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

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Significant Restrictions at U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Italy Due to COVID-19 (also in Italian)

As an update to our Feb. 26 post regarding the U.S. Consulate General in Milan temporarily suspending its routine visa services, on March 9, 2020, the Italian government issued a decree which restricts the movement of the country’s entire population effective immediately. This decree is valid until April 3, 2020, but is subject to change. Employers … Continue Reading

Important Update on Visa Rescheduling Due to the Coronavirus

Due to the coronavirus outbreak throughout China, a number of heavily infected Chinese cities, including Wuhan, are under quarantine, whereas many other parts of China have imposed certain types of travel restrictions in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. On Jan. 28, 2020, the U.S. Consulate General of Hong Kong & Macau … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of State Announces Prohibition on ‘Birth Tourism’

On Jan. 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) posted a final rule, effective immediately, imposing new restrictions on individuals applying for B nonimmigrant visas at U.S. consular posts outside of the United States. A B nonimmigrant visa is used by individuals traveling to the United States for business (B-1 visa) or pleasure (B-2 … Continue Reading

Friendly Fire: USCIS Deploys New Definition of ‘Residence’ in Statutory Provisions Related to Citizenship

On Aug. 28, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new policy guidance “to address requirements for ‘residence’ in statutory provisions related to citizenship, and to rescind previous guidance regarding children of U.S. government employees and members of the U.S. armed forces employed or stationed outside the United States.” USCIS has updated its Policy … Continue Reading

United States Recognizes Venezuelan National Assembly Decree Extending Validity of Venezuelan Passports

The Venezuelan opposition-controlled National Assembly recently acknowledged the significant obstacles for Venezuelans in extending or obtaining new passports, and issued a decree extending the validity of already issued Venezuelan passports for five years. The U.S. Department of State announced on June 7 it will recognize the decree and accept Venezuelan passports accordingly. This is positive news for Venezuelans … Continue Reading

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

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

January 2019 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) January 2019 Visa Bulletin has resulted in mixed bag of retrogression for some and advancement for others. The EB-1 category moved forward approximately 3 months across the board. EB-3 China and India are both now at Dec. 15, 2016.  The EB-2 category showed minor improvement for China to Aug. 1, 2015, … Continue Reading

December 2018 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) December 2018 Visa Bulletin shows some movement in employment-based categories. The EB-1 category will advance three months in all countries, with China and India advancing to Sept. 1, 2016, and all other countries will move forward to July 21, 2016. The EB-2 category remained current for all countries except China, advancing … Continue Reading

DOS Proposes Rule Requiring Review of Social Media for U.S. Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Applicants

The Department of State (DOS) has noticed for public comment an Information Collection Review – Electronic Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration  that would require immigrants coming to the United States to submit five years of social media history. This effort is viewed by many as a component of “enhanced vetting” on behalf of the … Continue Reading

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. 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
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