On April 30, 2021, President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation imposing a COVID-19 public health travel ban on foreign nationals with recent physical presence in India. This same type of travel ban is also already in effect for other countries experiencing high levels of COVID-19 infections, including Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, countries in the European Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Starting on May 4, 2021, foreign nationals who have been physically present in India within 14 days of anticipated travel to the United States will be barred from entry, unless they qualify for an exception, including but not limited to categories such as the following:
- Certain family members (spouse, minor child, parent of a minor U.S. citizen child, etc.) of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents;
- Certain Students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs whom the U.S. Dept. of State may deem as qualifying for a National Interest Exemption; and
- Individuals invited by the federal government to help mitigate the COVID-19 virus.
In addition, the U.S. State Department may issue additional guidance regarding the National Interest Exceptions as conditions evolve. As with the other travel restrictions, the India travel limitations will remain in place until terminated by the President. Due to the current uncertainties associated with international travel and the impact of COVID-19, we generally recommend against traveling abroad, if such travel can be avoided. If you wish to review the announcement of the Proclamation, please click here. You can also review the corresponding announcement by the State Department here.
Immigration ““ The Firm represents businesses, institutions of higher learning, and individuals with respect to immigration-related matters, including obtaining visitor visas, temporary and permanent work visas, consular processing of visas, obtaining citizenship, advising employers on employment sanctions issues, and defending employers faced with INS I-9 audits and investigations.
Kristine Nazir represents corporations and institutions of higher education with their immigration needs, including obtaining temporary and permanent visas, handling employer sanctions issues, I-9 and E-Verify employment eligibility verification compliance, consular processing, and naturalization. Prior to joining the firm, Kristine clerked for the Honorable Jeffrey M. Geller at the Baltimore City Circuit Court and for the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review at the Arlington Immigration Court. During law school, Kristine interned with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor and National Security Law Section; the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; and Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy LLP. Before attending law school, Kristine also served in Peace Corps Mongolia as a community economic development volunteer.
Diane Metzger practices in the areas of immigration law and employment law. From large multi-national employers to small employers who have no prior experience with our nations”™ complex immigration laws, Ms. Metzger represents and provides counsel to clients with a wide range of business immigration needs, including but not limited to obtaining non-immigrant visas (e.g. H-1B, L-1, TN, E, O); applying for permanent residency (e.g., PERM, Schedule A, EB-1); navigating the naturalization process; consular processing and other applications made directly with the U.S. Department of State; out-bound immigration matters when U.S. employees are transferred abroad; and family-based immigration through U.S. citizen relatives.
Ms. Metzger also assists corporate clients with preventive advice and counsel, including advice on immigration-related corporate reorganization issues and corporate compliance & due-diligence matters including, I-9s, E-Verify, and immigration-related audits. Ms. Metzger regularly provides training to her clients.
Melanie Gurley Keeney practices in the areas of employment, immigration and education law. Melanie has been included in Best Lawyers in America ® for 25 years, and has been recognized in all areas of her practice. She also has been named to Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers ® lists for over 10 years, and has been rated one of the top 50 female lawyers in Missouri and Kansas. She was named a “Top Missouri Lawyer” by St. Louis Magazine and Kansas City Magazine for Immigration Law. Melanie has been distinguished as Best Lawyers ® St. Louis Immigration Law Lawyer of the Year in 2019, 2015, and 2012, and St. Louis Education Law Lawyer of the year in 2017. In 2016, Missouri Lawyers Weekly presented Melanie with the Women’s Justice Litigation Practitioner Award and in 2014, Washington University School of Law honored Melanie with the International Women’s Day Award for Employment Law. She has served as an adjunct professor at Washington University and is a frequent presenter on legal topics. Melanie is a founding Shareholder of the Firm and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Firm.