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).
It is increasingly important for companies to understand the difference between employees and independent contractors and the consequences of each classification. This type of classification dispute, however, is not limited to drivers. Recently, agricultural, retail, contracting, consulting, health care, manufacturing, insurance, and financial services industries have seen a rise in worker classification audits. This raises the question, how are worker classifications determined in the context of tax and employment law?
If you have recently received a subpoena from a government agency investigating a customer’s financial dealings, you are not alone. As the alarm and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic finally begin to calm, audits and investigations concerning the use of funds from pandemic relief initiatives such as the Paycheck Protection Program, Main Street Lending Program, and others are in full swing, sometimes followed by civil and criminal charges.
Recently, we have seen county magistrates in at least Linn, Wapello, Muscatine and Black Hawk Counties dismiss eviction actions based upon supposed insufficient service of the underlying notices that were the basis for the eviction. Landlords in these counties must take note of our new recommendations for service based upon these recent rulings and implement them when they encounter challenges in these counties.
The Department of Labor announced the impending publication of a final rule to amend H-2A temporary labor certification regulations to strengthen agricultural worker protections and to update the H-2A application and temporary labor certification as well as prevailing wage determination processes.
- November Visa Bulletin Includes Information on Extension of Religious Workers Category, Visa Availability in Employment Second Category
The Department of State released a bulletin for November 2022 that includes information on Extension of Religious Workers Category and visa availability in Employment Second Category.
President Biden issued a determination that up to 125,000 refugee admissions for fiscal year 2023 “is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest.” Regional allocations include Africa, East Asia, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America/Caribbean, Near East/South Asia and Unallocated Reserve.
- Employers Should Continue to Use Current I-9 Form Even After October 31 Expiration, ICE Announces I-9 Flexibility Extension
The Department of Homeland Security alerted employers on October 11, 2022, that they should continue using the current Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, even after its October 31, 2022, expiration and “until further notice.”
- DHS to Supplement H-2B Cap with Nearly 65,000 Additional Visas for FY 2023, Worker Protection Taskforce Announced
The Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Department of Labor, plans to issue a regulation to make available to employers an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year 2023, on top of the 66,000 H-2B visas that are normally available each fiscal year.
On October 12, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security announced joint actions with Mexico to reduce the number of people arriving at the Southwest border and “create a more orderly and safe process for people fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in Venezuela.” The actions include a new process to bring up to 24,000 qualifying Venezuelans into the United States and provide them with work authorization.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began implementing a new process for Venezuelans on October 18, 2022. As announced previously, the new process will provide a “lawful and streamlined” way for nationals of Venezuela who are “outside the United States and lacking U.S. entry documents to come to the United States.”
The Department of Homeland Security announced the designation of Ethiopia for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months. Only individuals who were already continuously residing in the United States as of October 20, 2022, will be eligible for TPS.
- Employer Reminder: E-Verify Operations Resume, Preferred Dates Released for Employee Visits to SSA to Resolve Mismatches
E-Verify reminded employers that operations have resumed and released preferred dates for employees to visit the Social Security Administration to resolve their Tentative Nonconfirmations. E-Verify said that the timeframes are recommended, not required, but that all employees must visit SSA to resolve their TNCs by September 29, 2023, or their cases will automatically get Final Nonconfirmations.
- CBP Is Discontinuing Passport Entry Stamps, Transitioning to Online I-94 Arrival/Departure Records Only; Mistakes Are Common
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has automated the I-94 process for most nonimmigrants arriving by air and sea. According to reports, this means that in many cases, foreign nationals no longer receive an entry stamp in their passports at ports of entry documenting their arrival.
The Department of Homeland Security’s final rule on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals took effect on October 31, 2022. Under the final rule, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to accept and process applications for deferred action, work authorization and advance parole for current DACA recipients. Due to ongoing litigation, USCIS will continue to accept applications but cannot process initial DACA requests.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is extending certain COVID-19-related flexibilities through January 24, 2023, to assist applicants, petitioners and requestors.
On October 25, 2022, the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification issued a set of frequently asked questions, “Round 2: Job Order Filing and Processing,” associated with the publication of the final rule, Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in the United States.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services no longer requires petitioners to submit duplicate copies of Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker or of the supporting documentation, unless the agency specifically asks for it.
Two recent developments involving the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States continue CFIUS’s trend of more active review and intervention in transactions that it deems detrimental to the national security of the United States.
Disputes regarding failures to disclose material facts are common in residential real estate transactions. A 1991 New York case dealt with the much less common issue of whether a home seller is required to disclose the presence of paranormal activity.
The United States Department of Commerce has recently issued new regulations that are already having a global impact on companies involved with advanced semiconductor chips. The new regulations seek to limit China’s access to these chips by restricting the ability of international companies and U.S. nationals to provide goods and services related to the design, fabrication and access to advanced semiconductor chips as well as computers and assemblies containing such chips.
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Recently, we have seen several instances of Iowa manufactured home community (MHC) owner-operators (landlords) not fully complying with the laws regarding statutorily required notices and reports that landlords must provide to their local county treasurers. This article sets forth all such required notices and reports. It is important that both MHC owners and their community managers are fully aware of and comply with these laws, particularly considering that landlords can be fined for noncompliance with such laws.
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2023 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for benefit plans. All limits have increased.
- USPTO to Implement Shorter Response Period for Certain Office Actions Issued on or After December 3, 2022
For office actions issued on or after December 3, 2022, by the USPTO during the examination of a trademark application, an applicant will have three months to file a response instead of the current six-month period but will have an option to file a single request for a three-month extension to the response deadline upon payment of a $125 fee.
USCIS released updated fiscal year 2023 frequently asked questions on employment-based adjustment of status.
- USCIS Implements Next Phase of Premium Processing for Certain Previously Filed EB-1 and EB-2 Immigrant Petitions
USCIS announced on September 15, 2022, that it is implementing the next phase of the premium processing expansion for certain petitioners.
Effective September 26, 2022, USCIS is automatically extending the validity of permanent resident cards to 24 months for lawful permanent residents who file Form I-90.
The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for October 2022, the first month of the new fiscal year, includes several updates.
DHS is amending its regulations, effective December 23, 2022, regarding whether noncitizens are inadmissible to the United States.
DHS plans to provide employment authorization for certain individuals covered by Liberian Deferred Enforced Departure.
DHS is extending temporary protected status for Myanmar, formerly Burma, for an additional 18 months due to a military coup in 2021.
- DHS Announces Extension and Re-Registration Process for Current Venezuela TPS Beneficiaries, Special Student Relief
DHS has taken several actions to provide relief for Venezuelans in the United States.
On September 1, 2022, the Security Assessment Measures for Outbound Data Transfers made by the Cyberspace Administration of China came into effect. The Measures supplement the provisions on data security assessments as set forth in the Personal Information Protection Law and other relevant laws.
USCIS announced that it has reached the congressionally mandated cap on H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers for the first half of fiscal year 2023.
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for September notes a steady increase in both U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Department of State demand patterns for employment-based visas during the fiscal year.
According to reports, visa delays, backlogs and unprecedented wait times at U.S. embassies and consulates are causing disruptions for workers and companies, particularly those employing workers in temporary statuses who need to renew their visas outside the U.S.
On August 16, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a policy alert to clarify how the agency determines eligibility for L-1 nonimmigrants seeking classification as managers or executives (L-1A) and specialized knowledge workers (L-1B).
The Department of Homeland Security has updated the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for beneficiaries paroled into the United States under the “Uniting for Ukraine” program.
On August 8, 2022, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor published their semiannual regulatory agendas, which summarize projected and existing regulations.
The Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification has released public disclosure data and selected program statistics for Q3 of fiscal year 2022 and H-2B Foreign Labor Recruiter List for Q3 of FY 2022.
The Department of Homeland Security announced a final rule to "preserve and fortify" the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy for certain eligible noncitizens who arrived in the United States as children.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review announced that it has recently been notified of phone calls that spoof the Arlington Immigration Court as part of a misinformation campaign.
With employees changing jobs in record numbers, it is now more important than ever for banks to ensure their information, property, and customers remain with them when an employee leaves.
- Does Sandbagging Hurt? – The Importance and Enforceability of Sandbagging Provisions in Bank M&A Deals
The term “sandbagging” carries many meanings. Bankers facing an upcoming acquisition, no matter whether they are acquiring or divesting, are likely to hear the term.
In early May 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau entered into a consent order with Bank of America, N.A. regarding BoA’s garnishment practices.
USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption.
On July 1, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has rescinded its designation of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Z-R-Z-C-2 as an Adopted Decision and updated its interpretation of the effects of authorized travel by temporary protected status (TPS) beneficiaries.
E-Verify announced that as of July 15, 2022, employees whose E‑Verify cases are referred to the Social Security Administration (SSA) have the normal eight federal working days to contact their local SSA office to begin resolving the mismatch.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended Venezuela’s temporary protected status (TPS) designation for 18 months, effective September 10, 2022, through March 10, 2024. Only beneficiaries under Venezuela’s existing designation, and who were already residing in the United States as of March 8, 2021, are eligible to re-register for TPS under this extension.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated guidance regarding Afghan and Iraqi nationals seeking special immigrant classification.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced several measures to provide relief to Syrians in the United States.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that beginning September 1, 2022, it will no longer accept a single, combined fee payment when an applicant or petitioner files EB-5 immigrant investor applications or petitions with related forms.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published new guidance on Form I-9, Employment Authorization Verification, related to employees with E and L nonimmigrant status in its Handbook for Employers (M-274, Section 6.9, Other Temporary Workers).
- USCIS To Implement Second Phase of Premium Processing for Certain Previously Filed EB-1 and EB-2 Immigrant Petitions
On July 15, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is implementing the second phase of the premium processing expansion for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminded employers that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ended the temporary flexibility related to accepting expired List B documents for Form I-9 employment eligibility verification purposes.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is extending certain COVID-19-related flexibilities through October 23, 2022.
DHS and DOL announced a temporary final rule making available an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas during the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2022.
The Department of Homeland Security has provided information on how to register for temporary protected status (TPS) under Afghanistan’s 18-month designation.
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for June 2022 includes three important pieces of information.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a correction on May 10, 2022, to its notice on the extension and redesignation of South Sudan for temporary protected status (TPS), which was published on March 3, 2022.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released two new forms under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022.
ICE released guidance regarding distance learning to all Student and Exchange Visitor Information System users to clarify that its March 2020 guidance continues for the 2022-23 academic year only for nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status. Students who enrolled after March 9, 2020, must adhere to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s existing regulations regarding online learning.
A group of investment and capital firms filed a lawsuit on May 24, 2022, against the Department of Homeland Security, arguing that when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decertified existing EB-5 regional centers, it violated the Administrative Procedure Act and misinterpreted the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, which was signed into law following a lapse in authorization for the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is implementing premium processing for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.
A temporary final rule issued by the Department of Labor on May 18, 2022, included additional recruitment requirements for certain employers.
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released a bulletin to the field regarding employment of H-2B workers in unapproved job classification.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on May 31, 2022, that it has received enough petitions to reach the cap for the additional 23,500 visas made available for returning workers only, under the recently announced H-2B supplemental cap temporary final rule, which increased by up to 35,000 the cap for additional H-2B nonimmigrant visas through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2022.
Effective July 1, 2022, Iowa added an alternative project delivery method to the options available to Iowa public entities–construction manager at risk, also known as CM at risk and CMAR. On July 1, SF183, an Act relating to a construction manager-at-risk commercial constructions alternative delivery method and prohibiting certain other alternative delivery methods in the public sector, became effective. This is a significant change to Iowa law. It is a welcome change for some, but not others, in the construction and design industries.
It is very common for subdivisions and planned communities to be governed by homeowners’ associations – often referred to as “HOAs”. The lots in these subdivisions are also typically subject to covenants, conditions, and restrictions (“CCRs”) contained in the “declarations” that invest the HOAs with the power to govern those communities. Homeowners in these communities may wonder if those CCRs can be changed in the future without their consent.
On June 17, 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court rendered a decision in the Borst Brothers Const. v. Finance of America case involving a mechanic’s lien, which addressed one aspect of the pre-lien notice requirement for Iowa subcontractors on residential projects. As detailed below, the Iowa Supreme Court held that the 10-day deadline for posting of a Commencement of Work Notice on the MNLR does not apply to subcontractors when they are forced to file such notice on behalf of a general contractor or owner-builder who has failed to do so.
Iowa real estate professionals are collectively breathing a sigh of relief in light of the Iowa Supreme Court’s opinion issued on June 10, 2022, in an appellate case where the Iowa Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®, represented by attorney Jodie McDougal at Fredrikson & Byron, were granted permission to file an amicus curiae brief.
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are often part of the discussions my clients have surrounding a potential construction or real estate project to protect the confidential information regarding the project and proprietary information of the parties.
Starting on June 8, 2022, Minnesotans who worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency can now apply for “Hero Pay” available through the state’s Frontline Worker Pay Program.
- EventHealth Law Webinar—Health System Transactions: The Deal with Deals
- EventMinnesota’s CROWN Act, Affirmative Action and Other Developments in Race Discrimination Law
- Legal UpdateRecent Eviction Appeal Victories for Landlords
- Firm NewsEnergy Attorney Delanie Breuer Joins Fredrikson’s Madison Office