Luisa Koidl

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Fall Season US Employment-Based Immigration Updates

The fall season brings two significant updates for US employment-based immigration: (1) the implementation of the next phase of premium processing expansion and (2) a significant retrogression of certain immigrant visa categories. Next Phase of Premium Processing Expansion On September 15, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the implementation of the third phase … Continue Reading

US DOS Extends and Expands Visa Interview Waiver Eligibility; President Rescinds Latest Covid Travel Ban (US)

Due to the limited capacity to adjudicate visa applications during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State (DOS) announced the extension and expansion of its nonimmigrant visa interview waiver program through Dec. 31, 2022. Currently, U.S. consular officers may waive the in-person interview requirement for applicants who are renewing any type of nonimmigrant visa in … Continue Reading

U.S. Presidential Proclamation Issued Rescinding and Replacing Geographic COVID-19 Travel Bans

On October 25, 2021, the White House announced the President’s new Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The new travel Proclamation will take effect on November 8, 2021, and will replace the geographic COVID-19 travel bans with proof of vaccination requirements for all nonimmigrant travelers seeking to enter … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Vaccination Will Become Mandatory for Most Green Card Applicants (US)

According to a new policy from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective October 1, 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine is included on the list of vaccines required for applicants to obtain lawful permanent residence (aka “green card”). Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), section 212(a)(1)(A)(ii), foreign nationals to be found admissible … Continue Reading

President Signs Three Executive Orders Seeking Broad Changes to US Immigration Policies; Administration Delays Changes to H-1B Cap Lottery

The following is a summary of the President’s three new immigration-related executive orders issued on February 2, 2021: Executive Order on the Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families The first executive order creates an interagency task force, presided by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to reunify parents and children separated by … Continue Reading

DHS Finalizes a New Fee Schedule to Take Effect on October 2, 2020 (US)

The Final Rule   A final rule was published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2020, which considerably increases USCIS’ fees and makes other changes to immigration benefits. DHS originally announced a proposed rule in November 2019; however, the final rule differs in certain aspects from the original proposal. Under the final rule, the fee … Continue Reading

USCIS Premium Processing Service Returns for Certain Petitions in Different Stages (US)

USCIS announced on May 29, 2020 that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in stages during the month of June. Premium Processing Service has been suspended since March 20, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Premium processing provides expedited processing … Continue Reading

USCIS Temporarily Suspends In-Person Services Due To Its COVID-19 Response (US)

USCIS has suspended in-person services from March 18, 2020, until at least April 1, 2020, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. During this period, the agency will not conduct in-person adjustment of status or naturalization interviews, naturalization ceremonies, or Application Support Center biometrics appointments. USCIS field offices will send cancellation notices to applicants with … Continue Reading

DHS New Fee Schedule and Other Changes Proposal (US)

The Proposed Rule On November 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice of a proposed rule that will considerably alter the fees associated with US filings and immigration benefits. The proposal also includes significant changes to some of the immigration forms published by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). DHS … Continue Reading

USCIS has drawn the H-1B lucky numbers, but winners may have to hold off on celebrating (US)

On April 11th, USCIS announced that its computer-generated random selection process was completed. USCIS drew the numbers of the lucky H-1B petitions that made the cut under the congressionally-mandated regular cap of 65,000 visa numbers and the U.S. advanced degree exemption of 20,000 visa numbers for fiscal year (FY) 2020.… Continue Reading
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