COVID-19 Implications on Immigration Agency Interviews

If you are applying for certain immigration benefits, for example U.S. citizenship or a marriage-based green card, the last step of your immigration journey is an interview with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Officer held at a local USCIS field office. There are certain procedural requirements to be met, including regarding the interview environment, your right to privacy, and your right to counsel, which have recently been changed given the COVID pandemic to ensure the safety of the officers, the applicants, and the general public. These changes bring up some strategic considerations for your preparation or legal representation at interview.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Teodora Purcell, please visit the Duane Morris Immigration Law Blog.

State Department Tightens COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for Schengen Area, UK and Ireland

On March 2, 2021, the Department of State rescinded the previous national interest determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for exceptions under Presidential Proclamation 10143 as related to the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Ireland. The previous national interest determination covered certain technical experts and specialists, senior-level managers and executives, treaty-traders and investors, professional athletes and their dependents.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

State Department Confirms Certain Exemptions on European Travel Ban

Following steps taken last year to limit travel from Europe to the United States, the Department of State confirmed on February 10, 2021, that certain travelers from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom and Ireland can continue to qualify for national interest exceptions under the existing presidential proclamations restricting travel from these places.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

President Biden Extends COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Set to Expire Under Previous Administration

On January 25, 2021, President Biden issued a presidential proclamation to maintain COVID-19 travel restrictions and entry limitations for certain individuals who are not United States citizens and who were physically present within the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Brazil during the 14-day period prior to their attempted entry to the United States.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

CDC Requires Proof of Recovery or Negative COVID-19 Test for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States

Based on the increased transmissibility and spread of new strains of the virus that causes COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new rule requiring that all air passengers arriving to the United States from a foreign country provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation that the passenger has recovered from COVID-19.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

USCIS Issues Guidance on I-765 Employment Authorization Approval Notices for I-9 Verification amid COVID-19 Delays

Due to the extraordinary and unprecedented COVID-19 public health emergency, the production of certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) has been delayed. USCIS issued new guidance on August 19, 2020, authorizing employees to use Form I-797, Notice of Action, with a notice date on or after December 1, 2019, through and including August 20, 2020, stating the approval of an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) as a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List C #7 document.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the Duane Morris website.

Considerations for Posting PERM Notice for Remote Workers After COVID-19

Rapid changes in remote work requirements and availability are playing havoc with the PERM process for employers (the process under which employers must conduct a test of the U.S. labor market as part of the green card process for their foreign national employees). Due to rising unemployment and availability of U.S. workers, increased audits and scrutiny  by the DOL are expected in the short and long term, making it imperative that employers have all of their I’s dotted and T’s crossed when completing the PERM steps.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Susanne Heubel, please visit the Duane Morris Immigration Law Blog.