Department of State Suspends Nonimmigrant Visa Issuance in Russia

Beginning August 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of State suspended all nonimmigrant visa operations across Russia. All appointments in Moscow were canceled until September 1, when the department said that visa operations would resume on a greatly reduced scale. The U.S. Mission to Russia said the action was necessary because of reduced staffing levels. In …

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CBP to use facial recognition software in biometric exit processing

Facial recognition biometric exit technology will be deployed at Washington Dulles International Airport., U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced in early June, 2017. The technology will be used daily for one flight to Dubai from the United States, building upon an earlier pilot program at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Additional airports will be added …

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The CRS Issues Report on Sanctuary Cities

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has issued a report on sanctuary cities, addressing the issue of how to define a sanctuary city, specific limitations that states and localities have placed on immigration enforcement activity, and measures that the federal government has taken to counteract sanctuary policies. The CRS report comes at a time when the …

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Two courts enjoin President Trump’s modified executive order

President Trump issued a new executive order on March 6, 2017 blocking citizens of six predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. Nine days later on March 15, 2017, a federal court in Hawaii issued an order enjoining the new travel ban followed by a Maryland federal court ruling against a core provision of …

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USCIS Announces Suspension of H-1B Petition Premium Processing

In a surprise announcement on March 3, 2017, USCIS advised that it will suspend its premium processing service for all H-1B petitions starting April 3, 2017.  April 3, 2017 is the earliest date that U.S. employers can file cap subject H-1B petitions for FY 2018, which begins on October 1, 2017.  The suspension applies to …

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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds TRO against President Trump’s January 27, 2017 executive order

On February 9, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a temporary restraining order (TRO) against President Trump’s January 27 executive order preventing travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. President Trump’s executive order banned for 90 days entry of individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, …

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USCIS sets out new standard for National Interest Waiver petitions

In a recent decision by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the AAO set out a new standard to adjudicate National Interest Waiver (NIW) employment based immigrant visa petitions. As background, an employment based immigrant visa petition in the advanced degree or exceptional ability category requires an employer …

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Bipartisan bill introduced to protect DACA recipients

A bipartisan group of senators in this lame duck session of Congress has introduced legislation to protect undocumented young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children – a group whose status may be threatened if President-elect Trump cancels President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and …

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