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Immigration Guide - December 2021

Dear Clients, Friends and Colleagues:

The year 2021 has been a difficult year across all industries with so many ups and downs brought about by the pandemic. As we end 2021, we take a look at the many immigration hurdles we have yet to overcome, as well as the policies and other issues that would shape the year 2022. From fiscal to political challenges, the Biden administration surely has a lot on its plate for next year and it would be interesting to see how things progress.

On a lighter note, please allow me to thank you all for your continued support. In March this year, we launched our monthly newsletter followed by a series of videos that answer many of your queries. Since then, we have received very encouraging feedback from all of you, and we are grateful. We hope you find this edition useful and informative.

We are working hard to deliver articles and videos that are relevant to you and your business. There's a wealth of resources available on our media page – do have a look and let us know if there's anything you'd like us to feature.

Happy holidays from us all at the Polutan Law Group!

Citizenship agency charts new course with fiscal challenges
The head of the U.S. agency that grants citizenship and visas says it’s in a strong financial position as her first year at the helm draws to a close.

Biden’s H-1B conundrum
The administration’s efforts to reform the visa program could put him at loggerheads with key factions of his own party.

Immigration loss leaves Democrats eyeing risky alternatives
Democrats are desperate for a path forward on immigration in their social spending and tax bill after suffering a potentially fatal procedural blow. Their remaining options are politically and logistically risky: watering down their latest proposal or attempting to sidestep a Senate rules official. But the stakes are high for finding a solution.

Democrats mull hardball tactics to leapfrog parliamentarian on immigration
Senate Democrats are mulling a long-shot bid to get immigration reform to President Biden's desk as they struggle to make good on years of campaign promises.

Trump’s big border wall is now a pile of rusting steel
Worth at least a quarter billion dollars, tens of thousands of heavy steel slats, once destined to become part of former President Trump’s border wall, are slowly rusting in the open air throughout the southwestern borderlands.

The young are at the forefront of a perilous global migration surge
A record of almost 150,000 unaccompanied minors, more than 75% from Central America, were detained along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal 2021, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Many more teens and young adults arrived during a period that set an all-time high for overall border apprehensions — nearly 1.7 million.

January 2022 Visa Bulletin
The EB-1 category is current. There is slight movement forward for India in the EB-2 category. There is no movement for EB-3 category.

ICE announces extension to I-9 compliance flexibility

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced an extension of the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance that was initially granted last year. Due to the continued precautions related to COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security will extend this policy until April 30, 2022. This extension will continue to apply the guidance previously issued for employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, and work exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19-related precautions. Those employees are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) until they undertake non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated, whichever is earlier.

Derivative citizenship for LPR children of U.S. citizens

If you are a U.S. citizen and have children under the age of eighteen years old living in the United States who are Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) living in your legal and physical custody, they may be able to derive U.S. citizenship from you. If approved by USCIS, your child would receive a Certificate of Citizenship. The steps are outlined in the link below.

DOS temporary final rule on waiver of personal appearance and in-person oath requirement for certain immigrant visa applicants
The Department of State's temporary final rule providing flexibility for consular officers to waive the personal appearance and in-person oath requirement of certain repeat immigrant visa applicants is effective from December 13, 2021 through to December 13, 2021.

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