A gathering opportunity for immigration legal professionals from both the United States and around the globe, the annual American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Conference (AC23) was held in Orlando in June 2023. Peter Shin and Anna Reiff represented Greenberg Traurig, whose continued presence at this conference underscores the firm’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of immigration law and policy.

AC23 featured a diverse selection of sessions, including topics on emerging technologies, regulatory updates, visa issuance programs, and procedural law, among others.

AC23 highlights: discussions surrounding emerging technologies that already have been implemented or are in development that aim to streamline routine immigration procedures. These include:

  • CBP One™ Mobile Application: Providing increased accessibility and transparency to some of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ’s most often-used services, such as inspection appointment requests for brokers/carriers/forwarders and an I-94 Entry feature for travelers.
  • ESTA Mobile Application: Simplifying the process for travelers by scanning their passports and photos, eliminating the need for printed ESTA documentation in some cases. See our July 2023 blog post.
  • Mobile Passport Control (MPC): Enabling U.S. citizens, Canadian visitors, and U.S. Legal Permanent Residents to declare items directly within the app, streamlining the customs declaration process. Some ports have dedicated lanes for MPC users, further expediting their entry into the United States.
  • Visalaw.ai – Artificial Intelligence: Forthcoming AILA collaboration tool aimed to support immigration lawyers in their work. This AI platform will provide tools for legal research, summarization, drafting, and client engagement. The first phase of this new technology is scheduled for purchase on Aug. 1, 2023.
  • USCIS Online Biometric Rescheduling Tool: Enabling benefit requestors, attorneys, and accredited representatives to reschedule appointments before the scheduled date without the need to call or send mail to the USCIS Contact Center. See our July 2023 blog post.

Fastcase CEO Ed Walters delivered the keynote speech, during which he emphasized the transformative potential of emerging technologies in immigration law, encouraging practitioners to embrace this change by understanding and leveraging these tools to enhance legal services for clients.

GT’s representatives also had the opportunity to engage with U.S. government agency representatives from CBP, the Department of State, USCIS, and the Department of Labor. Topics discussed included the availability of the pilot in-U.S. Visa Issuance Program, the role and capabilities of the CIS Ombudsman Office, nonimmigrant visa wait times at U.S. consular posts, and the new PERM online application system, among many others.