Month: April 2021

by Adrianna Romero Adrianna Romero No Comments

Ban on Travel From India will Take Effect on May 4, 2021

The Biden admiration has restricted entry into the U.S. for those traveling from India. The new travel ban is set to take effect Tuesday, May 4th. India has recently seen an extreme spike in positive COVID-19 cases and the government is struggling to contain the spread of the virus and its variants. The new travel ban will look a lot like previous bans imposed early last year:

  • U.S citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) will be granted entry
  • Anyone arriving in the US will be subject to COVID-19 testing
  • Anyone that has not been vaccinated may be subject to a quarantine period of 14 days upon arrival
  • Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or LPR and has been in India in the 14 days prior to arrival, will not be granted entry
  • There will be narrow exceptions for essential travel

If you are in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and you have to travel to India, schedule an appointment with our team to determine your eligibility for a travel exception.

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

The UK Imposes Additional COVID-Related Travel Restrictions; Adds India to its Travel Ban List

Starting on April 23, 2021, the UK is imposing a travel ban on travelers arriving in the UK who have been in India within the past 10 days. There is an exemption for UK citizens and those who are UK residents, but they will still be required to pay for a mandatory 10-day stay in a designated quarantine hotel. India joins the following countries on the UK’s “Travel Ban List”: Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Guyana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, the Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, the UAE, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

Amid Growing COVID Concerns, Countries Restrict Travel from India

As of April 23, 2021, many countries have imposed COVID-related travel bans and restrictions on travelers who have been physically present in India. Canada has issued a 30-day ban on direct flights to Canada from India. The U.K. has banned travel to the U.K. for anyone (except UK citizens and those with UK residence) who have been physically present in India for the past 10 days. Australia is limiting direct flights from India to Australia. Many other countries such as the UAE, Japan, Singapore, Pakistan, and Oman have also imposed additional travel restrictions on travelers from India. While the U.S. has not yet imposed a travel ban or additional travel restrictions on travelers coming from India to the U.S., the CDC has placed India in the highest COVID risk category (Level 4) and is advising against travel to India. The CDC warns that even those who have been fully vaccinated risk contradicting COVID variants and spreading them while in India.

by Caroline Lee Caroline Lee No Comments

May Visa Bulletin is Out; Significant Forward Movement for China and India in Employment Context

The U.S. Department of State has published the May visa bulletin, and there are significant advances for several categories. USCIS has stated that Final Action Dates must be used for all employment-based preference categories. In the family context, F2A applicants may file using Final Action Dates. All other family-sponsored preference categories must use Dates for Filing.

The May visa bulletin shows great forward momentum in multiple areas in the employment-based permanent residence context. EB-1 remains current for all countries of chargeability. In EB-2, the cutoff date for India advances to August 1, 2010, while EB-2 China moves ahead to December 1, 2016. EB-2 remains current for all other countries of chargeability. EB-3 India moves up to February 1, 2011 and EB-3 China’s cutoff date advances to May 15, 2018. EB-3 remains current for all other countries of chargeability.

Wondering if your priority date is current, or just starting the permanent residence process? Contact CYA today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys!

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

The Biden Administration is Appointing New DHS Leadership

The Biden Administration has announced that it will appoint new DHS leadership including: (1) Ur Jaddou, USCIS Director; (2) Jon Meyer, DHS General Counsel; (3) Chris Magnus, CBP Commissioner; (4) Rob Silvers, DHS Under Secretary for Policy; (4) John Tien, DHS Deputy Secretary; and (5) Jen Easterly, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director. Click here for more information.

by CYA CYA No Comments

The Expiration of Presidential Proclamation 10052

Since June 22, 2020, many categories of nonimmigrants have been prevented from seeking entry to the United States due to Presidential Proclamation 10052. Enacted by former President Trump, the proclamation drastically reduced visa issuance and entry for nonimmigrants around the world. The ban was set to end on December 31, 2020, but was subsequently extended through March 31, 2021, citing the false premise that these nonimmigrants threatened our country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of today, April 1, 2021, the ban has officially expired, and the Department of State (DOS) has confirmed that the ban is no longer in effect.  The DOS has issued guidance regarding the phased resumption of visa services, but ultimately concludes that consular services will operate on a “post-by-post” basis. Accordingly, visa applicants should not assume that the expiration of the visa ban will result in immediate resumption of routine nonimmigrant visa processing.

COVID-related travel restrictions and travel bans are still in effect and are changing daily. We are still advising all of our clients to pay careful attention to these changes and know the risks associated with international travel at this time.

by Caroline Lee Caroline Lee No Comments

ICE Extends I-9 Compliance Flexibility Due to COVID-19

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will extend the flexibilities pertaining to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) compliance that were announced in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This extension includes guidance for employees hired on or after April 1, 2021 and who are working exclusively in a remote setting as a result of COVID-19 policies and precautions. Such employees are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with Form I-9 until the earlier of the following: the employees undertake non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated. The I-9 compliance flexibility policy is being extended until May 31, 2021.

DHS had previously announced that it would exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Form I-9 under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as a result of precautions implemented by employers and employees associated with COVID-19. This policy, however, only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. If there are employees physically present at a work location, there are no exceptions at this time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9.