Welcome to 2020! There are new laws that have gone into effect on and around January 1, 2020 on a local, state and national level. Here are a couple of the changes in 2020 and how they may impact your immigration application.
Purchasing, possession and use of marijuana, in the legally mandated quantities is now legal in the state of Illinois. However, purchasing, possession and use of marijuana is still illegal at the federal level across the United States.
If you go to an interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and you are asked if you have used marijuana your answer should be 1) honest, and 2) no. Any use, even in California, Colorado, Illinois or any other state where it is legal to use marijuana is still illegal on the federal level and you should not be using any drugs that are prohibited by the federal government.
USCIS Fee Schedule
A proposal to increase rates on many USCIS applications including the Petition for Alien Relative and Application for Naturalization, among others. The comment period on this proposal ended on December 30, 2019. As of now, with the comment period completed, USCIS may look to implement these changes sooner than later.
If you are a green card holder that has been holding of on applying for citizenship, the application cost will potentially be going up from $640 to a proposed $1,170. If you have an application that you have delayed on filing, filing now will potentially save you hundreds in application fees.
On December 20, 2019 a new law went into effect, Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF). If you are a Liberian refugee who has been in the United States continuously since November 20, 2014 you may be eligible to receive a green card. This may also extend to your spouse, children under 21 and unmarried sons or daughters over 21.
These applications are only being accepted for one year, until December 20, 2020, so act fast. If you know Liberian family or friends that could benefit, let them know about the program so that they can act before it ends.
Andrew Schach is the Managing Attorney at Schach Law Group. These blog topics are not intended as legal advice as each individual's case and history are different. Call for free consultation to review your options at (916)917-5217.