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Immigration News Briefs

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
March 2017
Immigration News Briefs

Aftermath of Trump travel ban
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected the administration’s request to stay a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by federal judge James Robart on February 3.

The appeals court upheld a lower court's decision to bar the federal government from beginning implementation of the ban, which temporarily prohibits travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, and indefinitely suspends the refugee admissions program. According to the ban, all travelers who are nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were not permitted to enter the US for 90 days, or to be issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa. Due to this ruling, travelers are now free to enter the U.S. from those countries.

Judges elsewhere have upheld an order stopping implementation. For example, on February 13, 2017, a US district judge in Virginia ruled that President Donald Trump's executive order barring entry from seven countries is unconstitutional. Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a preliminary injunction, asserting that the campaign vow to institute a "Muslim ban" violated the First Amendment. This ruling is significant, as the judge ruled that religious bias is at the heart of Trump's ban.

According to various news sources, Trump has said that he is considering rewriting the executive order, rather than bringing the case to the Supreme Court. Note that the Supreme Court currently has eight justices, and a 4-4 tie would affirm the lower court’s ruling but also send the case back to the district court in Washington State.

Proposed changes to work/investment related visas
In the last column, we examined two new H1B related bills in Congress. Not to be outdone, Trump has been looking to issue a related executive order. While the wording of the draft obtained by CNNMoney doesn't reveal many details about possible changes in the H1B, it does apparently propose changes to many other visas such as J1 (summer work travel), Optional Practical Training (OPT, which allows international students to stay in the U.S. after graduating), and E2 program (an investor visa). Also affected is L1 visa, which allows a foreign worker to transfer from an office abroad to the same company's U.S. branch. Now, an applicant will be subjected to site visits within six months by Homeland Security. Within two years, there will be mandatory on-site checking for all employment-related visa programs.

Proposed bill to significantly cut immigration
Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) are proposing legislation that would cut the number of legal immigrants to the United State by 40 percent initially, and, over the course of a decade, ultimately cut the annual allotment of available green cards by 50 percent. The proposed bill, entitled the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, would also eliminate most forms of family-based immigration including sibling sponsorship, and as well as the diversity visa (DV) lottery.

[The article above contains some additional material not in the print and digital issues.]

APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR March 2017

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Jun10

01Jun10

2A

08May15

08May15

2B

15Aug10

15Aug10

3rd

22Apr05

22Apr05

4th

22Jul03

22Feb04

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

01Jun08

Current

3rd

22Mar05

01Dec16

Other

22Mar05

01Dec16

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 


DATES FOR FILING VISA APPLICATIONS - March 2017

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Jan11

01Jan11

2A

22Nov15

22Nov15

2B

08Feb11

08Feb11

3rd

22Aug05

22Aug05

4th

01May04

01Jul04

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

22Apr09

Current

3rd

01Jul05

Current

Other

01Jul05

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-for-march-2017.html

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