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Greg Berk is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Practice Group and Leader of the Immigration Practice.

On July 6, 2021 the U.S. State Department publicly announced that the travel ban waivers related to the world-wide pandemic will now be good for 1 year and multiple entry.  The effective date of this new decision is June 29, 2021.  Previously they were only good for 30 days and a single entry.  In addition, those that have received a waiver in the past may now use it for 12 months if it was granted after June 29, 2020.  See: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/extension-validity-for-nies-for-china-iran-brazil-south-africa-schengen-uk-ireland-india.html

Continue Reading NIE’s Now Good for 1 Year, More on Navigating the Travel Ban Jungle: National Interest Exception Checklist for the U.S. COVID Travel Bans

The travel bans imposed by the U.S. Government during the COVID-19 national pandemic created enormous logistical challenges for anyone seeking to fly to the U.S. from a country on the travel ban list.  Even today, there is still a great deal of confusion regarding who is subject to the travel ban, what are the exceptions, and how to go about applying for a National Interest Exception (NIE) waiver.  The checklist below is intended to help simplify an albeit complicated process.  Of course, most U.S. Consulates are still operating at limited capacities so significant delays for waivers and visa stamping is still the norm.


Continue Reading Navigating the Travel Ban Jungle: National Interest Exception Checklist for the U.S. COVID Travel Bans

Given the pandemic and all that has come along with it, telecommuting has become the new norm.  Employers are increasingly faced with difficult legal issues pertaining to not only the out-of-state telecommuter, but also the foreign national who “telecommutes” from overseas due to travel and visa restrictions.  U.S. employers may still want to utilize the foreign national’s services, but there are various issues to consider before doing so.
Continue Reading Employment, Tax, and Visa Issues Associated With the Overseas Telecommuter

Hiring employees does not usually call to mind international trade compliance obligations. However, together U.S. export controls and anti-discrimination laws create a web that is overlooked or misunderstood by many types of employers of all sizes across many industries. Anti-discrimination laws prohibit unlawful citizenship status restrictions when hiring, and U.S. export controls prohibit disclosing controlled information to foreign nationals without authorization. Together, these law limit acceptable job descriptions and hiring practices.
Continue Reading Export Control HR Pitfalls To Avoid When Hiring

Court Decision

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decision in 2017 to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) because it was implemented without the required Notice and Comment and without publication of a final rule that articulates the reasonable basis for the agency’s actions.  As such, the Court ruled that DHS’s action was arbitrary and capricious.
Continue Reading What Does the Supreme Court DACA Decision Mean for DACA Employers and Employees?

Presidential Proclamation

On June 22, 2020, the White House announced an extension and expansion of Proclamation 10014, which was originally announced on April 22, 2020 and restricted the issuance of and entry on immigrant visas.  The new visa ban expands the restrictions to certain non-immigrant categories.
Continue Reading How the New Presidential Proclamation Regarding Non-Immigrant Visas Affects Your Company

Temporary I-9 Procedure for New Hires and Reverifications that Cannot Report to the Worksite

On March 20, 2020, DHS announced temporary COIVD-19 flexibility for employers to complete an I-9 for new hires or reverifications using video, e-mail, or fax review of their work authorization documents.  Then when normal operations resume, the company must verify the individual and their original documents in person within 3 business days.  Alternatively, an employer can still designate an authorized individual unrelated to the company to physically review the documents and complete Section 2 on their behalf.


Continue Reading DHS Announces I-9 and E-Verify Relief for Employers Due to COVID-19

With the growing concern about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19” or “coronavirus”) some foreign nationals who live outside the U.S. have decided to fly to the U.S. and wait out the crisis.  This article discusses the related visa and immigration issues, and what U.S. Customs and Border Protection requires to admit someone into the U.S.

Coronavirus

Continue Reading Coming to America…to Wait Out the Coronavirus — Visa & Immigration Considerations

DHS recently issued a new I-9 form. This new version is mandated starting May 1. The old form expired last year and DHS had temporarily extended its validity. The new form is essentially the same as the older version. DHS made minor technical updates to the instructions. All of the pre-existing I-9 rules and regulations remain intact. The new I-9 form can be found at:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-9
Continue Reading DHS Issues New I-9 Form — Required by May 1 for New Hires and Reverifications

Lately, ICE has been more active in making arrests of undocumented individuals. Statistically however, the number of arrests are very small and the “bark” is much bigger than the “bite.” Nonetheless, it is helpful for employers and other stakeholders to know what the required protocols and duties are if ICE shows up, employee rights, and bystander rights. Below is a quick checklist to help you along with important guidance.

Major Points

  • Immigration is a civil matter, not criminal. The majority of ICE warrants are administrative civil warrants.
  • ICE priorities are arresting those with criminal convictions and those who have been previously ordered removed (absconders). ICE may pursue these activities in public areas.
  • Anybody arrested by ICE has the right to counsel.
  • ICE agents are federal employees that are working as directed. Nonetheless, it is the policy of most employers that ICE activities focusing on the personal immigration issues of an individual shall not take place on company property.
  • If an ICE agent does attempt to arrest someone on company property, do not interfere as that will complicate matters. However, please contact your manager and they will coordinate with HR and Legal.
    Continue Reading ICE May Visit Your Company or University Campus – a Quick Checklist and Guidance

Government shutdowns seem to be the norm these days. Whether they last 6 days or 60 days, the impact on E-Verify and visas is the same.

Since the partial government shutdown began on Dec. 22, 2018, while lawmakers discuss immigration reform for the future, several key functions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are now being affected in ways that touch many individuals and employers.


Continue Reading When the Government Shuts Down: The Impact on E-Verify, I-9’s, and Visas