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 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will reopen the U.S. land borders with Mexico and Canada for non-essential travel for vaccinated travelers.  Non-essential travel includes tourism and family visits.  Land and ferry crossings from Canada and Mexico have been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020.    DHS indicated that this policy change will align land border crossings with the new international air travel COVID-19 prevention protocols to be implemented in November 2021. Accordingly, it does not appear as if U.S. citizens will be required to be vaccinated to enter the U.S. from Canada or Mexico.  Similar to the the new rules for international air travel, DHS has not announced a specific day in November that the land borders with Canada and Mexico would be reopened for non-essential travel.

Continue Reading US to Reopen Border with Mexico and Canada

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

Federal law requires that employers must properly complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for each worker hired to perform labor or services in the United States. The form documents that the employer took steps to verify the identity and employment authorization of the worker. Normally, the employer must physically examine each document submitted by the employee to determine whether it reasonably appears to be genuine and related to the person presenting it.

Due to safety precautions implemented to protect communities from the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued guidance in March 2020 that employers may temporarily postpone the in-person verification requirement with a remote inspection (e.g., video, fax, email). The announcement included instructions for annotating the Form I-9 when using the flexibility rules. Recently, DHS extended this policy through December 31, 2021
Continue Reading DHS Extends Flexibilities of Form I-9 Employment Requirements

Under the immigration laws of the United States, an individual who applies for an immigrant visa abroad, or who seeks permanent residency while in the United States, must undergo a medical examination to establish that they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible on health-related grounds.

Effective October 1, 2021, in addition to the current list of mandatory inoculations, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mandates that applicants must also demonstrate completion of a COVID-19 vaccination series (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine) to the panel physician or civil surgeon performing the medical evaluation. According to the CDC, the following constitute acceptable proof of vaccination: (1) an official vaccination record, or (2) a copy of a medical chart with entries made by a physician or other appropriate medical personnel. Absent this documentation, the panel physician or civil surgeon may agree to administer the vaccine to the applicant to meet this requirement.


Continue Reading New COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Immigrants

On May 26, 2021, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an extension of its remote I-9 verification policy that provides flexibility for employers conducting remote reviews of I-9 supporting documentation.  This extension applies to employees hired on or after June 1, 2021, and remains in effect until