More COIVID travel bans – President Biden takes a page out of Trump’s playbook
In a rapidly developing situation, President Biden said that most travelers (excluding U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents) who have been in any of eight countries in southern Africa for the prior 14 days will be barred from entry into the United States as of November 29, 2021. The countries include South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. He said this was in response to concerns and unknowns about a new coronavirus variant, called Omicron (B.1.1.529), which appears to be rapidly spreading in South Africa and present in other countries.
The Biden administration indicated that more countries could be added to the restricted list if warranted. Several other countries also issued similar travel bans and restrictions, including the European Union, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The variant, which is being studied to determine its contagiousness, severity, and ability to circumvent immunity, has been detected in several countries in addition to Africa, including Belgium, Brazil, Hong Kong, Israel, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Meanwhile, as of November 27, 2021, the Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for South Africa: “Do not travel to South Africa due to COVID-19.”
Read below for more on this and the other immigration news of the day.
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On December 8, 2021 at 11AM Charles Kuck will be hosting a free live webinar in Spanish discussing work visas, family visas, and student visas! Register here: https://bit.ly/vivirenUSA
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Here is the Immigration News You NEED to Know Now
UP-TO-DATE IMMIGRATION NEWS
Travel Bans Imposed Quickly in Response to New ‘Omicron’ Coronavirus Variant – In a rapidly developing situation, President Biden said that most travelers (excluding U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents) who have been in any of eight countries in southern Africa for the prior 14 days will be barred from entry into the United States as of November 29, 2021. Other countries imposed similar bans.
USCIS Will Issue Refunds for Certain U Petitioners Who Submitted Work Authorization Applications; Some Rejected Applicants Can Resubmit – USCIS expects to issue refunds by March 22, 2022.
USCIS Incorporates General Adjudications Guidance Into Policy Manual – In general, USCIS said, the update does not make major substantive changes but simply consolidates and incorporates existing AFM guidance on general adjudication topics into the Policy Manual, streamlines USCIS immigration policy, and removes obsolete information.
For details on these news briefs,click here!
New Publications and Items of Interest
Training on Afghan arrival categories and documentation. The Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program will present a training on Thursday, December 2, 2021, 1-2 p.m. ET on the immigration documentation that each Afghan arrival category may have and how to use SAVE to verify newly arrived Afghans’ immigration status or parole. Topics will include an overview of Operation Allies Welcome; common Afghan arrival categories and codes; sample documentation; resources; and a question-and-answer session. Registration information “will be forthcoming.”https://www.uscis.gov/save
New E-Verify feature. A new E-Verify feature, myUploads, allows employees to upload required documents in JPEG, PNG, or PDF formats to help resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs). Employees can access their my E-Verify accounts by logging into their USCIS online accounts and uploading the requested documents. They can still use fax or mail to submit documents if they prefer. The employer should provide the Further Action Notice (FAN) to the affected employee, discuss the TNC privately with the employee, and allow the employee to decide whether he or she will contest the TNC. The FAN includes the steps for using myUploads to help resolve a DHS TNC. Once uploaded, the employee must call the number on the FAN to resolve the case.https://myeverify.uscis.gov/
New SAVE features. Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) is enhancing its case search capabilities, including improved usability through a search bar and other features, and a more robust case search engine. SAVE will notify users by email at least three weeks before the go-live date for enhancements.https://save.uscis.gov/web/
- Coronavirus.gov: Primary federal site for general coronavirus information
- USA.gov/coronavirus: Catalog of U.S. government’s response to coronavirus
- CDC.gov/coronavirus: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information
- American Immigration Lawyers Association: https://www.aila.org/advo-
media/issues/all/covid-19 (links to practice alerts on this site are restricted to members)
- NAFSA: https://www.nafsa.org/
Immigration Agency Information
Department of Homeland Security:DHS.gov/coronavirus
03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice- arrival-restrictions-china- iran-and-certain-countries- europe
- Overview and FAQs: https://www.ice.gov/
- Requirements for ICE Detention Facilities: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/
- Updates and Announcements:https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/
- Accessing I-94 Information: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/
Department of Labor:
- Office of Foreign Labor Certification:
- OFLC Announcements (COVID-19 announcements included here): https://www.foreignlaborcert.
- COVID-19 FAQs:
- § Round 1 (Mar. 20, 2020): https://www.foreignlaborcert.
- § Round 2 (Apr. 1, 2020): https://www.foreignlaborcert.
- § Round 3 (Apr. 9, 2020): https://www.foreignlaborcert.
- Travel advisories: https://travel.state.gov/
content/travel/en/ traveladvisories/ea/covid-19- information.html
- Country-specific information: https://travel.state.gov/
content/travel/en/ traveladvisories/COVID-19- Country-Specific-Information. html
- J-1 exchange visitor information: https://j1visa.state.gov/
- Executive Office for Immigration Review: https://www.justice.gov/eoir/
Agency Twitter Accounts
- EOIR: @DOJ_EOIR
- ICE: @ICEgov
- Study in the States: @StudyinStates
- USCIS: @USCIS
Immigrant and employee rights webinars. The Department of Justice’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), of the Civil Rights Division, is offering a number of free webinars for workers, employers, and advocates. For more information, see https://www.justice.gov/crt/
E-Verify webinar schedule. E-Verify has released its calendar of webinars at https://www.e-verify.gov/
NFor Details on these and other topics, click www.immigration.net!
Government Agency Links
Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, and the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:
USCIS Service Center processing times online: https://egov.uscis.gov/
Department of State Visa Bulletin:
Visa application wait times for any post:https://travel.state.gov/
Kuck Baxter Immigration — In The News
Charles Kuck traveled to Peru earlier this month and while there was interviewed by national media. One of those interviews can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Charles Kuck’s opinion statement entitled “Action needed in Ga. and Congress on immigration relief” was published by the Atlanta Journal and Constitution https://www.ajc.
Charles Kuck was quoted in a press release on MadKudu Inc. v. USCIS, a case in which the parties reached a settlement agreement about the classification of market research analyst positions as H-1B specialty occupations. Mr. Kuck said, “It is unfortunate that the only way for USCIS to follow the law and do the right thing is to bring litigation. But, know this—we will be watching for USCIS compliance with this decision, and we will be prepared to pursue litigation for other interpretive violations of written law and regulation that the agency has permitted to occur.”
Charles Kuck was quoted by Bloomberg Law in “Chronic Green Card Backlog Gains Lawmakers’ Bipartisan Attention. Commenting on things U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could do to reduce backlogs, Mr. Kuck said, “The idea that USCIS does not have the resources is not true. They don’t have the will.” https://bit.ly/3ARW2ii(registration required)
Charles Kuck was quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in “Kemp’s Immigration Policy Could Complicate Bid for Second Term.” Mr. Kuck said Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia was in search of a “shiny object” to distract from former President Trump’s ongoing attacks targeting the governor. “This is a reelection stunt. If he’s going to the border, he’s searching for a solution that does not exist,” Mr. Kuck said. https://bit.ly/3Bt9gDo
Charles Kuck, represented plaintiffs in a recent case, Kinsley v. Blinken, in which a U.S. district court judge issued a decision on October 5, 2021, prohibiting the use of travel bans as a reason not to process or issue visas. Mr. Kuck was quoted by the Times of India in “Good News for H-1B Visa Holders Stranded in India.” Mr. Kuck said, “We are grateful that Judge Boasberg saw through the cascade of baseless legal theories put forward by the Department of State to finally and affirmatively rule that it is a violation of federal law to refuse to issue visas solely because a President has proclaimed an entry ban under the Immigration and Nationality Act 212(f). We call on the Department of State to now do away with its ridiculous and legally unnecessary national interest exemption program and get back to the business of visa issuance around the world regardless of those entry bans.” https://bit.ly/30bBbKl
Charles Kuck was quoted by Atlanta Magazine in “Freedom University Wasn’t Meant to Last This Long.” He said the Board of Regents of Freedom University is “not answerable to the state legislature” and can change policies if it chooses, at least for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. He blamed a lack of progress on “constant finger-pointing between the legislature and the regents. ” ‘It’s their fault. It’s their fault. It’s their fault.’ That’s what’s extraordinarily frustrating about this. Nobody wants to take responsibility for depriving these kids of an education.”https://www.atlantamagazine.
Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC published its US legal guide for Corporate Immigration. It can be found at https://iclg.com/practice-
Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC has an office in Adel, Georgia, near the Irwin, Folkston, and Stewart Detention Centers, which hold more than 6,000 detained immigrants. The new office is managed by our Partner Elizabeth Matherne, the former Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Irwin Detention Project.https://www.
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