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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the numerous travel bans and “shelter in place” orders which have been recently announced, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will extend certain filing deadlines by 60 days.
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On March 27, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updates on the H-1B cap registration process. Employers and attorneys will need to log into the USCIS Registration portal in order to learn the status of each registration. 
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Update: Extension of the REAL ID Enforcement Deadline

March 26, 2020 | Blog | By Colleen DiNicola

Due to the national emergency declaration resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, several states have closed and/or restricted services at DMV offices, precluding millions of people from applying for a REAL ID.  Accordingly, on March 26, 2020, Acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad Wolf, announced that the deadline for enforcement of the REAL ID Act would be extended by one year to October 1, 2021.
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COVID-19 Immigration-Related Updates

March 20, 2020 | Blog | By Immigration News Team

We provide the following information to assist our clients to keep track of some of the most salient Coronavirus-related immigration changes and developments:
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Read about New York State’s federal lawsuit against DHS and CBP for the Trump Administration's recent ban on Global Entry enrollments and renewals for New York residents.
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New Developments in U.S. Immigration Court

February 14, 2020 | Blog | By Molly P O'Shea

The Trump administration has introduced a number of new rules, regulations, and policies intended to maximize efficiency within the EOIR. Employers, legal counsel, and any individual in immigration court proceedings should be aware of these updates, due to their potentially adverse impact on the independence of immigration judges and respondents’ due process rights as they navigate the legal system.
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On January 24, 2020 the US Department of State published a rule that amends part of the regulations governing the issuance of “B” visitor visas. This regulatory amendment now establishes a rebuttable presumption that an applicant for a “B” visitor visa, who a consular officer believes will give birth during her visit to the US, is applying for the visa and traveling to the US for the primary purpose of securing US citizenship for the child.
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Department of State Announces Visa Reciprocity Changes

January 21, 2020 | Blog | By Lindsey Steinberg

The United States Department of State (DOS) recently made a number of significant changes to visa “reciprocity” tables.  Reciprocity involves either additional fees, or shorter validity periods (or both) for visa applicants from certain countries and for certain visa classifications.
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New Policy Guidance on Good Moral Character Determinations

January 10, 2020 | Blog | By Lindsey Steinberg

If a permanent resident plans to become a U.S. citizen, he or she should be aware that certain behaviors could have an adverse affect. The Immigration and Nationality Act lists establishing Good Moral Character as a requirement for naturalization. There are some crimes which, if a person has been convicted of at any time during his or her life, disqualifies him or her from becoming a U.S. Citizen.
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Increased Challenges for the H-1B

November 25, 2019 | Blog | By Barbara Chin

Anyone who works in legal or HR and handles work authorizations for their employees will agree that hiring foreign nationals or international transfers has become much more difficult under the current administration and its interpretation of President Trump’s Hire America/Buy America (BAHA) Policy, which he issued by Executive Order in April 2017. The latest statistics issued by USCIS confirm the difficulty of processing H-1B Petitions over the past three years.
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A Victory for Digital Privacy Rights at the U.S. Border

November 19, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Cohen

In a historic decision on travelers’ rights to privacy at the U.S. border, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper in Boston ruled that suspicionless searches at U.S. ports of entry (airports and border crossings) of travelers’ electronic devices violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 
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DACA: Updates and Options for Dreamers

November 11, 2019 | Blog | By Lauren Watford

This November, the United States Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the case that will decide the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program, established through executive action, has offered a temporary reprieve from removal (deportation) to nearly 800,000 students and young professionals raised in the United States. While the program protects a generation categorically denied opportunity to gain legal status, it is very limited in scope. Remarkably, DACA does not confer any immigration status itself nor offer a separate pathway to any other status including permanent residency.
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USCIS Forms Expiring on October 15

October 10, 2019 | Blog | By Danielle Porter

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that effective October 15, 2019, various forms will be updated to coincide with the recent issuance of a final rule on the public charge ground of admissibility (section INA 212(A)(4)) published by the Department of Homeland Security on August 14, 2019.
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Processing Delays Expected to Continue For All Trusted Traveler Program Applications
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USCIS to Close Majority of its International Offices

August 22, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Cohen

On August 9, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that over the course of the coming year it will shutter all but 7 of its 23 international offices. Offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Nairobi, New Delhi, Guatemala City, Mexico City, and San Salvador will remain open. In March of this year, Trump administration officials had announced that the administration was planning to close all the international offices.  The recently-announced decision to keep some of them open is therefore a departure from the original plan.
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Visa Backlog Blues

July 12, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Cohen

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On June 10, 2019 the Department of Labor (DOL) will implement their new system for Applications for Prevailing Wage Determinations (Form ETA-9141).  The DOL has developed the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System as part of their technology modernization initiative.  The current system, iCERT, is decades old and the DOL believes it is not keeping pace with customer demands.  The DOL will continue to accept Form ETA-9141 through the current system, iCERT, until 11:59 p.m. EST on June 9, 2019.  All new Applications for Prevailing Wage Determinations must be submitted through FLAG beginning on June 10th. 
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Decreased Privacy in the Visa Application Process

June 5, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Cohen

On June 1, 2019 the Department of State (DOS) announced that it would immediately begin requiring visa applicants to the United States to provide additional personal information on U.S. visa applications, including social media information, and all email addresses and phone numbers used over the prior five year period.  Up to 15 million visa applicants around the world could be affected by these new questions on the visa application forms. 
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