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Filing Motions to Reopen and Reconsider for Immigration Cases

Foreign nationals who receive a visa denial from the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) can appeal the decision with either a motion to reopen or reconsider, depending on the circumstances. An individual can file a motion to reconsider if they feel that the judge did not correctly apply the law, submitted facts, or federal immigration policy. If instead, the foreign national has new evidence that they did not submit in the original case, they can file a motion to reopen.

Biden To Lift COVID-19 Travel Ban for Certain Southern African Countries

President Biden will end the presidential proclamation which bans certain southern African travelers from entering the United States, effective 12:01am ET on December 31, 2021. Foreign nationals will be permitted to enter the US from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe after the ban is lifted. These travelers will still be subject to COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements to enter the United States.

Interview Waivers for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants

On December 23, 2021, the Department of State announced that it has given consular officers the discretion to waive the in-person interview requirement for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visa applicants who have a petition approved by USCIS through to the end of 2022. The Secretary of State also extended the similar interview waiver policies that were previously issued for H-2, F, M and J visa applicants through the end of 2022.

DHS Withdraws Rule That Would Have Replaced H-1B Cap Lottery with Selection Process Based on Wage Level

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will withdraw the proposed rule Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions. The rule, often referred to as the H-1B Selection Final Rule, was issued on January 8, 2021 and vacated by the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Under the policy, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would have prioritized higher wage H-1B applicants instead of using a randomized lottery selection process.

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