H-1B Ban Set to Expire March 31, 2021

Update April 1, 2021 DOS has just provided an update on its website. Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance.  Visa applicants who were previously refused visas due to the restrictions of Presidential Proclamation...

Visa Bulletin Insights March 2021

Below are some takeaways from AILA regarding the Department of State's first "chat with Charlie" held on 3/17/2021 on the U.S. Department of State: Consular Affairs YouTube channel. This will be a recurring monthly segment where Charlie Oppenheim responds to the public’s questions regarding the Visa Bulletin. Debut of Chats with Charlie!The State Department’s inaugural engagement “Chats...

Consulates May Waive Visa Interviews for Certain Renewals

As part of its efforts to accommodate applicants impacted by the covid pandemic and speed up its case backlog, the Department of State has been allowing some nonimmigrant visa interviews to be waived since August 2020. Before Covid, consular officers may waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification as long as the previous...

Rescission of Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983

Update March 16, 2021 As part of Biden's Proclamation on "Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States", the President has directed the State Department, within 45 days, to provide a report including a proposal for individuals whose immigrant visa applications were denied due to Proclamations 9645 or 9983 and seek to have their applications reconsidered.  The Department of State has...

New Public Charge Rule Implemented by Trump will be Dead

On March 9, 2021, DHS announced that it would no longer defend the 2019 Public Charge Rule (2019 Rule) implemented by the Trump Administration which led to the creation of the Form I-944. Lawsuits were filed challenging the 2019 Rule. It has been confusing at times when the Rule was put on hold, then back on, then only applicable to some jurisdictions. Given that the last court decision was to...

Immigrant Visa Ban Lifted

On February 24, 2021, President Biden rescinded Trump's Immigrant Visa ban (Proclamation 10014) which suspended the entry of certain immigrant visa applicants. However, given the backlog caused by the Covid pandemic and the bans under Trump, the resumption of visa services will not be swift or back to pre-pandemic levels. The Department of State has provided an update on its website regarding...