News Updates

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 8.03.2020

21:00 03 August in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES DHS to Raise Fees Significantly for Many Immigration Benefits -  Today DHS published final rule which will apply to cases filed with USCIS on or after October 2, 2020.   The rule will significantly increase many immigration fees charged by USCIS, and reduce some others.   It also removes certain fee exemptions; changes fee waiver requirements; establishes multiple fees for nonimmigrant worker petitions; alters premium processing time limits; and makes changes related to setting, collecting, and administering fees, among other things.   Please see some details below, and look for a special LAC legal update specific to the issue later today.   ...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 7.27.2020

21:08 27 July in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES:  JULY 27, 2020 1. SEVP Issues 'Clarifying' Q&A for Foreign Students re Online-Only Coursework Visa Ban   U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released new guidance dated July 24, 2020, in the form of "clarifying" questions and answers regarding the Trump administration's shifting policy on foreign students taking online coursework in the fall. The guidance follows the Trump administration's agreement on July 14, 2020, to rescind a new policy to bar all nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students taking only online classes, due to the pandemic, for the fall 2020 semester from entering into or remaining in the...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 7.20.2020

15:01 24 July in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES:  JULY 20, 2020 Headlines: Trump Administration Agrees to Rescind New Foreign Student Online-Only Ban - The Trump administration agreed to rescind its new policy to bar nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students taking only online classes for the fall 2020 semester from entering into or remaining in the United States. State Dept. Lists Exceptions Under Recent Presidential Proclamations Suspending Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants -The list includes exceptions for H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L-1, L-2, J-1, and J-2 visas. Phased Resumption of Services Begins for Visa and Passport Processing; MRV Fees Paid During Suspension Remain Valid - The resumption will occur on a...

Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry on Nonimmigrant Visas Update

21:12 17 July in News Updates by Larrabee

On June 22, 2020 a Presidential Proclamation was issued which suspended the entry of certain nonimmigrants to the U.S. and extended the suspension of new immigrant visas issued abroad. Specifically, the Proclamation suspended the entry of individuals outside the U.S. without a valid visa or travel document in the following nonimmigrant visa categories: - H-1B specialty occupation workers and H-4 family members; - H-2B seasonal non-agricultural workers and H-4 family members; - J-1 exchange visitors in the following sub-categories: intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and J-2 family members; - L-1 intracompany transferees (both L-1A executive/managerial and L-1B specialized knowledge)...

New SEVP Policy Regarding Online Education for F-1 Student

19:32 07 July in News Updates by Larrabee

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program Announces Changes to Online Education Policy for Foreign Students As many U.S. schools and universities are struggling to determine how to safely and effectively educate students in light of the global pandemic, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced changes to its policy for online studies for foreign students in F-1 and M-1 status. The agency had granted some flexibility for online courses in the Spring and Summer of 2020 in light of COVID-19.  The modifications below will be in effect for the Fall 2020 semester and constitute a roll-back of the prior flexibility. The changes...

Furlough Notices Issued to 13,700 USCIS Employees

22:05 02 July in News Updates by Larrabee

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued furlough notices to 13,700 of its 20,000 employees, potentially putting as much as 73% of USCIS staff our of work temporarily. The furlough will go into effect on August 3, 2020 unless Congress and the President take action to provide emergency funding for USCIS to continue operations at its present level.  If it takes effect, the furlough will last at least 30 days, possibly 90 days or more. Why were the furlough notices issued? USCIS receives 95% of its funding comes from filing fees paid by applicants and petitioners for immigration benefits. USCIS...

Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry on Nonimmigrant Visas

23:18 22 June in News Updates by Larrabee

Today President Trump issued an Executive Order "Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak" WHEN DOES THE ORDER TAKE EFFECT?   The Order will become effective on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 12:01 Eastern Daylight Time.      HOW LONG WILL THE ORDER BE IN EFFECT?   The Order will be in effect until December 31, 2020, and may be continued as necessary.  Within 30 days of June 24, 2020, and every 60 days thereafter while the proclamation is in effect, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Secretary of State and Secretary of Labor shall recommend any necessary modifications.   WHO DOES...

Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China

22:54 29 May in News Updates by Larrabee

Today President Trump issued an Executive Order Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from the Peoples Republic of China. The Proclamation indicates that the restriction is designed to prevent "China's acquisition of sensitive U.S. technologies and intellectual property to modernize its military, which is a threat to the United States' long-term economic vitality and the safety and security of the American people." The proclamation will become effective on Monday, June 1, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT and will remain in effect until terminated by the President.      Who Does the Order Affect? The proclamation suspends the entry of Chinese citizens into the...

USCIS to Resume Premium Processing for Certain Petitions

20:28 29 May in News Updates by Larrabee

On March 20, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS today announced that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month as follows: June 1st:  All eligible I-140 petitions. June 8th:  The following petitions that were filed before June 8th and are pending with USCIS: H-1B petitions that are cap-exempt, which include: Petitions filed by cap-exempt petitioners; and Petitions filed for beneficiaries who have previously held or currently hold H-1B status, such as change of employer petitions, extensions, etc.  Cap cases are not included. All...