• Immigration Alert: August 2003
  • September 10, 2003 | Author: Robert S. Groban
  • Law Firm: Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - New York Office
  • On July 7, 2003, the State Department ("DOS") issued its new policy limiting the circumstances under which consular posts can waive personal interviews for visa applications. On August 2, 2003, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") suspended two programs that allow certain international air passengers to enter the United States without visas and, on July 29, 2003, the DHS announced a one-year discretionary waiver of the new certification requirements for certain non-immigrant health care workers. On July 10, 2003, Representative De Lauro (D-CT) introduced legislation that would impose severe restrictions on the L nonimmigrant visa category. On July 29, 2003, DHS published instructions for U.S. schools and foreign students seeking to comply with the August 1, 2003 Student Exchange Visitor Information System ("SEVIS") deadline. On July 21, 2003, the Office of the United States Trade Representative ("OTR") announced that Free Trade Agreements had been negotiated with Chile and Singapore and submitted to the President for signature. On August 4, 2003, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services ("BCIS"), formerly the Immigration Service, issued a memorandum confirming the "portability" of applications for permanent residence after six months. In this Special Alert, we shall review these and other significant developments and discuss the implications for all employers of foreign nationals.