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Monthly U.S. immigration law news roundup: Lawmakers release proposed bipartisan immigration reform bill

Welcome to the Garfinkel Immigration news roundup, where every month we will summarize and provide links to the latest stories impacting U.S. immigration.

Below is the May 2023 edition of the Garfinkel Immigration news roundup:

Biden administration ends vaccine requirement for international travelers

The United States has ended the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for international travelers.

The Biden administration announced in a press release earlier this month that the mandate was officially lifted for air travelers on May 11 and was terminated for individuals entering the U.S. via land ports-of-entry on May 12. The move coincided with the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“Globally, COVID-19 deaths are at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic,” the press release read. “Following a whole-of-government effort that led to a record number of nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are in a different phase of our response to COVID-19 than we were when many of these requirements were put into place.”

Read the full story here.

DHS, ICE release updates regarding conclusion of COVID-19-related Form I-9 flexibilities

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have announced the upcoming termination of COVID-19-related Form I-9 flexibilities.

The flexibilities will officially end on July 31, 2023. However, DHS will grant employers an additional 30 days to complete applicable in-person physical inspections of required identity and employment authorization documents. Therefore, these inspections must be completed by August 30, 2023.

“DHS encourages employers who have been using those temporary flexibilities to plan ahead to ensure that all required physical inspection of identity and employment eligibility documents is completed,” a press release from ICE read.

Find out more here.

What is Military Parole in Place (PIP)? Explaining the ‘parole’ program for certain family members of current and former U.S. armed forces personnel

Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm published its newest white paper earlier this month.

In the paper, Associate Attorney William Crotty analyzed and explained the Military Parole in Place (PIP) program.

“Military family beneficiaries who are granted PIP are provided authorization to stay and work in the United States,” Crotty writes. “Most importantly, PIP beneficiaries are ‘paroled’ for the purposes of applying for a Green Card inside the United States under the INA. This is a significant benefit that is generally not available to family members of civilians or through other programs that offer parole into the United States.”

Read the full white paper here.

Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm Partners continue ‘Immigration Solutions for Healthcare Workers’ webinar series on June 7

The second webinar in Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm’s “Immigration Solutions for Healthcare Workers” series will be held on Wednesday, June 7, from noon – 1 p.m.

The webinar will be hosted by Partners Meredith W. Barnette and Colleen F. Molner and is entitled “Settling in the U.S.:” Healthcare Worker Green Cards, Part 1 — Physician National Interest Waivers. The Partners’ presentation will discuss long-term strategies for healthcare workers to be employed in the U.S. on a permanent, full-time basis and is intended for physicians, managers and employers in the healthcare industry.

“Our Healthcare Green Card series will be broken up into two parts,” Molner said. “Many physicians are eligible to bypass what is typically the longest and most costly step of the green card process, known as the PERM Labor Certification step, by filing a Physician National Interest Waiver, which is the focus of Part 1.”

Find out more about the webinar series here.

Salazar, Escobar unveil comprehensive immigration bill

Two lawmakers revealed in mid-May a proposed comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform bill.

The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), “aims to revamp asylum processing, slash visa backlogs and provide a path to legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants,” according to The Roll Call.

“The legislation will face challenges in the divided Congress, with Republicans wary of provisions legalizing undocumented immigrants and Democrats reluctant to accept more money toward border security,” the Roll Call story notes.

Find out more via The Roll Call here.

Immigration service likely to change H-1B Visa Lottery

This story, written by Forbes Senior Contributor Stuart Anderson, examines the H-1B lottery for FY 2024 and explains why there will likely be changes to the system moving forward.

“Reforms could increase the selection rate in next year’s lottery,” Anderson writes. “However, attention to the registration process obscures a more fundamental issue. USCIS data show due to the low annual H-1B limit, over 75% of H-1B registrations for FY 2024 would have been rejected even if beneficiaries with multiple registrations were excluded from the lottery.”

Anderson adds: “The low annual limit on H-1B petitions remains the most serious problem confronting employers attempting to secure foreign-born talent. Reforming the employment-based green card numbers and the per-country limit is also a high priority for U.S. competitiveness, given the global competition for talent. An H-1B petition remains typically the only way to ensure high-skilled foreign nationals, including international students, can work long-term in the United States.”

Read the full Forbes story here.

How a green card freeze will exacerbate the nursing crisis

This story from Politico explores the impact that green card delays could have on the nursing industry.

Backlogs at the State Department caused the cut-off date for visa eligibility to move to June 1, 2022, in the May Visa Bulletin. The change “could devastate” the nursing workforce, health advocacy groups told Politico.

“With the State Department’s freeze on green card petitions filed in the past year, health systems — already crushed under the weight of a workforce crisis that is crimping margins and hurting patient care — will be short one of their most effective hiring tools,” the Politico story read.

The story added: “The American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment estimated at least two-thirds of the thousands of international nurses on their pipeline to enter the U.S. this year won’t be able to immigrate because of the State Department’s freeze.”

Find out more via Politico here.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm at 704-442-8000 or via email with any questions.

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