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CDC Updates COVID-19 Air Travel Guidance

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve daily, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidelines on what is required or recommended for travelers after their arrival in the United States. These new changes join the December 2021 requirements about travel to the United States. Reiterating: Before Boarding Non-U.S. individuals (those... Continue Reading
March 4, 2022

Ukraine Will Be Given Temporary Protected Status, DHS Announces

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. This designation was made based on the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Ukraine that prevent Ukrainian nationals, and those of no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine, from returning to Ukraine... Continue Reading
March 3, 2022

USCIS: Exceptionally High Number of Employment-Based Visas Available

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it is strongly encouraging applicants for adjustment of status (Form I-485) in the employment-based third preference category, if they are eligible to do so, to transfer the underlying basis of their applications to the first or second employment-based preference categories. This is because there are an... Continue Reading
February 25, 2022

New, Immigration-Friendly Mission Statement for USCIS

USCIS has changed its mission statement again – this time to adopt a more immigration-friendly stance. In 2018, USCIS, under the Trump Administration, changed its mission statement to align with President Donald Trump’s focus on enforcement, strict scrutiny, and extreme vetting. The statement did not emphasize customer satisfaction, i.e., the satisfaction of petitioners, applicants, and... Continue Reading
February 20, 2022

‘Dignity Act’ Immigration Bill Includes Mandatory E-Verify, Path to Citizenship, Border Security

In December 2021, Congressional Democrats tried to include immigration reforms in the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). Some of the proposals would have helped unauthorized immigrants by providing those eligible with parole and work authorization. The bill also would have reduced green card backlogs and provided some applicants with expedited green cards for a fee.... Continue Reading
February 16, 2022

Bill Passed by House Benefits Immigrants in STEM Fields, Entrepreneurs in Start-Ups

On February 4, 2022, the House of Representatives passed the American Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength Act  (known as the America COMPETES Act of 2022). The bill is aimed at “outcompeting China and the rest of the world in the 21st century.” Title III of the COMPETES Act adds immigration... Continue Reading
February 9, 2022

Work Authorization for Spouses Possible If Specifically Designated in I-94 Record at Border

As of January 31, 2022, spouses entering the United States in L-2 or E status may be able to obtain work authorization at the border by asking Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to give them a “spousal” designation in their I-94 record. Because USCIS has not issued “official” guidance on this yet, requesting the designation... Continue Reading
February 4, 2022

USCIS Experiences Difficulty Retrieving Paper Naturalization Files, Individuals Remain in Limbo

Individuals hoping to complete their naturalization processes are being kept in limbo while their files sit in limestone caves. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been the depository for “old” Alien Files (“A-Files”) for the entire United States and its territories for some time. A-Files contain all records of any active case of... Continue Reading
February 4, 2022

Expedited Renewal Processing for Foreign Nationals in Healthcare

The onset and persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the shortage of healthcare workers in the United States, especially in rural areas. Periodic spikes in infection levels has sped burn-out among healthcare workers. There are many foreign nationals who can and do fill these healthcare roles including those in Temporary Protected Status (TPS)... Continue Reading
February 3, 2022

Time to Get Ready for FY 2023 H-1B Cap Season

USCIS has announced that H-1B Cap registration will start on March 1, 2022, at noon (Eastern) and will continue through noon (Eastern) on March 18, 2022. If enough registrations to fill the cap are received by March 18 (which is likely), USCIS will randomly select registrations and send selection notifications through users’ myUSCIS online accounts.... Continue Reading
January 31, 2022