Archives: Department of State

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Have Unpaid Taxes? IRS Warns May Lose U.S. Passport

The IRS is reminding taxpayers to pay their taxes or face possible loss of their U.S. passports. In partnership with the IRS, the Department of State (DOS) may deny passport applications, renewals, or even revoke passports of individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts.” This is based on a section of an infrastructure bill, the Fixing … Continue Reading

State Department to Release New Visa Restrictions on Students from China

New restrictions on visas for citizens of China are expected as soon as June 11, 2018, according to the Associated Press. These restrictions, the report states, would target students in high-tech fields such as robotics and aviation. The changes would be part of the Trump Administration’s national security strategy to protect American’s intellectual property and … Continue Reading

Administration Pushes to Add Extreme Vetting to All Nonimmigrant Visa Applications

Proposed changes to Form DS-160 would include aspects of “extreme vetting” in all nonimmigrant visa applications. The public has until May 29, 2018, to submit comments to the Trump Administration proposal. Visa applicants would be required to submit five years of social media handles on specific platforms and five years of phone numbers and email … Continue Reading

Government Shutdown Is Over, For Now

Congress reached agreement and voted to end the government shutdown at least until February 8, 2018. In case another impasse occurs, this is how a federal government shutdown would affect immigration. Department of Labor (DOL) The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will stop processing all applications, and its personnel will not be available to … Continue Reading

Guide for Individuals Traveling Outside of U.S. During Holiday Season

Extreme vetting, strict scrutiny, travel warnings, and the latest travel ban have made travel abroad more worrisome than ever this holiday season. Reminders for individuals who will have to apply for new U.S. visas while abroad in order to return to the United States: Consulates are dealing with new guidance and procedures. This means that … Continue Reading

Third Travel Ban Blocked by Court

On the eve of its taking effect, President Donald Trump’s third attempt at a travel ban has been blocked by the District Court in Hawaii. On October 17, 2017, Judge Derrick Watson granted a nationwide temporary restraining order holding that the newest travel ban executive order (dubbed “EO-3”) suffered the same legal maladies as its … Continue Reading

State and Justice Departments to Share Information on Employment-Based Visa Fraud

As part of the Trump Administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) is joining with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to combat both visa fraud and potential discrimination against U.S. workers. The partnership between the two agencies is based upon a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) … Continue Reading

Update: The Diversity Lottery Will Restart Following Resolution of Technical Issue

We previously reported on the Department of State’s acceptance of applications for the diversity immigrant lottery. Since then, the DOS has announced on the Diversity Lottery website: Due to a technical issue, the DV-2019 entry period that began on October 3 has been closed. Entries submitted during October 3-10 are not valid and have been … Continue Reading

Department of State Begins Accepting Applications for Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery on October 3

Registration for the Department of State’s Diversity Lottery will be opened from noon EDT on October 3, 2017, to noon EDT on November 7, 2017. This program makes 50,000 immigrant visas available to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. The lottery registration and application process is conducted completely online and … Continue Reading

State Department Replaces Rule for Inconsistent Conduct by Aliens

The Department of State has quietly revised guidance to Consular Officers on the “30/60 Day Rule” regarding adjustment of status applications. The Rule sets standards for determining whether an alien would be inadmissible for inconsistent conduct. It provides: If an alien engaged in inconsistent conduct within 30 days of an entry, a willful misrepresentation could … Continue Reading

Government Agrees to Inform Travelers Denied Entry to U.S. of Right to Reapply for Visas

During the chaos that followed the issuance of the travel ban in January and before it was blocked by a court, at least 140 individuals from the seven named countries were denied admission to the U.S. with then-valid visas. In Darweesh v. Trump, No. 17-CV-480 (CBA), Iraqi nationals challenged the first iteration of President Donald … Continue Reading

Diversity Applicants Sue to Force State Department Action

A group of diversity lottery applicants from countries covered by President Donald Trump’s travel ban have filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to force the State Department to adjudicate their diversity lottery visa applications before time runs out for them. Administered by the Department of State, the Diversity … Continue Reading

Suspension of Visa Operations in Russia

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Russia announced that “[a]s a result of the Russian government’s personnel cap imposed on the U.S. Mission, all nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations across Russia will be suspended beginning August 23, 2017.” This is the most recent volley in the diplomatic back-and-forth that started with the reports of possible Russian … Continue Reading

Changes in FAM May Make it More Difficult for Students with Pending H-1B Cases to Travel

The Department of State has revised its guidance for Consular Officers on the issuance of student visas, emphasizing that the officer must be “satisfied that applicant intends to depart [the U.S.] upon completion of the approved activity.” The guidance states:  If you are not satisfied that the applicant’s present intent is to depart the United … Continue Reading

New Operational Directives Reflect ‘Buy American, Hire American’ Executive Order

Following the “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, issued in April, the Attorney General and the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security have made operational changes that emphasize targeted investigations and individual official’s judgment in carrying out the purposes of the E.O. The E.O. directs the agencies to “propose new rules and issue new … Continue Reading
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