#COVIDvaccine for Form I-693 Immigration Medical Required Effective Oct. 1, 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding health-related grounds of inadmissibility in accordance with recently updated requirements issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The updated guidance, which is effective October 1, 2021, requires applicants subject to the immigration medical examination to submit COVID-19 vaccination records before completion of immigration medical examinations conducted in the United States and overseas.

In general, those applying to become a lawful permanent resident, and other applicants as required, must undergo an immigration medical examination to show they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible under health-related grounds.  USCIS designates eligible physicians as civil surgeons to perform this immigration medical examination for those applying within the United States using the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693).

On August 17, 2021, the CDC released an update to the Vaccination Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons, requiring applicants subject to the immigration medical examination to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series (currently one or two doses, depending on formulation) and provide documentation of vaccination to the civil surgeon before completion of the immigration medical examination.

Policy Highlights

  • Explains that, beginning October 1, 2021, applicants who are required to undergo the immigration medical examination must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series before the civil surgeon can complete the immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693.
  • Explains that the civil surgeon may indicate that a blanket waiver could apply in cases where the COVID-19 vaccine is not age appropriate, where it is contraindicated, or where it is not routinely available in the state where the civil surgeon practices or where it is limited in supply

Vaccination Requirements for Immigrants

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)2 specifies the following vaccinations:

  • Mumps, measles, rubella;
  • Polio;
  • Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids;3
  • Pertussis;
  • Haemophilius influenza type B; and
  • Hepatitis B.

CDC requires the following additional vaccines for immigration purposes:

  • Varicella;
  • Influenza;
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia;
  • Rotavirus;
  • Hepatitis A;
  • Meningococcal; and
  • COVID-19.

For more information on #COVIDvaccine for Form I-693 Immigration Medical ,

text/call 407-292-7730 | whatsapp 407-353-1363 |email gail@gaillaw.com

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Copyright © 2021, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Apply for Green Card through Registry if enter before 1972 and Good Moral Character

Current immigration law contains a provision called “registry” that allows certain non-citizens who are long-term residents of the United States, but who are either undocumented or present in the country under some sort of temporary immigration status, to “register” for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. In order to qualify, individuals must have entered the country on or before a specified date (known as the “registry date”) and must demonstrate good moral character and continuous residence since their entry. After its creation in 1929, Congress advanced the registry date four times, most recently in 1986, when the date was set at January 1, 1972—meaning that only non-citizens who entered the United States by that date are eligible to apply for LPR status through registry. This date is now so far in the past that few individuals are eligible.

Current Eligibility Requirements for Registry

Registry applicants do not need a U.S. petitioner, medical exam, or financial affidavit of support. Under current law, an individual without a record of lawful admission for permanent residence qualifies for registry.  Apply for a Green Card through Registry if you meet the following requirements:

  • entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972
  • maintained continuous residence in the United States since his or her entry
  • is physically present in the United States at the time he or she files the application
  • is a person of good moral character
  • is not inadmissible to the United States under certain grounds (such as having been convicted of certain crimes) or is not eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief
  • is not ineligible for citizenship or deportable under terrorist-related grounds
  • merits the favorable exercise of discretion
  • submits an adjustment of status application (Form I-485), together with the appropriate fee, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485

To qualify for Green Card through Registry, you should submit the following evidence with your Form I-485:

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Copy of government issued photo identification
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
  • Copy of passport page with admission (entry) stamp (if applicable)
  • Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record (if applicable)
  • Evidence that you entered the United States prior to Jan. 1, 1972
  • Evidence to establish continuous residence since entry

Note: An individual applying under the registry provisions is not required to undergo a medical exam.

For more information on Green Card through Registry,

text/call 407-292-7730 | whatsapp 407-353-1363 |email gail@gaillaw.com

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Copyright © 2021, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Green Card Holder Outside the U.S. During COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 global pandemic has been ongoing for close to one year and many countries have implemented inbound and outbound travel restrictions.  U.S. permanent residents and conditional permanent residents caught outside the United States due to COVID-19 are experiencing significant challenges in making return travel plans home to the United States. Certain period of absences from the United States can interrupt eligibility for U.S. citizenship as well as the ability to retain a permanent resident card (“green card”).

When a permanent resident or green card holder is seeking to return to the U.S. after a prolonged trip outside the U.S., they should not depend on the sympathy of a U.S. Custom and Border Protection officer to allow entry amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Our office recommends all green card holder outside the U.S. seeking re-entry to the U.S. to gather and present the following (if available and applicable) to a U.S. Custom and Border Protection officer:

  1. proof of filing U.S. income tax returns;
  2. proof of job or employment in the U.S.;
  3. proof of bank account in the U.S.;
  4. proof of lease ot home ownership in the U.S.;
  5. proof of spouse or children living in the U.S.;
  6. proof that departure from U.S. was temporary and had a returning ticket;
  7. proof that returning flight to the U.S. was canceled by airline;
  8. proof could not get outbound flight to the U.S.;
  9. proof that tested positive for COVID-19 and could not enter the U.S.; and
  10. any proof to rebut the presumption that might have abandoned their residence.

In the end, a permanent resident or green card holder is applying for admission to the United States and the officer has the power to confiscate a green card at the airport/point of entry and referred the green card holder to a hearing before an immigration judge.  If the green card holder outside the U.S. has been absent from the U.S. for greater than one year, then they have abandoned their residency under the law and may have to seek permission to the return to the U.S. through the U.S. Embassy abroad.

For more information on green card holder outside the U.S.,

text/call 407-292-7730 | whatsapp 407-353-1363 |email gail@gaillaw.com

FREE phone & in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2020, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Green cards and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) NOT being PRINTED

The administration claims that its reduction in printing capacity is due to a USCIS budget shortfall that it has blamed on a reduction in fee revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Currently, USCIS is facing a $1.2 billion funding crisis.  While COVID-19 has had a significant impact across our immigration system, USCIS has been on a path to financial ruin for years due largely to its own fiscal mismanagement.

The people impacted by these printing delays have already had their petitions and applications approved by USCIS. They have paid the often-exorbitant filing fees, completed the necessary paperwork, and gone through extensive background checks. Despite this, the agency says it “cannot speculate on future projections of processing times.”

This leaves hundreds of thousands of people without the documents needed to support themselves. These documents are important in normal times—but are even more critical during a worldwide pandemic.

USICS plans to furlough over 13,000 employees as of August 3 at a time when its own data confirms that the agency has a backlog of over 5.7 million pending cases. While the agency has asked Congress for emergency funding, the White House has yet to submit a formal request. It is unclear if Congress will be able to step in before the long August recess.  Congress should step in to provide enough funding to allow the agency to continue its operations. But Congress also must also exercise its constitutional oversight authority to create and boost meaningful accountability, transparency, and productivity within USCIS.

For more information on green cards and employment authorization documents,

text/call 407-292-7730 | whatsapp 407-353-1363 |email gail@gaillaw.com

FREE phone & in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2020, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Public Charge Rule Expanded to Deny Green Card Faces Legal Challenges in U.S. Courts

On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, DHS published a final rule redefining the public charge ground for denying green card issuance. Lawsuits have already been filed in multiple jurisdictions, raising questions whether the rule will go into effect October 15, 2019.

The new public charge rule removes the consideration of whether an individual is primarily dependent on public benefits, redefining public charge as a noncitizen who receives a specified public benefit for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period (such that, for instance, receipt of two benefits in one month counts as two months).

The final rule at 8 CFR 212.21(b) defines a public benefit as:

  1. Any federal, state, local, or tribal cash assistance for income maintenance, including:
    1. Social Security Income (SSI), 42 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.;
    1. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), 42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.;
    1. Federal, state, or local cash benefits programs for income maintenance (often called “General Assistance” in the State context, but which also exist under other names);
  2. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 7 U.S.C. 2011 to 2036c;
  3. Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program as administered by HUD under 42 U.S.C. 1437f;
  4. Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (including Moderate Rehabilitation) under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f);
  5. Medicaid, with certain exceptions, such as benefits received by individuals under the age of 21 and pregnant women (or for a period of 60 days after the last day of pregnancy); and
  6. Public housing under section 9 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937

A sufficient affidavit of support will NOT be outcome-determinative as to whether an individual is likely at any time in the future to become a public charge. Rather, to make that assessment, USCIS adjudicators will apply a complex totality of circumstances test that weighs the alien’s age; health; family status; education and skills; and assets, resources, and financial status, taking into account a broad range of positive and negative factors.

USCIS notes in the final rule that it interprets “likely at any time” to mean that it is “more likely than not” that the individual at any time in the future will receive one or more public benefits as defined by the rule.  One heavily weighted negative factor is an applicant’s receipt of specified public benefits for 12 or more months in the aggregate within any 36-month period, beginning no earlier than the 36 months prior to the application for adjustment of status or adjustment.

The public charge rule, which is vastly more restrictive than current policy, could result in significantly higher USCIS denial rates of adjustment of status applications subject to public charge determinations. Moreover, the multi-factor test will leave substantial discretion to adjudicators and could produce inconsistent and unpredictable decision-making. Additionally, the rule will prove burdensome for the public and DHS alike. It requires that adjustment applicants subject to public charge determinations prepare and submit lengthy Forms I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, with their adjustment filings. USCIS’s review of hundreds of thousands of these new forms each year will further slow the agency’s already severely delayed case processing.

For more information on public charge, 

text | whatsapp | call 407-292-7730 or email gail@gaillaw.com

FREE phone & in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2019, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

New redesigned Permanent Resident Card (“Green Cards”) and Employment Authorization Document

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began issuing redesigned versions of the Permanent Resident Card (aka a “Green Cards”) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project.

The redesigned cards use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use.

USCIS states that the new card designs are part of an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enhance document security and deter counterfeiting and f raud and demonstrate USCIS’ commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud.

The new Permanent Resident (Green Cards) and EAD Cards will:

  1. Display the individual’s photos on both sides;
  2. Show a unique graphic image and color palette:
  3. Have embedded holographic images; and
  4. No longer display the individual’s signature.
  5. EAD cards will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominately red palette;
  6. Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) will have an image of the Statue of Liberty and a predominately green palette;
  7. Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) will no longer have an optical stripe on the back.

Both the existing and the new Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) and EADs will (more…)

Signature REQUIRED for Green Card & Work Permit Upon Delivery

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the agency will begin phasing in use of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service to mail Green Cards and other secure documents beginning April 30, 2018.

The first phase will affect documents that need to be re-mailed because they have been returned as non-deliverable. These documents include Permanent Resident Card (also called Green Card), Employment Authorization Cards, and Travel Booklets. Applicants who have changed mailing addresses during the course of the application process are more likely to have their secure documents sent with the new delivery method, which USCIS will expand to all secure documents in the future.

As part of the new delivery method, applicants must present identification to sign for their documents upon delivery. They also have the option to designate an agent to sign on their behalf by completing the Postal Service’s PS Form 3801, Standing Delivery Order (PDF) or PS Form 3801-A, Agreement by a Hotel, Apartment House, or the Like (PDF). Applicants can sign up for USPS Informed Delivery to receive delivery status notifications. Applicants will also have the option to arrange for pickup at a post office at a convenient date and time by going to the USPS website and selecting “hold for pickup.”

Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery increases the security, integrity, and efficiency of document delivery. (more…)

Green Card New Design – Effective May 1, 2017

The Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) has been redesigned as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. The new cards will be issued on May 1, 2017.

These redesigns green card use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use.

The new green card designs demonstrate immigration’s commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. They are also part of an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enhance document security and deter counterfeiting and fraud.

The Redesigned Cards

The new Green Cards and EADs will:

  • Display the individual’s photos on both sides;
  • Show a unique graphic image and color palette:
    • Green Cards will have an image of the Statue of Liberty and a predominately green palette;
    • EAD cards will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominately red palette;
  • Have embedded holographic images; and
  • No longer display the individual’s signature.

Also, Green Cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back. (more…)

Green Card i-551

A green card i-551 can be issued for two (2) years or ten (10) years.  If your green card card is lost or needs replacement or renewal, call the Immigration Law Offices of Gail Seeram for assistance.  We will file your application for a replacement green card i-551 and make an appointment for you to get a temporary green card i-551 stamp in your passport.  Processing times for replacement a green card can vary (more…)

Green Card Expires in 2 years – Help Removing Conditional Residency

In cases where resident status (green card) is acquired based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen that was less than 2 years old on the day the immigrant spouse was approved, then the immigrant is approved for lawful conditional status (or a 2 year green card).  The immigrant’s status is conditional because two years after acquiring permanent resident status, the immigrant and his/her U.S. citizen spouse will be required to present evidence (and possibility have an interview in front of an officer) to prove their marriage is good faith based on love and not for the purpose of gaining an immigration benefit. The process of removing conditions from a 2-year green card give the Department of Homeland Security a second opportunity to exam the marital relationship to confirm the immigrant and his/her spouse continue to live together, hold joint assets and share joint bills. (more…)