Category Archives: U.S. Department of State (DOS)

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Travel Update: Refugee Admissions to Resume with Trump Executive Order

President Trump signed a new Executive Order (EO) on Tuesday, the same day as the last travel ban’s provision against refugee admissions was due to expire.  The EO allows refugees to travel into the U.S. and the Department of Homeland Security to process refugee applications. The Trump Administration had previously blocked refugee travel through an … Continue Reading

GT Alert – New Immigration Policy Focuses On Alcohol-Related Charges

In an apparent change in policy, U.S. immigration authorities are now taking a hard-line approach to individuals who have alcohol-related charges or offenses, marking a significant shift in how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State treat visa holders in this predicament. Employers and employees alike should take note of this … Continue Reading

U.S. Departments of Justice and State Announce Partnership to Challenge Visa Fraud and Safeguard U.S. Workers

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of State have announced the launch of a partnership designed to protect U.S. workers from discrimination and counter abuses of the employment-based visa system. Introducing the measure, Acting Assistant Attorney General John M. Gore stated, “Employers [who] discriminate against qualified U.S. workers by favoring foreign visa … Continue Reading

U.S. Suspends Nonimmigrant Visa Services in Turkey; Turkey Responds by Suspending Visas to U.S. Citizens

The U.S. Embassy announced it was suspending all nonimmigrant visa services in all U.S. diplomatic posts in Turkey. Turkey responded within a few hours of the U.S. Embassy’s announcement by saying it would no longer issue visas to U.S. citizens, including the physical “sticker” visas at border posts as well as the online Turkish electronic … Continue Reading

The White House Releases Immigration Principles & Policies

On Oct. 8, 2017, the White House released the promised Immigration Principles & Policies (Principles & Policies) which outline the Trump Administration’s position on immigration. This document is broken into three parts: 1) Border Security, 2) Interior Enforcement, and 3) Merit-Based Immigration. A summary of each part is broken down below.… 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

September 2017 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State (DOS) recently released the September 2017 Visa Bulletin.  The charts show movement in some employment-based categories, with no movement in other employment-based visa categories. According to the September Visa Bulletin, the following are updates to Final Action Dates: EB-1: The Worldwide EB-1 category for India and China remains stalled at Jan. 1, … Continue Reading

Update On FAQs After Hawaii District Court Decision

On July 14, 2017, Judge Derrick Watson from the Hawaii District Court expanded the definition of “close familial relationship” to include grandparents, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. In addition, Judge Watson ruled that for refugees, a bona fide relationship with an entity can include a U.S. resettlement agency that has issued a … Continue Reading

August 2017 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State’s (DOS) August 2017 Visa Bulletin showed some minor forward movement in some employment-based categories, with no movement or retrogression in other employment-based visa categories. Referring to the Final Action Dates, the following are the updates for the August Visa Bulletin: The Worldwide EB-1 category for India and China remains stalled at Jan. … Continue Reading

Updated Information and FAQs on the Reinstated Partial Travel Ban

As the Supreme Court lifted the injunction on the second Executive Order regarding the travel ban, questions abound regarding its implementation and how it will affect both visa issuance and entry into the United States. Visa issuance is overseen by the Department of State while entry into the United States is overseen by Customs and Border Protection. … Continue Reading

New Development: DOS & CBP Release Additional Guidance on Travel Ban Following Monday’s Supreme Court Ruling

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court partially lifted the injunctions granted by the Fourth and Ninth Circuits on President Trump’s second Executive Order commanding a temporary travel ban. The Supreme Court narrowed the application of travel ban, which will now only apply to nationals from the six designated countries “who lack any bona fide … Continue Reading

BREAKING – Supreme Court of the United States Partially Lifts Injunctions Barring President Trump’s Travel Ban But Agrees to Hear Case in Fall of 2017

On Monday, June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States partially revived part of President Trump’s second Executive Order (EO-2)  mandating a temporary travel ban from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, which will be in effect on June 29, 2017. EO-2 also sought to suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and limit the … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues Guidance Regarding Adjustment of Status Application Filing Dates for July 2017

USCIS has determined that for July 2017, the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin must be used for both family-sponsored filings and employment-based preference filings. By way of background, individuals who are present in the United States are eligible to file a Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status in … Continue Reading

Proposed California Law Would Increase Employer Responsibilities When Faced With Immigration Worksite Enforcement Actions

In response to the Trump administration’s stance on immigration enforcement, California is considering legislation (Assembly Bill 450 (Chiu)) which would prohibit employers from providing federal immigration officials with access to nonpublic areas of the workplace without a judicial warrant. While aiming to provide new protections to workers, the bill’s broad language does not eliminate any employer … Continue Reading

December 2016 – Monthly AILA Check-In with Charlie Oppenheim

After the release of the December Visa Bulletin, Charlie Oppenheim, chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS), provided his predictions to AILA on the future movement in the employment-based green card categories. They are summarized below: EB-1 China and India Charlie predicts that EB-1 China and India will … Continue Reading

Update on DHS Proposed Rules Affecting Employment-based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

As reported, in December 2015, USCIS published a proposed rule on the Federal Register in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks to improve job portability for highly skilled immigrants and clarify issues affecting foreign nationals in employment-based nonimmigrant visa categories like H-1B. The proposed regulations received almost 28,000 comments. On October 24, 2016, … Continue Reading

November 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State released the November Visa Bulletin, which contains some movement of final action dates in certain employment-based categories. The Worldwide EB1-1 category remains current for all categories, including individuals born in mainland China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico and the Philippines. The cutoff date for worldwide chargeability in the EB-2 category … Continue Reading

State Department Issues Cable on Extension of Three Visa Programs

On Oct. 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued an unclassified cable on the Continuing Resolution signed into law on Sept. 29, 2016 that extends several important immigration programs, including the Conrad State 30 Program, the non-minister special immigrant religious worker program (SR visa), and the EB-5 Regional Center program. The House and … Continue Reading

Department of State Issues October 2016 Visa Bulletin

This week, the Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for October 2016. EB-5 Unfortunately, the expected movement as the U.S. government begins a new fiscal year did not materialize for the EB-5 visa category. The date for final action for the EB-5 visa category for mainland China born applicants advanced only one week from … Continue Reading

USCIS Expands Eligibility for Unlawful Presence Provisional Waiver

In July 2016, USCIS announced a final rule expanding eligibility of immigrant visa applicants to provisional waivers of unlawful presence under INA section 212(a)(9)(B). Under the former rule promulgated in 2013, only applicants immigrating as immediate relatives (i.e., spouses, parents, or unmarried children of U.S. citizens under 21) could qualify for the waiver of the … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues Guidance Regarding Adjustment of Status Application Filing Dates for September 2016

On Aug. 9, 2016, following the release of the September 2016 Visa Bulletin, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) issued a statement explaining when to file Adjustment of Status applications for those seeking to become U.S. permanent residents under family-sponsored or employment-based preference immigrant visa categories. By way of background, individuals who are present in … Continue Reading

September 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

This week, the Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for September 2016. Given that visa numbers are issued based on the government fiscal year, we expect to see significant movement again in October 2016; for September 2016, the last month of FY2016, there were only minor changes with regard to movement of final action … Continue Reading
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