US Department of State

News & Analysis as of

Immigrant Visa Processing Changes – EB2 Worldwide current in Oct; EB2 India and China advance, but remain behind EB3; Visa Office...

In our continuing series of reports, Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his most recent analysis of current trends and future projections for the...more

September 2016 Special Immigration Alert

I. DOS Announces 2018 Diversity Lottery - The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) just released its instructions for the DV-2018 Diversity Visa (DV-2018) lottery. The registration period begins on Tuesday, October 4, 2016,...more

Diversity Visa ("Green Card Lottery") Registration

On October 4, 2016, registration for the Diversity Visa (DV) 2018 Program will begin. Conducted by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), the DV program provides a limited number of immigrant (permanent) visas each fiscal...more

2018 Green Card Lottery Registration

On October 1, 2016, the US Department of State will begin accepting requests to register for the 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2018), also known as the Green Card Lottery. The Diversity Lottery Program provides a...more

2018 Diversity Visa Lottery Program: Cuba, Ecuador, and Guatemala Eligible to Register

For the 26th year, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued registration instructions for the annual Diversity Visa (DV) lottery. Registration for the 2018 lottery opens 12 noon eastern daylight time (EDT) on October 4,...more

2018 Immigrant Visa Lottery Opens in Two Weeks

The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Registration for 2018 opens Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Entries must be submitted electronically at: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ between noon on October 4, 2016 and noon on November 7, 2016,...more

Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Opens on October 4, 2016

The State Department announced that it will begin accepting applications for the FY 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program—commonly called the diversity visa lottery—beginning Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Applicants who are...more

The October 2016 Visa Bulletin

The start of October means the start of a new fiscal year for the U.S. Department of State, with a new round of immigrant visa numbers for the permanent residency process. USDOS recently released the first Visa Bulletin of...more

Department of State Releases October 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based China and India First Preference and Worldwide Second Preference cutoff dates become “current” once again. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its October 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin...more

2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program Announced

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has announced the opening of the registration period for the 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program enables foreign nationals to apply for permanent...more

2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program Announced

On September 16, 2016, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) published a notice in the Federal Register on the 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2018). This Congressionally-mandated program provides visas for a class of...more

State Department Relaunches Company Visit Program to Assess ITAR Compliance

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”) within the State Department has relaunched its “Company Visit Program.” Under the Company Visit Program, DDTC officials come to your office to review your company’s...more

Redefining U.S. Export Controls: Takeaways from Key Changes Effective September 1st

On September 1, 2016 new rules previously published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) will become...more

Considerations for Travel to Iran to Explore Relaxed Trade Opportunities

Before booking your airfare, be mindful of these potential issues. In light of liberalized trade with Iran made possible by the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC’s) General License H and the relaxation of US...more

Immigrant Visa Processing Changes – EB2 Worldwide will become current in Oct; EB2/3 China and EB2 India to advance in October; EB3...

In our continuing series of reports, Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his most recent analysis of current trends and future projections for the...more

New Guidance on ITAR Registration in the Firearms Industry

The State Department has issued new policy guidance regarding the requirement for gunsmiths and others involved in the firearms industry to register with the State Department under Part 122 of the International Traffic In...more

DUI Arrest Could Now Lead to Visa Revocation for Employees in U.S. Even Without a Conviction

Employers should be aware that foreign nationals in the United States on nonimmigrant work visas (such as H-1B, L-1, and O-1 visas) are subject to severe consequences following an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI)...more

Export Regulation Revisions: Harmonization of Destination Control Statements

New rules synchronize Destination Control Statements for EAR and ITAR. On August 17, both the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the US State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade...more

The EU’s Data Transfer “Privacy Shield”—Full Body Armor or a Candle in the Wind?

With the August 1st start of the Privacy Shield, the European Commission’s new and long-awaited transatlantic data transfer agreement with the U.S., businesses that had previously relied on the invalidated Safe Harbor scheme...more

Department of State Releases September 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based final action dates reflect modest advancement for the end of the fiscal year. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its September 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country...more

DHS Announces Changes to Benefit Undocumented Immigrants

On July 29, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security announced a final rule that expands eligibility or a provisional waiver of unlawful presence, (‘‘provisional waiver’’). For readers who are unfamiliar with the provisional...more

New Form I-129s for Intracompany Transferees Required for Blanket Petitions at US Embassies after August 29, 2016

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a revised Form I-129S, NONIMMIGRANT PETITION BASED ON BLANKET L PETITION. USCIS announced that this form must be used exclusively in applications...more

Summer Slow Down: For the first time in memory, the quota reserved for the most desired immigrant applicants retrogresses for...

The Department of State published its August 2016 Visa Bulletin and it has a few impactful surprises. This is not good news for companies and foreign nationals. Indian and Chinese foreign nationals, as usual, are the hardest...more

Foreign Entrepreneurs Series | Part 2: Immigrant Visas

In May, we began a series discussing some of the issues faced by foreign entrepreneurs when starting businesses in the United States. In that post, we discussed the importance of evaluating available visa options before...more

ITAR For Government Contractors: Revised For Recent Amendments

One of the most important areas of regulation for defense contractors is the International Traffic In Arms Regulations (“ITAR”). ITAR are the State Department controls that regulate the defense industry. Companies regulated...more

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