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.
May 13, 2020
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is temporarily removing certain limitations on employers or U.S. agents seeking to hire certain H-2B workers already in the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain, and for certain H-2B workers, who are essential to the U.S. food supply chain, seeking to extend their stay. Learn more in this blog.
May 12, 2020
Last week (May 5, 2020) we wrote that executing a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) required a valid, current identity document. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has modified the policy to permit employers to accept validly issued but expired List B identity documents during the pandemic as long as they record a valid replacement document after the pandemic. Learn more in this blog.
May 12, 2020
The quarantine is creating havoc in the restaurant industry. Many places temporarily closed, others went to curbside pickup or delivery, and some have thrown in the towel. Those which switched to takeout during the quarantine may be off more than fifty percent, while some businesses accustomed to delivery already have seen an uptick in business. However, this chaos presents an opportunity to get restaurant management in better order. Learn more in this blog.
May 8, 2020
Agencies feel starved for resources in even the best of times. There is always more work to do than the resources allow for. However, when budgets get tight, agencies turn their attention to eking more value out of core income producing operations. Given how tight budgets will be for all levels of government, we are expecting to see heavier fines and penalties. Learn more in this blog.
May 5, 2020
The question presented: “How can we complete a Form I-9 on someone without identification during the pandemic.” I found no specific document on this point. The short answer is that we can’t. Learn more in this blog.
May 1, 2020
-If RFE, NOID, NOIR, Denial, or other Agency request issued between March 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020, may submit up-to-60-days beyond stated deadline or decision date.
-New notices will not be issued.
Learn more in this blog.
Apr 29, 2020
Come May 1, 2020, employers are required to use the newest edition of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now updated the Form M-274, Handbook for Employers. Among the updates are List B and List C document clarifications, additional information about “authorized representatives” in Section 2, and document expiration dates and extensions. Learn more in this blog.
Apr 24, 2020
Appointments, Interviews, naturalization ceremonies, and other face-to-face interactions with the public are cancelled through June 3. USCIS will automatically reschedule and send out new notices to those affected. USCIS Service Centers remain operational. Learn more in this blog.
Apr 23, 2020
Effective 11:59 PM April 23, 2020 and for the next 60 days thereafter, some individuals outside the United States seeking an immigrant visa will be prohibited from processing that request. Suspension may be extended beyond 60 days, and measures to limit nonimmigrant visa processing may arrive next month. Learn more in this blog.