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.
Under Iowa law, landlords are required to provide certain notices and reports to their local county treasurer in three settings:
- Annual reports identifying all manufactured homes within their MHC and monthly updates to such reports when a home is transported into or out of a MHC, for the purpose of the treasurers’ tracking of the homes for mobile home tax purposes;
- As part of a landlord’s filing of an eviction/FED action; and
- As part of a landlord’s abandonment proceedings.
Each of these categories is discussed further.
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.
Remote and hybrid work are here to stay.
The impending cessation of LIBOR has been a hot topic on the minds of borrowers and lenders alike over the last few years.
Payments fraud is nothing new, and while the scams are evolving, the core procedures for detecting and preventing them haven’t changed as much as one might think.
On May 17, Governor Reynolds signed HF 2562 into law, with much of the law being immediately effective as of May 17, 2022. Companies that own, operate and manage manufactured home communities (MHCs or MHC landlords) in Iowa need to take note of this new law, as the law contains several amendments to Iowa Code Chapter 562B relating to manufactured home communities.
Western businesses with operations in Eastern Europe and other global companies have reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with shock, concern for their employees’ safety and well-being, and a scramble to comply with the raft of sanctions levied against Russia as fighting began. Likely among the lower priorities for businesses would be consideration of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) implications of the conflict. Nonetheless, Russia’s brazen military incursion does in fact raise critical considerations for the ESG programs of forward-thinking American businesses–namely the importance of the Rule of Law.
USCIS and DOL have released the joint temporary rule implementing the process for employers who have a certified ETA 9142B with an employment start date in the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2022 to apply for the 35,000 additional H-2B visa numbers which will be released on May 18, 2022.
On April 29, 2022, Gov. Tim Walz signed Frontline Worker Payments into law, enabling certain Minnesotans who worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 emergency to apply for bonus pay. While details of the program, including the online application process and timeline, are still being finalized, below we offer a summary of the salient points of the bill.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a temporary final rule that increases to up to 540 days the automatic extension period for work authorization and Employment Authorization Documents available to certain EAD renewal applicants.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced changes to case processing information available online.
- To reduce wait times, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is urging travelers who require a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to apply and prepay online before arriving at a U.S. land border.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced an extension of Form I-9 flexibilities until October 31, 2022.
- The Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification announced that the Foreign Labor Application Gateway is implementing technical changes to H-2B filing for the Form ETA-9142B submission process.
- The Department of Homeland Security posted Federal Register notices on temporary protected status for Sudan and Ukraine.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to require non-U.S. travelers entering the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination upon request.
- Foreign Student Measures Announced: Extension of SEVP Guidance, and Relief for Nonimmigrant Student Citizens of Sudan and UkraineSeveral measures related to foreign students were announced.
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) introduced H.R. 7374, the "Jumpstart our Legal Immigration System Act."
In United Farm Workers v. DOL a federal district court vacated a 2020 final rule, "Adverse Effect Wage Rate Methodology for the Temporary Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in Non-Range Occupations in the United States," remanding it to the Department of Labor for further rulemaking consistent with the court's order.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is adopting a "risk-based" approach when waiving interviews for certain conditional permanent residents who have filed a petition to remove the conditions on their permanent resident status.
- Where Will It Rain? Project Opportunities Created by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Savvy contractors can position themselves to win future projects by defining which types of funded projects are most likely to offer contracting opportunities and then following the flow of federal money into those projects.
- USCIS Updates Guidance in Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Professor or Researcher Visa ClassificationsU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it has updated its policy manual, effective immediately, to align existing guidance on certain first preference immigrants with a recent manual update relating to nonimmigrants of extraordinary ability.
- Guidance Updated on Employment Authorization Class of Admission Codes for E and L Nonimmigrant SpousesAgencies began issuing Form I-94, Arrival-Departure records, with new Class of Admission codes for certain E and L nonimmigrant dependent spouses who are employment authorized based on their status.
- E-Verify announced in an email sent March 21, 2022, that users can now close a case from the document upload page in E‑Verify by providing one of the following reasons.
- The Department of Homeland Security announced that beginning May 1, 2022, it is ending the COVID-19 temporary policy for List B identity documents.
- State Dept. Warns About Upcoming Availability of Employment Third Preference "Other Workers" NumbersThe Department of State notes in its Visa Bulletin for April 2022 that high number use in the employment third preference "Other Workers" category may necessitate the establishment of a worldwide final action date as early as June to hold number use within the maximum allowed under the fiscal year 2022 annual limit.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said that it is preparing some domestic offices to reopen and resume non-emergency public services on or after June 4, 2022.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection is now issuing the Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) electronically at land ports of entry.
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) introduced the "Jumpstart our Legal Immigration System Act," a bill that would recapture approximately 400,000 family- and employment-based visas, create an accelerated path to adjustment of status for those already in the United States, and provide additional funds to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to improve visa processing.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is adopting a "risk-based" approach when waiving interviews for certain conditional permanent residents who have filed a petition to remove the conditions on their permanent resident status.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a "trio" of efforts, including setting new agency-wide backlog reduction goals, expanding premium processing, and working to improve timely access to employment authorization documents.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released several updates related to the fiscal year 2023 H-1B cap season.
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is once again extending certain flexibilities through July 25, 2022, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors.
- The Department of Homeland Security invites public comments on its proposed extension and revisions to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, before it expires on October 31, 2022.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will dispose of E‑Verify records that are more than 10 years old; E-Verify employers have until May 5, 2022, to download case information.
- 'X' Gender Marker Available on U.S. Passports Starting April 11, 2022; State Dept. Updates LGBTQI+ Traveler AdviceStarting April 11, 2022, U.S. citizens will be able to select "X" as their gender marker on their U.S. passport applications.
- Effective January 1, 2022, Mexico joined the list of countries that require companies (including those owed by foreigners), trusts, other legal vehicles, financial institutions and others to gather, maintain, update and, if requested by Mexico’s Tax Administration Service, provide information about controlling beneficiaries (also called beneficial owners or ultimate beneficiaries).
The Departments of Treasury and Commerce have recently announced new sanctions targeting certain entities and individuals in Russia and Belarus in response to their governments’ invasion of Ukraine.
Home improvement projects often end with disputes between the owner and contractor regarding the quality of the work done and the amount due the contractor.
In reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States has steadily intensified sanctions focused on Russia and certain regions of Ukraine.
In addition to the economic steps taken to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. government’s actions have now expanded to the patent world, which will ultimately impact U.S. companies with Russian patents.
- DHS Designates Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status; Immigration Help in 'Special Situations' Available on Case-by-Case Basis
The Department of Homeland Security announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months.
- The Department of State announced on March 1, 2022, that the U.S. Mission to Ukraine is not currently offering visa services.
The Department of State released information for U.S. citizens in Ukraine, including an online form to enable communication with U.S. citizens, telephone numbers for immediate assistance and advice and tips.
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, an omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden, reauthorizes the EB-5 regional center program for five years, among other things.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently released statistics on the H-1B cap registration process.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it 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.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year 2022.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently clarified Form I‑9 guidance related to Native American Tribal documents in M‑274, Handbook for Employers.
- USCIS No Longer Accepts Single Combined Payments on Certain Forms Filed With H-1B or H-1B1 PetitionsU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that for all H-1B and H-1B1 petitions received on or after April 1, 2022, USCIS will no longer accept a single, combined fee payment when Forms I-539, I-765 or I-824 are filed together with an H-1B or H-1B1 petition.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is encouraging eligible applicants to consider requesting to transfer the underlying basis of their adjustment of status applications to the first or second employment-based preference categories.
- The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for March 2022 includes several updates.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a new mission statement after asking its employees to "submit words that they felt best illustrated the agency's work."
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published updated policy guidance that changes the maximum validity period that may be granted for employment authorization documents.
Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to propose new rules applicable to registered investment advisers and investment companies.
- Until recently, banks, like many public facing businesses, could focus on satisfying customers; hiring, training, rewarding, and retaining high performing employees; improving company performance; and building shareholder value. Now, additional challenges for Boards and management have arisen.
- International Entrepreneur Update: National Advocacy Groups Recommend Streamlining Parole Program; House Passes Bill to Create New Visa
The Coalition for International Entrepreneurship, which consists of three dozen immigration and startup advocacy organizations and individuals, sent a letter on February 1, 2022, asking Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to streamline the International Entrepreneur Parole program.
- On February 4, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released guidance on Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for H-2B workers seeking to change employers.
- The initial registration period for the fiscal year 2023 H-1B cap will open at noon ET on March 1, 2022, and run through noon ET on March 18, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced.
- The Departments of Homeland Security and Labor announced the availability of 20,000 additional H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for the first half of fiscal year 2022.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services updated its policy manual to reflect new guidance, effective immediately, on how the agency determines whether a case warrants expedited treatment.
- CBP Announces New COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Non-U.S. Travelers Entering Via Land and Ferry from Canada, MexicoAs of January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security is requiring non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and to provide related proof of vaccination.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services clarified guidance on how the agency determines whether an O-1B beneficiary will be evaluated.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is seeking input on all aspects of L adjudications, including L-1A managers and executives, L-1B specialized knowledge workers, new office petitions, blanket petitions, and evidentiary issues.
- The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released a report on December 28, 2021, finding that continued reliance on manual processing slowed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ benefits delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to dispose of E-Verify records that are more than 10 years old on April 1, 2022.
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