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New Canaan refugee and asylum lawyerThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun the enforcement of a new rule for refugees and asylum seekers hoping to gain entry into the United States. The new rule requires that those seeking refugee status in the United States must first seek it in a third country before entering the United States. For example, an individual fleeing Guatemala must seek U.S. asylum in another country such as El Salvador, Mexico, or Honduras. This typically is done through petitioning the U.S. embassy in that country or another American government institution there. The DHS explained that the reason for this new rule is due to the sudden rise of asylum requests on the southern American border, which has caused Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainment centers to become overcrowded. The DHS issued this rule as a part of an effort to bring much-needed relief to the system. Additionally, the DHS stated the new standard for asylum seekers is reflective of international laws regarding refugees. 

Why Is the New New Rule Facing Criticism?

Many civil rights groups in the United States disagree with this new ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the department claiming that such a rule is unlawful. Others have suggested that the refugee seeking asylum might be returned to the country from which he or she is fleeing by the government of the country in which he or she is living while waiting for the petition to be processed.

The new rule by the DHS is a part of the White House’s broader policy to reduce the amount of illegal, and legal, immigrants gaining access through the southern border. In the past year, not only have individuals from South and Central American Countries come to the U.S. border claiming asylum, but individuals from India and African countries have done so as well. The supporters of the new rule say that it is a necessary national security measure.

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Stamford, CT United States green card lawyer

The U.S. immigration process to become a legal resident is among the most complicated in the world. Those people who want to come to the United States for education, health reasons, work, or to be with family have many hurdles to overcome. The process to become a lawful permanent resident and get a Green Card can be particularly tedious. When applying for a Green Card, many applicants feel left in the dark as to what stage their application is in. This can cause undue stress to honest people who want to come to the United States and contribute to American society. Thankfully, those immigrants who apply for a Green Card have a way to check on the progress of their application.

My Case Status System

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides an electronic system for checking on the status of a Green Card application called “My Case Status.” This is an online program that can be accessed from any personal computer or mobile device. By going to the My Case Status webpage and entering in the case receipt number (a number that includes three letters followed by 10 digits), a person can view the most recent notifications regarding his or her application. However, it is important to note there can be a delay in notifications shown on the system.

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Stamford immigration lawyer

The U.S. State Department will now require applicants to provide additional information when filling out their visa application forms. This additional vetting is a part of a more significant effort by the State Department to both increase national security and provide greater clarity to the visa application process. As of June 2019, when visa applicants fill out their visa application form, they will be asked to provide all the social media profiles, email accounts, and phone numbers they have used in the last five years. In addition, applicants must submit information regarding previous international travel, any deportation statuses, and whether any family member has been involved in terrorist activity.

The Background of the Decision

In previous years, visa applicants were not asked this additional information unless it was believed that extra scrutiny was required, such as when applicants originated from regions where terrorist groups were known to be active. However, with the flood of immigrants into Europe and other areas around the world from these areas, there has been a growing fear that members of terrorist cells will seek to use what have traditionally been secure immigration and travel routes to enter the United States.

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Stamford, CT immigration lawyers

Each year, thousands of asylum seekers come to the United States to seek refuge due to danger in their native country. The U.S. has traditionally been seen as a haven for those fleeing victimization. However, the process of seeking asylum is complicated. Applications are often denied by U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS), forcing them to go through what is known as defensive asylum processing with the Executive Office of Immigration Review.

Regardless of what immigration method is chosen when attempting to immigrate to the United States, you want to enlist the services of a dedicated immigration lawyer you can trust. Skilled legal guidance is essential in navigating the difficult and time-consuming processes in place, and the barriers that can serve as a deterrent.

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Westchester County immigration interview lawyerFrom the moment you decide you would like to immigrate to the U.S. until the moment you become a United States citizen, you will go through at least two in-person interviews with U.S. immigration officials. 

When Interviews Are Required During the Immigration Process

Many people first come to the U.S. on non-immigrant visas, such as F1 visas for college students or H1-B visas for skilled workers. In order to get those visas, the applicant must appear at a U.S. consulate in their home country for an in-person interview. When such individuals decide they would like to convert their temporary status to lawful permanent resident (green card) status, they often find an employer willing to sponsor them for an employment-based immigration visa, most commonly an EB-2 or EB-3 visa. An in-person interview is again required prior to issuance of an EB visa. 

Other people are able to become lawful permanent residents via a family-based immigration visa, often sponsored by a family member (parent, spouse, child, or sibling) who is already a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the United States. An in-person interview is required prior to the issuance of immediate relative (IR), family preference (F), and fiancé (K) visas.

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