In the News at ABIL

Posted on: October 23rd, 2017
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Siskind Susser is excited to announce that Lynn Susser was recently elected to ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers. ABIL is comprised of over 20 lawyers from top tier immigration practices with years of expertise and a comprehensive understanding of immigration law. For more information on ABIL, including a map of ABIL attorneys worldwide, visit their website at www.abil.com.

The following articles are excerpts from ABIL’s monthly Immigration Insider, available here on their website.

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Trump Administration Implements New Travel Restrictions

On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a presidential proclamation on “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats.” The proclamation announces the following measures with respect to the countries of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, subject to “categorial exceptions and case-by-case waivers”:
• Chad: The proclamation suspends indefinitely the entry into the United States of nationals of Chad as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas.

• Iran: The proclamation suspends indefinitely the entry into the United States of nationals of Iran as immigrants and nonimmigrants, except that entry by such nationals under valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas is not suspended, although such individuals “should be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.”

• Libya: The proclamation suspends indefinitely the entry into the United States of nationals of Libya as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas.

• North Korea: The proclamation suspends indefinitely the entry into the United States of nationals of North Korea as immigrants and nonimmigrants. [In a separate notice, the Department of State announced that U.S. passports are invalid for travel into, in, or through North Korea/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.]

• Somalia: The proclamation suspends indefinitely the entry into the United States of nationals of Somalia as immigrants. Additionally, visa adjudications for nationals of Somalia and decisions regarding their entry as nonimmigrants “should be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants are connected to terrorist organizations or otherwise pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States.”

• Syria: The proclamation suspends indefinitely the entry into the United States of nationals of Syria as immigrants and nonimmigrants.

• Venezuela: The proclamation suspends indefinitely the entry into the United States of officials of government agencies of Venezuela involved in screening and vetting procedures—including the Ministry of the Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Immigration; the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigation Service Corps; the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service; and the Ministry of the Popular Power for Foreign Relations—and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas. Nationals of Venezuela who are visa holders “should be subject to appropriate additional measures to ensure traveler information remains current.”

• Yemen: The proclamation suspends indefinitely the entry into the United States of nationals of Yemen as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B- 2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas.
The proclamation also notes that entry restrictions and limitations on Iraq are “not warranted.” However, nationals of Iraq who seek to enter the United States will be subject to “additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to the national security or public safety of the United States.” Exceptions. Among other things, the proclamation lists exceptions to these suspensions of entry for:
• Any lawful permanent resident of the United States;

• Any foreign national who is admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the applicable effective date (see the proclamation for details);

• Any foreign national who has a document other than a visa—such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document—valid on the applicable effective date or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission;

• Any dual national of a designated country when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;

• Any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa; North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa; C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations; or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; and

• Any foreign national who has been granted asylum by the United States; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States; or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
The proclamation, which includes additional details and effective dates, is at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/09/24/enhancing-vetting-capabilities-andprocesses-detecting-attempted-entry. A related alert from the Department of State, which includes a table summarizing the travel restrictions, is at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html. The separate announcement about the invalidity of U.S. passports for travel to North Korea is at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/north-korea-travel-restriction.html.

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USCIS No Longer Accepting Petitions for One-Time Increase to H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Visa Program Cap


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on September 19, 2017, that it is no longer accepting petitions from U.S. employers seeking to hire temporary nonagricultural workers under the one-time increase to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 H-2B cap announced in July 2017.

In May, Congress temporarily delegated its authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to increase the number of temporary nonagricultural work visas available to U.S. employers through FY 2017. Then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly determined that there were not enough qualified and willing U.S. workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural labor to satisfy the needs of some U.S. businesses in FY 2017. Consequently, additional H-2B visas were made available to U.S. businesses that could establish they would likely suffer irreparable harm if they could not hire all the H-2B workers requested in their FY 2017 petitions. Some employers were also required to conduct a fresh round of recruitment efforts for U.S. workers before being allowed to petition for additional foreign workers. An additional 15,000 visas were made available under a final rule published in July.

Following the filing deadline guidance included in July’s final rule, USCIS has stopped accepting petitions and is rejecting any FY 2017 H-2B cap-subject petitions received after September 15, 2017. With the close of the petition period on September 15, USCIS announced that it has received a total request for 13,534 workers.

Petitions that have been submitted but are not approved by USCIS before October 1, 2017, will be denied, and any associated fees will not be refunded, USCIS said. USCIS will continue to accept FY 2017 H-2B petitions for workers who are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap.

The USCIS announcement is at https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-no-longeraccepting-petitions-one-time-increase-temporary-nonagricultural-visa-program. Additional information about how the supplemental FY 2017 H-2B visas are being used, including information about the petitioning employers, is at https://www.uscis.gov/working-unitedstates/temporary-workers/one-time-increase-h-2b-nonimmigrant-visas-fy-2017. The July final rule is at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/19/2017-15208/exercise-of-timelimited-authority-to-increase-the-fiscal-year-2017-numerical-limitation-for-the

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Following Mysterious Attacks, United States Suspends Visas for Cubans, Withdraws Most Staff From Havana Embassy, Issues Cuba Travel Warning

Following still-unexplained attacks on U.S. personnel of the embassy in Havana, Cuba, that left some with severe health problems, the United States has suspended visa issuance in Cuba for all Cubans and ordered the departure of more than half of its staff from the embassy, along with their family members. The Department of State has also issued a travel warning advising U.S. citizens not to travel to Cuba.

The Department explained that at least 21 U.S. embassy employees have been targeted in attacks of unknown origin, resulting in significant injuries, including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, balance problems, visual complaints, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues, and difficulty sleeping.

The Department said it is “looking at the possibility of [Cubans] being able to apply for visas at embassies or consulates outside of Cuba in other countries. But we haven’t actually made definitive arrangements yet. We’re continuing to look at that. But all of the kind of regular visas or ordinary visas would not be issued through Havana.”

The travel warning notes that the attacks have occurred in U.S. diplomatic residences and hotels frequented by U.S. citizens. The travel warning also notes that due to the drawdown in staff, the U.S. embassy in Havana has limited ability to assist U.S. citizens. The embassy will provide only emergency services to U.S. citizens. The warning states that U.S. citizens in Cuba in need of emergency assistance should contact the embassy by telephone at +(53)(7) 839- 4100 or the Department of State at 1-202-501-4444. U.S. citizens should not attempt to go to the U.S. embassy because it suffered severe flood damage during Hurricane Irma, the warning states.

A transcript of a related press briefing via teleconference on September 29, 2017, is at https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/09/274518.htm. The Cuba travel warning is at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/cuba-travel-warning.html. The U.S. embassy in Havana’s website is at https://cu.usembassy.gov/.

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This newsletter was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (www.abil.com), of which Lynn Susser is an active member.

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