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Immigration & COVID-19 Reference Guide2021-01-11T13:46:03+07:00

Immigration & COVID-19 Reference Guide

Has COVID-19 affected your U.S. Immigration plans? Are you confused or have questions?

We’ve organized our most recent and informative blog posts to help you find answers and continue on your journey to America even through this difficult period.

If you’re unable to find answers below, please contact one of our friendly team members to schedule a consultation to review your immigration plans.

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Top Blog Posts

Our Most Popular Blog Posts Related to COVID-19 and U.S. Immigration

USCIS Scheduled to Increase Family-Based Immigrant and Naturalization Application Filing Fees

Will U.S. Immigration Services Offer Special Relief to Permanent Residents Who Return to the United States After Being Abroad for More Than One Year Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Relevant categories: Immigrant visa

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (“CBP”) has not announced any special relief  to a lawful permanent resident (“LPR’) who has remained outside the United States for more than one year because of  COVID-19 travel and movement restrictions. Currently, a LPR who was remained outside the United States irrespective of his or her reason for doing so are presumed to have abandoned immigrant status and an interviewing CBP officer may determine that he or she is not admissible for admission into the United States upon arrival at the Port of Entry (“POE.”). A LPR who has remained outside the United States for more than one year may either seek relief by applying for a SB-1 Returning Resident Visa at a  U.S. Embassy or Consulate or may travel to the United States and request entry provided his or her Form I-551 (“green card”) has not expired. An LPR who chooses the latter option may have an increased risk of being sent to into secondary inspection upon arrival at an air, land, or sea Port of Entry.

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What Could Happen to My Green Card if I am Outside the United States for More than 180 Days Due to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?

Relevant categories: Immigrant visa

There are many reasons why a lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) would remain outside the United States for more than 180 days. However, staying outside the U.S. for a long period could result in the U.S. government taking the position that an LPR has abandoned his or her intent to live in the U.S. as a permanent resident and it could take steps to revoke the LPRs resident status.

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What Happens to a Lawful Permanent Resident if They Have Been Outside the United States for More than One Year Because of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?

Relevant categories: Immigrant visa

Due to significant travel and movement restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPR”’) have found themselves stranded abroad and thus unable to travel to the United States despite not having the intention of abandoning their LPR status.   All permanent residents receive an identification called a Form I-551 but colloquially known as a “green card”.  A green card serves as an immigrant visa if the LPR has been outside the United States for less than one year. If the LPR has been outside the United States for more than one year, there is a presumption that the LPR has abandoned his or her immigrant status and his or her green card may no longer be considered valid for entry into the United States.

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Top Blog Posts

Our Most Popular Blog Posts Related to COVID-19 and U.S. Immigration

USCIS Scheduled to Increase Family-Based Immigrant and Naturalization Application Filing Fees

Will U.S. Immigration Services Offer Special Relief to Permanent Residents Who Return to the United States After Being Abroad for More Than One Year Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Relevant categories: Immigrant visa

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (“CBP”) has not announced any special relief  to a lawful permanent resident (“LPR’) who has remained outside the United States for more than one year because of  COVID-19 travel and movement restrictions.

Read Full Article

What Could Happen to My Green Card if I am Outside the United States for More than 180 Days Due to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?

Relevant categories: Immigrant visa

There are many reasons why a lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) would remain outside the United States for more than 180 days. However, staying outside the U.S. for a long period could result in the U.S. government taking the position that an LPR has abandoned his or her intent to live in the U.S. as a permanent resident and it could take steps to revoke the LPRs resident status.

Read Full Article

What Happens to a Lawful Permanent Resident if They Have Been Outside the United States for More than One Year Because of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?

Relevant categories: Immigrant visa

Due to significant travel and movement restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPR”’) have found themselves stranded abroad and thus unable to travel to the United States despite not having the intention of abandoning their LPR status.   All permanent residents receive an identification called a Form I-551 but colloquially known as a “green card”.  A green card serves as an immigrant visa if the LPR has been outside the United States for less than one year. If the LPR has been outside the United States for more than one year, there is a presumption that the LPR has abandoned his or her immigrant status and his or her green card may no longer be considered valid for entry into the United States.

Read Full Article

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the U.S. government still processing visa applications?

Petition-based applications (i.e. spousal, fiancé, employment, investment) continue to be accepted and adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). However, most routine visa application appointments based on approved petitions at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, the American Institute in Taiwan and around Asia remain suspended until further notice; although, emergency visa application appointments are available at many posts.

For a detailed list of current routine visa application processing, please contact us directly.

Is the processing time for petitions or visa applications delayed due to Covid-19?

For many petition-based filings submitted during the pandemic to USCIS, processing time remains the same, while petitions submitted and approved before the pandemic have unfortunately been substantially delayed.

How are interviews conducted?

All visa interviews are still conducted in-person with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Are there any current limitations on travel to the U.S. for immigrant and non-immigrant visa holders?

Those with valid visas to the United States from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan are allowed to enter the United States; however, each departure country has its own set of departure regulations such as limited flight availability.

Should I submit my application now or wait until after the pandemic has finished?

Petition-based visa applicants are encouraged to apply through USCIS as soon as possible to minimize prolonged waiting times and move ahead of those who might wait. Persons applying for non-petition-based visas should contact us directly to determine if their intended visa category is eligible for an interview.

All COVID-19 Related Blog Posts

What is a Transportation Letter or Boarding Foil?

By |January 15th, 2021|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa|Tags: , , , , , , , |

We have previously written about what lawful permanent residents can do if their Form I-551 “Green Card” has been [...]

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Trump Extends Restrictions on Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants Through March

By |January 7th, 2021|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa, Non-immigrant Visa, U.S. Government|Tags: , , , |

United States President Donald Trump has extended an earlier Presidential Proclamation restricting certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa categories from [...]

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Announcement – Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Waivers Temporarily Extended to 24 Months

By |January 4th, 2021|Categories: COVID-19, Non-immigrant Visa|Tags: , , , , |

The United States Department of State (“DOS”) has temporarily expanded the ability of DOS consular officers to waive in-person [...]

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What do I need to show to reenter the U.S. after being outside for a long time because of COVID-19?

By |December 23rd, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa|Tags: , , , |

We have covered several issues in our series on how to protect your lawful permanent resident status and green card [...]

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Are you a Conditional Permanent Resident outside the United States because of Covid-19: I-829 and I-751?

By |October 9th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa|Tags: , , , |

Are you a conditional permanent resident waiting for the approval of a Form I-829 Petition (for EB-5 immigrant investors) [...]

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Will U.S. Immigration Services Offer Special Relief to Permanent Residents Who Return to the United States After Being Abroad for More Than One Year Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

By |September 27th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa, U.S. Government|Tags: , , , , |

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (“CBP”) has not announced any special relief  to a lawful permanent resident [...]

Comments Off on Will U.S. Immigration Services Offer Special Relief to Permanent Residents Who Return to the United States After Being Abroad for More Than One Year Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

What Happens to a Lawful Permanent Resident if They Have Been Outside the United States for More than One Year Because of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?

By |September 24th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa|Tags: , , , , , |

Due to significant travel and movement restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPR”’) have found themselves [...]

Comments Off on What Happens to a Lawful Permanent Resident if They Have Been Outside the United States for More than One Year Because of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?

What Could Happen to My Green Card if I am Outside the United States for More than 180 Days Due to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?

By |September 23rd, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa|Tags: , , |

There are many reasons why a lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) would remain outside the United States for more than [...]

Comments Off on What Could Happen to My Green Card if I am Outside the United States for More than 180 Days Due to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?

Federal Court to Allow Public Charge Inadmissibility to Resume

By |September 12th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, U.S. Government|Tags: , |

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit lifted an injunction issued by a federal judge allowing [...]

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All COVID-19 Related Blog Posts

Trump Extends Restrictions on Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants Through March

January 7th, 2021|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa, Non-immigrant Visa, U.S. Government|Tags: , , , |

What do I need to show to reenter the U.S. after being outside for a long time because of COVID-19?

December 23rd, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa|Tags: , , , |

Will U.S. Immigration Services Offer Special Relief to Permanent Residents Who Return to the United States After Being Abroad for More Than One Year Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

September 27th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Immigrant Visa, U.S. Government|Tags: , , , , |

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