Tag Archives: gt_law

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

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

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

Iranian Nationals No Longer Eligible for Changes to E-1 and E-2 Status or Extensions of E-1 and E-2 Status

As of Jan. 23, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept requests for changes to E-1 or E-2 status or extensions of E-1 or E-2 status from Iranian nationals and their dependents (see USCIS notice concerning termination of eligibility). This change applies to Iranian nationals who are already in the United … Continue Reading

You are invited: Immigration Law Webinar – A Review of 2019 and a Look Forward to 2020

A number of changes to U.S. immigration law occurred in 2019. As we look ahead into the new year, we continue to see new and proposed changes to U.S. immigration policy. This webinar will discuss significant developments from 2019 as well as a summary of potential changes to the U.S. business immigration system in 2020. Wednesday, January … Continue Reading

Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H–1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens

On Jan. 9, 2020, USCIS posted a Notice in the Federal Register announcing the implementation of the H-1B registration process for H-1B cap-subject petitions. USCIS notes: The initial H-1B petition registration period will begin on March 1, 2020. Starting on that date, USCIS will require H-1B cap-subject petitioners, including those eligible for the advanced degree … 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

EB-5 Final Rule Challenged in U.S. Federal District Court

On Nov. 26, 2019, a complaint for Injunctive Relief and a Temporary Restraining Order was filed by Florida EB-5 Investments, LLC against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) challenging a Nov. 21, 2019, DHS-issued final rule amending its regulations for the EB-5 program to purportedly modernize the rules (EB–5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization, 84 Fed. … 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

EB-5 Update – New Regulations to Take Effect and Regional Center Program to be Extended Through Dec. 20, 2019 

The EB-5 Regional Center Program was set to expire on Nov. 21, 2019. On Nov. 18, Congress introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government and extend vital programs such as EB-5 through Dec. 20, 2019. Leaders hope to use the additional time to extend current operations and complete fiscal matters and other priorities before … Continue Reading

Washington EB-5 Update

As a reminder to our readers, the Obama-era EB-5 Regional Center regulations – see July post for details – go into effect Nov. 21, 2019. USCIS has published a webpage resource to help explain the implementation of the upcoming regulations here. This is a period of significant change and activity on the EB-5 program. Clients are … Continue Reading

House Introduces Continuing Resolution Funding Government, Including Vital programs Such as EB-5

On Nov. 18, Congressional Appropriation leadership introduced a 26-page Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund government and extend vital programs such as EB-5 through Dec. 20, 2019. Leaders hope to use the additional time to extend current operations and complete fiscal matters and other priorities before the holidays. In addition to the extension of time, the CR allows … Continue Reading

$10.00 Fee for H-1B Electronic Registration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration, once it implements the electronic registration system. The final rule, Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens, will be effective Dec. 9, 2019. Upon implementation of the electronic registration system, … 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
LexBlog