Wednesday, June 24, 2020


MU Law will be hosting a free webinar for our clients and friends on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 2PM Eastern (1PM Central).
This webinar will discuss the NEW Proclamation issued by President Trump suspending entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants until the end of 2020. Interested clients and friends can register for our webinar by clicking on the link below.

Your Questions Answered, including:
  • What types of cases are impacted?
  • My employee’s status expires this fall, can it be extended? Or will the employee have to stop working?
  • What should I do if my employee needs to travel?
  • What can I do if my employee is currently outside the US and needs to return?
  • My employee’s spouse and children went home for summer vacation, will the family be allowed back into the US?
  • Can I file a green card case for my employee who is in the US?
  • Is my employee eligible for a waiver from the proclamation?


Tuesday, June 23, 2020


Last night, President Trump updated and expanded his April Presidential Proclamation that had banned legal immigrant visas for 60 days.  Last night’s ban extends the April legal immigration ban through December 31, 2020 and adds many temporary employment-based nonimmigrant visas, including H-1Bs, L-1s, J-1s, and H-2Bs. 

It seems certain that the President will be sued and so any information contained here is subject to the outcome of the lawsuits.

The ban effects many types of employment-based immigration, such as:

Green Cards (Immigrant visas) Consular Processing

All Consular Processing green cards continue to be banned, as they have been since April.  There are a few exceptions:
  • Permanent Residents of the US;
  • Healthcare workers and their immediate family members (including those family members traveling with the healthcare worker and those family members coming to the US at a later date);
  • Other individuals coming to the US to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or alleviating the effects of Covid-19 and their immediate family members (including those family members traveling with the healthcare worker and those family members coming to the US at a later date).
  • Spouses and children of US Citizens;
  • EB-5 investors;
  • Individuals who are entering to assist law enforcement or who are members of the US Armed Forces;
  • Special Immigrants in the SI or SQ Class and their family members; and
  • Any person whose entry is in the national interest of the US as determine by the Secretary of State or Secretary of Homeland Security.

Green Cards (Immigrant visas) Adjustment of Status

No effect whatsoever.  Many Adjustment of Status interviews, of course, have been delayed because of COVID-19, although we have seen that the USCIS is approving some employment based green cards without an actual visa interview.

H-1B, L-1, J-1, and H-2B visas

  • Beneficiaries approved for H-1B and L-1s will not be allowed to enter the US unless they currently have a valid visa stamp, even if they have an approved I-797.
  • H-1B and L-1 visa stamps cannot be granted at embassies or consulates unless the H-1B or L-1 is for one of the exemption categories below. 
  • If you have an H-1B or L-1 approval and you are in the US, you should not travel outside the US unless you already have a valid H-1B visa stamp in your passport and you intend to return to the US prior to the expiration of that visa stamp.
  • H-1B and L-1 amendments, extensions, and transfers continue to be permissible.
  • H-1B cap petitions that are based on a change of status (e.g. F-1 to H-1B) should be approved with a new I-94 card for the H-1B status.  The ban does not prohibit or effect the change of status, however, individuals changing status to H-1B should not leave the US after October 1 as they will not be able to return without a valid H-1B visa stamp.  
  • Similar prohibitions apply to J-1 and H-2B visas, although the J-1 visa ban is limited to interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs, and summer work programs.  Other J-1s may obtain visas and enter the US.
  • The ban also applies to the H-4, L-2, J-2 dependent classifications.  Spouses and children in the US as dependents should not travel abroad unless each family member has a valid visa stamp in their passport.  Dependents who are currently abroad will not be allowed to enter the US unless they currently have a valid visa stamp.

Exemptions to the H-1B, L-1, J-1, and H-2B nonimmigrant visa ban

The visa ban does not apply to:
  • any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
  • any alien who is the spouse or child of a United States citizen;
  • any alien seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain; and
  • any alien whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security.

National Interest Entry Requests

The Proclamation allows for exemptions to the nonimmigrant visa ban if the Beneficiary is one of several categories deemed by DOS or DHS to be “in the national interest”.  It is expected that the DOS and DHS will issue details about these exemptions and the process to request an exemption.  The Proclamation’s named categories include those who:
  • are critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the United States;
  • are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized;
  • are involved with the provision of medical research at United States facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19;
  • are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States; or
  • are children who would age out of eligibility for a visa as a result of the visa ban.

Friday, June 19, 2020


The Department of State expects that there will be “significant advancement” in many categories, including all EB-1s and EB-5s, as well as EB-3 Worldwide and Philippines, starting in FY 2021 (October 2020 Visa Bulletin). This is terrific news for all EB IV applicants.

The news come from the Department of State’s Charlie Oppenhiem, who is always gracious with his time.  Charlie’s monthly AILA Q&As, Check In With Charlie, are always informative.  This month’s Check In contained many interesting answers, including answers to questions posed by MU attorneys.

Charlie expects that the Family-Based Immigrant Visa category will be underused by about 60,000 visas, as a result of slowdowns in processing related to COVID-19.  US law says that when the FB IV does not meet its quota, all of those visa flow into the Employment-Based category in the next fiscal year.  Therefore, Charlie expects the EB category to increase from 140,000 to about 200,000 visas in FY 2021. 

This means that the per country quotas, which are normally about 10,000 IVs, will increase to approximately 14,000 IVs per country.  It is this increase in EB visas that will lead to the dramatic progressions in October 2020.

Charlie also helpfully explained that while he could have progressed the Visa Bulletin more aggressively in June and July, he did not do so because “processing capacity at both consular posts and USCIS is diminished due to the pandemic.”  Therefore, Visa Bulletin progressions would not have meant increased visa umber usage and may have resulted in a future retrogression, which he tries to avoid.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


The Department of State has just issued the July 2020 Visa Bulletin. This is the tenth Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2020. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

July 2020 Visa Bulletin

Table A: Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

All Other

MU Law Analysis

This Visa Bulletin continued the big progressions that we saw in the June Visa Bulletin.  MU Law has been calling on the DOS to rapidly advance the dates so that all immigrant visas are used in 2020.  Many visas appear that they will go unused without this progression. 

The Worldwide EB-3 dates moved almost six months are now at April 2018, as is the Philippines EB-3.  We continue to expect big progressions in these categories for the August and September VBs because very few visas were used due to the global shutdown caused by COVID-19.

The Indian EB-3 dates moved ahead two months.  It continues to move at a quicker rate than we have seen in years.  India EB-2 even advanced a month.  China EB-2 and EB-3 advanced by one week.  We might see continued progressions of a few weeks or months in these categories for the rest of the fiscal year.

The EB-1 movements were also reassuring.  As was the case last month, India EB-1 progressed another 10 months, reflecting reduced demand.  China EB-1 advanced by a week, as the DOS remains concerned about pending demand.  Limited progressions in EB-1 and EB-2 categories in the future could mean that more visa numbers flow down to EB-3, which would mean more advancement.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020


Support for the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act continues to grow.  In the Senate, co-sponsorship of S. 3599 has grown to 26 Senators.  Several others will be announced shortly.  Over one-quarter of all Senators in just a month.  Sen. Perdue (R-GA), Sen. Durbin (D-IL) and their teams deserve enormous credit for moving so quickly to garner support.

In the House, HR 6788 now has 29 co-sponsors.  In both chambers, the measure is entirely bipartisan.  Likewise, Rep. Schneider (D-IL) and Rep. Cole (R-OK) and their staffs merit great praise from the community.

Monday, June 1, 2020


Beginning Monday, June 1, 2020, the USCIS will reinstate premium processing on certain applications.  Below is a list of case types and the date on which premium processing will be reinstated.

June 1 – All I-140s, except those on behalf of Multinational Managers / Executives and National Interest Waivers can be filed for or upgraded to premium processing.  (NOTE – I-140s on behalf of Multinational Managers / Executives and National Interest Waivers have never been allowed to file under premium processing.)

June 8 – Cap-exempt H-1B petitions that were filed before June 8 can be upgraded to premium processing.  Typical cap-exempt H-1B petitions include:
·        H-1B extensions
·        H-1B amendments
·        H-1B transfers
·       H-1B petitions filed on behalf of cap-exempt entities such as research facilities and universities.

June 15 – Cap-exempt H-1Bs filed on or after June 15 can be filed for premium processing

June 22 – All other H-1Bs petitions, including H-1B cap cases selected in April 2020 can be filed for or upgraded to premium processing.