• Beginning Jan. 15, 2009, federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to utilize the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s E-Verify system to verify their employees’ employment eligibility. E-Verify is the Internet-based employment eligibility verification system that allows employers to check the legal status of newly hired workers. E-Verify requires enrollment and execution of an agreement with the government (i.e., DHS and the Social Security Administration). Contact your immigration counsel to discuss issues related to E-Verify enrollment and enrollment procedures. 
  • The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is set to become mandatory on Jan. 12, 2009 for travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries. ESTA is an automated, electronic pre-screening process for visitors to the United States. Visa Waiver countries currently include: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 
  • The President has announced that seven (7) more countries will be added to the Visa Waiver Program by the end of 2008. Citizens of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea will then be eligible to travel to the United States for business or pleasure “visa free” (i.e., without first obtaining a B visitor visa from the U.S. Consulate in his or her home country), for visits of up to 90 days.