ICE has extended temporary guidance that had been set to expire on May 19, 2020, for an additional 30 days. The guidance relates to agency discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the I-9 employment eligibility verification process.
USCIS Introduces Temporary Policy Changes for Certain Foreign Medical Graduates During COVID-19 Pandemic
A new USCIS policy memorandum provides guidance to USCIS officers for H-1B foreign medical graduates who have received waivers of the two-year foreign residence requirement through the practice of medicine with or based on the recommendation of an interested government agency or through the Conrad State 30 program in response to the public health emergency prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision clarifies, among other things, that for employment-based first preference category multinational executives or managers, a petitioner must have a qualifying relationship with the beneficiary's foreign employer at the time the petition is filed and must maintain that relationship until the petition is adjudicated.
USCIS Publishes Interim Final Rule Implementing the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018
A key provision of the new rule requires CW-1 employers to enroll in E-Verify for all of their hiring sites in the CNMI and elsewhere in the United States. The rule also requires CW-1 employers to file a semiannual report.
The chances for passage of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act in the Senate appear dim, although some provisions may be considered separately.
The latest news at the firm including recent and upcoming events and publications.
1. ICE Extends E-Verify I-9 Requirements Flexibility for 30 Days
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has extended temporary guidance that had been set to expire on May 19, 2020, for an additional 30 days.
Due to COVID-19-related precautions implemented by employers and employees, the Department of Homeland Security announced on March 19, 2020, that it would exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the I-9 employment eligibility verification process.
Employers who were served notices of inspection by ICE during March and had not already responded were granted an automatic extension for 60 days from the effective date. ICE will grant an additional 30 days to these employers.
The notice states that employers are required to monitor the Department of Homeland Security and ICE websites for additional updates regarding when the extensions will be terminated and normal operations will resume.
- ICE release, https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-announces-extension-flexibility-rules-related-form-i-9-compliance
- Original ICE guidance, https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/dhs-announces-flexibility-requirements-related-form-i-9-compliance
2. USCIS Introduces Temporary Policy Changes for Certain Foreign Medical Graduates During COVID-19 Pandemic
On May 11, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced temporary policy changes concerning the full-time work requirement for certain foreign medical graduates and the provision of telehealth services by them in light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. A new USCIS policy memorandum provides related guidance to USCIS officers for H-1B foreign medical graduates who have received waivers of the two-year foreign residence requirement through the practice of medicine with or based on the recommendation of an interested government agency (IGA) or through the Conrad State 30 program in response to the public health emergency prompted by the pandemic.
If an H-1B foreign medical graduate is temporarily unable to work full-time due to quarantine, illness, travel restrictions, or other consequences of the pandemic during the declared public health emergency period, USCIS officers will not consider such a failure to work full-time to be a failure to fulfill the terms of the contract under INA § 214(l)(2)(B). This is a limited flexibility and only relates to the foreign medical graduate’s eligibility for future immigration benefits that would be affected by the re-imposition of the 2-year home residence requirement as the result of a contract violation. It does not affect a petitioning employer’s responsibilities under the statutes and regulations relating to H-1B nonimmigrants.
Also, USCIS noted that the Immigration and Nationality Act, as well as regulations of the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State (DOS), are silent as to whether Conrad State 30 or IGA foreign medical graduates may provide telehealth services to meet their service requirement. Given this silence, USCIS and DOS have decided to interpret the authorities as providing flexibility to these foreign medical graduates during the public health emergency.
- USCIS policy memorandum, https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2020/PM-602-0178_-COVID19MedicalGraduatesMemo_Final_CLEAN.pdf
3. USCIS Designates Matter of F-M- Co. as Adopted AAO Decision
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a final policy memorandum designating Matter of F-M- Co. as an Adopted Administrative Appeals Office Decision. The decision clarifies that for employment-based first preference category multinational executives or managers, a petitioner must have a qualifying relationship with the beneficiary’s foreign employer at the time the petition is filed and must maintain that relationship until the petition is adjudicated. It also clarifies that if a corporate restructuring affecting the foreign entity occurs before the immigrant visa petition is filed, a petitioner may establish that the beneficiary’s qualifying foreign employer continues to exist and do business through a valid successor entity.
- USCIS policy memorandum, which includes Matter of F-M- Co., https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/files/Matter_of_F-M-_Co._Adopted_AAO_Decision_2020-01.pdf
4. USCIS Publishes Interim Final Rule Implementing the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018
On May 14, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an interim final rule implementing the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018, which is intended to protect U.S. workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and to ensure that U.S. workers will not be displaced or encounter a competitive disadvantage in employment compared to non-U.S. workers.
A key provision of the new rule requires CW-1 employers to enroll in E-Verify for all of their hiring sites in the CNMI and elsewhere in the United States. The rule also requires CW-1 employers to file a semiannual report to verify the continuing employment and payment of CW-1 workers under the terms and conditions set forth in their CW-1 petitions. USCIS is implementing this new statutory requirement through a new standalone Form I-129CWR, Semiannual Report for CW-1 Employers.
Written comments are due by July 13, 2020.
- USCIS announcement, https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-publishes-interim-final-rule-implementing-northern-mariana-islands-us-workforce-act-2018
- Interim final rule with request for comments, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-05-14/pdf/2020-08524.pdf
- Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5956/text
5. House Passes COVID-19 Aid Bill With Immigration Provisions; Bill Expected to Die in Senate
On May 15, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a COVID-19 relief bill (H.R. 6800) that includes immigration provisions. Among them is a provision to allow immigrant physicians battling COVID-19 in the United States reduced waits for permanent residence, and to expedite visas for health care workers applying for U.S. jobs from abroad.
The chances for passage of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act in the Senate appear dim, although some provisions may be considered separately. Some of the House provisions are similar to legislation introduced in the Senate, such as S. 3599, introduced May 5, 2020, which would reallocate previously authorized, unused immigrant visas for 25,000 nurses and 15,000 doctors, and family members, to alleviate shortages. President Trump threatened to veto the House bill if it reaches his desk.
- HEROES Act, https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hr6800
- Summary of immigration measures, https://www.rollcall.com/2020/05/12/house-aid-package-contains-key-immigration-measures/
6. KLASKO NEWS
A Note from Ron Klasko
Welcome to our monthly newsletter. I am pleased to report that the Klasko Immigration Law Partners family is doing well. Thanks to the perseverance and adaptability of our wonderful staff, we have transitioned to remote work efficiently and successfully. In future newsletters, we will provide updates on our plans to return to the office. In the meantime, here’s what’s happening!
IN THE NEWS
Ron’s blog titled How to Prevent EB-5 Numbers from Being Lost Forever was republished in JD Supra.
JD Supra published Klasko’s firm blog Time Limits on H-1B and L-1 Visas: What You Need to Know.
RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Ron presented in a webinar on Grenada – Citizenship by Investment hosted by the Kimpton Kawana Bay on May 6th.
Elise A. Fialkowski | Andrew J. Zeltner
In a May 19th Klasko webinar, Elise and Drew provided the latest updates regarding worksite compliance in the time of COVID-19, including guidance regarding new I-9 completion rules, remote work, E-Verify and enforcement.
On May 27th, Ron spoke during a “Crossing Borders” broadcast, alongside with the Investment Migration Council’s Regional Representative Officers on the situation in their respective regions.
Ronald Klasko | F. Oliver Yang
Ron and Oliver presented on a Livestream event hosted by Caribbean Investment and Finance Limited on the topic of E2 Laws and Applications on May 27th.
UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Elise A. Fialkowski
Elise will be speaking at NAFSA Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on Hot Topics in Advanced Employment-Based Immigration. This event was scheduled for May 26th, but will be rescheduled and updated with a new date soon.
Elise A. Fialkowski
Elise will be speaking at the 2020 AILA GMS Annual Global Immigration Forum in San Diego, California on Customs Duties and Import Bans: The Role Of Labor Market Testing in a National Immigration Policy. This event was scheduled for June 16th, but will be rescheduled and updated with a new date soon.
Ron will be speaking at the 2020 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law in San Diego, California delivering a talk titled #BreakTheBacklog: Litigation for Business Immigration Lawyers. This event was scheduled for June 19th, but will be rescheduled and updated with a new date soon.
ICYMI: RECENT BLOG POSTS AND ALERTS
How to Prevent EB-5 Numbers from Being Lost Forever
EB-5 numbers for this fiscal year will likely not be used, in large quantities, and will be lost forever. Ron Klasko explains what we can do, and what we are doing to prevent this from happening, in this blog.
Time Limits on H-1B and L-1 Visas: What You Need to Know
In this blog, the Firm gives an update on what you need to know about the time limits on H-1B and L-1 Visas.
COVID-19 – A Convenient Pretext for Questionable Immigration Reform
In this article, Maria Mihaylova addresses overlooked key data points in a letter sent to the President from senators in response to the administration temporarily suspending the entry of “Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.”
While separated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Klasko family are still finding ways to socially connect while social distancing. Every Friday there are special activities instituted by our very own staff! Here is a look at some of the fun activities!
A group of staffers decided to initiate an “Iron Chef Competition” where they submit their recipes and cook their favorite foods! Click the pictures for their recipes!
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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.