By  Angelo A. Paparelli

In the wake of recent losses in the federal courts, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – on June 17, 2020 – issued a memorandum that rescinds two agency policies which, for more than ten years, had forced employers of H-1B (Specialty Occupation) workers stationed at customer worksites to submit voluminous and burdensome evidence.  Thankfully, under the new interpretation such evidence will no longer be required.

The June 17 memorandum also provides partial guidance on possible petition denials and revocations, as well as potential status violations, when employees are placed in nonproductive status, whether in response to COVID-19, or otherwise.  Yet it leaves many questions unanswered. Continue Reading Litigation Victories Force USCIS to Rescind Restrictive H-1B Memoranda — Agency Also Offers Unclear Guidance on H-1B “Nonproductive” Status

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Supreme Court allows DACA to proceed on the grounds that DHS did not meet the regulatory Administrative Procedures Act requirements in rescinding the program. The Court did not rule on the legality of the DACA program itself.

In the Supreme Court’s June 18th decision on Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California,  the Court rejected an attempt to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on the grounds that the Administration failed to abide by regulatory procedures. Continue Reading A Win for Dreamers: Supreme Court Rejects Bid to end DACA


On June 16, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) once again announced a 30-day extension of flexibility for the remote completion of Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), and a dispensation from the usual rule requiring an in-person review of original documents of an employee’s identity and employment eligibility within three days of hire. The flexibility now runs until July 18th. Continue Reading ICE Extends Virtual I-9 Flexibility for 30 Days: Announcement Does Not Address Increasing Employer Questions

By Angelo A. Paparelli

Much like patient vintners, federal immigration agencies often take time to offer up a grand cru.  One such agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Homeland Security component that administers the legal immigration system, just produced a long-awaited, delectable quaff. On May 5, it issued a policy memorandum that anointed as binding precedent an administrative appellate decision which at long last blesses modern practices in business transformations. Continue Reading No Whine before its Time: USCIS Recognizes Immigration Successorship in Interest for Multinational Executives and Managers

On May 14, 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance, initially granted on March 20. The ICE notice extends the ability for employers to conduct Form I-9 completions virtually/remotely, for an additional 30 days, or until June 18. The guidance provides an alternative – for a time – to “in-person” I-9 document review in light of precautions necessitated by COVID-19. With the rules relaxed, Section 2 verification or Section 3 reverification can be virtually completed via an online meeting (Skype, Zoom, FaceTime etc.), email, or fax, provided employers retain copies of the documents, and complete the Form I-9 within three business days of an employee starting work. In the original announcement, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that the virtual/remote process was not available to employers where employees were physically present at a work location. DHS also requires employers availing themselves of this discretion to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s presence, once normal operations resume, making the flexibility not so flexible and very time consuming in practice. The process of having to virtually check documentation, and then recheck in person within a tight time frame, has been unworkable for many employers. Continue Reading ICE Announces Further Extension of Flexibility in Form I-9 Rules

As employers consider whether it is safe for employees to return to work, busy in-house counsel and HR leaders need I-9 and E-Verify answers.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) have temporarily allowed virtual I-9 completion procedues in place of the in-person verification of employment eligibility, but are requiring follow-up actions when employees return to work in-person.  ICE has also announced a moratorium on the issuance of any new I-9 Notices of Inspection.

In the midst of these COVID-specific changes, USCIS has also released a new I-9 Handbook for Employers (Form M-274) that includes significant changes.

Seyfarth’s experienced immigration-compliance attorneys will offer guidance and answers to help employers navigate these uncharted waters. Our panel will discuss the legal and practical immigration compliance issues employers can anticipate when restarting business operations, bringing employees back to the workplace, and maintaining compliance for those who continue to work from home.

Discussion topics include:

  • Expired Documents and Other COVID-19 Rule Changes
  • Hiring Surges and I-9 Responsibilities
  • Living with the Decisions You’ve Made – Best Practices for Virtual, Remote and In-Person I-9 completion
  • Industry Sector Surprises: Fraudulent Documents and New I-9s
  • Highlights of Significant Changes to the New M-274
  • Your Questions Answered

We encourage attendees to submit their questions beforehand. Please send your questions to I-9Compliance@seyfarth.com.

Who should attend: Human resources professionals, in house counsel, anyone who is involved in managing or overseeing the Form I-9 process

Featuring the following speakers:

Dawn M. Lurie, Senior Counsel at Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Leon Rodriguez, Partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Angelo A. Paparelli, Partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Randel K. Johnson, Partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP

To register for this webinar, click here.

In anticipation of the 10/21/19 version of the  Form I-9 becoming mandatory for use, on May 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released the new M-274, Handbook for Employers. The M-274 is the handy companion to the Form I-9, and its importance should not be understated. The Handbook contains critical guidance on I-9 compliance, designed to supplement an employers’ understanding of its employment eligibility verification responsibilities and obligations. The M-274 contains 96 pages and should be used in conjunction with the Form I-9 instructions. Continue Reading The Form I-9 & the New M-274- Handbook for Employers: Like Peanut Butter & Jelly

On April 24, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a targeted reopening date of June 4, 2020 for offices that are currently closed in response to COVID-19.

What is impacted by this reopening announcement?

This impacts offices that provide in-person services, including field offices, asylum offices and application support centers (ASCs).  On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at these offices to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Continue Reading USCIS to Reopen Offices on June 4th

Seyfarth Synopsis:  The President’s Proclamation will pause the issuance of immigrant visas for those seeking lawful permanent residence (Green Card) status through consular processing at posts outside of the U.S. for the next 60 days.  This order is limited in scope and should not have a significant impact on the transfer of global talent.

On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation to pause the issuance of new Immigrant Visas outside the U.S. for an initial period of 60 days, taking effect at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2020. Continue Reading It Shall be Tweeted, It Shall be Written: Temporary Suspension of Immigrant Entry

Seyfarth Synopsis: Following a late-night tweet from the President on suspending immigration into the U.S., we have learned today that the President’s executive order (“EO”) on immigration will be limited in scope. The EO is expected to pause the issuance of immigrant visas for those seeking lawful permanent residence (Green Card) status through consular processing at posts outside of the U.S. The EO is limited in scope and should not have a significant impact on the transfer of global talent. This is true, especially because existing travel restrictions and consulate closures abroad have already brought these Immigrant Visa processes to a near halt.

Following his Monday night Tweet regarding an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States, President Trump announced during his evening COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, that this order will pause the issuance of Immigrant Visas for 60 days. Preliminary information indicates the moratorium will only affect individuals applying for immigrant visas abroad. Those present, in the U.S., seeking to adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR or “green card”) status by filing for an I-485 adjustment of status application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service will be able to continue the process.  Continue Reading Executive Order on Temporary Suspension of Immigrant Visas Announced