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EIG Dispatch | January 15, 2016

January 15, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Turkey Institutes New Online Visa Application System
  • Court Case Alert: I-140 Revocations and the Right of Notification
  • Taiwan Launches Electronic Visa Application System for Tourists
  • Uniformity for Employment-Based Immigration

Turkey Institutes New Online Visa Application System

As of January 5th, Turkey requires all visa applicants to submit an online application prior to attending an appointment at a Turkish Consulate to obtain a visa.  The new application procedure applies to all visas issued as visa stickers in passports but does not apply to e-visas.  The Electronic Visa Application System was first launched as an optional system in April 2013 but is now required for all visas.


Court Case Alert: I-140 Revocations and the Right of Notification

In the case of Mantena v. Johnson, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must inform all impacted parties of its intent to revoke an approved I-140 petition, which is a positive change from the current policy.

Currently, if USCIS revokes an approved I-140 petition for fraud or material misrepresentation, only the petitioner is notified.  Lack of notice creates a problem for a beneficiary of an approved I-140 Petition if the beneficiary has filed an I-485 Application to Adjust Status and has sought to port the I-485 Application to a new employer under the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21).  In such a case, revocation of the approved I-140 petition would cause the I-485 Application to be denied.

If an I-485 Application is denied by USCIS, the applicant may be out of status and without work authorization.  However, under the Court’s ruling in Mantena v. Johnson, if USCIS revokes an approved I-140 petition, USCIS must provide notice to all affected parties, including the beneficiary of the approved I-140 petition.  Despite this ruling, this determination is not binding precedent nation-wide but is only binding in the Second Circuit.  Additionally, according to this ruling, although a beneficiary will receive notice, there is not a mandate providing the beneficiary with the right to respond to a USCIS revocation.  EIG will inform you of updates on this and related cases as they develop.


Taiwan Launches Electronic Visa Application System for Tourists

Taiwan’s ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on January 12th that an electronic visa system has been launched for visitors from specific countries who seek to visit Taiwan for the purpose of business, tourism, or short visits.  The e-Visa will grant foreigners a stay of up to 30 days through a confirmation via email.  This new process will eliminate the requirement of a foreigner to visit an overseas office and receive a visa by post.  Under the first phase of the program, 27 countries will be participating, including Brunei, Macedonia, Turkey, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.  For more information about both the e-Visa and eligible countries please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) website.


Uniformity for Employment-Based Immigration

Effective February 16, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has changed the regulations of 8.C.F.R 274a.12(b)(20) to provide uniformity across employment-based immigration provisions.  The posted final rule is intended to improve programs for the nonimmigrant classifications of H-1B1, E-3, EB-1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications by streamlining work authorization processes and establishing more consistency.  This amendment to the regulation is necessary due to the fact that the H-1B1, E-3 and CW-1 visa categories were created after the original regulation went into the effect.

The final rule makes the following changes:

  • Employees holding an H-1B1 visa or an E-3 principal visa are allowed to work for their sponsoring employer, which eliminates a need to apply for separate work authorization (although the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-129 and Department of Labor ETA Form 9035 required employment sponsorship for the beneficiaries, the statute has now incorporated these requirements for uniformity purposes);
  • Employees holding H-1B1, E-3, or CW-1 visas can also continue to work for their employer for 240 days beyond the authorized period specified if an extension was timely filed;
  • H-1B1 and E-3 visa holders may now remain in the United States to extend or change their status according to existing regulations; and
  • The initial list of evidence that a petitioner may submit for an EB-1 visa for an outstanding professor or researcher was expanded, allowing the petitioner to better demonstrate the beneficiary’s outstanding international recognition in their academic area.