Gregory A. Wald

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Time To Play the Numbers:  H-1B Cap Registration Returns on March 1st (US)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 H-1B cap will open at noon EDT on March 1, 2022  and run through noon EDT on March 18, 2022.  This occurs one week earlier than last year. This registration process will not apply to H-1B transfers (between employers) or extensions of status applications.  It will only impact new H-1B visas subject to … Continue Reading

Coming home for the holidays? COVID Testing Requirements for Air Travelers Reduced to One Day Prior to Departure (US)

In response to the global spread of the Omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shortened the timeline for the pre-departure COVID testing requirement to one day applicable to in-bound travelers to the United States. Per the CDC announcement, effective on or after 12:01 am EST on December 6, 2021, “all air … Continue Reading

Major Changes Implemented in Employment Authorization Procedures for Spouses of H, E and L Visa Holders (US)

On November 12, 2021, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued new policies conferring the benefit of automatic extension of employment authorization for certain H-4, E, and L nonimmigrant dependent spouses.  This significant shift in policy comes on the heels of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) settlement in Shergill et al v. Mayorkas, … Continue Reading

Update Regarding US COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

As we previously posted last month, the United States is rescinding and replacing the geographic COVID-19 travel bans with new proof of vaccination requirements for all international travelers. These new requirements will pertain to those entering the U.S. via air, sea or across the land border with Canada or Mexico. As reported by numerous news … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Travel Bans To Be Rescinded and Replaced with Vaccination Requirements (US)

After much anticipation, the White House announced plans to rescind the geographic COVID-19 travel bans and modify restrictions on all international travelers to focus on proof of vaccination. In place of the travel bans and beginning in early November, international travelers will be required to prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well … Continue Reading

President Biden Issues Proclamation Adding India to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (US)

On April 30, 2021, the President issued another Proclamation suspending entry into the United States of nonimmigrants and noncitizens who were physically present within the Republic of India during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry into the United States. These restrictions take effect at 12:01 am EDT on May 4, 2021 and remain in … Continue Reading

H-1B Cap Season Opens March 9: Random Cap Registration Selection Returns For FY2022 (US)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap will open at noon Eastern on March 9 and run through noon Eastern on March 25, 2021.  USCIS intends to notify selected registrants by March 31st and permit filings from April 1, 2021.… Continue Reading

Biden Immigration Activity on Day One: Taking Down the Walls (US)

With the stroke of a pen, President Biden immediately commenced the deconstruction of the Southern Border wall and several other immigration policies of the prior administration, including the pre-Covid travel bans. Here is a summary of the President’s immigration-related executive actions issued during his first days in office. Revoking the Pre-Covid Travel Bans Entitled Presidential … Continue Reading

DHS Doubles Down On H-1Bs: Publishes Rule Implementing Wage-Based Changes to the Annual H-1B Lottery (US)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Final Rule, which, if left intact, will implement major changes to the H-1B visa program. The new rule would do away with the random lottery system currently used to issue the annual quota of 85,000 new H-1B visas and replace it with a selection system weighted to … Continue Reading

President Trump Extends his Visa “Pause” Through March 2021 (US)

Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052 have been extended through March 31, 2021.  The two proclamations, which suspend U.S. entry and visa issuance for many immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants outside the U.S., were set to end after December 31, 2020.  Possible extensions were the subject of internal deliberations at the White House leading up to … Continue Reading

US Immigration Update: Must Be the Season of the Witch

It’s been a frenetic October and we’re still in the first week. Here is a quick summary of significant developments in U.S. Immigration just within the past few days. Federal District Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Halting Implementation of Nonimmigrant Visa Ban On October 1, 2020 Judge Jeffrey S. White of the District Court for the … Continue Reading

Unpacking National Interest Exception Requirements to Recent Presidential Proclamations Suspending Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants: Hoops and Hurdles Remain (US)

On August 12, 2020, the U.S. State Department issued new guidance (“State Department Guidance”) on parameters for National Interest Exceptions to Presidential Proclamation 10052. As our previous post outlined, Proclamation 10052 suspended U.S. entry for certain nonimmigrants on H-1B (specialty occupation), H-2B (temporary workers), L-1 (intracompany transferees), and J-1 (exchange visitors participating in the intern, … Continue Reading

Executive Order Sets Stage for Restrictions on Government Contractor Visas and Offshoring (US)

On August 3, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order (“Aligning Federal Contracting and Hiring Practices With the Interests of American Workers” hereafter “Executive Order”) calling for a broad review of the government’s use of visa holders and outsourcing across its extensive government contracting networks. The White House announced that the Executive Order is, at … Continue Reading

DHS Extends Flexibility Relating to I-9 Execution for Remote Workers While Increasing Civil Penalties for Violations (US)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced another extension, through July 19, 2020, of its COVID-19 temporary policy of deferring the physical presence requirements associated with Form I-9 compliance in relation to hiring and re-verifying certain remote employees.  However, within days of announcing this reprieve for employers, DHS … Continue Reading

U.S. Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from People’s Republic of China

On May 29, 2020, the President issued a proclamation blocking certain nationals of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) from entering the United States in F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status in order to study or conduct research. The proclamation takes effect on June 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm (EDT) and remains in effect until terminated … Continue Reading

US Department of Homeland Security to Permit Flexibility Relating to I-9 Compliance for Hiring of Remote Employees

On March 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) in relation to hiring and re-verifying employees.  Prior to this announcement, DHS policy required employer representatives to conduct the I-9 verification process in person, examining an employee’s … Continue Reading

US Issues Joint Initiatives with Canada and Mexico Temporarily Restricting Travel Across Borders

Effective March 21, 2020, the United States entered into joint initiatives with Canada and Mexico to restrict travel across the land borders with each country.  All non-essential travel across the US-Canada and US-Mexico borders is temporarily restricted.  The restrictions are to remain in place for 30 days subject to review by each of the respective … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Outbreak U.S. Travel Ban Update: UK and Republic of Ireland Added

Just three days after issuing a Proclamation expanding the scope of the temporary travel (entry) bans, due to the global outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19), which restricted entry and travel to the United States of foreign nationals (immigrants or nonimmigrants) who were physically present within the European Schengen Area, President Trump’s Proclamation now includes … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Outbreak US Travel Ban Expanded To Include Europe Schengen Area

President Trump has issued another Presidential Proclamation expanding the scope of two previously issued travel bans suspending entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States, subject to certain exceptions detailed below, due to the global outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (also referred to the as the coronavirus disease 2019 or“COVID-19”). This Proclamation, entitled, Suspension … Continue Reading

Travel Ban Updates: Temporary Ban of Foreign Nationals Traveling From Mainland China Per Novel Coronavirus Outbreak; Additional Countries Added To Travel Ban 3.0

By Presidential Proclamation, dated January 31, 2020 and effective on February 2, 2020 at 5pm EST, the United States is suspending the entry of “foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the 2019 novel coronavirus.” As a result, foreign nationals (of any nationality), other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents and certain … Continue Reading

H-1B Cap Registration: USCIS Says It’s On For 2020 (US)

On December 6, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed pilot testing and is implementing the long-anticipated electronic registration tool for the next H-1B lottery of fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B visas. In its announcement, USCIS indicated that the initial H-1B cap registration period will run from March 1, 2020 … Continue Reading

H-1B Premium Processing Update: It’s On! Again! Mostly (US)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the reinstatement of premium processing service for H-1B nonimmigrant petitions, with an exception.  Premium processing permits an employer to pay an extra fee (currently $1410) to receive expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions. If requested, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing or it will refund the premium … Continue Reading

H-1B Update: DHS Publishes Final Rule Amending Application Process for upcoming H-1B Lottery (US)

The United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a press release on January 30, 2019, announcing revisions to the H1-B visa program, which were made in direct response to President Trump’s April 17, 2017 “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order (the “Order”). As we discussed in our previous blog post about the then-proposed … Continue Reading
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