Dec 22, 2021
As our Australian clients are acutely aware, between limited, expensive, and frequently-cancelled-flights to the financial and psychological toll of a mandatory 2-week-quarantine on their own dime (which has been shortened as of late), to even requiring permission to leave the country again, returning Down Under over the past 21 months has been tough to say the least. However, once landed and released back into the world, Australian Citizens have usually benefitted from shorter wait-times for in-person Visa Appointments. Even as slots have vanished over the past few months with the U.S. Consulate in Sydney’s move, Australian Citizens have had the extra option of mailing-in Visa Applications for renewals once they are in the country, so long as they satisfy a list of requirements including but not limited to applying for the same classification of a visa that expired within the defined period of time.
Nov 19, 2021
On November 19, 2021, USCIS conducted a third round of selections for Registrations submitted for the Fiscal Year 2022 H-1B Cap. This news comes approximately two (2) weeks after H-1B Petitions selected in the second randomized drawing were due, USCIS’ third round of selections confirms that they still have not received sufficient H-1B Petitions to fill their 85,000-visa quota. Learn more in this blog.
Jun 17, 2021
In a reversal from USCIS’ usual opaqueness on the H-1B Cap Process, the Service recently offered insights into exactly how many H-1B Cap Registrations have been selected since the new filing system went into effect in March 2020. Learn more in this blog.
Feb 25, 2021
On February 24, 2021, the Biden Administration issued a Presidential Proclamation that reversed President Trump’s EO that, for more than 10 months, has prevented many foreign nationals physically outside the United States from obtaining an Immigrant Visa which, upon issuance and admission to the United States, would automatically convert the individual to a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (“LPR”). Passed under the guise of protecting the U.S. workforce since LPRs are permitted to accept any and all forms of employment, in effect, the ban served to keep close family members of U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents, diversity visa lottery winners, key employees, and others from obtaining the Immigrant Visa that would permit them to assume LPR status. Learn more in this blog.
Jan 27, 2021
As of January 26, 2021, all passengers on international flights to the United States must show a negative viral test for COVID-19. Requirement applies to all passengers, even U.S. Citizens, and as of right now proof of vaccination is not a substitute. Viral test must be taken within 72 hours of travel. Post-arrival self-quarantine also suggested. No testing requirements required at this time for travelers entering the United States at land crossings or by sea.
Jan 20, 2021
Restrictions on travelers from Schengen Area countries, the UK/Ireland, and Brazil, set to expire on January 26, 2021, though Biden expected to reinstate. Elevated standard for H-1B employer-employee relationship may be sidelined as a “midnight regulation” and would be subject to legal challenges, though may have slightly stronger chance of surviving in some form. 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.
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 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.
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 09, 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 07, 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.
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 01, 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 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.
Apr 22, 2020
Less than 24 hours after his initial announcement that he would be signing an Executive Order to halt all immigration to the United States, President Trump announced on Tuesday afternoon that his forthcoming Executive Order would not, in fact, suspend all legal immigration to the United States. Instead, the Order, which is still being drafted and/or reviewed by government attorneys, will suspend the issuance of certain green cards for 60 days. Learn more in this blog.
Apr 21, 2020
In a late night tweet on April 20, President Trump announced that he would be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States. The President’s rule via tweet fiat contained no details as to whom this Executive Order would affect, and the White House has yet to provide further clarification as to the Order’s content, timing, or legal justification. Learn more in this blog.
Apr 02, 2020
USCIS appointments, interviews, naturalization ceremonies, and other face-to-face interactions with the public cancelled through May 3. USCIS will automatically reschedule and send out new notices to those affected. USCIS Service Centers remain operational. Learn more in this blog.
Mar 31, 2020
USCIS recently announced response extensions have been applied to NOIR, NOIT, and I-290B Filings. Previously gathered biometrics are being utilized for new EAD Applications. Learn more in this blog.
Mar 27, 2020
If an RFE was issued between March 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020, you may submit up-to-60-days beyond the stated deadline. It does not appear that new RFE/NOID Notices will be issued. Learn more in this blog.
Mar 27, 2020
The selection process for Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B Cap is completed. USCIS will alert selected Registrations no later than March 31, 2020. A 90-day filing period will commence April 1, 2020. Unselected Registrations will remain on file until the FY 2021 H-1B Cap has been reached. Learn more in this blog.
Mar 26, 2020
Appointments, interviews, naturalization ceremonies, and other face-to-face interactions with the public cancelled through April 7. USCIS will automatically reschedule and send out new notices to those affected. USCIS Service Centers remain operational. Learn more in this blog.
Mar 20, 2020
Though its Field Offices have cancelled most face-to-face interactions with the public, USCIS Service Centers remain open and operational. Forms may be submitted with photocopies of original signatures for submissions dated March 21 and beyond. Effective today, March 20, 2020, USCIS will stop accepting new requests for Premium Processing due to COVID-19. USCIS will continue to adjudicate pending Petitions with Premium Processing, and will continue to accept and adjudicate new filings using Regular Processing.
Mar 18, 2020
H-1B Premium Processing will not be available when filing period opens April 1, 2020. It should be available for Petitions requesting a change of status from F-1 to H-1B no later than May 27, 2020, and for all others no sooner than June 29, 2020. For now, suspension only applies to FY2021 H-1B Cap Petitions. Unclear how COVID-19 will affect Premium Processing availability more generally. Learn more in this blog.
Mar 15, 2020
Effective 11:59 PM March 16, 2020, recent visitors to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland will also be banned from traveling to the United States. Learn more in this blog.
Mar 12, 2020
United States is now barring entry to non-U.S. Citizens/Lawful Permanent Residents physically present in almost all of Europe within 2 weeks of seeking admission – even those with valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visas – effectively closing off most European travel to United States. Learn more in this blog.
Mar 04, 2020
The United States is now barring entry to non-U.S. Citizens/Lawful Permanent Residents physically present in Iran within two weeks prior to seeking admission – even those with valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visas. Like February’s proclamation, immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens/Lawful Permanent Residents and NATO/UN/Diplomatic personnel amongst those exempted. Learn more in this blog.
Feb 02, 2020
According to President Trump’s Proclamation, as of 5:00PM EST on February 2, 2020, the United States will severely prohibit the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants traveling to the United States within 14 days of having been physically present in mainland China. Learn more in this blog.
Jan 31, 2020
On January 29, 2020, President Trump signed the implementing legislation for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”), which is set to replace the nearly 25-year-old NAFTA. Learn more in this blog.
Jan 23, 2020
On January 21, 2020, President Trump confirmed at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos a long-rumored plan to expand the existing Travel Ban to additional countries. Learn more in this blog.
Nov 11, 2019
Reviving efforts initiated last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has once again stated its intent to eliminate the use of “Duration of Status” for certain nonimmigrant visa holders – and, in particular, F-1 Students and J-1 Visitors. Learn more in this blog.
Nov 08, 2019
The consequences of the Trump Administration’s animus towards legal immigration continue to manifest themselves through one of the White House’s favorite targets: the H-1B Program. This is making life more difficult for specialty occupation workers and the companies that employ them. Learn more in this blog.
Oct 11, 2019
Beginning October 15, 2019, all applicants for adjustment of status will be required to file a new, Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). USCIS has instituted this new form in order for individuals applying for permanent residence to demonstrate that they are not likely be become a “a public charge” pursuant to INA § 212(a)(4). Learn more in this blog.
Jul 16, 2019
On July 12, 2019, Green and Spiegel Associate Joshua Rolf appeared at Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Read the full event recap here.
Jun 10, 2019
Beginning June 10, 2019, USCIS will accept Premium Processing for all Petitions selected in this year’s H-1B Cap Lottery. Learn more in this blog.
Apr 12, 2019
Less than one week after this year’s H-1B Cap filing period ended, USCIS confirmed that on April 10, 2019 it conducted its randomized selection (i.e. “lottery”) for all H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions that arrived between April 1-5, 2019.
Apr 09, 2019
On Friday, April 5, 2019, USCIS announced that it once again reached the limit for H-1B Petitions submitted under the Fiscal Year 2020 Regular Cap, and which arrived at the Service between April 1 - 5, 2019. Learn more in this article.
Mar 12, 2019
Effective March 12, 2019, USCIS will resume accepting Premium Processing for all H-1B Petitions. Learn more in this blog.
Feb 19, 2019
Effective February 19, 2019, USCIS will resume accepting Premium Processing for all H-1B Petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018. Learn more in this blog.
Feb 15, 2019
Over the past two weeks,Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has arrested more than 100 students and 8 recruiters connected with the University ofFarmington, located in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. The University of Farmington is a fake university the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) established to ensnare not only foreign nationals seeking employment authorization while studying in the United States, but also the recruiters who sold them this program. Learn more.
Jan 31, 2019
Though the government just re-opened a few days ago, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has been working through the shutdown to finalize its proposed rule that would fundamentally alter the H-1B Cap Lottery. Today, DHS announced it has published the Final Rule for public inspection, and that it is set to take partial effect on April 1, 2019. Learn more on our blog.
Jan 25, 2019
On January 25, 2019, USCIS announced a limited return of H-1B Premium Processing. If you are unsure whether this limited return of H-1B Premium Processing benefits your pending Petition, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Jan 17, 2019
Late last week, USCIS took another step towards revamping the H-1B Cap Lottery. As we reviewed in December, the agency proposed a rule that would create an online pre-registration system and reverse the order of Cap selections. Following the end of its comment period in early January, USCIS has now forwarded the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget, and intends to review and respond to public comments in the coming weeks.
Dec 27, 2018
Following a flurry of failed deals to keep the government open during the holiday season, the Federal Government shut down as of 12:00AM on December 22, 2018. This post covers how the shutdown affects immigration processes.
Dec 05, 2018
On December 3, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published a proposed rule that, if adopted, will fundamentally alter the H-1B Cap process, replacing the current lottery with an electronic registration system that has the potential to save time, money, and headaches for all H-1B stakeholders.
Nov 02, 2018
As of yesterday, USCIS has enacted new guidelines that provide welcome relief to foreign nationals with long-pending green card applications, extending the validity of their Form I-693 medical examinations from one to two years, so long as the examinations in question were performed within sixty days of filing for lawful permanent residence.
Sep 12, 2018
Consistent with our advisory from late August, as of today, September 11, 2018, USCIS will no longer accept Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions u...
Aug 29, 2018
Earlier this year, we reported on an apparent change to USCIS’ website that would prohibit F-1 Students working under STEM Optional Practical...
Aug 29, 2018
USCIS announced today that its suspension of Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Petitions will be extended through at least February ...
Aug 01, 2018
On July 25, 2018, the nonpartisan National Foundation for American Policy (“NFAP”) published a report that confirms what business immig...
Jun 07, 2018
Since May 2016, F-1 STEM graduates have enjoyed up-to three years of employment authorization through post-completion Optional Practical Training (...
May 17, 2018
On May 15, 2018, approximately one-month after completing its selections, USCIS announced that it has finished its data entry for all H-1B Cap Peti...
Apr 25, 2018
On Tuesday, the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia struck down the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate the Deferred...
Apr 13, 2018
On April 11, 2018, USCIS announced that it completed the randomized selection of Petitions submitted for the Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap. USCIS repor...
Apr 10, 2018
On Friday, April 6, 2018, USCIS announced that it once again reached the limit for H-1B Petitions submitted for the Fiscal Year 2019 Regular and Ma...
Mar 21, 2018
For the second year in a row, and less than two weeks before April 1, USCIS announced it will suspend Premium Processing for all Petitions subject ...
Mar 02, 2018
The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has confirmed that it will refrain from issuing draft regulations that would revoke work au...
Feb 23, 2018
On February 22, 2018, USCIS issued a Policy Memo outlining the documentary requirements for all H-1B Petitions involving third-party placements. Pe...
Dec 22, 2017
Earlier this week, USCIS issued new guidance restricting the positions that fall under the TN profession of Economist. Importantly, USCIS’ gu...
Nov 16, 2017
On November 15, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 170, better known as the Protect and Grow American Jobs Act, clearing the way for...
Nov 08, 2017
On November 6, 2017, nearly one month after suspending nonimmigrant visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the U.S. Consulates in Istanbul...
Oct 10, 2017
On October 8, 2017, the U.S. Mission to Turkey announced the immediate suspension of all nonimmigrant visas services at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, as well as its Consulates in Istanbul and Adana...
Oct 03, 2017
October 3, 2017- Today, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that is has resumed premium processing for all H-1B extension of stay petitions, thereby enabling petitioners in all circumstances to utilize premium processing for their H-1B employees. Whether filing a new H-1B or seeking to upgrade a pending Petition, Premium Processing and its 15-day money-back-guarantee has been fully reinstated for all types of H-1B Petitions.
Sep 19, 2017
On September 18, 2017, USCIS announced the resumption of Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2018 (“FY2018”) H-1B Cap Petitions, effective immediately. These Petitions, which must have arrived at USCIS between April 3 -7, 2017, include the 65,000 H-1Bs selected in the Regular Cap, and the additional 20,000 selected in the U.S. Master’s Cap....
Jul 25, 2017
As of July 24, 2017, USCIS will resume accepting Premium Processing for several H-1B Cap-Exempt Petitions. While USCIS’ April 3 suspension of...
Jan 27, 2017
The recent debate between real news vs. fake news (or facts vs. alternative facts) has become all consuming, and the topic of immigration is no exc...
Dec 05, 2016
Congrats are in order to Joshua Rolf, an associate at Green and Spiegel U.S., LLC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who shared his immigration exp...
May 20, 2016
As of May 18, 2016, any permanent resident or holder of a valid visa issued by the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, or any co...