In August, the Department of State revised its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) guidance on how officers should make determinations of inadmissibility. A key element of the new DOS policy is the “90-day” rule, which replaced the long-standing “30/60-day” rule. For the purposes of an adjustment of status application that’s filed soon after a person arrives in the United States, the 30/60-day rule was applied to help determine if the applicant misrepresented their intentions on nonimmigrant visas. So what’s the 90-day rule all about?
Old 30/60-Day Rule
Let’s say that someone comes to the U.S. on a B-2 tourist visa, gets married, and seeks adjustment of status. The State Department would look at how soon that person got married after arriving in the U.S. Under the old 30/60-day rule, if the person seeks residency within 30 days, it is treated as fraud. After 30 days, but within 60 days, is not automatically presumed to be fraud, but the adjustment of status is carefully scrutinized. Finally, if they submits their application after 60 days, the presumption of fraud lessens even more and after 90 days, it mostly disappears.
New 90-Day Rule
With the new 90-day rule, if someone does anything inconsistent with their visa status within 90 days of entering the U.S. is presumed to have engaged in fraud. The following activities could trigger the fraud presumption of the new rule:
- Getting married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Unauthorized employment
- Enrolling in academic study without authorization
- Any other activity that requires an adjustment of status
While the new 90-day rule is technically only for the U.S. State Department, it should be assumed that USCIS is also applying the new, stricter 90-day rule. At Yekrangi & Associates, we understand that how complex and consuming immigration to the U.S. can be. Our Orange County immigration lawyer has the experience and skills to provide answers about adjustment of status, work visas, asylum, deportation, citizenship, and other immigration matters. We serve clients across Orange County, including Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Newport Beach, Orange and Santa Ana.If you need help, call (949) 478-4963 or contact us online to speak with an immigration attorney.