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How to Get a Green Card in NYC

Permanent Resident Green card of United states of America on flag of USA

How to Get a Green Card in NYC

Permanent Resident Green card of United states of America on flag of USA

Peri B. Edelman | February 24, 2021

As an Immigration Attorney practicing immigration law in NYC, I have helped thousands of immigrants obtain their green cards. The green card process in NYC (also known as Adjustment of Status) is lengthy and tedious, and many immigrants decide not to apply because of how cumbersome obtaining a green card can be. However, my expertise as a green card lawyer, my guidance, and my intimate understating of the immigration process in NYC have delivered green cards for many of my clients, and I make the green card process straightforward and expedient.

This guide will help you understand the process of obtaining a green card through the New York City immigration system – what you need to know, where you need to go, and what documents are needed to start living life in the United States as a permanent resident.

Table of Contents

    What is a Green Card?

    The official name of a green card is a Permanent Resident Card. Having this designation allows you to live and work permanently in the United States. Most green cards are valid for 10 years.

    A green card that has been granted on conditional permanent resident status is valid for 2 years and must be renewed through a process called Removal of Conditional Residence prior to the 2 year anniversary to obtain a permanent green card. When the card is about to expire, you can apply to renew your green card status.

    When you are living in the United States and apply for a green card, this is called an adjustment of status. If you apply for a green card when you are outside of the U.S., the process is known as consular processing.

    Why is having a green card helpful?

    Having a green card helps in many ways. With a green card you:

    • Have the right to live permanently in the United States.
    • Have the right to work in the United States. Jobs that are not open to non-permanent residents will be available to you, like certain government jobs
    • Can travel more easily to and from the United States
    • Become eligible for some benefits that help with education, healthcare, and NYC public assistance
    • Can sponsor certain relatives for visas or green cards
    • Can apply for U.S. citizenship after five years; 3 years if you’re married to a U.S. citizen

    Who Qualifies for a Green Card?

    To qualify for a green card, immigrants usually fall into one of the following categories:

    • Employment-based green card – you have an employer that will sponsor you
    • Family-based green card – you have a close family member such as a parent, spouse or child (this depends on the actual classification) who is either a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident who will sponsor you
    • Humanitarian-based green card – you are an asylum-seeker, a victim of domestic violence, a victim of a violent crime, a Special Immigrant, or a victim of human trafficking
    • Extraordinary Ability green card – if you have special skills that can be an asset to the United States, you can petition for yourself without a sponsor
    • Immigrant Investor green card – if you invest financially in the United States, you are eligible to apply for a green card

    Additionally, you must not be guilty of aggravated felonies or serious crimes (such as murder, sexual assault, and other serious crimes) outside of or within the United States.

    The Statue Of Liberty In NYC Home Of Green Card Lawyer Peri Edelman

    How to Apply to Get a Green Card in NYC

    Note: the following instructions are for immigrants residing in the United States, specifically New York City. If you are residing outside of the United States and plan to apply for a green card, you will need to use consular processing.

    The two main types of green cards are employment-based and family-based, so this article will focus on those.

    How to apply for a family-based green card in NYC

    To apply for a family-based green card, the relative who sponsors you must be an immediate relative, like a partner, parent or child. The beneficiary can be either a spouse, parent, unmarried child under 21, or unmarried stepchild under 21.

    The petitioner will file an immigration petition for the beneficiary with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services along with an Adjustment of Status application, other requisite forms, and evidence.

    Forms for family-based green cards

    • I-130 Petition – the petitioner must complete this form
    • I-130A, Supplemental Information – for spousal green cards only
    • I-864, Affidavit of Support - for all green cards
    • Form I-485 – Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This form would be used for beneficiaries already in the U.S.
    • I-639, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

    Documents needed for family-based green cards

    The documents you will need for your family-based green card application vary depending on the situation. Always consult with a lawyer before submitting your application. Documents you will need may include:

    • Proof of the petitioner's legal status
    • Proof of family relationship
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship and a copy of birth certificate if born in the US, or copy of citizenship naturalization certificate, or copy of US passport
    • If permanent resident, then a copy of the petitioner’s green card
    • G-28 (Notice of Appearance for the Attorney or Representative) – only needed if represented by an attorney
    • Your Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
    • Proof That Your Previous Marriage Ended Legally (if applicable)
    • Evidence Showing Name Change (if applicable)
    • Passport Photographs, color
    • I-94, Arrival/Departure
    • 2 G-325A Forms Biographic Data Sheets (if applicable)

    How to apply for an employment based green card in NYC

    There are five types of employment-based green cards: EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4, EB5

    Most employment-based green cards fall into the first 3 categories:

    1. EB1: An employee with extraordinary ability in the science, arts, education, athletics, or business. Typical professions for this category include professors, researchers and Ph.D. holders. It can also include people working in US as managers and executives on international transfer basis (Company transfer L1 holder).
    2. EB2: An employee with extra ability in the field of science, arts or business, and advanced degree professionals (PG. degree holder).
    3. EB3: This includes professionals with Bachelor/ Graduate degrees, and other skilled workers.

    Your employer will have to prove on the immigrant petition that there are no U.S. workers who can meet the demands or required skillset of the position you will be filling.

    Forms for employment-based green cards

    You and your employment sponsor will have to complete the following forms:

    • Form I-485 – Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
    • Form I-140, Petition for Immigration – to be completed and submitted by your employer
    • Form ETA-9035 - Labor Certification which has been certified by the U.S. Department of Labor

    Documents needed for employment-based green cards

    Which documents you need from this list is dependent on your specific situation. It is recommended that you consult with a lawyer to know for sure. These are some of the documents that may be needed:

    • Two passport photos
    • A copy of your passport
    • A copy of your birth certificate
    • A copy of your non-immigrant visa (if applicable)
    • A copy of parole stamp issued by a U.S. officer (if applicable)
    • Copy of every I-94 recorded under your name
    • Proof that you have maintained lawful status since arriving in the U.S. (or that you are exempt)
    • Form I-693 – Medical examination report
    • Documentation of past or present J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status (if applicable)
    • Form I-485 Supplement A – Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i) (if applicable)
    • Receipt of Filed Fees – receipts have to be preserved

    How to file your green card application

    Once your application and forms are complete and you have the appropriate documentation, you should submit your application to the appropriate USCIS office. The correct office for your situation can vary, so consult with a lawyer before submitting the application.

    The sun rising over an aerial view of NYC

    The Green Card Interview

    After your green card application has been accepted, an in-person interview will be scheduled at a New York City USCIS office. NYC’s USCIS office is located at:

    Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
    26 Federal Plaza (Lafayette Street entrance)
    New York, NY 10278

    The petitioner and beneficiary will be interviewed by a USCIS Immigration Services Officer. What is asked may include questions to ensure the accuracy of your application: if it’s a spousal application, you may be asked questions that seek to determine if the marriage is bonafide; if it’s a relative-based application, the questions asked may be intended to ensure there is an actual relation.

    During this interview process, the immigration officer can ask questions where you accidentally make a fraudulent claim. They may also ask questions they are prohibited from asking. Both cases are good reasons to have a lawyer accompany you for the interview process (a lawyer can be present during the interview).

    A Stack of Green Card Applications In A Wire Basket in NYC

    Why Having a Lawyer’s Help Is Important When Applying for a Green Card

    Between the application, the supporting documents and evidence, and the interview, there are many things that can go wrong during the green card process. If you complete the information incorrectly, forget to provide the right supporting evidence, or say something during the interview that sounds fraudulent, the following can happen:

    • Your green card approval is delayed
    • Your green card is denied
    • You may have to resubmit the application with a waiver application, costing more court fees
    • If found to have made fraudulent statements on the application or during the interview, you will be removed from the United States.

    An immigration attorney will help you navigate the immigration process and lengthy green card process, ensure you have all the proper documentation you need, prevent the immigration officer from asking questions they are prohibited from asking, and protect you should immigration attempt to deport you after your green card interview.

    A green card application is a time-consuming and costly process. Don’t let your hard work, money, and time go to waste because you forgot a document or made an innocent mistake – contact Peri Edelman, Immigration Attorney, to make sure your green card application is done right the first time.

    Disclaimer: This blog is a public resource of general information only and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This website should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The information provided to you at this website is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Peri B. Edelman. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. Visitors to this website should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information available via this website, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. The existence of any particular link is intended solely to provide viewers with information which may be of interest to them. Peri B. Edelman takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on a linked site. Please be advised that information conveyed over the Internet may not be secure. Any information sent to the law office of Peri B. Edelman via electronic mail or through this website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. You're sending Peri B. Edelman or any of the firm’s personnel an email through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Peri B. Edelman expressly disclaims any and all liability with regard to actions taken or not taken based upon the content of this website.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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    Immigration Reform Bill Introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives – Immigration News for February 19, 2021

    Wooden And Gold Gavel Used In Immigration Law Resting On A Table

    Immigration Reform Bill Introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives - Immigration News for February 19, 2021

    Wooden And Gold Gavel Used In Immigration Law Resting On A Table

    Peri B. Edelman | February 19, 2021

    Immigration Reform Bill Introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives

    Senator Bob Menendez and Representative Linda Sanchez introduced a bill to the Senate and House yesterday. This reform bill, if passed, would be the 1st immigration reform bill to be passed in twenty-five (25) years.

    Certain elements of the bill have previously been floated in Congress. Initially, the Democrats stated that they are looking for a comprehensive reform bill. However, they are open to breaking up the bill. The Biden administration has also stated a willingness to break up the reform bill into different parts.

    Here are the highlights of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021:

     1. Pathway to Citizenship for Undocumented Individuals
    The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 would create an eight-year path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the United States. First, it would provide them with a new type of temporary status for five (5) years and then allow them to obtain U.S. citizenship after another three (3) years. The path to citizenship only applies to people who have been in the country since Jan. 1, 2021.

    This part of the bill is more than likely to be struck down as there is too much opposition to this component.

    2. Pathway to Citizenship for DACA and TPS recipients
    Individuals who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or qualify for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from countries suffering from war and natural disasters, who can prove they have a work history and other requirements would be granted residency and then citizenship.

    It has been surmised that this part of the bill may get passed.

     3. Increasing Visa Caps
    The bill would increase visa options on family-based green cards by increasing the country caps and reopening approximately 200,000 unused bills from previous fiscal years. Employment-based visas would also increase from 140,000 to 170,000 per fiscal year.

    4. Change to the word “Alien”
    The bills changes the word “alien” to the term “noncitizen” when describing undocumented individuals in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    5. Lift of 3 and 10 year bars
    The bill lifts the 3 and 10 year bars that restrict individuals from re-entering the country if they overstayed their visa.

    6. Increase of U non-immigrant visas
    The bill triples the number of visas available from 10,000 to 30,000 per fiscal year. These visas are available to individuals who have been victims of serious violent crimes and domestic violence in the United States.

    7. Border Backlog
    The measure provides funding for more immigration judges and support staff to help with the backlog of asylum seekers. The bill also sets up $4 billion in aid for Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to address the root cause of migration in those countries.

     8. Increased Border Security
    The bill provides for increased security at ports of entry focused on detecting drugs and other contraband.

    9. Existing Criminal Penalties
    Existing criminal penalties for unauthorized immigrants remain in place, including those that bar certain criminals from obtaining green cards. Under existing law, anyone convicted of an aggravated felony or a crime involving illegal narcotics is not admissible in the U.S.

    10. Increase of Diversity Visas
    The bill also increases the number of diversity visas issued for countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. from 55,000 to 80,000 per fiscal year.

    This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

    Disclaimer: This newsletter is a public resource of general information only and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This website should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The information provided to you at this website is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Peri B. Edelman. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. Visitors to this website should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information available via this website, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. The existence of any particular link is intended solely to provide viewers with information which may be of interest to them. Peri B. Edelman takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on a linked site. Please be advised that information conveyed over the Internet may not be secure. Any information sent to the law office of Peri B. Edelman via electronic mail or through this website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. You're sending Peri B. Edelman or any of the firm’s personnel an email through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Peri B. Edelman expressly disclaims any and all liability with regard to actions taken or not taken based upon the content of this website.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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    H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period Opens in March & other Immigration News for February 12, 2021

    H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period Opens in March & other Immigration News for February 12, 2021

    American-Flag

    Peri B. Edelman | February 12, 2021

    H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period Opens on March 9 for FY 2022

    On February 5, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap will open at 12:00p.m Eastern on March 9, 2021 and will run through 12:00 p.m. Eastern on March 25, 2021. Prospective petitioners (employers) and representatives will be able to fill out petitioner and beneficiary information and submit their registrations. A confirmation number will be assigned to each registration submitted for the FY 2022 H-1B cap. For more information of this procedure, please contact Peri B Edelman, Attorney at Law.

    USCIS Taking Two Years to Process Many Applications For H-1B Spouses

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes two years to process applications for many spouses of H-1B visa holders. Prior to March 2019, the USCIS would typically adjudicate an H-4 dependent (spouse) petition and the H-4 employment authorization document (EAD) application at the same time as the corresponding H-1B petition. Premium processing of the H-1B petition would ensure adjudication within 15 days. However, the USCIS insistence on the biometrics has delayed the H-4 applications considerably. A new lawsuit argues that wait times for extensions for spouses of H-1B visas far exceed those of other applicants for extensions.

    New Biden Administration Proposed Rules for ICE Point to Fewer Arrests and Potential Deportations, and a More Restrained Agency

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is preparing to issue new guidelines to agents this week that would reduce arrests and deportations. The draft guidelines are awaiting approval by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. It is reported that these convictions would not include drug-based crimes (less serious offenses), simple assault, DUI, money laundering, property crimes, fraud, tax crimes, solicitation, or charges without convictions. Instead, ICE agents will focus on national security threats, recent border crossers and individuals completing prison and jail terms for aggravated felony convictions.

    Texas Federal Judge Blocks President Biden’s 100-day Deportation Pause for 2 More Weeks

    Judge Drew Tipton issued a 14-day suspension of Biden’s moratorium on Jan. 26. The pause in deportations was part of Biden’s attempted day one overhaul of several of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. But Governor Paxton of Texas quickly filed a lawsuit in response to Biden’s moratorium, claiming the state would face financial harm if undocumented immigrants were released from custody, because of costs associated with health care and education.

    Biden Administration stated Most Immigrants will Still be Turned Away at the Border

    Despite activist hopes that President Joe Biden would change course from Trump, White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday told reporters that "the vast majority" of immigrants will continue to face expulsion at the border. The Biden administration has warned that it will take time to undo Trump’s immigration policies and has already ordered a direct review of such policies.

    President Biden Terminates Trump Border Construction

    Yesterday, President Biden has rescinded the emergency order issued by Trump to justify the construction of the border wall with Mexico. Biden determined that the declaration of a national emergency to construct the border wall was unwarranted.

    This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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    DHS encourages COVID-19 Immigrant Vaccination & other Immigration News for February 5, 2021

    Woman In A Hijab Tests A Group Of Immigrants for COVID-19

    DHS encourages COVID-19 Immigrant Vaccination & other Immigration News for February 5, 2021

    Woman In A Hijab Tests A Group Of Immigrants for COVID-19

    Peri B. Edelman | February 5, 2021

    Senate Confirmed the First Latino and Immigrant as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

    On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Alejandro N. Mayorkas as secretary of DHS. Vice President Kamala Harris swore Mr. Mayorkas into office, making him the first Latino and the first immigrant to hold that position which has been vacant for 21 months.

    Supreme Court Cancels Oral Arguments for 2 Trump Immigration Policies

    The Supreme Court has cancelled oral arguments of 2 Trump orders --President Trump's border wall construction, and the other, the asylum "remain in Mexico" policy. President Biden through executive orders has already issued executive orders pausing both the erection of the border wall, and the "remain in Mexico" policy, under which approximately 68,700 asylum seekers and others who crossed the border without authorization, were sent back to Mexico to wait for their asylum applications to be processed. Both cases are still pending in the Court but will probably be dismissed as moot.

    DHS encourages COVID-19 Immigrant Vaccination

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Monday that it would not conduct enforcement activities near COVID-19 vaccination sites. DHS is encouraging immigrants to get vaccinated regardless of their status.

    President Biden signed Executive Orders on Tuesday

    The Orders are as follows:

    1. A review of Trump’s ‘public charge’ rule, which makes it more challenging for poorer immigrants to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
    2. An asylum-focused order called on U.S. agencies to address drivers of migration in Central America to the United States, expand legal pathways to the United States and consider ending Trump-era asylum pacts with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
    3. A review of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a Trump program that ordered non-Mexican 68,700 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their U.S. court hearings, but not immediately cancel the program.
    4. To establish a task force designed to reunite more than 600 migrant children with their parents after federal authorities had split them up at the border in 2017 and 2018. Officials say first lady Jill Biden is expected to play an active role in the effort.

    President Biden Raises the Cap on Refugees

    President Biden announced yesterday he plans to raise the cap on refugees allowed to enter the U.S. President Trump set a cap of 15,000 for the current fiscal year — the lowest level since the passage of the Refugee Act in 1980. President Biden pledged to increase the annual refugee admissions cap to 125,000 in the 12-month period starting Oct. 1, the next fiscal year. Biden must consult Congress before setting the annual limit.

    This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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    President Biden is Open to Dividing His Immigration Bill & other Immigration News for January 29, 2021

    Protest for Immigration Rights

    President Biden is Open to Dividing His Immigration Bill & other Immigration News for January 29, 2021

    Protest for Immigration Rights

    Peri B. Edelman | January 29, 2021

    President Biden is Open to Dividing His Immigration Bill

    On January 20th, President Biden indicated that immigration reform was a top priority for his administration. Many House members working on Biden’s immigration proposal said that they want to try to pass a comprehensive bill before splitting it up into components. It is well established that a sweeping immigration package could meet fierce resistance in the 50-50 Senate if Democrats do not eliminate the legislative filibuster or find ways to include immigration proposals in the budget reconciliation process.

    Biden Orders COVID-19 Entry Restrictions

    On January 25, President Biden signed a proclamation that foreign travelers who were present in present in Brazil, Ireland, the Schengen Area of Europe, South Africa, or the United Kingdom during the preceding two weeks would be barred from entry into the United States. The proclamation remains in effect until terminated by the administration.

    The entry bans do not apply to:

    • U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), noncitizen nationals, or the spouse of a citizen or LPR.
    • Parents or legal guardians of an unmarried U.S. citizen or LPR under age 21.
    • Siblings of a U.S. citizen of LPR if both are unmarried and under 21.
    • Children, foster children, or wards of a U.S. citizen or LPR, as well as prospective adoptees entering in IR-4 or IH-4 classifications.
    • Members of the armed forces and their spouses and children.
    • Foreign nationals traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for efforts against COVID-19.
    • Noncitizen air or sea crewmembers, foreign government officials and their immediate relatives, and noncitizens covered by NATO or U.N. visas.
    • Any noncitizen whose entry is deemed in the national interest by the Secretaries of Homeland Security or State.

    President Biden Freezes Trump’s Last-Minute H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa Rules

    President Biden has instituted a 60-day freeze on two last-minute rules from the Trump administration that would allow only higher-wage foreign workers to be employed in the U.S. The January 8th rule states that only the highest-paid applicants to the H-1B visa program would be selected. Currently, foreign workers are randomly selected through the annual H-1B visa lottery. The new rule was scheduled to take effect on March 9. Under the January 14thrule, U.S. employers filing for H-1B non-immigrants would be required to attest that they would pay H-1B holders higher wages than other U.S. citizen employees with similar experience and qualifications. That rule was scheduled to take effect on March 15.

    Texas Judge Blocked President Biden’s 100 Deportation Delay

    On Jan. 20, the President Biden issued a delay on deportations for many undocumented immigrants who have final orders of removal. The memo states that the 100-day pause applies to all noncitizens with final deportation orders except those who have engaged in a suspected act of terrorism, people not in the US before Nov. 1, 2020, or those who have voluntarily agreed to waive any right to remain in the United States. The Judge claimed that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act. Biden administration does not recognize this injunction as legally binding, arguing a previous administration cannot tie the hands of a current one on matters of federal policy. This is unlikely to be sustained on appeal.

    Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Grant TPS to Venezuelans

    Democratic senators introduced legislation to grant Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, to Venezuelans in the U.S. saying the actions former President Trump took on his last day in office to shield Venezuelans from deportation fall short. Trump’s executive order deferred for 18 months the removal of Venezuelans who were at risk of being sent back to their home country under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program. Both TPS and DED allow recipients to legally live and work in the United States, but experts say the latter is a better option because it allows migrants to legally work. Biden said during the presidential campaign that he would extend TPS protections for Venezuelans. TPS can be granted by Congress or a presidential executive order.

    Click on a Link Below for the Most Recent Information Relating to Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Scheduling Status in the United States Embassy/ U.S. Consulate General for the Following Countries:

    I have been receiving many calls as to when a visa appointment will be scheduled. Many foreign Consulates have not scheduled any immigrant visa appointments since the pandemic began. Please be patient. If your case is in the queue, it will be scheduled once Consulate resume processing.

    Mexico

    Ecuador

    El Salvador

    Dominican Republic

    Ghana

    This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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    President Biden’s Executive Orders on Immigration So Far & other Immigration News for January 22, 2021

    multiple small american yard flags

    President Biden's Executive Orders on Immigration So Far & other Immigration News for January 22, 2021

    multiple small american yard flags

    Peri B. Edelman | January 22, 2021

    This week we had a change in Administration. Here are some of the exciting events that transpired after the Biden inauguration:

    President Biden Sent a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill to Congress Shortly After Being Sworn Into Office

    The proposed legislation, titled the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, is delineated as the following:

    1. Pathway to a green card for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
    2. Pathway to a green card for beneficiaries of Temporary Protected States (TPS)
    3. Pathway to citizenship in 8 years (has not be elaborated as of yet)
    4. Extension of non-immigrant visa programs such as providing dependents of H-1B visa holders employment authorization, and preventing children under the age of 21 from “aging out” of the system
    5. Formulate plans to spend $4 billion over four years to address corruption, poverty and other issues in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras that have forced citizens there to seek refuge elsewhere. This is intended to slow the migration in Central America, where migrants have fled by the thousands to the U.S. in recent years
    6. Investment in border security

    Many immigrants are excited about the proposed legislation. However, it will be an uphill battle. Now, the Democrats hold a slim majority in the House, and will have control of the Senate, but with a 50-50 split of lawmakers. The bill will need 60 votes to overcome the filibuster in the chamber -- meaning that 10 Republicans would need to get on board.

    Currently, there are many immigration laws that exist that benefit immigrants without status to obtain a green card. Please contact my office to discuss the options.

    President Biden's Executive Orders on Immigration So Far

    1. President Biden has ratified the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for 4 years.
    2. President Biden has revoked the Trump administration’s plan to exclude non-citizens from the census count.
    3. President Biden has blocked the deportation of Liberians who have been living in the United States.
    4. President Biden has reversed Trump’s travel ban which blocked travel to the United States from 13 primarily Muslim and African countries. President Biden has directed the State Department to restart visa processing for individuals from the affected countries and to develop ways to address the harm caused to those who were prevented from coming to the United States because of the ban.
    5. President Biden has also halted construction of Trump’s border wall with Mexico. The order includes an “immediate termination” of the national emergency declaration that allowed the Trump administration to redirect billions of dollars to the wall. It says the administration will begin “a close review” of the legality of the effort to divert federal money to fund the wall.

    This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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    USCIS Experiencing Delays in Issuing Receipt Notices & other Immigration News for January 15, 2021

    Immigration NYC Buildings from Boat POV with American Flag

    USCIS Experiencing Delays in Issuing Receipt Notices & other Immigration News for January 15, 2021

    Immigration NYC Buildings from Boat POV with American Flag

    Peri B. Edelman | January 15, 2021

    So far this week, one my clients received an approval of an H-1B non-immigrant petition, within a week of filing with the USCIS. Another client received an approval of Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal as he previously received a Removal (Deportation) order out of Texas. It is well known that it extremely difficult to receive a positive result in the state of Texas. He is now on the path to becoming a green card holder.

    This week’s news:

    USCIS is Experiencing 4-6 Week Delays in Issuing Receipt Notices

    USCIS is experiencing delays in issuing receipt notices for some applications and petitions properly filed at a USCIS lockbox facility. There is a delay of 4-6 weeks in receiving a receipt notice after filing with a USCIS lockbox. The USCIS claims that delays may vary among form types and lockbox locations as some locations that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 must adhere to stricter local guidelines.

    Supreme Court Will Consider TPS “Admission” Circuit Split

    In Sanchez v. Wolf, 2021 WL 77237 (U.S. 2021), the Supreme Court will consider a circuit split over whether Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is an “admission” into the U.S. that authorizes foreign nationals (primarily those who entered the country unlawfully) to seek lawful permanent resident status based upon such admission.

    USCIS Modification of H-1B Selection Process to Prioritize Wages

    On January 7, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule that will modify the H-1B cap selection process, amend current lottery procedures, and prioritize wages that President Trump claims to protect the economic interest of U.S. workers and better ensure the most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment program. Cap-subject H-1B petitions will be prioritized to favor higher levels of offered wages within each occupation code and geographic area of employment. The changes apply to all regular or advanced-degree registrations (or petitions, if registration is suspended) submitted on or after March 9, 2021. Registrations or petitions properly submitted before that date will be subject to the regulations in place at the time of submission.

    The Biden administration has said it plans to halt these “midnight regulations” pushed through by President Trump in the last days of his administration. The Biden administration could then issue its own rule, go through Congress to rescind the wage changes, or seek litigation.

    Chad Wolf Resigns as Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary

    Chad Wolf stated that his decision to resign was due to “recent events” and court rulings that have challenged the legality of his appointment by the Trump administration to run the department. Peter Gaynor, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will take over as acting DHS secretary.

    This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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    Predictions for President-Elect Biden’s Top Immigration Priorities & other Immigration News for January 8, 2021

    capitol building in front of blue sky

    Predictions for President-Elect Biden's Top Immigration Priorities & other Immigration News for January 8, 2021

    capitol building in front of blue sky

    Peri B. Edelman | January 8, 2021

    Predictions on President-Elect Biden's Top Immigration Priorities

    1. Saving Dreamers

    The Supreme Court reinstated DACA. The Biden Administration plans on providing Dreamers a path to citizenship, but that requires legislative action. Now, since there is a mini blue wave in the U.S. government, legislation on behalf of Dreamers has a chance of getting passed.

    2. Reforming Enforcement

    Currently, immigration courts have a backlog of more than 1.2 million cases. The pandemic has only added to that number. Non-detained cases in New York City have not been heard since March 2020. President-Elect Biden is likely to put a pause on mass deportations. He called the Obama administration’s mass deportations a “big mistake.”

    3. Reversing Many of Trumps Executive Orders

    Trump administration has issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration, including everything from border and interior enforcement, to refugee resettlement and the asylum system, the Muslim ban, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the immigration courts, business immigration, COVID-19, the public charge rule, health insurance, and visa processes. President-Elect Biden said he would reverse many of those changes within his first 100 days in office, but experts said it could take much longer to see the results of those changes.

    4. Removing the Border Wall with Mexico

    President-Elect Biden has stated that he will halt any future construction and end Trump policies that saw military personnel and funding diverted into border construction projects. According to Pentagon estimates, that could save the U.S. government $2.6 billion. Biden also plans to create a federal task force to ensure parents and children who were separated at the border are reunited.

    President Trump Extends Exclusion of Foreign Workers in Response to COVID-19 for 3 Months Despite His Term Ending

    On December 31, 2020, Trump extended the suspension of new nonimmigrant visas for foreign workers as his measure to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic claiming foreign workers are taking jobs from U.S. citizens. The exclusions include H-1B specialty occupations, H-2B temporary nonagricultural workers, J-1 exchange visitors, and L-1 intracompany transferees, along with any accompanying relatives. President-Elect Biden is likely able to reverse this once he takes office.

    Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Processing Status Updates

    Click on any country below to see the most recent information relating to immigrant and non-immigrant Visa Processing Status from the United States Embassy/ U.S. Consulate General:

    Mexico

    Ecuador

    El Salvador

    Dominican Republic

    Ghana

    This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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    US Citizen Spouses and Children of Undocumented Immigrants Now Eligible for Stimulus Checks & other Immigration News for December 31, 2020

    american money laying on a table

    US Citizen Spouses and Children of Undocumented Immigrants Now Eligible for Stimulus Checks & other Immigration News for December 31, 2020

    american money laying on a table

    Peri B. Edelman | December 31, 2020

    My clients know that I am there for them day or night. Twice this week, I was emailing with different clients at close to midnight to send me evidence as their respective cases had to be filed before the new year. Of course, the cases were sent to the USCIS timely. This year was challenging due to the pandemic, however, 2021 is a new beginning. Happy New Year!

    Here is recent immigration news:

    US Citizen Spouses and Children of Undocumented Immigrants Will Finally Get Stimulus Checks

    US Citizen Spouses and Children of Undocumented Immigrants are now eligible for stimulus checks under a $900 billion coronavirus relief package signed by President Trump over the weekend. Now, US citizens and green card holders who filed a joint tax return with an undocumented spouse will receive a check for $600, as well as $600 per dependent child. The benefits phase out for individuals making more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000.

    Department of State Releases January 2021 Visa Bulletin

    The first preference category for Mexico and the Philippines advanced slightly, with the new dates set at January 15, 1998 and January 1, 2012 respectively. All other areas remain at September 15, 2014.

    U.S. Supreme Court Found that it Lacked Jurisdiction to Decide Census Case

    The Supreme Court took no action on President Donald Trump's plan to exclude undocumented migrants from the census figures used to calculate each state's representation in Congress. The Court remanded Trump v. New York, 2020 WL 7408998 (U.S. 2020), one of three cases enjoining the Executive Branch apart from the President from implementing the memorandum policy, to the district court to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

    EOIR Publishes Final Rule on 15-Day Asylum Application Deadlines and Procedures

    The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has published a final rule, which takes effect on January 15, 2020, to apply for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Under the final rule, a migrant in proceedings under 8 CFR § 1208.2(c)(1) or 8 CFR § 1208.2(c)(2) must apply for asylum, withholding, or CAT protection within 15 days of his or her first hearing before an IJ or the opportunity to apply will be deemed waived.

    This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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    President-Elect Biden Announces New Policies & other Immigration News for December 18, 2020

    Immigrants Make America Great Pro Immigrant Protest Signs in Crowd

    President Elect Biden Announces New Policies & other Immigration News for December 18, 2020

    Immigrants Make America Great Pro Immigrant Protest Signs in Crowd

    Peri B. Edelman | December 18, 2020

    One of my clients came back from El Salvador last week with a green card after he was living in the United States for more than 22 years without status.

    He was only in his home country for 3 weeks to pick up his visa. This happened during the pandemic. Difficult cases are my specialty.

    The Trump Administration Lost an H-1B Visa Case for 3rd Time in December

    On December 14, 2020, a U.S. District Judge ruled the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it claimed a “good cause” exception to publish a rule without public comment to inflate the required minimum wage for H-1B visa holders and employment-based immigrants. The decision ordered the DOL “to reissue any prevailing wage determinations issued on or after October 8, 2020 under the wage methodology” of the now unlawful DOL wage rule.

    President Elect Biden Released Two Immigration Policy Plans on Wednesday

    In his 100 days, Biden will undo the “horrific” and “cruel and senseless” policies enacted by President Trump like the separation of parents and children at the border, and end for-profit detention centers.

    Biden’s immigration plan promises to reform the asylum system, end Trump’s Muslim ban and review Temporary Protected Status for those who have fled a violent country. It would also end the Trump-declared “national emergency” being used to redirect federal dollars to build the border wall.

    Final Rule Adopts EOIR Fee Increases

    A final rule from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has adopted without change the increased fees in a February 2020 proposed rule. This is EOIR's first revision of its fee schedule since 1986. The fee changes are:

    • Form EOIR-26 (Notice of Appeal From a Decision of an Immigration Judge), from $110 to $975
    • Form EOIR-29 (Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals From a Decision of a DHS Officer), from $110 to $705
    • Form EOIR-42A (Application for Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents), from $100 to $305
    • Form EOIR-42B (Application for Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment of Status for Certain Nonpermanent Residents), from $100 to $360
    • Motion to reopen or reconsider, from $100 to $145 if filed before the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, and to $895 if filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals

    This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

    Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.