Law offices of Zahedi PLLC

Law offices of Zahedi PLLC Parastoo Golesorkhi Zahedi has been practicing immigration law since 1989. Our practice ranges from deportation, asylum, and citizenship issues to all employment based immigration matters, and family based immigration.
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A boutique lawfirm with expertise in all aspects of U.S. immigration and nationality law, including family, employment, removal/criminal and asylum-based cases. At Law Offices of Zahedi PLLC, we help individuals, families and companies develop solutions that are unique to their immigration needs. Whether it is reuniting families or assisting your company in getting a visa for international employees, we will develop a solution to your distinctive needs. Our immigration practice includes the following services: Temporary Visas: We will work with you, your company or your institution to obtain visas for you as professionals, investors, academics and researchers, students, fiancés of United States citizens, visitors, religious workers, artists, athletes, entertainers, trainees and interns, members of the foreign media, or those assisting law enforcement. Permanent Residence: Our Office will assist you to obtain legal permanent residence through a close family relationship, employment and investment based sponsorship, refugee or asylum, cancellation of removal, or diversity visa lottery. U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization: We will guide you through the naturalization process to gain your U.S. Citizenship and work through any complications that may arise as a result. Deportations and Removals: We provide you with legal advice and strategy specific to your case. Potential strategy in defending a client facing removal may include cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, applications for asylum, withholding of deportation, and waivers. Criminal Defense: A pending criminal case can greatly impact the results of U.S. immigration. We will represent you in your immigration and criminal matters and assist you in making informed decisions to minimize immigration consequences.

Mission: Providing our legal services with a commitment to professionalism, excellence and compassion.

Operating as usual

10/01/2020
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The Department of Homeland Security today announced it will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking re the Affidavit of Support Process

The proposed update would require American citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents who choose to sponsor an immigrant by submitting a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA, or Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA, to provide credit reports and credit scores, certified copies of income tax returns for the last three years, and bank account information to effectively demonstrate they can maintain the required income.

Additionally, under the proposed rule, any petitioning sponsor found to have received means-tested public benefits within the last 36 months of submitting a Form I-864, or to have defaulted on previous obligations to support an immigrant, must be backed by a joint sponsor who has received no such public benefits during that time.

Other proposed changes include eliminating the subpoena requirement before USCIS can provide certain information to benefit-granting agencies and other parties authorized to pursue civil action against defaulting sponsors, and limiting the type/number of household members who can file a Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member.

The Affidavit of Support process is required for most family-based immigrants and some employment-based intending immigrants to show that they have adequate means of financial support and are not likely to become a public charge.

U.S. Federal Judge Halts Expected USCIS Fees HikeOn September 29, 2020, U.S. District Judge, Jeffrey S. White, from the ...
09/30/2020
Judge Blocks USCIS Fee Increases: Here’s Why It Happened

U.S. Federal Judge Halts Expected USCIS Fees Hike

On September 29, 2020, U.S. District Judge, Jeffrey S. White, from the Northern District of California, enjoined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and officials serving in both agencies “from implementing or enforcing the Final Rule or any portion thereof. ”Immigrant Legal Resource Center, et al., v. Chad F. Wolf, et al.

The new fee schedule was expected to exponentially increase USCIS fees on businesses, new citizens, and other foreigners seeking immigrant and nonimmigrant benefits in the U.S. Additionally, the Final Rule meant to lengthen the premium processing timeline to about three weeks instead of 15 calendar days, as it currently is. The rule was scheduled to go into effect on October 2, 2020. The new fees will not be implemented as the preliminary injunction granted by the federal judge is in effect nationwide.

The court stated that:

1. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. section 705 the Court STAYS implementation and the effective date of of USCIS Immigration Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements, 85 Fed. Reg. 46,788 (Aug. 3, 2020) (the “Final Rule”) in its entirety pending final adjudication of this matter.

2. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65, Defendants Wolf, in his official capacity under the title of Acting Secretary of DHS; Cuccinelli, in his official capacity under the title of Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of DHS; DHS; and USCIS, and all persons acting under their direction, ARE ENJOINED from implementing or enforcing the Final Rule or any portion thereof.

3. This preliminary injunction and stay shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect pending trial in this action or further of this Court.

4. The posting of security is waived.

The court ruling deals a blow to Trump administration plans to restrict immigration and naturalization by raising fees.

09/14/2020
cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov

A federal appeals court has effectively authorized the Trump administration’s plan to expel more than 300,000 undocumented immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sudan from the U.S. by ending the “temporary protected status” they have enjoyed for as long as two decades.

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled, 2-1, Monday that a federal judge in San Francisco erred in 2018 when he blocked the administration’s move to terminate the deportation protections granted to nationals of four countries because of natural disasters, wars or other upheavals in their homelands.

Please note that this does not mean that TPS for the affected nationals ends immediately. USCIS had already issued as follows:

"Should the Government prevail in its challenge to the Ramos preliminary injunction, the Secretary’s determination to terminate TPS for Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan will take effect no earlier than 120 days from the issuance of any appellate mandate to the district court. The Secretary’s determination to terminate TPS for El Salvador will take effect no earlier than 365 days from the issuance of any appellate mandate to the Ramos district court. "

https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2020/09/14/18-16981.pdf

HUGE VICTORY FOR DACA APPLICANTS! Copy of Order from Copy of the new order fully restoring DACA and requiring USCIS to a...
07/17/2020
#97 in Casa De Maryland v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D. Maryland, 8:17-cv-02942) – CourtListener.com

HUGE VICTORY FOR DACA APPLICANTS!

Copy of Order from Copy of the new order fully restoring DACA and requiring USCIS to accept new applications immediately,

ORDER vacating the rescission of the DACA policy; enjoining Defendants from implementing or enforcing the DACA rescission; directing the Clerk to close this case. Signed by Judge Paul W. Grimm on 7/17/2020. (dg3s, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 07/17/2020)

On July 16, 2020, the Department of State provided updated information on the availability of exceptions to the June 22 ...
07/17/2020
Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations (10014 & 10052) Suspending the Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Presenting a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

On July 16, 2020, the Department of State provided updated information on the availability of exceptions to the June 22 Presidential Proclamation 10052, which extends Proclamation 10014 through Dec. 31, 2020,.

Some travelers and visa applicants who are affected by the Proclamation may qualify for an exception if the purpose of their travel to the United States is for humanitarian reasons, public health response, or national security. Other exceptions include:
(1) applicants who are subject to aging out of their current immigrant visa classification;
(2) certain H and J visa applicants who are traveling to the United Sates to work in support of a critical U.S. foreign policy; and
(3) dependents of applicants who are excepted from, or not subject to, the Proclamations.”

Plus, “[a]lso excepted is travel by an au pair that prevents a U.S. citizen, LPR or other nonimmigrant in lawful status from becoming a public health charge."

Meeting between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Department of State Liaison Committee and the Visa Office of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs

New: The White House and DHS are in talks to scale back a policy ICE issued last week on international students. one opt...
07/14/2020
WSJ News Exclusive | White House Weighs Scaling Back Rules on Foreign Students Studying Online

New: The White House and DHS are in talks to scale back a policy ICE issued last week on international students. one option is to apply the policy only to newly-enrolling students.

The White House is considering adjusting new rules unveiled last week that would bar international students from remaining in the U.S. while taking classes remotely this fall, according to people familiar with the matter.

According to Telemundo-President Trump has advised he is going to sign a “merit-based” immigration Executive Order in th...
07/10/2020
Exclusive: Trump to sign a “merit-based” immigration executive order that would include a path to citizenship for DACA recipients

According to Telemundo-President Trump has advised he is going to sign a “merit-based” immigration Executive Order in the coming weeks that would include a path to citizenship for DACA.

The president said the Supreme Court decision on DACA gave him “tremendous powers” to “sign a bill as an executive order” that would have sweeping implications on the nation’s immigration system.

How the Trump administration is turning legal immigrants into undocumented ones-How you ask? “Some 50,000 green cards an...
07/10/2020
Opinion | How the Trump administration is turning legal immigrants into undocumented ones

How the Trump administration is turning legal immigrants into undocumented ones-How you ask?

“Some 50,000 green cards and 75,000 other employment authorization documents promised to immigrants haven’t been printed”. USCIS said in a statement.

Without changing the law, the administration has found a way to “undocument” legal immigrants.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) yesterday introduced legislation to provide stimulus checks to some families with mixed imm...
06/26/2020
Rubio Bill a Crucial First Step for Families - National Immigration Forum

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) yesterday introduced legislation to provide stimulus checks to some families with mixed immigration status under the CARES Act, Adrian Carrasquillo reports for Newsweek. The bill, cosponsored by fellow Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, would amend the CARES Act to make U.S. citizens whose spouses do not have Social Security numbers eligible for stimulus money. “No American should be denied a federal stimulus check because they are married to a foreign national who is not a U.S. citizen,” Rubio told Newsweek.

"This bill is a critical first step to ensuring all families, regardless of immigration status, get the support they need as we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. But we must ensure that relief for U.S. citizen children does not hinge on the immigration status of their parents. Congress must recognize the contributions of immigrants who are paying taxes, with and without Social Security numbers, who’ve been on the frontlines of the nation’s pandemic response."

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) today introduced a bill that would make some families with mixed immigration statuses eligible for stimulus checks under the CARES Act. The American Citizen Coronavirus Relief Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), would amend the ...

Immigrant doctors practicing medicine in the U.S. are bracing for the deportations their families face if the doctors th...
05/29/2020
Immigrant doctors prepare for family's deportation if they die of coronavirus

Immigrant doctors practicing medicine in the U.S. are bracing for the deportations their families face if the doctors themselves die of COVID-19, reports Marty Johnson in The Hill. As one doctor put it: “It’s kind of weird that we are considered essential when it comes to saving lives, but we are considered nonessential when it comes to immigration purposes, and your family faces the risk of deportation if you die."

There are about 127,000 immigrant physicians in the U.S., making up almost 25% of all licensed physicians. Their visas “are tied to their employment, so if something happens and they become disabled or unable to work, their families, who are in the country on H-4 dependent visas, become subject to deportation.”

Immigrant doctors practicing in the United States are bracing for their family's deportation, should the doctors die from coronavirus.

USCIS Offices Preparing to Reopen on June 4On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended ...
04/24/2020
USCIS Response to COVID-19

USCIS Offices Preparing to Reopen on June 4

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is readying offices to reopen on or after June 4. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public while the offices are closed.
While offices are temporarily closed, USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency in-person services. Please call the USCIS Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.
USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the extended temporary closure. USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date and location of the interview. When USCIS again resumes operations for in-person services, USCIS will automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the temporary office closure. Individuals will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Those who had InfoPass or other appointments must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices are open to the public again. Please check to see if the respective office has been reopened before calling the Contact Center.
Please also visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for updates. For the latest information on the status of an office, visit https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-office-closings.

ALERT: As of March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has temporarily suspended routine in-person services through at least May 3 to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

On April 22, 2020 President Trump issued a Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants into the United States of America...
04/23/2020
Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak | The White House

On April 22, 2020 President Trump issued a Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants into the United States of America.

What is the Effective Date of the Proclamation?

The proclamation becomes effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (ET) for a period of 60 days with an option to be continued “as necessary”.

Who is Affected by this Proclamation?

The Proclamation suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who:

● Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
● Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and
● Does not have a valid official travel document (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document) on the effective date, or issued on any date
thereafter that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.

Does the Proclamation affect applicants who are in the United States and applying for Adjustment of Status?

No. Adjustment applicants will not be affected by this Proclamation. As noted above, this affects only those who are outside of the United States, seeking entry to the United States.

Does the Proclamation apply to applicants who are seeking to enter the United States on Non-immigrant visas?

No. The Proclamation does not apply to those seeking entry as non-immigrants such as visitors on B1/B2 visas, Students on F1/J1/M visas, Temporary workers( such as H1B, H2B, O, P, L), employees of intergovernmental organizations(G-4)

However, the Proclamation requires that within 30 days of the effective date, the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in
consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and recommend to the President other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers.

Which categories are exempt from the Proclamation?

1. Lawful permanent residents (LPR)

2. Individuals, and their spouses or children, seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, (as determined by the Secretaries of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or their respective designees)

3. Individuals applying for a visa to enter the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program

4. Spouses of U.S. citizens

5. Children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21

6. Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives

7. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children

8. Individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee (SI or SQ classification)

9. Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees).

What about Asylum Applicants?

Asylum seekers are not included in the ban. The proclamation states that it does not limit the ability of individuals to apply for asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection
under the Convention Against Torture.

How does the Proclamation affect the Covid-19Travel Bans

The previously issued travel bans prohibiting individuals from entering the U.S. who had recently visited a country that has experienced a high rate of Covid-19 are still in effect.

How does the President have the authority to issue this Proclamation?

Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a) and 3 U.S.C. section 301

Section 212(f) provides:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has significantly disrupted the livelihoods of Americans. In Proclamation 9994 of March 13, 2020 (Declaring a Nation

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8133 Leesburg Pike, Ste 770
Vienna, VA
22182

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(703) 448-0111

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