In the ten days since we reported on presidential Proclamation 10052, certain questions we and other immigration attorneys had about the proclamation have been clarified. The proclamation established a ban on admission to the United States for people in the H, L, and J nonimmigrant visa categories for the rest of calendar year 2020.
COVID-19: Updates on Operational Changes at US Immigration Agencies
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, US immigration agencies have continued offering minor, but welcome, accommodations to individuals affected by COVID-19 who rely on immigration programs. While there are no groundbreaking changes, here is a roundup of the most notable changes in the last two months.
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COVID-19 UPDATE: Visa Waiver Travelers Now Have Another Option if They Cannot Leave on Time
On March 30, 2020, we wrote about “satisfactory departure” in COVID-19: How Does the Outbreak Affect Visa Waiver (ESTA) Travelers? As we explained, visitors to the US who arrive under the Visa Waiver program who cannot depart within 90 days due to the pandemic may request a 30-day “satisfactory departure” period from US Customs &…
COVID-19: How Does the Outbreak Affect Visa Waiver (ESTA) Travelers?
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted travel across the globe. Many US travelers who entered under the Visa Waiver Program (commonly called “ESTA,” the acronym for the online pre‑authorization system) now find themselves on the horns of a dilemma: leave at the end of their 90-day authorized stay and thus endanger their own health and potentially that of others, or overstay due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
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COVID-19: US Immigration Agencies Announce Operational Changes
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, US authorities are announcing a number of significant changes that impact everyone who relies on immigration programs to operate businesses or to live and work in the United States. Companies and their sponsored employees should be aware of the following changes announced within the past week:
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Travel Ban Expanded to Include Nigeria, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan
On January 31, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation amending Presidential Proclamation 9723, commonly called the “Travel Ban.” This new proclamation imposes travel restrictions on certain nationals of countries the administration has determined to have inadequate identity-management practices, national security and public safety information practices, and otherwise pose a national security or public-safety risk.
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New Format for I-94 Numbers
Starting in May 2019, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will issue I-94 numbers with letters in addition to numbers. The new format will include nine numbers, followed by one letter and one number. Current I-94 numbers also have eleven characters, but only numbers. Examples of new I-94 numbers include: 111111111A1; 000000001B2; 123456789C3. I-94s in…
Our 2019 Forecast in Business Immigration Law, Part 2
Foreign Students Will Face New Threats
DHS’s Fall 2017 regulatory agenda proposed “comprehensive reform” to practical training programs, which allow foreign students to obtain paid work after graduation – a pathway that often leads to H-1B and green card sponsorship by a U.S. employer. Although no final rule has yet been published, ICE is still…
How Will the Government Shutdown Impact Immigration? It Depends on the Federal Agency and Program Involved
As negotiations in Congress continue towards resolving the shutdown of the federal government, individuals and companies that interact with the various federal agencies that administer immigration programs are naturally wondering how they might be affected. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) typically provides clear information about the impact of a government shutdown on its operations. For other agencies, we can only look to prior shutdowns in 2011 and 2013 to understand what to expect.
As a general matter, only “essential” employees will continue to work until funding is restored. The following is what we anticipate with respect to the various agencies Hunton & Williams deals with on behalf of our clients:…
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