Written by Jaclyn D. Granet and Janice Luo After several days of extensive media coverage and speculation, on June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a new immigration-related proclamation, the full text of which is available here. Per the administration, this new proclamation was released in response to the growing American unemployment rate due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The most notable order in this proclamation … Continue reading President Suspends Temporary Entry of Certain Nonimmigrants Due to COVID-19 Related Unemployment Rates
In this video, MSK immigration attorney Stephen Blaker reviews the various process changes and travel restrictions that have been imposed by the federal immigration agencies in response to COVID-19. What impact could this have on your reopening plans? If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please contact Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Continue reading MSK Minute: Stephen Blaker Reviews Immigration Considerations for Reopening
President Suspends Temporary Entry of Certain Immigrants Due to COVID-19 Economic Fallout
Written by David S. Rugendorf
On Wednesday evening, April 22, 2020, President Trump issued his highly anticipated immigration proclamation, temporarily suspending some types of immigration to the United States due to COVID-19 and its resultant damage to the domestic labor market. While the language of the order suggested that future actions may be necessary, the current order is very limited in its scope and application. Very few individuals are now prevented from entering the United States who had not previously been barred from entry. A summary of the order is as follows: Continue reading “Immigration Proclamation Sets Limited Curbs”
Written by Frida P. Glucoft
Employers should beware: even during the COVID-19 pandemic, certain employer compliance and obligations continue and others are created.
NOTICE: if your work force is working from home and you have any individuals in H1B or E3 status, there are postings and notice requirements. There are technical rules which must be followed and documents to retain for the future when we return to the worksite.
TRAVEL BAN: the travel ban for entry to the USA from abroad remains in effect. The exception is for US citizens and lawful permanent residents and their families. In addition, many countries around the globe do not permit anyone but nationals of their own countries to enter.
Be sure your employees do not make travel arrangements without advising you well in advance. Continue reading “Employer Expectations in COVID Conditions”
Working Remotely Triggers Immigration Compliance Regulations
In the wake of a range of “safer at home” federal, state and local orders and guidelines stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers throughout the United States have temporarily closed their offices to varying degrees and instructed their employees to work remotely, usually from home. Companies with employees working in the US pursuant to the temporary visa categories H-1B, E-3 (Australian citizens) and H-1B1 (citizens of Singapore and Chile) are required to take extra steps to ensure compliance with immigration laws and regulations when those employees are working from locations outside of their normal worksites. Continue reading “Remote Work Blurs Boundaries”
US Immigration In The Time of the Coronavirus
Written by David S. Rugendorf
Our lives have changed almost overnight, and the unimaginable has become the new normal. We find ourselves, our families and our workplaces in an unprecedented and ever evolving situation, with new government directives and restrictions appearing on an almost daily basis. With that in mind, we have a few general points to share with our clients and friends:
RECONSIDER TRAVEL PLANS – This should be obvious. Government travel restrictions are in place prohibiting entry into the United States of individuals who have recently been present in China and Europe (including the United Kingdom). Exceptions are currently being made for US citizens, permanent residents (“green card” holders) and their immediate families. Entries across our land borders are now severely curtailed. We do not expect the situation to return to normal any time soon – further restrictions may be imposed. Appointments to obtain visas at US embassies and consulates all over the world have been cancelled, or face lengthy postponements. Applicants should monitor their e-mails for notifications regarding cancellations and postponements. US airports have seen delays in immigration processing and crowding which have made social distancing impossible. Continue reading “Don’t Get Stuck With COVID-19”
On March 11, 2020, the White House issued Proclamation 9984 “Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus,” which suspends entry to the United States for immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present in the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their arrival to the United States. The Schengen Area includes the following 26 countries:
Exceptions: The travel restriction does not apply to US Citizens, legal permanent residents (green card holders), spouses of US Citizens or legal permanent residents, unmarried children under the age of 21 of US Citizens or legal permanent residents, parents or legal guardians of US Citizens or legal permanent residents who are unmarried and under the age of 21, or members of the US Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the US Armed Forces. Additional less common immigration statuses, such as individuals traveling on diplomatic visas, United Nation visas, or C-1/D crewmember visas, are also excluded from the travel restriction. Continue reading “Novel Coronavirus European Travel Ban (Effective March 13, 2020)”
Department of Homeland Security Suspends New York Residents From Enrolling in Global Entry and Other Trusted Traveler Programs
New York residents may no longer be able to enroll (or re-enroll) in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs, according to recent action by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).
On February 5, 2020, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced DHS was suspending enrollment in Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST for all New York state residents. This announcement does not affect residents of other U.S. states and jurisdictions who may continue to use, enroll or re-enroll in these programs. No information was provided regarding how long the suspension would be in effect, although the way the DHS letter to New York state officials was worded makes it seems further discussions between DHS and those officials may be possible. The stated reason for the restriction is New York’s denial of access to DHS of its Department of Motor Vehicle data for immigration enforcement and criminal history/involvement purposes. An open question remains as to whether grounds exist to bring court action or some other form of legal challenge given DHS invoking law enforcement considerations as the basis for its actions. Continue reading “New Travel Restrictions for New Yorkers”
On January 31, 2020, the USCIS issued a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification with edition date 10/21/2019. The form is effective immediately. The new Form I-9 is available on the USCIS website at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
The form includes the following updates:
Revisions related to the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9:
- Added the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) to List C. Employers completing Form I-9 on a computer will be able to select Form FS-240 from the drop-down menus available in List C of Sections 2 and 3. E-Verify users will also be able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who has presented this document for Form I-9.
- Combined all the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) into selection C #2 in List C.
- Renumbered all List C documents except the Social Security card. For example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C changed from List C #8 to List C #7.
Today, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) changed the reciprocity schedule for France to reflect decreased E-1, E-2, and L-1 visa validity periods. Specifically, effective November 12, 2019, E-1 and E-2 visas are now limited to a validity of only 25 months per visa issuance. Similarly, L-1 visas are now limited to a validity of only 17 months per visa issuance. Until this change, E and L visas have had validity for 60 months.
In general, different types of U.S. nonimmigrant visas have different allowable validity periods depending on the nationality of the applicant, because the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires the DOS to set country-specific visa policies based on reciprocity. The validity periods, number of entries, and visa fees for different types of visas are based on each country’s treatment of similar classes of U.S. visitors to its territory, as well as national security, immigration, and other considerations. Since August 2019, there have been announcements by the U.S. Embassy in France regarding decreased E visa validity periods for French nationals. According to the U.S. Embassy in France’s website at that time, the reduction in validity time on E visas was implemented to correspond with the “treatment afforded to U.S. citizens by the Government of France”. However, until today, the DOS has not changed the reciprocity schedule to reflect the changes. Continue reading “Update to Critical Restrictions on French Nationals (E and L Visas) as of November 12, 2019”