EIG Dispatch | July 17-21

DC Insights: International Entrepreneur Rule / DHS Foreign Student Proposal / Administration Supporting Bills to Limit Immigration 

Headlines: Revised Form I-9 / Global Entry Application Process / I-129 Receipt Notice Delays

Feature Story: Summer and Fall Travel Reminders 

DC Insights: What We Learned in the Past 7 Days

Trump Administration Delays International Entrepreneur Rule. The International Entrepreneur Rule, previously scheduled to come into effect on July 17, 2017 has been pushed back to March 14, 2018 with a possible elimination of the entire program. This Rule would allow foreign nationals to be paroled into the United States to build fast-growing businesses. The setback will likely draw talented and innovative individuals to other countries, such as Canada and France, where current regulations on employment-based visas accommodate entrepreneurs.

DHS Proposal Calls for Close Scrutiny of Foreign Students. DHS is considering requiring foreign nationals studying in the United States to apply annually for permission to stay in the country. The proposal, if it becomes policy, would allow immigration agencies to more closely monitor foreign national students with the goal of enhancing national security. The current proposal is in a preliminary stage, would require changes in regulation, and would take a minimum of 18 months to take effect.

President Supports Bill to Scale Back Legal Immigration. In line with his campaign promise, President Trump is working on a bill along with Senators Tom Cotton (R) of Arkansas and David Perdue (R) of Georgia that is aimed at curtailing legal immigration. The bill is scheduled to be introduced later this summer, and if signed into law, would reduce the number of legal immigrants entering the U.S. to 50% of current levels by 2027.  Presently, around one million legal immigrants enter the U.S. annually. This bill will reduce that number to 500,000 over the next 10 years. The bill is still in early stages; no hearings or votes have been scheduled.

Headlines: Immigration News from Around the World

USCIS Released a Revised Version of Form I-9. The updated form, released on July 17, 2017, includes changes to the acceptable documents on List C and revisions to the form’s instructions. Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, has been added as an acceptable document in List C. All certifications of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) have been combined into one selection option in List C. Employers may continue using the current version of Form I-9 revised on 11/14/16 until September 17, 2017.

Global Entry for Indian Citizens  Application Process. As we previously reported, Indian nationals are now eligible for Global Entry, an expedited clearance program for certain low-risk travelers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has outlined the application process and requirements for prospective Indian nationals, see here.

Delay in Issuance of I-129 Receipt Notices.  Due to the high volume of I-129 petitions filed with USCIS, we have noticed USCIS is taking up to four weeks to issue some I-129 Receipt Notices. Petitioners may experience longer than expected wait times to receive a receipt notice from USCIS.

Feature Story: Summer and Fall Travel Reminders

Whether for work, vacation, or to obtain a new visa stamp, this time of year is especially busy for travel. If you are one of the many thousands of foreign workers entering the US this year, here are some quick reminders.

Getting a new visa

If you do not have a valid visa stamp in your passport, you will need to obtain a new one to return to the U.S. For detailed information on non-immigrant work visas and the process to obtain the visa stamp, please see here. For interview wait times and processing times at U.S. consulates around the world see here.

  • What to bring to your visa appointment. Although each consulate has specific requirements, in general they all require you to provide:
    • Current passport
    • Old passports if they have US visas
    • Passport style photograph
    • Approval notice for non-immigrant status
    • Visa petition copy
    • Employment verification letter
    • 3 recent pay stubs
    • Educational documents
    • Updated resume
    • For dependents – original marriage or birth certificates
  • Limits on applying outside of your home country. We strongly suggest that you attend the appointment at the U.S. Consulate in your home country to ensure an efficient process.  While some U.S. Consulates abroad, including in Canada and Mexico, will process visa appointments for foreign nationals of countries other than where the Consulate is located, or “third country national” visa stamping appointments, major factors to consider include:
    • some consulates will not process visa applications for those changing status;
    • wait times for third country national appointment are often longer than for locals;
    • there is always the chance that a visa application is put into Administrative Processing resulting in long delays.
  • Changing from F-1 to H-1B on October 1, wait to travel. If you are a student holding F-1 visa status and have been approved for a new H-1B Change of Status (not consular processing), your status will automatically change to H-1B on October 1, 2017.  We recommend that you do not leave the U.S. until after that date.

Entering the US
When entering the U.S. you will need:

  • Valid, current passport with current visa stamp that is valid on the day of return to the U.S.
  • Original I-797 Approval Notice, endorsed I-129S Approval Notice (for L-1 Blanket visa holders), or current I-20 endorsed for travel
  • 3 most recent pay statements from your company
  • Employment Verification Letter from your company

When to Contact EIG
We hope this answers several questions, but feel free to contact your EIG attorney if you have questions.

We need you to contact us:

  • If your visa application is put into “administrative processing”.
  • If your visa application is denied.
  • If you get a new I-94
    • Check your I-94 each time you enter the US and email us the new information.
  • If you would like assistance applying for your visa while abroad.
    • Contact us 6-8 weeks before you leave the U.S. to request a visa package.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.  We wish you happy and safe travels!