US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has extended its remote Form I-9 document verification policy through September 19, 2020 to help employers cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this policy, employers do not have to verify new Form I-9- employment eligibility documentation in the employee’s physical presence until September 19, 2020, or within three days of the COVID-19 national emergency’s end, whichever comes sooner.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced how it will implement Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. USCIS will reject all applications from foreign nationals who have never received DACA and return their application fees. These individuals may reapply for DACA without prejudice if this policy is overturned in the future. USCIS will continue to accept DACA applications from people who have received DACA before.
The production of certain Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) is delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through December 1, 2020, certain employees may use an EAD approval notice as a List C document for employment verification purposes during the Form I-9 process. This Form I-797, Notice of Action for Form I-765 can only be used for employment verification purposes if it indicates that the EAD application has been approved and the notice date is between December 1, 2019 and August 20, 2020. After December 1, 2020, employers may no longer accept Form I-797 for employment verification.
At the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, F and M students could take classes remotely. This allowed schools to maintain social distancing protocols while students could continuously maintain their immigration status in the US. On July 26, 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) enacted policy requiring international students to leave the United States if their courses were fully online for the fall 2020 semester. After multiple lawsuits, DHS rescinded the policy for existing students only on July 14, 2020.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a recent suspension of the Department of Homeland Security’s public charge rule during the COVID-19 pandemic only applies within the Second Circuit, which includes the states of Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may still enforce the public charge rule in every other US state and the District of Columbia. This ruling does not impact the Department of State (DOS), which is still barred from implementing their public charge rule nationwide based on a separate lawsuit, Make the Road New York, et a. v. DOS. While each agency’s public charge rule varies, both penalize foreign nationals who use certain public benefits.
On July 6, 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that F and M student visa holders will no longer be eligible for valid nonimmigrant status if they are enrolled in fully online courses for the fall 2020 semester.
On June 4, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin reopening some field offices and application support centers (ASCs) to the public and resume non-emergency face-to-face services. USCIS offices were temporarily closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
USCIS will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines. They will establish measures to protect their workforce and the public when facilities reopen.
The United States is experiencing high rates of unemployment due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic is particularly challenging for H-1B workers and their employers, since H-1B workers generally cannot collect unemployment insurance benefits if their position is terminated. This is because H-1B visas are tied to a specific employer. H-4 dependents, however, may be eligible for unemployment benefits in some states.
Although nearly everyone has been impacted in some way by the public health crisis and the economic disruptions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, landlords are especially disadvantaged. Landlords are faced with a difficult economic and moral dilemma: how to stay afloat given their own liabilities when their tenants are unable to make rent payments. Luckily, various forms of relief are available to landlords.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will be flexible with delays from applicants and petitioners who are required to respond to requests for evidence (RFEs), notices of intent to deny (NOIDs), notices of intent to revoke (NOIR), notices of intent to terminate (NOIT) regional investment centers and notice of appeal or motion (Form I-290B) dated between March 1 and July 1, 2020.