News

Jessica’s I-601A Waiver and Consular Processing in San Salvador

Jessica returned to the U.S. last week to re-join her U.S. citizen spouse and two young daughters in the New Orleans, LA area, after the U.S. Consulate in San Salvador, El Salvador granted her immigrant visa.

This was Jessica’s second entry into the U.S., after arriving about 10 years prior as a child. Jessica’s U.S. citizen spouse had recently successfully petitioned for her to immigrate to the U.S. via an I-130 petition. This spousal petition served as the basis of her eligibility to receive her green card, but Jessica still needed an I-601A unlawful presence waiver in order to waive the unlawful presence she had accumulated while residing in the U.S. without authorization. Given her family circumstances, USCIS agreed that Jessica’s husband would suffer extreme hardship without Jessica by his side and granted Jessica’s I-601A waiver. The waiver approval paved the way for Jessica to complete her process by attending a consular interview in El Salvador. The Consulate approved Jessica’s immigrant visa on the day of her interview and Jessica returned to the U.S. 9 days later!

Consular processing tip: going through inspection for the first time with your immigrant visa packet sometimes takes hours at large airports. If you reside in the New Orleans, LA vicinity, plan to fly directly to the New Orleans International Airport from outside the U.S., as Jessica did, in order to avoid the lines at larger airports and to ensure that you will not miss your connecting flight as you go through the lengthy inspection process.

All senior management of the State Dept resigned; visa application process likely more difficult

The Washington Post reports that the State Dept’s entire senior management team resigned yesterday. This will likely carry significant implications for national security and visa issuance.

“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” said David Wade, who served as State Department chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry. “Department expertise in security, management, administrative and consular positions in particular are very difficult to replicate and particularly difficult to find in the private sector.”

via Washington Post

Updates on Immigration-Related Executive Actions

The latest round of executive orders from the Trump administration are aimed at cracking down on sanctuary cities and strengthening immigration enforcement policy. They include the following:

1) Prioritization of all undocumented immigrants for deportation. Whether this applies to DACA holders remains unclear.

2) Suspension of the intake of any new refugees from Syria

3) Suspension ofvisas from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

4) Authorization of the use of federal funds for the building of a wall along U.S.-Mexico border.

5) Suspension of federal funds to cities with “sanctuary” policies and request for a review from the attorney general as to whether these cities are in violation of federal law

Please note that advocates within the New Orleans community are working to support immigrants through this difficult period. We are committed to keep our community informed by sharing new information as it becomes available.

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