At the end of 2018, the Trump administration started talking about how it will now be much more difficult for immigrants to get into the United States — and this is true. However, it was about very tough measures: for example, they were going to cancel the green card lottery and change the rules for entering America through family reunification.

In fact, everything is not as bad as it seems, although the measures have indeed been tightened. This was especially true for certain categories of visas. In addition, immigration judges now have more freedom of action. What is it? Let’s tell you more.

Refusal without explanation

Previously, if the package of documents that the visa applicant collected raised questions, immigration officers could send a request and receive additional evidence or papers that were missing in the package. Now it’s in the past — the judge can simply refuse.

The adjustments will affect several types of applications:

  • to obtain US citizenship;
  • to obtain the right to permanent residence;
  • to extend the visa.

New subpoenas

Let’s say you tried to change your tourist status to another one, but were refused. Before, you would have been sent a formal warning with the following content: please leave the country no later than a certain date. At the same time, no one would pursue a person who is denied a change of status or a specific visa.

Now everything is different: the list of reasons why you can be summoned to immigration court has increased several times. At the same time, not everyone in a row falls under the distribution — it all depends on the decision of the officer.

You will have to appear in court if you are denied in one of the following forms:

  • I-485 for permanent resident status;
  • I-539 for renewal or change of status;
  • I-914(A), Petition for T Immigration Status for Victims of Trafficking;
  • I-918(A), Petition for U Immigration Status for Victims of Crime;
  • I-360 for Asians born to US military, widows, so-called «special immigrants», victims of domestic violence, and child abuse victims;
  • I-730 for relatives of refugees or people who are seeking asylum;
  • I-929 for relatives of crime victims.

New forms

This point is closely related to the previous one: if you are going to extend your immigration status or change it to another, be prepared for the fact that the usual forms will change. Because of this, it is very easy to make a mistake and fill out the paper according to the old model — make sure everything is correct.

There is a point of view that a couple of incorrect points is nonsense, but you should not be deceived: all documents that fall on the tables of immigration officers are carefully read and checked.

Changes in visa processing: moving through the device to work

One of the most popular visas for moving to the United States is H, working. It is intended for those who are going to work in their specialty after receiving higher education. Every year they try to get this visa no less 200 thousand people — and everyone sends weighty packages of documents that need to be studied, selected 65 thousand applicants and make a verdict.

Obviously, there are too many candidates — so something needs to change:

  • now, before accepting people’s documents, everyone will be registered online — this significantly saves time and reduces costs;
  • Preference will be given to those who have already received a master’s degree in the United States — they will be considered first.

Right now, the H-visa is issued in the old way, but in the future, these changes should be made soon.

Changes in visa processing: moving through our own business

If you have decided to move to the United States by buying your own business or expanding the business that you opened in your home country, now you need to prepare for the interview. Otherwise, everything goes according to the usual scheme:

  • you submit documents;
  • a petition is issued confirming that your application has been accepted and you can stay in the US while the card is being processed;
  • Set a date for the interview.

Of course, checks have become tougher: recently, many first buy a business, and then, realizing that they will already receive a 100% green card, they sell it and fire employees. It won’t work — the immigration officer must make sure the case is open and thriving.

Changes in visa processing: moving through the opening of a branch

A very popular visa is L-1, which is issued to key employees transferred from another country to a US branch for business development. Previously, it was possible to report that you work remotely, and this was enough, but now these words are not enough: it is imperative to prove that in the last three years before entering the United States, you held a leadership position in your country for at least 12 months.

It is impossible to manage a company remotely — the exact wording is not yet known, since this is not yet indicated in the law, but all representatives of organizations related to immigration are already aware of the events. If you are going to America, first spend a year in the chair of the leader where you live.

Big delays

The measures were tightened primarily in order to secure the country from illegal migrants and prevent the importation of drugs, but so far this has only led to long queues and unbearably long delays.

To find a suitable visa for yourself and make sure that you will have to wait not a year, but even two, we advise you to contact trusted immigration lawyers. Specialists always monitor changes in legislation, the status of the visa bulletin and the latest news.