The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process. The complete visa bulletin can be found here.
President Trump signed today the long-awaited revised travel ban Executive Order entitled, “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States”, effective 12:01 a.m, Eastern Standard Time on March 16, 2017. The list of affected countries includes Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen; Iraq was removed from the list. Key provisions are as follows:
On Friday, March 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that premium processing service will be suspended for all H-1B petitions received on or after April 3, 2017. This suspension may remain in place for up to 6 months.
It’s been a week since the Ninth Circuit unanimously upheld the temporary restraining order against the Trump administration’s Executive Order known as the “Travel Ban”. Shortly after the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, President Trump said that new security measures were imminent, however, no new executive orders have been issued. While waiting for the next attempt at a legal travel ban or a way to revive the prior one, those born in one of the countries mentioned in the original ban (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) and those from other predominantly Muslim countries may want to reconsider overseas travel at this time. President Trump explained why there was no warning before the travel ban, so we expect the next one to be announced without warning as well. The next one could, again, leave individuals stuck abroad for undetermined lengths of time. Given what happened in various court cases, the administration will likely attempt to draft its new ban in a way that may prevent the courts from stopping the enforcement.
We are now less than two months away from the 2017 H-1B cap season. On April 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018).
The USCIS released its updated Handbook for Employers, which is available as a free download here. The Handbook is a great resource for human resources personnel involved in the I-9 identity/work eligibility/reverification process. Part Seven (FAQs) and Part Eight (acceptable documents) are especially helpful sections of the Handbook.
Below is a summary of the March 2017 Visa Bulletin, including Final Action Dates and changes from the previous month for employment-based categories:
- China continues to move forward at a slow pace, and the EB-3 cut-off date (March 15, 2014) remains ahead of the EB-2 date (December 15, 2012)
- India EB-2 advances two months to June 1, 2008, while EB-3 remains stalled at March 22, 2005
- Philippines EB-3 jumps ahead five months to March 15, 2012
- Worldwide EB-3 moves forward two months to December 1, 2016
The Ninth Circuit has just issued a unanimous opinion upholding the Temporary Restraining Order against the Trump Administration’s Executive Order known as the “Travel Ban.” The 3-judge panel unanimously recognized that without the TRO, the states of Minnesota and Washington were likely to be harmed as parens patriae (i.e., legal protector) for their citizens, and also by damage inflicted on “operations and missions of their public universities and other institutions of higher learning,” and their “operations, tax bases, and public funds.”
The President’s Executive Order, commonly called the “travel ban”, has raised many questions. We answer the most frequently asked questions below, and will update them as additional information becomes available.
I am from one of the named countries and am outside of the United States. Can I apply for a nonimmigrant (temporary) or immigrant (permanent) visa at a US consulate?
On January 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) provisionally revoked most valid nonimmigrant and immigrant visas issued to nationals from the seven countries subject to the travel ban. Certain diplomatic and other visa categories are exempt from this action. This move was largely symbolic since individuals subject to the travel ban are not permitted to enter the United States. However, if and when the travel ban is lifted, individuals from the listed countries would most likely need to reapply to a U.S. consulate abroad for a new visa before they could travel to the United States.
The fast pace of immigration developments under the new Trump administration continues. The following are some of the issues that are most important to individuals and businesses in the United States: Continue Reading