US

Apr 30 2020

Weekly Immigration Update: April 24-30, 2020

Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Republic of Congo, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam

In immigration news this week:

  • Worldwide: Jurisdictions around the world continue to adapt their coronavirus-related travel restrictions and quarantine measures, and many have implemented extension policies and other concessions. Visit Fragomen’s coronavirus-related news page for the latest immigration updates.
  • United States: USCIS has issued a new edition of its Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274), providing updated guidance and clarification of several Form I-9 employment eligibility verification procedures. As part of its COVID-19 response, USCIS has further extended its suspension of in-person interviews and biometrics appointments at local offices until at least June 3. The State Department has delayed the date Diversity Visa Lottery entrants can learn whether they have been chosen in the lottery from May 5 to June 6. According to the State Department's May Visa Bulletin, all EB-1countries except for China and India will become current. USCIS has confirmed that it will accept employment-based adjustment applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Dates for Filing listed in the State Department's May Visa Bulletin.



These items and other news from Chile, Egypt and the Netherlands follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, April 29, 2020

USCIS Issues New Form I-9 Handbook for Employers

  • On April 27, 2020, USCIS released an updated Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274). These updates are effective immediately.
  • The April 27 revision contains several changes, including new guidance on how to verify employment eligibility when temporary employment authorization is extended automatically and new documents for foreign students in the “cap gap” before a change of status to H-1B.
  • The new handbook also contains several clarifications of existing policy guidance, including Form I-9 completion by authorized representatives in a remote work environment.



To view entire article, click here.



United States, April 28, 2020

State Department Postpones FY 2021 Diversity Visa Lottery Results to June 6

  • The State Department has delayed the date Diversity Visa Lottery entrants can learn whether they have been chosen in the lottery to June 6, from the original date of May 5.
  • Lottery entrants may check the State Department’s official Diversity Visa Lottery website to learn whether they have been selected only upon the opening of the Entrant Status Check section of the site.
  • The State Department does not send direct notification to lottery winners. 



To view entire article, click here.



United States, April 24, 2020

Local USCIS Offices Extend Suspension of In-Person Services Until At Least June 3

  • As part of its COVID-19 response, USCIS will extend its suspension of in-person interviews and biometrics appointments at local offices until at least June 3.
  • Foreign nationals with green card interviews, naturalization interviews/ceremonies or biometrics appointments scheduled during the closure will continue to receive notices that their appointments have been cancelled. The appointments will be automatically rescheduled.



To view entire article, click here.



United States, April 24, 2020

May 2020 Visa Bulletin: EB-1 Current for All Countries Except China and India; Modest Advancement for Most Others; USCIS to Honor Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Categories

  • All EB-1 countries except for China and India will become current in May. EB-1 China will advance by five weeks to July 15, 2017, while EB-1 India will advance by three months to August 1, 2015. 
  • EB-2 China will advance by one month to October 1, 2015, and EB-2 India will advance by one week to June 2, 2009.
  • EB-3 Worldwide will remain retrogressed at January 1, 2017, while EB-3 China will advance by one month to May 15, 2016 and EB-3 India will advance by just over five weeks to March 1, 2009.
  • EB-5 China will advance by more than six weeks to July 1, 2015, EB-5 India will advance by nine months to October 1, 2019 and EB-5 Vietnam will advance by seven weeks to April 1, 2017. 
  • USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment applications in May from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Final Action Dates in the May Visa Bulletin.



To view entire article, click here.



Other Weekly News Briefs



ChileVisa Requirement for Nationals of Australia Reactivated – Effective May 9, 2020, nationals of Australia will be required to obtain a Consular Tourist Visa before entering Chile for tourism or business for up to 90 days, which can be extended for an additional 90 days, or for transit for up to 72 hours. Passengers in transit who will only remain in the airport for up to eight hours are exempt from the consular visa requirement. The visa requirement was initially set to go into effect on December 17, 2019 but was postponed, and currently Australian nationals can enter Chile for tourism, business or transit under visa-exempt status for up to 90 days. Australian nationals seeking to obtain this visa must file the application through the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Consular Attention (SAC) online platform and should do so at least 40 days prior to their trip. 



EgyptExtended State of Emergency May Delay Residence Permit Processing – A state of emergency, which has been in place in Egypt since June 2018, was recently extended for an additional three months, through July 27, 2020. As a result, foreign nationals seeking employment and residency in Egypt should expect extensive security screening that may delay their immigration process. The security clearance is the first stage of the application process for work and residence permits. Additionally, due to government closures related to COVID-19, the processing of immigration applications in Egypt is currently suspended.



Netherlands: Reports of Phishing Emails - The Dutch Immigration Authority (IND) received reports of phishing emails, in which individuals pretending to be immigration officials request recipients to check, edit or complete personal details or transfer money through a link. The IND reminds foreign nationals that immigration officials will never ask for personal details or request money transfers via email. Affected foreign nationals are advised to contact the IND and/or police.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.