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Personal Note from Elizabeth,

Our Founder and Managing Attorney:

Dear Clients, Colleagues and Friends-

As the summer comes to a close, we are all facing different lives than those we envisioned in January. Change is difficult and scary and we as human beings have faced our share of change and uncertainty this year. My advice when it comes to change is setting our expectations, being ready and inviting in these changes as opportunities. Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher said, “Change is the only constant in life.” If we embrace this concept and position ourselves for the inevitable changes that are always on the horizon, we will be better prepared when these changes come to pass.

The number of changes to immigration policies and procedures during the last four years has been mindblowing. At Garvish Immigration Law Group, this constant onslaught of changes has not hurt us. In fact, the ongoing assault on immigrants has transformed us into stronger, better advocates for our clients and for the America we want to see. We are ready for the changes to come tomorrow and beyond. We are steadfast warriors and trusted advisors. We are your trusted guide to the American Dream and no amount of change, hardship, bans, or bars will ever change that.

We have big plans as a firm and we are growing and we hope that monthly immigration updates, notes and some fun content will be helpful for you. As always, you are the reason, we do what we do! Please reach out to me with any comments, questions or just to say hi!

Let's embrace the change!


Elizabeth xo

USCIS Abandons Mass Employee Furloughs

USCIS furloughs were initially set to begin on August 3, 2020 but were later postponed with the hope that Congress would provide financial aid of $1.2 billion to face the deficit. Congress did not provide the agency with the requested financial aid; nevertheless, USCIS decided to maintain its employees through the end of the 2020 fiscal year. As a result, the agency will aggressively reduce its operational spending that will "... increase backlogs and wait times across the board, with no guarantee we can avoid future furloughs. A return to normal operating procedures requires congressional intervention to sustain the agency through fiscal year 2021.”

In other words, USCIS will not proceed to furlough its employees but immigrants will face "increased wait times for pending case inquiries with the USCIS Contact Center, longer case processing times, and increased adjudication time for aliens adjusting status or naturalizing."

Read more

USCIS Filing Fees will increase, effective October 2, 2020


Filing fees will increase on October 2, 2020. One noticeable change is that the Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers (Form I-129) will be separated into several new forms, according to the requested employment-based visa. Where the initial filing fee for Form I-129 was $460 and covered all employment-based nonimmigrant visas, each new form will have a new fee, depending on the requested status/visa. These fee increases will impact U.S. employers that hire foreign national workers as the cost of sponsoring their employment will be higher.

Fees increases include the following:

  • H-1B petitions: Fee raised an additional $95
  • L-1 petitions: Fee raised an additional $345
  • O-1 petitions: Fee raised an additional $245

Naturalization application filing fees will also increase. N-400 applicants will have to pay $1,170 for applications filed on or after October 2, 2020. This is a change from the current fee of $725.

Read more

If you are eligible for Naturalization, you may

want to file your application now!

Public Charge Rule Dilemma


The new Public Charge Rule became effective on February 24, 2020. Under this policy, foreign nationals in the United States who request public benefits may be deemed to be a public charge and denied for an immigration benefit on such grounds. Further, the rule change adds evidentiary requirements in the form of an Affidavit of Self-Sufficiency, which many describe as a "wealth test."

During the pandemic, this public charge rule has had the consequence of deterring foreign nationals in the United States from seeking testing and treatment for Covid-19. This increases the risk of infection for such individuals as well as the public in general. On July 29, 2020, the District Court for the Southern District of NY issued a nationwide injunction blocking the implementation of the new public charge rule during the pandemic. Then, on August 12, 2020, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the July 29 injunction would only apply in the states of NY, CT and VT.

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Did you know that...

USCIS has been rejecting Asylum applications when applicants leave blank spaces in forms. They are rejecting these forms even when those fields are optional or not applicable to the applicant, or the information sought is immaterial. USCIS now requires applicants to place the letters "N/A" in these blank spaces in order to avoid rejections.

Garvish Immigration Law Group


We have received approvals

on 100% of our PERM and

H-1B applications during the last six-month period.

Executive Order Limiting Foreign Labor Contracts By Federal Agencies

On August 3, 2020 the President banned the offshoring of federal jobs.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally funded company that is located in Knoxville, TN. The company was offshoring around 20% of its jobs to foreign nationals in and outside the United States. In order to prevent this, the President signed an executive order that prevents U.S. federally funded entities from hiring foreign nationals on H-1B visas and offshoring jobs by entering in contracts with foreign companies.

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O-1 Visa Denial Wave - Covid-19

There has been a rise in denials of O-1 visas (visas for individuals with extraordinary ability) within the last month.

Consular Officers in Europe are denying these visas by using health as a pretext. Even with O-1 visa approvals, visa applicants in the 26 European Schengen Area countries subject to Trump's March 11, 2020 travel ban are being denied. This article describes three cases that were recently denied at the Embassies in Paris, Frankfurt and Warsaw.

Read more

DACA Memorandum

Dreamers will face more limits and challenges as a result of the Memorandum issued on July 28, 2020, in which the DHS attempts to limit the benefit that dreamers obtain through the DACA program. The memorandum was issued as a response to the Supreme Court decision DHS v. Regents of the University of California, in which the Supreme Court protected the DACA program.

But what does the Memorandum attempt to do?

1) Reject new applications to DACA and Employment Authorization Cards

2) Change DACA renewal periods from 2 years to 1 year.

3) Limit issuance of Advance Parole. Dreamers will only obtain advance parole if they can demonstrate "exceptional circumstances."


We have been tracking all the changes to this program. Please contact us if you or your family members need any assistance with their DACA renewal!

Supreme Court Sided With Trump’s Transfer of Funds to Continue Constructing Border Wall

trump border wall2.jpg

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 favoring President Trump to continue constructing the US-MX border wall. The Trump administration directly transferred the funds to continue construction of the border wall without obtaining approval from Congress by acting under the national state of emergency.

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Trump Administration on Census 

President Trump has issued a proclamation that directly impacts the apportionment base for the United States. The President changed the method in which censuses are conducted in order to avoid counting any foreign nationals or non-Lawful Permanent Residents as state inhabitants.

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