US Department of State

News & Analysis as of

FCC Seeking Expedited Comment on Opening Service Provider Opportunities between U.S. and Cuba

With President Obama’s announcement last December that the United States is charting a new course in its relations with Cuba, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) is taking expedited steps to open up...more

U.S. Department of State Ending Extra Passport Pages Practice

The State Department announced Thursday (November 19) that it is ending the practice of adding additional pages in passports for security reasons, beginning January 1, 2016....more

Africa Update - November 2015 #3

Leading the News - Egypt: On November 12th, officials at the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) noted while they had offered assistance to both Egyptian...more

The State Department's Recent Federal Register Notice Marks Opening Steps Toward Access to Iranian Market for US Commercial...

On November 2, 2015, the US State Department published a list of contingent waivers to a host of US sanctions on Iran that would apply to US and non-US persons. Included in the publication is an announcement of waivers that...more

Africa Update - November 2015 #2

Leading the News: Egypt - On November 5th, U.S. President Barack Obama expressed his belief it was possible there was a bomb on board the Russian passenger jet that went down in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last week....more

Filing and Litigating a Hague Convention Child Abduction Civil Case in Federal Court

Background on Child Abduction Cases Under the Hague Convention - The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Convention”) is an international treaty in which the signatory...more

Africa Update - November 2015

Leading the News - Egypt: On October 31st, a Russian jet carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing all people on board. While the cause of the crash was not...more

Energy & Environment Update - November 2015

Energy and Climate Debate - In his final major effort prior to retiring last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) reached a bipartisan agreement, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, with other House and Senate...more

OFAC Authorizes Transactions Involving Certain Belarusian Entities

On October 29, OFAC granted a General License authorizing nine Belarusian entities to make transactions otherwise prohibited by Executive Order 13405, effective October 30. The General License also authorizes transactions...more

2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program Coming to a Close

On October 1, 2015, the US Department of State commenced accepting applications for the 2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes available up to 50,000 immigrant visas...more

Africa Update - October 2015 #4

Leading the News - Tanzania: On October 25th, voters in Tanzania went to the polls to vote for a candidate to replace outgoing President Jakaya Kikwete, who was unable to run for a third term under the country’s...more

Energy & Environment Update - October 2015 #4

Energy and Climate Debate - Following a busy week for the Obama Administration during which it held several energy and climate events in anticipation of the international climate negotiations at the end of the year in...more

EPA Denies Petition to Remove EGBE From List of TRI Form R Chemicals

Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE) is a solvent used primarily in the production of paints, coatings, and metal and household cleaners. It’s also used in the production of other chemicals. Facilities that manufacture,...more

New System, Same Result

The new “two-pronged” priority date system announced recently by the U.S. State Department appears, thus far, to promise more of the same for foreign nationals in historically over-subscribed visa categories. The November...more

Africa Update - October 2015 #3

On October 17th, members of the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council urged all Libyan parties to endorse and sign the recently finalized political agreement for the creation of a Government of National Accord. The Security...more

Die DV-2017 Green Card Lotterie

Es ist wieder an der Zeit die Green Card Lotterie zu spielen! 50.000 Einwanderungsvisa werden von der US-Regierung verlost. Das Außenministerium wird die Anträge (E-DV Entry Form oder DS-5501) für die DV-2017 Green Card...more

US State Department Releases Contingent Waivers of Iran Extraterritorial Sanctions

On October 18, 2015, the day on which the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) became effective (“Adoption Day”), the U.S. Department of State (“State Department”) issued contingent waivers of certain extraterritorial...more

DOS vs USCIS: Visa Bulletin Games

Last week USCIS issued guidance stating that it will advise which of the two visa bulletin charts; Dates for Filing Visa Applications or Application Final Action Date applicants should use....more

US Department of State Issues November 2015 Visa Bulletin

The new bulletin shows no movement in filing date cutoffs and little movement in approval date cutoffs for those chargeable to India and China. The November 2015 Visa Bulletin shows little change from the October 2015...more

USCIS Announces New System for Confirming Filing Eligibility for Adjustment of Status Applicants

In accordance with significant procedural revisions announced in September and implemented by the Department of State (DOS) with the publication of the revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration...more

The DV-2017 Green Card Lottery - Register Before November 3, 2015

While some wait decades for their turn to receive a “green card”, and there are discussion about building walls to keep immigrants out of the U.S., 55,000 immigrant visas are “won” each year in a Green Card Lottery! It is...more

Visa Bulletin: More Changes Impacting the I-485 Process

As previously reported in our legal update from September 10, 2015, the Department of State (DOS) made a major change to the Visa Bulletin in early September. Then, on September 25, 2015, that Visa Bulletin was rescinded and...more

USCIS and DOS Attempt to Clarify Increasingly Complex Visa Bulletin Situation

Each month, the Department of State (“DOS”) publishes current immigrant visa availability information in its Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin indicates when statutorily limited visas are available to prospective immigrants...more

Africa Update - October 2015 #2

Leading the News - Libya: On October 8th, The Washington Post provided an update on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) activities in Sirte, Libya. Since taking hold of Sirte earlier this year, ISIL...more

U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery Offers Alternative Immigration Path for Employees Subject to Backlogs

The U.S. Department of State opened the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery registration for FY 2017 at noon eastern standard time (EST) on October 1, 2015. It will close on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, at noon (EST). The DV program...more

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