Archives: US Immigration

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‘I-Squared’ Bill Would Change H-1B and Other Immigration Programs

While the Administration and Congress work to reconcile the needs of DACA recipients with concerns over border security and illegal immigration, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have introduced a bill to reform immigration programs for high-skilled workers. If the bill passes, it would go a long way to maintaining U.S. competitiveness in … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Releases Framework for Immigration Deal

The Trump Administration has released a new framework containing components of proposed immigration reform. Not surprisingly, border security is at the top of the list and includes the following components: New $25 billion trust fund for the (southern) border wall system Funds for hiring more enforcement personnel Immigration court reforms Ending the “catch-and-release” policy and establishing an … 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

New Secretary of DHS Announces New Country Requirements for Visa Waiver Program

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has announced new security measures applicable to all countries in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP allows citizens or nationals of 38 participating countries to enter the U.S. for business visits or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without obtaining a visa stamp in their … 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

Travel Ban 3.0 May Take Effect (For Now), U.S. Supreme Court Rules

The latest version of the Trump Administration’s travel ban may take effect pending decisions expected shortly from the Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. The third iteration of the travel ban (Travel Ban 3.0), implemented in late-September, restricts travel to the U.S. for individuals from Chad, … Continue Reading

Trump Issues Country-Specific Travel Ban

President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation that imposes new travel restrictions on eight countries, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry in to the United States by Terrorist or Other Public-Safety Threats.” Five of the eight countries were included in the previous travel ban. The new restrictions were issued on September 24, … Continue Reading

Revised Travel Ban Coming?

The Trump Administration reportedly may replace the current travel ban with a country-specific set of restrictions. In June, the Supreme Court allowed the government to begin enforcing the 90-day travel ban against individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who had no bona fide relationship to the United States. The 90-day ban will … 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

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

Trump Administration Stops Law Enforcement Funds to Chicago, Sanctuary City, and Gets Sued

Chicago, a sanctuary city, is challenging the Trump Administration’s ability to deny it needed law enforcement funds. The battle between the Administration and sanctuary localities began in April, when a federal judge blocked a part of President Donald Trump’s Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States Executive Order that directed government agencies … 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

Trump Announces Support for Senate Bill Curbing Legal Immigration

President Donald Trump has announced his support for a reduction in legal immigration to the United States, backing a modified version of the bill first introduced in April by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA). Trump on August 2 said he embraced a new “merit-based” immigration system, which he contends will benefit American … Continue Reading

Travel Ban Update: Grandparents and Other Close Relatives

In a one-paragraph ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court, disagreeing with the Administration, allowed the District Court’s injunction to stand with regard to relatives. Individuals from the six designated countries with grandparents and other close relatives in the United States will not be subject to the travel ban – for now. The Court, however, put the … Continue Reading

State Department Guidance to U.S. Diplomatic Posts on Information Sharing Standards

President Donald Trump’s March 6th revised Executive Order directs the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence to review information sharing and develop uniform screening and vetting standards and procedures for visas and other immigration benefits. In June, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held this review could … Continue Reading

Travel Ban Does Not Apply to Grandparents and Other Close Relatives, Hawaii Court Rules

Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu has enjoined the federal government from using President Donald Trump’s partially reinstated travel ban to bar grandparents and other close relatives from entering the United States. He also has enjoined the government from banning refugees who are the beneficiaries of a sponsorship assurance from a resettlement agency. When the U.S. … Continue Reading

Emails from clientverification@state.gov Are Legitimate

Emails from clientverification@state.gov are legitimate, the Department of State Visa Office has confirmed to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Emails from the address clientverification@state.gov are from government contractors requesting confirmation that a visa beneficiary will be working for the employer. Employers should take the requests seriously and respond. If you have any questions about … Continue Reading

Personal Electronic Devices Ban Lifted for Some Airlines under New DHS Security Requirements

DHS Secretary John Kelly has released new enhanced security requirements for screening of personal electronic devices and passengers and for explosives for approximately 2,000 daily flights to the U.S. from 280 airports in 105 countries.  Airlines that meet the new requirements will not become subject to an expansion of the PED ban established in March. … Continue Reading

Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants May Have Longer Waits

President Donald Trump has issued an executive order striking the 80-percent/three-week goal for interviewing nonimmigrant visa applicants following submission of applications. Since September 11, 2001, the State Department has given priority to security over quick visa adjudications. For many reasons, including heightened security, between 2001 and 2010, the U.S. share of the global tourism market … Continue Reading
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