Immigration Update

Jun 1, 2021 | Immigration Updates

ICE Announces Extension, New Employee Guidance on I-9 Compliance Flexibility

In a welcome development, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension until August 31, 2021, of the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance that were initially granted last year due to precautions related to COVID-19. The latest extension includes guidance for employees hired on or after June 1, 2021, who work exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19-related precautions. Those employees are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process until they undertake non-remote employment on a “regular, consistent, or predictable basis,” or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated, whichever is earlier. If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation.

Details: ICE announcement, May 26, 2021,

USCIS Eases Visitor Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Keeping up with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its visitor policy. Fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear a face covering. Individuals two years old and older who are not fully vaccinated must still wear a face covering. “Fully vaccinated” is defined as at least two weeks having passed after receiving a second dose in a two-dose series or at least two weeks having passed after receiving a dose of a single-dose vaccine. USCIS also eased other requirements for fully vaccinated individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Those who have returned from domestic air, international air, or cruise ship travel in the past 10 days may enter USCIS facilities if they are fully vaccinated. Individuals who have been in close contact (within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with anyone known to have COVID-19 in the previous 14 days may also enter USCIS facilities if they are fully vaccinated. Healthcare workers who consistently wear an N95 respirator and proper personal protective equipment or equivalent when in contact with COVID-19-positive individuals continue to be exempt from reporting close contact, USCIS said. In Department of Homeland Security-controlled spaces, “this guidance supersedes state, local, tribal, or territorial rules and regulations regarding face coverings,” USCIS said.

Details: USCIS notice, May 27, 2021,

Back to Top

CBP Continues Temporary Travel Restrictions from Canada and Mexico Into United States Via Land POEs and Ferries

Travel restrictions between the U.S., Canada and Mexico continue.  DHS has announced that temporary limits on nonessential travel of individuals from Canada or Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry along the border, including ferry service, will continue through June 21, 2021. The restrictions allow processing for entry into the United States only of those travelers engaged in “essential travel,” as defined in the notice. Travel into the United States by air is not affected by this notice.

Details: Federal Register notice (Canada),  Federal Register notice (Mexico),

Back to Top

DHS Designates Burma (Myanmar) for Temporary Protected Status

In another demonstration of agency flexibility, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated Burma (Myanmar) for temporary protected status (TPS) through November 25, 2022. The designation allows an estimated 1,600 Burmese nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Burma) who have been continuously residing in the United States since March 11, 2021, and continuously physically present in the United States since May 25, 2021, to file initial applications for TPS. The 180-day initial registration period began on May 25, 2021 and runs through November 22, 2021. Applicants may also be eligible to apply for TPS-related employment authorization documents and for travel authorization.

Details: DHS announcement,

Back to Top

Related Posts:

Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Trends and Immigrant Visa Usage for 2022 Fiscal Year

For an in-depth look at the April Visa Bulletin, check out WR’s Chatting with Charlie: Unpacking the April Visa Bulletin on March 15, 2023 at 11 AM PST. Late February the State Department finally published the anticipated Table V to complete its 2022 Annual Report of the Visa Office. The data in Table V is […]

Immigration Update

In this edition, read about the limits on visa services for India, NIE expansion, USCIS deference, and more! President Biden Suspends Entry of Noncitizens/Non-LPRs Traveling From India; U.S. Mission in India Announces Limits on Visa Services President Biden has issued a proclamation suspending the entry of non-U.S. citizens who were physically present within India during […]