Tag Archives: Greenberg Traurig

Work from Home Scenarios due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), may require a review of companies’ H-1B or E-3 compliance

In almost every state, companies have instituted temporary work from home policies—or have been instructed by government authorities to institute such policies—in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), in an effort to “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of the virus.  In so doing, companies that regularly employ H-1B and E-3 visa holders may need … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues Limited Help to Employers Facing RFEs and NOIDs

On March 27, 2020 and March 30, 2020, USCIS announced limited help to employers facing requests for evidence (RFE) and notices of intent to deny (NOID) during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The announcement will permit employers who receive an RFE, NOID, Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR), Notice of Intent to Terminate (NOIT), or appealable … Continue Reading

COVID-19 and U.S. Immigration Updates: Considerations for Those Who May Be Stuck Abroad or Can’t Make a Scheduled Appointment

The United States is now under a national emergency due to the COVID-19 epidemic. While USCIS remains open and is accepting all mail at the time of writing, it has canceled all in-person appointments, including interviews, biometrics and InfoPass appointments, through April 7, 2020. All appointments will be automatically rescheduled by USCIS when possible. While all … Continue Reading

Closure Updates for U.S. Immigration Agencies and Restrictions on International Travel

Update: USCIS Closure extends until at least April 7. With the spread of COVID-19 and the attempt to prevent its spread, in addition to the travel bans in place by the President, U.S. government agencies are starting to shut down.  Furthermore, other countries are starting to follow suit and shut its borders in an attempt … Continue Reading

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

Department of Labor Guidance Amidst COVID-19

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance regarding several immigration processes in light of employer office closures around the country due to COVID-19. Many of these issues include extending posting dates and filing deadlines. The DOL notes that it intends to remain fully operational, as its employees have teleworking capabilities, and that applications will continue to … Continue Reading

Suspension of Premium Processing for I-129 and I-140 Petitions

Effective March 20, 2020, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all I-129 petitions and I-140 petitions due to COVID-19.  For petitions filed prior to March 20, 2020, USCIS will process the petition accordingly, but if no action has been taken within the 15-day window, USCIS will refund the premium processing fee. In addition, USCIS will … Continue Reading

USCIS Will Accept Electronic Signatures

Due to COVID-19, USCIS will accept benefit forms and documents without an original, wet signature for submissions dated after March 21, 2020, but with no announced end date. This means the document can be scanned, faxed, or photocopied from an original signature. USCIS notes that the documents with the original signatures must be retained if USCIS … Continue Reading

USCIS Encourages Rescheduling of Appointments Due to Sickness

The USCIS website has links to its various field offices where biometrics and interviews take place around the country.  The website has now been updated to include a link that designates USCIS Office Closings.  This is helpful when there are last minute closures and a rescheduling notice has not been sent in time:  See USCIS … 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

Significant Restrictions at U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Italy Due to COVID-19 (also in Italian)

As an update to our Feb. 26 post regarding the U.S. Consulate General in Milan temporarily suspending its routine visa services, on March 9, 2020, the Italian government issued a decree which restricts the movement of the country’s entire population effective immediately. This decree is valid until April 3, 2020, but is subject to change. Employers … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Elevates Kristen W. Ng to Shareholder and Agnes Cha Rudinsky to Of Counsel in Northern Virginia

The Immigration & Compliance Practice of Greenberg Traurig, LLP is pleased to announce that Kristen W. Ng has been elevated to shareholder and Agnes Cha Rudinsky has been elevated to of counsel in the Northern Virginia office. Kristen focuses her practice on business immigration and compliance matters, including legislative issues. She advises individuals and companies … Continue Reading

U.S. Consulate General in Milan Will Temporarily Suspend Its Routine Visa Services (also in Italian)

On Feb. 23, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy announced that the U.S. Consulate General in Milan will temporarily suspend its routine visa services until March 2, 2020, due to the recent spread of respiratory illness COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease). See Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Rome, Italy. On the same day, the U.S. Centers for … 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

Update – U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in China Suspended Regular Visa Services as of Feb. 3

On Feb. 7, 2020, the official visa information website of the U.S. mission in China (http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/cn/index.html?firstTime=No) announced that as of Feb. 3, 2020, regular visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and Consulates General in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang are all suspended. The notice further states that the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in … Continue Reading

USCIS Revises Forms in Response to Public Charge Inadmissibility Final Rule

The Public Charge Inadmissibility Final Rule was issued in August 2019 and was to go into effect October 2019, when a preliminary injunction with national scope was granted that prevented the Department of Homeland Security from implementing the rule. On Jan. 27, 2020, the Supreme Court stayed the national injunction, and DHS may now implement the … Continue Reading

Effective Feb. 1, Form I-130 Petitions Only Processed Domestically by USCIS or Internationally by DOS

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, one of the most widely filed USCIS forms, is filed by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioning for an immediate or close relative intending to immigrate to the United States. Until now, petitioners had the option of filing Form I-130 with the USCIS, directly with the USCIS … Continue Reading

President Trump Issues New Proclamation on Travel Ban, Adding Six Additional Countries

On Jan. 31, 2020, President Trump issued a Proclamation, effective Feb. 21, 2020, imposing even more limitations on visa issuance and travel to the United States for additional countries entitled “Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry.” This Proclamation follows his first travel ban from March 2017 where the Secretary … Continue Reading

U.S. Halting Travel to the U.S. By All Foreign Nationals Who Have Been in China within the last 14 days

The Trump Administration has publicly announced that on 5 p.m. eastern time Sunday, February 2, 2020, it will deny entry to all foreign nationals who have been in China within the last 14 days (since January 19, 2020). This ban does not apply to the following individuals: (1) Lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders); (2) … Continue Reading

Alert – U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China Cancel Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Interviews for the Week of Feb. 3 通知:美国驻华大使馆和领事馆取消2月3日一周的移民类和非移民类签证面试

On Jan. 31, the official visa information website of the U.S. mission in China posted an urgent announcement that U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China are cancelling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments the week of Feb. 3. The visa information website cannot provide a specific date when routine visa services will be resumed. We expect EB-5 investors, … Continue Reading

USCIS Releases a New Form I-9

On Jan. 31, 2020, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form). The I-9 Form is required to be used by certain employers to verify each individual they hire for employment in the United States is legally … 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

Immigration Issues for Chinese Travelers to the United States During the Coronavirus Outbreak

As many of our readers are aware, the novel coronavirus1 outbreak in China is a major public health concern. At the time of publishing this blog post, the U.S. has not restricted travel for visitors who may be coming from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, the now-quarantined city that is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. … Continue Reading
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