I have a green card. Can I visit my home country and come back?
Yes, you can visit. However, if you are visiting, or a national of: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, you should speak with an immigration attorney before you make any travel plans.

I have an H-1B visa stamp in my passport valid until June 1, 2018; can I travel to the USA?
Yes, you can; unless you are a National of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen.

I have an Advanced Parole valid until June 1, 2018. Can I travel now?
Hold off on any travel plans until things are clear from the Trump Administration. Based on the Executive Order, they were attempting to just inquire into the Parole issue. The Executive Order directed the Department of Homeland Security to make inquiries about how the Paroles are issued.
According to the Executive Order, Paroles may only be issued for humanitarian purposes. We have yet to determine if that applies to Advanced Paroles. Until things are clear, do not make any travel plans. If you are outside of the country, please immediately return to the USA.

I am going for H-1B stamping to India since I am eligible for Drop Box visa stamping. Can I go for stamping, and drop my passport and visa papers in the Drop Box?
Drop Box, or visas without an interview, has been suspended until further notice. Therefore, the service is unavailable.

I have an H-1B valid until June 1, 2018. However, my passport visa stamping has expired as of June 1, 2016. Can go on a cruise to Mexico?
Although there is no clear indication in the Executive Order, as a precaution you should not make these travel plans until there is further clarification from the Trump Administration.

I am a US citizen. Can I travel now?
Yes, you can travel, unless you are dual national with Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

I am on DACA Advanced parole. Can I travel now?
No. Do not travel until we get further information.

We were told that there is an Injunction Order issued by the Court on the Executive Order. Is that true?
The Injunction applies only to certain aspects of the Executive Order, not to all of it.

 

Upon returning to the U.S., Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) should not automatically surrender their green cards if asked to do so. An individual does not lose LPR status as a result of time abroad. They remain an LPR until a final order of removal is issued. The government must prove abandonment by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence which is a higher evidentiary standard than clear and convincing. See Matter of Huang, 19 I&N Dec. 749 (BIA 1988). Form I-407 must be signed voluntarily and there are no potential negative ramifications for refusing to sign. Neither failure to sign nor abandonment is grounds for detention. Rather, an LPR who refuses to sign Form I-407 must be issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) so that an immigration judge can determine whether they have lost their LPR status.
When abandonment is raised, clients should be advised to offer evidence of the following: their ties to the U.S., the purpose of their visit outside of the U.S., and the expected termination date of the visit abroad or occurrence of facts showing why a date certain is or was not possible. See precedent decision Matter of Kane, 15 I&N Dec. 258 (BIA 1975).

The burden at this stage is preponderance of the evidence, which is more likely than not (more than 51%) that your client did not abandon. See Matter of Y-G-, 20 I&N Dec. 794 (BIA 1994). Totality of the circumstances are relevant and must be considered. If the officer is nevertheless, not convinced, your client should ask for a hearing before an immigration judge. If the client's green card is confiscated, the client must be provided with alternative evidence of their LPR status, such as an I-94 and/or passport stamp that says "Evidence of Temporary Residence."

Abandonment of residence is not a ground of inadmissibility. Thus, the basis for the NTA is violation of INA §237(a)(1)(A) for being inadmissible at the time of admission because LPRs travel abroad and reenter the U.S. as "special immigrants" per INA §101(a)(27). If the LPR's visit abroad was not in fact "a temporary absence" he or she is not admissible as a "special immigrant." The lack of special immigrant status is what ultimately makes them removable. In this situation, the government bears the high burden of proving abandonment of LPR status by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence. An LPR who is placed in removal proceedings, doesn't lose his or her status until a final order of removal is issued. See 8 CFR §1.2 (defining "lawfully admitted for permanent resident").

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The executive order signed by President Trump on January 27, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” has sparked worry and fear among immigrant communities. For those holding valid non-immigrant visas, such as F-1s or H-1Bs, and those holding Advance Parole documents, travel is now uncertain. The order suspends entry for 90 days for any national (including those with valid visas and U.S. green cards) from 7 designated countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The order does not define what it means to be “from” one of these countries – it presumably includes nationals and passport-holders. However, even if you do not hold a passport from one these designated countries, it is recommended that you do not travel to them during the suspension, as returning to the U.S. may be constituted coming “from” a designated country.

At this time, use of Advance Parole for adjustment of status applicants has not been limited (with the exception of travel from the countries designated above). However, President Trump has indicated that he will look into use of Advance Parole, and could, if he chooses, limit its use to “humanitarian and public benefit purposes,” to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Use of Advance Parole therefore may potentially be limited in the future.

Furthermore, the executive order suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allowed certain visa-holders to renew their visa at a consulate via dropbox and forego an in-person interview. The suspension of the waiver program is expected to greatly increase already backlogged visa processing at U.S. consulates abroad. Visa holders who are planning to travel and need to apply for a visa stamp should strongly reconsider, as issuance of 221g forms and indefinite processing times are expected. .

 

The Trump Administration has long been in favor of stricter immigration policies and reform, with the President recently stating that the H-1B program is “neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at a lower pay… I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions [sic]”. It is therefore not surprising that he would recommend Sen. Jeff Sessions – R to be his Attorney General. Sessions has been described as “amnesty’s worst enemy”, referred to H-1B visas as a “Tremendous Threat” to skilled American workers, and has opposed nearly every immigration bill that has been presented to the senate, notably targeting legal immigration.  He vehemently opposes the H-1B visa program, which is geared towards improving American entrepreneurship and innovation through hiring temporary guest workers skilled in science, math, and technology to fill positions in industries that are severely lacking.

With Sessions’ appointment being finalized any day, and the next 100 days of Trump’s administration putting into full swing some of his campaign promises, it is important to examine what this could mean for legal immigration, and the H-1B visa program. Without H-1B, STEM industries would take the hardest hit as even with the current program, there is still a severe lack in the high- skilled workers so desperately needed for the industries to operate, and continue to grow globally. With more growth comes more need for talent, more innovation, and more technological advancements. The idea that these jobs are being outsourced or taken away from American STEM employees is erroneous. Americans are already working in these positions, there is still a need, and therefore the gaps are filled with temporary H-1B visa employees.

Critics to Sessions and Trump’s plans for severely limiting the number of H-1B visas granted, and potentially removing the program altogether state that it would in fact hurt American workers. If companies cannot fill in the gaps with reasonably attainable H-1B visas, they may ship more, if not all jobs overseas. Tech giants, notably CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, with bipartisan support remain committed to a more liberal immigration policy as they directly see the need for more STEM workers and recognize the talents that immigrants bring to the US.

Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by foreign-born immigrants or their children. With President Trump and Jeff Sessions plans to severely damage the H-1B and other visa programs, America, and the world will in fact feel the repercussions of this stolen potential.

 

Works Cited 

Anderson, Stuart. "40 Percent of Fortune 500 Companies Founded by Immigrants or Their Children." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 25 Oct. 2011. Web. 26 Jan. 2017. 

Hansen, Louis. "H-1B Visa Program Faces Uncertain Future in Trump Era." The Mercury News. The Mercury News, 25 Jan. 2017. Web. 26 Jan. 2017. 

"Immigration." Donald J Trump for President. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2017. 

Nazarian, Adelle. "Jeff Sessions: H-1B Visas 'Tremendous Threat' to American Professionals." Govtslaves.info. N.p., 02 Nov. 2015. Web. 26 Jan. 2017. 

Phillips, Amber. "10 Things to Know about Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s Pick for Attorney General." The Washington Post. WP Company, n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2017. 

Shaw, Adam. "Businesses Brace for Trump Decision on H-1B Visas in Wake of Sessions Pick." Fox News. FOX News Network, 25 Nov. 2016. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.