The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, passed on November 15, 2021. Included in the $1.2 trillion spending package are expansions to various “Buy America” provisions, a set of statutes and regulations that apply to federal financial assistance used to support infrastructure-related projects. “Buy America” requirements differ from the requirements under the Buy American Act of 1933, which focuses on direct procurement by the federal government.
Continue Reading Buy America Provisions in the Infrastructure Bill: What this Means for Foreign Companies

For employers who need to hire foreign national talent for STEM or other hard-to-fill positions, an important immigration deadline is around the corner.

The electronic H-1B lottery application window starts on March 1 and ends on March 18 at 12 noon EST / 9 am PST. If you desire to have one or more candidates entered into the H-1B lottery, please let immigration counsel know before March 1.

Continue Reading Annual H-1B Visa Lottery Will Open on March 1, 2022

FinCEN has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding how the agency is planning to implement the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA).  The NPRM came out on December 8, 2021, accompanied by an explanatory factsheet.  Congress passed the CTA on January 1, 2021 in order to require U.S. companies to disclose beneficial ownership information.

Continue Reading FinCEN Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Corporate Transparency Act

Prior COVID-19 Travel Bans Repealed as of November 8, 2021

On October 25, 2021, President Biden announced the suspension of the COVID-19 travel bans from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.  Previously, a National Interest Exception waiver was required.  With this new Proclamation, the White House announced a global vaccination requirement for all adult foreign national air travelers and authorized the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide specific regulations.  The White House announcement can be found here.

Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin Travel Checklist ‒ New Vaccination Travel Restrictions for Entry Into the United States: Air and Land Rules Effective November 8, 2021

If your company is like many, your board of directors may be demanding that you put more effort into environmental, social, and governance issues, which have become known by the now-ubiquitous acronym “ESG.” Those demands don’t come from nowhere: consumers are demanding transparency and social responsibility. In addition, if your company does business internationally, regulators are now focused on international social justice issues (such as the use of forced labor) more than ever.

Continue Reading Does Your Trade Policy Support Your Company’s Values?

On August 5, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a French banker may seek dismissal of an indictment without having to physically appear in the United States.  The decision limits the application of the “fugitive disentitlement” doctrine – which has long prevented foreign nationals from challenging criminal prosecutions without appearing in the United States to do so.

Continue Reading The Second Circuit Court of Appeals Finds That French Banker Need Not Travel to the United States to Seek Dismissal of Her Indictment

On July 26, 2021, the SEC announced the approval of a substituted compliance determination order with respect to security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants (SBS Entities) subject to regulation in the French Republic (the French Order). This is the first determination that addresses substituted compliance in connection with the Commission’s capital and margin requirements.

Continue Reading SEC’s French Order is First Ever Substituted Compliance Determination in Connection with Capital and Margin Requirements

On July 6, 2021 the U.S. State Department publicly announced that the travel ban waivers related to the world-wide pandemic will now be good for 1 year and multiple entry.  The effective date of this new decision is June 29, 2021.  Previously they were only good for 30 days and a single entry.  In addition, those that have received a waiver in the past may now use it for 12 months if it was granted after June 29, 2020.  See: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/extension-validity-for-nies-for-china-iran-brazil-south-africa-schengen-uk-ireland-india.html

Continue Reading NIE’s Now Good for 1 Year, More on Navigating the Travel Ban Jungle: National Interest Exception Checklist for the U.S. COVID Travel Bans

The travel bans imposed by the U.S. Government during the COVID-19 national pandemic created enormous logistical challenges for anyone seeking to fly to the U.S. from a country on the travel ban list.  Even today, there is still a great deal of confusion regarding who is subject to the travel ban, what are the exceptions, and how to go about applying for a National Interest Exception (NIE) waiver.  The checklist below is intended to help simplify an albeit complicated process.  Of course, most U.S. Consulates are still operating at limited capacities so significant delays for waivers and visa stamping is still the norm.

Continue Reading Navigating the Travel Ban Jungle: National Interest Exception Checklist for the U.S. COVID Travel Bans

The Biden Administration took office on January 20, 2021. Many executive orders have been executed since that date, some of which directly change the manner of handling immigration matters.  However, the U.S. and the world are still dealing with the global pandemic and this directly affects submissions, filings, and consular appointments.  This update provides a list of the latest updates to U.S. visas and immigration matters, as well as what we forecast for the months to come.
Continue Reading Visas and Immigration in 2021 Under the Biden Administration