U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Labor (DOL) sent a flurry of operational updates late last week. These updates include a suspension of premium processing for FY2021 H-1B cap petitions, which was quickly followed by a suspension of premium processing for Form I-129 nonimmigrant visa petitions (H-1B, L-1, TN, O-1 and more work visas) and I-140 immigrant visa petitions. USCIS also sent an announcement relaxing certain “wet” original signatures on forms and an update relaxing some I-9 requirements.
For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.
Since our last update a week ago, additional and significant immigration developments have taken place in the U.S. and around the world and continue to change. Reports on March 19, 2020, also indicate that the State Department will be announcing a Level 4 travel advisory applying to all international travel. It is expected that this announcement will tell Americans that they must remain in the U.S., and Americans also would be instructed not to travel abroad. With such fluidity of country and border closures, closures of embassies and consulates around the world, and now U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices, we are providing an overview of the issues and links to government websites where you can find the most updated information on these important immigration and global mobility issues affecting companies in the U.S. and around the world.
For the full alert, please visit the Faegre Drinker website.
Visa issuance fees and validity periods are set based on reciprocity. If a country charges U.S. citizens $50 to receive a visa, then the U.S. will charge citizens of that country a similar amount for a U.S. visa. In 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13780, which requires that the U.S. State Department undertake a worldwide review of reciprocity arrangements with a view to updating any discrepancies.
Without notice, and effective immediately on January 31, 2020, the U.S. State Department’s visa reciprocity chart was updated to reflect new visa issuance fees for Dutch citizens applying for Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) nonimmigrant visas. Additionally, E-1 and E-2 visa validity periods have been significantly shortened — from five to three years. The chart below highlights the most significant changes to routinely used visa categories:
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