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Immigration Blog

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Petitions

May 29, 2020|Contributed by: Joseph & Hall P.C.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month.
Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.
Effective June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for:

H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt (for example, 

U.S. Government Exempts Certain Professional Athletes and Their Staff, Leadership, Spouses, and Dependents from COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

May 28, 2020|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

In response to the worldwide spread of COVID-19, the Trump administration has imposed, with certain limited exemptions, several restrictions on the entry of foreign travelers from China, Iran, many European countries, and, as of this week, Brazil. Included in the exempted categories are “individuals whose entry would be in the national interest,” as determined by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
In a simultaneous effort to curb the virus’ spread,

USCIS Preparing to Resume Public Services on June 4

May 28, 2020|Contributed by: Joseph & Hall P.C.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is preparing some domestic offices to reopen and resume non-emergency public services on or after June 4. On March 18, USCIS temporarily suspended routine in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to protect our workforce and the public. For the latest information on the status of individual offices,

U.S. Government Expands Travel Restrictions on Foreigners Seeking to Visit the U.S.

May 27, 2020|Contributed by: Jennifer Wadhwa

Citing concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Trump issued his Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Novel Coronavirus and added Brazil to the list of countries with imposed travel restrictions. As of Tuesday, May 26, 2020, foreigners who have been in Brazil during the 14 days preceding their entry are barred from entering the U.S. unless an exemption applies.
The bar does not apply to U.S.

Detainees Test Positive for COVID-19 at Aurora ICE GEO Detention Center

May 27, 2020|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

Two ICE detainees have confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses as of May 20, 2020. One of the detainees has been taken to a local hospital. No further information about his condition has been made public. He arrived at the GEO facility from Sterling State Prison, the site of one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in Colorado.
The other is currently in medical isolation. Prior to being put in isolation, he was housed with other detainees for at least four days after arriving to the GEO facility on May 14,

USCIS Running out of Money

May 26, 2020|Contributed by: Shana D. Velez

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the agency that processes applications for legal permanent residence (green cards), citizenship, and many other applications for immigration benefits says that without a $1.2 billion bailout from Congress, the agency will cease operations this summer.  This is not yet another economic consequence of COVID-19, rather, it is a reflection of the fear and apprehension people have if they apply for any sort of immigration benefit. 

A Decade of H-1B Precedent Overturned – the Power of Federal Litigation

May 25, 2020|Contributed by: Zachary New

In recent years, employers hiring temporary, high-skilled workers in the H-1B category have seen massive obstacles thrown increasingly in their path.   Denial rates have quadrupled in recent years, from 6% in FY 2015 to 24% in FY 2018.  New legal requirements also were implemented, and impediments to approval meant that, as some experts stated,  no matter how well an employer responded to a Request for Evidence or appealed a Denial, many petitioners were faced with a “preordained denial.”
-This has left many practitioners and petitioners with one powerful,

AILA Update: DHS Extends Flexibility in Requirements Related to Form I-9 Compliance

May 15, 2020|Contributed by: Joseph & Hall P.C.

DHS announced that it has extended the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic by an additional 30 days, including discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Form I-9, and an additional 30-day extension for NOIs served in 3/20.
AILA Doc. No. 20032033

DHS Temporary Final Rule on H-2B food supply chain workers

May 13, 2020|Contributed by: Joseph & Hall P.C.

DHS released a pre-publication copy of a Temporary Final Rule that would provide additional flexibility for H-2B employers that are part of the food supply chain and H-2B workers who are already in the country.  The rule, which becomes effective on May 14 and remains in effect until September 11, 2020, is similar to an April 20 DHS temporary H-2A rule.
On April 20, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 national health emergency, DHS published a temporary final rule that allows H-2A petitioners with a valid TLC to employ H-2A workers who currently are in the United States and hold a valid H-2A visa to begin work for a new employers immediately after USCIS receives the H-2A petition filed by the new employer,

USCIS Policy Memorandum: Temporary Policy Changes for Certain Foreign Medical Graduates During the Covid-19 National Emergency

May 12, 2020|Contributed by: Joseph & Hall P.C.

Per this policy memo found HERE:

In order to address situations in which an H-1B FMG is temporarily unable to work full-time due to quarantine, illness, travel restrictions, or other consequences of the pandemic during the declared Public Health Emergency period, USCIS officers will not consider such a failure to work full-time to be a failure to fulfill the terms of the contract under INA 214(l)(2)(B), as a matter of policy.
For those FMGs currently employed by an Interested Government Agency or through the Conrad State 30 program,


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