Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP
- This past week, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) released the May 2021 Visa Bulletin. In addition to final action dates and dates for filing for employment-based immigrant visa and adjustment of status cases, it contains notes on the diversity visa category and diversity category rank cut-offs which will apply in June. All first employment-based preference countries of chargeability are current for the month of May. For May 2021, employment-based applicants must use the final action dates chart for adjustment of status applications. DOS also hosted a live chat with Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of DOS’ Visa Control and Reporting Division, on April 22, 2021 to address issues of general interest regarding this month’s Visa Bulletin, which can be viewed here.
- The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is providing an opportunity for the public to provide comments on how it can reduce administrative and other barriers and burdens within its regulations and policies, including those that prevent foreign citizens from easily obtaining access to immigration services and benefits. USCIS is offering this public comment period to achieve the objectives of President Biden’s recent executive order that instructs federal agencies to conduct a review of all regulations, policies, and guidance that affect legal immigration in the United States and make a plan within 90 days to more effectively and efficiently deliver immigration benefits. Although the posting in the Federal Register erroneously lists that comments close on April 19, 2021, USCIS confirmed that comments will be accepted until May 19, 2021.
- Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has once again extended border restrictions permitting only essential travel across the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico land borders now through May 21, 2021. Essential travel includes travel by U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and foreign nationals traveling to work in the United States, among other purposes. These restrictions do not affect air travel. For more information on the restrictions, please review the full CBP update.
- The Department of Labor (“DOL”) released factsheets displaying selected statistics for the first and second quarters of FY2021 for the PERM, H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, H-2A, H-2B, CW-1, and prevailing wage programs. The factsheets include cumulative information regarding each program and are updated on a quarterly basis. Notably, from the applications that were processed from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, DOL certified approximately 95% of Labor Condition Applications (“LCAs”) and certified approximately 90.3% of PERM applications.
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