DOL Alert: New PERM Password Requirements

A permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign national to work permanently in the United States. The application for a labor certification is filed via the DOL’s Permanent Case Management System (PERM), which requires employers to set up individual accounts.  Read More >

DOS Alert: China EB-5 “Unavailable” for Remainder of FY2014

According to the U.S. Department of State, effective Saturday, August 23, 2014, the China Employment Fifth (EB-5) preference category has become "Unavailable" for the remainder of the fiscal year 2014. This action is necessary because the maximum level of numbers which may be made available for use by China EB-5 applicants during fiscal year 2014 has been reached. Read More >

Automated Passport Control

By now, many of our readers have likely seen Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in the passport control area of certain airports. APC, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program designed to expedite entry into the U.S. for certain eligible travelers. Rather than completing the paper customs declaration form, travelers can provide information at APC kiosks. At the kiosks, each traveler will be prompted to scan his or her passport, take a photograph, and answer various questions to verify flight and biographic information. Travelers residing together are permitted to be processed at the APC kiosk together. A CBP officer will then complete the inspection for entry after the traveler has completed the process at the kiosk. Read More >

BIA Holds Guilty Plea Without Conviction Is Not An Admission

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains a provision making an individual inadmissible to the United States if he or she has admitted to the commission of certain crimes, including controlled substance offenses. Inadmissibility prevents an individual from being able to obtain certain immigration benefits, unless the individual can obtain a waiver. In order for an individual to trigger inadmissibility under the “admission” clause of the INA, the government must find that the essential elements of the crime were explained to the individual in layman’s terms, that the individual admitted to each element, and that the admission was voluntary and unequivocal. Further, several precedent decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) have held that if an admission was made as part of criminal proceedings that did not result in a conviction, the admission may not be used against the individual to trigger inadmissibility.    Read More >

“Surge Docket” for New York Minors

An immigration court in New York has begun what it is calling “surge docket” proceedings for unaccompanied minors. The court, which typically sees less than 100 minor cases per month, is now taking on around at least 30 cases per day. The surge docket hearings are an initiative of the federal government to help expedite the legal proceedings for the recent surge in unaccompanied minors in the U.S.    Read More >

Ebola Outbreak-related Immigration Relief Measures to Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Currently in the United States

On August 15, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a press release addressing humanitarian relief that may potentially be available to nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who are currently in the U.S. USCIS is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and offers relief measures to nationals of those three countries who are currently in the United States.  Read More >

BALCA Holds That, Despite Typographical Error on ETA9089, Audit Materials Demonstrated Compliance

Before an employer may file an application under the Permanent Employment Certification (PERM) process, it must test the labor market to ensure that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to perform the position for which the employer seeks certification. After this “recruitment” process is completed, the employer must file Form ETA 9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).  Read More >

CBP Launches Mobile Passport Control App

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) announced the release of its first mobile app this week. The app, Mobile Passport Control (“MPC”) will allow eligible travelers to submit their passport information and customs declaration from their smartphones or tablets prior to inspection by CBP. The app was created as part of a pilot program at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (“HJA”). Travelers arriving at HJA will be able to use the app starting today. Later this year, MPC will be expanded to more airports and to other smartphone/tablets such as Android smartphones.   Read More >

SEVP Draft Policy Guidance on Conditional Admission, the Form I-20, and English Proficiency

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (“SEVP”) issued draft guidance clarifying issues related to the appropriate issuance of the Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” where international students may not meet all standards of admission.    Read More >

Third Country Nationals: Consular Interviews Outside Your Home Country

Nonimmigrant visa applicants often inquire about attending consular interviews in a third country. Especially for foreign nationals who travel frequently, it is sometimes burdensome to travel to the home country solely to attend the interview. Furthermore, visa applicants are oftentimes in the U.S. in some other status prior to the consular interview and desire to attend the interview at a consulate that is closer, such as in Mexico, Canada, or a Caribbean country.  Read More >

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