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2021

Blog Posts in 2021

  • Federal Judge rules that the United States Cannot Stop Issuing Visas during Travel Bans

    A federal judge on Tuesday put a halt to the State Department practice of not issuing visas to travelers from other countries when travel bans are in place. The ruling, in response to a lawsuit, declares it unlawful for the State Department to use travel bans, which were issued to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as a reason to stop processing visas for ...
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  • DHS Announces Designation of Croatia as a New Participant in the Visa Waiver Program

    Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, in coordination with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, designated Croatia as a new participant in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Starting no later than December 1, 2021, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be updated to allow citizens and nationals of Croatia to apply to travel to the United States for tourism or ...
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  • Ultimate Guide to Employment-Based Adjustment of Status

    Foreign nationals working in the United States with an employment visa can remain in the country permanently by obtaining a green card through employment-based adjustment of status. Employment-based adjustment of status is a path that many foreign nationals can take if they have a secured job with an employer who is willing to sponsor their petition for a green card. Our team at Akula & Associates ...
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  • What Are the Requirements for an EB-3 (Skilled Worker) Visa?

    There are many types of work visas available for foreign nationals who want to work in the United States, depending on their education, skills, and experience. The EB-3 visa was created for workers who fit one of three categories: skilled worker, professional, or unskilled worker. Below our Dallas immigration attorneys explain what the three categories are and what other qualifications you need to ...
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  • DHS EXTENDS FORM I-9 REQUIREMENT FLEXIBILITY (Effective September 1, 2021)

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19. This temporary guidance was set to expire August 31, 2021. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended the Form I-9 requirement ...
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  • COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Immigration Medical Examinations

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that, effective Oct. 1, 2021, applicants subject to the immigration medical examination must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the civil surgeon can complete an immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record . This will require applicants subject to the immigration medical ...
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  • USCIS EXTENDS TIME TO USE RECEIPT NOTICES AS EVIDENCE OF STATUS FROM 18 TO 24 MONTHS

    Starting Sept. 4, 2021, USCIS is extending the time that receipt notices can be used to show evidence of status from 18 months to 24 months for petitioners who properly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence , or Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status . They are making the change from 18 to 24 months to accommodate current processing ...
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  • IMMIGRANT VISA PRIORITIZATION

    Department of State posts that process both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are prioritizing immigrant visa applications. However, the volume and type of visa cases each post will process continues to depend on local conditions. U.S. embassies and consulates have implemented social distancing and other safety measures, which have reduced the number of applicants consular sections are able to ...
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  • How to Ask About Visa Sponsorship in an Interview

    If you are a foreign national who wants to find employment in the United States, you may need sponsorship from an employer before starting your visa application. Therefore, you will need to search for a job and secure an employment opportunity before getting a visa (depending on the type of visa you are applying for). However, bringing up the need for sponsorship during a job interview can seem ...
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  • Cap Reached for Remaining H-2B Visas for Returning Workers for FY 2021

    USCIS has received enough petitions for returning workers to reach the additional 22,000 H-2B visas made available under the FY 2021 H-2B supplemental visa temporary final rule . They will reject and return any cap-subject petitions for H-2B returning workers received after Aug. 13, along with any accompanying fees. USCIS began accepting additional H-2B petitions for returning workers on July 23 ...
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  • DEPARTMENT OF STATE POSTS UPDATE ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S EMBASSY IN KABUL

    The consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is closed. Nonimmigrant visa appointments remain unavailable and all immigrant visa appointments, including Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), at the Embassy have been cancelled. The Department of State’s foremost priority for evacuation is U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States, along with eligible family members. ...
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  • STARTING OCTOBER 1, 2021, COVID 19 VACCINATIONS REQUIRED FOR APPLICANTS APPLYING FOR LPR OR REFUGEE STATUS

    Starting October 1, 2021, USCIS and the U.S. Department of State will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all applicants applying for refugee or lawful permanent residence, with some exceptions . Specifically, all applicants who receive their medical examination from a Civil Surgeon or Panel Physician on or after October 1, 2021 , must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series and provide documentation ...
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  • USCIS 60-Day Notice and Request for Comments on Proposed New Forms I-129E&TN, I-129L, I-129MISC, and I-129O

    USCIS issued a 60-day notice and request for comments on proposed new Forms I-129E&TN, I-129L, I-129MISC, and I-129O. USCIS is separating Form I-129 into several individual forms. Form I-129E & TN will collect information for the E and the TN programs. Form I-129L will collect information for the L nonimmigrant program. Form I-129MISC will collect information for H-3, P, Q, or R classifications. ...
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  • Department of State Posts September 2021 Visa Bulletin – FINAL ACTION DATES

    The Department of State has posted the September 2021 Visa Bulletin. All family-based categories must use the Final Action Dates chart, which is showing current, meaning visas are readily available for this category. Applicants in all employment-based preference categories must also use the Final Action Date chart for filings in the month of September. The EB-2 category priority date has moved up ...
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  • USCIS EXTENDING I-693 (Report of Medical Examination Record) VALIDITY TO 4 YEARS

    Beginning Aug. 12, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is temporarily extending the validity period for Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record , from two years to now four years due to COVID-19-related delays in processing. USCIS may consider a completed Form I-693 as valid if: The civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed ...
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