Tag Archives: Department of State

Travel Update: Refugee Admissions to Resume with Trump Executive Order

President Trump signed a new Executive Order (EO) on Tuesday, the same day as the last travel ban’s provision against refugee admissions was due to expire.  The EO allows refugees to travel into the U.S. and the Department of Homeland Security to process refugee applications. The Trump Administration had previously blocked refugee travel through an … Continue Reading

GT Alert – New Immigration Policy Focuses On Alcohol-Related Charges

In an apparent change in policy, U.S. immigration authorities are now taking a hard-line approach to individuals who have alcohol-related charges or offenses, marking a significant shift in how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State treat visa holders in this predicament. Employers and employees alike should take note of this … Continue Reading

The White House Releases Immigration Principles & Policies

On Oct. 8, 2017, the White House released the promised Immigration Principles & Policies (Principles & Policies) which outline the Trump Administration’s position on immigration. This document is broken into three parts: 1) Border Security, 2) Interior Enforcement, and 3) Merit-Based Immigration. A summary of each part is broken down below.… Continue Reading

President Trump Issues Proclamation on Travel Ban

On Sept. 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Proclamation imposing new limitations on visa issuance and travel to the United States for nationals of eight countries entitled “Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats.”  These countries include: Chad, Iran, Libya, North … Continue Reading

September 2017 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State (DOS) recently released the September 2017 Visa Bulletin.  The charts show movement in some employment-based categories, with no movement in other employment-based visa categories. According to the September Visa Bulletin, the following are updates to Final Action Dates: EB-1: The Worldwide EB-1 category for India and China remains stalled at Jan. 1, … Continue Reading

Update On FAQs After Hawaii District Court Decision

On July 14, 2017, Judge Derrick Watson from the Hawaii District Court expanded the definition of “close familial relationship” to include grandparents, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. In addition, Judge Watson ruled that for refugees, a bona fide relationship with an entity can include a U.S. resettlement agency that has issued a … Continue Reading

August 2017 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State’s (DOS) August 2017 Visa Bulletin showed some minor forward movement in some employment-based categories, with no movement or retrogression in other employment-based visa categories. Referring to the Final Action Dates, the following are the updates for the August Visa Bulletin: The Worldwide EB-1 category for India and China remains stalled at Jan. … Continue Reading

Updated Information and FAQs on the Reinstated Partial Travel Ban

As the Supreme Court lifted the injunction on the second Executive Order regarding the travel ban, questions abound regarding its implementation and how it will affect both visa issuance and entry into the United States. Visa issuance is overseen by the Department of State while entry into the United States is overseen by Customs and Border Protection. … Continue Reading

New Development: DOS & CBP Release Additional Guidance on Travel Ban Following Monday’s Supreme Court Ruling

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court partially lifted the injunctions granted by the Fourth and Ninth Circuits on President Trump’s second Executive Order commanding a temporary travel ban. The Supreme Court narrowed the application of travel ban, which will now only apply to nationals from the six designated countries “who lack any bona fide … Continue Reading

November 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State released the November Visa Bulletin, which contains some movement of final action dates in certain employment-based categories. The Worldwide EB1-1 category remains current for all categories, including individuals born in mainland China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico and the Philippines. The cutoff date for worldwide chargeability in the EB-2 category … Continue Reading

State Department Issues Cable on Extension of Three Visa Programs

On Oct. 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued an unclassified cable on the Continuing Resolution signed into law on Sept. 29, 2016 that extends several important immigration programs, including the Conrad State 30 Program, the non-minister special immigrant religious worker program (SR visa), and the EB-5 Regional Center program. The House and … Continue Reading

September 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

This week, the Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for September 2016. Given that visa numbers are issued based on the government fiscal year, we expect to see significant movement again in October 2016; for September 2016, the last month of FY2016, there were only minor changes with regard to movement of final action … Continue Reading

August 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

This week the Department of State released the August Visa Bulletin, which contains some significant movement in certain employment-based categories. In its July Visa Bulletin, which we wrote about here, the Department advised that it would impose cutoff dates for India and China in the EB-1 category.  In the August Bulletin, the Department has imposed … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Renews TPS for El Salvador

Through a recent publication of the Federal Register, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of El Salvador effective Sept. 10, 2016, through March 9, 2018.   The extension allows eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 9, 2018, so long as they otherwise continue to meet … 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

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

e-Passport Mandatory for the Visa Waiver Program

On May 9, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a statement clarifying that as part of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, those individuals utilizing the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) with an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to travel to the United … 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

Department of State Issues May 2016 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State (DOS) has released the May 2016 Visa Bulletin with the Application Final Action Date chart for employment-based applications which reflects some modest movement for some applicants. The second and third preference categories for China-mainland born applicants had no movement. The second and third preference categories for India move ahead a few weeks to Nov. … Continue Reading

Department of Homeland Security Unveils Known Employer Pilot Program

On March 3, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) formally announced the Known Employer pilot program. In January 2015, DHS advised that it would evaluate the Known Employer pilot as part of the United States-Canada Beyond the Border initiative. The pilot program was also recommended in the multi-agency report to the president, entitled “Modernizing and Streamlining … Continue Reading

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Provides Additional Guidance on Implementation of New Visa Waiver Program Law

This post updates our post from Jan. 22, 2016, concerning guidance released by the U.S. Department of State about implementation of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. We have updated the post to provide a summary and link to additional information published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) concerning the … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of State Announces Implementation of New Visa Waiver Program Law

On Jan. 21, 2016, the Department of State (“Department”) announced that it had begun the implementation of changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which were enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.  The Department reiterated that nationals of the 38 VWP countries who had traveled to Iran, Syria, Iraq, or Sudan after … Continue Reading

Over 4.5 Million Are Waiting for Green Cards—Over 100,000 of them are Employment-Based

The Department of State (DOS) recently published its annual report of immigrant visa applicants (2015 Annual Immigrant Visa Report), which tallies up the number of total applicants—including spouses and children—who are waiting for their respective priority date to become current, allowing for them to obtain their green card. The annual report, which totals the number … Continue Reading

U.S. Passport Book Changes

On Nov. 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued a final rule on the elimination of the visa page insert service within U.S. Passports.  Earlier in the year, DOS published a notice of proposed rulemaking that eliminated the visa page insert service for regular fee passport book holders. This rule will become effective on … Continue Reading
LexBlog