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Thanksgiving Edition

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Dear Clients, Colleagues and Friends:

In this time of thanksgiving where we reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives, I want to start out by saying THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of you who have touched our lives at Garvish Immigration Law Group. 

We have shared deep despair and worry and also great redemption, victory and celebration. What makes our clients, friends and referral sources so special to us is the TRUST that you have in our firm. We are forever grateful for this gift of trust that you give to us. You trust us with your future and that is something that is priceless and incomprehensibly dear to each of us. 

The Immigration process is a tumultuous, emotional, lengthy and uncertain journey, but we will walk with you, steady you and hold you up along the way as your trusted guide to the American Dream. 

With Eternal Gratitude,

Elizabeth xo

Elizabeth Garvish Acted as Chair and Alexandra Sarrine presented at the Georgia Bar Business Immigration Law CLE

On November 11, our Managing Member, Elizabeth Garvish, was the Program Chair of the Georgia Bar Business Immigration Law CLE.

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The course provided current updates in business immigration law to lawyers that want to excel in the immigration environment. Alexandra Sarrine, Associate Attorney, was also a key player in the Business Immigration Law Course as she presented in her panel "PERM from A to Z."

Garvish Immigration Law Group is committed to constant learning, collaboration and sharing knowledge to be able to serve our clients in the best way possible.

Federal Courts Block the Exclusion of

Undocumented Immigrants from Census Count

On July 21, 2020, the Trump Administration published a Memorandum entitled “Memorandum Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census.” The President orders the Secretary of Commerce, who oversees the U.S. Census, to provide his administration with the information needed to exclude immigrants who are living in the United States without authorization. The Trump administration seeks to exclude this population from the calculation used for reapportioning seats in the House of Representatives despite the requirement stated in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to include the "whole number of persons in each state." Two federal courts have blocked this executive order, and the issue is scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on November 30.

Click the following links for more information:

Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census

Article: Third Court Blocks Trump’s Order On Congressional Seat Count

A Vision for America as a Welcoming Nation: AILA Recommendations for the Future of Immigration

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

On November 10, 2020, AILA issued an immigration roadmap for the incoming Biden-Harris Administration which seeks to reestablish the United States as a welcoming nation for immigrants. AILA has encouraged the incoming administration to immediately execute the following:

  • Issue a proclamation welcoming immigrants and renouncing anti-immigrant bans and policies
  • Safeguard our nation’s health against COVID-19 without scapegoating immigrants
  • Appoint leaders committed to the administration’s vision for reform
  • Protect people who are part of our communities but have no way of legalizing their status
  • Ensure fairness, efficiency, and accountability at all immigration agencies including the immigration courts
  • Reform the legal immigration system to review all employment- and family-based applications fairly and efficiently
  • End the massive incarceration of immigrants by overhauling the detention system
  • Guarantee legal assistance and counsel for those facing deportation
  • Ensure all forms of immigration enforcement operating at the border and interior are done in a fair, humane, and prioritized manner
  • Restore all forms of asylum and humanitarian protection

In order to obtain a lasting structural reform, Congress will need to pass legislation, in the meantime, AILA's roadmap provides President-Elect Biden with an useful guide and information on the reforms that the executive power can immediately exercise when coming into office.

Click the following link for more information:

Read and Listen Official AILA's Recommendations

H-2B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2021

On November 16, 2020, USCIS reached the H-2B cap for the first half of the fiscal year of 2021. The H-2B program, which allows U.S. employers to bring foreign workers to the U.S. to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs, had quite the journey this year. Trump’s June 2020 Proclamation banned new H-2B nonimmigrants from traveling to the United States, thus causing a huge setback for the employers who have a temporary need for the 2021 fiscal year. While H-2B applicants essential to the U.S. food supply chain were exempt from this ban, a great majority of H-2B applicants who expected to work in the hospitality industry were affected. The ban is set to expire at the end of this year. In early October, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the June 2020 proclamation. This ruling applies to workers for companies represented by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. 

Click the following links for more information:

USCIS Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants

Article: Judge Halts Trump’s Order to Suspend Work Visas


USCIS Revised Naturalization Civics Test

will be Effective on December 1, 2020

On July 2019 the agency announced its willingness to revise the civics test, a test required for naturalization. The test has not been updated since 2008. The updated test assesses applicants’ knowledge of American history, government and civic values and will take effect for Applicants who apply for naturalization on or after Dec. 1, 2020. Those who apply before Dec. 1, 2020, will take the current version of the test.

The revised test includes more questions that test the applicant’s understanding of U.S. history and civics. The revised test will not change the passing score, which will remain at 60%. Candidates must answer 12 questions correctly, out of 20 in order to pass. Additionally, USCIS will continue to have a special test for applicants who are 65 years old or older and have at least 20 years of lawful permanent resident status. These applicants will be asked 10 questions and must answer a minimum of six questions correctly in order to pass.

Click the following link for more information:

Policy Manual - English and Civics Testing

State Department Proposes To Eliminate

Controversial “B–1 In Lieu Of H-1B” Policy

B-1 business visitors have been allowed, in certain circumstances, to perform temporary labor in the U.S. for their foreign companies during their visits. The policy has existed for many years being controversial as the State Department and Customs and Border Protection have frequently denied admission by labeling such foreign visitors as “B-1 in lieu of H-1B” visitors.

The U.S. Department of State has recently proposed regulations that would remove the language defining the term "business" in order to ban visitors admission to perform such temporary works. On the other hand, the Department of State's reform would continue to allow nonimmigrants temporal admission when performing temporary services strictly related to extraordinary merit and ability.

Click the following link for more information:

Article: State Department Proposes To Eliminate Controversial “B–1 In Lieu Of H-1B” Policy

December 2020 Visa Bulletin

The December 2020 Visa Bulletin is out! EB-3 for “rest of the world” (except China and India) remains current.

USCIS has published filing instructions related to the December 2020 visa bulletin as follows:

  • Applicants in the F2A category may file using the Final Action Dates chart.
  • For all the other family-sponsored preference categories, use the Dates for Filing chart.
  • For all employment-based preference categories, use the Dates for Filing chart.

Click here to see December's visa bulletin

Garvish Immigration

Law Group


Click the titles to access the information

US Election 2020: Trump's Impact on Immigration - In Seven Charts

DHS Proposes to Limit Work Permits for Aliens with Final Orders of Removal

Alejandro Mayorkas will be the first Latino to Head the DHS

Upcoming Events

LeGALS - Drinks and Debate

Elizabeth Garvish, Amna Shirazi, Lorena Saedi and Alyssa Maloof Whatley

Grab your beverage of choice for our monthly virtual happy hour discussion with the LeGALS legal entrepreneurs. Do not miss the opportunity to meet their special guest: Monica Modi Khant. Monica is the Executive Director of GAIN, organization which she oversees, supervises, trains and mentors pro bono attorneys who represent immigrant victims of violence and asylum seekers. She offers a unique perspective as an advocate for immigrant rights in the Southeast. She is also stepping down from GAIN and we are excited to hear about her future plans.

Follow LeGALS on Facebook!

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Read more about Monica Modi Khant here

Mindset and Motivation Minute

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Check out this Podcast!

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One Immigrant at a Time.

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