Palmer Polaski Blog

News in Brief

TPS for Venezuelans: DHS has designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective 3/9/21 through 9/9/22. The notice also provides information about Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and DED-related EADs for eligible Venezuelans. TPS Extended for Syria: USCIS announced the extension of the designation of Syria for TPS for 18 months, from 3/31/21 […]

Effective April 22, the DHS will provide relief to Syrian and Venezuelan citizens who are in the United States as lawful F-1 nonimmigrant status. DHS has recognized that due to the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria and the current humanitarian crises in Venezuela, F-1 nonimmigrant students who rely on financial […]

USCIS has experienced delays at certain lockboxes in issuing receipt notices for Form I‐765 for optional practical training (OPT) for F‐1 students. These delays are due to COVID‐19 restrictions, a dramatic increase in filings of certain benefit requests, postal service volume and delays, and other external factors. In an effort to address the problem, USCIS […]

On March 18, 2021, Virginia passed legislation allowing for juvenile and family courts to retain jurisdiction of matters where a child has petitioned the court to make findings that would allow them to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) before the age of 21. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2021. Juveniles […]

On April 16, 2021, President Biden signed an order limiting U.S. refugee admissions to 15,000 despite previously promising to increase the refugee admissions to 62,500 in this fiscal year and promising in February to raise the admissions rate to 125,000. This cap on admissions matches President Trump’s historical low in 2020, where actual refugee admissions […]

On April 8, 2021, the DOS announced that the travel of immigrants, fiancé(e) visa holders, certain exchange visitors, and pilots/aircrew traveling for training or aircraft pickup, delivery, or maintenance is in the national interest for purposes of approving exceptions under the geographic proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19. These proclamations restrict the entry of individuals physically […]

Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021. Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance. Visa applicants who were […]

COVID-19 has led to a shift by employers toward more permissive telecommuting policies. Given that certain regulations in both the H-1B and PERM contexts are location-specific, compliance is not always apparent.  For F-1 foreign students, issues have arisen due to online and in-person study. Telecommuting in the H-1B Context All H-1B petitions require an employer […]

On April 19, 2021, all adult persons in the United States are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of nationality or immigration status, including undocumented immigrants. The vaccines are free for all recipients, even those who do not have medical insurance. Each of the available vaccines for distribution in the United States have been proven to […]

For more than a dozen years, USCIS directed its officers to generally defer to prior determinations of eligibility when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts as an initial petition or application. The deference policy was most often exercised in the context of extensions of Form I-129 work-related visa petitions. In practice, this […]


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