Tag Archives: Department of Homeland Security

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. 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

USCIS Implements H-1B Registration for Next Year’s H-1B Lottery

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), after publishing the final rule for a new H-1B lottery process in January 2019 has announced that the testing period is now over for the registration process in relation to the H-1B lottery and implementation will go into effect for the  fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap. See the USCIS … 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

Poland Designated 39th Member Country in Visa Waiver Program

As reported previously, President Trump announced that his administration has nominated Poland as a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating country. Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan formally announced the designation of Poland into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) . On Nov. 11, 2019, Polish citizens and nationals will have the ability to apply for … Continue Reading

TPS Extensions for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Sudan

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Nov. 1, 2019, the extension of the validity of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)-related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan through Jan. 4, 2021. The announcement is based on a Federal Register notice that automatically extends the validity of … Continue Reading

Administration Extends TPS for Syria

The Department of Homeland Security has announced an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through March 31, 2021, for approximately 7,000 Syrian nationals legally in the United States. For more information on Syria or other TPS matters, please contact your GT attorney or click here. This blog will be updated as information becomes available, so please check back … 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

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

Presidential Memorandum on Combating High Nonimmigrant Overstay Rates

On April 22, President Trump, in a quick turn to interior immigration enforcement, issued a Presidential Memorandum (Memo) initiating a process to develop administration initiatives to address visa overstays in the United States. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security released the Fiscal Year 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report, stating a total overstay rate of 1.22%, … Continue Reading

No-Match Letters Are Back, and They’re No Laughing Matter

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has once again begun notifying employers (and third-party payroll companies) who submitted Form W-2s containing name and Social Security Number (SSN) combinations that do not match the agency’s records, with what are known as “No-Match Letters.” Such discrepancies can arise from commonplace events such as marital name changes, but can … 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

Congress Prepares Action to Avoid Government Shutdown and Fund Vital Programs Such as EB-5

Late on Feb. 13, 2019, House and Senate Conferees on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations announced an agreement on DHS Appropriations for FY 2019 and the remaining six other outstanding FY 2019 Appropriations measures. The measure, HJ Res 31, or “the Omnibus,” is over 1,000 pages and deals with many areas of government, ranging … 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
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