This month’s CCIU newsletter updates include DOS guidance on travel exceptions, common mistakes to avoid in H-1B Registration, updates to the social security administration tentative non-confirmation process, and ICE’s new case review process.
Dept. of State Issues New Guidance on Exceptions for Travelers from Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland
On March 2, 2021, the Department of State rescinded the previous national interest determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for exceptions under Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10143, issued on January 25, 2021. That proclamation barred the admission into the United States of individuals (other than U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and certain other classes of foreign nationals) who were physically present in the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa during the 14 days prior to seeking admission to the United States. Affected categories of exceptions included “certain technical experts and specialists, senior-level managers and executives, treaty traders and investors, professional athletes, and their dependents.”
The Department also made a new national interest determination covering “certain travelers seeking to provide vital support for critical infrastructure. Travelers in these categories, as well as certain academics, students, and journalists, may qualify for national interest exceptions (NIEs) to PP 10143 related to the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.
The Department said that no previously issued visas or NIEs will be revoked due to the new policy, and that qualified travelers who are applying for or have valid visas or ESTA authorization may travel to the United States even while PP 10143 remains in effect. The Department also continues to grant NIEs for qualified travelers seeking to enter the United States for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.
Details: “National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland,” Dept. of State, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/national-interest-exceptions-from-certain-travelers-from-the-schengen-area-uk-and-ireland.html
USCIS Releases Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes in H-1B Registration
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released tips to avoid common mistakes when filing an H-1B electronic registration. The agency said the top two user errors were creating the wrong type of account and entering the same beneficiary more than once.
USCIS noted that a prospective petitioner may only have one registration submitted per beneficiary per fiscal year. Once the initial registration period has closed, if the prospective petitioner has more than one registration submitted for the same beneficiary, USCIS will remove all registrations submitted for that beneficiary by that prospective petitioner. “This does not prevent other prospective petitioners or their representatives from submitting registrations for that same beneficiary, but they too need to ensure that each prospective petitioner only has one registration submitted for the beneficiary,” USCIS noted.
The agency said that those who submitted more than one registration for the same person while the initial registration period is still open can delete the extra submission(s) from their account until there is only one registration for the beneficiary. USCIS does not refund the $10 fee for a deleted duplicate registration.If more than one registration was submitted by the same prospective petitioner for the same person and the initial registration period has closed, there is no way to correct this error. The initial registration period closes after noon ET on March 25, 2021.
Details: H-1B Electronic Registration Process, https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/h-1b-electronic-registration-process
E-Verify Updates SSA Tentative Non-confirmation Process
On March 4, 2021, E-Verify updated the Social Security Administration (SSA) Tentative Non-confirmation (TNC) process. Employees who receive the SSA TNC with a citizenship mismatch now have the option to call the Department of Homeland Security to resolve their cases instead of visiting an SSA field office.
Details: SSA and DHS TNCs, E-Verify, https://www.e-verify.gov/employers/verification-process/tentative-nonconfirmations/ssa-and-dhs-tncs
ICE Announces New Case Review Process
On March 5, 2021, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the “ICE Case Review (ICR)” process for individuals who believe their case does not align with ICE’s enforcement, detention, and removal priorities. Those requesting a detention case review can contact their local Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field office for initial consideration. Cases of those detained in ICE custody or pending imminent removal will be prioritized, ICE said.
Details: “ICE Announces Case Review Process,” https://www.aila.org/infonet/creation-ice-case-review-process