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USCIS Resumes Nationwide Application of Public Charge Regulation

In the wake of the Second Circuit's September 11, 2020 decision to stay a limited injunction against the Department of Homeland Security public charge rule, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced it will resume applying the regulation to affected…

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U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico Land Border Restrictions Extended Through October 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 Mexico and Canada through October 21, according to a DHS Fact Sheet. The restrictions were due to expire…

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Forthcoming DOL Rule Expected to Raise H-1B, E-3, H-1B1 and PERM Wage Minimums

The Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a fast- tracked regulation to restructure wage levels and requirements in the H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 and PERM programs. Though contents of the regulation will remain…

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ICE Further Extends Interim COVID-19 Protections for Form I-9 Compliance Through November 19

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that it is extending for another 60 days, or until November 19, 2020, its relaxed enforcement of the normal requirement to physically inspect the original documents presented by new hires during the I-9 process…

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USCIS Extends Existing COVID-19 Accommodations on RFEs, NOIDs, Appeals and Other Responses Through January 1, 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 1, 2021. The accommodation will continue to be available to stakeholders responding to or filing the following: …

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DHS Lifts Airport Restriction for Travelers Exempt from COVID Travel Bans

Effective today, air travelers who are permitted to travel to the United States despite the COVID-19 public health bans in place for Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, the European Schengen Area, and the United Kingdom, are no longer limited to entering…

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Federal Appeals Court Allows Trump Administration to Terminate TPS for Several Countries

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that the Department of Homeland Security may proceed with its long-planned termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan, vacating a lower court decision that had blocked…

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DHS Proposes Broad Expansion of Biometrics Collection and Use

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a proposed regulation that seeks to broadly expand the collection and use of biometrics in the enforcement and administration of immigration laws.  The rule would subject foreign nationals to periodic biometrics collection…

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DHS Rule to Toughen H-1B Program Criteria Is Now Under Federal Review on a Fast Track

The Department of Homeland Security has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a long-planned regulation to toughen H-1B eligibility criteria and impose new obligations on H-1B employers. OMB review is the next step toward implementing the regulation, which President Trump…

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Upcoming USCIS Fee Changes for Employers

USCIS will implement a new fee schedule on October 2, 2020, and with it, new versions of several key employment-based immigration forms, including new editions of the Form I-129 nonimmigrant worker petition for H-1B, L-1, O-1 and other key nonimmigrant categories.  The…

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USCIS Averts Furloughs Through September 30, Warns of Increased Backlogs and Wait Times

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that the agency will avert a much anticipated furlough of more than 13,000 employees through September 30, the end of FY 2020. The furlough had been scheduled to begin on August 30. According to…

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USCIS Implements DHS DACA Guidance While Agency Reconsiders the Program

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued policy guidance outlining the standards for adjudicating DACA requests and related applications for work or travel authorization. The guidance is being issued as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reconsiders the DACA program in…

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House Passes Measure to Expand USCIS Premium Processing and Stave Off Agency Furloughs; Senate Path Unknown

The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed an emergency stopgap bill that would expand the premium processing program at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to prevent around 13,000 agency employees from being furloughed on August 30. If passed…

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September 2020 Visa Bulletin: No Movement in Most Employment-Based Categories, Slight EB-1 and EB-5 Advancement

According to the State Department’s September Visa Bulletin, cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:  EB-1: All countries except for China and India will remain current in September. China and India will advance by three weeks to…

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

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that due to COVID-19-related delays in the production of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), certain foreign nationals may use an EAD approval notice to establish employment authorization during the I-9 verification process, even though such notices…

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U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico Land Border Restrictions Extended Through September 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 Mexico and Canada through September 21, according to a DHS Fact Sheet. The restrictions were due to expire…

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ICE Further Extends Interim COVID-19 Protections for Form I-9 Compliance Through September 19

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that it is extending for another 30 days, or until September 19, 2020, its relaxed enforcement of the normal requirement to physically inspect the original documents presented by new hires during the I-9 process…

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USCIS Runs Second Lottery to Select More FY 2021 H-1B Cap Cases

USCIS today began notifying employers and their immigration counsel of the results of a second selection lottery for the FY 2021 H-1B cap. Employers whose H-1B registrations are selected in the second drawing will have from August 17 to November…

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2nd Circ. Breathes New Life Into ‘Public Charge’ Rule

The Second Circuit on Wednesday revived the Trump administration's Public Charge Rule for immigrants, narrowing a New York federal judge's earlier ruling that had blocked the contested immigration rule nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic. In a brief order signed by…

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USCIS Set to Furlough Two-Thirds of its Workers After Coronavirus Stimulus Talks Fail

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning to furlough about two-thirds of its workers at the end of August after Congress failed to reach a deal on a coronavirus stimulus package. USCIS notified about 13,400 of its 20,000 employees…

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State Department Broadens National Interest Exceptions to Nonimmigrant Entry Ban for H-1B and L-1 Employees

The State Department has issued highly-anticipated updates to its guidance on national interest exceptions (NIEs) from President Trump’s June 22 proclamation banning the entry of H-1Bs and L-1s, among other nonimmigrants.  Under the new guidance, foreign nationals may obtain a new…

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President Trump Orders Review of Foreign Hiring by Federal Contractors, Directs DHS and DOL to Increase Scrutiny of H-1B Program

President Trump yesterday signed an executive order that requires government agencies to conduct a sweeping review of federal contractors’ and subcontractors’ use of nonimmigrant workers and overseas labor on federal contracts, including whether U.S. workers were adversely affected by the hiring of…

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USCIS Finalizes Significant Filing Fee Increases and Changes to its Current Fee Structure

A new DHS fee schedule, slated to take effect on October 2, 2020, will increase costs for most petitioners and applicants, and will impose new filing fees and fee requirements for many case types, according to a final rule to be…

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USCIS Provides Guidance on Public Charge Requirements in the Wake of a Federal Court Injunction

USCIS has confirmed that it will comply with a recent federal district court order that temporarily enjoins the agency from applying the Department of Homeland Security’s 2019 public charge regulation to applicants for adjustment of status or nonimmigrant changes or extensions of status. On…

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District Court Enjoins Both DHS and State Department Public Charge Rules

Today, Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued nationwide preliminary injunctions in two separate cases that suspend Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State implementation of their public…

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