“Administrative Processing”: a Black Hole for Visa Applicants

For the uninitiated, “administrative processing” is State Department-speak for a temporary visa refusal pending further investigation of a visa application. (9 FAM Appendix E, 404). The applicant typically learns of the temporary refusal when, at the conclusion of the interview, the consular officer issues a written notice stating that under section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act no visa can be issued until additional administrative processing has been completed. Continue reading ““Administrative Processing”: a Black Hole for Visa Applicants”

President Trump Rescinds Obama-Era Goal to Speed Visa Processing

President Trump on June 21 rescinded an executive order issued by former President Obama in 2012 that sought to speed up visa interview wait times for nonimmigrant visa applicants, including visitors for business or pleasure, students, and other temporary visitors. More visa delays and denials are likely as a result of the Trump administration’s reduced emphasis on efficiency as well as new, in-depth vetting questions the administration is putting into place. Continue reading “President Trump Rescinds Obama-Era Goal to Speed Visa Processing”

H-1B Visas: USCIS and Dep’t of Labor Tighten Rules and Investigate Fraud

While the H-1B petitions submitted for the lottery this cap season were still in transit to the USCIS, both the USCIS and the DOL announced several measures aimed at detecting H-1B visa fraud and abuses. The rules focus on computer programmers, site visits, and protecting American workers. Continue reading “H-1B Visas: USCIS and Dep’t of Labor Tighten Rules and Investigate Fraud”

Tell CBP: Don’t Spy on Chinese Travelers’ Social Media

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published a Feb. 21, 2017, notice of its intent to collect Chinese travelers’ social media account information. There is a 60-day window for public comment. Tell CBP this is a bad idea.

2017-04-12 Update: The American Chamber of Commerce-China has submitted a comment to CBP explaining why they oppose the rule. See here.

Continue reading “Tell CBP: Don’t Spy on Chinese Travelers’ Social Media”

Client Alert: State Dep’t Begins Stricter Vetting of Visa Applicants

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent four cables to consular officers between Mar. 10 and 17 with preliminary instructions for stricter vetting of U.S. visa applicants. The cables emphasize that “all visa decisions are national security decisions” and that additional screening may “may cause interview appointment backlogs to rise.” Continue reading “Client Alert: State Dep’t Begins Stricter Vetting of Visa Applicants”

Be Prepared for Likely H-1B Visa Changes

This year’s H-1B season has many of us nervously watching President Trump’s moves. Just last week the President signed executive orders to build his promised wall at the border with Mexico and to find and deport unauthorized immigrants. A third executive order last Friday barring refugees and travelers from seven countries deemed predominantly Muslim has heightened the anxiety among foreign nationals and prompted protests. His pen has not yet reached the H-1B program, but that could happen in his first 100 days. Continue reading “Be Prepared for Likely H-1B Visa Changes”

L-1 Visa Guide: Intracompany Transfer Visas for Start-Ups and Mature Companies

Read the L-1 Visa Guide: Intracompany Transfer Visas for Start-Ups and Mature Companies:

The purpose of this Guide is to provide an overview of the requirements and procedures involved in applying for an L-1 (intracompany transfer) visa, seeking admission to the U.S., and complying with the terms and conditions of the visa. Continue reading “L-1 Visa Guide: Intracompany Transfer Visas for Start-Ups and Mature Companies”

Nonimmigrants: Admission, Rights, and Responsibilities

passport-graphic designThis article discusses the requirements and procedures for admission to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant. It also covers your responsibilities in order to maintain legal nonimmigrant status.[1] It’s important to be familiar with these responsibilities because a violation may make you ineligible for extension of status or change of status, ineligible for adjustment to lawful permanent resident status, and in some cases deportable from and inadmissible to the United States. Continue reading “Nonimmigrants: Admission, Rights, and Responsibilities”

Special Considerations for Visa Processing at U.S. Consular Posts in China

Q&ASince our firm’s offices are in China, we are often asked by lawyers in the U.S. to work as local counsel for U.S. visa applications at the U.S. Consulates in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Shenyang. We make it our business to know each consulate’s policies, practices, and procedures. Here are the basic tips we give most frequently to stateside lawyers: Continue reading “Special Considerations for Visa Processing at U.S. Consular Posts in China”

Univ. of Northern New Jersey: a Federal Sting Operation Targeting Student Visa Fraud

unnjIn a first-of-its-kind sting operation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) established a sham school in September 2013. The University of Northern New Jersey offered no classes or instructors. But for a price it offered to shady recruiters an opportunity to obtain fraudulent student visas for foreign customers. Continue reading “Univ. of Northern New Jersey: a Federal Sting Operation Targeting Student Visa Fraud”