Trump Administration Announces Travel Ban 3.0

On September 24, 2017 President Trump announced an extended and enhanced version of the travel ban that was previously in place under Executive Order 13780 (EO-2). The Presidential Proclamation titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats,” a related Fact Sheet, and FAQs for the new ban are available on the White House website. As with EO-2, the ban affects immigrant and nonimmigrant visa issuance only. Therefore, nationals from the affected countries who already hold visas will not have those revoked. The U.S. Department of State has also announced that previously scheduled visa appointments will not be cancelled.

DHS Announces Visa Sanctions on Four Countries

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on September 13, 2017 that visa sanctions would be imposed on Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone due to lack of cooperation in accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States. Some of the specific visa sanctions announced were:

USCIS resumes Premium Processing Service for pending cap-subject H-1B petitions

On September 18, 2017, USCIS announced that it would resume its Premium Processing Service (PPS) for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2018 cap. The resumption only applies to pending cap petitions, not any newly-filed petitions such as for changes of employers or extensions of stay. USCIS previously resumed PPS for H-1B petitions for certain cap-exempt employers. To date, USCIS has not indicated when it plans to resume PPS for all H-1B petition types. 

Instructions for the 2019 Diversity Visa Lottery Program now available

The U.S. Department of State’s instructions for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2019) are now available. Entries for the DV-2019 program must be submitted electronically between October 3 and November 7, 2017.

There are no changes in eligibility this year. Eligibility requirements and entry instructions are on the U.S. Department of State’s DV lottery web site.

The congressionally-mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered annually by the Department of State under Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This law provides for a class of immigrants known as diversity immigrants, with visas made available to persons from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For fiscal year 2019, 50,000 diversity visas will be available.

© Jewell Stewart & Pratt PC 2017

Statement on the rescission of DACA

Dear Clients, Friends, and Community –

Like many of you, we are dismayed at President Trump’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA  enabled 800,000 of our neighbors to come out of the shadows and be an unafraid part of the nation to which they already belong. We stand with them today in calling on Congress to enact a humane solution.

We are following legal developments and will carefully consider strategies and implications for our clients as information becomes available.

For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area, DACA supporters are gathering at the San Francisco Federal Building at 5:00PM today.

In solidarity,
Jewell Stewart & Pratt PC

© Jewell Stewart & Pratt PC 2017

Trump Administration to require interviews for employment-based permanent residence applications

On Friday August 25, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed to Politico that certain permanent residence (green card) applicants must complete an in-person interview as part of the application process. The requirement will apply to anyone moving from a work visa to permanent residence, and is “part of President Donald Trump’s plan to apply ‘extreme vetting’ to immigrants and visitors to the U.S.”

Update: Effect of new litigation in Hawaii and U.S. Supreme Court on Second Executive Order / Travel Ban 2.0

As noted in our prior blog post, the U.S. Supreme Court has partially reinstated the Trump Administration’s second Executive Order regarding travel and refugee admissions (“EO-2”), after several lower court orders impeded its implementation. However, the Supreme Court did exempt from EO-2’s reach nationals of the six affected countries with a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” such as a “close familial relationship.

Jewell Stewart & Pratt lawyers selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers ®

Jewell Stewart & Pratt is pleased to announce that five of its lawyers have been selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers ® in 2017. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Update: Effect of U.S. Supreme Court Order on Second Executive Order / Travel Ban 2.0

Executive Order 13780 (EO-2), signed by President Trump on March 6, 2017, ordered the suspension of entry by citizens and nationals of six countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – for at least 90 days from its effective date of March 16, 2017. Litigation in U.S. federal courts temporarily prevented the ban from being carried out. The Trump Administration appealed these courts’ decisions and, on June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided to hear the Trump Administration’s appeals. Pending its full review and decision, SCOTUS partially reinstated EO-2.