USCIS WILL TEMPORARILY SUSPEND PREMIUM PROCESSING FOR ALL H-1B PETITIONS FOR UP TO 6 MONTHS STARTING ON APRIL 3, 2017
The suspension will apply to all petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B regular cap, master’s advanced degree cap exemption, as well as cap-exempt petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. USCIS will continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if petitioners properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3, 2017 and will refund the premium processing fee if the petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before April 3, 2017, and USCIS did not take adjudicative action on the case within the 15-calendar-day processing period.
TRUMP ISSUES A NEW, NARROWER EXECUTIVE ORDER ON TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS THAT GOES INTO EFFECT IN 10 DAYS
Today, President Trump has signed a revised Executive Order that addresses new travel restrictions for residents of six Muslim-majority countries, as well as a temporary ban on refugees from around the world. The new directive seeks to retool Trump’s original Executive Order issued five weeks ago that brought chaos to airports, drew international condemnation, and resulted in a block from federal judges. The new travel ban, signed privately today with little fanfare and designed to insulate it from court challenges, takes effect on March 16 and halts travel for 90 days for residents of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, while also suspending all refugee admission for 120 days. This order notably excludes Iraq, named under the previous travel ban, after Iraqi officials agreed to accept all Iraqi citizens being deported from the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The new ban also clarifies that lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and those holding valid visas will be allowed to enter the country or remain here, and gives the Department of State room for exceptions “on a case-by-case basis when in the interest of the United States.” Nawlaw will be following this story closely in the event of any court challenges.
VISA WAIVER PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS WHO OVERSTAY CAN BE DEPORTED WITHOUT A HEARING
The visa waiver program (ESTA) allows citizens of certain countries, such as Ireland, Italy, the U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Chile, etc. to enter the U.S. for tourism or business and stay for as long as 90 days. However, foreign nationals who overstay the 90 days and are apprehended by ICE can face serious consequences. There is currently no guarantee that a visa waiver entrant’s case will be presented before an immigration judge before being deported, unless they are seeking political asylum or some other protected status. Hence, ESTA visa holders are at risk if either arrested or apprehended by ICE.