Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP

  • The Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that it has revised the PERM Labor Certification program’s Form ETA-9141, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination, and its corresponding appendix and instructions. The new form must be used for all prevailing wage applications starting on May 3, 2021. DOL will host a webinar providing an overview of updates to Form ETA-9141 on April 27, 2021 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM EST. DOL will identify form changes, discuss how changes appear in the FLAG system, and provide technical assistance and tips for preparing the new form.
  • As discussed last week, as an accommodation to the extraordinary delay in issuing receipt notices, USCIS recently started sending notices to applicants and their authorized representatives inviting resubmissions of rejected employment based Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status. However, USCIS is advising applicants not to file a second, duplicate I-485 application when a previous I-485 application has already been filed and has not yet been rejected. USCIS warned applicants that it will not refund and return duplicated I-485 filing fees.
  • The Department of State (“DOS”) announced that the travel of immigrants, fiancé(e) visa holders, certain exchange visitors, and pilots/aircrew traveling for training or aircraft pickup, delivery, or maintenance is in the national interest for purposes of approving National Interest Exceptions (“NIEs”) under the geographic proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19. These proclamations restrict the entry of individuals physically present in China, Iran, the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, or South Africa within the 14-day period prior to their attempted entry into the United States. Foreign nationals who are granted NIEs are not subject to the 14-day travel restriction and may travel directly to the United States.
  • The American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) and its partners have filed a complaint against DOS on behalf of all foreign nationals who have been prevented from entering the United States under the suspension of visa processing based on physical presence in China, Iran, the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, or South Africa. AILA and its partners allege that DOS has unlawfully interpreted a law that authorizes the president to temporarily suspend the entry of certain classes of noncitizens as an authority to suspend the processing of visas. They argue that the suspension on entry from the designated countries during the 14 days prior to seeking entry is not authorization to stop issuing visas, as these individuals could quarantine in a third country for 14 days and then enter the United States.
  • DOS provided an updated announcement on the status of visa services, noting that it is working to reduce the significant backlog of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants awaiting an interview. Per DOS, consular sections that have the capacity are prioritizing the processing of immigrant and fiancée visas, along with immigrant visa cases previously refused under the Trump administration’s now-revoked proclamations that suspended the entry of foreign nationals from primarily Muslim-majority and African countries. Embassies and consulates that process nonimmigrant visas are prioritizing travelers with urgent needs, foreign diplomats, and mission-critical categories of travelers, followed by some students, exchange visitors, and some temporary employment visas.

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