On Tuesday, November 24, 2020, on a TV interview, President-elect Joe Biden declared that during the first 100 days of his administration (beginning on January 20, 2021), he would submit to the U.S. Congress a Bill for legalization of millions of undocumented aliens in the U.S. – with a path to citizenship. Congress would need to approve it and pass it as a Law.
WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM THE NEW ADMINISTRATION?
Former Vice President Joe Biden, is now President Elect Biden. He will become President Biden on January 20, 2021.
A little more than two (2) months from now. He still cannot govern the U.S. WHAT RIGHT NOW: as President Elect, Mr. Biden cannot issue orders, make or change laws. For these powers, he needs to wait until January 20, 2021, when he is sworn in as the 46th President of the U.S. But, he can make preparations and publish his plans. What can we expect from him in the field of IMMIGRATION?
GOOD NEWS – OPEN EMPLOYMENT QUOTAS
All the restrictions and difficulties imposed by the Trump Administration over the past four years, had his desired effect: the number of legal immigrants has been reduced dramatically, maybe by 50%. As a result, the “waiting lists” (or “quotas”) for employment-based (the “EB” categories) for all countries (except China and India), have been shortened, until there is no waiting list for any employment category (except for China and India). This means that if you are “in status” (you entered legally and your visa has not expired), or if you are outside of the U.S., and you have a good prospective employer to sponsor you, you (and your family) can get Green Cards within a relatively short time. We cannot predict or promise how long this happy condition will remain available, but as long as it is – why not grab the opportunity?
VOTING IN THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS? BE CAREFUL – IT COULD BE DANGEROUS IF YOU ARE NOT AN AMERICAN CITIZEN – DO NOT VOTE.
If you believe that you are an American citizen - because that was what your parents told you, or because the DMV REGISTERED you to vote, or because you have a Green Card for many years – but you do not have a valid U.S. passport in your hands, or a Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship – DO NOT VOTE. If you vote when you are not entitled to vote – you are committing a crime that (practically) has no forgiveness.
On October 2, 2020, a new FEE SCHEDULE becomes effective for all Petitions, Applications, etc. filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Schedule was published a few weeks ago, showing the “old” fees, the “new” fees and even the differences between them. But, some increases were not published, they were sort of hidden.
The published schedule shows the fees for an Application for Adjustment of Status – Form I-485 (Green Card) as: OLD FEE - $1,140, NEW FEE - $1,130. No increase. Actually, a reduction of $10. How nice.
But the published schedule does not tell you that if you file, at the same time, together with Form I-485, also Form I-765 (for Employment Authorization), the new fee will be $550, while the old fee was 0 (yes, zero) dollars. And if you also file a Form I-131 (for a Travel Document), the new fee will be $590, while old fee was 0 (yes, zero) dollars. In most cases, the Application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) is, actually, a package of four (4) applications. We call it “Combined Processing”. The new fee picture for such a “combined processing” per person will be:
Form Old Fee New Fee
I-130 $ 535 $ 560
I-485 $ 1,140 $ 1,130
I-765 $ 0 $ 550
I-131 $ 0 $ 590
Bio $ 85 $ 0
Total: $ 1,760 $ 2,830