News Updates

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...

Reminder, New I-9 Form Required May 1, 2020

21:50 01 May in News Updates by Larrabee

Reminder: Use of New I-9 Form Now Required I-9 Version dated 10/21/2019 Now Required Effective today, May 1, 2020, employers must use the newest version (dated 10/21/2019) of the  Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for all new hires, and for Section 3 re-verifications of existing employees.   The grace period for use of the prior version dated 7/17/2017 has ended.  The edition date can be found on the lower left corner of the form.   Updated M-274 "Handbook for Employers - Guidance for Completing Form I-9"   On April 27, 2020, USCIS released an updated   M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9.  The M-274 Handbook for Employers provides official guidance...

USCIS Offices Preparing to Reopen on June 4

20:10 24 April in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS Offices Preparing to Reopen on June 4 On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  Today USCIS announced it is readying offices to reopen to the public on or after June 4. Adjustment Interviews and Naturalization Ceremonies:   USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the extended temporary closure. Affirmative Asylum Cases:  USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is...

Executive Order Temporarily Suspending Entry of Immigrants

20:42 23 April in News Updates by Larrabee

Presidential Proclamation Temporarily Suspending Entry on Immigrant Visas for 60 Days Following a Tweet late Monday night indicating he would temporarily suspend immigration into the United States, on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 President Trump issued an Executive Order:  Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak. The proclamation will become effective on Thursday, April 23,2020 at 11:59 PM EDT and will be in effect for 60 days, until June 22, 2020 at 11:59 PM EDT.  Within 50 days,the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor shall recommend...

USCIS Announces Delay in Data Entry and Receipt Notice Generation for FY 2021 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

16:32 14 April in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS has announced that petitioners should expect a delay in data entry and receipt notice generation for fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions until at least May 1, 2020, due to the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Due to delayed data entry and notice generation, there will be a general delay in processing FY 2021 cap-subject petitions. USCIS is mindful of petitions with sensitive expiration and start dates, such as cap-gap petitions, and will strive to process these petitions as efficiently as possible. USCIS has asked petitioners to wait to inquire about the status of their cap-subject petitions until they...

Temporary Closure of USCIS Offices Extended through May 3rd

22:23 01 April in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS Temporary Office Closure Extended until at least May 3 USCIS has announced it is extending the suspension of in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices and Application Support Centers through at least May 3.   The temporary closure initially took effect on March 18 to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and was due to last until at least April 1.  Today USCIS announced the temporary closure will continue through at least May 3. Please note that USCIS adjudications of all case types continue under regular processing.   Premium processing has been suspended until further notice. Any clients who need assistance, please contact...