Shusterman’s Immigration Update January 2020

Volume Twenty Five, Number One

SHUSTERMAN’S Carl ShustermanIMMIGRATION UPDATE is the Web’s most popular e-mail newsletter regarding US immigration laws and procedures with over 40,000 subscribers located in more than 150 countries. It is written by a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 40 years of experience practicing immigration law.

Published by the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1550, Los Angeles, California, 90017. Phone: (213) 623-4592 x0

Want to keep up to date with the latest changes in immigration laws, procedures, processing times and forms?

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Shusterman’s Immigration Update January 2020 – TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Good Moral Character Rules Restricted by USCIS
2. January 2020 State Department Visa Bulletin
3. Visa Bulletin Predictions for Fiscal Year 2020
4. Immigration Government Processing Times
5. Success Story: Helping a Foreign-Born Physician Get a Green Card
6. Trivia Quiz: Immigrant Inventions that Americans Use Every Day
7. Ask Mr. Shusterman: H-1B Online Registration System Starts on March 1, 2020
8. Shusterman’s Upcoming Immigration Seminars
9. Jobs & Green Cards for RNs & MedTechs: Free Legal Help!
10. Winner of Our December 2019 Immigration Trivia Quiz

Shusterman’s Immigration Update January 2020 – NEWS FLASHES

  • Asylum Seekers Have Been Forced to Stay in Mexico —Some Custom Border Patrol agents have assigned false future hearing court dates to asylum seekers in order to deport these individuals back to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols Program (MPP).

  • US is Sending Asylum Seekers to Guatemala—On December 10, 2019, the administration published a rule that effectively ends the right to seek asylum at the southern U.S. border. U.S officials are now sending persons seeking asylum in the United States to Guatemala even if they are not from that country.

  • Thousands of Liberians Given Road to U.S. Citizenship – In an amendment added to the National Defense Authorization Act by 2 Democratic Senators, thousands of Liberians who used to be protected by TPS will be able to apply for green cards and, eventually, for U.S. citizenship.

  • Bars to Asylum Eligibility — On December 19, 2019, the Trump Administration issued a proposed regulation entitled “Procedures for Asylum and Bars to Asylum Eligibility” adding minor crimes to the list of offenses which would bar persons from obtaining asylum in the United States.

  • S386 Durbin-Lee Compromise – Senators Durbin and Lee reached a compromise deal on the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (S.386) in mid-December. It is expected the bill will be voted on in the Senate sometime in January 2020.

1. Good Moral Character Rules Restricted by USCIS

On December 10, 2019, USCIS issued policy memo regarding what constitutes good moral character for naturalization purposes.  However, it is clear that this guidance will affect not only applicants for naturalization, but also those applying for adjustment of status and other types of immigration benefits including cancellation of removal.

Read more…

2. January 2020 Visa Bulletin

immigration waiting times

The Visa Bulletin is issued by the U.S. State Department on a monthly basis. The Bulletin shows the backlogs for persons who have been sponsored for green cards through their employers, their relatives, through investments and through the diversity lottery. The length of the backlog varies depending on the person’s preference category and their country of chargeability which is usually their country of birth.

Read more…


3. Visa Bulletin Predictions for FY2020

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Charlie Oppenheim at the US Department of State issues visa bulletin predictions as to how rapidly or slowly he expects the priority dates in the employment-based and family-based categories to move forward, or to retrogress.

You can stay up-to-date with the waiting times in the Visa Bulletin by subscribing to our Free E-Mail Newsletter.


Read more…


4. Immigration Government Processing Times

immigration waiting times We link to the most recent immigration waiting times for each of the four USCIS Service Centers, the National Benefits Center and the Administrative Appeals Office. We also link to the processing times of all of the 83 USCIS District Offices and Sub-offices. We link to the Labor Department’s page entitled “Processing dates for labor certification applications”. Finally, we link to the State Department’s “Visa Wait Times” page.

Read more…

5. Success Story: Helping a Foreign-Born Physician Get a Green Card

Recently, a foreign-born physician scheduled a consultation with me.

She had an interview coming up, and for some reason, her attorney was unable to accompany her.  She was super-nervous because her case had been going on for years, and the facts were quite complex.

I let her know that she was right to be concerned.  Local USCIS examiners only started doing interviews for employment-based adjustment applicants a couple of years ago.  I doubted whether the examiner had interviewed a physician with a National Interest Waiver, especially where the facts were complex.

Read more…

6. Trivia Quiz: Immigrant Inventions that Americans Use Every Day

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This month’s Immigration Trivia Quiz is entitled:

Immigrant Inventions that Americans Use Every Day

The first person to correctly answer our quiz (and supply their biographical information) wins a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys before the end of January.

7. Ask Mr. Shusterman: H-1B Online Registration System Starts on March 1, 2020

The H-1B online registration system will go into effect on March 1, 2020. Employers must submit the required information online for each H-1B beneficiary whom they wish to sponsor between March 1 and March 20. However, the details of the system have yet to be released by the USCIS.

The fact that the current Administration has been hostile to the H-1B program is no secret. The percentage of H-1B petitions which have received Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny and Denials has increased dramatically during the past few years.

Read more…

(More Ask Mr. Shusterman…)

8. Shusterman’s Upcoming Immigration Seminars

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Immigration 101: The Nuts and Bolts
Topic: Employment-Based Immigration
Pincus Professional Education
Hyatt Regency, Los Angeles International Airport
March 21, 2020

Immigration Law Practice Management
5th Annual AILA Nevada Chapter Conference
Topic: TBD
Downtown Grand Hyatt Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada
March 26-28, 2020

Read more…

9. Jobs & Green Cards for RNs & MedTechs – Free Legal Help!

Are you a Registered Nurse or a Medical Technologist or a Speech Language Pathologist who is looking for a job in the US?

What if you could find a job, a work visa, and green cards for you and your family to live in the US? And what if the cost to you for all of this was zero dollars?

Hard to believe? Let me explain.

Read more…

10. Winner of Our December 2019 Immigration Trivia Quiz

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December’s Immigration Quiz was entitled: The Immigrant Origins of Christmas

Here are the answers to the Immigration Quiz from our winner, Habib:


“1. Christmas Gingerbread Cookies – Left for Santa Claus along with milk. Originated from Greece.

2. Christmas Cards – Used to convey sentiments of the holiday season. Originated from the United Kingdom by Sir Henry Cole.

3. Christmas Tree – Meant for kids to decorate and for people to leave presents under the tree. Originated from Germany.

4. Christmas Stocking – Meant for Santa Claus to leave presents. Originated from Asia Minor by Saint Nicholas.

Congratulations, Habib! And thank you for keeping up with our newsletter!


Carl Shusterman

Certified Specialist in Immigration Law, State Bar of California
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Attorney (1976-82)
Member of AILA Board of Governors (1988-97)
Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 623-4592 x0, Fax: (213) 623-3720


“We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”

– Former President Jimmy Carter


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