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.
Sep 17, 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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. 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.