Tag Archives: Visas

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

June 2016 – Monthly AILA Check-In with Charlie Oppenheim

Charlie Oppenheim is the chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS) where he is responsible for providing analysis and prediction for immigrant preference categories.  After the release of the July 2016 visa bulletin Mr. Oppenheim provided the following information regarding employment-based petitions to AILA: EB-2 and EB-3 – China: … Continue Reading

House Judiciary Committee to Consider Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016

Today, the House Judiciary Committee will consider H.R.5203, the Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016.  The bill is authored by Representative Randy Forbes of Virginia. The bill’s purpose is to enhance security procedures for the processing of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas.  We provide a sectional summary of the bill below. Section 2 of … Continue Reading

June 2016 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State (DOS) has released the June 2016 Visa Bulletin that includes the “Application Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications.” For both family-sponsored and employment-based filings, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website indicates that the Application Final Action Dates chart must be used for May 2016. Please see … Continue Reading

U.S. Consulate in Toronto Suspends Third Country National Appointments in Summer 2016

Following a trend from past summers, the U.S. Consulate in Toronto has suspended Third Country Nationals’ (non-Canadian Nationals’) visa appointments in the summer months of June, July, and August. This suspension only applies to Third Country Nationals and Canadian citizen applicants. Those Third Country Nationals who are legally living in Canada are unaffected. Third Country … Continue Reading

Proposed Changes to Form I-9

Federal law requires employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire, complete and retain a Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) for each employee, and avoid discriminating against individuals on the basis of national origin or citizenship. On March 28, 2016, USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register to notify … Continue Reading

DHS Set to Publish Final Rule Allowing Further STEM OPT Extensions for Foreign Students

Today DHS released an advanced copy of its final rule allowing foreign students with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to extend their Optional Practical Training (OPT) for an additional 24 months.  DHS will publish the final rule in the Federal Register this Friday.  The rule will go into effect on May 10.  … Continue Reading

United States to Expand E-Visa Processing Options in Canada

On Feb. 26, the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto, Ontario, announced enhancements to the E-Visa process for Canadian applicants. It announced that it will streamline the registration process at the Toronto Consulate General for Canadian companies employing E-1 and E-2 visas.  Further, the Consulate General announced that it was expanding the locations at which E-Visa … Continue Reading

Senator Leahy and Senator Hatch Introduce Legislation to Improve the Visa Process for International Artists

On Feb. 8, 2016, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Orrin Hatch introduced the ARTS Act (S.2510), which would enforce the current statutory mandate for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to expedite processing of O and P visas at the agency. Under the legislation, if USCIS does not process an O or P visa within … Continue Reading

USCIS Provides Guidance on Immigrant Visa Availability and Priority Dates

The Basics of Immigrant Visa Availability The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets a limit on the number of immigrant visas (i.e. green cards) that may be issued to foreign nationals each year, and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is the agency that allocates the aforementioned immigrant visas. There are an unlimited number of … Continue Reading

All Embassies and Consulates Closed on October 9, 2015, to perform Global Consular Systems Upgrade

On Friday, October 9, 2015, the Department of State will perform a consular systems upgrade at all Embassies and Consulates (Consular Posts).  Because of this upgrade, the Consular Posts will be closed to the public, and any scheduled appointments for this date will be rescheduled by the Consular Posts.  If you have a scheduled visa … Continue Reading

Regrettable and Sudden – DOS Issues a Revised Visa Bulletin for October 2015 Leaving Many Foreign Nationals Upset

September 9, 2015, brought great excitement to many foreign nationals—particularly nationals of India, China, and the Philippines—who were anxiously awaiting the opportunity to file their Adjustment of Status applications with USCIS several years earlier than expected so they could secure independent work authorization and travel permission while waiting to obtain their green cards.  GT wrote … Continue Reading
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