NEW Policy changes are underway within the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that may “pave the way for sudden visa denials and referrals for deportation,” as CBS News reports.
Recent policy changes will include allowing immigration officers to reject visa applications immediately due to missing or inaccurate information. Previously, USCIS will issue “Requests for Evidence” (RFE) if there are missing information, allowing applicants to address gaps in their paperwork. “Notices of Intent to Deny” were also issued, as per prior guidance, which gave applicants a 30-day warning that their application would likely be rejected.
Applications affected by these policies and its recent changes in policy apply to: (i) applications and renewals of temporary (non-immigrant) visas, and (ii) permanent resident status (immigrant) visas. Securing such visas are required in order for non-U.S. citizen foreign nationals to legally live and work in the United States.
The policy changes are set to take effect September 11 and would allow USCIS to “deny the (application) for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence.”
These policy changes mean that visa applicants can suddenly find themselves on a track toward deportation. The June 28 memorandum allows Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to refer applicants for deportation as soon as their visas are denied. Rejected applicants are also left with no legal immigration status.
Now more than ever, we urge people to seek legal and competent counsel especially with regard to their immigration concerns, and in particular, in their immigration applications.
It is important to be vigilant and understand how immigration policy changes may affect you or your loved ones. It is important to consult with a licensed, competent, and experienced immigration attorney who will be able to walk you through your and your family’s immigration questions.
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Atty. Lilli Berbano Baculi is an associate attorney with Chua Tinsay & Vega, A Professional Legal Corporation (CTV) – a full service law firm with offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Philippines. The information presented in this article is for general information only and is not, nor intended to be, formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Call or e-mail CTV for an in-person or phone consultation to discuss your particular situation and/or how their services may be retained at (619) 955-6277; (415) 495-8088; (916) 449-3923; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.chuatinsayvega.com.