Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP

  • To address processing delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that it is temporarily waiving the requirement that a civil surgeon’s signature on Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, be dated no more than 60 days before an applicant files an I-485 application. This temporary waiver, effective December 9, 2021 through September 30, 2022, applies to all Forms I-693 associated with I-485 applications that have not been adjudicated, regardless of when the application was submitted or when the Form I-693 was signed. 

  • The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently updated its processing times for permanent labor certification (“PERM”) applications and prevailing wage requests. As of November 30, 2021, DOL is adjudicating ETA 9089 PERM applications filed in or before June 2021 and processing PERM prevailing wage requests filed in or before April 2021.

  • Last week, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it reached a settlement agreement with Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”), resolving claims that Microsoft violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) when it discriminated against non-U.S. citizen employees during the hiring process by asking them for unnecessary, specific immigration documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards, to prove they could work for Microsoft without needing its sponsorship for work visas. The settlement also resolves claims that Microsoft discriminated against lawful permanent residents by asking for more or different documents than legally required to re-verify their continued work authorization in the United States, even though they had already provided documents showing permanent work authorization. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Microsoft must pay the United States a civil penalty of $17,352, re-vamp its hiring procedures, and train its employees on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision. As a reminder, the INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.

  • The Department of State Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) recently reviewed the ConsularOne Modernization Program and provided recommendations on how the Department of State could advance implementation of the full program. Launched in 2011, the ConsularOne Modernization Program was created to consolidate the Department of State’s visa and passport application services, visa adjudication and issuance services, and other consular functions into a common technology framework. The OIG found that only one component of the program had launched in the last 10 years and that the program had missed several deployment dates for its other planned systems. The OIG made eleven total recommendations on how the Department of State could address factors contributing to the delay of the ConsularOne Modernization Program. The full OIG report is available here.

  • The U.S. Senate voted 50-47 to confirm former Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus to be the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”). In his position, he will oversee 60,000 employees, manage a budget of over $15 billion, and ensure the effective operations of CBP’s mission to protect national security while promoting economic prosperity. Magnus will be CBP’s first Senate-confirmed commissioner since April 2019.

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