• The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has delayed implementation of the new Form I-9 regulation until April 3, 2009. Under the new rule, employers will be unable to accept expired documents to verify employment authorization of their new hires on the Form I-9. Additionally, the rule will change the listing of acceptable identification and employment authorization documents for Form I-9 completion.  
  • While new H-2B visas are unavailable until Oct. 1, 2009 due to the government`s numerical cap on this popular visa category, DHS is preparing for the new filing season by publishing a final rule entitled ``Changes to Requirements Affecting H-2B Nonimmigrants.`` The new rule instructs the Secretary of Homeland Security to publish a list of designated countries whose nationals are eligible for H-2B visas. DHS would approve only those H-2B petitions that are filed for nationals of the designated countries or on a case-by-case basis for nationals of non-designated countries under the special application procedure. The initial list issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security includes the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom. The new rule does not affect current H-2B workers employed in the U.S.
  • The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions for non-minister religious workers` permanent immigration to the U.S. will sunset on March 6, 2009. Form I-485 Adjustment of Status applicants based on religious worker status may find themselves in limbo if unadjudicated prior to March 6th. To maximize chances for permanent immigration proceedings completion by that date, contact your immigration counsel as soon as possible to discuss timelines and expedited processing options.