The U.S. Department of Education announced that it no longer recognizes the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (“ACICS”) as an accrediting agency. This decision affects more than 16,000 international students attending approximately 130 SEVP certified schools and programs. This determination immediately affects two immigration-related programs: • English as a Second Language (“ESL”) study programs, and • F-1 students applying for a 24-month science, te
On May 21, 2017, the Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) benefits for beneficiaries from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will be terminated. The Department of Homeland Security determined that conditions in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone no longer support their designations for TPS, as the widespread transmission of Ebola virus in the three countries that led to the designations has ended. We would also like to remind all TPS beneficiaries from Haiti that the designation o
As part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project, on May 1st, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service started issuing redesigned Permanent Resident Cards (known as Green Cards) and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). The new card designs use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features. The main goal of issuance of new cards is to make them “highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use” as well as to
On April 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a policy memorandum which changes guidance on the H-1B specialty occupation designation for computer programmers. The new memo supersedes and rescinds the December 22, 2000 memorandum titled “Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions”. The updated memo advises immigration officials to no longer follow an “obsolete” memo from 2000, which provided guidance on how to vet requests for H-1B visas: "
On April 18, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Buy American and Hire American. The order rigorously enforces and administers the laws governing entry into the United States of foreign workers. The changes indicated in the order are aimed at discouraging the use of foreign labor which, according to the President, displaces U.S. workers and reduces wages. Along with other provisions, the order directs federal agencies to destroy fraud and abuse in the H-
Simone Williams, Managing Attorney with Williams Global Law, will speak at the Invest Caribbean Conference 2017 in Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda. Ms. Williams will discuss the current status and future of the E-2 and EB-5 investment programs in the United States. The main objective of the Conference is to showcase the Caribbean’s Citizenship by Investment Programs (CIPs), focusing on investment opportunities and advantages, particularly those available in real estate and
On May 5, 2017, the U.S. president signed a bill (which was passed by both House of Representatives and the Senate) extending the EB-5 Regional Center Program through September 30, 2017, without any modifications. This means that foreign investors have only five (5) months left to invest through the EB-5 program on current terms, and Regional Centers have the same amount of time to raise EB-5 funds before imminent changes to the EB-5 Program occur. We assume that this will be
On Wednesday April 27th, the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP hosted a discussion on “Caribbean-U.S. Relations Following the Election of President Donald Trump”. The event was sponsored by the Women’s Bar Association, Sidley Austin LLP, Magna Legal Services and Thomson Reuters Pangea3. The esteemed panelists discussed "hot button" issues that have arisen, and are likely to arise, in Caribbean-U.S. relations in the wake of a new U.S. administration under President Donald Trump. T