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HomeUS Visa & ImmigrationImmigration Information Replace Publication — November 2023

Immigration Information Replace Publication — November 2023


Headlines

Our Managing Companion has revealed a brand new weblog submit: The Visa Apocalypse is Upon Us—Welcome to the Future

Govt Order on Synthetic Intelligence Consists of Immigration-Associated Provisions – On October 30, 2023, President Biden issued “Govt Order on the Secure, Safe, and Reliable Growth and Use of Synthetic Intelligence.” Part 5 of the order, “Selling Innovation and Competitors,” consists of numerous immigration-related provisions.

DHS to Complement H-2B Cap With Almost 65,000 Extra Visas for FY 2024 – On November 3, 2023, the Division of Homeland Safety, in session with the Division of Labor, introduced that it’s going to make obtainable a further 64,716 H-2B momentary nonagricultural employee visas for fiscal 12 months (FY) 2024 through a short lived last rule. That is on prime of the congressionally mandated 66,000 H-2B visas which can be obtainable every fiscal 12 months.

Sure Renewal Candidates for Work Authorization Qualify for Automated 180-Day Extension – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers introduced that sure renewal candidates who’ve filed Kind I-765, Software for Employment Authorization, qualify for an computerized extension of their expiring work authorization and/or employment authorization paperwork whereas their renewal functions are pending.

Texas Service Heart Is New Submitting Location for H-2A, H-2B, and Sure CNMI Petitions as of November 1 – Starting November 1, 2023, all H-2A, H-2B, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-related Kind I-129 petitions, Kind I-129CW petitions, and CNMI-related Kind I-539 functions should be filed instantly with the Texas Service Heart.

USCIS Updates Steerage on EB-5 Regional Heart Program – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers is updating the USCIS Coverage Guide with new steerage on the EB-5 Regional Heart Program and new content material on regional heart designation and obligations, venture functions, and direct and third-party promoters.

USCIS Points Steerage on 2-12 months International Residence Requirement for J Nonimmigrants – The replace provides details about how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers determines whether or not the requirement has been met, the proof a profit requestor might submit to indicate compliance with the requirement, and the way USCIS considers conditions by which it’s successfully not possible for the profit requestor to fulfill the requirement. It additionally corrects an omission from current Coverage Guide content material regarding one of many grounds for waiving the international residence requirement for sure international medical graduates.

USCIS Permits Extra 30 Days for Feedback on E-Confirm NextGen and Revisions to E-Confirm – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers is permitting 30 extra days for public feedback on a number of info assortment notices associated to E-Confirm.

Reminder to Employers: Use New I-9 Kind as of November 1 – The Citizenship and Immigration Providers (CIS) Ombudsman emailed a reminder to employers to make use of the revised Kind I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with the version date 08/01/23, beginning November 1, 2023.

State Dept. Intends to Resume Renewal of H-1B Nonimmigrant Visas in the US for Sure Candidates – The Division of State intends to renew the renewal of H-1B nonimmigrant visas in the US for sure candidates, starting with a pilot program in early 2024, and has despatched its proposal to the Workplace of Administration and Funds for assessment.

DHS Plans to Amend H-1B Laws Governing Specialty Occupation Staff – The Division of Homeland Safety plans to amend its H-1B rules “governing H-1B specialty occupation employees to modernize and enhance the effectivity of the H-1B program, add advantages and flexibilities, and enhance integrity measures.”

Visa-Free Journey to United States Is Now Obtainable for Israelis – The Division of Homeland Safety introduced the beginning of visa-free journey for short-term visits to the US for eligible Israeli residents and nationals following Israel’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program. Eligible Israeli residents and nationals can apply for authorization to journey to the US via the U.S. Customs and Border Safety’s Digital System for Journey Authorization.

USCIS Clarifies Steerage on L-1 Petitions for Intracompany Transferees Filed by Sole Proprietorships and on Blanket L Petitions – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) issued coverage steerage to make clear {that a} sole proprietorship might not file an L-1 petition on behalf of its proprietor as a result of the only proprietorship doesn’t exist as a definite authorized entity separate and aside from the proprietor. The replace additionally clarifies steerage concerning blanket L petitions.

DHS Pronounces Household Reunification Course of for Ecuador – The Division of Homeland Safety introduced a brand new household reunification parole course of for sure nationals of Ecuador that additionally permits for work authorization.

USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Short-term Nonagricultural Staff for First Half of FY 2024 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers has obtained sufficient petitions to achieve the cap on H-2B visas for momentary nonagricultural employees for the primary half of fiscal 12 months 2024. October 11, 2023, was the ultimate receipt date for brand spanking new cap-subject H-2B employee petitions requesting an employment begin date earlier than April 1, 2024.

USCIS Supplies Steerage on Interpretation of EB-5 Program Adjustments – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) supplied extra steerage on its interpretation of adjustments to the EB-5 program made by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, particularly the required funding timeframe and the way USCIS treats buyers who’re related to a terminated regional heart.

Visa Bulletin for November Consists of Reminder About Non secular Staff Class Expiration – The Division of State’s Visa Bulletin for November 2023 features a reminder that the non-minister particular immigrant program expires on November 17, 2023.

Short-term Want Exemption Prolonged for Sure Guam and CNMI H-2B Staff – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers issued coverage steerage reflecting the extension of the exemption from the momentary want requirement for petitions for momentary nonagricultural H-2B nonimmigrant employees on Guam and within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands via December 30, 2024.

DHS Pronounces Aid for Cameroonian F-1 Nonimmigrant College students – Efficient December 8, 2023, via June 7, 2025, Cameroonians in lawful F-1 nonimmigrant pupil standing might request employment authorization, work an elevated variety of hours whereas college is in session, and cut back their course masses whereas persevering with to take care of their F-1 nonimmigrant pupil standing.

USCIS Launches New On-line Change-of-Deal with Software – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) has launched a brand new Enterprise Change of Deal with (E-COA) self-service software to permit these with pending functions, petitions, or requests to replace their addresses with USCIS on-line.

DOS Publishes DV-2025 Directions, Listing of Nations – On October 3, 2023, the Division of State revealed directions and eligibility necessities for the Range Visa (DV) program for fiscal 12 months 2025 (DV-2025). The web registration interval for the DV-2025 range visa program concludes on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at 12 midday ET.

DOS Restores Earlier Model of Regulation Governing Public Cost Grounds of Visa Ineligibility – The Division of State introduced that its regulation governing the general public cost grounds of visa ineligibility has been restored to the model that was in place earlier than October 11, 2019.

U.S. to Resume Direct Repatriation of Venezuelans With out Authorization – The Division of Homeland Safety introduced that it “will resume direct repatriations of Venezuelan nationals who cross our border unlawfully and don’t set up a authorized foundation to stay.”

DHS to Prolong and Redesignate Cameroon for Short-term Protected Standing – The Division of Homeland Safety will prolong and redesignate Cameroon for Short-term Protected Standing for 18 months, starting on December 8, 2023, and ending on June 7, 2025.

DOS Pronounces U.S. Passport Processing Occasions, Suggestions – The Division of State introduced that U.S. passport processing occasions have fluctuated a number of occasions in 2023. As of October 2, 2023, routine functions had been being processed in eight to 11 weeks, and expedited functions in 5 to seven weeks, not together with mailing time.

The Information in Element

  Govt Order on Synthetic Intelligence Consists of Immigration-Associated Provisions

On October 30, 2023, President Biden issued “Govt Order on the Secure, Safe, and Reliable Growth and Use of Synthetic Intelligence.” Part 5 of the order, “Selling Innovation and Competitors,” consists of numerous immigration-related provisions. For instance, the order:

  • Requires the Secretaries of State and Homeland Safety to streamline processing occasions of visa petitions and functions, together with by guaranteeing well timed availability of visa appointments, for noncitizens who search to journey to the US to work on, research, or conduct analysis in synthetic intelligence (AI) or different important and rising applied sciences; and facilitate continued availability of visa appointments in enough quantity for candidates with experience in AI or different important and rising applied sciences;
  • Requires the Secretary of State to think about initiating a rulemaking to determine new standards to designate international locations and abilities on the Division of State’s change customer abilities checklist because it pertains to the 2-year international residence requirement for sure J-1 nonimmigrants, together with these abilities which can be important to the US;
  • Requires the Secretary of State to think about implementing a home visa renewal program to facilitate the power of certified candidates, together with extremely expert expertise in AI and important and rising applied sciences, to proceed their work in the US with out pointless interruption;
  • Requires the Secretary of State to determine a program to establish and entice prime expertise in AI and different important and rising applied sciences at universities, analysis establishments, and the non-public sector abroad, and to determine and enhance connections with that expertise to teach them on alternatives and sources for analysis and employment in the US, together with abroad instructional parts to tell prime STEM expertise of nonimmigrant and immigrant visa choices and potential expedited adjudication of their visa petitions and functions;
  • Requires the Secretary of Homeland Safety to assessment and provoke any coverage adjustments the Secretary determines obligatory and applicable to make clear and modernize immigration pathways for consultants in AI and different important and rising applied sciences, together with O-1A and EB-1 noncitizens of extraordinary capacity; EB-2 advanced-degree holders and noncitizens of outstanding capacity; and startup founders in AI and different important and rising applied sciences, utilizing the Worldwide Entrepreneur Rule; and
  • Requires the Secretary of Homeland Safety to proceed its rulemaking course of to modernize the H-1B program and improve its integrity and utilization, together with by consultants in AI and different important and rising applied sciences, and contemplate a rulemaking to boost the method for noncitizens, together with consultants in AI and different important and rising applied sciences and their spouses, dependents, and youngsters, to regulate their standing to lawful everlasting resident.

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DHS to Complement H-2B Cap With Almost 65,000 Extra Visas for FY 2024

On November 3, 2023, the Division of Homeland Safety (DHS), in session with the Division of Labor, introduced that it’s going to make obtainable a further 64,716 H-2B momentary nonagricultural employee visas for fiscal 12 months (FY) 2024 through a short lived last rule. That is on prime of the congressionally mandated 66,000 H-2B visas which can be obtainable every fiscal 12 months. DHS stated the supplemental visa allocation “will assist tackle the necessity for seasonal or different momentary employees in areas the place too few U.S. employees can be found.”

The H-2B supplemental is predicted to incorporate an allocation of 20,000 visas to employees from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras, DHS stated. As well as, 44,716 supplemental visas can be obtainable to returning employees who obtained an H-2B visa, or had been in any other case granted H-2B standing, throughout one of many final three fiscal years. “The regulation would allocate these supplemental visas for returning employees between the primary half and second half of the fiscal 12 months to account for the necessity for extra seasonal and different momentary employees over the course of the 12 months, with a portion of the second half allocation reserved to satisfy the demand for employees in the course of the peak summer time season,” DHS stated.

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Sure Renewal Candidates for Work Authorization Qualify for Automated 180-Day Extension

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) introduced that sure renewal candidates who’ve filed Kind I-765, Software for Employment Authorization, qualify for an computerized extension of their expiring work authorization and/or employment authorization paperwork (EADs) whereas their renewal functions are pending. As of October 27, 2023, those that are eligible “will obtain 180-day extensions in accordance with current rules, together with those that have utilized for or have obtained Short-term Protected Standing or asylum,” USCIS stated.

The company famous that in Might 2022, it introduced a short lived last rule (TFR) that elevated the automated extension interval for EADs obtainable to sure EAD renewal candidates from as much as 180 days to as much as 540 days. This new change just isn’t retroactive, USCIS stated; “all earlier as much as 540-day computerized extensions will stay in place.”

USCIS stated it’s figuring out whether or not there’s a want for a brand new regulatory motion just like the Might 2022 TFR.

As introduced within the 2022 TFR, computerized extensions of employment authorization and EAD validity would be the authentic as much as 180-day interval for eligible candidates who well timed file a Kind I-765 renewal utility on or after October 27, 2023. For individuals who obtained an elevated computerized extension interval beneath the TFR, the elevated computerized extension will finish once they obtain a last choice on their renewal utility or when the as much as 540-day interval expires (counted from the expiration date of the employment authorization and/or their EAD), whichever comes earlier.

USCIS additionally not too long ago revealed a Coverage Guide replace growing the utmost EAD validity interval to 5 years for preliminary and renewal functions accepted on or after September 27, 2023, for the next classes:

  • Sure noncitizens who’re employment-authorized incident to standing or circumstance, together with these admitted as refugees, paroled as refugees, or granted asylum, and recipients of withholding of removing; and
  • Sure noncitizens who should apply for employment authorization, together with candidates for asylum and withholding of removing, adjustment of standing, and suspension of deportation or cancellation of removing.

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Texas Service Heart Is New Submitting Location for H-2A, H-2B, and Sure CNMI Petitions as of November 1

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) introduced that as of November 1, 2023, all H-2A, H-2B, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-related Kind I-129 petitions, Kind I-129CW petitions, and CNMI-related Kind I-539 functions should be filed instantly with the Texas Service Heart.

USCIS stated there can be a 60-day grace interval for types filed on the California Service Heart (CSC) or Vermont Service Heart (VSC) throughout which misdirected types is not going to be rejected. After the 60-day grace interval ends, USCIS will reject these petitions and functions if they’re filed on the CSC or VSC. USCIS additionally will reject any such petitions and functions in the event that they had been obtained on the Texas Service Heart earlier than November 1, 2023.

The discover consists of the addresses the place every kind of petition or utility needs to be mailed.

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USCIS Updates Steerage on EB-5 Regional Heart Program

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) introduced on October 26, 2023, that it’s “updating the USCIS Coverage Guide with new steerage on the EB-5 Regional Heart Program and new content material on regional heart designation and obligations, venture functions, and direct and third-party promoters.”

USCIS stated the replace incorporates adjustments from the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 into the Coverage Guide, constructing on an preliminary replace that integrated such adjustments on October 6, 2022.

Amongst different issues, USCIS reorganized Half G, Quantity 6, up to date the chapter on adjudication of investor petitions for classification, and added new content material on regional heart designations and obligations, venture functions, and direct and third-party promoters, together with registration. USCIS stated additional updates to EB-5 steerage within the Coverage Guide are forthcoming, and can embrace revisions to Chapter 5, Removing of Situations.

USCIS stated the brand new steerage “is efficient instantly and is controlling, and supersedes any associated prior steerage.”

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USCIS Points Steerage on 2-12 months International Residence Requirement for J Nonimmigrants

Efficient October 24, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) has issued coverage steerage concerning the 2-year international residence requirement for the J nonimmigrant change customer classification.

The replace provides details about how USCIS determines whether or not the requirement has been met, the proof a profit requestor might submit to indicate compliance with the requirement, and the way USCIS considers conditions by which it’s successfully not possible for the profit requestor to fulfill the requirement. It additionally corrects an omission from current Coverage Guide content material regarding one of many grounds for waiving the international residence requirement for sure international medical graduates. The replace consists of the bottom and clarifies employment necessities.

Particularly, the replace:

  • Clarifies that USCIS determines whether or not the change customer has met the 2-year international residence requirement inside the context of a subsequent utility or petition beneath the preponderance of the proof commonplace.
  • Explains {that a} journey day, the place a fraction of the day is spent within the nation of nationality or final residence, counts towards satisfaction of the 2-year international residence requirement.
  • Supplies that USCIS considers conditions by which it’s not possible for the profit requestor to fulfill the 2-year international residence requirement on a case-by-case foundation, and that USCIS consults with the Division of State on this state of affairs.
  • Clarifies the three exceptions to the requirement {that a} international medical graduate acquire a contract from a well being care facility in an underserved space when in search of a waiver of the 2-year international residence requirement.

Suggestions on this replace might be emailed to USCIS at policyfeedback@uscis.dhs.gov.

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USCIS Permits Extra 30 Days for Feedback on E-Confirm NextGen and Revisions to E-Confirm

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) is permitting 30 extra days for public feedback on a number of info assortment notices associated to E-Confirm.

USCIS is permitting till November 27, 2023, for public feedback on E-Confirm NextGen. The knowledge assortment discover was beforehand revealed in June, permitting for a 60-day public remark interval. USCIS obtained six feedback in reference to the 60-day discover.

E-Confirm NextGen, I–9NG, “was developed as an illustration venture to additional combine the Kind I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, course of with the E-Confirm digital employment eligibility affirmation course of to create a safer and fewer burdensome employment eligibility verification course of general for workers and employers,” USCIS stated.

USCIS is permitting till November 24, 2023, for public feedback on proposed revisions to the E-Confirm program. That discover was beforehand revealed in June additionally, permitting for a 60-day public remark interval. USCIS obtained two feedback.

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Reminder to Employers: Use New I-9 Kind as of November 1

The Citizenship and Immigration Providers (CIS) Ombudsman reminded employers to make use of the revised Kind I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with the version date 08/01/23, beginning November 1, 2023.

The up to date Kind I-9 displays the choice for eligible employers to confirm employment eligibility remotely. The CIS Ombudsman stated that each one earlier variations will not be accepted. “If you don’t use the 8/01/23 version of Kind I-9, you might be topic to penalties,” the CIS Ombudsman warned.

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State Dept. Intends to Resume Renewal of H-1B Nonimmigrant Visas in the US for Sure Candidates

The Division of State (DOS) intends to renew the renewal of H-1B nonimmigrant visas in the US for sure candidates starting with a pilot program in early 2024, and has despatched its proposal to the Workplace of Administration and Funds for assessment. Presently, the State Division can solely course of visa functions at its embassies and consular posts overseas and doesn’t supply a stateside choice for visa issuance.

Though full particulars haven’t but been launched, in response to studies, in its preliminary part the stateside visa renewal program is predicted to be restricted to H-1B principal visa candidates (not dependents). There can be extra eligibility necessities for participation (for instance, the applicant should be renewing a visa issued inside a restricted variety of years earlier than the renewal submission), and this system can be voluntary—candidates will nonetheless have the choice of acquiring visas overseas via common processing.

The pilot program is predicted to be restricted to nationals of nations whose visas aren’t topic to reciprocity charges. India can be eligible for participation within the pilot program, as there isn’t a relevant reciprocity price. These charges range in quantity and are supposed to equalize the price of a visa for every nation’s nationals with the charges charged by that nation to U.S. nationals in search of comparable visas. As a result of the charges range and should be refunded if a visa can’t be issued, together with them within the pilot program may have delayed the rollout.

This system is meant to assist cut back consular delays, which had been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and have continued in sure areas. The pilot program will check the operational capability of the stateside renewal program. Availability is predicted to be capped at 20,000 candidates. If profitable, this system will broaden to different employment-based visa classes following its preliminary launch, though full implementation is more likely to take a while.

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DHS Plans to Amend H-1B Laws Governing Specialty Occupation Staff

The Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) plans to amend its H-1B rules “governing H-1B specialty occupation employees to modernize and enhance the effectivity of the H-1B program, add advantages and flexibilities, and enhance integrity measures.” The discover of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), anticipated to be revealed within the Federal Register on October 23, 2023, would additionally “narrowly affect different nonimmigrant classifications, together with: H-2, H-3, F-1, L-1, O, P, Q-1, R-1, E-3, and TN.” A 60-day public remark interval begins following publication of the NPRM within the Federal Register.

Beneath is a non-exhaustive abstract of highlights. DHS proposes to:

  • Revise the regulatory definition and standards for a “specialty occupation” and make clear {that a} place might permit a variety of levels if they’ve a direct relationship to the duties of the place;
  • Make clear when an amended or new petition should be filed because of a change in an H-1B employee’s place of employment;
  • Codify and make clear that if there was no materials change within the underlying details, adjudicators typically ought to defer to a previous dedication involving the identical events and underlying details;
  • Require proof of upkeep of standing to be included with the petition if a beneficiary is in search of an extension or modification of keep;
  • Change the definition of “nonprofit analysis group” and “governmental analysis group” by changing “primarily engaged” and “major mission” with “elementary exercise” to allow a nonprofit entity or governmental analysis group that conducts analysis as a elementary exercise, however just isn’t primarily engaged in analysis or the place analysis just isn’t a major mission, to satisfy the definition of a nonprofit analysis entity;
  • Present flexibilities, corresponding to routinely extending the period of F-1 standing, and any employment authorization granted beneath 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(3)(i)(B) or (C), till April 1 of the related fiscal 12 months, somewhat than October 1 of the identical fiscal 12 months, to keep away from disruptions in lawful standing and employment authorization for F-1 college students altering their standing to H-1B;
  • Make clear the necessities concerning the requested employment begin date on H-1B cap-subject petitions to allow submitting with requested begin dates which can be after October 1 of the related fiscal 12 months;
  • Choose H-1B cap registrations by distinctive beneficiary somewhat than by registration;
  • Make clear that associated entities are prohibited from submitting a number of registrations for a similar beneficiary;
  • Make clear that beneficiary-owners could also be eligible for H-1B standing, whereas setting cheap situations for when the beneficiary owns a controlling curiosity within the petitioning entity; and
  • Make clear that if an H-1B employee can be staffed to a 3rd occasion, which means they are going to be contracted to fill a place within the third occasion’s group, it’s the necessities of that third occasion, and never the petitioner, which can be most related when figuring out whether or not the place is a specialty occupation.

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Visa-Free Journey to United States Is Now Obtainable for Israelis

On October 19, 2023, the Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) introduced the beginning of visa-free journey for short-term visits to the US for eligible Israeli residents and nationals following Israel’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Eligible Israeli residents and nationals can apply for authorization to journey to the US via the U.S. Customs and Border Safety’s (CBP) Digital System for Journey Authorization (ESTA).

This authorization permits eligible Israelis to journey to the US for tourism or enterprise functions for as much as 90 days with out first acquiring a U.S. visa. Israeli residents and nationals with legitimate B-1/B-2 visas might proceed to make use of them for enterprise and vacationer journey to the US, DHS stated.

DHS defined that eligible Israeli residents and nationals should have a biometrically enabled passport e book. Vacationers who possess non-biometric, momentary, or emergency journey paperwork, or journey paperwork from a non-VWP designated nation, aren’t eligible for journey beneath the VWP and should as an alternative apply for a U.S. visa. ESTA functions might take as much as 72 hours for processing. The ESTA utility can be obtainable in English now and in different languages by November 1, 2023, DHS stated.

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USCIS Clarifies Steerage on L-1 Petitions for Intracompany Transferees Filed by Sole Proprietorships and on Blanket L Petitions

On October 20, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) issued coverage steerage to make clear {that a} sole proprietorship might not file an L-1 petition on behalf of its proprietor as a result of the only proprietorship doesn’t exist as a definite authorized entity separate and aside from the proprietor.

The USCIS steerage additional clarifies that an L-1 petition the place the proprietor and beneficiary are the identical constitutes an impermissible self-petition. The replace additionally clarifies steerage concerning blanket L petitions, noting that the failure to well timed file an extension of the blanket petition doesn’t set off the three-year ready interval earlier than one other blanket petition could also be filed.

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DHS Pronounces Household Reunification Course of for Ecuador

On October 18, 2023, the Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) introduced a brand new household reunification parole course of for sure nationals of Ecuador that additionally permits for work authorization. The brand new course of is for sure nationals of Ecuador whose members of the family are U.S. residents or lawful everlasting residents and who’ve obtained approval to hitch their household in the US. Particularly, Ecuadorian nationals and their rapid members of the family might be thought-about for parole on a case-by-case foundation for as much as three years whereas ready to use to develop into lawful everlasting residents.

People paroled into the US beneath this course of will typically be thought-about for parole for as much as three years and can be eligible to request work authorization whereas they wait for his or her immigrant visa to develop into obtainable, DHS stated. When their immigrant visa turns into obtainable, they might apply to develop into a lawful everlasting resident.

Qualifying beneficiaries should be exterior the US; should meet all necessities, together with screening and vetting and medical necessities; and should not have already obtained an immigrant visa.

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USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for Short-term Nonagricultural Staff for First Half of FY 2024

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) introduced on October 13, 2023, that it has obtained sufficient petitions to achieve the cap on H-2B visas for momentary nonagricultural employees for the primary half of fiscal 12 months (FY) 2024. October 11, 2023, was the ultimate receipt date for brand spanking new cap-subject H-2B employee petitions requesting an employment begin date earlier than April 1, 2024.

USCIS continues to just accept H-2B petitions which can be exempt from the congressionally mandated cap, together with petitions for:

  • Present H-2B employees in the US who prolong their keep, change employers, or change the phrases and situations of their employment;
  • Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
  • Staff performing labor or companies within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam from November 28, 2009, till December 31, 2029.

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USCIS Supplies Steerage on Interpretation of EB-5 Program Adjustments

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) supplied extra steerage on its interpretation of adjustments to the EB-5 program made by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), particularly the required funding timeframe and the way USCIS treats buyers who’re related to a terminated regional heart.

USCIS stated that due to the adjustments made by the RIA, buyers submitting petitions for classification “not have to maintain their funding all through their conditional residence, which can be a few years sooner or later and depending on components exterior the investor’s management corresponding to visa availability.” As a substitute, USCIS stated:

[The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)] now requires solely that the funding should be anticipated to stay invested for at the very least two years, supplied job creation necessities have been met. Though the statute doesn’t explicitly specify when the two-year interval beneath INA § 203(b)(5)(A)(i) begins, we interpret the beginning date because the date the requisite quantity of qualifying funding is made. In different phrases, we’ll use the date the funding was contributed to the brand new industrial enterprise and positioned in danger in accordance with relevant necessities, together with being made obtainable to the job-creating entity. If invested greater than two years earlier than submitting the I-526 or I-526E petition, the funding ought to typically nonetheless be maintained on the time the I-526 or I-526E is correctly filed so we are able to appropriately consider eligibility.

As a result of the statute doesn’t explicitly specify whether or not it applies solely to post-RIA buyers or additionally to pre-RIA buyers, USCIS stated it interprets INA § 203(b)(5)(M) to use to pre-RIA buyers related to a terminated regional heart. USCIS “will prolong the deadline for pre-RIA buyers to reply to a regional heart termination notification till the company adjudicates their Kind I-526 petition. If wanted, we might challenge a Request for Proof or Discover of Intent to Deny for the investor to determine continued eligibility.” USCIS additionally stated it “will prolong the deadline for pre-RIA buyers to reply to a regional heart termination notification till the company adjudicates their Kind I-526 petition. If wanted, we might challenge a Request for Proof or Discover of Intent to Deny for the investor to determine continued eligibility.”

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Visa Bulletin for November Consists of Reminder About Non secular Staff Class Expiration

The Division of State’s Visa Bulletin for November 2023 features a reminder that the non-minister particular immigrant program expires on November 17, 2023.

The bulletin states that no employment fourth choice Sure Non secular Staff (SR) visas could also be issued abroad, or last motion taken on adjustment of standing instances, after November 16, 2023. Visas issued earlier than this date will solely be issued with a validity date of November 16, 2023, and all people in search of admission as non-minister particular immigrants should be admitted into the U.S. by November 16, 2023.

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Short-term Want Exemption Prolonged for Sure Guam and CNMI H-2B Staff

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) issued coverage steerage reflecting the extension of the exemption from the momentary want requirement for petitions for momentary nonagricultural H-2B nonimmigrant employees on Guam and within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) via December 30, 2024, as supplied within the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal 12 months (FY) 2023.

USCIS defined that the momentary nonagricultural employee (H-2B) nonimmigrant visa classification applies to a noncitizen in search of to carry out momentary nonagricultural labor or companies in the US when U.S. employees aren’t obtainable. Earlier NDAAs created and expanded on an exemption from the requirement that nonagricultural labor or companies be momentary in nature for petitioners of sure H-2B employees on Guam and within the CNMI.

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DHS Pronounces Aid for Cameroonian F-1 Nonimmigrant College students

The Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) is suspending sure regulatory necessities for F-1 nonimmigrant college students whose nation of citizenship is Cameroon, no matter nation of beginning (or people having no nationality who final habitually resided in Cameroon), and who’re experiencing extreme financial hardship as a direct outcome of the present armed battle and humanitarian disaster in Cameroon.

Efficient December 8, 2023, via June 7, 2025, Cameroonians in lawful F-1 nonimmigrant pupil standing might request employment authorization, work an elevated variety of hours whereas college is in session, and cut back their course masses whereas persevering with to take care of their F-1 nonimmigrant pupil standing. DHS stated it should deem such an F-1 nonimmigrant pupil granted employment authorization to be engaged in a “full course of research” all through the employment authorization if the nonimmigrant pupil satisfies the minimal course load requirement.

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USCIS Launches New On-line Change-of-Deal with Software

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) has launched a brand new Enterprise Change of Deal with (E-COA) self-service software to permit these with pending functions, petitions, or requests to replace their addresses with USCIS on-line.

USCIS stated that with E-COA, most people with a USCIS on-line account can replace their mailing and bodily addresses with USCIS for pending functions, petitions, or requests in a single place, eliminating the necessity to replace the tackle in a number of locations; fill out a paper AR-11, Alien’s Change of Deal with Card; name the Contact Heart; or go to a USCIS Discipline or Asylum Workplace. E-COA will automate tackle adjustments for nearly all kind varieties. The exceptions are listed at uscis.gov/addresschange.

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USCIS Reminds Employers to Begin Utilizing New Kind I-9 by November 1 Deadline

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) reminded employers concerning the November 1, 2023, deadline for utilizing the up to date Kind I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification with the 08/01/2023 version date.

USCIS additionally famous {that a} revised Spanish version of Kind I-9 with an version date of 08/01/2023 is on the market to be used in Puerto Rico solely and by different employers as a translation help.

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DOS Publishes DV-2025 Directions, Listing of Nations

On October 3, 2023, the Division of State (DOS) revealed directions and eligibility necessities for the Range Visa (DV) program for fiscal 12 months (FY) 2025 (DV-2025). The web registration interval for the DV-2025 range visa program started on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, and concludes on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at 12 midday ET.

For FY 2025, as much as 55,000 DVs can be obtainable. The Digital Range Visa Entry Kind (E-DV Entry Kind or DS-5501) is on the market on-line at dvprogram.state.gov. DOS is not going to settle for incomplete entries or entries despatched by some other means. There is no such thing as a price to register for the DV program, however selectees who’re scheduled for an interview should pay a visa utility price earlier than making their formal visa utility the place a consular officer will decide whether or not they qualify for the visa. DOS determines selectees via a randomized pc drawing.

Apart from the UK and its dependent territories, which are actually eligible for the DV–2025 program, there have been no adjustments in eligibility from the earlier fiscal 12 months. For DV–2025, natives of the next international locations and areas aren’t eligible to use, as a result of greater than 50,000 natives of those international locations immigrated to the US within the earlier 5 years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, The Folks’s Republic of China (together with mainland and Hong Kong born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Venezuela, and Vietnam. Natives of Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.

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DOS Restores Earlier Model of Regulation Governing Public Cost Grounds of Visa Ineligibility

The Division of State (DOS) introduced on October 6, 2023, that its regulation governing the general public cost grounds of visa ineligibility has been restored to the model that was in place earlier than October 11, 2019.

On October 11, 2019, DOS revealed an interim last rule (IFR) that considerably revised the rules governing the grounds. The IFR was enjoined by the District Courtroom for the Southern District of New York on July 29, 2020, DOS defined. Since that point, the company has used International Affairs Guide (FAM) steerage that was in place earlier than publication of the IFR.

“The IFR was meant to align with the requirements then utilized by the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) to find out inadmissibility on public cost grounds. In 2022, DHS revealed a brand new Ultimate Rule. As such, the IFR not meets the coverage intention of consistency with DHS requirements. In reverting to regulatory textual content that was in place previous to the publication of the IFR, the Division is once more extra carefully aligned with the present DHS requirements,” DOS defined.

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U.S. to Resume Direct Repatriation of Venezuelans With out Authorization

The Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) introduced on October 5, 2023, that it “will resume direct repatriations of Venezuelan nationals who cross our border unlawfully and don’t set up a authorized foundation to stay.”

DHS stated this announcement “follows a choice by authorities from Venezuela to just accept the return of Venezuelan nationals, in addition to high-level discussions yesterday in Mexico Metropolis between the US, Mexico, Colombia, and Panama the place Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Homeland Safety Alejandro N. Mayorkas, and Homeland Safety Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall mentioned ongoing coordinated efforts to deal with irregular migration within the Western Hemisphere.”

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DHS to Prolong and Redesignate Cameroon for Short-term Protected Standing

The Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) will prolong and redesignate Cameroon for Short-term Protected Standing (TPS) for 18 months, starting on December 8, 2023, and ending on June 7, 2025.

Present TPS beneficiaries who want to prolong their standing via June 7, 2025, should re-register in the course of the 60-day re-registration interval, which is predicted to start on October 10, 2023. The redesignation of Cameroon additionally permits extra Cameroonian nationals (and people having no nationality who final habitually resided in Cameroon) who’ve been constantly residing in the US since October 5, 2023, to use for TPS for the primary time in the course of the preliminary registration interval, which is predicted to start on October 10, 2023.

DHS stated, “It will be significant for re-registrants to well timed re-register in the course of the registration interval and to not wait till their Employment Authorization Paperwork (EADs) expire, as delaying re-registration may end in gaps of their employment authorization documentation.”

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DOS Pronounces U.S. Passport Processing Occasions, Suggestions

The Division of State (DOS) introduced that U.S. passport processing occasions have fluctuated a number of occasions in 2023. As of October 2, 2023, routine functions had been being processed in eight to 11 weeks, and expedited functions in 5 to seven weeks. Processing occasions don’t embrace mailing time.

DOS stated that between October 2022 and September 2023, DOS issued greater than 24 million passport books and playing cards, essentially the most in U.S. historical past. DOS encourages candidates to examine the standing of their passport utility and join updates through e mail.

DOS additionally launched the next ideas for U.S. passport candidates:

  1. Should you’re renewing your utility, submit your most up-to-date passport along with your utility. Signal and date Kind DS-82.
  2. Full all sections of your kind together with getting into your appropriate Social Safety quantity. Don’t go away something clean. Should you’re making use of for the primary time or along with your little one beneath age 16, wait to signal the shape till you’re instructed to take action. Should you’re renewing by mail, signal and date the shape by yourself.
  3. Intently comply with the passport photograph necessities.
  4. Present proof of U.S. citizenship.
  5. In case your present identify just isn’t the identical because the identify in your most up-to-date passport, embrace your identify change doc (corresponding to marriage certificates, divorce decree, or courtroom order).

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