Beginning on January 1, 2024, the federal Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) will require “reporting companies” to report information about the organization, its “beneficial owners,” and, if formed after January 1, 2024, its “company applicants.”
If you do business in Washington, collect or process consumer health information, and such information is not HIPAA-regulated PHI, the Washington My Health My Data Act may apply to you. In particular, retail businesses, as well as health and fitness apps, wearables, or IoT developers, should pay attention to this law.
On November 9, 2023, the Department of Justice announced a landmark agreement with Apple Inc. to resolve allegations that the company illegally discriminated in hiring and recruitment against U.S. citizens and certain non-U.S. citizens whose permission to live in and work in the United States does not expire.
The Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Department of State, announced the lists of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H‑2A and H‑2B visa programs in the next year. Each country’s designation is valid until November 8, 2024. Bolivia has been added to the list of countries eligible to participate in both programs.
Effective November 17, 2023, in consultation with the Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security is increasing the total number of noncitizens who may receive an H‑2B nonimmigrant visa by up to 64,716 for fiscal year 2024. 20,000 visas are reserved for nationals of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica. The visas will be available "only to businesses that are suffering or will suffer impending irreparable harm, as attested by the employer." DHS is also providing temporary portability flexibility, explained in more detail in the temporary rule.
Following on the heels of the Department of Justice's $25 million settlement agreement with Apple Inc., DOJ has settled immigration-related discrimination cases with a New York City health care system and a staffing agency with offices nationwide.
On November 21, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is expanding myProgress (formerly known as personalized processing times) to Form I‑821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, and Form I‑485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. myProgress will initially only be available for family-based or Afghan special immigrant I‑485 applicants.
The new federal Corporate Transparency Act requires the reporting of the ownership and organizers of many entities formed on or after January 1, 2024, and of the ownership of many active entities formed prior to January 1, 2024. The law imposes significant penalties for failure to comply.
Minnesota’s legislature passed a slew of laws in the 2022-23 session. One that continues to generate a fair amount of buzz among employers is the ban of virtually all noncompete agreements entered into on or after July 1, 2023, except for those relating to the sale or dissolution of a business. Although the new law is not retroactive, it limits the tools an employer can use moving forward to protect its business interests.
Bankers who have been in the game for some time will remember a scam that had great popularity in past decades: the fake Canadian cashier’s check. The most common targets were businesses that routinely shepherd funds to various parties involved in a transaction—title companies, law firms, money managers and the like. It was fraud, plain and simple, and money laundering to boot.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and the Department of Labor have released the joint temporary rule implementing the process for employers who have a certified ETA 9142B with an employment start within fiscal year 2024 to apply for the 64,716 additional H-2B visa numbers.
While landlords must handle the situation of a death of an owner of a manufactured home (home) within a manufactured home community on a case-by-case basis, below is certain general information as it relates to this topic.
A notice informing employees of their rights under the new Minnesota Sick and Safe Time Act must be provided to each employee, in the employee’s primary language, by January 1, 2024, or at the start of the employment if it is after January 1, 2024.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on October 13, 2023, that it has received enough petitions to reach the cap on H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers for the first half of fiscal year 2024. October 11, 2023, was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2024.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provided additional guidance on its interpretation of changes to the EB-5 program made by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, specifically the required investment timeframe and how USCIS treats investors who are associated with a terminated regional center.
The Department of Homeland Security is suspending certain regulatory requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Cameroon, regardless of country of birth (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Cameroon), and who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Cameroon.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has launched a new Enterprise Change of Address self-service tool to allow those with pending applications, petitions or requests to update their addresses with USCIS online.
On October 19, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced the start of visa-free travel for short-term visits to the United States for eligible Israeli citizens and nationals following Israel’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program.
- USCIS Clarifies Guidance on L-1 Petitions for Intracompany Transferees Filed by Sole Proprietorships and on Blanket L Petitions
On October 20, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued policy guidance to clarify that a sole proprietorship may not file an L-1 petition on behalf of its owner because the sole proprietorship does not exist as a distinct legal entity separate and apart from the owner.
On October 18, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new family reunification parole process for certain nationals of Ecuador that also allows for work authorization. The new process is for certain nationals of Ecuador whose family members are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and who have received approval to join their family in the United States.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that certain renewal applicants who have filed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, qualify for an automatic extension of their expiring work authorization and/or employment authorization documents while their renewal applications are pending.
- Texas Service Center Is New Filing Location for H-2A, H-2B and Certain CNMI Petitions as of November 1
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that beginning November 1, 2023, all H-2A, H-2B, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands-related Form I-129 petitions, Form I-129CW petitions, and CNMI-related Form I-539 applications must be filed directly with the Texas Service Center.
The Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman reminded employers to use the revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with the edition date August 1, 2023, starting November 1, 2023.
Michigan is expected to enact legislation adopting state-level jurisdiction over large-scale renewable energy projects.
Starting January 1, 2024, the Corporate Transparency Act will require many newly formed and existing businesses to report certain information, including ownership information, to the federal government. Please review our guide to find out whether your business is subject to the Act, what it will need to report and when.
A Montana state court issued a ruling in favor of 16 youth plaintiffs, declaring that the state of Montana violated the youth’s constitutional rights to a clean and healthful environment.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a South Dakota District Court’s grant of summary judgment that dismissed a farmer’s claims against the United States Department of Agricultural and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Environmental Protection Agency announced a framework for evaluating new PFAS and new uses of existing PFAS. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency released a draft PFAS Remediation Guidance for public review and comment.
No public company is immune from becoming an activist target. The good news is that in today’s environment, being approached does not signal that the company is on the brink of disaster. The bad news is that anticipating an activist threat is more challenging than ever.
Public companies that conduct share buybacks are currently facing the prospect of disclosing extensive details about those programs on a quarterly basis, pursuant to rules adopted by the SEC in May 2023.
On October 18, 2023, St. Paul City Council adopted sweeping new zoning rules that would allow developers to build “missing middle” housing across most St. Paul neighborhoods. As a result, the Zoning Code now permits two-to-six-unit multi-family buildings almost anywhere in the city, with some restrictions.
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2024 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for benefit plans.
As a lawyer representing creative clients, I am excited, interested and anxious about the ways in which Generative AI will shape our work and lives. Because Generative AI tools are so powerful, my own personal view is that businesses should strongly consider engaging and experimenting with Generative AI, while simultaneously taking steps to understand and manage risk.
Shortly before the deadline on September 30, 2023, Congress passed and President Biden signed H.R. 5860, a short-term funding bill to keep the federal government funded for 45 days. A shutdown is still possible after November 17.
On September 18, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a proposed rule to strengthen protections for temporary workers under the H‑A temporary agricultural and H‑B temporary nonagricultural worker programs. The proposed rule is intended to improve the H‑2 programs by providing more flexibility and protections for the workers, as well as improving efficiency.
On September 18, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman’s Office released a tip sheet for F-1 international students on how to avoid delays with adjudications on Form I-765, Applications for Employment Authorization.
Immigration Customs Enforcement and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program recently updated Form I-983 to remove the requirement for wet signatures.
On September 19, 2023, the Office of Management and Budget received a proposed rule from the Department of Homeland Security to amend regulations governing H‑1B specialty occupation workers and F‑1 students who are beneficiaries of timely filed H‑1B cap-subject petitions.
On September 20, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced the extension and redesignation of Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months. The extension and redesignation are based upon a review of country conditions and findings that Venezuela continues to experience increased instability and safety concerns.
On September 21, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced the extension and redesignation of Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months, from November 21, 2023, to May 20, 2025. The extension and redesignation are based upon a review of country conditions and ongoing armed conflict in Afghanistan.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on September 27, 2023, that it is increasing the maximum validity period to five years for initial and renewal Employment Authorization Documents for certain noncitizens who are employment-authorized incident to status or circumstance, including those admitted as refugees, paroled as refugees, and granted asylum, as well as recipients of withholding of removal.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on September 25, 2023, that it is exempting the biometric services fee for Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Beginning October 1, 2023, applicants do not need to pay the $85 biometric services fee.
Effective September 29, 2023, Israel has been designated eligible for participation in the Visa Waiver Program.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reminded employers about the November 1, 2023, deadline for using the updated Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification with the 08/01/2023 edition date.
The Department of Homeland Security will extend and redesignate Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months, beginning on December 8, 2023, and ending on June 7, 2025.
The Department of State announced that U.S. passport processing times have fluctuated several times in 2023. As of October 2, 2023, routine applications were being processed in eight to 11 weeks, and expedited applications in five to seven weeks. Processing times do not include mailing time.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has completed the second random selection process from previously submitted registrations for the fiscal year 2024 H-1B cap.
- USCIS Changes Receipt Process for L-1 Nonimmigrant Intracompany Transferees Under Previously Approved Blanket L Petition
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced changes to how the agency issues receipts for L-1 nonimmigrant intracompany transferees (executives, managers, or specialized knowledge professionals) under a previously approved Blanket L petition.
- September Visa Bulletin Includes DV-2024 Results, Availability of Employment-Based Visas, Determination of Numerical Limit on Immigrants
The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for September includes Diversity Visa 2024 lottery results, availability of employment-based visas during September and determination of the numerical limit on immigrants for fiscal year 2023.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reminded employers that the new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is now available for use. The new version incorporates an alternative procedure for E-Verify employers to remotely examine employee documents. Other changes include shortening the form to one page and reducing the instructions to eight pages.
The Department of State released a fact sheet on August 7, 2023, on new family reunification parole processes for individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia, and updated processes for individuals from Cuba and Haiti. Nationals of these countries may be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis for a period of up to three years while they apply to become lawful permanent residents pursuant to their approved I-130 petition.
The Department of Homeland Security is extending and redesignating Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status. The extension allows approximately 26,000 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through April 19, 2025, if they continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements. An estimated 166,700 additional individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Ukraine. This population includes nationals of Ukraine (and individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine) in the United States in nonimmigrant status or without lawful immigration status. DHS also announced special student relief for Ukraine.
The Department of Homeland Security is extending and redesignating Sudan for Temporary Protected Status. The extension allows approximately 1,200 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through April 19, 2025, if they continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements. An estimated 2,750 additional individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Sudan. This population includes nationals of Sudan (and individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Sudan) in the United States in nonimmigrant status or without lawful immigration status. DHS also announced special student relief for Sudan.
Earlier this year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rolled out premium processing for F-1 students seeking optional practical training or science, technology, engineering and mathematics OPT extensions. As students began to file premium processing requests, stakeholders informed the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman that they were experiencing delays in receiving their Employment Authorization Documents. The CIS Ombudsman is reminding stakeholders that premium processing times are separate from work permit production timelines.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued policy guidance, effective August 16, 2023, to confirm the evidentiary requirements for physicians seeking a national interest waiver of the job offer requirement based on work in an underserved area or at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility.
On August 21, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a new online form for individuals, attorneys and accredited representatives to request an in-person appointment at their local field office without having to call the USCIS Contact Center.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that the Office of Refugee Resettlement has issued updated guidance clarifying that ORR benefits and services will be available to eligible Afghan parolees who have a pending re-parole application, a pending asylum application or a pending adjustment of status application with USCIS. This guidance applies to eligible Afghan parolees whose initial period of parole expires while their applications are pending with USCIS, the agency said.
In a recent ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the 2021 EPA standards regulating greenhouse gas emissions from domestic aircraft. California v. Environmental Protection Agency, 72 F.4th 308 (D.D.C. 2023). The EPA’s standards aligned with those adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Petitioners, made up of twelve states, the District of Columbia, and three environmental groups, challenged the EPA’s regulations, claiming they should have been more stringent than those promulgated by ICAO in an effort to combat climate change.
On July 13, 2023, the EPA published a final rule rescinding the agency’s 2020 Trump-era rule titled “Increasing Consistency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process” (the Benefit-Cost Rule or Rule). 88 Fed. Reg. 44710 (2023).
On August 2, 2023, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System permit issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for a new copper mining project in St Louis County, MN, proposed by New Range Copper Nickel (formerly Poly Met Mining).
Since the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Republic Bank, several agencies have issued reports on factors that contributed to the failures. If you have not added the recent post-mortem reports and speeches to your list of weekend or bedtime reading, you should do so. They provide an important window into the minds of bank regulators on what is to come.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed in 2010, but it seems like decades ago given what has happened since its passage—the regulatory agencies and financial services industry digested it and spent hundreds of thousands of hours issuing rules and more hours implementing those rules.
The Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification reminded employers and other interested stakeholders that the three-day filing window to submit an H-2B Application for Temporary Employment Certification (Form ETA-9142B and appendices) requesting a work start date of October 1, 2023, will open on July 3, 2023 and close on July 5, 2023. October 1, 2023, is the first day of the semiannual visa allotment for the first half of fiscal year 2024. Applications will be denied if they are filed before July 3.
The Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification has published the Assignment Groups for 2,157 H-2B applications covering 40,947 worker positions with a work start date of October 1, 2023. OFLC said it completed the randomization process on July 6, 2023, and assigned to National Processing Center analysts all H-2B applications placed in Assignment Group A for issuance of Notices of Deficiency or Acceptance. Group A includes enough worker positions to reach the H-2B semiannual visa allotment of 33,000.
A Federal Register notice published on June 16, 2023, by the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration updated the Adverse Effect Wage Rates under the H-2A temporary agricultural employment program that apply to a limited set of H-2A job opportunities for which the AEWR is determined using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Statistics Survey.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services seeks comments by August 28, 2023 on "E‑Verify NextGen" (I-9NG), a new online "demonstration project" intended to further integrate the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, process with the E-Verify electronic work eligibility confirmation process "to create a more secure and less burdensome employment eligibility verification process overall for employees and employers."
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has launched a new self-service tool allowing benefit requestors, and their attorneys and accredited representatives, to reschedule most biometric services appointments before the date of the appointment. USCIS also clarified its guidance on policies and procedures related to "good cause" in this context.
On July 7, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced the implementation of new family reunification parole processes for eligible nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. DHS said the new processes are for "nationals from those countries whose family members are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and who have received approval to join their family in the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security has amended the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List by adding eight qualifying fields of study and a corresponding Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs code for each. No CIP codes from the existing list are being removed.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on July 12, 2023, that it is expanding myProgress (formerly known as personalized processing times) to Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. MyProgress is also available for applicants with a USCIS online account who file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, among others.
The Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification has issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the final rule, "Adverse Effect Wage Rate Methodology for the Temporary Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in Non-Range Occupations in the United States," which was published on February 28, 2023.
On July 31, 2023, USCIS announced the second selection process is complete and all prospective petitioners with selected registrations have been notified that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary.
The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman's Annual Report for 2023 examines the effects of backlogs and additional challenges facing the agency. It recommends actions USCIS can take to address the human consequences and detrimental effects on the agency of backlogs.
The Department of State recently clarified the Final Action Date retrogression applicable to employment-based third preference visa applicants chargeable to India, effective with the July 2023 Visa Bulletin, and explained the reason for prorating India EB-3 visas.
The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for August includes information on establishment of a Worldwide EB-1 final action date; retrogression in the EB-1 category for India; and retrogression in the EB-3 category for Rest of World countries, Mexico and Philippines.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on July 18, 2023, that it is updating its visa availability approach for managing the inventory of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor.
Residential landlords in Iowa and other parts of the country continue to struggle with the inconsistency and confusion among state courts regarding whether the additional 30-day notice to vacate requirement of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 is still applicable.
- Preparing for the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker Filing Season – Do Not Miss the H-2B Lottery
January 1 is New Year’s Day, and it is also the opening of the H-2B filing season for employers seeking to sponsor H-2B workers on April 1, 2024, or later. Due to a steady labor shortage for essential workers, there has been exponential growth in the use of the H-2B visa.
On July 21, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new I-9 rule which will allow employers enrolled in E-Verify and in good standing an alternative option to remotely prepare Form I-9s for new hires.
The recently concluded Minnesota legislative session resulted in a historical amount of legislation across a variety of topics. One of these was a residential landlord-tenant law. The legislature enacted a number of tenant-friendly provisions, most of which will take effect on January 1, 2024.
Department of State has recently announced in the August 2023 Visa Bulletin that India will be subject to a final action cutoff date of January 1, 2012, within the Employment Based First Preference category (EB-1), having reached their limit for FY-2023.
The Department of State announced on May 30, 2023 that for the Diversity Visa program for fiscal year 2024 and onward, selectees only need initially to submit to the Kentucky Consular Center the DS-260 immigrant visa application form for themselves and any accompanying family members.
- USCIS Releases Filing Tips for Supporters and Beneficiaries of Uniting for Ukraine and for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans
USCIS said it has received many duplicate filings of Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, and related inquiries. Some potential supporters are filing multiple Forms I-134A for the same beneficiary. "This adds to our workload, which delays processing," USCIS said, noting that potential supporters who wish to support more than one beneficiary must file one Form I-134A for each beneficiary.
The Department of State notes that due to high demand, retrogressions have been necessary for the EB-3 category for India, Mexico, Philippines and Rest of World.
- DHS Updates Guidance on Parole Periods, Work Authorization for Certain Afghan and Ukrainian Parolees
The Department of Homeland Security has released updated guidance on parole periods and employment authorization for certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on June 9, 2023, that certain individuals requesting parole based on urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit can file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, online.
At a hearing on June 7, 2023, of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability, Rena Bitter, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, said the Bureau and the Department of State have taken "extraordinary measures" to meet current U.S. passport and visa demand.
The Department of Homeland Security has rescinded the Trump administration's terminations of the temporary protected status designations for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal and Nicaragua, and extended TPS for these countries for 18 months.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released policy guidance on the eligibility criteria for initial and renewal applications for an Employment Authorization Document in compelling circumstances.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is expanding premium processing for applicants filing Form I‑539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and seeking a change of status to F‑1, F‑2, M‑1, M‑2, J‑1 or J‑2 nonimmigrant status. Online filing of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, will also be available for these applicants. This phase of premium processing service is only available for change-of-status requests. Premium processing is not available for individuals seeking an extension of stay in M-1 or M-2 status.
Effective July 1, 2023, the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration is updating the adverse effect wage rates under the H‑2A temporary agricultural employment program that apply to a limited set of H‑2A job opportunities for which the AEWR is determined using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey.
- USCIS Updates Policy on Its Role in Adjudicating Waivers and Change-of-Status for J Nonimmigrant Exchange Visitors
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has updated policy guidance regarding the J visa classification, including USCIS's role in the adjudication of waivers of the two-year foreign residence requirement and change-of-status requests.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's online change-of-address form for noncitizens is now fully operational, ICE announced on June 13, 2023. The new system gives noncitizens the option to update their information online instead of doing so by phone or in person.
Employers will have an additional 30 days to comply with Form I-9 requirements after COVID-19 flexibilities sunset on July 31, 2023, according to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Following the Department of Homeland Security's recent announcement that it was rescinding the Trump administration's terminations of the temporary protected status designations for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal and Nicaragua, and reinstating and extending TPS for these countries for 18 months, DHS has published notices for each country in the Federal Register providing the eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register for TPS and renew their employment authorization documents.
Clients often contact us seeking to raise capital for or invest in North Dakota farm and ranch land. North Dakota’s previously strict corporate farming law made this a complicated process. Things have changed. In the recently completed 2023 legislative session, North Dakota lawmakers added a substantial new exemption for livestock operations, allowing significant new direct capital investment into the state.
The Minnesota legislature got busy this year. Changes to Minnesota’s pregnancy and parenting leave, lactation and pregnancy accommodations, and city minimum wages, as well as marijuana legalization, a noncompete ban, and new prohibitions on so-called captive audience meetings become effective imminently. Employers would be wise to pay close attention to implementation dates for these laws.
What was intended to be a short-term, soon-to-be-supplanted directive, the interim policy remains in place, and the NCAA has offered little in the way of additional guidance since its adoption. As a result, NIL activity has skyrocketed across its hundreds of member institutions with participating parties operating in an environment akin to “The Wild West,” largely free of significant oversight and clear boundaries.
On May 26, 2023, Minnesota's Governor Walz approved a bill (HF 402) that requires advance notice to the attorney general and commissioner of health of certain health care transactions and prohibits anticompetitive transactions.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on May 4, 2023, that employers will have 30 days to comply with Form I-9, Employment Authorization Verification, requirements after the COVID-19 flexibilities sunset on July 31, 2023.
On May 3, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the extension and expansion of employment authorization under Deferred Enforced Departure for eligible Hong Kong residents.
As of May 12, 2023, COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be required for international travelers entering the United States via air, land ports of entry, and ferry terminals. The Biden administration said the rescission of these travel restrictions were in alignment with the end of the Public Health Emergency on May 11, 2023.
As of May 6, 2023, Diversity Visa entrants can check their status online at Entrant Status Check, using their unique confirmation number, to see if their entry was selected.
The Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin for June 2023 reports a retrogression for the India EB-5 category and a likely retrogression soon for the India EB-3 category.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification is postponing to June 1, 2023, the date for filers to begin submitting the new, revised applications for permanent employment certification and CW-1 applications for temporary employment certification in the Foreign Labor Application Gateway system.
The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman released tips on how F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training can avoid delays in processing the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
On May 16, 2023, the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice published a final rule released on May 10, 2023, “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways,” which was effective May 11, 2023.
On May 18, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced an updated process for granting advance travel authorization for up to 30,000 noncitizen Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans each month to come to the United States to seek parole on a case-by-case basis.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification has released public disclosure data and selected program statistics, and it has updated its H-2B labor recruiter list.
FL 1718, effective July 1, 2023, was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
On May 26, 2023, the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification announced Form ETA 9089 case submission for PERM in the Foreign Labor Application Gateway and related technical guidance.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a broadcast message to all Student and Exchange Visitor Information System users to remind them about updated visa issuance guidance and a fee increase.
On May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, significantly contracting the jurisdictional reach of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) over wetlands. The majority decision is the most consequential CWA decision in decades, one likely to exclude millions of acres of formerly jurisdictional wetlands from federal regulation.
The Bank Term Funding Program has been initiated by the Federal Reserve and the FDIC to provide liquidity to financial institutions. Under the program, banks can borrow from the applicable Federal Reserve Bank with any collateral eligible for purchase by the Federal Reserve Bank so long as the collateral was owned by the bank on March 12, 2023.
With conversion schedules for core processing vendors booking out increasingly further, two-step bank mergers are becoming increasingly common. Under this scheme, the “legal merge” takes place on the closing date, but the “operational merge” doesn’t take place until sometime post-closing. While this might seem like a great solution, banks considering a two-step merger must take into account and carefully plan for a lengthy list of legal, operational, and regulatory issues.
Current Minnesota law does not provide lenders, owners, and junior creditors with much guidance regarding surpluses that result from a bid at a mortgage foreclosure sale of more than the amount due on the mortgage. Historically, Minnesota case law has provided some guidance on these issues, but a bill recently introduced in the Minnesota House would provide more guidance on issues surrounding surpluses.
As Iowa landlords know, there remains a good deal of inconsistency among small claims magistrates across Iowa’s 99 counties regarding various legal questions pertinent to residential evictions, resulting in the need to appeal certain small claims eviction decisions to an Iowa district judge or district magistrate judge.
Governor Walz is expected to sign into law the highly anticipated bill that bans virtually all non-competition agreements in Minnesota, apart from those relating to the sale or dissolution of a business.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach the fiscal year 2024 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap), including the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap).
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is removing the requirement that civil surgeons sign Form I-693, Report of Immigration Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, no more than 60 days before an individual applies for an underlying immigration benefit.
Effective May 30, 2023, a Department of State final rule raises most consular service fees, although the fee increases are smaller than those proposed in the notice of proposed rulemaking due to revised projections.
The Department of State is extending Special Student Relief to eligible Ukrainian students in the United States on J-1 visas “to help mitigate the adverse impact on them resulting from the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24, 2022.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has begun accepting petitions for workers for the late second half of fiscal year 2023—those requesting employment start dates from May 15, 2023, to September 30, 2023—under the H-2B supplemental cap temporary final rule.
- OFLC Reconsiders Denials Based on Question H.10-B ‘Acceptable Alternate Occupation Title’ on ETA-9089
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification has stopped issuing denials for this issue for pending applications and “will not deny for this reason for any application submitted on or before May 30, 2023.”
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for May 2023 includes a variety of updates.
After years of litigation, IADU Table Mound MHP and Impact MHC Management, LLC were vindicated by an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in which the court held that landlords are not required to accept Section 8 vouchers as a supposed reasonable accommodation to a tenant’s disability and related economic hardship.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued comprehensive guidance on parole for international entrepreneurs and new entrepreneur resources.
The Department of Homeland Security plans to publish a Federal Register notice on March 13, 2023, extending and redesignating Somalia for temporary protected status. DHS also announced special student relief for certain F-1 nonimmigrant Somali students.
- USCIS Announces Premium Processing, New Online Filing Procedures for Certain F-1 Students Seeking OPT or STEM OPT Extensions
On March 6, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking science, technology, engineering and mathematics OPT extensions who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and wish to request a premium processing upgrade.
The Department of Labor released frequently asked questions on a final rule published February 28, 2023, and effective March 30, 2023, revising the methodology by which it determines the hourly Adverse Effect Wage Rates for non-range agricultural occupations.
On May 3, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security published an interim final rule extending the REAL ID card-based enforcement deadline to May 3, 2023. A new final rule published March 9, 2023 further extends the date for card-based enforcement of the REAL ID regulations to May 7, 2025.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has engaged in a series of business transformation initiatives aimed at modernizing their processes, enhancing security, optimizing existing resources, reducing operating costs and creating a welcoming environment for all arriving travelers.
According to the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for April 2023, the EB‑4 category, which includes special immigrant religious workers, now has a worldwide backlog of 5+ years. Also, the EB‑2 final action dates for Rest of World, India, Mexico and the Philippines have retrogressed several months to keep number use within the FY 2023 annual limit.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that certain flexibilities first introduced in March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic ended on March 23, 2023. USCIS previously notified the public that barring any changes presented by the pandemic, the extension of these flexibilities announced on January 24, 2023, would be the last.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Carrier Liaison Program recently issued a reminder that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began producing redesigned employment authorization documents on January 30, 2023.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has expanded its Mobile Passport Control program to include the Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver Preclearance locations in Canada.
On June 24, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will dispose of E‑Verify records that are more than 10 years old.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion upholding the MPCA’s adoption of new vehicle emission standards across the state.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals, in an opinion written by Judge Jesson, reversed the City of Cohasset’s determination that an environmental impact statement was not required for Huber Engineered Woods LLC’s proposed oriented-strand-board manufacturing facility to be built west of Cohasset.
USCIS announced on March 31, 2023, the H-2B supplemental visa cap has been reached for the second half of the Fiscal Year 2023. USCIS is returning petitions to employers that were filed with USCIS after March 30, 2023, seeking visas under the supplemental/additional visas cap for the second half FY2023.
Property tax reassessment notices began going out this week to Iowa property owners, and Iowa business owners and homeowners are seeing record increases. By way of example, Polk County reported an average 22 percent increase in residential property values.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released updates related to the fiscal year 2024 H-1B cap season.
The SEC, through its Division of Examinations, has published its exam priorities for 2023. According to the SEC, these priorities reflect practices and products that may present more risk to investors and/or the integrity of U.S. capital markets.
The Department of State plans to launch a pilot program later this year to allow visa renewals in the United States for H and L nonimmigrant workers.
A district court has ordered the U.S. government to provide relief to approximately 41,000 nonimmigrant visa applicants who were denied a waiver during the Trump administration’s travel ban under Presidential Proclamation 9645 and who have not subsequently been granted a visa.
Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements plans to enable a new initial verification response, “Unable to Create Case,” on February 20, 2023. SAVE will provide this response when a user tries to submit a duplicate case via a web browser.
The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has announced the annual updated dollar amount per day that H-2A employers may charge workers. They also released the maximum and minimum rate per day at which H-2A and H-2B workers must be reimbursed for travel-related subsistence expenses.
The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for March 2023 includes updates on visa availability in various categories, including possible retrogressions in the coming months.
- E-Verify Recommends Timeframes to Resolve Certain Social Security Mismatches; Deadline is September 29, 2023
E-Verify recommends that employees with E-Verify Social Security Administration Tentative Nonconfirmation mismatch cases falling within certain timeframes to visit their local SSA offices within preferred date ranges, and that all affected employees must visit SSA to resolve their mismatch by September 29, 2023.
The court noted that to establish whether an employee works or has worked in a managerial or executive role, the sponsoring employer must submit a detailed list of the job-related tasks the putative beneficiary performs or has performed; general or vague descriptions are insufficient.
The United States and Mexico have signed a memorandum of understanding “to strengthen protections for workers participating in temporary foreign worker programs,” the Department of Labor reported.
- Biden Administration Proposes Controversial Rule on ‘Temporary’ Measures to Limit Asylum at Southwest Border
The Biden administration issued a new proposed rule that it called “temporary,” which introduces a “rebuttable presumption of asylum ineligibility for certain noncitizens who neither avail themselves of a lawful, safe and orderly pathway to the United States nor seek asylum or other protection in a country through which they travel.
- USCIS Issues Clarifying Guidance for Individuals Authorized to Work Under Special Student Relief Provisions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released policy guidance to clarify the validity period of employment authorization for F-1 nonimmigrant students experiencing severe economic hardship due to emergent circumstances who are authorized to work under the SSR provisions. The guidance applies to all pending and future applications for SSR employment authorization as of February 22, 2023, the date the guidance was published.
F and M student visas for new students can now be issued up to 365 days before the start date for a course of study. However, the student cannot enter the United States on a student visa more than 30 days before the start date.
- DHS Extends Comment Period for Fee Rule; USCIS Releases Fact Sheet on Fee Waivers for Naturalization Applications
The Department of Homeland Security has extended the comment period for a rule published on January 4, 2023, by five days, to March 13, 2023. The rule proposes to change the fee schedule for certain immigration benefits. DHS said the extension was due to technical problems on the General Services Administration’s eRulemaking Portal that prevented some commenters from submitting their comments and supporting documentation.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on March 2, 2023, that it has received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year 2023. USCIS also announced the filing dates for supplemental H-2B visas for the remainder of FY 2023 made available under the FY 2023 H-2B supplemental visa temporary final rule.
Effective April 5, 2023, the Department of State is updating its regulation regarding visa applicants' furnishing of signed photographs as required under Immigration and Nationality Act. DOS said the updates reflect changes in technology, including the ability to upload digital photographs electronically as part of the online visa application process.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is updating guidance in its Policy Manual regarding on-site inspections for special immigrant and nonimmigrant religious worker petitions. To assess the efficacy of on-site inspections for petitioning religious organizations, USCIS conducted a large-scale review of the results of these inspections over the past 12 years.
The Department of Labor issued a final rule effective March 30, 2023, revising the methodology by which it determines the hourly Adverse Effect Wage Rates for non-range occupations. DOL said it believes the new methodology "strikes a reasonable balance between the statute's competing goals of providing employers with an adequate supply of legal agricultural labor and protecting the wages and working conditions” of similarly situated U.S. workers.
USCIS clarified how it evaluates evidence to determine eligibility for O-1B nonimmigrants of extraordinary ability in the arts and nonimmigrants of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.
- EPA Rejects Minnesota’s and 20 Other States’ SIPs for 2015 Ozone NAAQS; “Good Neighbor Plan” FIP Forthcoming
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disapproved the implementation plans of Minnesota and 20 other states addressing interstate transport for the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
EPA recently doubled down on the commitment it made in the 2021-2024 PFAS Strategic Roadmap.
A District of Minnesota Court recently issued an opinion granting and denying portions of a motion to dismiss stemming from a proposed mining project.
Payments fraud is nothing new—but neither is one of the best tools for combatting it: positive pay. Yet some banks still do not offer a positive pay program to their commercial customers—and even some of those that do offer positive pay do not market it well to their customers. In response to both of these facts, I ask, “Why on earth not?”
While economic forecasts may fluctuate like the winter weather of the Upper Midwest, as recently as mid-October 2022 some projections have 100 percent guaranteed the next U.S. recession in the next calendar year. With the total amount of outstanding commercial and industrial loans currently standing at over $2.8 trillion in November 2022, and outstanding consumer loans standing at $4.7 trillion in October 2022, it is clear that the U.S. lending industry may be facing a gargantuan credit default.
Since the Department of Justice announced its redlining enforcement effort in October of 2021, four lending institutions agreed to consent orders for alleged redlining violations by the end of 2022.
- EPA and the Corps Issue Revised Definition of “Waters of the US,” Incorporating Both Jurisdictional Tests from Rapanos
On December 30, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a final rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS).
The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently dealt another blow to the City of Minneapolis’ 2040 Comprehensive Plan with its December 27, 2022, order.
The current National Labor Relations Board atmosphere feels very much like the epic battle between the evil Empire and the heroic rebel forces. In this latest episode, the Board used its double-sided lightsaber to cauterize standard separation agreements that employers routinely enter into with employees, whether the latter are unionized or not.
With the rise in construction projects that are audited, it is important for owners, general contractors and subcontractors of all tiers to understand both the basics and specific concepts regarding construction audits and seek legal counsel as needed.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year 2024 H-1B cap will open at noon EST on March 1, 2023, and run through noon EST on March 17, 2023.
- Visa Bulletin for February 2023 Includes Retrogressions in the Employment Third Preference ‘Other Workers’ Category, and ‘Certain Religious Workers’ Availability
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for February 2023 includes information about retrogressions in the worldwide final action and application filing dates in the employment third preference “Other Workers” category.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has returned to a pre-Trump administration policy of adjudicating Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization for H-4 and L-2 derivatives, along with the underlying Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, when these forms are filed concurrently.
- Premium Processing to Expand for EB-1 and EB-2 Form I-140 Petitions and Certain Students and Exchange Visitors
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is implementing the final phase of the premium processing expansion for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications. Also, in March and April, USCIS plans to expand premium processing to certain F-1 students and exchange visitors.
The Department of State, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, announced the launch of Welcome Corps, a new private sponsorship program to welcome refugees arriving through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and support their resettlement and integration into the United States. The initiative is pursuant to President Biden’s Executive Order 14301, “Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provided questions and answers following a webinar presented by the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman on international student issues.
- DHS Streamlines Deferred Action Process for Immigrant Workers Participating in Labor Enforcement Investigations
The Department of Homeland Security announced on January 13, 2023, that noncitizen workers who are victims of or witnesses to the violation of labor rights can now access a streamlined and expedited deferred action request process. DHS explained that deferred action “protects noncitizen workers from threats of immigration-related retaliation from the exploitive employers.”
The Department of Homeland Security announced the extension of temporary protected status for Somalia for an additional 18 months from March 18, 2023, through September 17, 2024. DHS also redesignated Somalia for TPS, allowing Somali nationals residing in the United States as of January 11, 2023, to apply for TPS, so long as they meet all eligibility requirements.
The Department of Homeland Security announced that the new scheduling function in the CBP One™ mobile application is now live. Non-U.S. citizens located in Central or Northern Mexico who seek to travel to the United States may use U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s app to submit information in advance and schedule an appointment to present themselves at certain southwest border land ports of entry.
After the Trump administration’s 2019 public charge rule was invalidated nationwide following a court battle and the Biden administration’s dropping of its defense of the rule, Texas and 13 other states attempted to intervene and bring back the rule through litigation.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the validity of green cards 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, for 48 months beyond the card’s expiration date.
The Department of Homeland Security announced several measures to provide relief for Haitians in the United States, including temporary protected status and special student relief.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending certain COVID-19-related flexibilities through March 23, 2023. Under these flexibilities, USCIS considers a response received within 60 calendar days after the due date for requests or notices before taking any action, if the request or notice was issued between March 1, 2020, and March 23, 2023.
Iowa’s 2023 legislative session is well under way. Landlords should be aware of the following active bills at the Iowa Capitol.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year 2024 H-1B cap will open at noon EST on March 1, 2023, and run through noon EST on March 17, 2023. If USCIS receives enough registrations by the time the registration window closes, USCIS will conduct a registration lottery.
As in prior years, Fredrikson anticipates that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will open the initial registration period for the cap-subject fiscal year 2024 H-1B visas in early March 2023. While USCIS will announce the registration window and process, which will allow prospective petitioners to create new accounts for the H-1B lottery registration soon, employers who would like to participate in the H-1B lottery for FY 2024 should start preparing for it now.
- USCIS Announces ‘Important’ H-2B Supplemental Cap Petition Filing Updates Before Publication of Temporary Final Rule
On December 8, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced filing updates for petitioners who will be requesting additional H-2B workers for fiscal year 2023 under the upcoming temporary final rule. USCIS said it was announcing these updates to assist petitioners who wish to begin preparing their petitions before publication of a rule in the Federal Register.
In a temporary final rule published on December 15, 2022, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, has increased the total number of noncitizens who may receive an H-2B nonimmigrant visa by up to 64,716 for fiscal year 2023. To “assist U.S. businesses that need workers to begin work on different start dates,” the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor will distribute the supplemental visas in several allocations, including two separate allocations in the second half of FY 2023.
- Under Court Order, OFLC to Propose Rescission of H-2B Registration Requirements and Provide Unique H-2B Temporary Registration Numbers
In response to a federal court order, the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification plans to rescind H-2B registration requirements and propose conforming edits throughout its H-2B regulations. In the interim, DOL said it will use the Notice of Acceptance, issued when an H-2B application meets regulatory requirements and the employer can begin recruiting U.S. workers, to inform an H-2B employer of DOL’s determination of the employer’s temporary need for services or labor.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification has issued a set of frequently asked questions, “Round 4: H-2A Application Filing and Processing,” associated with the publication of the final rule, Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in the United States.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification has released frequently asked questions on prevailing wage surveys under the 2022 H-2A final rule, “Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in the United States,” published on October 12, 2022, and effective November 14, 2022.
- OFLC Publishes New 2023 H-2A Hourly Adverse Effect Wage Rates for Non-Range Occupations and for Herding or Production of Livestock on the Range
In two notices, the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration announced the new Adverse Effect Wage Rates under the H-2A program.
On December 7, 2022, the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification issued its third round of frequently asked questions related to the 2022 H-2A final rule published in October, “Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in the United States.”
- Green Cards Automatically Extended for Naturalization Applicants Who File on December 12, 2022, or Later
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is automatically extending the validity of Permanent Resident Cards for lawful permanent residents who applied for naturalization on December 12, 2022, or later. LPRs who filed for naturalization before December 12 will not receive this extension.
- Registration Process Begins for Ethiopia TPS; DHS Provides Relief for F-1 Nonimmigrant Ethiopian Students
The Department of Homeland Security announced several measures to provide relief for Ethiopians in the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security announced the extension of temporary protected status for Haiti through August 3, 2024. DHS also redesignated Haiti for TPS, allowing eligible Haitian nationals residing in the United States as of November 6, 2022, to apply for TPS through August 3, 2024.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending and expanding previously announced fee exemptions and expedited application processing for certain Afghan nationals through September 30, 2023.
The Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman released an updated Form 7001, Request for Case Assistance.
- Visa Bulletin for January 2023 Reports on Availability in the Employment First Category for China and India, Unavailability of Religious Workers Category
Effective in January, employment first preference final action and application filing dates for China and India are established to hold number use within the maximum allowed under the fiscal year 2023 annual limit.
The Department of Homeland Security plans to extend and redesignate Yemen for temporary protected status in a Federal Register notice expected to be published on January 3, 2023.
Effective January 5, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will require a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test, or documentation of recovery within the last 90 days, for air passengers boarding flights to the United States originating from the People’s Republic of China and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
- DHS Issues Update on Southwest Border Security and Preparedness Under Court-Ordered Lifting of ‘Title 42’; Termination of ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program Paused
The Department of Homeland Security issued an update on December 13, 2022, on southwest border security and preparedness in anticipation of a court-ordered lifting of Title 42 by December 21, 2022, which was upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in a ruling on December 16, 2022. Title 42 prevented many migrants from seeking asylum in the United States because of COVID-19 concerns and required them to wait in Mexico.
- Guangzhou Immigrant Visa Unit Closes Until Further Notice; Limited Services Announced at Other U.S. Embassies and Consulates in China
The Immigrant Visa Unit of the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China, announced that beginning December 19, 2022, it will be closed for regular visa services until further notice due to limited resources. The unit will notify the public once it is able to resume normal immigrant visa operations and will communicate with applicants to reschedule their canceled appointments.
The Federal Trade Commission raised questions with employers when it issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that seeks to ban all non-compete agreements nationwide. While the proposed rule could impose drastic change, at this point, the proposed rule is in the public comment period, and it is uncertain what the final rule will look like or whether it will face legal challenges in the near future.
On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, containing the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0). While most of SECURE 2.0’s provisions will not take effect for a couple years, SECURE 2.0 impacts most retirement plans, and plan sponsors should be aware of future changes under SECURE 2.0.
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for December 2022 includes a variety of updates.
- OFLC Releases Public Disclosure Data, Selected Program Statistics, H-2B Foreign Labor Recruiter List for Q4 of FY 2022
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification has released various data and statistics and the latest H-2B recruiter list.
The Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Department of State, announced the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in the next year.
- DHS Continues TPS and Related Documentation for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras and Nepal
To ensure its continued compliance with several court orders, the Department of Homeland Security is automatically extending the validity of certain temporary protected status-related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras and Nepal from the current expiration date of December 31, 2022, through June 30, 2024.
E-Verify recently reminded employers and program administrators that an E-Verify user’s access “must be promptly terminated upon separation from your organization.” A good practice, E-Verify said, is to review and update existing users whenever staffing changes occur and on a regular basis.
On November 15, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan blocked the Title 42 policy that has resulted in many migrants being turned away at the southern U.S. border. The same night, the Department of Justice filed a motion to stay the order for five weeks, which Judge Sullivan granted. The order will be effective December 21, 2022.
Effective November 21, 2022, certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees are considered work authorized incident to their parole status based on recently passed laws, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board)—the independent federal agency responsible for enforcing U.S. private-sector labor law—had a busy week. The Board issued four new rulings with significant impacts on labor relations between employers and their employees.
USCIS and DOL have released the joint temporary rule that provides 64,716 additional H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas within FY 2023 (from October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023). 20,000 visas will be reserved for nationals of Haiti and the Northern Triangle countries (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras). The remaining 44,716 visas will be available to returning workers who were otherwise granted H-2B status in the past three fiscal years, and they will be released incrementally based on a schedule outlined by the Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).