January 2010 Archives

January 29, 2010

Changes to Vaccination Requirements for Immigrants

Immigrants are asked to take a medical exam before being granted legal permanent resident status in the USA. As part of this exam, immigrants are required to take various vaccinations. The immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of J Craig Fong in Los Angeles are often asked whether someone is required to take ALL the vaccinations.

Since November 2009, USCIS has delayed the processing of many "green" card applications, because new vaccinations criteria would become effective in December 2009. Beginning on 14 December 2009, the vaccinations for herpes zoster and human papilloma virus (HPV) were no longer required for immigration purposes.

After 14 December 2009, cases that have been held in abeyance should be processed. If your Adjustment of Status case was put "on hold" due to vaccination-related issues, the case should be revived now and processed. If you have not received a resolution of your vaccination-delayed Adjustment of Status by mid-February, you should contact an immigration attorney to do a follow up with USCIS. If you have questions about the vaccinations that you will be required to take, please contact us for a consultation. --jcf

January 26, 2010

DHS Roams Airport Terminals, Requests ID and Passports

PPT Control.pngWith all our experience counseling on immigration law questions, the attorneys at the Law Offices of J Craig Fong in Los Angeles do not regularly get the chance to see the day-in, day-out operations at airports and other ports of entry.

Whether it is Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy or not, I do not know, but last week, I noticed DHS personnel roaming through the terminals at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. They actually went to various gates and randomly requested ID or passports from OUTBOUND passengers seated in the boarding areas.

That is, they checked the documents of both Americans and foreigners who were LEAVING the USA. Not entering.

I followed them around a little bit. The officers were friendly, civil. They approached passengers in the terminal, asked them their final destinations, and asked if they could see their passports. Interestingly, although I was standing right next to a bank of chairs in the boarding area, they did not ask me for my passport, nor did they ask anyone who was standing or walking through the terminal. They only approached persons seated in the departure gate area. I did not see them detain anyone.

I have often been asked whether DHS personnel made random checks of persons in airports. I used to say that "they could, but I've never seen it." Well, I have now. --jcf