Effective November 8, 2021, the Biden Administration will rescind the COVID-19 travel restrictions banning most travel from Europe, Brazil, India, China, Iran, and South Africa.  In its place, the Administration will impose new COVID-19 prevention protocols on all international air travelers, including those coming from countries not previously impacted by the COVID-19 travel bans.  On October 25, 2021, the White House provided specific operational details describing how the program will be implemented and who will — and will not — be impacted by the new rules. 
Continue Reading U.S. Announces Operational Details for Replacement of Travel Bans with Vaccine Mandate on November 8

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published details in the Federal Register about how it will implement the temporary “safe haven” program, also called Deferred Enforced Departure – (DED), for certain Hong Kong residents in the United States. The notice also provides instructions for employers regarding acceptable documentation to hire workers under this program.

Continue Reading U.S. Government Issues New Details of Safe Haven Program for Hong Kong Residents

On October 15, 2021, the Biden Administration confirmed that it will rescind the COVID-19 travel restrictions banning most travel from Europe, Brazil, India, China, Iran, and South Africa effective November 8, 2021.  In its place, the Administration will impose new COVID-19 prevention protocols on all international air travelers, including those coming from countries not previously impacted by the COVID-19 travel bans.

Continue Reading U.S. to Replace Travel Bans with Vaccine Mandates on November 8th

On October 8, 2021, President Biden officially set an annual ceiling of 125,000 for refugee admissions to the United States during Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. This number represents the maximum number of refugees that may be admitted to the United States through September 30, 2022. The President set the annual refugee ceiling after consulting with members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.

Continue Reading White House Raises the Cap on Refugee Admissions to 125,000

On October 8, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced which vaccines will be acceptable for travel to the U.S. once the Biden Administration lifts the COVID-19 travel bans.  This follows the Administration’s September 20th announcement that it will rescind the COVID-19 travel restrictions banning most travel from Europe, Brazil, India, China, Iran, and South Africa.  In its place, the Administration signaled it would replace the bans with a vaccine mandate for most foreign international air travelers, including those coming from countries not previously impacted by the COVID-19 travel bans.  The Administration, however, has not stated which vaccines would be accepted until now.

Continue Reading CDC Announces Vaccines Acceptable for U.S. Travel

Several news outlets, including Reuters, AP and NBC, are reporting that a condition of reopening travel to the United States may include vaccination against the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.  These reports come only ten days after the White House confirmed that the travel bans currently in place for travelers from 33 countries will remain

On April 26, 2021, the Secretary of State made a national interest determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for exceptions under Presidential Proclamations (PPs) 9984, 9992, and 10143 related to the spread of COVID-19. As a result of this determination, national interest exceptions (NIEs) from the regional COVID-19 travel bans in effect for Brazil, China, Iran, and South Africa now align with those already in place for the regional bans barring travel from Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Schengen Area.
Continue Reading National Interest Exceptions to COVID-19 Travel Bans from Brazil, China, Iran and South Africa Aligned to Standards in Place for Schengen, UK, and Ireland

US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual instructing officers to give deference to prior determinations when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts unless there was a material error, material change, or new material facts.  With this update, USCIS is reverting in substance to prior

March 31, 2021 marked the sunset on a presidential proclamation that suspended four visa categories of substantial importance to US employers: H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and certain J-1 visas.  In effect since June 24, 2020 and initially scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020, Presidential Proclamation 10052 was extended by former president Trump through March 31, 2021 and left to expire by President Biden.  President Biden’s approach to let the nonimmigrant visa ban run its course is different than his action to rescind Presidential Proclamation 10014, which suspended the issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants outside the United States.
Continue Reading H-1B and L-1 Visas, Among Others, Now Available With the Expiration of Presidential Proclamation 10052

Today, on “Immigration Day,” the Biden administration issued a series of executive orders relating to its major immigration policy priorities, including: (1) revising the “public charge rule,” (2) rebuilding faith in the legal immigration system, (3) implementing a humane migration and asylum system, and (4) creating a task force to reunite migrant children who were separated from their families under the Trump administration. In remarks made at the signing ceremony, President Biden stated that he is “not making new law” but unraveling prior administration policies. 
Continue Reading On “Immigration Day,” Biden Signs Orders to Reverse Prior Administration Policies