Jul 31, 2020
Nationwide Injunction Entered Against Application of Public Charge Rule by USCIS and DOS
Jul 29, 2020
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
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
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.
Jul 24, 2020
Delays in processing documents has created a crisis for some Lawful Permanent Residents since the ability to work is tied to demonstrating work authorization and identity. For Permanent Residents, this usually means presenting a Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”) or a temporary stamp in their passport which shows that they are waiting for a Green Card to be delivered that they are approved to receive. For those who can’t get the stamp and haven’t received the card, they may not be able to work. Fortunately, there are some mechanisms in place to spur the agency which oversees this process to deliver the necessary documentation.
Jul 16, 2020
• Derivatives of H, J, and L exempted from Executive Order and/or in the United States also exempted.
• Immigrant Visa applicants protected against aging out.
• Valid Diversity Visas will not be revoked.
• Irish, UK, and Schengen F-1/M-1 may travel without National Interest Exception.
Jul 15, 2020
Limited resumption on consulate-by-consulate basis, depending on local conditions. No timetable for universal reopening, resumption of normal workload, or availability of all services. Travel restrictions and visa suspensions still in place. Learn more in this blog.
Jul 14, 2020
We previously reported that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced plans to severely modify temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking courses during the Fall semester that would result in international students enrolled in online programs being stripped of their visas, denied entry to the united States, or forced to depart the country if already here. Today the government has agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020 policy and will return to the March 13, 2020 policy which allowed nonimmigrants students to take more online courses than usually permitted by Federal regulations.
Jul 9, 2020
If RFE, NOID, NOIR, Denial, or other Agency request issued between March 1, 2020 and September 11, 2020, may submit up-to-60-days beyond stated deadline or decision date.
New notices will not be issued. Learn more in this blog.
Jul 8, 2020
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced plans to severely modify temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the fall semester forcing students enrolled in programs operating entirely online to depart the United States or transfer to another school in order to avoid deportation. Universities across the country were swift to criticize and decry this decision by the Trump administration; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T) and Harvard have filed a lawsuit against them. Learn more in this blog.
Jul 7, 2020
On Monday, July 6th the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that it has implemented modifications to temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the Fall 2020 semester. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a change in policy had permitted nonimmigrant students to take more online courses than usually permitted by Federal regulations to maintain their nonimmigrant status. Learn more in this blog.
Jul 7, 2020
The Global Entry Program has been closed since March 19th due to COVID-19. Its reopening has been postponed until at least August 10th, 2020. Because of the continued closure applicants have 485 days from their conditional approval to complete the enrollment application. Those who scheduled interviews in July and early August must reschedule their appointments. The Enrollment on Arrival program remains operational. Residents of New York State are still ineligible for Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs.
Jun 26, 2020
• Changes now in effect.
• Unless subject to an exception, U.S. Department of State will not issue new or renewed nonimmigrant visas in the effected classes until December 31, 2020.
• Likewise, suspension of immigrant visa issuance also extended through December 31, 2020.
• No timeline on resumption of routine, in-person visa services.
Jun 25, 2020
• Changes now in effect.
• Canadians and Bermudians excluded from Executive Order by virtue of being visa exempt.
• All foreign nationals with presently valid H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 Visa holders also excluded, even if they have not entered the United States as of June 24.
• Other questions still remain.
Jun 23, 2020
-Changes go into effect 12:01AM EST on June 24, 2020 and unless lifted or enjoined will remain in place through at least December 31, 2020.
-Suspends admission of H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and certain J-1 nonimmigrants and their dependents who are outside the United States and who do not have valid visas or other valid travel document as of the effective date.
-Also extends existing suspension of immigrant visa issuance through December 31, 2020, subject to previously announced exceptions.
-Individuals seeking a change to one of the affected statuses within the United States or who have a valid visa are not covered by the Executive Order are able to continuing processing.
-Does not include Lawful Permanent Residents,spouses/children of U.S. Citizens, essential workers in food supply chain, and other individuals whose admission would be in the “national interest.”
-Other nonimmigrant workers (E-3, TN, H-1B1, O, P, etc.) are not included.
-Many questions remain with respect to interpretation and implementation.
Jun 21, 2020
Proposed suspension of issuing H-1B, L-1, J-1, and H-2B Visas for the remainder of 2020. Would not impact individuals within the United States, unclear how it will impact those who already have these visas. Broad exceptions for foreign nationals whose admission would be in the national interest. Will update after reviewing the signed Executive Order.
Jun 18, 2020
On Thursday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was deemed invalid because the Trump administration made the change without compliance with proper procedural compliance. Learn more in this blog.
May 30, 2020
Effective 11:59 PM March 26, 2020, recent visitors to Brazil will also be banned from traveling to the United States. U.S. Citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens/Lawful Permanent Residents, and NATO/UN/Diplomatic personnel amongst those who continue to be exempted. Travelers returning from restricted countries subjected to significant delays and uncertainty at designated airports as restrictions take effect.
May 30, 2020
• Phased roll-out will begin June 1, full return expected by June 22 when all H-1B Petitions, including Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B Cap Petitions, will resume Premium Processing.
• Dates subject to change at USCIS’ discretion.
Learn more in this blog.
May 14, 2020
On May 11, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum introducing temporary policy changes regarding the full-time work requirement for H-1B foreign medical graduates who have received a J-1 waiver of the 2 year foreign residence requirement based on an Interested Government Agency (IGA) or through the Conrad State 30 Program. Learn more.