A State Department official has spoken on background to the Associated Press, saying that more Chinese applying for F-1 visas as graduate students in fields related to science and technology will need “special clearance from multiple U.S. agencies” and that such clearances are “expected to take months for each visa application.” Other nonimmigrant visa applicants seeking to visit or work in the U.S. who have backgrounds in science or technology may be subject to the same security checks. Continue reading “More Chinese Student Visa Applicants Will Be Subject to Security-Related Delays”
2018 is a historic year for American companies operating in China: as China marks its 40th anniversary of economic reform and opening, AmCham China is issuing the 20th edition of its American Business in China White Paper. This paper is a comprehensive assessment of the operating environment for foreign companies in China.
It was a pleasure to participate in drafting the chapter on U.S. visa policy, which discusses the following topics:
- Controlling nonimmigrant visa appointment waiting times in China
- USCIS international entrepreneur rule
- Subjecting EVUS registrants to questions about social media use
- Inadequate annual H-1B visa cap
- Barriers to permanent residents taking assignments abroad
- Need for a Global Entry enrollment center in Beijing
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”
If your visa is denied, you may be confused and frustrated. And consular officers may be unwilling or unable to properly explain the grounds for refusal and your options for overcoming the refusal. How can an attorney help? Continue reading “U.S. Visa Denied? Here are Your Options”
President Trump on June 21 rescinded an executive order issued by former President Obama in 2012 that sought to speed up visa interview wait times for nonimmigrant visa applicants, including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”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has just published it’s FY 2016 entry/exit overstay report. It shows that the visa overstay rate for Chinese visitors and students is lower than the global average and decreasing over time. Continue reading “Chinese Visitor and Student Overstays in U.S. Fewer Than Global Average”
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”
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.
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”
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing announces:
Nonimmigrant visa services at the Embassy facility will be closed to the public from February 13 until February 24, 2017. Visa services will be available at the Ritan location during this period except February 17 when both facilities will be closed. Continue reading “Visas Services at Embassy Closed Feb. 13 to 24”
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”
President Trump made immigration central to his campaign, and has occasionally singled out the H-1B program for high-skilled workers. Now, legislation has been introduced in Congress to change the rules for H-1Bs. Continue reading “Legislation Introduced on H-1B Temporary Work Visas”
Chinese nationals holding 10-year B1/B2, B1, or B2 visitor visas are required to enroll online in the Electronic Visa Update System in order to enter the U.S. on or after Nov. 29, 2016. Continue reading “Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) Enrollment Required for Chinese with 10-Year B1/B2 Visas”
What data does the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) collect? Here’s a sample EVUS enrollment: Continue reading “Sample EVUS Enrollment”
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”
USCIS has issued a final rule increasing filing fees for most immigration applications and petitions. The new fees go into effect December 23, 2016. USCIS explains that fees are increasing “for the first time in six years, by a weighted average of 21 percent.” Continue reading “USCIS Filing Fees Increase”
The U.S. Embassy provided a briefing to American Chamber of Commerce members on the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) platform on October 21. The presenter was Christine Parker, visiting from the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington to help with EVUS promotion. Continue reading “Slides from EVUS Briefing by U.S. Embassy in Beijing (Oct. 21, 2016)”
Starting Nov. 29, Chinese holders of 10-year U.S. visitor visas must be enrolled in the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) to travel to the U.S. On Oct. 21 at 9:30am, the U.S. Embassy will be providing a briefing to AmCham China members. Read more.
This 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. 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”