Headlines

Summary

  1. Biden Replaces Country Travel Bans for Vaccine-Based Policy for US-Bound

    Effective November 8th at 12:01 a.m. ET, the country-by-country travel bans will be replaced with a new policy that will allow U.S. entry for fully vaccinated nonimmigrant travelers.

  2. DHS Continues Travel Restrictions at Land Border Ports of Entry With Mexico

    DHS will continue to temporarily limit non-essential travel of individuals from Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border until January 21, 2022.

  3. DOJ, DOL Reach Settlements With Facebook Resolving Claims of Discrimination Against U.S. Workers

    The Departments of Justice and Labor released a joint statement on October 19, 2021, announcing separate settlement agreements with Facebook regarding its use of the permanent labor certification program.

  4. USCIS Implements Employment Authorization for Individuals Covered by Deferred Enforced Departure for Hong Kong Residents

    USCIS released information on how to apply for employment authorization for eligible Hong Kong residents covered under President Biden's memorandum allowing DED through February 5, 2023.

  5. USCIS Accepts Credit Card Payments From Petitioners for O and P Nonimmigrant Workers

    As part of its credit card payment pilot program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Vermont Service Center is now accepting credit card payments from petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, for O and P nonimmigrants. The program is also in operation at the Nebraska and Texas Service Centers.

  6. India and China EB-3 Dates Retrogress in November 2021 Visa Bulletin

    The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for November 2021 is causing consternation and raising queries from beneficiaries trapped in backlogs.

  7. Senate Democrats Review Options for Immigration Provisions in Reconciliation Bill

    Senate Democrats are considering various options for including scaled-down immigration provisions in a budget reconciliation bill following rejection by the Senate parliamentarian of proposals for more sweeping changes.

  8. DHS Secretary Mayorkas Announces New Immigration Enforcement Priorities

    Secretary Mayorkas announced new guidelines for immigration enforcement priorities that focus on national security, public safety, and border security, and emphasize prosecutorial discretion and individual assessment. The new guidelines take effect November 29, 2021.

  9. DHS Ends Mass Worksite Enforcement Operations, Issues Policy Guidance

    DHS updated its policies on worksite enforcement to focus on unscrupulous employers. DHS said it no longer conducts mass worksite operations, sometimes called raids.

  10. CIS Ombudsman Releases Tips on Communicating With USCIS Contact Center

    Tips include when to reach out to the USCIS Contact Center; where to check case status; when to use online tools; how to submit case inquiries and service requests; what constitutes an emergency; how to expedite a case; how biometrics appointments are scheduled; how to reschedule appointments and interviews; and other advice.

  11. KLASKO NEWS

    The latest news at the firm including recent and upcoming events and publications.

1. Biden Replaces Country Travel Bans for Vaccine-Based Policy for US-Bound

The long-awaited new White House policy governing the U.S. entry of nonimmigrant travelers is finally here.

Effective November 8th at 12:01 a.m. ET, the country-by-country travel bans will be replaced with a new policy that will allow U.S. entry for fully vaccinated nonimmigrant travelers. The new policy will restrict the entry of unvaccinated nonimmigrant travelers.

There will be exceptions for unvaccinated nonimmigrants, like travelers whose stay is sufficiently brief (as determined by the CDC), and for those who cannot be vaccinated, like children and adults with certain medical conditions.  Other exceptions will include diplomats and foreign government public officials, their family members, and certain nonimmigrants traveling from foreign countries where COVID-19 vaccination is limited. Unvaccinated travelers who meet these exceptions will be required to agree to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon entry, as determined appropriate by the CDC, and will continue to face CDC-designated pre-departure and post-arrival testing, mask-wearing, and quarantine requirements. Importantly, all unvaccinated travelers, including U.S. citizens and green card holders, will now be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result conducted within one day of travel.

The White House has delegated the CDC to determine which specific vaccines will be accepted; the specific medical exceptions to vaccines; the acceptable methods of proof of vaccination; how unvaccinated nonimmigrants will provide proof of compliance with entry health standards (like proof of pre- and post-arrival testing and self-isolation, and proof of post-arrival vaccination); the list of countries with limited vaccine availability; and other public health matters for effective implementation.

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2. DHS Continues Travel Restrictions at Land Border Ports of Entry With Mexico

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it will continue to temporarily limit non-essential travel of individuals from Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry (POEs) along the U.S.-Mexico border until January 21, 2022.

The limit does not apply to those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DHS said.

Details:

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3. DOJ, DOL Reach Settlements With Facebook Resolving Claims of Discrimination Against U.S. Workers

The Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Labor (DOL) released a joint statement on October 19, 2021, announcing separate settlement agreements with Facebook regarding its use of the permanent labor certification program (PERM).

The DOJ settlement includes about $14 million in fines, along with additional notice, recruitment, and training requirements. The DOJ settlement resolves its claims that Facebook routinely refused to recruit, consider, or hire U.S. workers—a group that includes U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, asylees, refugees, and lawful permanent residents—for positions it had reserved for temporary visa holders in connection with the PERM process.

Additionally, the DOL settlement resolves issues it separately identified through audit examinations of Facebook’s recruitment activities related to its PERM applications filed with the Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC).

Details:

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4. USCIS Implements Employment Authorization for Individuals Covered by Deferred Enforced Departure for Hong Kong Residents

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released information on how to apply for employment authorization for eligible Hong Kong residents covered under President Biden’s August 5, 2021, memorandum allowing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for 18 months, through February 5, 2023.

DED for Hong Kong residents applies only to certain eligible Hong Kong residents who were present in the United States as of August 5, 2021; who have continuously resided here since that date; and who meet other eligibility criteria described in the President’s memorandum. For purposes of this DED policy, USCIS explained, Hong Kong residents “are individuals of any nationality, or without nationality, who have met the requirements and been issued a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport, a British National Overseas passport, a British Overseas Citizen passport, a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, or an HKSAR Document of Identity for Visa Purposes.”

There is no application for DED. Eligible Hong Kong residents may apply for an Employment Authorization Document by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Eligible Hong Kong residents covered by the August memorandum may also receive travel authorization. Individuals must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to apply for advance parole if they wish to travel based on DED.

Details:

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5. USCIS Accepts Credit Card Payments From Petitioners for O and P Nonimmigrant Workers

As part of its credit card payment pilot program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Vermont Service Center is now accepting credit card payments using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, from petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, for O and P nonimmigrants.

The program is also in operation at the Nebraska and Texas Service Centers. USCIS hopes eventually to expand this payment option to other forms and service centers. The goal is “to bring USCIS one step closer to accepting digital payments using a credit card at all service centers,” the agency said.

Details:

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6. India and China EB-3 Dates Retrogress in November 2021 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin for November 2021 is causing consternation and raising queries from beneficiaries trapped in backlogs. For example, the employment-based third preference immigrant visa category for India and China final action dates retrogressed substantially.

DOS said the retrogressions were “a direct result of extraordinarily heavy applicant demand for [visa] numbers,” primarily by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices for adjustment of status cases.

Details:

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7. Senate Democrats Review Options for Immigration Provisions in Reconciliation Bill

According to news reports, Senate Democrats are considering various options for including scaled-down immigration provisions in a budget reconciliation bill following rejection by the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, of proposals for more sweeping changes. Under consideration is providing parole to immigrants who arrived in the United States before January 1, 2011, but do not have permanent legal status. The idea would be to allow them to stay in the United States, work legally, and remain with their families.

The House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee passed immigration provisions in September that would be included in a reconciliation bill. Among those were several sections that the Senate parliamentarian has not yet considered, such as recapturing unused family and employment-based immigrant visas.

Details:

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8. DHS Secretary Mayorkas Announces New Immigration Enforcement Priorities

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced new guidelines for immigration enforcement priorities that focus on national security, public safety, and border security, and emphasize prosecutorial discretion. The new guidelines take effect November 29, 2021.

“For the first time, our guidelines will, in the pursuit of public safety, require an assessment of the individual and take into account the totality of the facts and circumstances” to ensure resources are focused most effectively on those who pose a threat, Secretary Mayorkas said. DHS also noted that most of the more than 11 million undocumented or otherwise removable noncitizens in the United States “have been contributing members of our communities across the country for years. The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen will not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”

Continuous training, a process to review the guidelines’ effective implementation, extensive data collection, and a case review process will all be required, DHS said. Secretary Mayorkas is expected to issue additional immigration-related policy memos soon.

Details:

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9. DHS Ends Mass Worksite Enforcement Operations, Issues Policy Guidance

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum on October 12, 2021, updating its policies on worksite enforcement to focus on “unscrupulous employers who exploit the vulnerability of undocumented workers” and “create an unfair labor market.” The guidance memo states that DHS “no longer conduct[s] mass worksite operations,” sometimes called raids, that can result in the simultaneous arrests of hundreds of workers. DHS said that in addition to a lack of focus on exploitative employers, such operations misallocate resources and are inconsistent with DHS’s new guidelines requiring individualized assessments.

The guidance memo, among other things, directs DHS agencies to propose recommendations for protecting noncitizen victims and witnesses who report unlawful labor practices or participate in investigations or prosecutions.

Details:

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10. CIS Ombudsman Releases Tips on Communicating With USCIS Contact Center

The Department of State (DOS) announced on September 14, 2021, that it has authorized consular officers through the end of 2021 to expand the categories of F, M, and “academic J visa applicants” (students, professors, research scholars,

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman released tips on making communications with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Contact Center more effective, in response to recent changes in Contact Center processes. The CIS Ombudsman explained that the changes were made “to reduce reliance on telephonic live assistance while promoting the use of online self-help tools and digital inquiry channels” as a result of “financial limitations and resource constraints.”

Tips include when to reach out to the USCIS Contact Center; where to check case status; when to use online tools; how to submit case inquiries and service requests; what constitutes an emergency; how to expedite a case; how biometrics appointments are scheduled; how to reschedule appointments and interviews; and other advice.

Details:

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11. KLASKO NEWS

FIRM NEWS

Until we can meet in person again, KILP will be hosting this webinar series starting November 2. The sessions will be filled with the latest updates on trending issues in immigration including immigrant vaccines requirements, pending legislation from Congress, international travel requirements, and navigating the latest guidance and trends in U.S. immigration for sponsoring employers and individuals.
Session 1 – AMA: Ask an Immigration Attorney
Session 2 – Tricky Immigration Employment Issues
Session 3 – The State of Recruiting Foreign Healthcare Workers


RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

H. Ronald Klasko
On October 4th, Ron presented to Wharton University on visa and permanent residence options for MBA students after graduation.

H. Ronald Klasko
On October 11th, Ron was a discussion leader in the AILA Fall Conference event on a panel entitled Overcoming Government Motions to Dismiss and Change Venue.

William A. Stock | Nigel D. James
On October 14th, Bill and Nigel presented to Penn State University on Name, Image, and Likeness for international student athletes.

H. Ronald Klasko
On October 25th, Ron presented to Harvard Business School on immigration options for entrepreneurial MBA students.

Michele G. Madera
On October 26th, Michele spoke to Harvard College students on immigration visa options after graduation.


UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Anu Nair | Karuna Chandani Simbeck | Andrew J. Zeltner
On November 2nd, Anu, Karuna, and Drew will be hosting this lively webinar with rapid-style Q&A on the most relevant and latest immigration topics affecting the immigration industry today. Register here!

Michele G. Madera | Maria M. Mihaylova | Nigel D. James
On November 4th, Michele, Maria, and Nigel will cover popular topics and questions about what immigrants can and cannot do when in the U.S. on temporary visas. Register here!

William A. Stock | Natalia Gouz | Myriam Jaidi
On November 10th, Bill, Natalia, and Myriam will cover the latest updates and visa options for hiring immigrant healthcare including doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals like physical therapists and phlebotomists. Register here!

Daniel B. Lundy
Dan Lundy will be speaking in this NJICLE webinar on an EB-5 panel on November 10th.

Andrew J. Zeltner | Nigel D. James
On November 10th, Drew Zeltner and Nigel James will be presenting to Princeton University on visa options for postdocs and graduate students.

Daniel B. Lundy
On November 11th, Dan Lundy will be speaking in this IIUSA Virtual EB-5 Industry Forum on a panel entitled Litigation in EB-5: Updates and Implications for the Industry.


RANKINGS/AWARDS

H. Ronald Klasko
Managing Partner Ron Klasko has been named Top 25 Global Migration Attorneys for 2021 in Uglobal Immigration Magazine. Congratulations, Ron!

Michele G. Madera
Partner Michele Madera is honored to have been recognized for two awards: Lexology’s Client Choice Award and Best Lawyers’ Ones to Watch. As Michele’s first inclusion, she is the sole winner in her jurisdiction for Lexology’s Client Choice. Congratulations, Michele!


ICYMI: RECENT BLOG POSTS AND ALERTS

The Biden Administration Attempts to Safeguard DACA
In this article, Romina Gomez addresses the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) seeking to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Client Alert: Biden Replaces Country Travel Bans for Vaccine-Based Policy for US-Bound Nonimmigrant Travelers
In this client alert, Grace W. Waweru addresses how the country-by-country travel bans will be replaced with a new policy that will allow U.S. entry for fully vaccinated nonimmigrant travelers effective November 8th.  


FIRM FEATURE

Every month one Klasko employee is nominated for a Ronny Award. This month the Ronny Award went to Supervisory Paralegal. His nominator wrote:

A special thank you to Sam Coyle, without whom I would not have been able to successfully complete on-site mail duties. On Day 1, Sam used his valuable time to instruct this non-paralegal how to correctly identify and allocate each item. Throughout the week, he was available for questions, taught me a few things about LawLogix, and helped me navigate being back on-site. His dedication to optimal outcomes, sunny demeanor, and readiness to assist others are major assets worth recognition.

Congratulations, Sam!  

 

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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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