On May 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) updated four provisions of the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) relating to E visas. The updates relate to E-2 substantiality; EContinue Reading Department of State Updates FAM E Visa Provisions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued updated guidance in its Policy Manual, which makes a key change in the interpretation of when an immigrant visa number “becomes available”…Continue Reading USCIS Updates Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) Age Calculation for Certain Adjustment of Status Applicants
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) plans to test a program that would permit H- and L-visa holders to renew their visa stamps from within the United States, rather than…Continue Reading U.S. Department of State to Pilot Domestic Visa Renewal Option in 2023
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has published the December 2022 bulletin which reflects an increased demand across multiple categories. As warned in last month’s bulletin, the December bulletin implements…Continue Reading December 2022 Visa Bulletin – Worldwide Cut-Offs for EB-2 Category
The State Department updated its Foreign Affairs Manual on intent to depart and residence abroad requirements for F-1 and M-1 students. The new guidance clarifies that although F-1 and M-1…
Continue Reading State Department Updates Guidance on F-1/M-1 Student Intent to Depart and Residence Abroad Requirements
In response to the ongoing COVID-19-related circumstances that have significantly hampered visa processing, the State Department has announced that it will expand and extend the nonimmigrant visa interview waiver program…
Continue Reading State Department Expands Interview Waiver Program for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants Through End of 2022
The U.S. Department of State announced on July 13, 2020, via Twitter, that U.S. embassies and consulates are entering a “phased resumption of routine visa services” beginning July 15, 2020.
Continue Reading U.S. Embassies and Consulates Expected to Resume Visa Services Beginning on July 15
As you may have read, many media outlets and other sources are reporting that the Trump Administration plans to issue an additional Proclamation or Executive Order (EO) in the coming…
Continue Reading Possible Presidential Proclamation to Limit Entry of Foreign National Workers into the U.S. and additional regulatory measures on the Horizon
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. The proclamation cites Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 212(f) to suspend entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non-U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. This coronavirus travel ban is effective as of 5:00 p.m. EST on Feb. 2, 2020.
- Feb. 29, 2020: Presidential Proclamation, Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus. The proclamation cites INA 212(f) to suspend entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non-U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. This coronavirus travel ban is effective as of 5:00 p.m. EST on March 2, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 5:00 p.m. EST on March 2, 2020.
- March 11, 2020: Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrant of Certain Additional Person who Pose a Risk of Transmitted 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The proclamation cites INA 212(f) to suspend entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non-U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the European Schengen Area (not including the United Kingdom) during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. This coronavirus travel ban is effective as of 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 13, 2020; also see Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf’s Statement on Presidential Proclamation To Protect the Homeland from Travel-Related Coronavirus Spread.
- March 14, 2020: Presidential Proclamation Amended to include immigrants and nonimmigrants from the United Kingdom and Ireland. 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. View recent blog here.
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 petition was filed with USCIS. Today, USCIS announced that it would change this policy and decide EB-5 Petitions using the “visa availability” approach.
What is the “Visa Availability” approach?
The “visa availability” approach outlined by USCIS would prioritize EB-5 Petitions for adjudication based on whether a visa number is available to the investor. This ties the timing of the decision on the EB-5 petition to whether the investor is subject to visa retrogression based on their country of birth. As a reminder, the employment-based fifth preference category “EB-5” is allotted approximately 10,000 immigrant visas annually. This quota includes principal applicants, as well as spouses and dependent children under 21 years of age. No one country can exceed more than seven percent of the total EB-5 visas available in each fiscal year.…