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New year brings change to laws affecting U.S. permanent residency

Immigration Services

Immigration law and policy is constantly in flux. 2019 saw numerous changes to the landscape of immigration regulations and guidelines in the United States that could affect immigrants in Kentucky and across the nation. Some of these changes affect those seeking U.S. Permanent Residency.

One change affects the procedure the government will follow when providing an immigrant with a Notice to Appear with regards to deportation proceedings. Specifically, the reasons for which a person can be summoned for deportation proceedings has been expanded. Now, public benefits fraud or other violations related to the receipt of government benefits, criminal activities and arriving in the U.S. on a visa but then overstaying the time they are legally permitted to stay in the country could lead to deportation proceedings.

In addition, new guidelines give the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services judges with the ability to issue a denial of immigration benefits without first sending the immigrant a Notice of Intent to Deny or a Request for Evidence. Some of the immigration benefits affected may include visa extensions and applications for permanent residency or U.S. citizenship. Now, USCIS officials can deny such requests if the immigrant does not provide them with the initial evidence necessary to prove they are eligible for such benefits, which could ultimately lead to deportation.

Finally, policy changes have been made to the medical and vaccination exam immigrants must undergo to determine whether they meet the public health requirements necessary for permanent residency in the U.S. In an effort to improve efficiency, now the form required to be submitted with the results of the medical exam can be signed by an authorized medical professional as many as two months prior to the filing of the claim for residency.

Other changes have been made as well affecting immigrants seeking a green card or citizenship through marriage to a U.S. citizen. In the end, it is important to keep abreast of any changes to immigration law in our nation. Those who have more questions about these recent changes may want to seek the professional guidance they need to understand how the new regulations affect them.

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