The Revised Version of Travel Ban to Take Effect Next Month

On Sept. 24, President Trump issued a proclamation that indefinitely bans certain citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea from entering the United States as immigrants (permanent residents). Additionally, entry on nonimmigrant visas is also indefinitely suspended. But note that entry of Iranian nationals under student (F or M) visas, or exchange visitor (J) visas, will continue to be permitted (although such individuals will likely be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements). Also, for Chad, Libya and Yemen, the only prohibited nonimmigrant entries are for B-1 (Business Visitors) or B-2 (Visitors for Pleasure). Furthermore, certain government officials of Venezuela and their family members who seek to visit the United States as business visitors or tourists are also barred from entry. Finally, under the proclamation, citizens of Iraq are permitted to seek entry to the U.S., but will face “additional scrutiny” at the border to determine if they pose risks to U.S. national security or public safety. Assuming its implementation is not delayed by litigation, the proclamation will take effect on Oct. 18.

Importantly, U.S. lawful permanent residents, dual nationals born in one of the listed countries and traveling on the passport of a non-listed country, and persons already holding valid visas will continue to be permitted to enter the U.S. during this time. Furthermore, foreign nationals with valid advance parole documents may continue to travel using these documents. (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has not yet announced whether it will continue to process advance parole renewal applications from nationals of one of the listed countries, although we expect that it will.)

Individuals subject to the ban will be able to seek waivers from a consular officer, or at the port of entry from United States Customs and Border Protection, if their admission would cause them undue hardship, would not endanger U.S. national security and would be in the “national interest.” The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security have been directed to develop adopt guidance addressing the circumstances in which waivers may be appropriate, which we expect to be released in the coming weeks. The proclamation, however, does provide that foreign nationals who have previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work or study and seek to re-enter the U.S. to resume that activity may be eligible for a waiver, as would those with “previously established significant contacts” in the U.S.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of your employees who may be affected by this latest restriction.

Deadline for DACA Renewals is Oct. 5

The Trump administration announced that it will terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program effective March 5, 2018. Eligible DACA beneficiaries have until Oct. 5 to submit a final application for renewal of their employment authorization documents (EADs). For an individual to be eligible to renew a DACA EAD, the EAD must expire on or before March 5, 2018. DACA EADs expiring on or after March 6, 2018, are not eligible for renewal.

DACA recipients may continue to work until their EADs expire, even if their EADs expire after the DACA program terminates on March 5, 2018.

If you have a DACA employee holding a valid advance parole (AP) document, he or she is eligible to travel abroad and seek to re-enter the United States using the AP. As re-entry is not guaranteed, however, DACA employees should travel only in urgent circumstances.

Furthermore, USCIS is no longer accepting or adjudicating DACA requests for advance parole. Pending applications will be closed and filing fees returned.

The Trump administration postponed the termination of DACA until March 5, 2018, to allow Congress time to pursue a legislative solution for current beneficiaries. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on the DACA program as they become available.

Employers Must Use New Version of Form I-9

As of Sept. 18, 2017, all employers must use the newest version of the Form I-9 (dated July 17, 2017) when verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Employers may no longer use the Nov. 14, 2016, edition, or older editions, to complete a new Form I-9. We note that the new Form I-9 adds only the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) to the list of documents acceptable to establish employment authorization under List C. No other substantive changes were made, but the new form nevertheless must be used to the exclusion of all earlier versions.

Please ensure that the July 17, 2017, edition of Form I-9 is integrated into your company’s applicable employment verification systems and processes.