Tag Archives: gtlaw

USCIS Announces More Fees and Fee Increases

Nearly 96% of the USCIS budget derives from fees. In our coverage of Congress, appropriations, continuing resolutions, and government shutdowns, we are reminded that USCIS is a fee-driven agency, as it does not depend on appropriations for its operations and, for example, remains open during government shutdowns over appropriations. We wrote last week about a … 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

Comprehensive EB-5 Modernization Legislation Introduced in the U.S. Senate

Today, Senators Graham (R-SC), Rounds (R-SD) and Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the “Immigrant Investor Program Relief Act” (S. 2778, the Act) proposing long overdue improvements to modernize the EB-5 program in alignment with industry and market principles.  The Act reflects a fair compromise between rural and urban stakeholders providing substantial market advantages to rural and urban … Continue Reading

USCIS Announces Premium Processing Fee Increase for Certain Employment-based Petitions

On Oct. 30, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is increasing the fee to request premium processing for certain employment-based petitions.  Beginning on Nov. 29, 2019, The premium processing fee will increase to $1,440 from the current fee of $1,410 for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien … Continue Reading

Will the Congress Yield – for Immigration Reform?

On Oct. 17 a fiery debate occurred on the U.S. Senate floor. Two great supporters of immigrants and immigration reform, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL, Minority Floor Leader) and Mike Lee (R-UT, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust) battled to a draw on an issue they both support – eliminating the per-country caps on employment-based immigration. … Continue Reading

Reminder of the Automatic EAD Extension for Certain TPS Beneficiaries

E-Verify released a reminder on Sept. 27, 2019, that certain employment authorization documents (EADs) issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador are automatically extended through Jan. 2, 2020. We reported the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) notice of their action … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Nominates Poland for U.S. Visa Waiver Program

Today, President Trump announced that his administration has nominated Poland as a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating country. Entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism, business, or in transit for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. President Trump … Continue Reading

Senate Approves CR to Fund Government, Including Vital Programs Like EB-5

Today, the U.S. Senate approved the House-passed Continuing Resolution (CR; H.R. 4378 ) to fund the U.S. government through Nov. 21 by a bipartisan vote of 82-15. The last step in the process is the president’s signature which, according to media reports, remains likely.    Please contact your GT attorney with any specific questions and check … Continue Reading

Administration Concludes Rulemaking Providing Temporary Protected Status for Syria

As previously reported, the rulemaking extending TPS for Syria has concluded: AGENCY: DHS-USCIS RIN: 1615-ZB72 Status: Concluded TITLE: Extension of the Designation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status STAGE: Notice ECONOMICALLY SIGNIFICANT: No RECEIVED DATE: 09/19/2019 LEGAL DEADLINE: None ** COMPLETED: 09/20/2019 COMPLETED ACTION: Consistent with Change DATES: Extension of Designation of Syria for TPS: The … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Sponsors 2019 Samsung Gives Charity Gala

Greenberg Traurig recently sponsored the 2019 Samsung Gives Charity Gala in New York City. With hundreds of guests in attendance, including musicians, athletes, and celebrities, this program is dedicated to celebrating worthy causes, furthering community impact, and honoring organizations and the people who work so hard every single day to make the world a better place. … Continue Reading

House Passes Continuing Resolution to Fund Government, Including Vital Programs Such as EB-5

Yesterday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) introduced a continuing resolution (CR) to fund government from end of the current fiscal year, Sept. 30, until Nov. 21, 2019. By a vote of 301-123, the House today passed H.R. 4378, the CR that will fund the government through Nov. 21. To EB-5 advocates, this timing is significant … 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

U.S. to Reduce E Visa Validity for French Nationals

With only a 9-day notice, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced critical restrictions on French Nationals for E visas on August 20, 2019.   The general rule is that different types of U.S. visas have different visa validity periods depending on the nationality of the visa applicant because the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Adds More to Disclosure Data to Include End Client Information

The H-1B program is undergoing even more scrutiny under the current White House administration. Under the “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, the goal is for companies to hire only the best and the brightest for visa sponsorship, mostly H-1B visa holders. The Department of Labor (DOL), the governmental agency that handles the public disclosure … Continue Reading

Administration Extends TPS for Syria

The Department of Homeland Security has announced an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through March 31, 2021, for approximately 7,000 Syrian nationals legally in the United States. For more information on Syria or other TPS matters, please contact your GT attorney or click here. This blog will be updated as information becomes available, so please check back … Continue Reading

EB-5 Regulations Published for Public Inspection

After more than two and a half years, Obama-era EB-5 immigration regulations are set to be published on July 24, 2019, with an effective date 120 days after publication or Nov. 21, 2019. See EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization. These regulations have been opposed by many industry participants, as evidenced in a letter to Congressional Leadership … Continue Reading

USCIS Determines Adjustment of Status Filing Dates for August 2019

On July 16, 2019, USCIS determined that for August 2019, the Dates for Filing chart must be used for family-based preference filings, and the Final Action Dates chart must be used for employment-based preference filings. In the F2A category, there is a cutoff date on the Dates for Filing chart. However, the category is “current” … Continue Reading

I-539 Applications are Treated as Stand-Alone Applications and are No Longer Eligible for ‘Courtesy’ Premium Processing with I-129

There is no premium processing available for any nonimmigrant status requested using a stand-alone Form I-539. Until recently, however, the USCIS would traditionally grant courtesy premium processing for I-539 applications (H-4, L-2, E-2 or O-3 applicants) that were filed concurrently with the principal’s I-129 petition if the I-129 was filed using premium processing. The USCIS … Continue Reading

DHS Completes Public Charge Rule; Forwards to OMB

On July 12, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) completed review and forwarded a final rule on a Public Charge rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This action follows action last week as reported here wherein the Department of Justice completed review and forwarded aspects of a Public Charge final rule within … 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
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