Jan 21, 2022
A Federal Register notice published January 21, 2022 announced that DHS "is amending the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List by adding 22 qualifying fields of study and a corresponding Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code for each." This list is used to determine which degrees obtained by F-1 students following the completion of a program of study qualifies as a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degree for the F-1 student to be eligible to apply for a 24-month STEM extension of their Optional Practical Training (OPT). Learn more in this blog.
Jan 18, 2022
On December 29, 2021, the DOS issued a proposal raising the Consular Service fees for Nonimmigrant (NIV) and Special Visas. Comments on the proposed rule are due February 28, 2022. Learn more in this blog.
Dec 22, 2021
As our Australian clients are acutely aware, between limited, expensive, and frequently-cancelled-flights to the financial and psychological toll of a mandatory 2-week-quarantine on their own dime (which has been shortened as of late), to even requiring permission to leave the country again, returning Down Under over the past 21 months has been tough to say the least. However, once landed and released back into the world, Australian Citizens have usually benefitted from shorter wait-times for in-person Visa Appointments. Even as slots have vanished over the past few months with the U.S. Consulate in Sydney’s move, Australian Citizens have had the extra option of mailing-in Visa Applications for renewals once they are in the country, so long as they satisfy a list of requirements including but not limited to applying for the same classification of a visa that expired within the defined period of time.
Dec 9, 2021
Employers are required to file wage reports on all U.S. employees, from which Social Security collects the data on which benefits are calculated. Inaccurate wages data may result in diminished benefits or even ineligibility. It is, therefore, in the interests of employees for the data employers provide to the federal government to be accurate and for any errors to be corrected timely. Learn more in this blog.
Dec 3, 2021
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a significant role in forming, publishing, and enforcing U.S. pandemic policy. Due to the Omicron Variant of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the CDC has made some significant changes to the COVID-19 protocols and requirements for air travel. These changes went into effect on Thursday, December 2, 2021 and will continue until the Biden Administration directs otherwise. Learn more in this blog.
Nov 30, 2021
The Biden Administration has established 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) travel restrictions on foreign nationals who were in: The Republic of Botswana (“Botswana”); the Kingdom of Eswatini (“Swaziland”); the Kingdom of Lesotho (“Lesotho”); the Republic of Malawi (“Malawi”); the Republic of Mozambique (“Mozambique”); the Republic of Namibia (“Namibia”); the Republic of South Africa (“South Africa”); and the Republic of Zimbabwe (“Zimbabwe”). The format and structure of the policy are nearly identical to the travel restrictions that were rescinded on November 8, 2021. Noncitizens who have been in these countries during the fourteen (14) days prior to seeking to travel to the United States are barred from admission, unless eligible for one of the Proclamation’s blanket exemptions or granted an exception pursuant to Sec. 2 (a)(xii). The National Interest Exception (NIE) process, rendered void by the November 8, 2021 travel restriction policy rescission, rides again. Learn more in this blog.
Nov 19, 2021
On November 19, 2021, USCIS conducted a third round of selections for Registrations submitted for the Fiscal Year 2022 H-1B Cap. This news comes approximately two (2) weeks after H-1B Petitions selected in the second randomized drawing were due, USCIS’ third round of selections confirms that they still have not received sufficient H-1B Petitions to fill their 85,000-visa quota. Learn more in this blog.
Nov 12, 2021
A recent settlement between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will result in two major changes to the way that USCIS treats L-2, H-4, and E Dependent Spouse work authorization: L-2 and E Dependent Spouse holders will be granted automatic employment authorization incident to their status. H-4 holders will be granted automatic renewals of employment authorization for applicants that already have valid H-4 status (but an expired EAD card). Learn more in this blog.
Nov 10, 2021
A recent settlement between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will result in two major changes to the way that USCIS treats L-2 and H-4 work authorization. Learn more in this blog.
Nov 8, 2021
As of late October 2021, the Biden administration, unveiled plans to revamp the definition of the infamous public charge rule. DHS has received nearly 200 comments prior to its October 22 deadline for public feedback on the administration’s plan to replace the rule announced under the Trump administration.
Nov 5, 2021
Best Lawyers has named Green and Spiegel, LLC as one of The Best Law Firms in America. This is the firm’s first time receiving this award.
Oct 26, 2021
The Biden Administration has published a new COVID-19 air travel policy, revoking the travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign nationals. Unvaccinated foreign nationals may still be able to enter the United States but will need to follow specific procedures to do so. Unlike prior COVID-19 executive orders, the new policy applies to all foreign nationals, not only those who have been in specific countries. Learn more.
Oct 15, 2021
The Biden Administration has designated November 8, 2021, as the official end of the COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals. Noncitizens will be able to travel to the U.S. via land, sea, and air from November 8th onward. Follow-up information will be necessary as the specific requirements for testing and procedures for those who are not vaccinated is published. Learn more in this blog.
Oct 5, 2021
The Department of State announced on their website that the online registration for the 2023 Diversity Visa Program is set to open on Wednesday October 6, 2021 at 12:00 noon, (EDT), and will close on Tuesday November 9, 2021 at 12:00. The Department has also published its website the DV-2023 Program Instructions. Learn more in this blog.
Oct 1, 2021
Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement on Tuesday announcing Croatia as the newest participant in the Visa Waiver Program. Learn more in this blog.
Sep 29, 2021
In a statement released September 3, 2021, USCIS stated that it would extend the validity period for extensions of status for certain petitions to remove conditions of residency. Specifically, the agency is extending the time that receipt notices of properly filed Form I-751 (Petitions to Remove Conditions on Residence) or Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status) can be used to show evidence of status while their cases remain pending with USCIS.
Sep 21, 2021
The Biden Administration is preparing to set aside the COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals. By mid-November, many noncitizens may be able to travel to the U.S. with vaccination proof and a negative COVID-19 test. Foreign travelers who are not fully vaccinated will likely remain subject to Travel Restrictions and may find it more difficult to get COVID-19 waivers. Learn more.
Sep 17, 2021
On Wednesday, a California federal judge struck down a controversial Trump-era rule which aimed to change the H1-B lottery system from the current random selection process to one based upon prioritizing those with higher salaries. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White joined a growing list of federal judges who have found that former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf was not lawfully appointed as Acting Secretary, and therefore lacked any authority to implement the new January 2021 rule. Learn more in this blog.
Sep 17, 2021
Understanding the important contributions foreign nationals make to college and university campuses, The Department of State (DOS) announced on September 14th, 2021 that Consular officers are authorized to expand the categories of F, M, and “academic J visa applicants” eligible to be waived from the in-person interview with certain exceptions. Learn more in this blog.
Aug 23, 2021
While the push for complete immigration reform is slow-going in Congress, with some bipartisan effort, there may be hope for the next letter in the alphabet to make its way into U.S. Immigration Law: the W-1 visa. Learn more in this blog.