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Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm - United States

Green and Spiegel U.S. Blog

Sep 18, 2020

Update on Upcoming USCIS Fee Changes

• Fee increases and corresponding versions of new forms will apply to filings postmarked 10/02/2020 or later. • Fee increases by a weighted average of 20%, $10.00 discount available to online filings. • Significant increases for naturalization and overall cost of adjustment of status. • Asylum Applications will now carry $50.00 fee. • Premium Processing will remain the same fee but with 15-business-day deadline. • Most separate biometric fees eliminated and built-in to overall filing fee. • Several fee waivers no longer available. Learn more in this blog.

Sep 17, 2020

Appeals Court Rules Trump Administration Can End Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

The United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday that President Trump can put an end to Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which would deny more than 300,000 individuals the ability to remain in the United States legally. Learn more in this blog.

Aug 26, 2020

President Trump’s RNC Naturalization Ceremony Was Misleading

Last night, The Republican National Convention broadcast featured a prerecorded segment in which President Trump hosted a naturalization ceremony for five candidates at the White House. The president attempted to soften his image of being harsh on immigration by highlighting the achievements of these five diverse individuals and emphasizing the incredible honor of becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. Learn more in this blog.

Aug 26, 2020

USCIS Avoided Furloughs and Will Stay Open through September 30th End of the Fiscal Year

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the agency will remain open through the end of the 2020 fiscal year. The word at the end of July was that the agency would essentially shut down at the end of August due to unprecedented deficits. The agency delayed the furlough plan and kept its employees working, in hopes that either Congress would bail the agency out or revenues would increase enough as the pandemic economic restrictions eased. That gamble appears to have paid off and the agency has sufficient resources to self-fund through this fiscal year.

Aug 20, 2020

Jonathan Grode of Green and Spiegel is Recognized as a Top Private Attorney by Best Lawyers®

Green and Spiegel’s U.S. Practice Director and Managing Partner, Jonathan Grode, has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (2021 Edition). This is Jonathan’s first time receiving this award.

Aug 19, 2020

State Department Waiver Guidance Further Opens the Door to the Return of Some of Our Foreign Workers

Foreign national employees of U.S. companies struggle to return to their employment because of Trump Administration travel restrictions. There are exemptions written into those restrictions but they have been difficult to access with closed consulates and embassies and a lack of guidance. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has begun issuing visas and consular services are becoming more available. August 12, 2020 guidance lays out approaches to getting exemptions to travel restrictions through U.S. consulates and embassies and may help people apply for exemptions through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Carefully framed requests for these exemptions is a remedy for some foreign workers seeking to work for U.S. employers.

Aug 14, 2020

ALERT – USCIS COMMENCES SECOND ROUND OF H-1B LOTTERY SELECTIONS

Second round of selections underway for those Registrations still on file from March 2020. At this time it is unclear how many additional Registrations will be selected or for how long the second round will run. Selected Registrations will have 90 days to submit full Petitions requesting employment as early as October 1, 2020. Premium Processing available at this time.

Aug 6, 2020

The U.S. Dept. of Labor and Immigration Authorities are Going to Examine Business Immigration Petitioners Much More Closely

The U.S. government and state agencies which regulate recruitment, hiring, and employment are integrating. They are sharing more information and increasingly possess tools for analysis, investigation, and reporting which rival those of the private sector. This makes the practical costs of mistakes, negligence, and fraud more significant and suggests that businesses look carefully policies and procedures to mitigate risk.

Jul 31, 2020

District Court Judge Rebukes Trump Administration Again

Nationwide Injunction Entered Against Application of Public Charge Rule by USCIS and DOS

Jul 29, 2020

U.S. Department of Justice Slaps Down Company's Attempt to Hire Only Foreign Workers

On July 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with ASTA CRS Inc. of Virginia (“ASTA”) which resolves complaints that ASTA discriminated against U.S. workers in hiring. Of issue was ASTA’s job announcements and procedures which sought exclusively foreign workers and made clear the company’s preference for hiring non-U.S. persons. These were violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the settlement saddles ASTA with policy changes, training, and DOJ oversight.

Jul 27, 2020

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program Announces that New Foreign Students Can Not Take Online-Only Courses and Reside in the United States

On Friday July, 24 the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) once again made an announcement regarding the temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the Fall 2020 semester. The March guidelines remain in place for nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on or prior to March 9, 2020. However, nonimmigrant students in new or initial status after March 9th will not be able to enter the United States or enroll in a U.S. school for the fall term if the full course of study is 100% online.

Jul 24, 2020

USCIS Staves off the Axe... For Now

Patrick Leahy (U.S. Senator, VT) announced today that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is postponing a proposed furlough of employees through at least August 31, 2020 to provide Congress and the White House an opportunity to address its projected $571 million deficit. Learn more in this blog.

Jul 24, 2020

Permanent Residents Struggle to Prove That They are Authorized to Work in the United States

Delays in processing documents has created a crisis for some Lawful Permanent Residents since the ability to work is tied to demonstrating work authorization and identity. For Permanent Residents, this usually means presenting a Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”) or a temporary stamp in their passport which shows that they are waiting for a Green Card to be delivered that they are approved to receive. For those who can’t get the stamp and haven’t received the card, they may not be able to work. Fortunately, there are some mechanisms in place to spur the agency which oversees this process to deliver the necessary documentation.

Jul 16, 2020

UPDATE: Additional Exceptions to Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Issuance

Quick Takeaways • Derivatives of H, J, and L exempted from Executive Order and/or in the United States also exempted. • Immigrant Visa applicants protected against aging out. • Valid Diversity Visas will not be revoked. • Irish, UK, and Schengen F-1/M-1 may travel without National Interest Exception.

Jul 15, 2020

U.S. Consulates Begin Phased Resumption of Visa Services

Limited resumption on consulate-by-consulate basis, depending on local conditions. No timetable for universal reopening, resumption of normal workload, or availability of all services. Travel restrictions and visa suspensions still in place. Learn more in this blog.

Jul 14, 2020

Trump Administration Rescinds Ruling against Foreign Students

We previously reported that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced plans to severely modify temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking courses during the Fall semester that would result in international students enrolled in online programs being stripped of their visas, denied entry to the united States, or forced to depart the country if already here. Today the government has agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020 policy and will return to the March 13, 2020 policy which allowed nonimmigrants students to take more online courses than usually permitted by Federal regulations.

Jul 9, 2020

Update – 60-Day Extension of Deadlines for RFEs and Other Agency Requests Extended through September 11, 2020

If RFE, NOID, NOIR, Denial, or other Agency request issued between March 1, 2020 and September 11, 2020, may submit up-to-60-days beyond stated deadline or decision date. New notices will not be issued. Learn more in this blog.

Jul 8, 2020

M.I.T. and Harvard Sue the Trump Administration over Plan to Require In-Person Classes for International Students

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced plans to severely modify temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the fall semester forcing students enrolled in programs operating entirely online to depart the United States or transfer to another school in order to avoid deportation. Universities across the country were swift to criticize and decry this decision by the Trump administration; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T) and Harvard have filed a lawsuit against them. Learn more in this blog.

Jul 7, 2020

SEVP Modifies Temporary Exemptions for International Students Taking Online Courses During the Fall 2020 Semester

On Monday, July 6th the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that it has implemented modifications to temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the Fall 2020 semester. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a change in policy had permitted nonimmigrant students to take more online courses than usually permitted by Federal regulations to maintain their nonimmigrant status. Learn more in this blog.

Jul 7, 2020

Global Entry Enrollment Reopening Postponed Until at Least August 10, 2020

The Global Entry Program has been closed since March 19th due to COVID-19. Its reopening has been postponed until at least August 10th, 2020. Because of the continued closure applicants have 485 days from their conditional approval to complete the enrollment application. Those who scheduled interviews in July and early August must reschedule their appointments. The Enrollment on Arrival program remains operational. Residents of New York State are still ineligible for Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs.