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Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm - United States

Green and Spiegel U.S. Blog

Oct 19, 2020

USCIS Announces Increased Premium Processing Fees Effective October 19, 2020

Starting October 19, 2020, the fee for Premium Processing, will be $2,500 (previously $1,440) for all filings except those requesting H-2B (non-agricultural seasonal worker) or R-1 (Religious Worker) status, for which the new fee is $1,500 (previously $1,440).Any filings post-marked on or after October 19th must include the new fee amount. Any Form-1-907 postmarked on or after October 19th with the incorrect fee amount will be rejected and the fee returned.

Oct 13, 2020

US and European Partners are Moving Towards Reopening Transatlantic Travel by Adopting New Pandemic Protocols

KEY POINTS: • Foreign nationals who wish to travel to the United States from Europe either must fit into one of the travel restriction exceptions or obtain advance permission to board a plane to the U.S. • In the alternative, they may travel to a third country and quarantine there for two weeks prior to coming to the United States. • The U.S. and overseas partners are anxious to relax those restrictions. Advanced COVID-19 airport testing may provide a solution. • We expect some testing of these technologies followed by the announcement of new travel protocols in time for the winter holidays.

Oct 9, 2020

Biden Vs. Trump Comparison

As we approach the November elections it has never been clearer that this country faces upheaval and challenges that will bring about dramatic, lasting, and hopefully vital changes to our nation and its people. Here, we compare how the two candidates have and will handle immigration policy in the United States.

Oct 8, 2020

Executive Office of Immigration Review Proposes Massive Fee Increase for Applications and Appeals

The Executive Office of Immigration Review, the Justice Department agency in charge of administering U.S. Immigration Courts, has proposed a massive fee increase for the filing of certain applications and appeals. The fee increases are substantial—for example, the filing fee for an appeal of a decision of an Immigration Judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals is proposed to move from $110.00 to $975.00.

Oct 8, 2020

Manufacturers are affected by Pennsylvania Construction E-Verify, Too

KEY POINTS: • The Construction Industry Employee Verification Act (“Construction E-Verify”) applies to manufacturers of construction materials and equipment, who may not realize it applies to them. • State and federal law bars employing foreign nationals without authorization to work. Those laws are increasingly being enforced. • Construction E-Verify became effective this week and the window for bringing companies into compliance with federal and state law is likely to be short. • It is in our best interest to: 1) get a legal determination of whether our businesses are subject to Construction E-Verify or not; 2) conduct a discreet internal audit; and 3) apply one of the proven remedies to get things in legal order.

Oct 7, 2020

U.S. Government Issues New Rules Tightening H-1B and Other Employment Based Immigration Programs

On October 7, 2020 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced an Interim Final Rule (IFR) designed to tighten the H-1B visa program (and other Labor Condition Applications visa processes) in order to make it more difficult for employers to displace U.S. workers. Learn more in this blog.

Oct 2, 2020

DOS Releases Instructions for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

On September 30, 2020, the Department of State released instructions on how to apply for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. For FY2022, up to 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) will be available. Registration begins on October 7, 2020, and will continue until November 10, 2020. Learn more in this blog.

Sep 30, 2020

Breaking – Federal Court Blocks Implementation of Fee Increases

Quick Takeaways: -Blocks rule that was set to go into effect on October 2, 2020. -Current fees, forms, and processing times will remain in effect for now. -DHS expected to appeal injunction.

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.