President Announces the Drafting of an Order to Temporarily Suspend Legal Permanent Immigration to the United States in Reaction to COVID-19 Pandemic

President Trump announced at an April 21 press conference that he would sign an executive order temporarily suspending certain individuals seeking permanent resident (green card) status in the United States. The president is expected to sign the suspension order this week, and its scope appears to be limited only to green card applicants at this time.

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

COVID19 Planning – Ramping Up vs. Flipping a Switch: Getting Back to Business as Usual?

Duane Morris will host a webinar, “COVID19 Planning – Ramping Up vs. Flipping a Switch: Getting Back to Business as Usual?,” to be held on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. Duane Morris attorneys Meagan E. Garland, Teodora D. Purcell and Brooke B. Tabshouri will be the speakers. For more information and a link to register, please visit the firm website.

Webinar: H-1B and Nonimmigration Visas: Lay-offs, Grace Periods and Changes in Employment Due to COVID-19

This webinar, featuring Duane Morris partners Valentine Brown, Lisa Spiegel and  Ted Chiappari, will be held on April 14, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time.

This webinar will address various immigration issues organizations need to be aware of including:

• H-1B Work and Compensation Rules
• USCIS Updates to Processing
• Travel restrictions and available exceptions
• Immigration Strategy and Long term planning
• What if the US Postal Service suspends operation
• What if USCIS Service Centers Close
• Planning an adjudication for employer-sponsored green cards

For more information or to register, please visit the Duane Morris Institute website.

What is the Meaning of the US- Canada and US-Mexico Temporary Border Closures due to the COVID19 Pandemic?

To limit the further spread of Coronavirus, the United States entered into joint initiatives with Canada and Mexico to temporarily close its Northern and Southern borders for all non-essential travel, effective March 21, 2020, for a 30-day period.  Essential commercial activity will not be impacted.

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

USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for all I-129s and I-140s

USCIS announced at 2:19 PM on 3/20/2020 that Premium Processing services for I-129 (E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1, TN-1 and TN-2.) and I-140 (EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3) is suspended temporarily.  Like many of us, USCIS service center operations have gone remote, so it is impossible for the agency to keep up with the demand for premium processing of applications.

In its announcement, USCIS indicates that it will attempt to adjudicate all petitions filed with the premium processing service before March 20, 2020 within the 15 -day time frame, but if that is not possible, it will refund premium processing fees.  For applications not yet accepted, USCIS will accept the petition for regular processing, but reject the Premium Processing request and return the $1440 filing fee to petitioners.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Valentine Brown, please visit the Duane Morris Immigration Law Blog.

COVID-19 Immigration Resources

The Duane Morris Immigration Team is dedicated to providing the most up to date information and zealous advocacy on behalf of our clients during the COVID-19 emergency.  We have compiled information from various U.S. agencies on all aspects of travel, USCIS appointments, ICE activities and Removal Proceedings. This post will be updated as changes develop.

To read the full text of this post by Valentine A. Brown,  please visit the Duane Morris Immigration Blog.

As Nations Around the World Impose Entry Restrictions, U.S. Expands Entry Ban to Europe’s Schengen Area

Following the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration that classified the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, a number of governments have instituted or announced measures limiting international travel. In the most notable of the new restrictions, the United States has announced that it is suspending all travel from Europe’s Schengen Area for 30 days beginning at midnight on Friday, March 13. This measure would expand existing travel restrictions in place for arrivals from mainland China and Iran.

The restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents or their immediate families as well as holders of some categories of U.S. visas (such as A-1, A-2, C-1, D or C-1/D, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 and NATO visas). The Schengen Area is a 26-country group that has officially abolished border control among themselves.

Globally, it is unknown if other governments will follow suit after the announcement from the White House.

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

Update on Recent Travel Proclamations in Wake of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

On February 29, 2020, President Trump signed an additional presidential proclamation banning entry of all foreign nationals who have visited Iran during the 14-day period preceding attempted entry into the United States. This same ban has been in effect for China since January 31, 2020.

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Considerations for Employers with Employees in Specific Employment-Authorized Nonimmigrant Visa Status

Travel and quarantine restrictions are being implemented swiftly and without warning around the world. To date, the U.S. government has banned the entry of foreign nationals who have visited China or Iran, but this list could grow. Similarly, thousands in China, Italy and the United States are under mandatory quarantine. As employers implement work from home and travel policies, it is important to consider the impact on foreign nationals with employer-sponsored work status, including those workers on E-3, H-1B, L-1, O-1 and TN visas. In general, polices on remote work, travel, vacation and sick time should be applied equally to all employees regardless of immigration status.

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

The Impact of Coronavirus on Travel and Entry to the United States

The ongoing worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus has led to serious public safety concerns, restrictions, and even bans on international travel.  The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the source of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.  The disease outbreak has also led to several measures by the U.S. Government to control the entry to the United States of individuals potentially exposed to the virus.

On January 31, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending and limiting entry into the U.S. as immigrants or nonimmigrants of all individuals who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry. The proclamation became effective at 5:00 pm (ET) on February 2, 2020.

View the full post by Duane Morris attorney Teodora Purcell on the Duane Morris Immigration Law Blog.