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President Trump Introduces Health Insurance Requirement for Immigrant Visa Applicants

According to a proclamation issued by President Donald Trump on October 4, 2019, the U.S. Department of State will begin issuing immigrant visas only to those foreign nationals who will have health insurance once admitted to the United States, or who can prove that they have the financial means to cover their own medical expenses.

New York District Court Blocks Implementation of Public Charge Rule

On October 11, 2019, the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York ordered a preliminary injunction blocking the implementation, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of President Donald Trump’s revised public charge rule. The court’s order also enjoins DHS from implementing a series of new and updated immigration forms introduced in furtherance of the rule, which was scheduled to go into effect on October 15, 2019.

Ex-CEO of IT Staffing Companies Guilty of H-1B Visa Fraud

A federal judge has sentenced Pradyumna Kumar Samal to more than seven years in prison, fined him $10,000, and ordered him to pay restitution for the taxes he stole. United States of America v. Samal, No. 2:18-cr-00214 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 20, 2019).

Diversity Lottery Registration Begins

Online FY 2021 Diversity Lottery registration began on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at noon (EDT) and ends on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at noon (EDT). This year, 55,000 Diversity Visas (DVs) will be available. The Diversity Lottery provides visas to people from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.

October 2019 Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State has released the October 2019 Visa Bulletin, the first for fiscal year 2020. As anticipated, many of the final action dates have rebounded after retrogressing in August and have returned to dates similar to those seen in the August 2019 Visa Bulletin.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Workers Act May Endanger Economy

The Fairness for High-Skilled Workers Act has passed the House of Representatives, and is pending before the Senate where it may pass by unanimous consent (i.e., with no actual vote or hearing).

Government Forced to Release H-1B Delaying and Denying Tactics

Since 2017, USCIS under the Trump Administration has essentially directed its adjudicators to find ways to deny H-1B petitions. The most recent statistics on Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and denials certainly support this, but evidence has been made available for analysis.

Rescission of H-4 Work Authorization Is Delayed Until Spring 2020

Implementation of the rule rescinding H-4 work authorization has been delayed yet again. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the proposed rule is not expected to be published in the Federal Register until spring 2020 at the earliest, but even that time frame may be aspirational. DHS provided an updated timeline in a letter submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the case of Save Jobs USA v. DHS.

Ready for REAL ID?

October 1, 2020, is the REAL ID deadline, and most people will not be able to board even a domestic air flight in the U.S. without either a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or a passport.

ICE is Knocking

In this podcast, Lisa Burton and Leigh Ganchan discuss ICE’s increased enforcement activity in recent years. They address how to handle I-9 audits, compliance challenges employers face, and the penalties for noncompliance.
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