Dec 22, 2020
The U.S. State Department announced on Monday, December 21, that it was reverting back to Phase 1 Covid-19 guidelines for the National Capital Region, which include limiting travel to mission critical trips and putting restrictions on the size of gatherings, according to a department-wide memo from Brian Bulatao, Under Secretary for Management. The plan is to return from Phase 2 guidelines to the more restrictive Phase 1 for almost a month. Learn more in this blog.
Dec 16, 2020
With limited international flights and country-specific restrictions, leaving the United States may present issues up front. Ongoing travel restrictions, consular closings, visa suspensions, and other issues may hinder readmission to the United States. In particular, direct travel from mainland Europe, the UK/Ireland, Brazil, Iran, and mainland China to the United States remains very limited, and may require an exception. Certain H, L, and J Visas remain unavailable through the end of the year, and routine visa services continue to be sporadic and subject to cancellation. These restrictions may change in the coming weeks depending on COVID-19 developments in the United States and around the world.
Dec 10, 2020
Medical associations and hospitals are joining forces with immigration groups to advocate for legislation that will address the healthcare worker shortage by allowing unused immigrant visas to be allocated to highly skilled foreign workers: doctors and professional nurses. However, in order for this bill to pass a bipartisan solution must be reached.
Dec 9, 2020
Un juez federal de Nueva York ordenó a la Administración Trump que comience a aceptar nuevas solicitudes de DACA (Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia) de inmediato. Green & Spiegel ofrece evaluaciones gratuitas de DACA, en inglés y español, para las personas que creen que pueden calificar para el programa. Comuníquese con Green & Spiegel al (215) 395-8959 hoy.
Dec 9, 2020
A federal judge in New York has ordered the Trump Administration to begin accepting new DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applications beginning immediately. As a result of the ruling, the Department of Homeland Security has posted policy guidelines acknowledging that they intend to accept new applications for qualified applicants and extend one-year work authorization cards to two years for existing recipients. Learn more in this blog.
Dec 2, 2020
A federal district court in California has set aside two new immigration regulations that were promulgated on a fast track by the Departments of Labor (DOL) and Homeland Security (DHS) in early October. The court found that the agencies did not have good cause to bypass notice and comment rulemaking procedures in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. Learn more in this blog.
Nov 20, 2020
Confused about when to use E-Verify, whether an I-9 needs updating, or how to make sure you’re in compliance when rehiring a former employee? Unsure if your business should opt-in to E-Verify? This blog post should help to clear things up, by explaining the differences, similarities, requirements and appropriate uses for each system.
Nov 19, 2020
The federal government has created “flexibility” protocols, designed to accomplish the Form I-9 goals remotely. It has extended the period companies can use those protocols until December 31, 2020. Learn more in this blog.
Nov 18, 2020
The incoming Biden Administration has set forth an ambitious plan to reform the nation’s immigration system. His proposals, if successfully enacted, will dramatically expand programs to benefit immigrants, increase nonimmigrant visas, strengthen asylum protections, boost operational efficiency, and hopefully ease backlogs that have stymied the U.S. immigration system for years. Learn more in this blog.
Oct 30, 2020
The Trump Administration has announced a major change in the process for filing cap subject H-1B petitions. The proposed rule would replace the current random selection process by which USCIS selects H-1B registrations for filing of H-1B Cap-subject petitions with a system that prioritizes the selection of H-1B registrations by first selecting registrations based on the highest Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) prevailing wage level that the proffered wage equals or exceeds for the relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and area(s) of intended employment. Learn more in this blog.
Oct 30, 2020
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the November 2020 Visa Bulletin. There is some movement in the final action (FA) chart, but the dates for filing (DF) chart remains nearly unchanged. Moreover, in a significant move, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will honor the State Department’s Dates for Filing chart for adjustment of status filings in November. To be eligible to file an employment-based adjustment application in November, employer-sponsored foreign nationals must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed for their preference category and country of birth.
Oct 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
• 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
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
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
• 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
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
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
-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
• 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.