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September 2021 Newsletter
U.S. to Require Green Card Applicants to be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19


The Sostrin Immigration Lawyers, LLP monthly newsletter provides our clients with immigration news, announcements, helpful links, and information regarding changes in immigration law, procedures, and regulations.
We hope that everyone had a relaxing month of August and is looking forward to the fall season and some cooler weather!

In immigration news, the U.S. will now require all green card applicants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Applicants whose age or medical condition prevent them from receiving the vaccine, or who live in a state where vaccine supply is limited, are exempt from this requirement. Applicants may also request a waiver based on religious or moral convictions, but it is at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS’) discretion whether or not to grant a waiver.

On a similar note, the Biden administration is currently developing a plan to require nearly all foreign visitors to the U.S to be fully vaccinated in order to eventually lift the travel restrictions barring travelers from some countries from entering the country. Travel restrictions remain in place for several countries, and many consulates are providing only limited visa processing services.  Also, many consulates continue to experience delays due to the processing of refugees and special immigrants from Afghanistan after the recent military withdrawal and evacuation from that country.

For individuals who have applied to adjust status to permanent resident in the United States, USCIS has temporarily extended the validity period for Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record from two years to four years for applications currently being adjudicated. The decision was made in response to COVID-19 related delays in processing, which have impacted applicants’ ability to timely complete the required immigration medical examination before their green card applications are adjudicated.

Also in August, a federal appeals court denied the Biden administration’s request to halt a federal judge’s ruling requiring it to restart the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy, one of former President Donald Trump’s most controversial immigration policies. More commonly known as “Remain in Mexico,” MPP forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for months for their court dates in the U.S.

Finally, USCIS has extended the time that receipt notices can be used to show evidence of conditional resident status from 18 months to 24 months for conditional permanent residents with pending Form I-751 or Form I-829 petitions. This change is also a result of increased processing times over the past year, which has caused some status extension notices to expire before petitions have been adjudicated.

Sostrin Immigration will continue to track these changes and remains dedicated to assisting its clients with their immigration needs. As always, please reach out to the attorney and case manager you have been working with if you have any questions or concerns about your case.

Sostrin Client Spotlight: Dr. Sergey Kutsaev

Growing up, Dr. Sergey Kutsaev was always interested in mathematics and science.  Inspired by his father, an electronics engineer, Dr. Kutsaev was particularly drawn to nuclear energy and radiation because of their incredible yet mysterious powers.
While in university, Dr. Kutsaev discovered the many practical applications of radiation generated by particle accelerators.  He states: “You can cure cancer, create new materials and improve their properties—you can even make a young cognac taste like an XO—and generate energy and discover new elements and physics.”
Not only do accelerators have a multitude of practical applications, Dr. Kutsaev explains, but they are also present everywhere, from X-rays in the doctor’s office and scanners at the airports to the energy-generating colliders that movies are made about.  “To most of the people, these are mysterious and fascinating devices,” Dr. Kutsaev says, “I wanted to learn how these things work and how to build them.”
Dr. Kutsaev’s career began in his home country of Russia, where he made a name for himself in the field of nuclear physics almost immediately. While completing his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (now known as the National Research Nuclear University, or MEPhI) Dr. Kutsaev worked on a team to develop one of the first linac-based dual-energy cargo inspection systems with material recognition in the world.  These devices use X-Ray technology to inspect cargo containers.
After completing a Doctorate in Accelerator Physics at MEPhl, Dr. Kutsaev decided the United States was the best place to continue his career.  He explains, “The United States is a country that has everything what a scientist can dream of: plethora of National Laboratories and Universities, packed with top-notch equipment and world-class scientists, working on the most advanced projects in the world.”
Another perk, Dr. Kutsaev adds, is the emphasis on equal opportunities in the United States, regardless of person’s nationality or immigration status: “An immigrant has a chance to advance to the top positions only thanks to his talent and professional skills.”
Since leaving Russia, Dr. Kutsaev has continued to do incredible and groundbreaking work.  While working at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, he became a recognized expert in superconducting RF accelerators for his developments for ATLAS Upgrade, Fermilab’s Project-X and other facilities. Currently, Dr. Kutsaev works as a Group Leader at RadiaBeam Technologies in Santa Monica, California, where he has designed several high-performance linacs for novel applications such as adaptive cargo inspections systems for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and robotic non-coplanar radiotherapy for medical applications.
Sostrin Immigration Lawyers has worked with Dr. Kutsaev for almost a decade, including on an O-1 visa, National Interest Waiver, and permanent residence application.  We at Sostrin Immigration Lawyers feel honored to have worked with such an accomplished scientist and are excited to follow his future endeavors.

USCIS Extends Evidence of Status for Conditional Permanent Residents to 24 Months with Pending Form I-751 or Form I-829
September 3, 2021

Green Card Applicants Must Now Be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19
August 25, 2021

Biden Administration Ordered to Restart Controversial Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy
August 20, 2021

USCIS Temporarily Extending Validity Period of Form I-693
August 12, 2021

U.S. developing plan to require foreign visitors to be vaccinated, official says
August 5, 2021

Attorney Rita Sostrin has been recognized in Best Lawyers’ 28th edition as "Lawyer of the Year" for her work in Immigration Law in Los Angeles.

Attorney Alex Dgebuadze of Sostrin Immigration Lawyers, LLP has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers’ 28th edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Immigration Law. 

Missed a past newsletter? You can find an archive of our previous newsletters on our website! 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization are both monitoring and providing regular updates about the current coronavirus outbreak.

For more information, guidance, and updates, please visit the CDC and WHO websites. 
The State Department issues a monthly visa bulletin summarizing the availability of immigrant numbers, indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center. 
To see September's monthly visa bulletin, please Click Here.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") provides estimates of how long each office is taking to process different types of cases. USCIS updates this page every month (around the 15th of each month). Please note that these dates may change without notice.

For Processing Time information, please Click Here.
Copyright © 2021 Sostrin Immigration Lawyers, LLP. All rights reserved.
Contact Us:
Sostrin Immigration Lawyers, LLP
21700 Oxnard Street, Suite 860
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
T: 818.435.3500
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