Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP

  • The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) confirmed that beginning today, November 8, 2021, non-citizen travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be permitted to enter the United States by land or ferry for both “essential” and “nonessential” purposes, including tourism or visiting family. Vaccinated non-citizen travelers entering the United States by land or ferry should be prepared to (1) provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and (2) verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection. Between November 8, 2021 and January 2022, unvaccinated travelers will be permitted to enter for “essential” purposes, such as for work. Beginning in January 2022, foreign nationals will be required to show proof of vaccination, whether they are entering for “essential” or “nonessential” purposes. For more information, please see DHS’ updated Fact Sheet and FAQ regarding these new policies.

  • The FY2023 Diversity Visa Lottery registration ends tomorrow, November 9, 2021 at 12 PM EST. Foreign nationals who want to register for this year’s lottery must submit their online registration forms and accompanying digital photos by this time. Applicants must carefully follow the official lottery instructions from the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) to avoid disqualification.

  • Due to the suspension of immigrant consular services at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Russia, DOS designated Russian nationals as “homeless nationals” and has announced that the National Visa Center (“NVC”) will schedule immigrant visa appointments for Russian applicants in Poland. DOS lists nationals as “homeless” when they are from countries where the United States has no consular representation or where consular staff cannot issue visas due to the political or security situation. As a result, Russian nationals who are physically present in Russia will have their visa appointments scheduled by the NVC at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw. Russian nationals who are physically present in a third country may request that their visa appointment be scheduled by the NVC in that country, as long as they can remain in the country legally for the duration of the application process. Eligible Russian nationals who are physically present in the United States may apply for adjustment of status with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and do not require visa processing abroad.

  • The Student and Exchange Visitor Program has formally adopted the use of electronic signatures and transmission for Form I-20. Electronic signatures can be completed with software programs or can be digitally reproduced. Students should print electronically transmitted forms for visa interviews and arrival at U.S. ports of entry.

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