US Department of State

News & Analysis as of

Department of State Releases May 2016 Visa Bulletin

A new geographic sector that includes El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has been added. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its May 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date...more

Africa Update - March 2016 #4

Leading the News - Libya - On March 28th, Libya’s United Nations (U.N.)-backed unity government accused authorities in Tripoli of closing down the capital’s airspace to prevent it from travelling to Libya from...more

Africa Update - March 2016 #3

Leading the News - Republic of Congo - On March 20th, the Republic of Congo (ROC) held voting in a presidential election that was predicted to see President Denis Sassou Nguesso extend his three-decade rule....more

DOS Announces New Policy for Phasing-out of U.S. Employment Authorization for Diplomats’ Dependents

The Department of State has announced a new policy for phasing out the ability of diplomats’ dependents holding A-2 visas to receive employment authorization in the U.S. For new applications, the Department’s Office of...more

Africa Update - March 2016 #2

Leading the News - Cote d’Ivoire - On March 13th, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) gunmen armed with assault rifles stormed the beach hotels in Grand-Bassam, a region population with Ivoirian and Western...more

J-1 Site Visits

The Department of State’s Office of Private Sector Exchange Administration has announced that it will perform site visits to many J-1 Intern and Trainee host organizations beginning this month. Most individual participants...more

U.S.-Cuba Telecommunications: Turning the Corner

Discussion about a potential expansion in telecommunications connections and services between the United States and Cuba spiked in 2016. It started early in the year, when the FCC announced that it was removing Cuba from the...more

Africa Update - March 2016

Leading the News: Burundi - On February 25th, Human Rights Watch (HRW) unveiled a new report documenting a wide range of human rights abuses, including killings, torture, abductions, and arbitrary arrests committed by...more

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring. This week’s post includes: an overview of amicus briefs in the Apple case; the arrest of a...more

European Commission Releases Details of New EU-US Privacy Shield

The new EU-US Privacy Shield seeks to address the European Court of Justice’s criticisms in Schrems after the decision invalidated the Safe Harbor program for EU-US data transfers. On February 29, the EU Commission...more

A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: Visa Bulletin Controversy Continues (Part 5/6)

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of the cases,...more

Visa Waiver Changes – Answers to your ESTA-cancellation Questions

UPDATE: CBP has announced that Libya, Somalia, and Yemen are now included with Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria as countries of concern, so that individuals who have traveled to these countries since March 1, 2011 are not eligible...more

Africa Update - February #3

Leading the News - Burundi - On February 12th, the United Nations (U.N.) Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) (MINUSCA) announced its decision to repatriate three...more

Department of State Releases March 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based second- and third-preference China categories show significant advancement. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its March 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority...more

Africa Update - February 2016 #2

Leading the News - Burundi - On February 5th, newly elected African Union (AU) Assembly Chairman and President of Chad Idriss Deby appointed a high-level delegation of five African heads of state to negotiate with...more

Africa Update - February 2016

Leading the News - Burundi - On January 29th, Burundian authorities released a British and a French journalist who were arrested during a sweep for rebels in flashpoint districts in Bujumbura. The U.S. and European...more

Employees Traveling Internationally? Read This.

Does your business depend on the international travel of its employees? What would happen to your business if one of your key employees couldn’t get a passport? Beginning this year with the FAST Act, the State Department may...more

Hybrid Visa Offers Alternative to Limited H-1B Visa

For an ever-increasing number of U.S. employers, the start of another calendar year also means H-1B season has arrived. However, given the competitive nature of the H-1B program, many employers are turning to an alternative...more

Africa Update - January 2016 #4

Leading the News - Burundi - On January 22nd, during a visit to Bujumbura, the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council met with Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza to advocate for peace talks and the deployment of...more

Department of State Releases February 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based adjustment of status applicants must file using the Application Final Action Dates chart. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its February 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out...more

January 2016 Immigration Alert

I. U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Obama Immigration Plan - On January 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the Obama administration’s appeal from the Fifth Circuit decision that enjoined implementation of its...more

ESTA Travel Warning Update – Approval Revoked for Travelers who are Nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan

The Department of State announced that travelers who currently have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTAs) and who have previously indicated holding dual nationality with Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on their...more

CBP releases FAQ on Visa Waiver Program: Rule Changes

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the “Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015” into law. On January 21, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State...more

Africa Update - January 2016 #3

Leading the News - Burkina Faso - On January 15th, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for a string of attacks in Burkina Faso that took the lives of 29 civilians from at least seven...more

U.S. Department of State Implements Visa Waiver Program Entry Restrictions

The budget bill, which was signed into law in December, disallows “Visa Waiver” entries for nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan (whether or not they have ever visited those countries) and persons from any country who have...more

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