Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP
- The Department of State (“DOS”) recently released the June 2023 Visa Bulletin. In addition to the final action dates and dates for filing charts for employment-based immigrant visa and adjustment of status cases, it contains notes on the diversity lottery and EB-3 retrogression in India. Specifically, DOS states that steady number use and high demand in the EB-3 category for India will most likely necessitate retrogression as early as next month to hold number use within the maximum allowed under the FY 2023 annual limit. EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 final action dates and dates for filing for India, China and all other countries remain unchanged in June. For June 2023, employment-based applicants must use the final action dates chart for adjustment of status applications.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that employers will have 30 days to reach compliance with Form I-9 requirements after the COVID-19 flexibilities sunset on July 31, 2023. Employers are encouraged to ensure that all required physical inspection of identity and employment eligibility documents are completed by August 30, 2023.
- In line with the White House’s recent announcement that the COVID-19 vaccine requirement would end for international air travelers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) announced that vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer required for all airline or other aircraft passengers arriving in the United States from any foreign country as of May 12, 2023. Further, CBP announced that vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer required for certain noncitizens entering the Mexican and Canadian borders by land or ferry.
- Effective May 11, 2023, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (“SEVP”) ended its COVID-19 flexibilities regarding online learning, consistent with the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. However, SEVP confirmed that active F and M students will be able to complete the 2022-2023 academic year under the COVID-19 flexibilities through the 2023 summer semester. For the 2023-2024 academic year, active F and M students will not be permitted to count online classes toward a full course of study in excess of the regulatory limits.
- This month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping immigration bill into law that, among other things, requires private employers with 25 or more employees to use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. Employers that fail to comply with this requirement could face penalties such as a suspension of their state licenses and a fine of $1,000 per day until compliance is reached. The effective date of this law is July 1, 2023 with enforcement deferred until July 1, 2024.
- The Department of Labor (“DOL”) updated its processing times for permanent labor certification (“PERM”) applications and prevailing wage requests. As of April 30, 2023, the DOL is adjudicating PERM applications filed in or before July 2022 and processing prevailing wage requests filed in or before January 2022.