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Effective Monday, October 30th, Mintz Levin’s Immigration Practice will upgrade its case management database. The security-enhanced, cloud-based system is provided by LawLogix. This new software will streamline our practice, allowing for more immediate, transparent, and effective client service.
With all eyes in Washington focused on tax reform, let’s not forget that there is a hard deadline approaching to address funding of federal activities with the current continuing resolution (CR) set to expire soon. The CR has been in effect since the start of the current fiscal year on October 1 and runs through December 8.
On October 16, 2017, the US Department of State (DOS) shut down registration for the FY 2019 Diversity Lottery due to a technical problem and will restart the registration period on October 18, 2017. All entries submitted online prior to October 18, 2017 are not valid and have been excluded from the system. 
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Hawaii Federal District Court Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a ruling applicable to the entire United States, blocking most of President Trump’s latest travel ban that was scheduled to go into effect tomorrow, October 18, 2017.
The U.S. Mission to Turkey has announced that it has suspended all nonimmigrant (temporary) visa processing at posts in Turkey. This includes all nonimmigrant visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that as of today, October 3, 2017, it has resumed the premium processing option for all H-1B petitions including for the conversion of pending petitions. USCIS reinstated the premium processing service for H-1B Cap-subject cases on September 18, 2017.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new version of its Application for Employment Authorization Form I-765 to allow applicants to simultaneously apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). 
The chances of a stand-alone EB-5 bill gaining consensus with lawmakers on Capitol Hill are low. With the GOP failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers may be spending time readjusting priorities in unexpected ways for the remainder of 2017.
On Sunday, September 24, 2017, the White House issued a proclamation (the “P.P.” or “Presidential Proclamation”) titled, Proclamation on Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats,” laying out travel restrictions for eight countries, including five that were subject to the previous travel ban, which we wrote about last on September 12th.
The U.S. Department of State has announced that registration for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2019), also known as the Green Card Lottery, will commence at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), Tuesday, October 3, 2017. Registration will close at noon, EDT, Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

H-1B Premium Processing Resumed

September 19, 2017| Alert

On September 18, 2017, USCIS resumed premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions that are subject to the FY2018 annual cap.
On Monday, September 11, 2017, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary order allowing the exclusion of most refugees pursuant to the Trump administration’s Travel Ban while the Court considers the ultimate legality of the revised Executive Order.
On Thursday, September 7, 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals let stand the Hawaii District Court temporary injunction against the Trump administration’s revised travel ban.

Reminder – New Form I-9

September 8, 2017| Alert

Federal law requires that every employer who recruits, refers for a fee, or hires an individual for employment in the U.S. must complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. 

Q. When is the DACA program ending?
A. The Trump Administration rescinded the DACA program on September 5, 2017, but is phasing out the program over a six-month period that will end on March 5, 2018.

Today the Trump administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program, which allowed for deferred deportation or removal action against certain people who came to the U.S. as children and also provided eligibility for work authorization.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a Press Release, which confirms the implementation of a new policy to require interviews for all employment-based adjustment of status applicants, as well as expanding the interview requirement to other categories.
The Trump Administration is evaluating potential reductions to U.S. cultural exchange programs that allow young people from across the world the opportunity to work temporarily in the US. The potential cuts would impact five programs that are part of the J-1 visa exchange visitor program.
On August 25, 2017, Politico reported that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) intends to implement a new policy to require interviews for all employment-based adjustment of status applicants and will be expanding the interview requirement to other categories.
In a continuation of the diplomatic tit-for-tat with Russia, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow announced on Monday, August 21, 2017, that it would suspend issuance of nonimmigrant visas for eight days starting August 23rd. Nonimmigrant visa issuance will resume at the Embassy on September 1st, but will be suspended indefinitely at other posts in Russia.
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