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

With the regular changes to the UK Right to Work (“RTW”) checks over the last year or so, employers may be forgiven for having lost track of what the latest requirements are.

As mentioned in our last blog on RTW checks (You’re Joking – Not Another One! Further Changes to the Right to Work

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

Effective March 18, 2022, the Australian government implemented a set of changes that have opened a new pathway to permanent residency for skilled workers who have been living and working in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Australian government will allow Subclass 482 visa holders in the short-term stream to access permanent residency through the Subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) visa. Certain foreign nationals who previously held 457 visas but now hold 482 visas will also be eligible for permanent residency.

Continue Reading Australia Creates New Pathway to Permanent Residence for Some Skilled Workers

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK Government has published details of how it is assisting Ukrainian nationals who find themselves in challenging UK immigration scenarios.

We set out below a summary of the current guidance which we will look to update on a regular basis.  The full guidance can be found here:

Support for

The UK Government has announced the immediate closure of the Investor UK immigration route to new applicants.

This was the route that allowed individuals who had GBP£2 million available to invest in active and trading UK companies to come to the UK to live, work and / or study.  This route was particularly attractive to high net worth individuals as it was the only immigration route which allowed individuals to live in the UK on a self-sufficient basis.  In addition, it enabled them to bring their dependent family members to the UK, who were also permitted to live, work and / or study in the UK.  Furthermore, it was a route which led to indefinite leave to remain in the UK (also known as permanent residence or settlement) which, depending on the amount that the individual invested in the UK, could be achieved after spending five, three or two years in the UK under this category.

Continue Reading Closure of the UK Investor Category

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated the website information for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status in January 2022 to include information related to green card availability and a process referred to as a “transfer of underlying basis.”

Each year, approximately 140,000 US employment-based immigrant visas (green cards) are made