Tag Archives: Department of State

May 2020 Visa Bulletin Shows Significant Advancement

The Department of State (DOS) May 2020 Visa Bulletin shows major advancements for some employment-based categories. Most notably, the final action date for EB-1 “all other” countries is current for the first time since July 2018. Also jumping to current from the final action of June 1, 2019, per last month’s visa bulletin, are EB-1 … Continue Reading

Business Immigration Advocates Send Letter Requesting Immigration Relief to Departments of State and Homeland Security

COVID-19 has given rise to business complications related to closing physical office spaces, furloughing employees, and terminating employees, to name a few. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, and the Department of State have worked to address the resulting immigration complications to support the needs of U.S. businesses and foreign nationals during … Continue Reading

USCIS Announces Significant Change to EB-5 Adjudications Processing

On Jan. 29, 2020, USCIS announced that it would be making a significant change to the processing of I-526 Petitions, commonly referred to as EB-5 Petitions. USCIS previously had a policy to adjudicate EB-5 Petitions on a “first-in, first-out” basis. This meant that USCIS was to review and decide EB-5 Petitions based solely on the date the … Continue Reading

Update: U.S. to Reduce E-Visa Validity for French Nationals Effective Sept. 26, 2019

On Aug. 23, 2019, our firm wrote about the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) announcement that the validity period of E-1 and E-2 visas for French Nationals would be reduced from 60 months to 15 months effective Aug 29, 2019. The effective date has now been postponed to Sept. 26, 2019. The general rule is that different … Continue Reading

Friendly Fire: USCIS Deploys New Definition of ‘Residence’ in Statutory Provisions Related to Citizenship

On Aug. 28, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new policy guidance “to address requirements for ‘residence’ in statutory provisions related to citizenship, and to rescind previous guidance regarding children of U.S. government employees and members of the U.S. armed forces employed or stationed outside the United States.” USCIS has updated its Policy … Continue Reading

Significant Retrogression – August 2019 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State (DOS) August 2019 Visa Bulleting shows significant retrogression in employment-based (EB) categories. In the EB-1 category, final action dates retrogress to July 1, 2016, for all countries of chargeability except for India. The cutoff date for India’s EB-1 category remains at Jan. 1, 2015. The EB-2 category retrogresses to July 1, … Continue Reading

United States Recognizes Venezuelan National Assembly Decree Extending Validity of Venezuelan Passports

The Venezuelan opposition-controlled National Assembly recently acknowledged the significant obstacles for Venezuelans in extending or obtaining new passports, and issued a decree extending the validity of already issued Venezuelan passports for five years. The U.S. Department of State announced on June 7 it will recognize the decree and accept Venezuelan passports accordingly. This is positive news for Venezuelans … 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

Visa Bulletin – June 2019

The U.S. State Department has just released the June 2019 Visa Bulletin, and the headline is the significant retrogression in EB-1 India, where the Final Action Date goes back to January 2015. There is slow forward movement in almost all employment-based categories; EB-1 China remains unchanged and EB-3 India remains more advanced than EB-2 India. For more visa … 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

Changes in H and L Visa Processing in China

The Department of State (DOS) and Mission China announced that changes have been made to consolidate the processing in China of H and L visa applications for foreign nationals seeking to work in the United States. Starting March 1, 2019, all interviews for H and L visas will be conducted only at the U.S. Embassy … Continue Reading

February 2019 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) February 2019 Visa Bulletin shows considerably more movement in employment-based categories than in January. The EB-1 category will advance two months in all countries, with China and India advancing to Feb. 8, 2017, and all other countries moving forward to Dec. 1, 2017. The EB-2 category will remain current for all … Continue Reading

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
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