On March 18, the Department of Homeland Security extended and redesignated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) based on the ongoing armed conflict preventing safe return to that country. Syrians who already have TPS will be able to re-register and retain their status through September 30, 2022. Current Syrian TPS-holders must re-register between March 19 and May 18, 2021.
In addition, because TPS was not only extended but also redesignated, Syrians who have been residing in the U.S.
On March 9, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, announced that the government will no longer defend the new 2019 public charge rule proposed and implemented by the Trump administration. Secretary Mayorkas commented:
The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them. Consistent with the President’s vision, we will continue to implement reforms that improve our legal immigration system.
The Department of Homeland Security today published a Federal Register notice (FRN) announcing the designation of Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective March 9, 2021, through Sept. 9, 2022.
The FRN details the eligibility criteria Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela) must meet and describes procedures necessary to submit an initial TPS application and apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
On March 2, 2021, the Secretary of State rescinded the previous national interest determination and issued a new determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for a National Interest Exception (NIE) under Presidential Proclamation 10143, as related to the Schengen Area*, United Kingdom, and Ireland. The Proclamation restricts the entry of certain noncitizens who have been present in a Schengen country during the 14 days preceding entry to the U.S.
What does this mean? What has changed?
USCIS announced on February 22, 2021, that it is reverting to the 2008 version of the naturalization civics test beginning March 1, 2021.
The 2020 version of the civics test was short lived. Developed under the Trump Administration, USCIS implemented the revised civics test for those who filed their naturalization applications after December 1, 2020. The revised version of the test was longer and required applicants to answer more questions. While the 2008 version of the test required applicants to answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly,
After the announcement of several rules that would drastically change the H-1B lottery process, and their subsequent postponements, USCIS has announced that the initial registration period for cap-subject H-1Bs is set to open on March 9, 2021 and will run through March 25, 2021. During that time, prospective employers are able to register prospective H-1B employees for this “lottery,” and an announcement on who has been selected will be made on March 31,
On February 18, ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson issued a memo titled Interim Guidance: Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Priorities (“Johnson Memo”).
The Johnson Memo is effective immediately and purports to be in support of the interim civil enforcement and removal priorities from the Pekoske Memo. It will remain in effect until DHS Secretary Mayorkas issues new enforcement guidelines, which the memo states will happen within 90 days.
The Johnson memo covers enforcement actions,
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
On January 7, 2021, USCIS announced a final rule that is intended to modify the existing H-1B “lottery” selection process from its existing model, which is randomized, to a new model that prioritizes higher wage levels. The broad effect of the rule would be that the highest paid H-1B applicants would be more likely to be selected, and entry level workers almost certainly will not be selected.
As background, the Department of Labor,
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