Headlines

Summary

  1. USCIS Issues Update on H-1B Cap Electronic Registration System—Are Major Changes on the Way?

    USCIS has issued an update regarding the agency’s intention to implement a new system for the upcoming H-1B cap filing season, which would require petitioning employers to complete an electronic pre-registration prior to filing.

  2. Visa Bulletin Reflects Substantial Forward Movement; USCIS Instructs Employment-Based Beneficiaries to Use 'Dates for Filing' in October

    The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for October 2019 reflects substantial forward movement. Also, beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions should use the "Dates for Filing" rather than the "Final Action Dates," or priority dates, when filing during October 2019.

  3. USCIS Reminds Employers: Only Unrestricted Social Security Cards Are Acceptable for I-9 Purposes

    USCIS has reminded employers that they may accept only unrestricted Social Security cards for I-9 verification purposes and has updated the form accordingly.

  4. DHS Reverses Medical Deferred Action Cancellation, Will Consider Case-by-Case

    After initially sending out letters canceling noncitizen recipients' deferred action status based on medical reasons, and ordering them to leave the country, and then allowing pending applications to continue but not accepting new applications, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will resume considering such applications on a case-by-case basis. The policy garnered significant media attention, particularly relating to children, and was the subject of a recent congressional hearing.

  5. Supreme Court Allows Enforcement of Trump Administration Asylum Rule

    The Supreme Court has allowed enforcement of a new Trump administration rule, which requires asylum seekers passing through third countries to apply for asylum in those countries first before seeking asylum in the United States, to move forward pending disposition of the administration's appeal in the Ninth Circuit.

  6. DHS Issues Guidance on Visa Requirements for Bahamian Citizens Traveling to the United States

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued guidance for Bahamians wishing to travel to the United States following the recent devastation of Hurricane Dorian.

  7. El Salvador TPS EADs Listing a Sept. 9 Expiration Remain Valid Through Jan. 2

    Employment authorization documents for El Salvadoran temporary protected status beneficiaries showing a category code of "A-12" or "C-19" and an expiration date of 09/09/2019 are valid through January 2, 2020. Workers do not need to present additional documentation.

  8. KLASKO NEWS

1. USCIS Issues Update on H-1B Cap Electronic Registration System—Are Major Changes on the Way?

USCIS has issued an update regarding the agency’s intention to implement a new system for the upcoming H-1B cap filing season, which would require petitioning employers to complete an electronic pre-registration prior to filing.

USCIS envisions a new system whereby upon completion of the pre-registration, USCIS would select the cases eligible to be filed and provide petitioning employers with a defined time period to file the H-1B petition. 

USCIS has advised that the agency has completed two rounds of design, testing, and feedback. After the current development phase is completed, USCIS has indicated that further outreach and training will be provided prior to the rollout of the new system.  

As this process would represent a significant change in procedure (and with the H-1B cap season rapidly approaching), there has been widespread concern about the limited outreach and engagement opportunities available to test and provide feedback on the registration tool, especially with regard to technical glitches and operation disruptions that have plagued previous registration systems in other visa categories.  

Stay tuned for a Klasko Client Webinar covering this topic and other tips on preparing for the FY2021 Cap Filing season in December. Look for an invitation in your inbox, or follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Your Klasko attorneys will be keeping a close eye on updates regarding the FY2021 H-1B filing system and will issue client alerts as updates become available.

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2. Visa Bulletin Reflects Substantial Forward Movement; USCIS Instructs Employment-Based Beneficiaries to Use 'Dates for Filing' in October

The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for the month of October 2019 reflects substantial forward movement as anticipated with the beginning of the federal fiscal year on October 1, 2019. Specifically, only the EB-1 preference category as well as India and China-born applicants remain backlogged for the dates that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept applications during the month of October 2019.

In a departure from recent months, USCIS also confirmed on its website that beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions should use the “Dates for Filing” rather than the “Final Action Dates,” or priority dates, when filing during the month of October 2019. In the recent past, USCIS had generally required employment-based immigrant visa applications to be filed based on the Final Action Dates, which were typically later than the Dates for Filing.

Although USCIS will accept applications during the month of October, an applicant’s Final Action Dates, or priority dates, must become Current before USCIS may approve the case.

Beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions who may become eligible to file adjustment of status applications in October may want to start preparation of these applications as soon as possible with their Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers attorney to plan for the earliest possible filing date in the month of October.

Details: Visa Bulletin for October 2019 is here. USCIS notice regarding the use of Dates for Filing for October 2019 is here.

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3. USCIS Reminds Employers: Only Unrestricted Social Security Cards Are Acceptable for I-9 Purposes

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reminded employers that they may accept only unrestricted Social Security cards for Form I-9 employment authorization verification purposes and has updated the I-9 form accordingly.

If the Social Security card has one of the following restrictions, USCIS said the employer should ask the employee to provide a different document showing work authorization:

  • Not valid for employment
  • Valid for work only with INS authorization
  • Valid for work only with DHS authorization

Details: E-Verify reminder about unrestricted Social Security numbers and cards is here.

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4. DHS Reverses Medical Deferred Action Cancellation, Will Consider Case-by-Case

After initially sending out letters canceling noncitizen recipients’ deferred action status based on medical reasons, and ordering them to leave the country, and then allowing pending applications to continue but not accepting new applications, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will resume considering such applications on a case-by-case basis. The policy garnered significant media attention, particularly relating to children, and was the subject of a recent congressional hearing.

According to reports, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan made the decision, which followed dramatic testimony at a hearing before the House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee from several affected immigrants who said they expected to die without the treatment they can get only in the United States.

Details:

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5. Supreme Court Allows Enforcement of Trump Administration Asylum Rule

The Supreme Court has allowed enforcement of a new Trump administration rule, which requires asylum seekers passing through third countries to apply for asylum in those countries first before seeking asylum in the United States, to move forward pending disposition of the administration’s appeal in the Ninth Circuit. Most of those affected are Central Americans trying to reach the United States. Other migrants also seek asylum when they arrive at the southern border from other parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and South America.

Two justices dissented from the Supreme Court’s decision in Barr v. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, who wrote, “Once again, the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution.” Thousands of people reportedly are waiting in Mexico for their turn to apply for asylum in the United States.

Details:

  • Supreme Court’s order with Justice Sotomayor’s dissent is here.
  • Lower court decision is here.
  • Trump administration’s application for stay is here.
  • Case history is here.
  • Interim final rule is here.
  • News articles are here: CBS News; NY Times; and NY Times.
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6. DHS Issues Guidance on Visa Requirements for Bahamian Citizens Traveling to the United States

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued guidance on September 9, 2019, for Bahamians wishing to travel to the United States following the recent devastation of Hurricane Dorian. According to reports, the Trump administration does not plan to extend temporary protected status to Bahamians in the United States.

DHS is requiring all such Bahamians to possess valid, unexpired travel documents, such as a passport or Bahamian Travel Document listing the nationality as Bahamian. Bahamians arriving to the United States by vessel must be in possession of a valid passport and valid travel visa, DHS said. Bahamian citizens may apply for admission to the United States without a visa at one of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Preclearance facilities located in Nassau or Freeport International Airports if they meet certain requirements. Travelers who would otherwise qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and who travel by air from a CBP Preclearance facility in Freeport or Nassau may not need a U.S. visitor’s visa. All other travelers arriving from the Bahamas (U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and individuals of other nationalities) must possess a valid, unexpired government–issued passport.

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told CNN, however, that CBP would “apply discretion on a case-by-case basis” to Bahamians who make it to the United States without travel documents. “We’re not going to deny somebody solely because they don’t have travel documents,” he said. Meanwhile, Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott sent a letter to the Trump administration asking it to suspend “certain visa requirements” for Bahamians with relatives in the United States with whom they can stay. The letter noted Florida’s “historically deep ties with the Bahamas” and that many Floridians have family in the Bahamas. On September 9, 2019, Sen. Rubio tweeted that “a cruise ship took 1,500 survivors to Palm Beach without requiring them to show visas after coordinating a pre-screening for passports & clean criminal record with @CBP.” This contrasted with a ferry that kicked 100 Bahamian passengers off; Sen. Rubio tweeted that that ship “apparently didn’t coordinate a pre-screening & then didn’t want to wait for one.”

Details:

  • DHS announcement is here.
  • CBP statement is here.
  • Rubio/Scott letter is here.
  • Sen. Rubio’s tweets are here.
  • CNN reports are here and here.
  • U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas is here.
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7. El Salvador TPS EADs Listing a Sept. 9 Expiration Remain Valid Through Jan. 2

The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a reminder on September 9, 2019, that employment authorization documents (EADs) for El Salvadoran temporary protected status (TPS) beneficiaries showing a category code of “A-12” or “C-19” and an expiration date of 09/09/2019 are valid through January 2, 2020. DOJ noted that workers do not need to present additional documentation, such as an I-797C receipt notice, for this automatic extension for Form I-9 work authorization verification purposes.

EADs were also extended for TPS beneficiaries from Sudan, Nicaragua, and Haiti, pending resolution of Ramos v. Nielsen, in which the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California enjoined DHS in late 2018 from implementing and enforcing decisions to terminate TPS for those countries.

Details:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) webpage on El Salvador TPS is here.
  • March 2019 Federal Register notice announcing the automatic extension is here.

USCIS update on Ramos v. Nielsen is here.

 

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8. KLASKO NEWS

FIRM NEWS

On September 18, Ron Klasko was included in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s third annual class of Best of the Bar: Philadelphia’s Top Lawyers. The nominations were judged based on significant and recent achievements, including the legal significance, the size of the results and the business impact of the work. Congratulations, Ron!


IN THE NEWS

Ronald Klasko Quoted in PRI.org Article about Visa Delays and Denials
In this article, Ron is quoted about the OPT visa delays and how it affects foreign nationals’ legal standing.

William A. Stock Spoke with Forbes.com about USCIS’ new H-1B Visa Registration System
Bill spoke with Forbes.com about how the new electronic system could cause problems and delays if not sufficiently tested before next year’s H-1B cap filing season.

Klasko was Recognized in Delcotimes.com Article As A Local Community Partner
Klasko was mentioned as a local community partner in a Delaware County Daily Times Community Brief on Citizenship Day.

William A. Stock Quoted by The Atlantic Regarding Growing Paperwork burdens on University International Offices
Bill addressed the tightening of immigration restriction’s effect on universities’ abilities to process paperwork efficiently.


RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

William A. Stock
Bill presented on a panel titled Recent Trends in Immigration Criminal Enforcement against Employers at the 2019 AILA Fall Conference on September 13th.

Lauren D. Berkowitz
Lauren led a free legal information services program at the Montgomery County Community Partner Center for Citizenship Day on September 14th.

Elise A. Fialkowski
Elise was a featured speaker during a workshop entitled Drafting Your Own I-9 and E-Verify Compliance Policy at the 2019 LawLogix I-9 Palooza, which was held at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 16th.

Michele G. Madera
On September 19th, Michele was a featured speaker on a webinar entitled How to Manage Cross-Border Data Governance and its Impact on Immigration in the GDPR Era with Jordan Fischer.

Lisa T. Felix
Lisa spoke to students on September 21st at Binghamton University about immigration law at the school’s Thurgood Marshall Pre-Law Society Conference in New York.

H. Ronald Klasko
On October 2nd, Ron was a featured speaker on a NAFSA webinar entitled EAD Delays, Remedies and Possible Litigation to discuss USCIS backlogs and possible solutions.

H. Ronald Klasko
Ron presented the Fall 2019 Visa and Permanent Residence Options seminar for MBA students at The Wharton School on October 3rd.


UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Karuna C. Simbeck
Karuna will be speaking to students on October 23rd at Klein Hall on Temple’s Main campus about immigration law at the Temple Law International Society Event.

H. Ronald Klasko
Ron will be a featured speaker at the 2019 AILA CFC Annual Conference about ‘best practice’ solutions for employers, which is being held at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club in Florida, on October 24th.

Daniel B. Lundy
Dan will be presenting on a panel titled EB-5 in the Courts: Suing USCIS, Regional Centers & Other Litigation Cases at the 9th Annual IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum on October 28th.

William A. Stock
Bill will be speaking on hot topics regarding the U.S. government’s use of social media postings by visa applicants to make admission decisions at the 2019 AILA Rome District Chapter Conference, in Dublin, Ireland, on October 28th.


RANKINGS

Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2019 Best of the Bar
Ron was included in the Business Journal’s prestigious and third annual list of distinguished attorneys in the Philadelphia area. Nominations were judged based on significant and recent achievements, including the legal significance, the size of the results, and the business impact of the work.

Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Immigration Thought Leaders
Three Klasko partners, Ron Klasko, Bill Stock, and Elise Fialkowski, were recognized on this annual list of esteemed immigration attorneys from around the globe. In order to be included, attorneys needed obtain a large number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel, and other market sources during the publication’s most recent research cycle.


ICYMI: RECENT BLOG POSTS AND ALERTS

How Becoming Grenadian Can Help Your American Immigration Journey
In this article, Ron Klasko details other pathways to U.S. entry via Grenada and an E-2 visa.

Caution Ahead: Grounds for Inadmissibility Based on Public Charge Expanding
In this post, Natalia Gouz warns of the expansion of rejected admission based upon what / who is considered to be a ‘burden’ to the U.S. government and the use of benefit.

Innovative Win: Startup Company Founder Receives H-1B Without RFE
This blog is a snapshot of a case overview showing a creative solution crafted for an entrepreneurial foreign national that resulted in a successful H-1B petition filed by their startup company.


FIRM FEATURE

The September Ronny award—a monthly recognition for a chosen staff member nominated by their peers—went to paralegal Liz Wimberg. Liz went out of her way to make the staff members that moved to another floor in the firm’s office building feel included by baking them a delicious cake.

On September 14, 2019, AILA hosted its annual Citizenship Day, which is a nationwide event that provides free naturalization assistance to eligible lawful permanent residents. Eight volunteers from KILP helped 15 foreign nationals from eight different countries complete naturalization (N-400) applications. The countries represented were Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Korea, Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, the Congo, and England.

 

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This newsletter was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Klasko Immigration Law Partners is an active member.

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