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 of Homeland Security was ordered to develop an assessment model to assess national security and public safety threats in identifying whether countries would be removed or added to the list. From the March 2017 travel ban, 200 countries were reviewed and assessed, and in September 2017, President Trump issued a revised version of the travel ban.

Since then, DHS has continued to review and assess security concerns from each country, utilizing updated methodologies, which includes a foreign government’s willingness and frequency in sharing information, and working with the intelligence community to assess risk of terrorist travel.  A review of each country’s performance per the criteria established in 2017 was also conducted, and as a result, it has been recommended to President Trump that he exercise his authority to suspend entry into the United States for an additional six countries as follow: Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.


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

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 stated: “…This is an important step in continuing to increase economic, security, cultural, and people-to-people connections between our two nations. Now that Poland has been nominated, the Department of Homeland Security will take necessary action, as soon as possible, to assess Poland’s entry into the program. If Poland is designated as a Visa Waiver Program country, its nationals would be authorized for visa-free travel to the United States for business and tourism. The bilateral relationship between the United States and Poland has never been stronger, and this would serve as a remarkable accomplishment for both countries.”
Continue Reading Trump Administration Nominates Poland for U.S. Visa Waiver Program

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 types of U.S. visas have different visa validity periods depending on the nationality of the visa applicant because the Immigration and Nationality Act requires the DOS to set country-specific visa policies on a reciprocal basis. The validity periods are based on each country’s treatment of similar classes of U.S. visitors to its territory. In other words, if a country imposes restrictive visa requirements on U.S. citizens, the U.S. reciprocates with more restrictive requirements on that country’s citizens.
Continue Reading Update: U.S. to Reduce E-Visa Validity for French Nationals Effective Sept. 26, 2019

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 information for employers looking to sponsor H-1B employees, has always released information for Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) in conjunction with the H-1B petition. The LCA has traditionally disclosed information including employer name, address, salary wage range, and worksite location, among other attestations the employer must make to meet labor and immigration laws. In November 2018, the DOL changed the format of the LCA to include those employers that place employees at a third-party client site, many of which petition for their own H-1B workers. See our November 2018 blog post here.
Continue Reading Department of Labor Adds More to Disclosure Data to Include End Client Information

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
Continue Reading EB-5 Regulations Published for Public Inspection