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Authors: Ashik Jahan

Written by: Ashik Jahan, Esq. Each year, the State Department uses a lottery system to select visa recipients from a broad array of countries that are underrepresented in the United States. In April, President Trump banned diversity visa (DV) recipients from entering the country.  However, a federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to resume issuing diversity visas on September 5. As a background, the Diversity Visa Program was enacted

Written by: Ashik R. Jahan, Esq. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/phased-resumption-routine-visa-services.html The Department of State suspended routine visa services worldwide in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As global conditions evolve, U.S. Embassies and Consulates are beginning a phased resumption of routine visa services. The resumption of routine visa services will occur on a post-by-post basis. However, the Department of State is unable to provide a specific date for when each mission will resume

Written by: Ashik R. Jahan, Esq. President Trump’s latest Presidential Proclamation is effective as of June 24, 2020 and suspends entry of individuals in H-1B (specialty occupation), H-2B (temporary non-agricultural and seasonal workers), L-1 (multinational intracompany transferees) and J-1 (cultural and educational exchange visitors) visa categories, as well as their dependent family members, to the United States through December 31, 2020. It is important to distinguish that the limitation

Written by: Ashik R. Jahan, Esq. With the growing uncertainty of what impact COVID-19 will have on local businesses from an economic standpoint, many businesses are unsure of how they will maintain day-to-day operations. There may be an added uncertainty to employers that sponsor H-1B workers.  Lay-offs, furloughs, reduced wages, and even termination of employees are all options that are being considered by many businesses.  However, it is important

Written by: Ashik Jahan, Esq., and Cody Hendrix USCIS has placed a temporary suspension on premium processing services for fiscal year 2021 cap H-1B Petitions. This means that petitioners will not be able to request nor file for premium processing when USCIS begins accepting H-1B petitions on April 1, 2020. USCIS will not begin accepting premium processing for cap petitions again until at least June 29, 2020. Any request

Written by Ashik Jahan, Esq. and Cody Hendrix USCIS has issued a statement informing immigrants who get tested or treated for COVID-19 that they will not be punished when seeking immigration benefits under the new public charge rule that was ushered in by the Trump Administration and went into effect on February 24, 2020.  Under this rule, government officials may deny permanent legal status to immigrants they deem likely

Written by: Ashik R. Jahan With growing fears concerning spreading of the global pandemic, COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the U.S. has barred entry into the U.S. from non-U.S. citizens in the European Union’s Schengen Area.  People who have visited this area in the previous two weeks, regardless of nationality, are also barred.  The Schengen Area includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein,

Written by: Ashik R. Jahan As of December 26, 2019, Liberian immigrants that have been in the United States since November 20, 2014 may be eligible for permanent legal status. The Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (LRIFA) is a special law that allows Liberian nationals who have lived in the United States during this period to apply for an “adjustment of status” to that of a legal permanent resident

Written by: Ashik Jahan, Esq. USCIS H-1B Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B Cap Season Electronic Registration System Overview The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on December 6, 2019 that its new electronic process for petitioning employers seeking to file H-1B regular cap and/or master's cap (advanced degree exemption) petitions for the fiscal year 2021 will officially begin on March 1, 2020.  The initial registration period will run from March

Written by: Ashik Jahan, Esq. Immigrant Investor Program The Immigrant Investor Program, commonly known as EB-5, was established to stimulate the U.S. economy by giving foreign entrepreneurs the opportunity to permanently live and work in the U.S. after investing in an American commercial enterprise. Recently, USCIS has raised the required $500,000/$1 million minimum investment requirement to $900,000/$1.8 million. The new rule also changes how Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) are identified