Category Archives: Department of Homeland Security

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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

DHS Grants Additional H-2B Visas for Seasonal Employment

Amid a flurry of media reports last week and verified today by U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the availability of 30,000 additional H-2B visas for 2019 seasonal employment. Several years ago, Congress gave the DHS Secretary, in consultation with the Department of Labor, the authority to augment H-2B seasonal visas … Continue Reading

White House Announces Extension of Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians

In a last-minute change, the White House announced an extension of the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) of Liberians until March 30, 2020. Prior to today’s announcement, the wind-down for DED was March 31, 2019. Citing foreign policy interests of the United States, the extension was granted with direction for the Congress to consider “remedial legislation.” … Continue Reading

Temporary Protected Status Extended for South Sudan

The Department of Homeland Security announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for South Sudan. Current beneficiaries will be eligible to re-register to remain in the United States with work authorization through Nov. 2, 2020. South Sudan is one of ten (10) countries currently designated for TPS, which provides a temporary status to … Continue Reading

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua

The Department of Homeland Security filed a notice Thursday, Feb. 28 extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for four countries – Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua – as a result of federal court action. The approximately 300,000 affected immigrants in the United States will be allowed to extend their stays until January 2020. Please check back with us for … Continue Reading

E-Verify Resumes Operation

As the federal government re-opened (officially on Jan. 25, 2019), E-Verify has resumed operations. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided guidance regarding the resumption of E-Verify operations. Although all E-Verify features and services are now available, including the ability to resolve a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC), employers may experience longer-than-usual processing times as the … Continue Reading

DHS Publishes Final Rule for H-1B Lottery

On Nov. 30, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security issued the notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its H-1B cap-subject lottery process. On Jan. 31, 2019, USCIS will publish the final rule after a 30-day comment period. The final rule encompasses a pre-registration process and a modified selection process. The registration process will be suspended for FY … Continue Reading

E-Verify and the Government Shutdown

We have received many client inquiries relating to E-Verify and the government shutdown. In short, E-Verify is unavailable, as the program’s authorization lapsed Dec. 22, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the program, announced that the website http://www.e-verify.gov/ will not be actively managed and will not be updated until after funding is restored. … Continue Reading

Notice of Proposed Rule for H-1B Cap Season: Summary and Real-World Implications

On Nov. 30, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security issued the notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its H-1B cap-subject lottery process that USCIS conducts every year. The proposed rule seeks to amend the way H-1B cap-subject petitions are submitted for the lottery, and also the way H-1B cap-subject petitions are randomly selected. USCIS proposes a … Continue Reading

USCIS Publishes a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Remove Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 VISA Holders

As an update (to this recent posting), we clarify that USCIS recently indicated in the Fall Unified Agenda the posting of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in November 2018 (see RIN 1615-AC15) on this regulation. Please check back as this and other H-1B regulatory actions are anticipated in the near future. U.S. Department of Homeland … Continue Reading

Proposed Immigration Rule – Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds

USCIS has proposed rules that could deny entry to non-immigrants seeking admission to the United States and adjustment of status to permanent residence to immigrants if they rely on public benefits for food, housing or medical care, and other forms of public assistance. The proposed rule – “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” – is published in … Continue Reading

USCIS Proposes Increase to Premium Processing Fee

On Aug. 31, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a final rule in the Federal Register to increase the premium processing fee for certain visa petitions to $1,410, effective Oct. 1, 2018. Premium processing, a service offered for certain petitions, requires U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjudicate a petition (i.e., approve, … Continue Reading
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