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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.

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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

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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Important Notice for K Visa Applicants Affected by COVID-19

By |September 2nd, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Visa|Tags: |

Effective August 28, as it becomes safe to resume more consular operations at the U.S. Embassy in Manila and [...]

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House of Representatives Passes Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act

By |August 28th, 2020|Categories: Citizenship and Immigration Services, COVID-19, DHS, Trump, U.S. Government, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS Policy|Tags: , , , , , , |

On Saturday, August 22, the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (H.R. [...]

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DOS Provides Update on Public Charge Inadmissibility Following Temporary Injunction

By |August 12th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, DOS, DS-5540, DS-5540 Public Charge Questionnaire, Immigrant Visa, Non-immigrant Visa, Public Charge, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Visa, U.S. Visa Applicant, Visa|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

DOS Provides Update on Public Charge Inadmissibility Following Temporary Injunction Following a nationwide injunction issued by a federal [...]

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Announcement: Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks DOS and DHS from Implementing Public Charge Inadmissibility

By |August 4th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, DHS, DOS, Immigrant Visa, Public Charge, Trump, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Visa, Visa|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

A United States federal judge issued a nationwide injunction temporarily blocking the Department of State (“DOS”) and the Department of [...]

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Announcement: CDC Issues One Month Extension on Immigrant Visa Medical Evaluations

By |July 29th, 2020|Categories: CDC, COVID-19, Immigrant Visa, U.S. Embassy & Consulate, U.S. Visa, United States Centers for Disease Control, Visa|

The United States Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) has approved a one-month extension on medical evaluations conducted for immigrant visa [...]

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Announcement: Trump Administration Rescinds Policy on Foreign Students

By |July 15th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Non-immigrant Visa|Tags: , |

The Trump Administration is rescinding its policy which would require foreign students to depart the United States if they are [...]

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Enterline and Partners Successfully Expedites CR-1 Visa with Direct Consular Filing at U.S. Embassy in Manila

By |July 13th, 2020|Categories: American Spouse, Citizenship and Immigration Services, COVID-19, CR-1, CR-1 visa, DCF, Direct Consular Filing, Form I-130, Form I-130A, I-130, Immigrant Visa, Immigration Lawyer, Manila, Philippines, U.S. Citizen, U.S. Embassy in Manila, U.S. Visa, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, USCIS Policy, Visa|

Enterline and Partners recently represented a newlywed couple living in the Philippines in an expedited I-130 Petition for Alien Relative [...]

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Are K-1 Fiancé Visas Exempted Under Trump’s Immigration Ban?

By |July 7th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, DOS, EO, Executive Order, Form I-129F, Ho Chi Minh City, Immigration Lawyer, Non-immigrant Visa, Petition for Alien Fiance, Philippines, U.S. Citizen, U.S. Consulate Ho Chi Minh City, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy in Manila, U.S. Visa, Vietnam|

Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s April 22nd Executive Order (“EO”) as the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a [...]

All COVID-19 Related Blog Posts

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: , , , , |

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?

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

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?

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

House of Representatives Passes Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act

August 28th, 2020|Categories: Citizenship and Immigration Services, COVID-19, DHS, Trump, U.S. Government, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS Policy|Tags: , , , , , , |

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