Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on December 27, 2019 1. Renewing My Green Card That Has Been Expired for 2 Years. 2. What Does It Mean When My Immigration Application or Petition Is On Hold? 3. How Can I Fix My Boyfriend Papers?

1. Renewing My Green Card That Has Been Expired for 2 Years.

My green card expired about 2 years ago. I no longer have valid driver license because it expired.

Mr. Lee Answers:
Unless you have outstanding reason for not applying for renewal of your green card, e.g. committing a serious crime, you can do so even at this time by filing form I-90 application to replace permanent resident card with filing fee of $540 and submission to the U.S.C.I.S. lockbox in Arizona at U.S.C.I.S., PO Box 21262, Phoenix, AZ 85036.

2. What Does It Mean When My Immigration Application or Petition Is On Hold?

Mr. Lee Answers:
An immigration application or petition which is on hold usually means that U.S.C.I.S. is looking at something which may be of concern, and wishes a resolution of the question before further processing the case.

3. How Can I Fix My Boyfriend Papers?

I’m 17 I’m about to be 18. We going to get married I’m planning on fixing his papers.  He’s 19 he has social security number and he was on the dream act.

Mr. Lee answers:
At the age of 18, you would be free to marry without parental consent in any state. Your boyfriend’s having a social security number and having been a Dreamer does not necessarily mean that he can adjust status in the US through your sponsorship. That would depend upon whether he entered the country by being inspected and admitted or paroled at the point of entry. If not, he would have to go through consular processing which at the very least consists of your filing an I-130 relative petition for him, having it approved, and him initiating consular processing to interview for an immigrant visa in his home country.  DACA prevents the accrual of unlawful presence, but persons whose DACA statuses expired begin to accrue it after reaching the age of 18. The consequence is that 180 days of unlawful presence bars an alien for three years and one year of unlawful presence bars him/her for 10 years if he/she has to leave the country. If your boyfriend has already accrued those periods of unlawful presence, you might still be able to fix his papers, but would likely have to go through much more effort and risk in that he would have to go through the I-601A program to immigrate. That involves your filing an I-130 relative petition for him, having that approved, and him filing for an I-601A application for waiver of the 3/10 year bar for being in the country illegally for either of those time periods past the age of 18. The waiver is based upon showing that you would suffer extreme hardship if he had to return home and could not come back. He would wait for the result here and if approved would set up a consular interview in his own country for an immigrant visa. Assuming that he has no other immigration problems, the interview would most likely be normal and he likely would return to the US within 1-2 months.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on December 20, 2019 1. Can Immigration Officers Take an Adult Away With a Minor Being Present in a Vehicle? 2. U Non-immigration Status on An Incident That Happened 2 Years Back? 3. How Can I Apply Foreign Country’s Police Clearance?

1. Can Immigration Officers Take an Adult Away With a Minor Being Present in a Vehicle?

Mr. Lee Answers:
Immigration officers can take an adult away even with the minor being present in a vehicle, but should provide for the child to be taken care of instead of just leaving the minor alone. On the one hand, this is not the type of situation that any immigration officer would like to encounter, but by the same token, DHS’s viewpoint may be that having a child in a car should not be a shield against an immigration stop.

2. U Non-immigration Status on An Incident That Happened 2 Years Back?

I and my friend were coming out form a Wal-Mart when I was in Tampa, FL 2 years back and one our way back we were held up by a guy with a gun who asked from us anything we had if we wanted to live. My friend had a cigarette pack on him which he handed over and I a few dollars. This happened 2 years back but we didn’t file a report because we were shocked and didn’t want to get involved in a lengthy police case. Is it still possible for us to file a report and would we be eligible for U nonimmigrant visa?

Mr. Lee Answers:
I do not believe that you will find that this is a viable case for a U visa since the incident was not reported to the police two years ago and they would likely not be interested in looking into such a small case in which the perpetrators would likely not be caught.

3. How Can I Apply Foreign Country’s Police Clearance?

 I need to apply for Lebanon police clearance for my wife who’s in the Philippines. She worked in Lebanon 2010-2012. How can I apply for such form?

Mr. Lee Answers:
Instructions for how to apply for a Lebanon police clearance (judiciary police record) for your wife in the Philippines is contained in the Foreign Affairs Manual. The excerpt is below:


For those residing outside Lebanon, the request must be processed through Lebanese embassies/consulates, but applicants may experience extremely long waiting periods before they receive the document, or may not receive them at all. The “Judiciary Police Record” may also be requested through a lawyer having a power of attorney from the individual authorizing the request. The “Judiciary Police Record” presented by an individual does not mean that the individual is clear. It just states that “this person does not have any court sentence against him”.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on December 13, 2019 1. My wife Has a Permanent Resident Card But She got Detained in Crossing Back to the United States. 2. Someone Makes More Than $30,000 a Year and The Household Size Is 2.  Is This Person Above the 125% of The Poverty Guideline? 3. During Claiming Asylum Process I Can’t Get My Uni Papers in Saudi Arabia.  It Requires My Father’s Agreement.  Will USA Be Able to Get Me the Papers I Need?

1. My wife Has a Permanent Resident Card But She got Detained in Crossing Back to the United States.

She Went to Mexico For a Dentist Checkup. I spoke to the U.S. custom supervisor he said that before she was given the residency card, she entered the United States illegally. My question is will she be detained and if so for how many days.

Mr. Lee Answers:
This may turn out to be a difficult situation in two instances – how she adjusted status to permanent residence in the US since the illegal entry would in most cases prevent an individual from adjusting status, and in the second case if this was a second illegal entry. In that case, DHS may see the green card as invalid as having been given in error. As your wife has a prima facie permanent residence card, the chances are that she will ultimately be released and given a date to appear before an immigration court.

2. Someone Makes More Than $30,000 a Year and The Household Size Is 2.  Is This Person Above the 125% of The Poverty Guideline?

I thought I calculated this correctly but I got a RFE saying that this person doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to be a sponsor. Maybe the I-864 had other mistakes that triggered the RFE but I have no idea and I can’t get a lawyer either, I just want to know if this calculation is correct or not.

Mr. Lee Answers:
Where the household size is two, a person making more than $30,000 a year is well above 125% of the poverty guidelines. Those state that for a family of two, the amount to make for most states is $21,137; for those in Alaska, $26,412; and for those residing in Hawaii $24,325.

3. During Claiming Asylum Process I Can’t Get My Uni Papers in Saudi Arabia.  It Requires My Father’s Agreement.  Will USA Be Able to Get Me the Papers I Need?

I’m a 21 year old Saudi girl who lives in Saudi Arabia. I’m abused really bad by my parents (dad and step mom) and I get hit a Lot And now they’re selling me to a guy I don’t know, which is called “Arranged marriage” so technically I’m gonna get rape. My husband is taking me to the USA for honeymoon so I’ll run and claim asylum there.

Mr. Lee Answers:
I gather that when you are talking about Uni papers in Saudi Arabia that refers to your university papers. The USA would not be able to obtain those papers for you – neither would it feel obligated to do so since the burden of proof is upon you to prove your case for asylum. That being said, while US immigration law on asylum does require corroborative evidence, that is only so where it is able to be obtained. If the Uni papers are central to your case and you have a good explanation as to why you cannot obtain them, it would be up to an asylum officer and perhaps an immigration judge to determine your credibility and the availability of the documents.

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on December 8, 2019 1. Just Got Denied on My H-1B That We Filed in April – What To Do Now? 2. Got Green Card Through Marriage, Tried to Get Three-year Naturalization While I-751 Pending, And Now Both Are Denied – What To Do? 3. Granddad in Taiwan Two Months And Got Call for Naturalization Interview, But Has Been on Medicaid – Problem With Entry At Airport or Naturalization Interview?

1. Just Got Denied on My H-1B That We Filed in April – What To Do Now?

My petitioner, a small food market chain with two stores, applied for my H-1B in April 2019, got a request for evidence, answered it, and was just denied saying that the company did not need the services of an accountant. I had optional practical training from my F-1 accounting degree that ended on July 15, 2019. As my denial just came last week dated November 13, 2019, can you tell me any possible ways that I can stay in the United States legally?

Mr. Lee answers,
The Trump Administration has made clear its intention to make H-1B visas much harder to obtain, having drastically increased the number of requests for evidence and denials over the years of his presidency. That being said, you are technically out of status once the H-1B is denied. If the rejection had come prior to October 1, you would have still been within the protection of being in cap-gap status, in which case you would have had a 60 day grace period. You should confirm with an attorney to determine if you have good grounds for appeal or for a motion to reopen or reconsider. However, be aware that the clock on unlawful presence begins running when the decision is made, and if you are in the US over 180 days from that point and your appeal or motion is denied, you will incur a three-year bar if you must leave the US and reenter. If you decide not to do on appeal or motion, some other options (there can be many more dependent upon your circumstances) are the following. If you wish to further attend schooling in the US, you could possibly request reinstatement from U.S.C.I.S., and would have to prove among other items that you are not deportable for any other reason than either being present in violation of law or that you violated your nonimmigrant status; and that the violation of stay resulted from circumstances beyond your control. (The length of a U.S.C.I.S. adjudication would appear to be something beyond your control). Other options include requesting a late change of status to visitor if you need limited time to leave the US; marriage to a US citizen if you are already in a bona fide deep relationship; or making application for any other working or family relationship visa for which you might be eligible. (For this, you would have to leave the US and should seek an attorney’s advice on your case qualifications).

2. Got Green Card Through Marriage, Tried to Get Three-year Naturalization While I-751 Pending, And Now Both Are Denied – What To Do?

I got my conditional green card from my marriage to a US citizen in 2015. In 2017, right before the second anniversary of the green card, I filed the I-751 application to get the permanent green card. I didn’t hear anything from Immigration for a long time, so I spoke with the lawyer who said that I could file my naturalization application during the time that the I-751 was pending because I was married to a US citizen and entitled to file three years from the conditional green card instead of the usual five years. The problem is that although we have a good marriage, my wife lives in Atlanta because of her work and I stay in New York. Every couple of weeks, I go to see her or she comes to see me during the weekends. When I was called to interview, my wife didn’t come because she couldn’t get time away from her work, and the immigration examiner was very severe with me. She wound up denying both the naturalization application and the I-751. What can I expect next?

Mr. Lee answers,
Initially, the advice that you received from the attorney was incorrect. The three-year privilege of filing for those married to US citizens is reserved for those who can show that they have been married for three years; that the US citizen has been a US citizen for three years; and that they have been living continuously together for the entire period of three years. In a case like yours, getting together every two weeks on weekends does not qualify as continuous. The fact of separation also is a large consideration for U.S.C.I.S. adjudicators in deciding the bona fides of marriage cases. Further the fact that your spouse did not show up at the interview was another factor in deciding the I-751. At this point, you can expect U.S.C.I.S. to issue you a notice to appear (NTA) in the immigration court. At that time, you and your wife will be given the opportunity to explain in front of an immigration judge the circumstances of your relationship. You will also be allowed to present any relevant evidence in support thereof. U.S.C.I.S. is mandated to swiftly issue NTA’s in circumstances of I-751 denials, but we have seen a number of cases in which NTA’s are not issued for months or even years after the denials. I suggest that you obtain the services of an attorney once you receive the NTA, if not sooner.

3. Granddad in Taiwan Two Months And Got Call for Naturalization Interview, But Has Been on Medicaid – Problem With Entry At Airport or Naturalization Interview?

Our grandfather got a green card over 20 years ago and decided to naturalize last year. He went back to Taiwan two months ago to take care of some family affairs because our grand aunt (his sister) passed away.  We received his notice for naturalization interview for two weeks from now, and he will be returning next Monday. Will he have a problem with Immigration at the airport or Immigration at the naturalization interview because he has been taking Medicaid and government rent assistance?

Mr. Lee answers,
It is difficult to know how Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the airports or even naturalization examiners at the local immigration offices will react to anything out of the ordinary these days as the Trump Administration has shown itself to be so anti-immigrant. However, that being said, impartial officers should not give your grandfather a problem based upon his taking Medicaid and rent assistance even if they asked him about it as he has already been a long time resident of the United States, and I assume that he has not engaged in illegal activity during the departure nor committed an excludable crime at any time for which he was not given relief the new Trump regulations on public charge have been stopped by court challenges, and there is no question on the naturalization form asking whether an applicant has taken means tested benefits other than whether the applicant made any misrepresentation to obtain any public benefit in the United States.

Q&A’s published on Lawyers.com and the Epoch Times on December 6, 2019 1. Does Sponsoring an Undocumented Employee Increase My Risk of Prosecution for Hiring Undocumented alien? 2. I Was Refused Entry Into U.S. with INA section 217, For An Overstay Which I Wasn’t Aware Of. 3. Do I Have to Submit All 5 Years Bank Statements for My Naturalization?

1. Does Sponsoring an Undocumented Employee Increase My Risk of Prosecution for Hiring Undocumented alien?

I hired a woman (who had been my customer for a couple of years) not knowing at the time she was undocumented. She lived in a nice neighborhood and her husband had a job at a big construction company. She had a valid drivers license when I first hired her which I copied and put on file. Over 3 years she went from 15 hours a week to salaried full-time manager. About a year ago, I asked her to be my company’s registered agent for city regulatory compliance. She said her license was expired. That was the first time I discovered that she was here illegally. Now, her daughter is about to turn 21 and she says she’s pursuing legal status and wants me to sponsor her. I’m not interesting in signing anything which amounts to a confession that I am aware that she is here illegally. Assuming there is a pathway for her to obtain legal status when her daughter turns 21 next year, are there any protections afforded me if I agree to sponsor her?

Mr. Lee Answers:

In the case of your undocumented employee, she would chiefly be sponsored by her daughter, and I assume that you would act as the financial cosponsor. Such sponsorship would be through your filling out an I-864 affidavit of support form. Under the law, such a sponsor is responsible for providing financial support for up to 125% of the poverty guidelines, and your assets can be deemed hers if she makes application for means tested benefits from a local, state, or federal government. The obligation lasts until the alien has acquired 40 quarters of work, becomes a US citizen, passes away, or leaves the US permanently. Insofar as your liability as an employer is concerned, a driver’s license is not sufficient documentation to hire someone in the US. That plus a Social Security card without a limiting date would be sufficient, however, for employment. But even if that was the case, it appears that you were made aware of her illegality a year ago when she informed you that her license was expired. You might be liable for fines, although it is questionable that DHS would be interested in going after you. However, in these days of Trump, there are no guarantees.

2. I Was Refused Entry Into U.S. with INA section 217, For An Overstay Which I Wasn’t Aware Of.

I would like to apply for a B-2 visa, what are my chances?

Mr. Lee Answers:  

In a consular interview, you can explain the situation of your overstay to an officer who will determine as a matter of discretion whether he or she will give you a B-2 visa. Dependent upon the reason and your credibility as seen by the consular officer, the visa may or may not be given.

3. Do I Have to Submit All 5 Years Bank Statements for My Naturalization?

Mr. Lee Answers:

Banking statements are not generally required as part of the naturalization process. They may be relevant in cases involving naturalization in three years on the basis of marriage to a US citizen where individuals must show that they have been constantly residing with the US citizen spouse. But even in that case, sporadic joint banking statements covering the three years would be one of the acceptable proofs to show constant living together.

Article: S.2603, The Relief Act, In The Season Of Hope; Two Proposed Regulations Likely To Become Law; December Visa Chart Movement And Prognostication; Stockwell Lives

As published in the Immigration Daily on December 3, 2019

1. S.2603, The Relief Act, in the season of hope.

S.2603, the Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employees and Extended Families (RELIEF) Act is the best hope for equitable expansion and distribution of immigrant visa numbers. The bill (introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on October 16, 2019)would eliminate the family and employment green card backlog over five years in the order in which the applications were filed; keep families together by classifying spouses and children of LPRs (lawful permanent residents) immediate relatives and exempting derivative beneficiaries of employment based petitions from annual green card limits; protect aging out children qualifying for LPR based on a parent’s immigration petition; lift the country caps; and extend the “hold harmless” clause from HR 1044 exempting immigrant visa petitions approved prior to enactment from the lifting of country caps to petitions approved for five years after enactment.Yet there is opposition as Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the sponsor of S.386 (Senate counterpart of HR 1044), the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act which would skew employment based second and third preference immigrant visas to India-born without adding significant numbers and therefore backlog the rest of the worldincluding China-born in these categories, reportedly refused a broader debate on his own bill to address green card backlogs. At this time, it appears that the best that can be hoped for is a relenting by the Republicans who hold the Senate to allow S.2603’s proposals to be considered in conjunction with S.386. Pressure on the Republican leadership is the best way to bring about this result, and so communication with Republican senators and espousing such consideration is strongly encouraged.

2. One of two proposed regulations about to be law – fees.

USCIS is an agency funded by the fees that it collects, and so it will be collecting more. It is almost a certainty that after a period of time for comment, new and for the most part higher fees are the order of the day.The proposed regulation with deadline for written comments by 12/16/19 – “US Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Requests Requirements,” Federal Register, Vol. 84, No. 220, 11/14/19, includes the following fee changes:

  • I-129 form $460 fee raised by category – for H-1 $560; for L-1 $815; for O-1 $715; for TN $705.
  • Premium processing will be changed from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.
  • $85 biometrics fee will be eliminated in most situations.
  • I-485 base fee for everyone including children will be $1120 including the biometrics (a drop from the present $1225 for applicants between the ages of 14-78). However,I-765 EADs (employment authorization documents) and I-131 advance paroles will be separately charged with EADs costing $490 and advance paroles $585. So an I-485 filing with EAD application will be $1610; I-485 with advance parole application $1705, and a combination of the I-485 with EAD and advance parole applications $2195.
  • N-400 naturalization applications will go up from $725 to $1170; N-336 requests for hearing on naturalization decision from $700 to $1755; and N-470 applications to preserve residence for naturalization purposes from $355 to $1600.
  • I-589 asylum applications will be $50 and applicants will have to pay $490 for initial EADs.
  • DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) renewals will go up from $495 to $765.
  • I-212 applications for permission to reapply for admission into the US after deportation or removal will be increased from $930 to $1040.
  • I-290B administrative appeals or motions will rise from $675 to $705.
  • I 539 applications to extend/change nonimmigrant status will go up from $370 to $400.
  • I-601 applications for waiver of the ground of excludability will go from $930 to $985.
  • I-601A applications for provisional unlawful presence waivers will move from $630 to $960.
  • I-751 petitions to remove conditions on residence will go from $595 to $760.
  • I-765 applications for employment authorization will rise from $410 to $490.
  • The USCIS immigrant fee which is paid after successful immigrant visa interview at the consulates or embassies will drop from $220 to $200.
  • Biometrics services where applicable will drop from $85 to $30.

The relative certainty of the fee hikes being implemented is reflected in the fact that the author cannot recall ever seeing a request for higher fees rejected in over 30 years of practice. There will undoubtedly be an outcry over the proposal for asylum applicants to pay $50 to file I-589 applications, but USCIS undoubtedly foresaw such a controversy, and so pitched a low fee just to get its foot in the door.

3. Second of two proposed regulations more than likely to be law – asylum EADs.

Another proposed regulation more than likely to become law after the period of comment and expected future court challenges upon final rule passage is “Asylum Application, Interview, and Employment Authorization for Applicants”, Federal Register, Vol. 84, No. 220, 11/14/19,with deadline for comments by 1/13/20, which includes the following:

  • The time to file for an EAD is increased from 180 days to 365 days, and the discussion of the proposed rule on page 62389 refers to a separate rulemaking proposal for the elimination of the requirement to adjudicate the EAD application within 30 days.
  • Those filing asylum applications after the one-year deadline are not eligible for C8 employment authorization unless they qualify for an exception for late filing or are unaccompanied alien children on the date that the asylum application was first filed.
  • Ineligible are also persons convicted of any aggravated felony, felony in the US or any serious nonpolitical crime outside the US, convicted in the US of certain public safety offenses including domestic violence or assault; child abuse or neglect, controlled substances, or driving or operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs regardless of how the offense is classified by the state or local jurisdiction; and DHS will consider on a case-by-case basis in its discretion aliens who have been convicted of any nonpolitical foreign criminal offenses, or have unresolved arrests or pending charges for any nonpolitical foreign criminal offenses, or who have unresolved domestic charges or arrests that involve domestic violence, child abuse, possession or distribution of controlled substances, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For this purpose, DHS will require applicants to appear at an ASC (Application Support Center) to provide biometrics for initial and renewal applications.
  • Employment authorization will end when there is a denial in the asylum office, but will not where the case is referred to the immigration court, and will terminate after a denial by the immigration judge, but will be available to an alien during the appeal process at the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals), but prohibited during federal court appeals unless the case is remanded for a new decision.
  • Persons who come into the United States illegally will not be eligible for C8 employment authorization unless they are able to establish good cause – a reasonable justification for entering the US illegally as determined by an adjudicator on a case-by-case basis. In those situations, the alien must have presented himself or herself without delay to DHS, indicated to a DHS officer an intent to apply for asylum or expressed a fear of persecution or torture, and otherwise had good cause for the illegal entry or attempted entry. Examples of reasonable justifications provided include requiring immediate medical attention or fleeing imminent serious harm.

In looking at the proposed rule, the main scope of challenge may be that it unfairly restricts the right of the persecuted to seek meaningful asylum as it denies applicants the right to legally work for at least a year or more after filing for asylum, in effect making them rely upon their own resources, those of family and friends or charitable organizations, or forcing them to seek unauthorized work to survive. The counterargument is that the rule will shut off to a large extent the magnet of economic well-being as a major reason for coming to the US. Looking at the proposed regulation as a whole, and that it mainly forestalls rather than completely stops the right of employment authorization, it is the author’s opinion that it is more likely than not that the proposal will ultimately be implemented. However, that does not mean that interested parties should not oppose the proposed rule through comment and later court challenges.

4. December visa chart movement and prognostication.

As we move into the third month of the fiscal year 2020, the visa chart for December 2019 generally shows advances of one – two months in the final action date chart for family based categories except for Mexico, and employment-based categories generally advanced with worldwide moving one and ½ months for EB-1 extraordinary aliens/outstanding researchers/multinational executives or managers to 7/15/18, and becoming unavailable for fourth preference certain religious workers and fifth preference regional centers as there is not as yet new enabling legislation. EB-1 China moved 3 ½ months to 5/15/17 while India’s EB-1 remained at 1/1/15. EB-2 advanced degree individuals from China moved three months to 6/22/15 while India advanced two days to 5/15/09. EB-3 skilled workers/professionals for China-born remained at 11/1/15 and India stayed static at 1/1/09. EB-5 non-regional center investment immigration from China advanced two weeks to 11/15/14 while India advanced three weeks to 1/1/18. USCIS confirmed that it will be using the dates of filing chart for both family and employment cases for December. Dates of filing for worldwidefamily-based cases generally advanced between three weeks-2 ½ months. For employment-based categories, EB-1 worldwide became current, EB-5 for China moved four months to 5/15/15, and the rest of the chart was the same as the filing dates for November without movement. Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Department of State Visa Control and Reporting Division, is warning that both EB-3 and EB-2 worldwide could backlog as early as January 2020, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association advises members to file any EB-2 and EB-3 worldwide adjustment of status applications before the end of December.

5. Stockwell lives.

USCIS issued a policy alert on November 21, 2019, that while sections 245(d) and 245(f) of the INA bar an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence on a conditional basis from adjusting status under INA 245(a), the Board of Immigration Appeals in Matter of Stockwell, 20 I&N Dec. 309 (BIA 1991),held that INA 245(d) did not prohibit an alien whose CPR (conditional permanent resident) status had been terminated from adjusting his or her status under INA 245(a), and was updating guidance to ensure consistent application of I-485 applications to register permanent residence or adjust status filed by applicants whose CPR status was terminated. Mr. Stockwell had adjusted status before the immigration court after being granted CPR status, terminating the marriage one year later, marrying a second US citizen whose visa petition was approved, and being served by an order to show cause and notice of hearing as an alien whose conditional permanent resident status had been terminated. The immigration judge and the BIA both agreed that the implementing regulation clearly applied the bar in section 245(d) only to aliens currently holding conditional permanent resident status. In the USCIS policy manual guidance, the Service reiterated that the bar to adjustment only applied to an alien in the United States in lawful LPR status; referred to Matter of Stockwell’s holding; and stated in a footnote that “The same is also true if the alien loses his or her CPR status, for example, through abandonment, rescission, or the entry of an administratively final order of removal.” The guidance notes that it is not necessary that an immigration judge have affirmed USCIS’ decision to terminate the alien’s CPR status before the alien may file a new adjustment application, and that USCIS may adjust the status of an alien’s CPR status which was previously terminated if 1.) the alien has a new basis for adjustment; 2.) the alien is otherwise eligible to adjust; and 3.) USCIS has jurisdiction over the adjustment application. A further footnote states that if an alien’s adjustment application was denied before the effective date of this guidance on November 21, 2019, the alien may file a new adjustment application (unless he or she is still able to timely file a motion to reopen or reconsider) for USCIS to adjudicate his or her application based on the guidance.

This is the season for hope, and it would be fitting if positive action on S.2603 in Senate hearings with S.386 could be taken before adjournment or shortly after Congress comes back into session in January.