All U.S. Visa Appointments Cancelled due to COVID-19

The Department of  State announced that in response to COVID-19, it is suspending routine visa services at all U.S. embassies and consulates. Embassies and consulates will cancel all routine visa appointments as of March 20, 2020. This does not affect the Visa Waiver Program. See https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/faq?focusedTopic=Schengen%20Travel%20Proclamation for more information. Although all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments …

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USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for All I-129 and I-140 Petitions Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced the immediate and temporary suspension of premium processing service for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions until further notice due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Effective today, March 20, 2020, USCIS will not accept any new requests for premium processing. USCIS will process any petition with a previously …

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USCIS Alert: Rescheduling Appointments Due to Coronavirus or Illness

FROM USCIS ALERT: Rescheduling Appointments Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) If you become ill for any reason, regardless of whether you were exposed to COVID-19, please do not come to appointments with any USCIS office. Please follow the instructions on your appointment notice to reschedule your appointment or interview if you: Were in China within 14 …

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The New Public Charge Rule: What Every Visa Applicant Must Know

If you or your employee are seeking to remain or come to the United States either temporarily or permanently, the new public charge rule will apply to you if you sent an application on or after February 24, 2020. That means you will need to provide additional information and documents to USCIS as part of …

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Congress Introduces a Bipartisan Bill To Address USCIS Case Backlog Crisis

The USCIS' crisis level application delays and backlogs are unacceptable.  In fact, the overall average case processing time has risen 101% in the past five years! Congress has taken notice. On February 26, 2020, Representatives Tony Cardenas and Steve Stivers introduced the Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2020 in the House. Watch this American …

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New Public Charge Rule will take effect February 24, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds "public charge" final rule on Feb. 24, 2020, except for in the State of Illinois where the rule remains enjoined by a federal court as of Jan. 30, 2020. Under the Final Rule, USCIS will look at the factors required under …

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H-1B Cap Alert – Key Dates You Must Know to Compete for an H-1B Visa

This year, employers seeking to hire new H-1B workers, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay a $10 H-1B registration fee to determine if they may file an H-1B cap-subject petition. Here are the key dates H-1B employers and employees need to know: February 24: Employers may begin …

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Trump Adds Six Countries to Travel Ban, Suspending Green Card Approvals for Nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar Indefinitely

The Trump administration has expanded its "travel ban" to six countries, which would suspend the issuance of immigrant visas (green cards) to nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea,  Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar. The ban starts on February 22, 2020 and does not affect green card applicants currently in the US. Sudanese and Tanzanian nationals will no longer be …

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New I-9 Form for Employers

A new version of Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) with a version date of ‘‘(Rev. 10/21/2019)’’ is available for use beginning today, 1/31/20. Employers may continue using the prior version of the form, with a version date of “(Rev. 07/17/2017 N),” until 4/30/20. After 4/30/20, the prior version of the form will no longer be …

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Iranian citizens are no longer eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas

USCIS today announced that, due to the Oct. 3, 2018, termination of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights with Iran, Iranian nationals are no longer eligible for E-1 treaty trader and E-2 treaty investor changes or extensions of status based on the treaty. The E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant visa classifications allow …

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