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August 2021


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Where did the summer go? Time marches on and we have no control over the passage of time or what each day brings. The truth is that we do have a choice each day. We have a choice about what kind of day we will have, what kind of energy we will put out into the world, how we will react to adversity and what kind of impact we will make. At Garvish Immigration Law Group, we strive to impact every individual we touch in a positive and productive way. We understand that even the most fleeting of interactions can have a huge impact. We all walk through life with a million opportunities to make someone else's life better with a smile or an act of kindness. I challenge you to seize these opportunities. We may never know or comprehend the depth of our impact on someone else's life. Go make an impact!

With lots of love,

Elizabeth xo

Best Lawyers in America© 2022


Elizabeth Garvish was selected by her peers for recognition of professional excellence in immigration law in the 28th edition The Best Lawyers in America.

Best Lawyers® is a prominent worldwide attorney ranking publication that annually recognizes outstanding lawyers in their respective fields. The list is considered the most reliable source of legal referrals. The list has been published for more than thirty years.

Green Card + COVID Vaccine

Beginning October 1, 2021, Green Card applicants will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to pass the medical exam. All immigrants, including refugees, are covered by this USCIS and Department of State order and will have to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, with few exceptions. If the medical examination is completed before October 1st, 2021, the date of vaccination is also required.

There are four "Not Medically Appropriate" reasons for a blanket waiver related to the COVID-19 vaccine that will allow an individual to be admissible to the United States if not vaccinated:

  • Not age-appropriate
  • Insufficient time interval between doses
  • Contraindication to applicant's health
  • Not routinely available in the applicant's country

Click the following link for more information:

CDC Vaccination Publication For Immigrant Visa Applicants

Settlement Agreement Regarding the “Blank Space" Rejection Policy

In 2019, USCIS changed the rejection criteria, known as the "Blank Space" Policy, for the following three forms:

Since then, the above mentioned forms have been rejected if blank spaces were left during the compilation process. On July 20, 2021 the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Oakland Division, approved a settlement agreement in order to eliminate the "Blank Space" criteria. Furthermore, USCIS agreed to notify individuals that were affected by the former rejection criteria. Individuals whose forms were rejected under the former "No Blank Space" policy, before July 20, 2022, will be allowed to resubmit their request in order to obtain the updated receipt reflecting the date their rejected request was filed.

USCIS has also agreed to notify affected individuals it has identified who may benefit from the settlement agreement. Further details regarding the required documentation and instructions for each scenario can be found in the settlement agreement and at the webpages for Form I-589 and Form I-918.

Click the following link for more information:

USCIS Confirms Elimination of “Blank Space” Criteria

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Updated Form I-485 Allows Applicants to Request a New or Replacement Social Security Card

USCIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) are allowing most eligible applicants to apply for a new Social Security Number or replacement card using the Updated I-485 form, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust of Status, when adjusting status to lawful permanent residence.

Lawful permanent resident employees will now will be able to obtain the unrestricted Social Security card from the SSA in order to show their lawful eligibility to employment. The revised I-485 form includes additional questions that allow most applicants to apply for a Social Security card without visiting a Social Security office. USCIS will provide the information of the Form I-485 to the SSA after the form is approved. The SSA system will automatically assign an original SSN or issue a replacement card to the new lawful permanent resident.

Applicants who receive their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, (known as a Green Card) from USCIS should receive their Social Security card from the Social Security Administration within the following two weeks.

This change to Form I-485 is effective immediately, and applicants can begin filing with the updated form. 

For more information, please visit the following website:

USCIS Expands Partnership with Social Security Administration

Medical Exam Validity is Extended to 4 years and USCIS Recommends Filing Form I-485 and Form I-693 at the Same Time

USCIS is asking adjustment of status applicants to file the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the Form I-693, I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record concurrently in order to avoid receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) and delaying the adjustment of status process.

When applying for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident, an individual must establish that he or she is not inadmissible to the United States on public health grounds by submitting a Form I-693. This form needs to be completed by a USCIS designated civil surgeon during the medical exam. USCIS accepts the signed forms as long as the date of the civil surgeon’s signature is no more than 60 days before the applicant filed an application for adjustment of status. Such signed forms will retain their validity for two years.

Effective Aug. 12, 2021, USCIS is temporarily extending the validity period for Form I-693 from 2 years to now 4 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For decisions on Form I-485 issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021, the adjudicating officer may accept an otherwise valid Form I-693 if no more than four years have passed since the civil surgeon’s signature. The officer may accept for consideration a Form I-693 for a decision issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021 if:

  • The civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed Form I-485;
  • No more than four years have passed since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature; and
  • A decision on Form I-485 is issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021.

If you want to know more about this, contact us!

For more information, please visit the following website:

USCIS Temporarily Extending Validity Period of Form I-693

September 2021 Visa Bulletin

The September 2021 Visa Bulletin is out! EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 for “rest of the world” (except China and India) remains current.

  • EB-1 India remains current
  • EB-2 India moves up to 01SEP11
  • EB-3 India also moves up to 01JAN14
  • EB-1 China remains current
  • EB-2 China moves ahead to 01JUL18
  • EB-3 China moves ahead to 08JAN19

Click here to see September's visa bulletin

Garvish Immigration

Law Group


Click the titles to access the information

Extension of Initial Registration Period for TPS

USCIS Removes Barriers to U.S. Citizenship for Children Born Abroad Through Assisted Reproductive Technology

LeGALS - Drinks and Debate

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

We are back with the LeGALS Drinks and Debate Facebook LIVE!

LeGALS will host Erin Bernhardt on September 16th, 2021. Erin has won numerous film festival awards, two Peabody Awards, and an Emmy. Her first independent feature documentary, IMBA MEANS SING, aired worldwide on Netflix, Delta Studio, and all major VOD platforms.

Prior to independent filmmaking, Erin served in the Peace Corps in Madagascar, worked as a Writer/Producer at CNN, and as the Director of Engagement for Points of Light, President George. H. W. Bush’s foundation. She loves volunteering, traveling, teaching yoga, and making her baby boy giggle.

Do not miss the opportunity to meet great outstanding women during our next LeGALS!

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