USCIS Announces New Fees: What Employers Need to Know

Written by Benjamin Lau The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it is implementing a new filing fee schedule that will take effect on October 2, 2020. USCIS is also revising numerous key employment-based immigration forms, such as new editions of the Form I-129 nonimmigrant worker petition for H-1B, L-1, O-1 and other nonimmigrant categories. The new forms are not currently … Continue reading USCIS Announces New Fees: What Employers Need to Know

USCIS: Approval Notices May (Temporarily) Evidence Authorization to Work in US

Written by David S. Rugendorf Faced with logistical difficulties in producing work authorization documents (EAD cards), a growing backlog of applications and related litigation, the USCIS announced yesterday (August 19, 2020) that it would, in limited circumstances, allow paper I-797 approval notices to suffice as evidence of employment authorization, even though these notices explicitly state that they are not valid as evidence of same. US … Continue reading USCIS: Approval Notices May (Temporarily) Evidence Authorization to Work in US

President Suspends Temporary Entry of Certain Nonimmigrants Due to COVID-19 Related Unemployment Rates

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

MSK Minute: Stephen Blaker Reviews Immigration Considerations for Reopening

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 s1b@msk.com. Continue reading MSK Minute: Stephen Blaker Reviews Immigration Considerations for Reopening

Immigration Proclamation Sets Limited Curbs

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”

Employer Expectations in COVID Conditions

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”

Remote Work Blurs Boundaries

Working Remotely Triggers Immigration Compliance Regulations

Written By Howard D. Shapiro and Frida P. Glucoft

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”

Don’t Get Stuck With COVID-19

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”

Novel Coronavirus European Travel Ban (Effective March 13, 2020)

Airport terminal and coronavirus sign
Photo Credit: istock.com/Marta Ortiz

By Frida Glucoft and Benjamin Lau

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:

Austria Hungary Norway
Belgium Iceland Poland
Czech Republic Italy Portugal
Denmark Latvia Slovakia
Estonia Liechtenstein Slovenia
Finland Lithuania Spain
France Luxembourg Sweden
Germany Malta Switzerland
Greece Netherlands

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)”

New Travel Restrictions for New Yorkers

Freedom Tower, Manhattan, New York
Photo Credit: istock.com/IzabelaSun

Department of Homeland Security Suspends New York Residents From Enrolling in Global Entry and Other Trusted Traveler Programs

By Benjamin Lau and Susan Kohn Ross

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”