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President Trump Proposes to End US Citizenship by Birth

Thousands of children born in the United States to Indian parents including those born on US soil to visitor visa holders automatically get US citizenship by virtue of their birth in the country.  

Recently, President Trump announced in an interview that he planned to end the so-called “birthright citizenship” for babies of non- US citizens born in the US by way of an Executive Order.  Presently, under the law, anyone born in the United States, including children of illegal immigrants, automatically qualify for American citizenship.

Such an Executive Order terminating birthright citizenship would likely face legal challenges and litigation in US courts, potentially leading the courts to decide on the debate over the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution, which in part states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”. Immigration hardliners are of the view that US citizenship by birth should be available only to children born in the US to lawful permanent residents, not to unauthorized immigrants or to those on temporary visas.

Zeenat Phophalia, Esq., Senior Associate

Pre-registration by the Companies for the H-1B Lottery

A proposal to require H-1B employers to pre-register electronically – for each beneficiary – for the H-1B cap lottery, prior to filing petitions for adjudication is now under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This is the first step towards a possible change in the H-1B cap petition process. 

Currently, employers are required to submit full petitions with supporting evidence for placement in the H-1B lottery program. Under the new proposal, employers would submit a full petition to USCIS only if the beneficiaries were selected in the H-1B cap lotteries. 

USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna issued a statement suggesting their goal is to implement the new system before the FY 2020 CAP opens. However, it is unclear how USCIS would be able to do so, as a process change typically takes several months to finalize. The proposal would still need to be published in the Federal Register and USCIS would need to allow the public opportunity to comment on the changes. Only upon review of the comments and approval of the final rule would USCIS be able to implement the regulation.

Amit Solanki, Immigration Executive

New USCIS Policy Extends Green Card Medical Exam Validity to Two Years

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) has issued a policy memorandum regarding changes in the validity period of a Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, when filed in support of a Form I-485 Adjustment of Status Application for Green Card applicants. 

Green card applicants are required to undergo a medical examination and obtain a signed Form I-693 from a USCIS-certified civil surgeon to submit in support of their green card application. The purpose behind the examination is to ensure that they are not inadmissible into the United States on public health grounds. 

Effective November 1,2018 Form I-693 must be signed by a USCIS designated civil surgeon no later than 60 days before filing for the Adjustment of Status Application. 

Additionally, the I-693 medical report will remain valid for a two-year-period that will begin to count from the date it was signed by the civil surgeon. 

Previously, the civil surgeon was not required to sign the I-693 medical report so close to the filing date of the application. This created a problem for many applicants because by the time their green card was adjudicated, the Form I-693 was no longer valid. To overcome this hurdle, the applicant was required to obtain an updated medical report. 

The goal behind this policy change is to minimize the number of I-485 RFEs which are being issued only due to expiring I-693 medicals. 

Amit Solanki, Immigration Executive

Registration Required for Non-ECR Indian Passport Holders Travelling for Employment to 18 countries

The Ministry of External Affairs has issued a notification in an attempt to protect and ensure the welfare of Indian emigrants overseas.  All Non- Emigration Check Required (Non-ECR) passport holding Indian nationals who are going to the following eighteen (18) countries on an employment visa are now required to register online through the website www.emigrate.gov.in with immediate effect:

AfghanistanQatar
BahrainKingdom of Saudi Arabia
IndonesiaSudan
IraqSouth Sudan
JordanSyria
KuwaitThailand
LebanonUnited Arab Emirates
LibyaYemen
MalaysiaOman


The registration of Non-ECR passport holders must be completed at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to actual departure. Effective January 01, 2019, an Indian Non-ECR passport holder will not be permitted to go the above-mentioned countries for overseas employment without prior registration on emigrate. Upon successful completion of the registration, the emigrant will receive a confirmatory email/SMS.

There is no change in the existing procedures for the other visa categories.

Keywords: Ministry of External Affairs, Non-ECR, India, Passport, Employment, Emigrants

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