USCIS Announces Yemen TPS Re-registration Process

Posted in Temporary Protected Status, TPS, USCIS, Yemen

The USCIS announced a re-registration period of Aug. 14, 2018, and Oct. 15, 2018, for current Yemen beneficiaries under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States.  This action follows the July 5th announcement extending current Yemen TPS  beneficiaries until March 3, 2020.

DHS Releases Fiscal Year 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report

Posted in Canada, Department of Homeland Security, Mexico, Visa Waiver Program, Visas

On Aug. 7, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Fiscal Year 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report (or Overstay Report). Visa Overstay Reports have been requested by Congress in recent fiscal years as a means to encourage development of a barometric Port of Entry visa checking system and to report on overstays that were identified as problematic in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

The 2017 Overstay Report calculated a total overstay rate of 1.33 percent, or 701,900 overstay events, versus an overstay rate of 1.25 percent (739,000 overstays) in FY 2016.

More FY 2017 Visa Overstay metrics from the release:

Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Country Overstay Rate This report separates Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country overstay figures from non–VWP country figures. For VWP countries, the FY 2017 Suspected In-Country Overstay rate was 0.51 percent of the 22,472,710 expected departures.

Non-Visa Waiver Program Participant Overstay Rate  For non-VWP countries, the FY 2017 Suspected In-Country Overstay rate is 1.91 percent of the 14,659,249 expected departures.

Student or Exchange Visitor Visa Overstay Rate For nonimmigrants who entered on a student or exchange visitor visa (F, M, or J visa), DHS has determined there were 1,662,369 students and exchange visitors scheduled to complete their program in the United States. However, 4.15 percent stayed beyond the authorized window for departure at the end of their program.

Canada and Mexico Overstay Rates  Unlike other countries, a majority of travelers from Canada and Mexico enter the United States by land. Figures pertaining to Canada and Mexico are presented separately from the other countries due to the fact that air and sea information represent a much smaller portion of the Canadian and Mexican travel population. For Canada, the FY 2017 Suspected In¬-Country Overstay rate for those traveling through air and sea POEs is 1.01 percent of 9,215,158 expected departures. For Mexico, the FY 2017 Suspected In-Country Overstay rate for those traveling through air and sea POEs is 1.63 percent of 2,916,430 expected departures. This represents only travel through air and sea POEs and does not include data on land border crossings. DHS is currently working to improve its monitoring capability for land POEs.

The Overstay Report continues to be an important accountability metric for Congress and has been used as the basis for oversight and new approaches to interior immigration enforcement such as H.R. 6089, the E-bonding for Immigration Integrity Act of 2018

Past Overstay Reports –

DHS Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Entry/Exit Overstay Report

Entry/Exit Overstay Report: Fiscal Year 2015 – Homeland Security

For more information on visa waiver programs click here.

September 2018 Visa Bulletin Updates

Posted in EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, USCIS, Visa Bulletin, Visas

The Department of State (DOS) recently released the September 2018 Visa Bulletin. The charts below show movement in employment-based categories. Referring to the Final Action Dates, following are updates from the September Visa Bulletin:

EB-1: Mainland China and India had no movement, with a cutoff date of Jan. 1, 2012, while El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam all moved forward a month, from May 1, 2016, to June 1, 2016.

EB-2: The cutoff date for worldwide chargeability, mainland China, El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam retrogressed to Jan. 1, 2013, and India retrogressed to Jan. 1, 2007. Retrogression for the EB-2 category goes into effect immediately and will remain through Sept. 30.

EB-3:  In the EB-3 category, the cutoff date for worldwide chargeability, El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam retrogressed to Nov. 1, 2016.  China moved forward four months to Nov. 1, 2014. India had significant change, retrogressing six years to Jan. 1, 2003. All EB-3 retrogressions go into effect immediately and will remain through Sept. 30.

For those in the EB-5 category, the priority date remains current for all applicants other than those born in mainland China and Vietnam, where the cutoff advanced from Aug. 1, 2014 to Aug. 8, 2014.

For those seeking to adjust status, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website indicates that the department’s Application Final Action Dates chart must be used for filing Form I-485. This has not yet been updated with the September 2018 dates; however, we anticipate that USCIS will continue to follow Application Final Action Dates for September, as it has to date.

Referring to the Final Action Dates, the following are the updates for the June Visa Bulletin:

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases

Dates for Filing Employment-Based Visa Applications

Greenberg Traurig’s Laura Reiff and Kate Kalmykov Selected as 2018 Trailblazers by the National Law Journal

Posted in Awards & Recognitions, Compliance, Department of Labor Immigration Compliance, EB-5 Compliance, EB-5 Program, Form I-9, Global Immigration

The National Law Journal selected the 2018 Trailblazers in Immigration. This year, Greenberg Traurig Immigration & Compliance attorneys Laura Reiff and Kate Kalmykov were recognized on the list for their notable achievements in the practice of law.

Kalmykov leads the immigration practice group in the firm’s New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia offices. She has more than 12 years of experience in managing large-scale EB-5 offerings and business immigration clients that include architectural firms, technology, research and development companies, major banks, universities, and hospitals. Kalmykov represents clients in a wide-range of employment based immigrant and non-immigrant visa matters including students, trainees, professionals, managers and executives, artists and entertainers, treaty investors and traders, persons of extraordinary ability, and immigrant investors.

Reiff co-chairs the Business Immigration & Compliance Practice and is the co-managing shareholder of the firm’s Northern Virginia office. She focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues. Reiff advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters.

To read the full list of NLJ Trailblazers, click here.

President Signs KIWI Act Providing for E-1 and E-2 Status for New Zealand

Posted in E-Visas, Immigrant Visa, Immigration Law, Visa Issuance, Visas

As an update to an earlier post, on Aug. 1, the president signed the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (KIWI Act) granting E-1 and E-2 status to certain New Zealand nationals under mutual considerations. This will permit citizens of New Zealand to apply for U.S. visas to carry on significant trade with the United States (E-1) or after making a substantial investment in the United States (E-2). The KIWI Act is now designated as Public Law 115-226 (132 STAT. 1625).

For more information on E-Visas, click here.

For information on the EB-5 program, visit our EB-5 Insights Blog.

UPDATE: USCIS Postpones Implementation of New Policy Memoranda on Notices to Appear

Posted in Notices to Appear, NTAs, USCIS

As previously reported, on June 28, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum titled “Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens.”  USCIS has announced that because it is waiting for operational guidance on the Policy Memo from its internal components, the implementation of the Notice to Appear Policy Memorandum has been postponed until the operational guidance has been issued. The agency did not indicate when that might happen. Our team will continue to monitor and report updates on the status of the Policy Memorandum and its impact on our clients.

 

House Passes the KIWI Act providing for E-1 and E-2 status for New Zealand

Posted in Immigration and Nationality Act, Visas

On July 23, 2018, the House passed by voice vote the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (S. 2245, “KIWI” Act ). This House action follows Senate passage by unanimous consent on June 28, 2018. The KIWI Act makes New Zealand nationals eligible for U.S. admission as E-1 (trade) and E-2 (investor) nonimmigrants under the Immigration and Nationality Act, if New Zealand provides reciprocal nonimmigrant treatment to U.S. nationals.

In floor remarks, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) stated an important process point leading to the successful passage of KIWI-

The United States has entered into treaties of commerce since at least 1815, when we entered into a Convention to Regulate Commerce with the United Kingdom. Currently, the nationals of 83 countries are eligible for E-1 or E-2 status. In fiscal year 2017, in total, about 50,000 E-1 and E-2 visas were issued. In the past, countries became eligible for the E-1 and E-2 programs through treaties signed with the United States. However, in 2003, the Judiciary Committee reached an understanding with the U.S. Trade Representative that no immigration provisions were to be included in future trade agreements. Henceforth, legislation would be required to add countries. The bill we are considering today, S. 2245, makes New Zealand nationals eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas. I want to thank Mr. Issa for all of his work on this issue, and for introducing companion legislation in the House. I am also appreciative of the Embassy of New Zealand for seeking E visa status in the right way. (CQ House transcript)

The KIWI Act will proceed to the president for final action.

DHS Announces 18-month Extension of Somalia Temporary Protected Status

Posted in Temporary Protected Status, TPS

Yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, announced that after careful review of many factors, an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia beneficiaries would be granted until March 17, 2020.  Somalian TPS beneficiaries are a relatively small population, approximately 500 persons, but this act today demonstrates the ability of DHS to make case-by-case determinations based on the facts present and follows the recent action to extend TPS for Yemen beneficiaries.

To review the brief statement, please see Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for Somalia

For more information on TPS, click here.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for Somalia

Posted in Temporary Protected Status, TPS

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has announced her determination that an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia is warranted pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. After carefully reviewing conditions in Somalia with interagency partners, Secretary Nielsen determined the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Somalia’s current designation for TPS continue to exist. Therefore, pursuant to the statute, she has extended Somalia’s TPS designation for 18 months.

Continue Reading.

USCIS Issues Two New Policy Memoranda on Notices to Appear and Denials in Lieu of RFEs and NOIDs – What This Means for You

Posted in Denials, NOID, Notices to Appear, RFE

On June 28, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum titled “Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens.” Later, on July 13, 2018, the USCIS issued a Policy Memorandum titled “Issuance of Certain RFEs and NOIDs.” The two memoranda do not necessarily go hand in hand, but the question lingers whether a denial on an immigration benefit (that leads to no status) will automatically lead to a Notice to Appear (NTA).

To read the full GT Alert, click here.

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