Headlines

Summary

  1. DHS Announces TPS Registration Process for Sudan and Ukraine

    The notices provide information about how to register for temporary protected status under each country's designation and apply for an employment authorization document. The 18-month registration period ends on October 19, 2023.

  2. Biden Administration Announces New Measures for Ukrainians

    President Biden announced new measures for Ukrainians, including "Uniting for Ukraine," which includes a new streamlined process to provide Ukrainian citizens with opportunities to come to the United States.

  3. CBP Continues Vaccination Requirements at U.S. Borders With Canada, Mexico

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to require non-U.S. travelers entering the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination upon request.

  4. Foreign Student Measures Announced: Extension of SEVP Guidance, and Relief for Nonimmigrant Student Citizens of Sudan and Ukraine

    Several measures related to foreign students were announced.

  5. State Dept., USCIS Announces Actions Related to Reauthorized EB-5 Regional Center Program; Visa Bulletin Revised to Include New Categories

    The Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced several actions related to the reauthorized EB-5 regional center program.

  6. USCIS Announces Online Filing for DACA Renewal Forms

    Individuals who previously received deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals may now file renewal requests on Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, online. Such individuals must also file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and the I-765 Worksheet.

  7. SEVP Asks Certain F-1 and M-1 Students to Verify Employment Data in SEVIS by May 16

    The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) asked F-1 students previously on post-completion optional practical training and M-1 students previously on practical training to verify their employment data in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System by contacting the SEVP Response Center by May 16, 2022.

  8. DHS Proposes Procedures Regarding Debarment of Vessels Violating Longshore Work Rules

    The Department of Homeland Security proposes to amend its regulations to set forth procedures regarding the debarment of certain vessels from entering U.S. ports. Affected vessels include those owned or chartered by an entity found to violate of certain laws and regulations relating to the performance of longshore work by nonimmigrant crew members.

  9. KLASKO NEWS

    The latest news at the firm including recent and upcoming events and publications.

1. DHS Announces TPS Registration Process for Sudan and Ukraine

he Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted Federal Register notices on temporary protected status (TPS) for Sudan and Ukraine. The notices provide information about how to register for TPS under each country’s designation and apply for an employment authorization document. The 18-month registration period for both countries began on April 19, 2022, and ends on October 19, 2023. All individuals who want to request TPS under the designation of Sudan or Ukraine must file an application.

Sudan

To be eligible under the Sudan designation, individuals must demonstrate their continuous residence in the United States since March 1, 2022, and continuous physical presence in the United States since April 19, 2022. Individuals arriving in the United States after March 1, 2022, are not eligible for TPS under this designation and may be subject to removal if they have no other authorization to be in the United States.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) estimates that 3,090 individuals may be eligible for TPS under the designation of Sudan. This includes an estimated 2,390 newly eligible individuals as well as an estimated 700 current TPS Sudan beneficiaries, whose TPS-related documentation has been automatically extended pursuant to court orders through at least December 31, 2022. These individuals must file a new application for TPS under the new Sudan designation to avoid losing protection if the court injunctions are lifted.

Ukraine

To be eligible under the Ukraine designation, individuals must demonstrate their continuous residence in the United States since April 11, 2022, and continuous physical presence in the United States since April 19, 2022.

USCIS estimates 59,600 individuals currently in the United States may be eligible for TPS under the designation of Ukraine. Ukrainian nationals currently outside the United States are not eligible for TPS under this designation, and they will not become eligible by relocating to the United States. Such Ukrainians are encouraged instead to apply for a visa or other legal pathway at a U.S. consulate abroad.

Details:

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2. Biden Administration Announces New Measures for Ukrainians

On April 21, 2022, President Biden announced new measures for Ukrainians, including “Uniting for Ukraine,” which includes “a new streamlined process to provide Ukrainian citizens…opportunities to come to the United States.” In addition, the Department of State announced increased refugee resettlement processing and “broadened access” to visa processing at consular posts overseas. President Biden has committed to admit “up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others” fleeing Russia’s war against Ukraine. An estimated 5 million people have left Ukraine so far following the Russian invasion. Below are highlights of the new measures:

Uniting for Ukraine allows Ukrainians displaced by the war to apply for humanitarian parole in the United States. To be eligible, Ukrainians must have been residents in Ukraine as of February 11, 2022; have a sponsor in the United States; complete vaccinations and other public health requirements; and pass biometric and biographic screening and vetting security checks. Ukrainians approved via this process will be authorized to travel to the United States and be considered for parole, on a case-by-case basis, for up to two years. Once paroled through this process, Ukrainians will be eligible for work authorization.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Ukrainians should not travel to Mexico to pursue entry into the United States. Following the launch of Uniting for Ukraine, Ukrainians who present at land U.S. ports of entry without a valid visa or without pre-authorization to travel to the United States through Uniting for Ukraine “will be denied entry and referred to apply through this program.”

Beginning on April 25, 2022, U.S.-based individuals and entities can apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to sponsor displaced Ukrainian citizens through the “Uniting for Ukraine” process, which will go live that day on the DHS website. Any U.S. citizen or individual, including representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), can sponsor Ukrainian applicants. Individuals and organizations seeking to sponsor Ukrainian citizens in the United States must declare their financial support and pass security background checks. Eligibility requirements include required vaccinations and other public health requirements, as well as biographic and biometric screening, vetting, and security checks.

The Department of State will expand U.S. resettlement operations in Europe to provide more resources to process Ukrainian citizens for refugee resettlement under the Lautenberg program, and will expand referral mechanisms for Ukrainian citizens and others fleeing the war to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). To do so, the United States is working with European partners, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and NGOs to identify particularly vulnerable Ukrainian citizens and others fleeing the conflict who may warrant permanent resettlement through USRAP.

DHS said that European embassies and consulates are also increasing, to the extent possible, the number of nonimmigrant visa appointments and ensuring there is an expedited visa appointment program for individuals with humanitarian, medical, or other extraordinary circumstances.

Details:

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3. CBP Continues Vaccination Requirements at U.S. Borders With Canada, Mexico

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to require non-U.S. travelers entering the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination upon request. These requirements continue to apply to non-U.S. travelers who are traveling both for essential and non-essential reasons, but do not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or U.S. nationals, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said.

Non-U.S. travelers entering the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals, whether for essential or non-essential reasons, must:

  • Verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • Provide, upon request, proof of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination;
  • Present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, or Enhanced Tribal Card; and
  • Be prepared to present “any other relevant documents” requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection.

COVID-19 testing is not required to enter the United States via a land port of entry or ferry terminal, DHS said.

Details:

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4. Foreign Student Measures Announced: Extension of SEVP Guidance, and Relief for Nonimmigrant Student Citizens of Sudan and Ukraine

Several measures related to foreign students were announced:

SEVP March 2020 guidance continued. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced via a broadcast message issued April 18, 2022, that it is extending the guidance originally issued in March 2020 for F and M students to the 2022-23 academic year. This guidance enables schools and students to engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the continuing public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The March 2020 guidance applies to nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and are otherwise complying with the terms of their nonimmigrant status, whether from inside the United States or abroad. Significantly, there are no changes to the original guidance, which will remain in effect during the 2022-23 academic year.

DHS notices of special student relief for Sudan, Ukraine. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is suspending certain regulatory requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Sudan or Ukraine. Effective through October 19, 2023, affected students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while the school is in session and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F–1 nonimmigrant student status. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will deem an F–1 nonimmigrant student who receives employment authorization by means of this notice to be engaged in a ‘‘full course of study’’ for the duration of the employment authorization, if the nonimmigrant student satisfies the minimum course load requirement described in this notice.

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The Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced several actions related to the newly reauthorized EB-5 regional center program. Below are highlights.

Department of State

DOS has resumed processing immigrant visas associated with the EB-5 regional center program based on approved USCIS Forms I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur), including those filed on or before the expiration of the previous regional center program on June 30, 2021.

DOS explained that on March 15, 2022, President Biden signed a law, the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, that made changes to the EB-5 program, reauthorized the EB-5 immigrant investor regional center program, and directed that certain “grandfathered” immigration benefits be processed.

Also, DOS’s Visa Bulletin for May 2022 includes revisions and new EB-5 visa preference categories. Among other things, the bulletin notes the creation of two new “pools” of visa numbers in the EB-5 category: one pool “reserved” for certain set-aside categories and a second “unreserved” pool.

The bulletin notes that the Employment-Based Fifth Preference Unreserved (C5, T5, and all others) category is Current for all countries. The Employment-Based Fifth Preference Unreserved (I5 and R5) categories are Current for all countries except China-mainland-born, which is subject to a 22NOV15 final action date. All set-aside categories are Current for all countries. DOS said it may become necessary to establish a China-mainland-born final action date and application filing date for the C5 and T5 categories as early as June to keep number use within the maximum allowed under the fiscal year 2022 annual limits if sufficient demand materializes.

USCIS

Under the new law, USCIS announced that the reauthorized regional center program will be in effect through September 30, 2027. The agency said it is reviewing the new law and will provide additional guidance.

USCIS noted that the new law requires all entities seeking regional center designation to provide a proposal to comply with the new program requirements effective May 14, 2022. USCIS said it is not accepting Form I-924, Application For Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program, for this purpose.

USCIS has resumed processing regional center-based Forms I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, filed on or before the sunset of the previous regional center program on June 30, 2021. USCIS said it will adjudicate all Form I-526 petitions filed before March 15, 2022, according to the applicable eligibility requirements at the time such petitions were filed (that is, the eligibility requirements in place before the enactment of the new law). USCIS will continue to process Form I-526 petitions under the “visa availability approach,” prioritizing those Form I-526 petitions for investors with an available visa or a visa that will be available soon.

USCIS said it will continue to reject all Form I-526 petitions received on or after July 1, 2021, when it indicates that the petitioner’s investment is associated with a regional center.

The agency also said it will continue to adjudicate Forms I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence. The agency will adjudicate Form I-829 petitions associated with Form I-526 filed before March 15, 2022, under the applicable eligibility requirements in place before the enactment of the new law.

Details:

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6. USCIS Announces Online Filing for DACA Renewal Forms

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 12, 2022, that individuals who previously received deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may now file renewal requests on Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, online. Such individuals must also file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and the I-765 Worksheet, which is required as evidence in support of the DACA filing. A DACA requestor must first create a free USCIS online account to submit forms, pay fees, track status, and respond to Requests for Evidence.

USCIS said that During fiscal year (FY) 2021, USCIS received more than 8.8 million requests for immigration benefits and other requests, including 438,950 Form I-821D DACA requests. Since launching online filing in 2017, the overall number of forms filed online has increased significantly. In FY 2021, approximately 1,210,700 applications, petitions and requests were filed online, a 2.3% increase from the 1,184,000 filed in FY 2020.

USCIS noted that under a court order, the Department of Homeland Security continues to accept both initial and renewal DACA requests, although the agency is prohibited from granting initial DACA requests at this time.

Details:

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7. SEVP Asks Certain F-1 and M-1 Students to Verify Employment Data in SEVIS by May 16

In a broadcast message, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) asked F-1 students previously on post-completion optional practical training (OPT) and M-1 students previously on practical training to verify their employment data in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) by contacting the SEVP Response Center (SRC) by May 16, 2022.

Students can contact the SRC by email at SEVP@ice.dhs.gov or by phone at 703-603-3400 or 800-892-4829. The SRC is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, except federal holidays.

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8. DHS Proposes Procedures Regarding Debarment of Vessels Violating Longshore Work Rules

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking on April 12, 2022, that would amend its regulations to set forth procedures regarding the debarment of certain vessels from entering U.S. ports. Affected vessels include those owned or chartered by an entity found to violate certain laws and regulations relating to the performance of longshore work by nonimmigrant crew members.

Comments must be received by June 13, 2022, using the instructions provided in the proposed rule.

Details:

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9. KLASKO NEWS

FIRM NEWS

2022 Klasko Spring Webinar Series
On May 5th, Drew, Karuna, Arielle, and Grace will answer questions submitted by YOU. Please submit your most burning immigration questions while registering for this event. Register here!


IN THE NEWS

Karuna C. Simbeck
Karuna Simbeck was highlighted in Law.com in an interview on how she made partner at Klasko Immigration Law Partners.


RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

William A. Stock
On March 14th, Bill spoke on AILA’s Business Immigration panel entitled The Organization As Client: Working with Businesses in Immigration Matters.

Anu Nair | Natalia Gouz | Myriam Jaidi
In this webinar, Klasko attorneys covered different visa categories and key concepts and procedures for employment-based immigration in this session entitled Fundamentals of Immigration Law.

Elise A. Fialkowski | Jessica A. DeNisi | Carolina Regales
On April 6th, Elise, Jessica, and Carolina discussed trends and case strategies in this webinar entitled Working in the New World: USCIS vs. Consular Processing.

Michele G. Madera | Karuna C. Simbeck | Candace M. Hill
On April 7th, Michele, Karuna, and Candace covered the key changes employers need to know now that remote work is prevailing in this webinar entitled Working in the New World: Remote and Hybrid Work.

Anu Nair | Allie K. Dempsey | Nigel D. James
On April 14th, Anu, Allie, and Nigel covered how to improve your chances of getting an EB-1, the do’s and don’ts, and alternative options in this session entitled Career Moves for a Future EB-1.

Michele G. Madera
On April 20th, Michele presented to Vanderbilt University on side gigs and what is and isn’t considered employment.

William A. Stock | Andrew J. Zeltner | Maria M. Mihaylova
On April 20th, Bill, Drew, and Maria gave general advice on what priority dates mean, covered short-term and long-term green card predictions, and discussed what to expect for the remainder of the 2022 fiscal year in this webinar entitled Green Card Priority Dates.

Michele G. Madera
On April 22nd, Michele spoke at the AILA Philadelphia Conference on a panel entitled Immigration Implications of Remote.

William A. Stock
Bill spoke at AILA Philadelphia Chapter’s Annual CLE conference on a panel entitled Navigating Complex J-1 Exchange Visitor Issues in Subsequent Cases.


UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Andrew J. Zeltner │ Karuna C. Simbeck │ Arielle J. Ratush │ Grace W. Waweru
On May 5th, Drew, Karuna, Arielle, and Grace will answer questions submitted by YOU. Please submit your most burning immigration questions while registering for this event. Register here!


ICYMI: RECENT BLOG POSTS AND ALERTS

Premium Processing Coming to National Interest Waivers (NIWs)
In this blog, Allie Dempsey and Nigel James cover the expansion of premium processing to National Interest Waivers.

Lengthy Immigration Processing Times Are Impacting U.S. Competitiveness – Is Help on the Way?
In this article, Andrew Zeltner covers the USCIS announcement addressing the limited expansion of expedited processing for critical permanent residence and overall faster processing times for cases that are not eligible for expedited processing.

Client Alert: USCIS Announces Backlog Relief Measures
In this article, Romina Gomez provides an overview of the main immigration-related considerations for educational institutions planning a merger, acquisition, or similar endeavor.


FIRM FEATURE

In honor of Earth Day, some of our Klasko employees volunteered with PHS Tree Tenders to help plant trees! See more on our Instagram @klaskoimmigrationlaw.

 

Stay Connected! Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

This newsletter was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Klasko Immigration Law Partners is an active member.

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