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Grace Shie is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office and a member of the Employment & Benefits group focusing on global mobility and immigration. She advises multinational companies on employee mobility and management of the work corps across the globe, including in major financial centers and emerging markets. Grace’s background includes five years in Hong Kong where she managed a top-ranked immigration practice covering Greater China and coordinated matters for clients in the Asia-Pacific region. Grace, who is fluent in Mandarin, continues to maintain a practice focus on inbound expatriate movement into China and Hong Kong, as part of Mayer Brown’s new global worksite initiative. In addition, she has a longstanding command of US immigration and manages global immigration matters across all worldwide regions.

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Effective April 1, 2021, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has again extended its remote I-9 verification policy that defers the physical presence requirements of the employment verification process.  Under a policy first introduced on March 20, 2020, the requirement that employers inspect employees’ Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility documentation in-person applies only

International travelers are continuing to face Covid-19 entry requirements, however, China has recently announced that it will simplify its visa applications for foreign nationals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, specifically Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the Chinese embassy located in the Philippines, they will be returning to pre-pandemic visa requirements for those fully vaccinated.

The UK Government unveiled its economic recovery plan in a policy proposal entitled, “Build Back Better: our plan for growth”, detailing specific courses of action and priorities essential to the rebuilding and uplifting of the British economy out from underneath Covid-19 and into the post-Brexit world.  In doing so, the proposal sets out a series

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (“MoM”) recently announced additional revisions to the dependent pass legal framework.  Starting May 1, 2021, dependent pass (“DP”) holders will no longer be able to rely on a Letter of Consent (“LOC”)  to seek work authorization, and will instead be required to obtain their own work passes.

Currently, dependents of Employment

The Canadian federal government has made a series of announcements regarding travel, quarantine, and testing requirements for travelers arriving by air and by land.  These new measures form part of the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of new, more contagious COVID-19 variants feared to be introduced by travelers from overseas.  As of the date of this writing, the requirements are as follows.  Changes are being announced on a regular and frequent basis without advance notice, so please check for the latest requirements before booking or commencing travel.

Continue Reading Canada Implements Pre-and Post-Arrival Testing and Quarantine Requirements

As anticipated and indicated in our “heat map” of immigration actions during the first 100 days in office, the Biden administration has withdrawn a rule proposed by the Trump administration that would have eliminated work authorization for the H-4 spouses of certain H-1B visa holders.  The decision to withdraw the rule will allow the H-4 dependent spouse of an H-1B nonimmigrant who:

  • Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  • Has been granted an extension of their H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (AC21)

to continue to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  Under AC21 § 106, an H-1B nonimmigrant can receive H-1B status beyond the six-year maximum, in one-year increments, if 365 days or more have passed since either an application for Alien Labor Certification (Form ETA 750A-B or ETA 9089) or a petition for immigrant worker (Form I-140) has been filed on the nonimmigrant’s behalf. 
Continue Reading H-4 Dependent Spouses Breathing a Little Easier

Canada.  Today the Canadian Government announced rules further restricting international travel. According to the government’s press release:

  • Flight suspension.  All flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries suspended until April 30, 2021, in effect as of Sunday, January 31, 2021.
  • Routing Through Four Canadian Airports.  Effective midnight (11:59 PM EST) February 3, 2021, in addition to proof of a negative pre-departure test, all international flights will land at only four airports: Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto Pearson, Calgary, and Vancouver.  The new restrictions will include scheduled commercial passenger flights arriving from the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, which were exempted from the previous restriction.
  • Testing and Hotel Stay Upon Arrival.  All arriving air travelers must reserve a room in a government-approved hotel for three nights at their own cost, and take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival at their own cost.  The timing for implementation of this requirement has not been made clear at the time of this writing.
  • Testing for Land-Crossing.  Travelers crossing by land will be required to test negative 72-hours prior to arrival, with limited exceptions such as commercial truckers.


Continue Reading Travel Bans by Canada and the United Kingdom Broadened, In Ongoing Virus Containment Efforts

Nearly half of the executive orders signed by President Biden on his first day in office reverse the immigration policies of the Trump administration.  The Biden administration’s actions included reversing the ban on visa issuance and travel from Muslim-majority countries, placing an immediate pause on funding construction of a wall along the country’s southern border, and requiring testing negative for COVID-19 to enter the United States.  The new administration’s swift action underscores the priority placed on immigration policy, as forecasted here.  We outline each executive order signed, with plans to further address the executive actions most critical to employers and businesses.  
Continue Reading President Biden’s First Executive Orders Focus on Reversing Trump Administration Policies

On his first day in office, President Biden is taking a series of actions to realize his vision for US immigration policy.  Fulfilling one of his major campaign promises, President Biden has introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill, “The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021” (the “Act”).  The Act seeks to establish “a new system to responsibly manage and secure our border, keep our families and communities safe, and better manage migration across the Hemisphere.”  We provide a summary of the bill’s proposals here.
Continue Reading President Biden’s Day One Immigration Priorities

As reported in our prior alert, the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its final rule Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.  Published today in the Federal Register, the Final Rule is effective March 15, 2021.  The rule increases wages employers are required to pay H-1B workers by the percentiles we previously reported for the four wage levels utilized by the DOL—35th percentile for Level 1, followed by 53rd, 72nd and 90th percentiles. 
Continue Reading Trump Administration Publishes H-1B DOL Wage Rule