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DOS Issues Update on Court Order Regarding Presidential Proclamation 10052

DOS announced that, due to the injunction in National Association of Manufacturers v. DHS, any J-1, H-1B, H-2B, or L-1 applicant who is either sponsored (as an exchange visitor) by, petitioned by, or whose petitioner is a member of one of the plaintiffs in the suit is no longer subject to Presidential Proclamation 10052’s entry restrictions. Members are reminded that, while individuals may no longer be subject to the proclamation, they may still face difficulty in obtaining a visa appointment because many embassies and consular posts are not currently operating at full capacity.

DOS Authorizes Consular Posts to Give K Visa Cases High Priority

Yesterday, after releasing one notice on K visas that it promptly retracted, DOS released an updated notice announcing that, as consular operations resume, posts are authorized to give K visa cases high priority. Consular officers may revalidate the I-129 petition in four-month increments. For most cases impacted by suspension of visa services, it will not be necessary to file a new I-129 petition.

DOS Says DV-2020 Applicants May Be Processed in Embassies and Consulates

Brian D. Lerner (blerner@californiaimmigration.us, attorney@eimmigration.org, abogado@californiaimmigration.us, brianlerner@californiaimmigration.us)

DOS announced that, following the district court ruling in Gomez, et al. v. Trump, et al., DV-2020 applicants may be processed in embassies and consulates where local health conditions and post resources allow. If a post is unable to process cases due to local conditions and resource constraints, an applicant may request a transfer to another post. The announcement includes a prioritization plan for DV-2020 applicants.

OS Provides Information on National Interest Exceptions to Several Presidential Proclamations

Proclamations 10014 and 10052, which suspend the entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants, may be available for H-1Bs; H-2Bs; J-1s; L-1s; H-4s, L-2s, and J-2s; and applicants who may age out. DOS also announced that certain business travelers, investors, treaty traders, academics, and students from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland may qualify for national interest exceptions under Presidential Proclamations 9993 (Schengen Area) and 9996 (United Kingdom and Ireland).

DOS Provides Visa Bulletin for June 2020

DOS posted the June 2020 Visa Bulletin. In addition to final action dates and dates for filing for family– and employment-based petitions, the bulletin includes notes on the DV category for the month of June and the DV category rank cut-offs which will apply in July.

DOS Announces National Visa Center to Discontinue Paper Correspondence

DOS announced that starting June 1, 2020, the National Visa Center (NVC) will no longer accept or respond to inquiries through mail. Any unsolicited mail postmarked June 1, 2020, or later will not receive a response and will be destroyed. All inquiries will need to be submitted through the NVC’s Public Inquiry Form.

DOS Publishes Final Rule Amending B Visa Regulations

DOS published a final rule in the Federal Register amending the B visa regulations to establish that travel to the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States is an impermissible basis for the issuance of a B nonimmigrant visa. The rule is effective today, January 24, 2020.

Visa Programs Extended Through December 9

USCIS announced that it has updated the information for the EB-5 Regional Center (EB-5) and EB-4 Non-Minister Special Immigrant Religious Worker (SR visa) programs in its Adjustment of Status Filing Charts for the October 2016 Visa Bulletin, after President Obama signed Public Law 114-223 on September 29, 2016. DOS also issued a cable on the extension of the EB-5, SR visa, and Conrad State 30 programs. Public Law 114-223 extended these three visa programs, as well as the E-Verify program, until December 9, 2016

Is your Passport Full?

DOS issued a final rule on the elimination of visa page insert service for regular fee U.S. passport book holders. Beginning January 1, 2016, DOS will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports, and applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport by mail. DOS began issuing 52-page passport books to all overseas U.S. passport applicants at no extra cost in October 2014.

Returned Petitions by DOS

During the call, DOS indicated that less than .5% of nonimmigrant visa petitions and less than 1% of immigrant visa petitions are returned to USCIS for further action. Of note, USCIS stated that it tries to respond within 120 days after a response to a Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) is received, and that expedite is possible, and is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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