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Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm - United States

Green and Spiegel U.S. Blog

Apr 6, 2020

Proposed Lehigh County, PA Regulation Changes May Restrict GOVT Contract Bidding

David Spaulding

Lehigh County, PA commissioners have introduced a regulation change which, if enacted, would limit which construction companies can bid for government contracts. Learn more in this blog.

Apr 6, 2020

Department of State Issues Automatic Two-Month Extension to Most J-1 Visa Programs

Jonathan A. Grode

In light of international travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 situation, the United States Department of State (DOS) has granted an automatic two (2) month extension to J-1 Exchange Visitors under the Au Pair, Intern, Trainee, Scholar, and Specialist categories. Any J-1 program that had an expiration date between April 1 and May 31, 2020 will be granted a two-month extension in order to provide exchange visitors the opportunity to complete their programs and to continue to finalize travel plans to return home. Learn more in this blog.

Apr 3, 2020

OFLC Announces Electronic Issuance of PERM Labor Certification Documents and Releases FAQs on Impacts of COVID-19

Jonathan A. Grode

The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) remains fully operational amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to process and issue prevailing wage determinations and labor certifications that meet all statutory and regulatory requirements. Learn more in this blog.

Apr 2, 2020

UPDATE: USCIS Prolongs Suspension of Most In-Person Services through May 3, 2020

Joshua H. Rolf

USCIS appointments, interviews, naturalization ceremonies, and other face-to-face interactions with the public cancelled through May 3. USCIS will automatically reschedule and send out new notices to those affected. USCIS Service Centers remain operational. Learn more in this blog.

Apr 1, 2020

Green & Spiegel Attorneys Earn Approval of H-1B in Federal Court Hospitality Management is a “Specialty Occupation”

Stephen Antwine

A Rhode Island restaurant group challenged a USCIS denial and won H-1B “specialty occupation” status for its General Operations Manager, an Indian national, in federal court. Learn more in this press release.

Mar 31, 2020

USCIS UPDATES – Response Times and I-765 Biometrics Data Extended due to COVID-19

Joshua H. Rolf

USCIS recently announced response extensions have been applied to NOIR, NOIT, and I-290B Filings. Previously gathered biometrics are being utilized for new EAD Applications. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 30, 2020

SEVP Provides Answers to Questions Related to F and M Students and Their Schools About COVID-19

Emily M. Cohen

A SEVP Guidance Document was updated and provided on March 20, 2020 addressing frequently asked questions related to F and M students and SEVP-Certified Schools in Response to the COVID-19 situation. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 27, 2020

ALERT: USCIS Announces 60-Day Extension of Deadlines for RFE and NOIDs

Joshua H. Rolf

If an RFE was issued between March 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020, you may submit up-to-60-days beyond the stated deadline. It does not appear that new RFE/NOID Notices will be issued. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 27, 2020

ALERT: First Phase of Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B Cap Selection Complete

Joshua H. Rolf

The selection process for Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B Cap is completed. USCIS will alert selected Registrations no later than March 31, 2020. A 90-day filing period will commence April 1, 2020. Unselected Registrations will remain on file until the FY 2021 H-1B Cap has been reached. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 26, 2020

BREAKING: USCIS Extends Suspension of Most In-Person Services through April 7, 2020

Joshua H. Rolf

Appointments, interviews, naturalization ceremonies, and other face-to-face interactions with the public cancelled through April 7. USCIS will automatically reschedule and send out new notices to those affected. USCIS Service Centers remain operational. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 20, 2020

BREAKING: USCIS Will Accept Photocopies of Signatures but is Suspending Premium Processing

Joshua H. Rolf

Though its Field Offices have cancelled most face-to-face interactions with the public, USCIS Service Centers remain open and operational. Forms may be submitted with photocopies of original signatures for submissions dated March 21 and beyond. Effective today, March 20, 2020, USCIS will stop accepting new requests for Premium Processing due to COVID-19. USCIS will continue to adjudicate pending Petitions with Premium Processing, and will continue to accept and adjudicate new filings using Regular Processing.

Mar 20, 2020

BREAKING: Worldwide Suspension of Routine Visa Services

Andrew Clancy Rodgers and Jonathan A. Grode

The United States Department of State has announced that all routine visa services will be suspended on a temporary and indefinite basis, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent weeks, multiple countries have announced a hold on non-emergency services and appointments. This is the first announcement putting a hold on all routine services around the world. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 20, 2020

FORM I-9 COMPLIANCE CHANGE: Physical Inspection of Documents Is Not Required During the Pandemic

David Spaulding

U.S. employers are required to examine documents in fulfilling their responsibilities to only employ authorized workers. This is in connection with the Form I-9, employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). This has presented a problem for many employers who cannot meet with their employees due to the risks of, or illegality of, face-to-face contact during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is permitting a waiver of the physical inspection requirement as of today. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 18, 2020

Premium Processing Suspended for FY2021 H-1B Cap

Joshua H. Rolf

H-1B Premium Processing will not be available when filing period opens April 1, 2020. It should be available for Petitions requesting a change of status from F-1 to H-1B no later than May 27, 2020, and for all others no sooner than June 29, 2020. For now, suspension only applies to FY2021 H-1B Cap Petitions. Unclear how COVID-19 will affect Premium Processing availability more generally. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 15, 2020

UPDATE - U.S. Adds United Kingdom and Ireland to Previously Announced Travel Restrictions

Jonathan A. Grode and Joshua H. Rolf

Effective 11:59 PM March 16, 2020, recent visitors to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland will also be banned from traveling to the United States. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 15, 2020

COVID-19 Testing Not Subject to Review for Public Charge Rule

Stephen Antwine

USCIS announced Friday, March 13, 2020, that the Public Charge Rule does not restrict access to testing, screening, or treatment of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. In addition, the rule does not restrict access to vaccines for children or adults to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 15, 2020

Six Immigration Courts to Close in Response to COVID-19

Stephen Antwine

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) announced late Friday that Immigration Courts are postponing non-detained Master Calendar Hearings beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 through April 10, 2020 for hearings in Newark, New York City, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and Boston. The Seattle Immigration Court was previously closed indefinitely in response to the outbreak. Unfortunately, at the risk of further spreading COVID-19, EOIR maintains that all other Immigration Court locations remain operational—this includes the Philadelphia Immigration Court. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 13, 2020

The 2020 Form I-9 Audit Season Has Begun!

David Spaulding

ICE is aiming at 15,000 Audits this year. For audited companies, the 30 days that the Audit notice gives them to present perfect Form I-9s is daunting. It represents at least three significant threats: 1) fines and penalties, 2) management and administrative disruption, and 3) business disruption if any of the employees are found to be “unauthorized workers.” Learn more in this blog.

Mar 12, 2020

U.S. Expands Coronavirus Travel Restrictions to Recent Visitors to Europe

Jonathan A. Grode and Joshua H. Rolf

United States is now barring entry to non-U.S. Citizens/Lawful Permanent Residents physically present in almost all of Europe within 2 weeks of seeking admission – even those with valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visas – effectively closing off most European travel to United States. Learn more in this blog.

Mar 10, 2020

The Supreme Court Says Form I-9 Information Can Be Used Against Employees

David Spaulding

Every person we employ in the U.S. has to complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification form (“Form I-9”). The burden is on the employer to make reasonably sure that we both employ authorized workers and document their work authorization correctly. Many people, in and out of government, share the view that foreign nationals working without authorization should share some of the penalty with companies unintentionally employing people who don’t have authorization. Learn more in this blog.