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Greg Berk is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Practice Group and Leader of the Immigration Practice.

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

On March 3, 2021, the U.S. Embassy to France announced significant changes in the criteria for granting “National Interest Exemptions” (“NIE waiver”) to certain foreign travelers coming to the United States. The U.S. Embassy strongly advised persons currently in the United States on E, H, L, O, or P visas not leave the United States for trips back to France unless “they understand that they may not be able to re-enter the United States for some time.” In particular, these changes will favor specialists in critical infrastructures to get a NIE waiver, as opposed to senior executives who will generally be denied. The U.S. Embassy further indicated that no information has been provided as to when such new criteria for exceptions will be lifted.  These changes will likely be enforced by all of the U.S. Embassies in Europe for at least the near future.
Continue Reading U.S. Embassy in Paris Substantially Limits the Eligibility of National Interest Exemptions for Foreign Travelers

Hiring employees does not usually call to mind international trade compliance obligations. However, together U.S. export controls and anti-discrimination laws create a web that is overlooked or misunderstood by many types of employers of all sizes across many industries. Anti-discrimination laws prohibit unlawful citizenship status restrictions when hiring, and U.S. export controls prohibit disclosing controlled information to foreign nationals without authorization. Together, these law limit acceptable job descriptions and hiring practices.
Continue Reading Export Control HR Pitfalls To Avoid When Hiring

Presidential Proclamation

On June 22, 2020, the White House announced an extension and expansion of Proclamation 10014, which was originally announced on April 22, 2020 and restricted the issuance of and entry on immigrant visas.  The new visa ban expands the restrictions to certain non-immigrant categories.
Continue Reading How the New Presidential Proclamation Regarding Non-Immigrant Visas Affects Your Company

On Monday, March 16th, 2020, the U.S. will be extending the March 13th, 2020 “European Travel Ban” to certain foreign nationals who have been in the United Kingdom and Ireland for 14 days prior to boarding.  These two countries were previously exempted from the Wednesday, March 11th Presidential Proclamation (the “First Proclamation.”)


Continue Reading The U.S. Coronavirus Inbound Travel Ban Has Been Expanded to Flights from the U.K., Ireland, and Schengen countries, in Addition to the Previous Ban from China and Iran

Hiring the best talent can maximize the success of your company. Sometimes that means hiring a foreign national on a work visa. We prepared this booklet to help you navigate the complex U.S. employment-based visa options. This guide provides general information and we encourage you to contact us for more substantive guidance. At Sheppard Mullin, we stand ready to help you grow your company.
Continue Reading U.S. Visas – A Pocket Guide for Employers and Entrepreneurs