Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Recent Policy Changes in Immigration Law and Afraid to Ask

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Recent Policy Changes in Immigration Law and Afraid to Ask

by Amy Ghosh

There is a misconception among the majority of the immigrant community that the Trump administration has made numerous changes to Immigration Law but in actuality that is not the case. The executive branch of the government cannot make or change a law, only the legislative branch can. The Trump administration has made policy changes which are affecting legal immigration, asylum to the United States among many other areas of immigration law. The latest policy change came when President Trump through a late night Tweet announced that he would sign an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States. In this article, I will discuss few of these policy changes which have impacted our South Asian Diaspora. Please be mindful that these policy changes are constantly evolving and ongoing.

Student Visa

The most important thing here, of course, is the recent ban on exclusively online classes, followed by the revocation of that same ban. According to the black letter law, a student visa is not supposed to be issued to anyone taking online classes, but, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, that rule was temporarily put on hold.

As a result, when the President reinstituted the rule against online classes, he was — legally speaking — correct that this was the “black letter law. “With the return of the temporary hold on the rule against student visas for online classes, foreign students can, at least for now, rest assured that, whether their school goes online or resumes in-person classes during this pandemic, they will be able to retain their student statuses in the United States. However, given that this is just a temporary hold on the rule, and the black letter law is still against student visas for online schools, foreigners should not get too comfortable in an exclusively online setting (unless, of course, Congress changes the law altogether).

H-1B Ban and Alternatives

The important thing here is that this is a ban on H-1B visas, not statuses, meaning that a change/extension of status from within the United States is still allowed, but, if somebody goes abroad and tries to get a new H-1B visa, it will be denied. As a result, I do not recommend that anybody in H-1B status travel abroad until this proclamation expires.

A common alternative for many is the L visa, but that will not work here, because the L visa is subject to the very same ban as the H-1B visa. Another option is to get accepted to a school, get an I-20, and apply for an F-1 visa (given that F-1 visas do not appear to be currently subject to the ban). This will, at least, allow a person to get back into the United States.

Read the rest @ https://americankahani.com/perspectives/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-recent-policy-changes-in-immigration-law/


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