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February 2022 Visa Bulletin

According to the State Department’s January Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:  EB-1: All countries, including India and China, will remain current.EB-2: India will advance by nine weeks to July 8,…

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USCIS Extends and Revises COVID-19 Accommodations on RFEs, NOIDs, Appeals and Other Responses Through March 26, 2022

In its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS is further extending and revising its deadline extension policy for responses to various agency actions to March 26, 2022. The accommodations, which were initially announced in March 2020 as a means of minimizing…

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Southern Africa Travel Ban to Be Terminated on December 31

According to White House officials, President Joe Biden will lift the ban on travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe effective 12:01am ET on December 31, 2021.  A forthcoming presidential proclamation is expected to officially…

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State Dept. Expands and Extends Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Waiver Program Through 2022

The State Department, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has expanded and extended its nonimmigrant visa interview waiver program through December 31, 2022. U.S. consular posts are permitted to adopt interview waiver policies at their discretion; they are not compelled to implement…

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DHS Withdraws Regulation to Replace H-1B Cap Lottery with Wage Level Selection Process

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is withdrawing a final regulation that would replace the current H-1B cap lottery system with a system of allocating the annual H-1B quota according to a priority system by wage level. The withdrawal will be published…

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ICE Extends Interim COVID-19 Flexibility for Form I-9 Compliance Through April 30, 2022

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is extending until April 30, 2022 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 to continue to implement remote I-9…

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January 2022 Visa Bulletin

According to the State Department’s January Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:  EB-1: All countries, including India and China, will remain current.EB-2: India will advance by nine weeks to July 8,…

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Immigration Agencies Announce Their Regulatory Plans for the Coming Months

The Departments of Homeland Security, Labor and State have issued their new regulatory agendas, which set forth each agency’s rulemaking priorities and timelines for the coming months. The following summarizes key employment-based immigration items on the agencies’ agendas. The details of proposed…

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Regulation to Expand USCIS Premium Processing Program Under Federal Review

Background This premium processing expansion was included in Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, signed into law on October 1, 2020.  The law resulted in an immediate increase in the base fee for the existing program, to $2,500 from $1,440.  It also…

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Starting December 6, One-Day COVID Test Required for All International Air Travelers

Starting December 6, all inbound international airline passengers ages 2 and older, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, will be required to submit a negative COVID test taken within one day of travel to the United States, in order to board their…

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President Biden Issues New Regional COVID Public Health Travel Ban for Several African Countries In Response to Omicron Variant

In response to the Omicron COVID-19 variant, President Joseph Biden has issued a presidential proclamation imposing a COVID-19 public health travel ban which prohibits the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry of foreign nationals who have been physically present in the following Southern African…

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House Passes Build Back Better Act with Immigration Relief and Fee Provisions

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376), a budget reconciliation measure containing significant immigration relief and fee provisions. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. If enacted, the bill would create a…

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USCIS Runs Third Lottery to Select More FY 2022 H-1B Cap Cases

Today, USCIS began notifying employers and their immigration counsel of the results of a third selection lottery for the FY 2022 H-1B cap. Employers withH-1B registrations selected in the third drawing will have from November 22, 2021 to February 23, 2022 to…

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December 2021 Visa Bulletin

According to the State Department’s December Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:  EB-1: All countries, including India and China, will remain current.EB-2: India will advance by five months to May 1, 2012,…

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USCIS Issues Policy Guidance on E, H-4, and L Spousal Work Authorization, Confirms that Auto-Extension of Spousal EADs Has Immediate Effect

In the wake of this week’s settlement in Shergill et al, v. Mayorkas, USCIS has issued policy guidance that sets forth its new spousal employment authorization policies and extends those policies to E spouses, in addition to the H-4 and L-2 spouses covered by the…

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USCIS to Ease Work Authorization Process for Certain L-2 and H-4 Spouses

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has agreed to change its policies concerning H-4 and L-2 employment authorization document (EAD) applications, according to a settlement agreement in a lawsuit that challenged the lengthy processing delays of H-4 and L-2 EAD…

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COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Requirements Take Effect Today for International Air Travelers

International air travelers are subject to new COVID-19 testing and vaccination rules, which replaced the United States’ longstanding regional COVID-19 travel bans at 12:01am EST today.  The new requirements will apply to nonimmigrant air travel from anywhere abroad, including travel by air…

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Reminder: FY 2023 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Ends November 9

Registration for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery ends on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at noon EST. Foreign nationals who wish to register for the FY 2023 DV lottery must submit their online registration forms and accompanying digital…

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Starting November 8, Nonessential Travel Permitted for Fully Vaccinated Foreign Nationals Across Canada/Mexico Land Borders

Starting on November 8, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allow foreign nationals to enter the United States through a Canada or Mexico land border or ferry terminal for “non-essential travel,” as long as they have been fully vaccinated with…

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Effective November 8, Regional Travel Bans Rescinded, Replaced with COVID Vaccination Requirement for Nonimmigrant International Air Travel

President Biden has issued a presidential proclamation rescinding the existing regional COVID-19 travel bans effective November 8, 2021 at 12:01am EST, and imposing a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for foreign nationals seeking nonimmigrant entry to the United States after international air travel. The new vaccination…

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U.S. Land Border Restrictions on Travel From Canada and Mexico Extended Through January 21, 2022; Restrictions to Lift for Fully Vaccinated in November 2021

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to implement the ban on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders and ferry travel with Canada and Mexico through January 21, 2022, according to a set of notifications to be published in the Federal Register. The restrictions were…

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White House To Replace Regional COVID Travel Bans with Vaccination Requirement for All Foreign Nationals on November 8, According to Reports

It is being reported that a White House official has confirmed that on November 8, the White House will rescind the existing regional COVID-19 travel bans and instead implement a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for foreign national international air travel. This follows a late…

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November 2021 Visa Bulletin

According to the State Department’s November Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:  EB-1: All countries, including China and India, will remain current.EB-2: China will advance by four and a half months to…

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Starting in November, DHS to Replace Current Canada/Mexico Border Restrictions with COVID Vaccination Requirements

Starting in November 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will implement a two-phase plan to allow foreign nationals to enter the United States through Canada and Mexico land border and ferry travel if they have been fully vaccinated with…

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FY 2023 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Opens Today

The State Department begins accepting online registrations for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery today, October 6, 2021 at noon EDT. Foreign nationals who wish to enter the lottery have until Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at noon EST…

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