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Green and Spiegel U.S. Blog

Oct 26, 2021

The Executive Order Has Been Published and, for the Vaccinated, the Travel Restrictions Will Be Revoked as of November 8, 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

For the Vaccinated, Travel Restrictions Will End on November 8th

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

Diversity Lottery Registration to Open October 6, 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

Croatia Becomes Newest Nation to Participate in Visa Waiver Program

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

COVID-19 Delays at USCIS Extend Conditional Residency to 24 Months for Properly Filed Forms I-751 and I-829

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

By Mid-November, Those Who Have Been Fully Vaccinated Will Likely Be Free to Travel to the U.S. Without A COVID-19 Waiver

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

Update on the H-1B Cap Lottery System

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

DOS Announces Visa Interviews may be Waived for Certain F, M and J Visa Applicants

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

Newly Proposed Startup Visa Could Provide Path to Citizenship for Startup Founders

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.

Aug 20, 2021

Jonathan Grode Honored in the 28th Edition of Best Lawyers for Professional Excellence in Immigration

Congratulations to Jonathan Grode, Green and Spiegel’s U.S. Practice Director and Managing Partner, who has been recognized once again by his peers as a top talent in Immigration Law. He will be featured in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 Edition. This is Jonathan’s second time receiving this award.

Aug 2, 2021

USCIS Extends Flexibilities to F-1 Students Filing Form I-765 for OPT

For applicants who timely filed Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization for OPT and STEM OPT and whose applications were later rejected, USCIS will accept a refiled Form I-765 and treat it as if filed on the original filing date as long as the application was originally filed timely and received by USCIS on or after October 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021 and the application was subsequently rejected. Learn more.

Aug 2, 2021

Update on H-1B Cap Section for FY 2022

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 29, 2021 that it conducted a second round of H-1B registration selections for the Fiscal Year 2022 H-1B Cap. Registrations selected through this lottery will be eligible for H-1B petitions to be filed on their behalf. USCIS also announced that the H-1B petition filing window for these selections is open from August 2, 2021 through November 3, 2021. Learn more.

Jul 23, 2021

Applicants for Change of Status to F-1 Student No Longer Need "Bridge" Applications to Prevent Gap in Status

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 20, 2021 a new policy regarding Change of Status (COS) to the Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) visa classification. The new policy eliminates the need to document maintenance of nonimmigrant visa status up until the approval date of the COS to F-1 student visa status. Learn more in this blog.

Jul 9, 2021

Extension of validity for National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) for Travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and India

On Tuesday July 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of State issued guidance extending the validity of National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) given to travelers through U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. Learn more in this blog.

Jun 30, 2021

Amy Jill Novak Named Vice Chair of AILA’s Department of Labor H-2 Visa Committee

Congratulations to Amy Jill Novak, Mountain West Practice Director at Green and Spiegel LLC, who was just named Vice Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Department of Labor Liaison Committee’s H-2 Section! Amy has been a member of AILA’s Department of Labor Liaison Committee H-2B Visa Committee since 2019. Learn more in this blog.

Jun 22, 2021

UPDATE – A Return to International Travel?

On Friday, June 18th, as hoped, members of the European Union voted to add the United States to their list of countries to lift pandemic-related travel restrictions! Although this is an important step forward, please note that all travel restrictions for incoming US travel from Europe remain unchanged until further notice. Learn more in this blog.

Jun 17, 2021

USCIS Releases Figures for Fiscal Years 2021-2022 H-1B Cap Selections

In a reversal from USCIS’ usual opaqueness on the H-1B Cap Process, the Service recently offered insights into exactly how many H-1B Cap Registrations have been selected since the new filing system went into effect in March 2020. Learn more in this blog.

Jun 16, 2021

Return to International Travel?

On June 16th, 2021, reports from the European Union suggest that they will recommend that member countries remove restrictions on non-essential travel for United States citizens, with a formal vote on same expected to occur on Friday, June 18th. Learn more in this blog.

Apr 21, 2021

DHS Has Announced an Additional 22,000 Visas for the H-2B Visa Program

After considerable pressure from small business owners and H-2B industry supporters, DHS has agreed to release an additional 22,000 H-2B visas, with 6,000 of those visas being earmarked for workers from Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala). According to DHS, employers wishing to obtain workers through this visa release will have to conduct additional advertising, and explain how their businesses will suffer without these workers. Learn more in this blog.

Apr 13, 2021

F-1 Students Seeking Optional Practical Training Can Now File Form I-765 Online

On April 12. 2021 USCIS announced that F-1 students can now file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization online when applying for Pre-Completion OPT, Post-Completion OPT, or a 24-month OPT STEM extension. Learn more in this blog.