November is here, which means the year will soon come to a close—and what a tumultuous year it has been. At The Modi Law Firm, PLLC, we strive to keep our clients updated on all the most important changes to the immigration system, as well as what we are up to here at our office. Let’s take a closer look at some of the latest updates.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates to Reopen
In March, the U.S. government began to shut down both businesses and organizations throughout the country to try and slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The immigration system was by no means an exception to the shutdown. As a result, U.S. Embassies and Consulates all around the world have been closed for months.
Fortunately, some have begun to reopen and continue processing immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications.
Some of the latest updates concern the following countries:
- India. The embassies in New Delhi and Mumbai are still closed for most routine immigrant visa services, but they are beginning to process immigrant visas for spouses and children of U.S. citizens. Spouses and children who request expedited interviews through the NVC may receive emergency visa services. Additionally, India is now accepting drop box applications at Visa Application Centers specifically for nonimmigrant visa renewals.
- Mexico. Student visa processing is available by appointment for Mexican citizens and residents at U.S. consulates in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana, Cuidad Juarez, and Hermosillo. Processes will be subject to COVID-related delays, but you may be able to schedule an emergency appointment if you have an urgent need for travel.
Unfortunately, embassies in the Philippines and Brazil are still unable to provide immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services. Get in touch with our attorneys for more specific information about the embassy or consulate closest to you.
The Presidential Candidates and Their Stances on Immigration
The result of the 2020 Presidential Election will likely have a significant influence on immigration policy in the coming years.
President Trump has worked to restrict immigration through the following ways:
- Proposing a merit-based system (favoring highly skilled immigrants and restricting or even ending family-based immigration)
- Attempting to eliminate the H-1B visa category
- Limiting humanitarian programs for refugees (e.g. travel bans, attempted asylum fees, etc.)
- Attempting to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and TPS (Temporary Protected Status)
- Separating children from their parents at the border
Contact us right away if you have questions about the status of the above restrictions or situations.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, however, holds views that directly oppose President Trump’s. If Biden is elected, he has said that he plans to:
- Reinstate the DACA program
- Support a path to citizenship for people who have temporary status under DACA
- Advocate for a path to permanent residence, and potentially citizenship, for immigrants who register with a clear background check and paid taxes
- Restore TPS for citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, and Venezuela
- Streamline asylum by increasing government resources and reversing the policies that have allowed for the separation of families at the border
As always, we will continue to provide updates regarding any changes to the immigration system.
Flexibility with RFEs and Notices of Intent to Deny
Have you received a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny at any point after March 1st? Normally, you would only have 30 days to respond, but USCIS has added 60 days to this deadline for all notices received between March 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021.
Our Results at The Modi Law Firm, PLLC
Our legal team is working every day to help immigrants access the opportunities in the United States despite COVID-19-related obstacles and political roadblocks created by the current administration.
Recently, we were able to:
- Help the spouse of a U.S. citizen prove that she had a humanitarian basis for expedited visa processing. We helped her prepare for the resulting interview and ultimately obtain an immigrant visa, which she will use to enter the U.S. and live with her spouse as a lawful permanent resident.
- Help a hearing-impaired client become a U.S. citizen through naturalization. She originally attempted to naturalize without legal counsel, but she failed the exam during her interview because of difficulties related to her impairment. We helped her prepare for her second exam and accompanied her to the interview, which was a success.
Led by Founding Attorney Susham Modi, our team is personally and professionally dedicated to assisting our clients with every step of the immigration process. No matter what obstacles may be in store for us in the future, we want to stand by your side as you work toward your immigration goals.