Tag Archives: Visas

USCIS to Begin Issuing Redesigned ‘Green Cards’ Starting May 1, 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 19, 2017 that the agency will begin issuing revamped Permanent Resident Cards (commonly referred to as “green cards”) and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD Cards) as a part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project,  a multi-agency initiative aimed at modernizing security measures through advanced biometrics technologies. … Continue Reading

New Travel Ban Order to Temporarily Halt Entry for Those Seeking New Visas from 6 Muslim-Majority Countries

The heavily anticipated new Executive Order (EO), “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” banning nationals from six countries from entering the United States, was signed by President Donald Trump on March 6, 2017 with an effective date 10 days following on March 16, 2017. This new EO revokes and replaces the … Continue Reading

USCIS Expands Eligibility for Unlawful Presence Provisional Waiver

In July 2016, USCIS announced a final rule expanding eligibility of immigrant visa applicants to provisional waivers of unlawful presence under INA section 212(a)(9)(B). Under the former rule promulgated in 2013, only applicants immigrating as immediate relatives (i.e., spouses, parents, or unmarried children of U.S. citizens under 21) could qualify for the waiver of the … Continue Reading

October 2016 Visa Bulletin – Dates for Filing

In October 2015 the Department of State (DOS) visa bulletin saw significant revisions with the addition of a second chart entitled “Dates for Filing.”   The new chart was met with much excitement from foreign nationals who continue to experience significant retrogression as it provided earlier filing dates for adjustment of status applications.  These applications carry … Continue Reading

“Immigration Strategies for Employers During Layoffs” by Greenberg Traurig’s Kate Kalmykov Featured in The New Jersey Law Journal

Kate Kalmykov, shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, recently authored an article in the New Jersey Law Journal (NJLJ) discussing immigration strategies during layoffs and reductions in force.  The article highlights proper protocol for employers to follow when terminating a foreign national population in compliance with federal regulatory requirements.  Likewise, it identifies specific strategies to utilize based … Continue Reading

Dramatic Increase in Wait Times at U.S. Consular Posts Across India

According to a June 13, 2016 practice alert from AILA, appointment wait times for nonimmigrant visa interviews in India have soared.  This dramatic increase is likely the result of a reported increase in visa demand of over 80 percent in the past 5 years.  Unfortunately the AILA DOS Liaison Committee has indicated that they anticipate wait … Continue Reading

June 2016 – Monthly AILA Check-In with Charlie Oppenheim

Charlie Oppenheim is the chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS) where he is responsible for providing analysis and prediction for immigrant preference categories.  After the release of the July 2016 visa bulletin Mr. Oppenheim provided the following information regarding employment-based petitions to AILA: EB-2 and EB-3 – China: … Continue Reading

July 2016 Visa Bulletin Released – Projections include EB-1 Cutoff Date for China and India, Slow EB-2 and EB-3 Movement, EB-4 Backlogs for Latin America to ease, and EB-5 China to advance slightly.

This week, the Department of State (DOS) has released the July 2016 Visa Bulletin. We are three months from the end of the fiscal year and the dwindling visa numbers remaining are likely to bring about tepid advancement in many employment-based categories before October. This Bulletin brings several particular items of note relating to the … Continue Reading

House Judiciary Committee to Consider Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016

Today, the House Judiciary Committee will consider H.R.5203, the Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016.  The bill is authored by Representative Randy Forbes of Virginia. The bill’s purpose is to enhance security procedures for the processing of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas.  We provide a sectional summary of the bill below. Section 2 of … Continue Reading

June 2016 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State (DOS) has released the June 2016 Visa Bulletin that includes the “Application Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications.” For both family-sponsored and employment-based filings, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website indicates that the Application Final Action Dates chart must be used for May 2016. Please see … Continue Reading

U.S. Consulate in Toronto Suspends Third Country National Appointments in Summer 2016

Following a trend from past summers, the U.S. Consulate in Toronto has suspended Third Country Nationals’ (non-Canadian Nationals’) visa appointments in the summer months of June, July, and August. This suspension only applies to Third Country Nationals and Canadian citizen applicants. Those Third Country Nationals who are legally living in Canada are unaffected. Third Country … Continue Reading

May 2016 Visa Bulletin Update

As previously reported, earlier this month the Department of State released the May 2016 Visa Bulletin reflecting some movement for applicants in specific categories. In addition to the Dates for Filing and Application Final Action Dates charts, the May 2016 Visa Bulletin noted: “…there have been extremely high levels of Employment-based demand in most categories … Continue Reading

Proposed Changes to Form I-9

Federal law requires employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire, complete and retain a Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) for each employee, and avoid discriminating against individuals on the basis of national origin or citizenship. On March 28, 2016, USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register to notify … Continue Reading

DHS Set to Publish Final Rule Allowing Further STEM OPT Extensions for Foreign Students

Today DHS released an advanced copy of its final rule allowing foreign students with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to extend their Optional Practical Training (OPT) for an additional 24 months.  DHS will publish the final rule in the Federal Register this Friday.  The rule will go into effect on May 10.  … Continue Reading

United States to Expand E-Visa Processing Options in Canada

On Feb. 26, the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto, Ontario, announced enhancements to the E-Visa process for Canadian applicants. It announced that it will streamline the registration process at the Toronto Consulate General for Canadian companies employing E-1 and E-2 visas.  Further, the Consulate General announced that it was expanding the locations at which E-Visa … Continue Reading

New Adjustment of Status Policy Guidance from USCIS

Filing an Adjustment of Status application is typically the appropriate path for a foreign national living in the United States to take in order to obtain Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. USCIS has released new policy guidance in its Policy Manual related to Adjustment of Status policies and procedure generally, as well as specifically under the … Continue Reading

USCIS Releases Processing Information for March 2016 Visa Bulletin

USCIS has released another updated Visa Bulletin chart listing the dates to file adjustment of status applications. As we previously reported, USCIS and the DOS revised the procedures for determining visa availability for individuals looking to file adjustment of status applications.  The DOS Visa Bulletin now has two categories of cut-off dates: Application Final Action Dates … Continue Reading

Senator Leahy and Senator Hatch Introduce Legislation to Improve the Visa Process for International Artists

On Feb. 8, 2016, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Orrin Hatch introduced the ARTS Act (S.2510), which would enforce the current statutory mandate for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to expedite processing of O and P visas at the agency. Under the legislation, if USCIS does not process an O or P visa within … Continue Reading

Summary of 12/31/2015 DHS Proposed Rules Affecting Employment-based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

On Dec. 31, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published proposed amendments in the Federal Register to its regulations related to EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 immigrant visa programs, as well as the nonimmigrant visa programs, including the H-1B visa. The EB-1 category is the first preference employment-based immigrant visa category, for aliens with extraordinary ability, … Continue Reading

USCIS Provides Guidance on Immigrant Visa Availability and Priority Dates

The Basics of Immigrant Visa Availability The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets a limit on the number of immigrant visas (i.e. green cards) that may be issued to foreign nationals each year, and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is the agency that allocates the aforementioned immigrant visas. There are an unlimited number of … Continue Reading

All Embassies and Consulates Closed on October 9, 2015, to perform Global Consular Systems Upgrade

On Friday, October 9, 2015, the Department of State will perform a consular systems upgrade at all Embassies and Consulates (Consular Posts).  Because of this upgrade, the Consular Posts will be closed to the public, and any scheduled appointments for this date will be rescheduled by the Consular Posts.  If you have a scheduled visa … Continue Reading

Regrettable and Sudden – DOS Issues a Revised Visa Bulletin for October 2015 Leaving Many Foreign Nationals Upset

September 9, 2015, brought great excitement to many foreign nationals—particularly nationals of India, China, and the Philippines—who were anxiously awaiting the opportunity to file their Adjustment of Status applications with USCIS several years earlier than expected so they could secure independent work authorization and travel permission while waiting to obtain their green cards.  GT wrote … Continue Reading

USCIS Announces Changes to ELIS Immigrant Visa Fee Payment Procedures

USCIS announced on August 31, 2015, that the agency has simplified the process for paying the $165 immigrant visa (“IV”) fee through its electronic immigration system, known as ELIS. The IV fee is required of those foreign nationals immigrating to the United States to produce permanent resident cards, known as “green cards.” A “green card” … Continue Reading
LexBlog