U.S. Department of State (DOS)

On July 16, 2020, the Department of State provided updated information on the availability of exceptions to the June 22 Presidential Proclamation 10052, which extends Proclamation 10014 through Dec. 31, 2020,.

Some travelers and visa applicants who are affected by the Proclamation may qualify for an exception if the purpose of their travel to the United States is for humanitarian reasons, public health response, or national security. Other exceptions include: (1) applicants who are subject to aging out of their current immigrant visa classification; (2) certain H and J visa applicants who are traveling to the United Sates to work in support of a critical U.S. foreign policy; and (3) dependents of applicants who are excepted from, or not subject to, the Proclamations.
Continue Reading Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations – Department of State Guidance

The U.S. Department of State announced on July 13, 2020, via Twitter, that U.S. embassies and consulates are entering a “phased resumption of routine visa services” beginning July 15, 2020.
Continue Reading U.S. Embassies and Consulates Expected to Resume Visa Services Beginning on July 15

Due to the coronavirus outbreak throughout China, a number of heavily infected Chinese cities, including Wuhan, are under quarantine, whereas many other parts of China have imposed certain types of travel restrictions in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. On Jan. 28, 2020, the U.S. Consulate General of Hong Kong & Macau announced that it would operate at reduced staffing levels through Jan. 31, 2020, and all nonimmigrant and immigrant visa appointments scheduled for Jan. 29 have been cancelled.
Continue Reading Important Update on Visa Rescheduling Due to the Coronavirus

On Jan. 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) posted a final rule, effective immediately, imposing new restrictions on individuals applying for B nonimmigrant visas at U.S. consular posts outside of the United States. A B nonimmigrant visa is used by individuals traveling to the United States for business (B-1 visa) or pleasure (B-2 visa).

Under DOS regulations, the term “pleasure” has long been defined to include legitimate activities of a recreational character, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment and activities of a fraternal, social or services nature. The new rule now explicitly excludes travel under the B visa category for those applicants traveling to the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States, also referred to by the DOS as “birth tourism.”
Continue Reading U.S. Department of State Announces Prohibition on ‘Birth Tourism’

On Aug. 28, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new policy guidance “to address requirements for ‘residence’ in statutory provisions related to citizenship, and to rescind previous guidance regarding children of U.S. government employees and members of the U.S. armed forces employed or stationed outside the United States.” USCIS has updated its Policy Manual to clarify the distinction between residence and physical presence in the United States and to clarify that short visits to the United States do not establish residence as well as to state that children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members residing outside the United States are no longer considered to be “residing in the United States” for purposes of acquiring citizenship under INA 320. This policy will become effective Oct. 29, 2019. 

Continue Reading Friendly Fire: USCIS Deploys New Definition of ‘Residence’ in Statutory Provisions Related to Citizenship

The Venezuelan opposition-controlled National Assembly recently acknowledged the significant obstacles for Venezuelans in extending or obtaining new passports, and issued a decree extending the validity of already issued Venezuelan passports
Continue Reading United States Recognizes Venezuelan National Assembly Decree Extending Validity of Venezuelan Passports

Under a new State Department policy, virtually all visa applicants to the United States are now required to submit information about social media accounts they have used in the past
Continue Reading The United States Will Now Require Visa Applicants to Provide Social Media Information