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Halloween Edition

Dear Clients, Colleagues and Friends

First of all, I want to wish you a very spooky and happy Halloween! We hope that you get a chance to dress up, carve a pumpkin or two, eat some Halloween treats and just have fun. I thought it was very appropriate on the day before Halloween to discuss the subject of fear and how fear can hold us back in our daily lives and keep us from achieving our goals. Fear is one powerful emotion and it can literally stop us in our tracks and paralyze us. We can be afraid of so many things - a big one is the fear of failing. Some people are so afraid to fail that they never even try. They never do anything scary or difficult because they have talked themselves out of it before they even make an attempt. 

I often hear clients tell me that they don't want to do something vital to their case and their future such as file a petition or go to the consulate for their visa because they fear it may not be approved. In other words, they want to limit themselves and their future based on the fear of failure or having to face a difficult situation. It is my job to be the cheerleader to convince them to take a leap of faith, to face their fears. I let them know that I am on their team, I am their tireless advocate. There are no guarantees in life, but we will absolutely miss every shot that we don’t take. When we can recognize the fear holding us back, it is easier to face it head on. 

I faced my fears last month at a retreat where there were various physical challenges. There was one challenge called the Leap of Faith which involved climbing up a tree about 30 feet and jumping to catch a trapeze. We were harnessed in, but my stomach dropped and I was terrified as I stood on the edge ready to jump. I faced my fear and caught the trapeze bar. There was a trained professional working the harness and I put my faith in him, my faith in God and my faith in myself that I could make this leap. I ask my clients to do this put their faith in me. I am there to hold hands, guide and catch them if they fall. 

My challenge to you is to really think about what fears you need to face, what is getting in the way of your goals and your dreams. I challenge you to take that leap of faith just like I did from the tree. Taking that leap and facing your fear will leave you with more confidence and more strength to take the next leap and face your next fear. Through a series of leaps of faith, your goal, your dream is achievable! Now go take that leap! 

Fearlessly yours,

Elizabeth xo

P.S. Check out me facing my fears and taking a leap of faith in the video below which originally appeared as part of our Mindset Monday series.

Trump adviser Stephen Miller Describes Aggressive Immigration Agenda to be Expected Upon Re-election

As described on an NBC News article, Stephen Miller expressed the four major priorities of Trump's upcoming immigration agenda: limiting asylum grants, punishing and outlawing so-called sanctuary cities for immigrants, expanding the so-called travel ban by including tougher screening for visa applicants and including new limits on work visas.

Additionally, Adviser Miller continued to recount that, among other things, Trump may further extend the current Green Card freeze for workers which is supposed to rescind on December 31, 2020. As he continued to explain, the current president could continue issuing executive orders to continue imposing his immigration policies.

Click the following link to read more details in the NBC News article:

Trump adviser Stephen Miller reveals aggressive second-term immigration agenda

USCIS Issues Policy Guidance Regarding Inadmissibility

Based on Membership in a Totalitarian Party

On October 2, 2020, USCIS issued the following policy guidance: “In general, unless otherwise exempt, any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate), domestic or foreign, is inadmissible to the United States. This ground of inadmissibility only applies to aliens seeking immigrant status, such as aliens inside the United States applying to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident.” This policy blocks members from the Chinese Communist Party from obtaining permanent residency or citizenship.

Click the following links for more information:

Policy Alert issued on October 2, 2020

Inadmissible: Trump Bans Chinese Communist Party Members From Immigrating To America

DV-2022 Program: Online Registration

There are only a few days left to register. The online registration period for the DV-2022 Program began on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, and will conclude on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5). Individuals who submit more than one entry during the registration period will be disqualified.


The English version of the DV-2022 Program Instructions in PDF format are provided for your convenience and required use. The English language version of the DV-2022 Program Instructions is the only official version. There are unofficial translations available for foreign nationals.

Submit your Entry - 2022 Diversity Visa Program

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Policy Guidance was Updated by USCIS

On Oct. 6, 2020, USCIS clarified temporary protected status (TPS) beneficiaries eligibility to adjust status under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 245(a) in a policy guidance of the USCIS Policy Manual.

INA 245(a) requires an alien to have been inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the United States, unless exempt from this requirement.

The updated Policy Guidance reinforces that an alien who enters in the United States without being inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled, but was subsequently granted TPS, generally is not eligible to adjust of status, per INA 245(a).

Additionally, the policy guidance includes Matter of Z-R-Z-C-, which held that in the event of travel outside of the United States, generally TPS beneficiaries retain the same status that they had when they departed when they return to the United States under INA 244(f)(3). Therefore, if TPS beneficiaries were not considered inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled before their departure, that will not change when they return.

Click the following link for more information:

USCIS Updates Policy Guidance on TPS and Eligibility for Adjustment of Status Under INA §245(a)

Sponsor Obligations under the Affidavit of Support

Since 1997, the law has required applicants for immigrant visas to submit an Affidavit of Support signed by their U.S. petitioner (spouse, child, parent, etc.), and in the event that the petitioner does not earn an income of 125% or more of the federal poverty guidelines, they are required to submit a second Affidavit of Support from another U.S. sponsor pledging their support. The Trump Administration has added many significant requirements in addition to those contained in the public charge laws, which we have discussed previously in this newsletter. One such effort is a 2019 announcement that states that reimbursement procedures already contained in the law be enforced more aggressively. When a U.S. resident requests certain means-tested benefits, the agency that provides such benefits should request reimbursement from that individual’s sponsor in compliance with the Affidavit of Support. Also, the sponsor’s financial resources should be counted as part of the resident’s financial resources in determining eligibility for the requested benefits. This has been part of the law since 1997, and in 2019, the Administration announced that it would enforce these provisions with more regularity.

Click the following link for more information:

Presidential Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens

Premium Processing Program Expansion

USCIS has raised the premium processing fee to $2500 (formerly $1440; $1500 for H-2B and R-1 petitions) to provide for an increase in USCIS revenue. This fee increase was effective October 19, 2020. USCIS is also proposing to expand premium processing to include temporary work visa petitions and their dependents; EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 immigrant petitions; applications to extend nonimmigrant status; employment authorization document applications; and would allow the agency to extend premium processing to other immigration benefit types it deems appropriate. These expansions have not yet been implemented.

Click here to read this new policy

Garvish Immigration

Law Group



Click the titles to access the information

ICE Implements July 23, 2019 Expedited Removal Designation

November 2020 Visa Bulletin is Now Available

H-1B Program Changes

On October 6, 2020, USCIS announced several changes to the H-1B program in what it purports to be an effort to “restore integrity” to the program and protect U.S. workers from displacement and reduced wages. Since 2017, USCIS has been narrowing the definition of “specialty occupation,” in an effort to deny H-1B petitions at higher rates, and this change further narrows this definition. Also, the rule change increases DHS worksite inspections to ensure compliance. USCIS announced that these changes would go into effect in 60 days and they would not follow the required notice and comment period in light of “the economic crisis caused by Covid-19.”

Click the following link for more information: 

DHS Announces Interim Final Rule

DHS Proposes Replacing H-1B Random Selection Process

With a Wage-level-based Selection Process

On October 28, 2020, DHS transmitted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in which the agency is willing to replace the random "lottery" selection of H-1B petitions into a wage-level-selection process. The agency argues that the change in the program allocation of visa availability will encourage U.S. employers to offer higher wages to foreign nationals and will avoid filling relative lower-paid vacancies.

The new selection process would be implemented for both the H-1B regular cap and the H-1B advanced degree exemption.

Click the following links for more information: 

DHS, press release

Forbes, DHS To Abandon H1B Visa Lottery For Salary Rankings

Upcoming Events

LeGALS - Virtual Happy Hour

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

Grab your drink and join successful female attorneys in the Atlanta area for their monthly virtual happy hour. Do not miss the opportunity to meet their special guest: Sherry Boston. Sherry Boston is one of only three African-American female District Attorneys in the State of Georgia, and among the rare one-percent of African-American females currently serving as District Attorney nationwide.

Follow LeGALS on Facebook!

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Read more about Sherry Boston here

ICLE Course on Business Immigration Law

Elizabeth Garvish, Program Chair

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Learn about Immigration Business Law from leading attorneys in the immigration field.

The course will take place on November 11, 2020 and attendees will be part of classes that include: Business Immigration after Trump, Covid-19 and the 2020 Election; Consular Processing Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visas After Covid-19; PERM From A to Z - An Overview, and much more. See full course here.

Register HERE

Mindset and Motivation Minute

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