Advisories, Newsletters, Q&A

ASISTA and its partners create extensive practice advisories about policies and procedures related to VAWAs, U and T visas and more. Please see below.

    2019 ASISTA Newsletters

    ASISTA Newsletter April 2019

    In this month's "newsletter" we share strategies for addressing and challenging the latest, myriad attacks on immigrant crime survivors seeking secure status and defending against deportation, including a new advocacy project we hope you will join.  Come discuss these and other emerging hot topics at one of our Spring pre-conference all-day CLE trainings!

    Copyright @2019 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    General Advisories

    ASISTA Practice Update: Form I-539 Extensions of Stay & Passport Requirements for U Nonimmigrants (July 2019)

    ASISTA has prepared a brief advisory to address the recent trends regarding adjudication of I-539 extensions for U nonimmigrants. Practitioners report that USCIS is issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) asking for proof that the applicant had a valid passport at the time of filing. This advisory contains practice tips for advocates to prevent and address this issue. The  Word version can be accessed here.

    Copyright @2019 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Practice Pointers: I-94 v. I-797 Which U Visa Expiration Date Applies? (February 2019)

    Has your client been denied U adjustment of status because of an expired CBP-issued I-94 card? Was their U petition I-797 approval notice still valid when the I-485 was filed?  This practice pointer provides strategies for addressing expiration date discrepancies and avoiding problems in the future.

    Click here to download the ASISTA Practice Pointers: I-94 V. I-797 Which U Visa Expiration Date Applies? in Word version. 

    Practice Advisory: Fee Waivers for VAWA Self-petitions, U and T Visa Applications (August 2018)

    ASISTA has been receiving reports from practitioners nationwide that they have seen  a significant increase in the rates of fee-waiver denials from the Humanitarian Division of the Vermont Service Center. ASISTA has created a practice advisory to help advocates in their fee waiver preparation.

    Click here to download the Fee Waiver Advisory in Word version. Click here to download the Sample Fee Waiver Form in Word version.

    Appendix: Sample Language for Submitting Initial Fee Waiver Requests or Contesting Denials (February 2019). Appendix: Sample Language for Submitting Initial Fee Waiver Requests or Contesting Denials in Word version (February 2019)

    Copyright@2018 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    Q&A: Survivors Safety and Immigration Policy (November 29, 2016)

    This link opens a Q&A for attorneys and advocates working with immigrant domestic violence/sexual assault survivors to explain what the anticipated changes in immigration policy might mean for the individuals and families they serve. This is very much a working document that will be updated if/when we learn more about specific policy proposals. This document was prepared in collaboration with Americans for Immigrant Justice; Asian Pacific Institute of Gender-Based Violence; ASISTA Immigration Assistance; Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network; Center for Gender & Refugee Studies;  Freedom Network USA; Immigrant Legal Resource Center; Immigration Center for Woman and Children (ICWC); Julie Marzouk Assistant Clinical Professor, Dale E. Fowler School of Chapman University; Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women; National Immigrant Justice Center; Tahirih Justice Center; We Belong Together. 

    Q&A: Seguridad de Sobrevivientes y Políticas de Inmigración (Noviembre 29, 2016)

    Este documento ofrece preguntas y respuestas para abogados y defensores que trabajan con sobrevivientes inmigrantes de violencia doméstica/ agresión sexual. Este documento fue creado para explicar lo que podrían significar los cambios anticipados en la política de inmigración para las personas y las familias a las que sirven. Esto es un documento de trabajo que se actualizará  cuando aprendamos más sobre propuestas de políticas específicas. Este documento fue elaborado en colaboración con las siguientes organizaciones: Americans for Immigrant Justice; Asian Pacific Institute of Gender-Based Violence; ASISTA Immigration Assistance; Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network; Center for Gender & Refugee Studies;  Freedom Network USA; Immigrant Legal Resource Center; Immigration Center for Woman and Children (ICWC); Julie Marzouk Assistant Clinical Professor, Dale E. Fowler School of Chapman University; Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women; National Immigrant Justice Center; Tahirih Justice Center; We Belong Together. 

    Implementing Parole Procedure for U Visa Program (May 7, 2015)

    Letter to USCIS with proposal for U visa conditional grantee parole system signed by 124 organizations that support, serve and/or advocate on behalf of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and human trafficking.

    Practice Advisory: U Conditional Approvals (February 2015)

    This practice advisory contains tips to help conditionally approved U visa holders who are waitlisted due to the U visa cap restrictions. We will be covering issues concerning employment authorization as well as tips for requesting humanitarian parole for derivatives where the principal U visa applicant has been awarded a conditional U visa grant.

    Practice Advisory: Best Evidence, Credibility, and Any Credible Evidence (May 29, 2014)

    This advisory, written by Gail Pendleton and Cecelia Friedman Levin, reviews two common ways in which applications may fail to sufficiently support the credibility of the  documentation supplied.

    Copyright @2014 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Initial Advisory: U Visa Cap and Practice Pointers from VSC Stakeholder Teleconference on 12/12/13 (December 2013)

    These notes include important information, especially regarding USCIS reaching the U visa cap and other updates and changes. Please check back to the ASISTA website for changes and updates.

    Copyright@2013 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    Priority Principles to Address Violence Against Women in Comprehensive Immigration Reform (November 2013)

    Advocates for immigrant survivors of violence urge Congress apply the following principles so that immigrant survivors of violence are protected in immigration reform.

    ASISTA Practice Advisory: Updates on VAWA Adjustment (May 30, 2013)

    This practice advisory was created in response to reports of long delayed VAWA adjustment cases. In consultation with the Office of the CIS Ombudsman, this advisory contains updates in processing  as well as some practice pointers to avoid and to address delays in the processing of your cases.

    Copyright @2013 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Immigration Bulletin: Covering Developments in Immigration Law (March 2013)

    This ASISTA bulletin has brief updates on developments in immigration law, not specific to survivors of violence, but that may affect them.  

    Copyright @2013 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Practice Advisory: DACA, VAWA, & U Visa Applications (September 2012)

    This practice advisory discusses the intersection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA program) with applications for U visa, and VAWA self-petition, including the availability of DACA relief for derivative U visa applicants. 

    Copyright @2012 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Practice Advisory: U Update: Cap Queue and DACA Derivatives Practice Pointers (September 7, 2012)

    This practice advisory was written by Gail Pendleton.

    Copyright @2012 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Practice Advisory: Protecting the Rights of Immigrant Survivors: Insecure Communities (Spring 2011)

    This document provides a background of selected Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) programs and how they impact survivors' safety. This document also provides additional considerations for working with survivors against the backdrop of these policies. Finally, the outline provides some advocacy strategies when working with systems to help ensure safety for our communities. 

    Copyright @2011 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Practice Advisory in Spanish: Protección de los Derechos de los Inmigrantes Sobrevivientes de Crímenes de Violencia: Comunidades Inseguras (2011)

    Este documento proporciona información sobre los programas seleccionados de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) y cómo impactan en la seguridad de los sobrevivientes. Este documento provee también consideraciones adicionales para trabajar con sobrevivientes en el contexto de estas políticas. Finalmente brinda, en términos generales estrategias de consejería cuando se trabajar con sistemas para ayudar a garantizar la seguridad de nuestras comunidades.

    Copyright @2011 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    Practice Advisory: Adjustment of Status of "Arriving Aliens" Under the Interim Regulations: Challenging the BIA's Denial of a Motion to Reopen, Remand, or Continue a Case (April 16, 2007)

    This practice advisory is the third in a series about interim regulation, adopted May 12, 2006, which give USCIS jurisdiction over the adjustment applications of an "arriving alien" parolee who is in removal proceedings.

    Analysis and Practice Pointers on VAWA Reauthorization Acts

    VAWA 2013 and TVPRA: What Practitioners Need to Know

    The Violence Against Women Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), combined with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA), was signed into law on March 7, 2013. This document provides an overview of substantive changes and technical fixes to both the VAWA and the TVPRA as well as practice pointers for attorneys and advocates on how to work with these new changes, prepared by ASISTA staff.

    Copyright @2013 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    VAWA 2005 Analysis and Practice Pointers 

    Summary and practice pointers for the 2005 changes to VAWA, prepared by ASISTA staff. Special thank you to Evangelina Abriel and Susan Schreiber from CLINIC who contributed to the analysis.

    Copyright @2005 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    Annual Stakeholder Event Advisories

    2018 Notes from National Stakeholder Engagement Updated Notice to Appear (NTA) Policy Guidance (September 27, 2018)

    This advisory contains general information shared by USCIS staff during the September 27, 2018 national stakeholder call. We have added practice pointers and clarification where relevant.

    Copyright@2018 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    2016 Notes and Practice Pointers from VAWA, U and T Visa Stakeholder Events, created by ASISTA and partner organizations.

    This advisory contains general information shared by USCIS staff during multiple stakeholders events during this year, with added practice pointers and clarification where relevant. This advisory was authored by ASISTA Immigration Assistance, Immigration Center for Women and Children (ICWC), Immigration Legal Resource Center, Just Neighbors Ministry Inc., Sanctuary for Families, AILA VAWA, U and T Visa National Committee.

    Copyright@2016 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    2015 VSC Stakeholder Event Notes and Practice Pointers, created by ASISTA, AILA, and ICWC

    This is a summary of the information shared during the Vermont Service Center (VSC) Stakeholder's meeting in Essex, Vermont on September 18, 2015.

    Copyright@2015 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    2014 VSC Stakeholder Event Notes and Practice Pointers, created by ASISTA and AILA

    This is a summary of the information shared during the Vermont Service Center (VSC) Stakeholder's meeting in Essex, Vermont on October 24, 2014.

    Copyright@2014 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    2013 VSC Stakeholder Event Notes and Practice Pointers, created by ASISTA and AILA VAWA, U and T Visa Committee

    This is a summary of the information shared during the Vermont Service Center (VSC) Stakeholder's meeting in St. Albans, VT on October 18, 2013. 

    Copyright@2013 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    2012 VSC Stakeholder Event Notes and Practice Pointers, created by ASISTA

    This is a summary of the information shared during the Vermont Service Center (VSC) Stakeholder's teleconference on September 28, 2012. Appendix I to VSC Fall 2012 Teleconference: Expedite Criteria

    Copyright@2012 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    ASISTA Newsletters

    ASISTA Newsletter Fall 2012

    In this issue: Introduction and U visa basics.

    Copyright @2012 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter August 2012: A Practice Guide for Representing Self-Petitioning Applicants With Criminal Convictions or Criminal History (Part 3 of 3)

    In this issue: A practice guide for representing self-petitioning applicants with criminal convictions (Part 3 of 3).

    Copyright @2012 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter July 2012: A Practice Guide for Representing Self-Petitioning Applicants With Criminal Convictions or Criminal History (Part 2 of 3)

    In this issue: A practice guide for representing self-petitioning applicants with criminal convictions (Part 2 of 3).

    Copyright @2012 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter June 2012: A Practice Guide for Representing Self-Petitioning Applicants With Criminal Convictions or Criminal History (Part 1 of 3)

    In this issue: A practice guide for representing self-petitioning applicants with criminal convictions (Part 1 of 3).

    Copyright @2012 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter December 2010

    Focusing on final removal orders for U visa holders, this newsletter also describes several amicus briefs filed by the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women which may be helpful in arguments for individuals cases and appeals.

    Copyright @2010 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter June 2010

    The second of a two-part article on U visa applicants with criminal histories, this newsletter also contains two USCIS memos on the implementation of the Trafficking Victim Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 and Extension of U Nonimmigrant Status for Derivative Family Members (through Form I-539). 

    Copyright @2010 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter May 2010

    This edition of the ASISTA newsletter includes the first of a two-part article on U visa applicants with criminal histories by ASISTA consultants Annie Benson and Jonathan Moore of the Washington Defender's Immigration Project. This guide includes helpful practice pointers as well as an in-depth analysis of immigration law as it relates to potential criminal challenges to relief.  In addition, we have included an annotated sample I-192 waiver of inadmissibility for a U visa applicant, and a brief advisory on expert affidavits. 

    Copyright @2010 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter February 2010

    This newsletter shares an innovative approach to encouraging law enforcement certifications in your state. Our new FAQ column extracts and shares answers to interesting or persistent questions from our technical assistance archives. The new Update column features news on system memoranda, regulations, and decisions that may affect immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking. 

    Copyright @2010 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter Fall 2008: Sally Kinoshita's Article on Good Moral Character for VAWA Cases

    ASISTA Newsletter Fall 2008, includes an article by Sally Kinoshita on good moral character, inadmissibility and the relationship between the two. This article provides an overview and practice pointers for self-petitioning and later adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence. 

    Copyright @2008 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter Fall 2006: Sally Kinoshita's Article on Extreme Cruelty: What it is and How to Prove it

    ASISTA Newsletter Fall 2006, includes an article by Sally Kinoshita on recognizing and proving extreme cruelty on VAWA self-petitions.  

    Copyright @2006 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    ASISTA Newsletter December 2005: VAWA 2005 (HR 3402) President Bush Signed VAWA 2005 Into Law

    Copyright @2005 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    Q&A from CIS

    DHS Q&A from August 20, 2009

    Advance questions/discussion topics for VSC meeting on August 20, 2009. 

    CIS Q&A from June 30, 2009

    Q&A from June 30, 2009: Filing T, U, and VAWA Petitions with USCIS.

    DHS Q&A from 2005

    Questions for Q&A Panels with DHS on November 9 and 11, 2005 in Irvine, California.  Panelists: George Murphy (CIS Vermont Service Center VAWA Unit Supervisory Adjudicator), Michelle Young (CIS Vermont Service Center  VAWA Supervisory Adjudicator), Karen Saunders (San Diego CBP Field Operations Supervisor), Dorothy Stefan (Seattle ICE Office Chief Counsel); Moderator: Ana Vallejo and Sally Kinoshita, ASISTA.

    DHS Q&A from 2003

    Questions for Q&A Panels with DHS 2003 with some notes on practice and advocacy from Gail Pendleton.  Panelists: Laura Dawkins, Walter Laramie, and George Murphy; Moderator: Sally Kinoshita.