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President Biden Issues Executive Order on Preserving and Fortifying DACA

On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA deferred the removal of certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, have obeyed the law, and…

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Memorandum Directing Review of Policies and Practices Concerning Immigration Enforcement

On January 20, 2021, the newly designated Acting Secretary of Homeland Security issued a memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security, including U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to conduct a review of their policies…

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President Biden Plans to Send Immigration Reform Bill to Congress

On his first day in office, President Biden announced the highlights of a far-reaching plan to reform the U.S. immigration system. The anticipated bill is expected to feature a path to permanent residence and citizenship for qualifying undocumented foreign nationals…

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President Biden Revokes Travel Bans Affecting Primarily Muslim-Majority and African Countries

Late Wednesday, President Joseph R. Biden issued a presidential proclamation that revokes two Trump Administration nationality-based travel bans targeting primarily Muslim-majority and African countries.  Under the order, the Secretary of State must direct U.S. embassies and consulates to resume processing visa applications previously subject…

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Biden Administration Announces Regulatory Freeze and Review

In one of the first executive actions of the President Joseph Biden’s term, the White House has requested a freeze on federal agency regulatory activity so that the new Administration may review Trump Administration agency rules and guidance documents either not yet…

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White House Lifts COVID-19 Travel Bans for Europe and Brazil Starting Jan. 26, but Biden Team Says Bans Will Remain in Place

President Trump issued a presidential proclamation ordering that on January 26, foreign nationals will no longer be subject to the regional COVID-19 public health bans in place for Brazil, the European Schengen countries, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Similar bans for China and Iran would…

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U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico Land Border Restrictions Extended Through February 21

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to implement the Trump Administration’s ban on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders and ferry travel with Canada and Mexico through February 21, 2021, according to a set of notifications to be published in the Federal Register. The…

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USCIS Suspends In-Person Services on January 19 and 20

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will suspend all in-person services at local field offices, application support centers and asylum offices on January 19 and January 20. It is assumed that the suspension is due to events surrounding…

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CDC Imposes COVID Testing Requirement for All International Travel to the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ordered that starting January 26, 2021, airline passengers boarding flights to the United States from abroad will only be permitted to board an aircraft if they have received a negative COVID test result within…

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DOL Issues Revised Rule Increasing PERM and H-1B Wage Minimums

The Department of Labor (DOL) has revised and reissued a prevailing wage rule that lifts wages for H-1B, E-3, and H-1B1 nonimmigrant cases and the PERM labor certification program. The new rule comes after three federal district courts struck down an earlier fast-tracked version…

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DHS Issues Final Rule to Replace Random H-1B Cap Lottery with Selection Process Based on Wage Level

On January 8, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule that would largely replace its random, computerized H-1B cap lottery with a system that allocates H-1B visa numbers according to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment Statistics…

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President Trump Extends H/L/J Nonimmigrant Proclamation and Immigrant Proclamation to March 31, 2021

President Trump has extended the nonimmigrant proclamation suspending the entry of foreign nationals in the H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and certain J-1 categories, as well as related categories for dependents, to March 31, 2021. The proclamation also immediately extends until that same date the existing…

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Spending Legislation Enacted; Extends Expiring Immigration Programs, Broadens Recovery Rebate Eligibility for Nonimmigrants

President Trump has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This Act funds the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, the State Department and other federal agencies through FY 2021. It also extends several expiring immigration programs…

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January 2021 Visa Bulletin: USCIS to Honor Final Action Dates for Employment-based Categories

Summary EB-1 China and EB-1 India Final Action dates will advance by five months to September 1, 2019. EB-2 China will advance by one month to June 1, 2016, and EB-2 India will advance by one week to October 8, 2009.EB-3…

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ICE Extends Interim COVID-19 Protections for Form I-9 Compliance Through January 31st

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that it is extending until January 31, 2021 its relaxed enforcement of the normal requirement to physically inspect the original documents presented by new hires during the I-9 process and thus allow eligible employers…

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Spending Bill Extends Expiring Immigration Programs, Broadens Recovery Rebate Eligibility for Nonimmigrants

Congress has passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The law funds the U.S. government (including immigration operations) through FY 2021, and extends four expiring immigration programs. The law also creates a second stimulus check program for U.S. taxpayers, including eligible…

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U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico Land Border Restrictions Extended Through January 21st

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to implement the Trump Administration’s ban on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders and ferry travel with Mexico and Canada through January 21, 2021, according to a set of notifications to be published in the Federal Register. The…

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USCIS Extends Existing COVID-19 Accommodations on RFEs, NOIDs, Appeals and Other Responses Through January 31, 2021

In its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS is further extending its 60-day deadline extension policy for responses to various agency actions to January 31, 2021. The accommodation will continue to be available to stakeholders responding to or filing the following: …

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DC Federal District Court Strikes Down DOL Wage Regulation, Orders Reissuance of Prevailing Wage Determinations

A federal district court in the District of Columbia set aside a fast-track Department of Labor regulation that significantly restructured the prevailing wage system for the H-1B, E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrant programs and PERM labor certification. The district court is…

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DHS Extends TPS Status and Documentation Validity for Several Countries

The Department of Homeland Security will continue to preserve Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan given that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet issued an anticipated directive…

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DHS Posts Notice of Compliance with DACA Court Order For Now

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken steps to comply with a December 4, 2020 New York federal district court order requiring the agency to restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to its 2012 form and to provide…

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DOL Issues Implementation Guidance after Federal Courts Block Prevailing Wage Interim Final Rule

The Department of Labor has issued guidance on how the agency will comply with the two federal court orders issued this week, which block implementation of its October 8, 2020 prevailing wage rule. The fast-tracked rule had significantly and immediately increased government prevailing…

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District Court Orders DHS to Restore Full DACA Program and Provide Notice to the Public

Today, Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as it existed prior to September 2017, including by accepting both new DACA applications…

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Ninth Circuit Reinstates Bar on Public Charge for Several States; Government Response Awaited

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reinstated two lower court preliminary injunctions that temporarily bar enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public charge rule in several states and Washington DC. The case is State of…

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USCIS Further Extends Temporary I-9 Verification Accommodations Due to EAD Production Delays

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended through February 1, 2021 its accommodation permitting certain foreign nationals to use an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) approval notice as a List C document to establish employment authorization during the I-9 verification process, even…

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