AmCham China just published its 2017 White Paper on American Business in China. “With uncertainty stemming from political and economic transitions in both the US and China, perceptions of a deteriorating investment environment for foreign companies in China, and a slowing economy, 2017 will likely be one of the most challenging years in decades for U.S. companies in China,” it says. The Visa policy chapter focuses on: Continue reading “AmCham China 2017 White Paper: Visa Policy”
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 has a handout on Inspection of Electronic Devices, available here. There is a section on “Why You May Be Chosen for an Inspection,” but it omits any mention of CBP’s legal position: that a person may be chosen for any reason or no reason at all: no reasonable suspicion is required. The notice also explains the procedures for return of seized devices.
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 Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together a quick pocket guide with a breakdown of your digital rights at the U.S. border. Continue reading “Pocket Guide to Protecting Your Data at the U.S. Border”
President Trump has signed a revised Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” It goes into effect March 16. The ban fails to address the original version’s flaws and its thinly veiled scapegoating of Muslims and refugees. Continue reading “President Trump Signs Revised Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry””
Enforcement and interpretation of President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” are evolving rapidly, so check back here for updates.
2017-02-16: The Trump administration plans to unveil a revised EO on immigration next week and rescind the president’s initial travel ban, which has been entrenched in legal battles throughout the country, as reported in The Hill. President Trump said during a news conference on Thursday that he would unveil a more tailored travel ban “next week sometime.” The U.S. Department of Justice similarly informed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the Washington v. Trump litigation: “Rather than continuing this litigation, the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns.”
2017-02-09: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied the government’s motion for stay of the district court’s temporary restraining order (TRO). Translation: The TRO suspending implementation of the EO remains in place. The government may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading “Trump’s Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”: Latest News and Summary”
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”
What do you need to do to preserve your status as a lawful permanent resident (LPR)? If you are abroad for 6 months or more per year, you risk “abandoning” your green card. This is especially true after multiple prolonged absences or after a prior warning by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the airport. Continue reading “Green Card Holders Staying Abroad Over 6 Months Risk Abandonment”
A leaked, unsigned copy of President Trump’s Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals. The order takes the following steps, among others: Continue reading “President Trump to Issue Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals””
Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States (on whitehouse.gov)
Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements (on whitehouse.gov)
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”
It’s still early days, but here’s what we know about how family-sponsored immigration rules may or may not change during the Trump administration. Continue reading “Will Family-Sponsored Immigration Rules Change in the Trump Era?”
This informative Guide summarizes the requirements and procedures for applying to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for naturalization as a U.S. citizen. Continue reading “Guide to Naturalization in the United States”
Most applicants for naturalization must first reside in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for a continuous period of 5 years. However, that requirement can be waived if you are eligible for expeditious naturalization based on your U.S. citizen spouse’s employment abroad for one of the following types of employers: Continue reading “See if You Are Eligible for Expeditious Naturalization”
President-Elect Trump last night tweeted a proposal that persons who burn the U.S. flag should “perhaps” lose their American citizenship. Regardless of one’s views on flag burning as protected free speech, the specter of the government depriving Americans of their citizenship is terrifying and unconstitutional. Continue reading “Trump’s Irresponsible Proposal: Deporting U.S. Citizens”