Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP

  • The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) recently provided employers with long awaited guidance regarding the process for accepting receipts for Form I-9 compliance. DHS has worked with its interagency partners involved in Form I-9 compliance and enforcement to provide clear guidance to employers related to the acceptance of receipts in lieu of List A, B, or C documents for Form I-9 completion.  In the case where a document was lost, stolen, or damaged, an employee may provide the receipt for replacement of the document at the time of Form I-9 completion. Under previous guidance, the employee was required to provide the original replacement document within 90 days of providing the receipt. However, recognizing that it is not always possible to provide the original replacement document due to factors such as document delays or changes in status, DHS will now allow employees who are unable to provide the replacement document to present another acceptable document to demonstrate his or her identity and/or employment authorization within the 90 days. If the employee presents an acceptable alternate document, the employer should complete a new Section 2 and attach it to the original Form I-9 and include an explanatory note regarding the alternate document.

  • The Department of State (“DOS”) released the August 2021 Visa Bulletin. With the release of the August Visa Bulletin, we continue to see significant movement in the EB-2 and EB-3 employment based categories for China, as well as positive advancement in the EB-3 dates for India. All EB-1 categories remain current. For August 2021, employment-based applicants must use the final action dates chart for adjustment of status applications.

  • The Department of Labor (“DOL”) is making some progress in catching up on its significant backlog and recently updated its processing times for permanent labor certification (“PERM”) applications and prevailing wage requests. As of June 30, 2021, DOL is adjudicating ETA 9089 PERM applications filed in or before January 2021 and processing PERM prevailing wage requests filed in or before December 2020.

  • Recently, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) met with representatives from the White House to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on DOS’ operations and propose solutions on how to address the current visa backlog. In order to expand consular resources and reduce the backlog, AILA recommended that DOS take the following measures: (1) rescind the COVID-19 regional travel bans; (2) standardize National Interest Exception adjudication between the various DOS U.S. Consulates and U.S. Customs and Border Protection; (3) allow stateside processing of nonimmigrant visa renewals; (4) automatically extend visas that expired during the COVID-19 pandemic for 24 months; and (5) expand the use of interview waivers and consider remote processing of low fraud risk cases. AILA stated that these measures would allow DOS to process cases more efficiently and avoid losing immigrant visa numbers come the end of the fiscal year.

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