Media / News

USCIS Now Allows Credit Card Payments

As part of our credit card payment pilot program, the USCIS service centers are now accepting credit card payments using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, for most forms. The goal of this pilot is to bring USCIS one step closer to accepting digital payments using a credit card at all service centers.

This program at the Nebraska Service Center, and then further expanded to all service centers.

Original Publication: 03/30/2022

COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Immigration Medical Examinations

Release Date 09/14/2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that, effective Oct. 1, 2021, applicants subject to the immigration medical examination must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series  before the civil surgeon can complete an immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

We are updating our policy guidance in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Aug. 17, 2021 update to the Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons. That update requires applicants subject to the immigration medical examination to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine) and provide documentation of vaccination to the civil surgeon before completion of the immigration medical examination. This requirement is effective Oct. 1, 2021, and applies prospectively to all Forms I-693 signed by the civil surgeons on or after that date. We are working on updating Form I-693 and the form instructions to incorporate this new requirement.

In general, individuals applying to become a lawful permanent resident, and other applicants as deemed necessary, must undergo an immigration medical examination to show they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible under the health-related grounds. USCIS designates eligible physicians as civil surgeons to perform this immigration medical examination for applicants within the United States and to document the results of the immigration medical examination on the Form I-693.

USCIS may grant blanket waivers if the COVID-19 vaccine is:

  • Not age-appropriate;
  • Contraindicated due to a medical condition;
  • Not routinely available where the civil surgeon practices; or
  • Limited in supply and would cause significant delay for the applicant to receive the vaccination.

Individuals may also apply for individual waivers based on religious beliefs or moral convictions by submitting Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.

For more information, see the policy alert (PDF, 319.56 KB).Last Reviewed/Updated:12/07/2021

Originally appeared on:

Biden undoes Trump-era public benefits immigration rule

NEW YORK (AP) — The Biden administration has officially undone a Trump-era rule that barred immigrants from gaining legal residency if they had utilized certain government benefits, allowing for a return to a previous policy with a narrower scope.

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday said a new regulation for the “public charge” rule would go into effect in late December, although the Biden administration had already stopped applying the previous version last year.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement that the shift “ensures fair and humane treatment.”

“Consistent with America’s bedrock values, we will not penalize individuals for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them,” he said.

The public charge regulation bars people from getting green cards if they would be burdens to the United States. For years prior to the Trump administration, that was interpreted as being primarily dependent on cash assistance, income maintenance or government support for long-term institutionalization.

But the Trump administration expanded the benefits to include non-cash assistance including food stamps and Medicaid. There were numerous legal challenges, but it was allowed to be implemented in 2020. Legal challenges went on, and in 2021, the Biden administration said it would not continue defending the rule.

Thursday’s announcement was welcomed by immigrant advocates, who said the Trump administration’s expanded rule had created a hard atmosphere for those seeking legal residency.

“The public charge regulation caused such fear among immigrants who sought to legally apply for a green card that many chose to forego health care and vital economic support,” American Immigration Lawyers Association President Jeremy McKinney said in a statement.

“These changes to simplify and de-mystify the rule will truly change lives across our nation.”

International Entrepreneur Parole Rule

Entrepreneurs are innovators!

In 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) back into action, allowing business owners to apply for a temporary travel visa if their business is determined to provide “significant public benefit.” The business may be a start-up.

The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) grants the entrepreneur a VISA for 30 months (2.5 years) and once the VISA expires, they may apply for another 30 months (re-parole of 2.5 years) using the same start-up.

Requirements: The immigrant must own at least 10% of the business; the business business launched five years ago; the applying immigrant plays an active role in operating the business.

Additionally, one of the criteria below must be met:

a) Capital Investment: In the past 18 months, the start-up must have received $250,000+ from American investors.

In the past five years, the investor must have invested at least $600,000 AND in two start-ups the investor invested in had five full-time jobs created or $500,000 in annual revenue at a 20% growth rate.


b) Government Funding: The startup received $100,000 in government funding (R&D grants, economic development awards, etc.). Funding excludes money for government contracts.


c) If the entrepreneur does not meet the Capital Investment or Government Investment threshold, may alternatively show their success record and substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation. Success may include developing new technologies, being accepted to a business-development acceleration program or publishing cutting-edge research findings.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

What about my family members?

The spouse and minor unmarried children may apply for a VISA through form I-131. Spouses may request work authorization.

How many entrepreneurs may a start-up have?

What income must I maintain?

The household must be 400% over the poverty line. For a family of one, that is $51,520.

Cyber Law TV Clip

Here is an interview with the popular Russian News Channel RTVI where I was featured to talk about the hacking of New York City’s Law Department and the world of cyber criminality in general.

RTVI is a New York based Russian TV news channel that is broadcasted in multiple countries.