-dates/when-file-your-adjustment-status-application-family-sponsored-or-employmentbased-preference-visas-june-2019

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Online Visa, ESTA Applications Include New Social Media Question

The Department of State’s (DOS) online visa application (Form DS-160) now includes a new question about social media. The applicant is instructed to provide the names of each social media platform used within the last five years and the “username or handle you have used on that platform.”

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application also has a social media question, although providing this information is optional, reportedly.

The ESTA should not be confused with the DS-160 process. The ESTA is an electronic authorization required of citizens from “visa waiver” countries who are traveling to the U.S. for business and/or leisure. The DS-160 is for foreign nationals who are required to apply for a visa at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy before traveling to the U.S.

Details: DOS online visa application, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visainformation-resources/forms/ds-160-online-nonimmigrant-visa-application.html; ESTA application, https://www.esta-visaform.us/; list of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiverprogram.html.

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President Trump Considering Ban on Asylum Claims From Central Americans Traveling Through Mexico, Others

According to reports, President Donald Trump is considering a draft rule to prohibit people who have resided in a third country from filing an asylum claim. If the rule is implemented, it could block Central Americans traveling through Mexico, among others, from applying for asylum in the United States.

Details: News reports, https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/30/politics/trump-rule-asylumchange/index.html, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/30/asylum-restrictions-trump-centralamerica-1489012

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