Jan 15, 2021
In the last full week of the Trump administration, the DOL has once more issued a prevailing wage rule that lifts wages for H-1B, E-3, and H-1B1 nonimmigrant cases and for the PERM labor certification program. The new final rule, which was published on January 14, and goes into effect sixty days later, contains significant prevailing wage increases for all wage levels, though the new minimums are not as high as initially sought by DOL. The rule also provides a multi-year transition period which is intended to give employers time to meet the wage increases and makes certain accommodations for H-1B workers who are pursuing employment-based permanent residence. Initial wage increases are set to begin on July 1, 2021.
Jan 8, 2021
In November 2020, we reported on the Trump administration’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making, announcing a major change in the process for filing cap subject H-1B petitions. The new proposed selection process prioritizes registrations based on wage level, thus giving priority to those registrations by employers who are paying the highest prevailing wages. Following the mandatory notice and comment period, the government has announced that the final rule will go into effect, without modification, on Friday, January 8, 2021.
Jan 4, 2021
Late on December 31, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation continuing Proclamations 10014 and 10052, which suspended the entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proclamations have been continued until March 31, 2021. Learn more in this blog.
Dec 29, 2020
Whether the flexibilities are again extended or sunset on January 31, 2021 depends on a number of factors such as the impact on resurgent COVID-19 infection rates and the transition to the next federal executive administration. It does provide remedies for fully remote working enterprises and it may provide remedies for companies which are hybrid, companies which have some positions fully remote and others in-house. Such analyses are fact-dependent and we’re happy to help companies develop effective processes which meet management goals and necessities.
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.