The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept premium processing requests on a rolling basis for certain immigrant petitions (Form I-140) for multinational executives/managers and for members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver. Immigrant petitions (Form I-140) are filed by employers sponsoring employees and individuals for US permanent residency (the US green card).  This is the first implementation phase of the previously announced premium processing expansion.

Employers will be able to request premium processing (expedited adjudication based on a government filing fee) in a staggered approach for the newly-included categories, but note that this benefit applies only to cases filed on or before a specific date in 2021.

Premium Processing May Be Requested Beginning On: Case Type Filed On or Before
June 1, 2022 EB-1C Multinational Managers/Executives January 1, 2021
July 1, 2022 EB-1C Multinational Managers/Executives March 1, 2021
July 1, 2022 EB-2 National Interest Waivers June 1, 2021


Continue Reading Long Awaited Expansion of Expedited Processing: EB-1 and EB-2 Employment Cases

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new rule which permits certain noncitizen applicants to continue working without disruption while their requests for employment authorization are pending adjudication. Qualified individuals must have a pending Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and meet other criteria (timely filed, same employment category, received a Form I-797C notice) to continue working for up to 540 days from the expiration date stated on their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs or Forms I-766).

Continue Reading DHS Extends Work Permits for Approximately 18 Months, Immediately Affecting 87,000 Applicants

The conflict in Ukraine has caused civilian casualties and destruction of infrastructure. Since the Ukraine-Russia military crisis escalated two months ago, over 5.2 million Ukrainians have left their homeland as they seek safety and protection in neighboring countries and abroad.

With no visible end in sight to the military operation, the United States government has announced a new, first-of-its-kind humanitarian parole program called “Uniting for Ukraine (U4U).”

Continue Reading Landmark US Humanitarian Parole Program: “Uniting For Ukraine”

Over the past two months, approximately 5 million Ukrainians have departed their homeland due to the escalating military conflict with Russia. Poland has received the majority of these individuals—taking in more than 2.8 million people according to the latest estimate from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Provisions to Welcome Ukrainians
To support the country’s humanitarian response, the Polish government adopted a series of amendments to the country’s immigration laws, including changes directly related to the influx of Ukrainians. The changes are expected to provide increased flexibility for Ukrainian nationals in terms of residence permits, work authorization and access to public benefits. In addition, the Polish government set up a dedicated website for Ukrainian citizens that provides detailed help on a range of issues—from how to obtain a national identification number (known as a PESEL), access support services such as legal aid and medical care, and obtain a three-year temporary residence permit to how to navigate traffic rules, participate in cultural activities, and change the language of the keyboard on a smartphone.

Continue Reading Poland Expands Support for Ukrainians

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced several new measures including expanding premium processing to additional form types, providing relief to individuals waiting for work permits and setting agency-wide backlog reduction goals. USCIS, a fee-based organization, faced an unprecedented budgetary shortfall and backlog of cases to be processed in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and resource constraints. According to data published by the agency, there are approximately 9 million forms pending adjudication.

Expanding Premium Processing

As part of the these efforts, USCIS published a final rule that expands premium processing (expedited adjudication for a fee). The final rule is expected to take effect at the end of May 2022, and USCIS will begin implementation – through a phased approach – as soon thereafter as feasible.

Continue Reading US Immigration Agency Announces Measures to Expedite Services and Decrease Pending Caseload

Ukraine At A Glance Since 02/24/2022

3.8 Million – Number of People Fleeing Ukraine

6.5 Million – Number of People Displaced Internally in Ukraine

On March 24, 2022, the White House announced a new set of initiatives designed to address the humanitarian and economic impacts of the Ukraine-Russia crisis. According to a White House statement, the U.S. government will expand its refugee resettlement capabilities and other immigration pathways in order to facilitate the entry of up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing the conflict. The U.S. government will also provide more than $1 billion in new funding toward humanitarian assistance for those affected by the crisis, with a focus on securing food, water, shelter, medical supplies, and other vital forms of assistance. In addition, the White House announced that $320 million would be allocated toward democracy and human rights funding for Ukraine and neighboring countries.

Continue Reading Ukraine: White House Announces New Humanitarian Measures

Federal law requires that employers attest to verifying each employee’s identity and authorization to legally work in the United States. By regulation, employees must present original, unexpired documents from the U.S. government’s published lists of acceptable documentation, which are classified as List A (Documents that Establish Both Identity and Employment Authorization), List B (Documents that Establish Identity) and List C (Documents that Establish Employment Authorization).

Continue Reading Change to Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification: List B (Documents that Establish Identity)

In the past three weeks (since February 24, 2022), approximately 3.5 million people have left Ukraine due to the Ukraine / Russia crisis, and many experts believe that number will continue to climb.  Among the issues employers need to address is support for employees trying to leave the country as well as resources for those that remain.  Mayer Brown’s Ukraine Crisis: Movement Options for People Departing Ukraine is an interactive resource for up-to-date information on the international community’s response to the movement of people from Ukraine.

Continue Reading Ukraine Crisis: Movement Options for People Departing Ukraine

Note:  Originally published on March 3, 2022, on Mayer Brown’s dedicated Ukraine Crisis Spotlight site.

The European Union (EU) passed a “Temporary Protection Directive” for Ukrainians and others fleeing the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. The directive will provide immediate, temporary protection to these individuals. The provision is intended to be used in exceptional circumstances when the member states’ asylum systems would be overwhelmed by a mass influx of refugees.

Continue Reading EU Welcomes Ukrainians Fleeing the Conflict

Note:  Originally published on March 4, 2022.  The number of people departing Ukraine has been updated from over 1.2 million to over 2 million.

Over two million people have departed Ukraine for neighboring European countries since the Russia-Ukraine military conflict escalated on February 24, 2022, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data portal. A spokesperson for the UNHCR reported that as many as 4 million Ukrainians—nearly 10 percent of the country’s population—are expected to flee to other countries if the fighting continues.

Continue Reading Ukraine: Two Weeks Into the War with Russia, Over Two Million Displaced