On March 6, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an updated Travel Ban Executive Order suspending travel for 90 days to the US for nationals of six predominantly Muslim countries, as well as a 120 day suspension of the US’s Refugee Program, effective March 16, 2017.
Some exceptions to the Travel Ban now include: US Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) or Green Card Holders; dual citizens of a designated country and a non-designated country traveling on a passport from a non-designated country; those with documents valid on March 16, 2017, or any date thereafter permitting travel to the US; and others (see below). more »
The Trump Administration issued an Executive Order on January 27, 2017, which, among other things, imposed a 90 day travel ban for nationals from 7 designated majority-Muslim countries.
The Travel Ban has suspended immigrant or nonimmigrant entry of individuals “from” one of 7 Muslim-majority countries. Designated countries now include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya.
In addition, the Administration indefinitely suspended visa issuance to individuals “from” one of the designated countries. The Order has also suspended admission of refugees to the US for 120 days. The Trump Administration has reserved the right to add to or subtract from the list of designated countries at any time.
Travelers arriving at US land border ports of entry can speed up US entry with an online I-94 application. The online I-94 application process involves providing biographic and travel information and paying a $6 fee up to seven days prior to entry. more »
Nonimmigrant visa wait times to obtain interview appointments at US Consular Posts in India have become extraordinarily long–some more then 90 days, according to AILA. Given this situation and the likelihood that it will continue indefinitely, nonimmigrant visa applicants in India may wish to consider visa processing in a third country. more »
Effective May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting applications for H-4 employment authorization (EAD) from certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers who are currently seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the US. more »
On January 13, 2015, a bipartisan group of Senators re-introduced the Immigration Innovation Act of 2015 (S.153), also known as the I-Squared Act (I-2 Act). Among other things, the I-Squared Act would increase the annual H-1b cap, provide for work authorization for H-4 spouses, allow for increased portability among employers and establish a number of provisions to allow green cards to be issued much more quickly. more »
President Obama announced to the nation US Immigration Executive Action on November 20, 2014. Prior to that time, the President requested US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to undertake a rigorous and inclusive review to inform recommendations on reforming the US immigration system through executive action.
On May 6, 2014, DHS announced proposals for H4 spouse work authorization (work authorization for H4 spouses of certain H1B holders), among other things, in an attempt to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants in the US. Specifically, on May 12, 2014, the DHS published two proposed rules: (1) to extend employment authorization to H4 spouses of certain H1B workers; and, (2) to enhance opportunities for highly-skilled workers by removing obstacles to their remaining in the US. more »
USCIS received approximately 172,500 petitions subject to the annual H1B cap during the FY2015 filing period, which began April 1, 2014, including petitions filed under the advanced degree H1B cap exemption. This means that nearly 85,000 H1B candidates will not receive an H1B for the coming fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014 (FY2015). It also means that if Congress does not act, H1B candidates who did not receive an H1B number for the coming fiscal year must wait until the beginning of the following fiscal year (FY2016, which begins October 1, 2015) to try once again for an H1B. more »
USCIS announced today (April 7, 2014) that they have received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory H-1B cap for fiscal year 2015 (FY2015). USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the US advanced degree H-1B exemption. Unless Congress acts, no new cap-subject H-1B numbers will be available until October 1, 2015 (the first filing date for an October 1, 2015, employment start date is April 1, 2015). more »