The travel bans imposed by the U.S. Government during the COVID-19 national pandemic created enormous logistical challenges for anyone seeking to fly to the U.S. from a country on the travel ban list.  Even today, there is still a great deal of confusion regarding who is subject to the travel ban, what are the exceptions, and how to go about applying for a National Interest Exception (NIE) waiver.  The checklist below is intended to help simplify an albeit complicated process.  Of course, most U.S. Consulates are still operating at limited capacities so significant delays for waivers and visa stamping is still the norm.
Continue Reading Navigating the Travel Ban Jungle: National Interest Exception Checklist for the U.S. COVID Travel Bans

This spring U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began implementation of a phased in Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, automation process. The Form I-94 is issued to all visitors entering the U.S. and assists CBP in tracking temporary non-immigrants, visa overstays, and other relevant information concerning foreign nationals entering the U.S. The new program created a paperless admission process with the ultimate goal of eliminating the paper I-94 card for foreign travelers. The automation enables CBP to organize admission data for sea and air entries easily and accessibly, saving an estimated $15.5 million per year in related costs (not from a reduction in paper). While the effort to move to an electronic system should be commended, the new system may make life a bit more complicated for employers sponsoring foreign workers due to the requirements of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form process. Travelers, with the exception of asylees and refugees who will continue to receive paper Form I-94 cards, will now receive an admission stamp together with a tear sheet providing instructions on how they may access and print their electronic Form I-94 by visiting
Continue Reading I-94 Automation and the I-9 Process: Making the Form I-9 More Complicated

On May 30, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvadorians for an additional 18 months beginning September 10, 2013, and ending March 9, 2015.

What does this mean for employers?

For companies whose workforce may include individuals with TPS from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria, is critical to be familiar with the work authorization benefits of TPS to avoid issues in the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process.Continue Reading Filling out the Form I-9 for TPS beneficiaries: Work Permits extended for El Salvadorians

Whether your company requires assistance in selecting the appropriate visa for an executive rotating into the U.S. or help in assessing the immigration impact of a U.S. merger or acquisition, Sheppard Mullin’s seasoned immigration attorneys can help. We provide comprehensive global business immigration services, including strategic planning, advice, case preparation, filing and monitoring, as well as development of corporate compliance policies and visa training programs. Our team also works extensively with individuals and entrepreneurs considering family or business sponsorships, facing bars of entry to the U.S. or seeking naturalization.Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin Offers Full Range of Immigration Expertise

By Albert Lu

EB-5 Investor Visa Basics

Under Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individual investors (and accompanying spouse & minor children) seeking to obtain permanent resident "green card" status in the United States on the basis of their qualifying financial investment of at least $1,000,000 (or under certain circumstances $500,000 in defined Target Employment Areas) into a new commercial enterprise in USA, as well as their "management" role within the invested commercial enterprise that will create the jobs and employ at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. 
 Continue Reading EB-5 (Job Creation) Investor Green Card Pursuit, Regional Center Approach & TEA Designation Information

By Albert Lu

With the right knowledge, business investment vehicle, and strategic planning, most Latin American investors, business owners, executives/managers, and in some cases essential-skill employees with specialized knowledge/training, can come to work and live in the United States based on valid nonimmigrant visas while accompanied by their dependent family members. In some instances, if the long-term business/investment need is present and ongoing, the same persons may in time also pursue employment-/investment- based immigrant options and qualify for lawful U.S. permanent residency status – more commonly known as "green card."  This article is a brief introduction of these visa options and how to pursue them.
 Continue Reading U.S. Immigration Options & Strategies for Latin American Investors and Business Professionals – An Introduction to Employment-Eligible Nonimmigrant Visas (E, H & L) & Green Card Options

By David Chidlaw and  Ruben Escalante

In November 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit against the Salvation Army because the Salvation Army instituted a policy which required its employees to learn English within a year or else face termination. The EEOC’s stance against "language-based" discrimination, is founded upon Title VII’s prohibition against "national origin" discrimination.  The implications of such a stance are widespread, given the labor force continues to grow more ethically diverse and employers try to find the proper balance between employee, customer, and management relations. The purpose of this brief article is to provide an overview of the EEOC’s current approach to "language-based" discrimination.
 Continue Reading The EEOC and “Language Discrimination”: Strict Language Policies May Create Problems for Employers