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Legal Updates

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Temporary Travel Restrictions to Canada and Mexico

January 11, 2021

On December 22, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued two notices extending temporary travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and applicable to land ports of entry and ferry service between the United States and Canada, and between the United States and Mexico.

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Ninth Circuit Rejects USCIS Reasoning on H-1B Computer Programmer

January 11, 2021

The Ninth Circuit ruled that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ denial of a visa for a computer programmer on the basis that it was not a “specialty occupation” was arbitrary and capricious, and the Circuit  remanded the case.

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USCIS Issues Lockbox Updates re Recent Delays

January 11, 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that its lockbox facilities “have received a significant increase in filings in recent weeks.”

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Cato Institute Proposes 30 Deregulatory Actions for Biden Administration

January 11, 2021

The Cato Institute recommended 30 deregulatory actions for the Biden administration to consider, to “lessen the costs of America’s outdated immigration laws.”

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USCIS Pauses ‘Blank Space’ Rejection Policy

January 11, 2021

As a result of litigation challenging USCIS’s blank-space rejection policy, where the agency rejected applications because of blank spaces, USCIS agreed to pause implementation of the rejection policy starting December 24, 2020.

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USCIS Issues DACA Guidance Under Court Order

January 11, 2021

Following litigation related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that resulted in a U.S. district court order issued December 4, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released guidance effective December 7, 2020.

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TPS ‘Document Validity’ Extended for Six Countries

January 11, 2021

DHS is automatically extending the validity of temporary protected status-related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras and Nepal for nine months from the current expiration date of January 4, 2021, through October 4, 2021.

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No Change in Spring 2021 Guidance for International Students

January 11, 2021

A spokesperson for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that spring 2021 guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic for international students in programs in “hybrid” or online modes will remain the same as before.

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IRS OK’s Deductions for PPP-Funded Expenses

January 7, 2021

The IRS has officially reversed its prior guidance and will allow a federal income tax deduction for expenses paid with a forgiven PPP loan.

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New Stimulus Brings Another Extension for Renewable Energy Tax Credits

December 29, 2020

The second round of COVID-19 stimulus that was just signed into law includes extensions to renewable energy tax credits for solar, wind and other renewable energy projects as well as a standalone investment tax credit for offshore wind.

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