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July 2021 Newsletter
Department of State Extends Validity Period for National Interest Exceptions to 1 Year

 


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.

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As we get deeper into summer, we hope everyone is staying cool amidst this summer's heat! 

In immigration news, the Department of State (DOS) announced that it is extending the validity of National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) for travelers subject to travel restrictions/bans related to the spread of COVID-19.  NIEs will now be valid for 12 months from the date of approval, and for multiple entries, as long as they are used for the purpose under which they were granted, unless otherwise indicated.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced last month that it is once again extending flexibility for responding to certain agency requests such as Requests for Evidence. For requests or notices issued and dated by USCIS between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, inclusive, USCIS will now consider responses received within 60 calendar days after the response due date.

Also in June, USCIS moved the Vermont Service Center from St. Albans, VT to Essex Junction, VT.  The change went into effect on June 25; however, mail sent to the St. Albans facility will be forwarded to the new location until June 2022.

The annual H-1B Cap petition filing period has ended and we will find out in the coming weeks if any additional spots will be made available. We will notify registrants and employers if their registrations have been selected as soon as we receive confirmation.

Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on an asylum-related immigration case in June, determining that the government can indefinitely detain certain immigrants who were previously deported from the United States and re-entered without inspection even if they have a credible fear of persecution in their native countries.  While the ruling sets a nationwide precedent, it will likely affect a relatively small group of asylum seekers.

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: Chris Corner

Musician and singer Chris Corner first fell in love with music as a child in England when his mother would play hits from the 1950s.  But ‘50s classics weren’t the only musical influence he had.  He explains: “I also had an uncle – ‘weird uncle Mike,’ I call him now.  He forced unusual contemporary music on me from an early age and gave me my first keyboard.”

“Music became a way for me to escape the small-town world and connect with other humans,” Mr. Corner remembers, and “a way to truly show myself whilst doing something I love and hopefully make some money along the way.”

A self-described introvert, Mr. Corner grew up in a working-class family in a Northern English industrial town.  While his family didn’t have much money, he says, “My parents supported me with love and enthusiasm.”

Mr. Corner began playing classical guitar at 11 years old. He later became “obsessed with technology” in the musical field. He first found mainstream success in 1996 with the electronic band Sneaker Pimps, which he cofounded with Liam Howe. In 2017, Billboard Magazine included their song “6 Underground” on a list of the 100 best pop songs of 1997.

Following the success of Sneaker Pimps, Mr. Corner founded the solo project IAMX, recognized world-wide for its genre-bending music and avant-garde live performances.  IAMX was also featured frequently on the Primetime Emmy Award-winning show How to Get Away With Murder.

Of course, even for hugely successful musicians like Mr. Corner, life as an artist isn’t always easy. He explains: “You have to learn to adapt to huge swings in finances and lifestyle. You may have a year of great opportunity, work, and income, followed by a year of being broke. You learn to be clever and find multiple ways to be creative whilst also making what you need to be productive and successful.”

Mr. Corner’s experience as a musician prepared him for working during a global pandemic without playing live performances, a major source of income for musicians.  He says, “We had to double down in online activity and exploring other projects. Attempting to see it in a positive light, all that time in lockdown has forced me to finish projects that have been hanging around for years. In some sense it’s been a very cathartic period. Life slowed down but also there was time to breathe and be mindful. I’m really fortunate that my audience was so supportive, too.”

Instead of touring as he had planned, Mr. Corner spent the past year at his home in California, where he has lived since 2014.

“I love the wildness and feeling of movement in American culture,” he says. “The country is built on a beautiful ideal… It always makes me feel like there’s progress and a better future ahead.”

Sostrin Immigration Lawyers had the honor of working with Mr. Corner on an O-1 visa, as well as O-2 visas for his band members, and the permanent residence process for Mr. Corner and his family. We feel very lucky to represent someone who has made such an impact and eagerly await his future endeavors.
IMMIGRATION
NEWS & UPDATES 

 
Department of State Extends Validity Period for National Interest Exceptions to 1 Year
July 7, 2021

At least 50,000 immigrants have applied for DACA since the program was reopened. Most are still waiting.
June 29, 2021

Supreme Court says no right to hearing for some immigrants
June 29, 2021

USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests
June 24, 2021


U.S. reverses Trump-era restrictions on asylum cases based on domestic and gang violence
June 16, 2021
FIRM NEWS &
UPCOMING EVENTS

Partner Rita Sostrin was selected by the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to receive a 2021 President’s Commendation for outstanding volunteer service.

Associate Attorney Dan Revich became a naturalized U.S. citizen last week.

On June 30, Rita Sostrin spoke on a panel for the AILA Rome District Distance Learning Committee, regarding the current status of National Interest Waivers for O & P visas.

Missed a past newsletter? You can find an archive of our previous newsletters on our website! 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
FURTHER INFORMATION ON COVID-19
 
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. 
VISA BULLETIN
 
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 July's monthly visa bulletin, please Click Here.
USCIS PROCESSING TIMES 
 
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.
HELPFUL LINKS
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Contact Us:
Sostrin Immigration Lawyers, LLP
21700 Oxnard Street, Suite 860
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
T: 818.435.3500
E: info@sostrinimmigration.com
www.sostrin.com
 
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