Significant New Automatic Extension Period for Certain EADs

by Luke Phillips On May 4, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published a Temporary Final Rule authorizing an increase of the automatic extension period applicable to expiring Employment Authorization Documents (“EADs”) for certain renewal applicants who have filed a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.   The automatic extension period will be raised from up to 180 days to up to 540 days from the expiration date displayed on the EADs of

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New Guidance on E and L Spouses”™ Employment Authorization

by Luke Phillips On March 18, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it is updating the guidance in its Policy Manual regarding what may be used as evidence of employment authorization for certain E and L nonimmigrant spouses. This updated guidance follows the November 2021 clarification from USCIS that it considers E and L spouses to be employment authorized incident to their valid E and L nonimmigrant status. Accordingly, USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have

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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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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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New Legislation Will Expand Availability of Premium Processing Services

After being passed by Congress and signed by the President in the wee hours of October 1, 2020, a new law will make USCIS’s Premium Processing service more widely available, potentially benefiting employers and individuals who have previously been subject to long and unpredictable processing times for USCIS benefits. Premium Processing services allow a petitioner to pay an additional fee and receive faster processing of the petition within a guaranteed timeframe. Under the new law, USCIS will make Premium Processing

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Illinois Schools: Illinois Open Meetings Act Temporary Guidance

Executive Order 2020-07, issued on March 16, 2020, suspended key elements of the OMA regarding board member attendance and participation at public meetings. Normally, the Open Meetings Act requires that a majority of a quorum be physically present at all meetings. Additionally, it places strict conditions on when a board member may participate in a meeting remotely. However, Executive Order 2020-07 has temporarily suspended both of these rules. Therefore, until April 8, 2020, all board members are permitted to participate

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