On March 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced unexpectedly that, effective immediately, it has rescinded a previous policy on categories of business travelers and nonimmigrant workers eligible for National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) to Presidential Proclamation 10143, which restricts travel from the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. The new policy will indeed make it more difficult for business travelers and nonimmigrant workers to obtain permission to travel to the United States.
Tag: Corporate Immigration
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would extend its COVID policy of deferring the physical presence requirements associated with Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The policy, instituted at the beginning of the pandemic, was set to expire on January 31, 2021, but has been extended to March 31st of this year.
Not Biden His Time: Biden Administration Announces Intentions to Make Immigration Reform a Top Administrative Priority
Immediately after President Joe Biden took office, his administration unveiled a series of Executive Actions and legislative proposals designed to signal its top priorities. The actions taken within his first week include reversing Executive Orders issued by the Trump Administration, withdrawing certain pending regulations, delaying the implementation of regulations made by the Trump Administration post-election, and pushing forward a legislative overhaul of the current immigration system. These actions and proposals signal that modernizing the current immigration system will be one of the top priorities of the new administration.
The order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. EST (5:01 a.m. GMT) on January 26, 2021. After going into effect, this order replaces a previous order currently in effect and expands UK pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements to all U.S.-bound passengers flying in from foreign countries.
Backlog to the Future: Lingering Questions about the Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Wait Times Under H.R. 1044/S. 386
As currently drafted, the bills would eliminate the 7% per-country ceiling for all employment-based visa categories by October 1, 2022. However, the bill would not eliminate the numerical cap for immigrant visas that could be issued per year. Instead, it would distribute the backlog across all countries by changing the visa allocation process to be a first-come, first-served process.
DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status Benefits for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal Nationals
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on December 9, 2020, an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal through October 4, 2021. TPS is a temporary status that allows nationals of designated countries to remain and, in some cases, work in the United States until it is considered safe to return to their home country.
Federal Judge Strikes Down Two Rules that Impose Restrictions on U.S. Employers who Sponsor Foreign Workers
At issue was whether or not the Administration was justified in its determination that the COVID-19 pandemic provided a good cause exception to Section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires a proper public notice and comment period before a rule can be implemented. The court decided that it was not.
The Premium Processing Roller Coaster: What is the Fee Now, and Has it Been Expanded to Other Types of Immigration Benefit Requests?
The short answer is that the premium processing fee increased to $2,500 effective October 20, 2020, for all eligible I-129 and I-140 filings (except for H-2B and R-1 requests that increased to $1500), based on the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act that was part of the Continuing Appropriations Act 2021 and Other Extensions Act signed into law on October 1. Although the Act gives U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) authority to expand premium processing to other types of benefit requests, the agency recently said it is not yet taking that action. In other words, USCIS has not yet applied premium processing to I-765, I-539, or the other new benefit requests.
Posted October 12, 2020 with Tags Corporate Immigration
During the first week of October and just days into the new fiscal year, the Trump Administration announced two significant changes for employers who wish to sponsor foreign workers. The first of these announcements affects changes to the prevailing wage that employers must pay foreign workers, while the second imposes changes to the H-1B process for employers who wish to sponsor foreign professionals.
With just days before a sweeping fee increase set to take place, a California federal judge stayed the implementation and the effective date of USCIS Immigration Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements.
America’s immigration system is based on a quota system. This means that there is a limited number of permanent resident visas available each year, with limits per category and per country. This article will focus on the employment-based categories only.
The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act and What USCIS Furloughs Could Mean for U.S. Businesses
On Saturday, August 22, 2020, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8089, the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, in an attempt to forestall the impending U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) furlough of about 13,400 employees that is slated for August 30, 2020. The bill will now go before the Senate, where its sponsor and co-sponsors hope for a quick passage soon.
On July 1, 2020, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) will enter into full force, when it will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) as the primary agreement governing trade relations between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
The new Proclamation seeks to bar entry into the United States of individuals who are using a visa in one of several temporary visas categories.
Posted June 18, 2020 with Tags Corporate Immigration
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court issued today a legal defeat to the Administration’s termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The program (initially announced in June 2012) allows certain foreign nationals who were brought to the United States as children to request permission to remain in the United States (also known as deferred action) and work for a period of two years if specific requirements are met. An estimated 700,000 beneficiaries have received DACA benefits to date.
June 2020 is already proving itself to be a challenging month for employers who sponsor foreign workers.