Routine Visa Services Suspended in China Due to COVID-19 Surge
Due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country, routine visa services have been temporarily suspended in China. U.S. Embassy Beijing and several consulates are now conducting passport and emergency services for U.S. citizens only.
U.S. Embassy Beijing and all other consulates in the country have also canceled scheduled appointments. Visa applicants can visit their embassy or consulate website to reschedule their appointments to a future date.
Check out Boundless’ embassy and consulate tracker to stay up to date on the current status of visa services in your country.
U.S. Department of State Releases its Visa Bulletin for January 2023
The U.S. Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for January 2023. There was no change in wait times for family-based categories, with some categories remaining current for all countries.
Employment-based categories also saw very little change, with the exception of EB-1, which saw a regression of 6 months and 3 weeks for India and China. China also saw a regression of 2 years in the EB-2 category.
U.S. Supreme Court Temporarily Extends Trump-Era Title 42
The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily extended the controversial border policy Title 42, which was set to end on December 21. A federal judge struck down the policy back in November, and a group of 19 Republican-led states subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court to keep enforcement in place.
The rule has allowed immigration authorities to turn away more than 1 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border as a public health measure. Title 42, widely condemned by immigration advocates, was originally enacted by the Trump administration at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued under the Biden administration as a border enforcement method.
Opponents of the policy have long questioned its ability to protect public health and safety, and say it is rather a punitive border measure intended to block migrants from seeking asylum.
DHS Final Public Charge Rule Goes Into Effect
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS’) new final public charge rule goes into effect this week on December 23. The new rule will determine whether green card applicants are inadmissible to the U.S. based on their likelihood to rely on government benefits and therefore become a “public charge” in the future.
The new rule means an updated version of Form I-485 (Application for Adjustment of Status), which includes additional questions about a green card applicant’s household size, income, educational background, and previous use of government benefits.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published the 12/23/22 edition of Form I-485 on the USCIS official website for green card applicants to file moving forward.