Travel Restrictions Brazil to USA

On Sunday, May 24, 2020, the Trump administration issued the following proclamation that reads in part, “I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.”

Why was this travel restrictions Brazil to USA issued? 

As of May 24, 2020, Brazil had more than 347,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Who is exempt from travel restrictions Brazil to USA?

U.S. citizens, permanent residents and spouses of U.S. citizens are among those exempted from the newly introduced travel ban.

When does travel restrictions Brazil to USA end?

This is meant to be temporary in nature but no end date has been provided.

For more information on Travel Restrictions Brazil to USA

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Trump Suspends Entry for 60 days for Certain Immigrants

On April 22, 2020, President Trump signed a Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.  This proclamation is viewed by many as a political maneuver by Trump to appeal to his anti-immigrant followers and is redundant since most visa issuances ALREADY stalled due to no interviews in U.S. offices and Embassies through June 2020.  The proclamation will be valid from April 23, 2020 until June 23, 2020.

The proclamation became effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (ET), and APPLIES to any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant (or lawful permanent resident/green card holder) who:

  • Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
  • Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and

The temporary suspension of entry into the U.S. DOES NOT APPLY to:

  1. Lawful permanent residents (LPR)
  2. Spouses and children under 21 of US Citizens immigrating to the US through US Embassy/ US Consulate process
  3. All Foreign Nationals in the US applying for Permanent Residency through Adjustment of Status applications with USCIS
  4. All non-immigrant applicants applying through US Embassy/ US Consulate processing for temporary visas such as E-2, H1B, H-2B, E-3, L-1, O, P, F-1, B-1 and B-2 visitors visas etc.
  5. All EB-5 investors applying for Conditional Permanent Residency through the US Embassy/ US Consulate.
  6. Does not apply to Foreign Nationals who already have an immigrant visa in their passport and are outside the US.
  7. Individuals, and their spouses or children, seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, (as determined by the Secretaries of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or their respective designees)
  8. Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives (as determined by the Secretaries of DHS and State based on the recommendation of the Attorney General (AG), or their respective designees)
  9. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
  10. Individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee (SI or SQ classification)
  11. Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees).

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Thinking of having your baby in the U.S. – think twice!

The Trump administration implemented new rules in January 2020 that could make it more difficult for pregnant foreign nationals to travel to the United States using tourist visas to give birth to their child in the U.S.  The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”  So, parents do not need to be U.S. citizens – once a child is born in the U.S. then that child is a U.S. citizen, regardless of parent’s citizenship.

The new rules attempt to crack down on “birth tourism,” or the practice of giving birth in the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for a child. It’s not clear how consular officials at the U.S. Embassy will determine whether individuals seeking to travel to the U.S. are pregnant. The rule calls for officials to reject the visa applications of individuals whose “primary purpose” is obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth.

The new rules also tighten the restrictions on traveling to the U.S. to seek medical treatment.

The department said it will deny visas to those seeking medical treatment if they are unable to establish “to the satisfaction of a consular officer” that there exists a legitimate medical reason for treatment and that a practitioner or facility in the U.S. has agreed to provide it.

The rule amends 22 CFR 41.31 to include three paragraphs.

The first paragraph, amends the Department of State’s regulations on B nonimmigrant visas to clarify that tourism for the purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States, or “birth tourism,” is not a permissible activity for a temporary visitor visa, or B visa.

The second paragraph codifies current standards for obtaining a B nonimmigrant visa for the primary purpose of obtaining medical treatment, requiring such individuals to provide documentation showing that a physician and/or hospital has agreed to provide the treatment and that the applicant has the means to provide payment for all expenses, including incidentals, either independently or with prearranged assistance of others.

Lastly, those individuals with B-1/B-2 visas who have used their visa to give birth to a child in the U.S. are at risk to have their visas revoked and canceled.

For more information on rules regarding having a baby in the U.S.,

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Trump Expands Travel Ban to Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania

Trump expands travel ban 3.0 upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court to Africa’s biggest country, Nigeria, as well as Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania. The proclamation, which President Trump was expected to sign on January 31, 2020, will take effect on February 22. The ban would prevent immigrant and non-immigrant visas from being issued however, a waiver is available but very difficult.

All of the newly added six countries have substantial Muslim populations. The total number of countries now on the restricted travel list stands at 13 – Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Somalia AND Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania.

The effect on Nigeria, not only Africa’s most populous country but also its largest economy, could be particularly severe. The United States issued more than 7,920 immigrant visas to Nigerians in the 2018 fiscal year, the second-most of any African country.

“We’re adding a couple of countries” to the ban, Trump told reporters at a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We have to be safe. Our country has to be safe. You see what’s going on in the world. Our country has to be safe,” he said.

For more information on Trump expands travel ban,

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DACA Hearings in U.S. Supreme Court

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, November 12, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court will hold DACA hearings on Trump administration’s decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. What’s at stake today? For over 700,000 immigrants, #DACA provides work authorization and protection from deportation in the only home they’ve ever known. The Supreme Court will now decide their future.

While the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on whether to keep DACA alive, request for renewals are being accepted by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).

Who Can Renew

You may request a renewal if you met the initial 2012 DACA guidelines and you:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

How to Renew

  • Complete and sign:
  • Follow the instructions on all three forms to submit them to USCIS. Make sure you submit the correct fees.

For more information on DACA,

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Trump immigrant health insurance rule blocked by U.S. Federal Courts

A US judge has temporarily blocked a rule proposed by President Donald Trump that would require immigrants to prove they will have health insurance within 30 days of arrival in the US, or can pay for medical care.

Judge Michael Simon, a district judge in Oregon, granted a preliminary injunction against the proposal.

Seven American citizens and an NGO had filed a lawsuit opposing the rule.

They argued it would block hundreds of thousands of legal migrants.

The lawsuit said the number of immigrants who enter the US with family-sponsored visas would drop considerably, or be eliminated altogether.

Would-be immigrants had been struggling to establish how to get the required insurance coverage. The US healthcare system is complex, and has not generally catered to people yet to arrive there.

For more information on Trump immigrant health insurance rule,

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Trump Public Charge Rule blocked by 3 Federal Courts

Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York issued the temporary injunction on October 11, 2019 and called the proposed Trump public charge rule, “unlawful, arbitrary and capricious.” Similar rulings were issued later in the day by judges in California and Washington state.

Under the proposed Trump public charge rule, an immigrant might not be permitted entry to the U.S. or granted a green card if the individual “is likely at any time to become a public charge,” meaning they might rely on the government as their primary means of support.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, “age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education and skills” will be considered when determining whether someone is likely to be considered a public charge.

The public charge test isn’t new – it has been codified in immigration law for more than 100 years. In the past, the public charge test applied only to immigrants who used cash assistance from the government, or those who needed long-term institutional care.

But the new definition of what is considered a “public charge” would have expanded to include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Section 8 housing, public housing, Medicaid and Medicare Part D for the first time.

Trump public charge rule will be on hold until the courts decide whether it can go into effect or not.

In a statement, American Immigration Lawyers Association executive director Benjamin Johnson welcomed the court decisions, before the rule “started hitting families, businesses, and communities across the nation,” Johnson wrote. “To quote Judge Hamilton, ‘DHS’s new definition of ‘public charge’ is likely to be outside the bounds of a reasonable interpretation of the statute.'”

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Public Charge Rule – Q&A to Clear Confusion

The proposed rule to change the meaning of “public charge” has no impact on the rights of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The proposed rule is not in effect, faces numerous legal challenges and there is still time to oppose and resist the change.

DHS has revised the definition of public charge in determining whether an alien can be denied a green card or permanent residency. If the proposed rule goes into effect, the U.S. government will at a minimum consider the alien’s age; health; family status; assets, resources, and financial status; and education and skills; and may consider any required affidavit of support.

The final rule defines the term public charge to mean an alien who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months, in total, within any 36-month period. The rule further defines the term public benefit to include cash benefits for income maintenance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), most forms of Medicaid, Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, and subsidized public housing.

The rule does not include, for example, consideration of emergency medical assistance, disaster relief, national school lunch programs, foster care and adoption, Head Start, or student or home mortgage loans.

Q1. Does President Trump’s new public charge apply to citizenship applicants?

A1. No. The rule impacts only applicants for permanent residence (green cards). Applicants for U.S. citizenship need not be concerned. You can naturalize even if you are receiving public benefits. That’s true assuming you were eligible to get the benefits when you applied and did not lie to get them.

Q2. I got a conditional, two-year green card through marriage. I already filed U.S. Citizenship and Citizenship Services form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Am I subject to the new public charge rule?

A2. No. The rule does not apply to I-751 petitioners. That’s because you are not applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence. The law requires you to file form I-751 because you got your permanent residence within two years of your marriage. However, since you already have permanent residence, though it is conditional the rule doesn’t apply. You are just applying to remove a condition from your residence.

Q3. Does the new rule apply to green card holders applying to renew or replace their cards?

A3. No. Applying for a new card doesn’t count as applying for permanent residence.

 

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, 

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Asylum claim at a previous country

The Trump Administration announced rules that migrants coming from Central America who have passed through other countries en route to the U.S. border will no longer be able to make a claim for asylum beginning July 16. Immigration attorneys and experts say the rule is a violation of domestic and international asylum laws, and federal judge has sided with the administration in one of two cases brought against the new rule.

On July 15, the Trump Administration announced the change to asylum rules making it so that migrants had to have made an asylum claim at a previous country while en route to the U.S. before arriving to the southern border — anyone who hasn’t becomes ineligible for asylum in the U.S.

On July 24, a federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the new Trump administration policy that sought to bar Central Americans and other migrants from requesting asylum at the southern border, saying the federal government’s frustrations with rising border crossings did not justify “shortcutting the law.”

U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar, who halted another version of the Trump administration’s asylum ban last year, said a “mountain” of evidence showed that migrants could not safely seek asylum in Mexico. He said the rule likely violated federal law in part by categorically denying asylum to almost anyone crossing the border. U.S. law generally allows anyone who sets foot on U.S. soil to apply for asylum.

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