Immigration Highlights

October 30, 2017

Immigration Law Alert

Author(s): Courtney H. New, Jason Gerrol

The U.S. immigration landscape continues to shift. Here are several updates from the last few weeks.

USCIS will no longer provide deference on non-immigrant extension adjudications

On October 23, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum that eliminates a previous policy that gave deference to prior determinations of eligibility in the adjudication of non-immigrant extension petitions. Effective immediately, every non-immigrant petition will be reviewed as if it is a new request for non-immigrant status and employers cannot assume that extensions will be granted even in cases where the underlying facts have not changed.

For more information, see USCIS policy memorandum.

In-person interviews now required for all employment-based green cards

USCIS will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain lawful permanent resident applicants in order to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system as directed in the Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Under the new policy, all individuals who filed an employment-based adjustment of status (I-485) application on or after March 6, 2017, will be required to attend an interview at their local USCIS office.

For more information, see USCIS announcement.

USCIS Fact Sheet released on Form I-9 completion for areas affected by hurricanes

If a new employee’s verification documents have been lost, stolen or damaged, he or she may present a receipt showing an application has been made for a replacement document. The receipt fulfills the verification requirements of the document and is valid for 90 days from the date of hire.

For more information, see USCIS press release.

USCIS releases I-9 instructional videos

As of September 18, 2017, all employers must use the updated Form I-9 with the revision date 07/17/17N. USCIS has released three videos to help employees complete Section 1 and employers complete Section 2 and 3.

For more information, see USCIS I-9 videos.

Corporate immigration policies

If you sponsor foreign workers for non-immigrant visas (H-1B, L-1A/B, E-3, etc.) and Lawful Permanent Resident status (i.e., green card) or have foreign employees traveling to the U.S. via the Visa Waiver Program or on B-1 visa, you should consider creating a Corporate Immigration Policy.

For more information, see our recent corporate immigration policy alert.

Temporary protected status for Sudan nationals ends November 2, 2018

As of November 2, 2018, the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Sudan nationals will terminate. Current Sudan beneficiaries who wish to maintain their TPS until November 2, 2018, must re-register between October 11, 2017, and December 11, 2017.

For more information, see the Department of Homeland Security notice.

U.S. suspends issuance of non-immigrant visas in Turkey

On October 8, 2017, a Twitter post announced that due to recent events in Turkey, the U.S. suspended the issuance of all non-immigrant visa services at all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey.

For more information, see the U.S. Embassy tweet.

Refugee admission numbers set for fiscal year 2018

Presidential determination on refugee admissions for fiscal year 2018 states that the admission of up to 45,000 refugees will be allowed.

For more information, see Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State.

Coinciding with this determination, the President announced increased screening and vetting procedures for refugee applicants.

For more information, see the Department of Homeland Security release.

New security screening measures for travelers flying to the U.S.

Starting October 26, 2017, passengers on international flights to the U.S., including U.S. Citizen travellers, will encounter stricter security, including heightened security checks and new screening interviews or questionnaires.

For more information, see this NPR news release.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.

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