Tag Archives: Visas

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

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

On May 17, USCIS announced completion of data entry for all fiscal year 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in its computer-generated random selection process. USCIS will now begin returning petitions that were not selected. USCIS will issue another announcement once it has finished returning all petitions that were not selected. As has been the case in … Continue Reading

President Unveils New Immigration Reform Plan

Today, President Trump hosted a Rose Garden event unveiling his new immigration plan. The theme of the address, “Modernizing Our Immigration System for a Stronger America,” focuses on border security and modernizing the employment-based immigration systems to be more merit-based, according to the president. A new initiative called the “Build America Visa” would replace certain … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Release Prepublication Joint Rule for Additional H-2B Visas

On May 6, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Labor issued a prepublication of the joint temporary rule setting forth the process for accessing 30,000 additional H-2B visas. It is expected that on formal publication of the rule in the Federal Register May 8, eligible U.S. employers documenting returning worker status (over the last three … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Israel to Join Countries Qualified for E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

As previously announced on our blog, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa will soon be available to Israeli nationals wishing to make a substantial investment in or set up a business in the United States. USCIS announced on April 22 that eligible Israeli nationals already in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, as well … 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

Phase One of Premium Processing for FY 2020 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions Begins May 20

On May 20, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions that were filed (1) requesting a change of status; and (2) with a Form I-907. To manage high demand during the initial surge of premium processing requests for H-1B cap petitions and to … Continue Reading

DHS Grants Additional H-2B Visas for Seasonal Employment

Amid a flurry of media reports last week and verified today by U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the availability of 30,000 additional H-2B visas for 2019 seasonal employment. Several years ago, Congress gave the DHS Secretary, in consultation with the Department of Labor, the authority to augment H-2B seasonal visas … 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

E-Verify and the Government Shutdown

We have received many client inquiries relating to E-Verify and the government shutdown. In short, E-Verify is unavailable, as the program’s authorization lapsed Dec. 22, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the program, announced that the website http://www.e-verify.gov/ will not be actively managed and will not be updated until after funding is restored. … Continue Reading

USCIS Continues to Increase Number of RFEs and Denials Issued

Since President Trump issued his “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order in April 2017, USCIS has been issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) at unprecedented rates. While the H-1B visa category was specifically targeted as one requiring stricter scrutiny and reform efforts, USCIS has also focused on other visa types for significant adjudication and approval … Continue Reading

November 2018 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) November 2018 Visa Bulletin shows movement in employment-based categories. The EB-1 category remained retrogressed for November 2018. Although it is likely that there will be some forward movement in December 2018 for EB-1 India, it will probably NOT return to “current” this calendar year. The EB-2 India category will likely move … Continue Reading

Challenges with “Function Manager” Positions in the L-1A and EB-1 Multinational Manager Classifications

In today’s world of evolving multinational organizations, from hierarchical to flat structures, and increased scrutiny of the L-1 visa category by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the challenges of the “function manager” position within the L-1A visa and First Preference Employment-based immigrant visa for Multinational Managers or Executives (EB-1 MM) classifications continue to cause … Continue Reading

USCIS Proposes Increase to Premium Processing Fee

On Aug. 31, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a final rule in the Federal Register to increase the premium processing fee for certain visa petitions to $1,410, effective Oct. 1, 2018. Premium processing, a service offered for certain petitions, requires U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjudicate a petition (i.e., approve, … Continue Reading

September 2018 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) recently released the September 2018 Visa Bulletin. The charts below show movement in employment-based categories. Referring to the Final Action Dates, following are updates from the September Visa Bulletin: EB-1: Mainland China and India had no movement, with a cutoff date of Jan. 1, 2012, while El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam … Continue Reading

President Signs KIWI Act Providing for E-1 and E-2 Status for New Zealand

As an update to an earlier post, on Aug. 1, the president signed the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (KIWI Act) granting E-1 and E-2 status to certain New Zealand nationals under mutual considerations. This will permit citizens of New Zealand to apply for U.S. visas to carry on significant trade with the United States … 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

Greenberg Traurig Attorney Ian Macdonald is Quoted in Law360

Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Ian Macdonald was recently quoted in the Law360 article, “L-1B Site Visit Shift Reported As Trump Ramps Up Scrutiny.” The L-1B visa allows a company to transfer an employee with “specialized knowledge” from a foreign office to a location in the United States. Macdonald discusses the new development of increased site visits … Continue Reading

New Travel Ban Order to Temporarily Halt Entry for Those Seeking New Visas from 6 Muslim-Majority Countries

The heavily anticipated new Executive Order (EO), “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” banning nationals from six countries from entering the United States, was signed by President Donald Trump on March 6, 2017 with an effective date 10 days following on March 16, 2017. This new EO revokes and replaces the … Continue Reading

October 2016 Visa Bulletin – Dates for Filing

In October 2015 the Department of State (DOS) visa bulletin saw significant revisions with the addition of a second chart entitled “Dates for Filing.”   The new chart was met with much excitement from foreign nationals who continue to experience significant retrogression as it provided earlier filing dates for adjustment of status applications.  These applications carry … Continue Reading

“Immigration Strategies for Employers During Layoffs” by Greenberg Traurig’s Kate Kalmykov Featured in The New Jersey Law Journal

Kate Kalmykov, shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, recently authored an article in the New Jersey Law Journal (NJLJ) discussing immigration strategies during layoffs and reductions in force.  The article highlights proper protocol for employers to follow when terminating a foreign national population in compliance with federal regulatory requirements.  Likewise, it identifies specific strategies to utilize based … Continue Reading

Dramatic Increase in Wait Times at U.S. Consular Posts Across India

According to a June 13, 2016 practice alert from AILA, appointment wait times for nonimmigrant visa interviews in India have soared.  This dramatic increase is likely the result of a reported increase in visa demand of over 80 percent in the past 5 years.  Unfortunately the AILA DOS Liaison Committee has indicated that they anticipate wait … Continue Reading
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