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Common Immigration Questions Asked During COVID-19

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With so many immigration changes occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of people have been affected in and out of the United States. Our team at Akula & Associates P.C. has been getting many questions about the recent changes and their impact on immigration status and visa applications. Our Dallas immigration attorneys have put together answers to the most commonly asked questions about immigration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have more questions about your unique immigration situation and you need legal guidance with your case, contact our Dallas immigration attorneys today at (844) 299-5003 to schedule a consultation!

Can I travel to the United States?

With the Presidential Proclamation 9993, foreign nationals present in 26 countries that compromise the Schengen Area have suspended entry. Foreign nationals cannot travel to the United States with Presidential Proclamation 9993 is in effect, unless you meet an exception. The travel restriction doesn’t apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, some immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals identified explicitly in the proclamation.

Can I receive a refund for a U.S. visa that was issued and not used?

Visa fees are non-refundable, as explained at the time of fee payment. The application fee is levied to cover the cost of adjudicating and processing the application.

Can I still apply for a U.S. visa during the COVID-19 pandemic?

On June 22, 2020, the Department of State announced that they won’t be issuing immigrant visas, with certain exceptions, until December 31, 2020. This proclamation suspends entry into the United States of certain immigrants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and those with a valid visa issued before April 23, 2020, won’t be affected.

What are the exceptions to the recent immigration ban?

Exceptions include immigrants seeking to enter as healthcare professionals, spouses, children, prospective adoptive children of U.S. citizens, and certain Special Immigrant Visa applicants.

I have an immigrant visa, does this mean I am a Legal Permanent Resident?

No, having a U.S. visa is not the same as being an LPR. To obtain a green card and become a permanent resident, you need to apply for an adjustment of status once you are in the United States. You can’t apply for a Permanent Resident Card outside the U.S.

Will my immigrant or fiancé(e) visa case expire?

Due to the recent immigration ban, your visa case may be delayed. If you processed your case with the National Visa Center (NVC), you should check with the U.S. Department of State and Bureau of Consular Affairs to get an update on your case. If you filed your application through the U.S. Embassy in your country, you should check with them to obtain more information.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my existing visa application?

If you have any questions about a visa application that was submitted before the travel restrictions came into place, you should contact your U.S. embassy or consulate. They should be able to provide you with updates about your specific case. If you have general questions about your employment or family-based visa, our Dallas immigration attorneys are available to assist you.

I’m a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), and I’m currently outside the United States. Will I lose my green card?

Thankfully, the recent immigration ban doesn’t apply to lawful permanent residents. However, green card holders who remain outside the United States for more than 12 months may lose their lawful permanent resident status. If you’re worried about losing your green card, you should contact our team at Akula & Associates P.C. to learn more about the application process to extend your stay.

If you have more questions about immigration changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact our Dallas immigration attorneys today at (844) 299-5003 to schedule a consultation!