Consular Interview Waivers for Certain Nonimmigrant Visas Extended Through December 31, 2022

by Luke Phillips For certain nonimmigrant visa applicants with approved petitions, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) has extended authorization for consular officers  to waive interviews through December 31, 2022.  The extension of authorization applies to applicants for H-2, F, M, and academic J visas, and to applicants renewing any visa type within 48 months of expiration.  Additionally, the authorization has expanded to applicants for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visas.   The authorization only applies to

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Healthcare Workers Can Now Request Expedited Processing for EADs

by Luke Phillips U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced that healthcare workers with a pending Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”) renewal application (i.e., Form I-765), and whose EAD is expired or expires in 30 days or less, are now allowed to request expedited processing for their EAD applications. USCIS will require those requesting expedited processing to provide sufficient evidence of their employment as a healthcare worker. Sign up to receive Insight notifications via email  here. read more

DHS Extends I-9 In-Person Verification Flexibility Until April 30, 2022

by Luke Phillips On December 15, 2021, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibility policy regarding the in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to continued precautions associated with COVID-19.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend this policy until April 30, 2022. Please note, this flexibility policy only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely.  If there are employees physically present at a

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Presidential Proclamation Restricts Travelers from Countries in Southern Africa

by Luke Phillips With the COVID-19 Omicron variant emergent, President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of individuals who were physically present within South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, or Zimbabwe during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry into the U.S.   The travel suspension became effective on November 29, 2021. The Presidential Proclamation provides for certain exceptions.   For example, the travel suspension does not apply to U.S. citizens (“USCs”), lawful permanent U.S. residents

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OSHA Releases Emergency Technical Standard Requiring Employers to Mandate Vaccines or Testing for Employees

by Veronica Potter On November 5, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) released an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for employers. The ETS requires employers with 100 or more employees to either implement a mandatory vaccination policy, or to allow employees to choose between vaccination and weekly testing and wearing a face covering. OSHA has also released an FAQ, webinar, and read more

Starting Nov. 8, Fully-Vaccinated International Travelers Can Enter the U.S.

by Luke Phillips The White House has announced that beginning on November 8, 2021, all international travelers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 who have been blocked from entering the United States due to COVID-19 travel restrictions will no longer be barred from entry. International travelers flying to the U.S. will be required to prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days before boarding a U.S.-bound flight.  The requirement to provide a

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White House Rescinds Travel Bans in Favor of Proof of Vaccination

by Luke Phillips On September 20, 2021, the White House announced plans to rescind the current COVID-19 travel bans in favor of a requirement of proof of vaccination for all international travelers coming into the United States, beginning in early November.   We anticipate additional policy details and implementation information will be released in the coming weeks.   The below information has been provided by the Biden administration. The announcement indicates that travel bans in place for individuals from China,

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Emergency Rules for Mandatory Vaccines for School Personnel

by Christine Self The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) filed a Notice of Emergency Rule Making today, September 17, 2021, to address mandatory vaccinations for school personnel, as required by Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2021-22. The Emergency Rules state that school personnel are required to have the first dose of a two-dose vaccine or the single dose vaccine by September 19, 2021, or submit to weekly testing in lieu of vaccination if vaccination is medically contraindicated

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President Biden Announces New COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates

by Mollie Mohan, Kate Nash, Lisa Berns, and Christine Self On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced a sweeping new plan to increase the country’s COVID-19 vaccination rate. A summary of the plan, and its implications for Missouri and Illinois employers, is below. OSHA Rule Mandating Vaccines for Employers with Over 100 Employees President Biden announced that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will apply to employers with 100 or

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MORE Title IX Changes for Higher Education? New Guidance Regarding Use of “Statements” Not Subject to Cross-Examination in Hearing Determination

by Veronica Potter and Kate Nash Since the August 14, 2020 implementation date for the new Title IX regulations (the “Regulations”), institutions of higher education have worked to provide fair process to students while complying with some of the more difficult and onerous regulatory provisions. One of those provisions, found in 34 CFR 106.45(b)(6)(i), prohibits determinations that rely on “statements” not subjected to cross-examination during a live hearing. A recent court decision found this particular provision invalid.

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