Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP
- Last week, President Biden revoked a 2019 Trump-era proclamation that would have denied immigrant visas to applicants based on their ability to cover health costs. The now-revoked proclamation, which never officially took effect because it was enjoined by a U.S. federal court in Oregon, required immigrant visa applicants to have an approved health insurance policy within 30 days of entering the United States or the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs. In his proclamation, President Biden stated that he revoked the proclamation because it “[did] not advance the interests of the United States.”
- The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a final rule removing the interim final rule entitled “Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program” from the Code of Federal Regulations. The now-removed rule sought to redefine the regulatory definition of a “specialty occupation” and dictate how the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) determined whether there was an “employer-employee relationship” for purposes of H-1B employment.
- The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) released the June 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 July. All first employment-based preference countries of chargeability are current for the month of June. For June 2021, employment-based applicants must use the final action dates chart for adjustment of status applications. DOS is also hosting a live chat today at 1:00 PM EST with Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of DOS’ Visa Control and Reporting Division, to address issues of general interest regarding this month’s Visa Bulletin, which can be viewed here.
- USCIS announced that it extended the deadline for employers to download E-Verify records that are dated on or before December 31, 2010 before they are deleted from the E-Verify website. Employers now have until June 4, 2021 to download case information from the Historic Records Report if they want to retain information about these cases. For information on how to download Historic Records Reports, please see the USCIS fact sheet and instructions for downloading.
- Effective May 14, 2021, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia announced that the port would no longer accept regional travel ban National Interest Exception (“NIE”) applications, unless they are of a humanitarian, law enforcement, or national security nature. The Atlanta port confirmed that all NIE applications—both pending and new—need to be redirected to DOS. This includes any applications that were submitted under the prior NIE policy and were still pending at the time of the May 14 announcement.
- USCIS recently provided three clarifying points regarding the DHS 60-day extension for remote Form I-9 inspections. First, an employer’s entire staff is no longer required to work virtually for the employer to use temporary flexibilities. Second, employees who were hired as of April 1, 2021 and are working remotely are exempt from the in-person examination of their Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility documentation, even if some employees are working in-person at the employer’s worksite. However, this flexibility ends when the employee undertakes non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the extension of the remote inspection flexibilities is terminated, whichever is earlier. Third, DHS encourages employers to begin to address any physical inspection backlog from the COVID-19 pandemic. The 60-day extension runs until May 31, 2021.
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