Clarity and Strength in Immigration Law

Five Immigration Changes You Need to Know About Now: August 2020

August is a busy month for many people, with lots of vacations, preparing to go back to school (whatever that looks like this year!), and enjoying the last days of summer. But the immigration changes keep rolling in. Here’s a snapshot of what you need to know now!

  1. Public charge rule is not in effect/ Form I-944 no longer required – for now! The US immigration community has been for a wild ride with the Trump administration’s public charge rule. It was going to go into effect in October 2019, and then it was stopped at the last minute. In February it was on again, all of a sudden. On July 29th, 2020, the federal court in the Southern District of NY issued a nationwide injunction again, and said that the new public charge rule cannot and will not be implemented during the national health emergency related to Covid-19. At this point, no one knows when or if the rule (and form) will come back into effect. If you are considering filing for a green card, file now while it’s not effective (and before the fees increase)!
  2. USCIS Furlough Postponed: USCIS announced an anticipated furlough of about 73% of its workforce, which would have taken effect August 3rd, 2020. USCIS has postponed the furlough to August 30th, 2020, pending additional funding from Congress. The threat still remains, but hopefully the upcoming fee increase will prevent this from happening.
  3. H-1B cap case receipt notices are still trickling in! Even though the filing deadline for H-1B cap cases was June 30th, USCIS still has not issued receipt notices for all the cases. If you have not received your receipt notice yet, it is not time to panic yet. We are tracking receipt notices carefully for the cases we have filed, and we will follow up with USCIS (and you!)  if needed.
  4. The community of international students in the US, and the educators, administrators, and lawyers who help them and want them to succeed  here have also been through a wild ride this summer. ICE issued guidance in early July stating that students attending classes entirely online this fall would not be able to maintain their F-1 status. Several institutions (including Harvard and MIT) immediately sued, and ICE has now rescinded that guidance, so that students may now attend classes online and still maintain status.
  5. The presidential election is November 3rd, 2020! If you are a US citizen, make sure that you have a plan in place to vote! Please keep in mind that you must be registered to vote ahead of time. Voter registration deadlines vary from state to state. Check the deadline for your state here, and keep an eye on our social media for more information in the coming weeks and months! Remember, do not register to vote if you are not a US citizen – that can cause major problems for you down the road.

We are here to help you navigate the immigration maze with peace of mind and confidence. Contact Sumner Immigration Law to set a consultation to create your strategy today! We are immigration lawyers in Richmond, VA but we serve clients throughout the US and around the world. You can call us at 804-396-3412 or send us an email to info@sumnerimmigration.com. We look forward to hearing from you.