The March Visa Bulletin Is Now Available

Visa availability for employment categories for the coming months as set forth in the March Visa Bulletin:

Employment First: This category will remain current.  However, a final action date is likely to be imposed by August for China and India.

Employment Second: Worldwide-current; China-up to five weeks; India-up to  one month

Employment Third: Worldwide & Mexico-up to three months; China-up to six months; India-extremely limited forward movement; Philippines-up to six months

Employment Fourth: Current for most countries.

Employment Fifth: Current for most countries; China-up to two weeks.

For additional information and for family-sponsored categories, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin.html.

Use the Revised Version of Form I-9

Beginning Jan. 22, 2017, employers must only use the revised version Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, dated 11/14/2016, to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986.

Reverification of expiring employment authorization for existing employees must be completed using the revised version, dated 11/14/2016.

Prior versions of the form will no longer be valid for use on or after 11/22/2017.

Employers should continue to follow existing storage and retentions rules for all of their previously completed Form I-9.

Employers who fail to use Form I-9 (11/14/2016 N) on or after Jan. 22, 2017 may be subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Immigration Documents & Travel

Nonimmigrants should carry their original Immigration documents with them at all times.  This includes H-1B and H-4 approval notices, EAD/AP documents, and OPT cards. Keep a photocopy of your documents in a safe place at home.  Of course, if you will be engaged in international travel, you will need a valid passport and perhaps some additional documents depending upon your situation.

No Current Plans to Expand Travel Ban Beyond Current Countries

In response to rumors of plans to expand the travel ban to other countries, Department of State (DOS) informed the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that there is no addendum, annex, or amendment now being worked on to expand visa revocations or the travel ban to countries other than those currently implicated in the Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” This includes Columbia and Venezuela which have been widely rumored to be under consideration. DOS confirmed that there is no information that supports such a rumor and asked that AILA members help end the spread of this false information.