Category Archives: Department of Homeland Security

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DHS issues Guidance Relaxing Form I-9 Requirements

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued revised guidance on I-9 compliance in light of employer office closures around the country due to COVID-19. DHS announced that it will exercise its discretion to defer the physical presence requirement associated with completing Form I-9, where the employee must present physical documents to be examined by the … Continue Reading

U.S. Extends Travel Restrictions to U.K. and Ireland – Department of Homeland Security Outlines New Re-Entry Process for U.S. Citizens, U.S. Legal Permanent Residents and Other Exempted Individuals from Certain European Countries, China, and Iran, including Mandatory 14-Day Self-Quarantine Period

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, 11:59 p.m. EST, the U.S. will extend the same travel restrictions to the U.K. and Ireland as are already in effect for other European countries, China and Iran. The Department of Homeland Security also issued a Fact Sheet outlining the return process for persons affected by the March 11 presidential … Continue Reading

U.S. Immigration and Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Facts, Thoughts, Questions and Answers

Travel to the U.S. – Suspensions and Restrictions (Updated March 15, 2020) The White House has published three Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related proclamations relating to travel to the United States: Jan. 31, 2020: Proclamation 9984, Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus. … Continue Reading

U.S. Suspends Entry of Foreign Nationals for 30 Days Effective March 13, 2020, U.S. Travelers Required to Enter Through Designated Ports of Entry

On March 11, 2020, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation, effective at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2020, which prohibits the entry of most foreign nationals who traveled to European – Schengen Area countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the U.S. These restrictions will not apply … Continue Reading

Update: As Covid-19 Concerns Grow, So Does Entry Ban

On the heels of consular closings and additional travel restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19, the Trump administration announced on Feb. 29, 2020, it will deny entry to all foreign nationals who were physically present in the Islamic Republic of Iran within 14 days prior to their attempted entry in the United … Continue Reading

Leadership Changes at USCIS

There are reported leadership changes at USCIS.  According to reports, Joe Edlow, chief counsel of USCIS, has been appointed deputy director for policy, assuming responsibilities of Mark Koumans, deputy USCIS director and interim leader, who takes a new deputy director for operations role.  According to reports, Mr. Koumans may return to DHS in a new … Continue Reading

DHS to Suspend Trust Traveler Programs for All New York State Residents

Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf announced that DHS will be immediately suspending Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) for all New York residents, including Global Entry, NEXUS, Sentri, and FAST as of Feb. 5, 2020. The suspension will apply to new enrollment, as well as re-enrollment. It should be noted that this suspension … Continue Reading

USCIS Announces More Fees and Fee Increases—UPDATE: Extension of Comment Period

As we previously reported here, USCIS published a notice of proposed rulemaking for an adjustment of fees to meet operational needs. Today, USCIS announced an extension of the comment period on the proposed fee increases for future years from Dec. 16 to Dec. 30, 2019. USCIS stated: SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is … Continue Reading

EB-5 Final Rule Challenged in U.S. Federal District Court

On Nov. 26, 2019, a complaint for Injunctive Relief and a Temporary Restraining Order was filed by Florida EB-5 Investments, LLC against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) challenging a Nov. 21, 2019, DHS-issued final rule amending its regulations for the EB-5 program to purportedly modernize the rules (EB–5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization, 84 Fed. … Continue Reading

OMB Releases Fall 2019 Unified Regulatory Agenda; DHS & USCIS Expect Active Rulemakings

Twice a year, the Office of Management and Budget, in concert with the General Services Administration and its own Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, publish the Unified Regulatory Agenda (Unified Agenda). The Unified Agenda is a transparency program that publishes federal agency rulemakings in process. It is not a process set in concrete but … Continue Reading

Chad Wolf Becomes New Acting Secretary of Homeland Security

After receiving Senate confirmation for an undersecretary position earlier in the day, Chad Wolf was sworn in and placed as the next Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Since January 2017, there has been a mix of Senate-confirmed secretaries: John Kelly and Kristjen Nielsen; and acting secretaries: Elaine Duke, Kevin McAleenan, and … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Nominates Poland for U.S. Visa Waiver Program

Today, President Trump announced that his administration has nominated Poland as a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating country. Entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism, business, or in transit for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. President Trump … Continue Reading

OMB Completes Review of DHS/USCIS Public Charge Rule

As an update to previous entries, the Office of Management and Budget has posted the conclusion of DHS/USCIS Public Charge Rule review: Department of Homeland Security AGENCY: DHS-USCIS RIN: 1615-AA22 Status: Concluded TITLE: Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds STAGE: Final Rule ECONOMICALLY SIGNIFICANT: Yes RECEIVED DATE: 07/12/2019 LEGAL DEADLINE: None ** COMPLETED: 07/31/2019 COMPLETED ACTION: Consistent … Continue Reading

EB-5 Regulations Summary

As previously blogged (see EB-5 Regulations Published for Public Inspection), the EB-5 regulations have been published as of July 24, 2019, as final, to take effect Nov. 21, 2019.  Below is a summary of the changes that will impact the EB-5 program: Priority Date Retention: Generally, priority date retention can be retained from an approved I-526 petition if … Continue Reading

EB-5 Regulations Published for Public Inspection

After more than two and a half years, Obama-era EB-5 immigration regulations are set to be published on July 24, 2019, with an effective date 120 days after publication or Nov. 21, 2019. See EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization. These regulations have been opposed by many industry participants, as evidenced in a letter to Congressional Leadership … Continue Reading

DHS Completes Public Charge Rule; Forwards to OMB

On July 12, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) completed review and forwarded a final rule on a Public Charge rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This action follows action last week as reported here wherein the Department of Justice completed review and forwarded aspects of a Public Charge final rule within … Continue Reading

New Leadership at USCIS; Former VA AG Ken Cuccinelli Named Acting Director

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been appointed acting director of USCIS, replacing Acting Director Koumans. Director Koumans replaced Director Cissna on June 3 as acting director.  Below is the USCIS release: WASHINGTON— Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan today announced that Kenneth T. (Ken) Cuccinelli will serve as the new acting director of … Continue Reading

The United States Will Now Require Visa Applicants to Provide Social Media Information

Under a new State Department policy, virtually all visa applicants to the United States are now required to submit information about social media accounts they have used in the past five years. Applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas must use the State Department’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to complete online forms for nonimmigrant (DS-160) … Continue Reading

Final Rule Released to Provide 30,000 Additional H-2B Visas This Fiscal Year

Today, May 8, 2019, after much anticipation, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor posted a joint rule in the Federal Register providing 30.000 additional seasonal workers for American businesses.  Based on interest, we also provide a link to the Attestation for Employers Seeking to Employ H-2B Nonimmigrant Workers released to facilitate the process.  Please … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Release Prepublication Joint Rule for Additional H-2B Visas

On May 6, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Labor issued a prepublication of the joint temporary rule setting forth the process for accessing 30,000 additional H-2B visas. It is expected that on formal publication of the rule in the Federal Register May 8, eligible U.S. employers documenting returning worker status (over the last three … Continue Reading

OMB Completes H-2B Numerical Increase Rule Review

On April 30, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the completion of its review of the regulation providing additional H-2B for fiscal year 2019- Agency: DHS-USCIS RIN: 1615-AC38 Status: Concluded Title: Exercise of Time-Limited Authority to Increase the Fiscal Year 2019 Numerical Limitation for the H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program Stage: Final Rule … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig’s Kristen Burke and Sarah Amendola’s Article on Immigration Enforcement Published in Texas Lawyer

Of counsel Kristen Burke and Associate Sarah Amendola, attorneys in Greenberg Traurig’s Immigration and Compliance Practice, wrote an article published in Texas Lawyer titled  “The Era of Tougher Immigration Enforcement.” The commentary addresses DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has escalated its efforts to oversee and enforce I-9 compliance, both in terms of conducting audits and … Continue Reading

H-2B Rule Sent to OMB for Review

Following up on a previous report, the Department of Homeland Security forwarded a final H-2B Rule to the White House Office Of Management and Budget on April 22 (see below). Once OMB completes review, a final rule will be published in the Federal Register for implementation. Agency: DHS-USCIS RIN: 1615-AC38 Status: Pending Review Title: Exercise of Time-Limited Authority … Continue Reading
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