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Nelson Mullins COVID-19 Resources

Nelson Mullins is continuing to monitor developments related to COVID-19, including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”); World Health Organization; various health officials; and federal, state, and local government authorities. The firm is taking appropriate precautionary actions and has implemented plans to ensure the continuation of all firm services to clients from both in office and remote work arrangements across in our 25 offices.

Nelson Mullins COVID-19 Resources

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March 20, 2020

Senators’ Stock Sales Raise Corporate Insider Trading Concern
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Additional Nelson Mullins Alerts

March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Impacts on Immigration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to monitor the Coronavirus outbreak. The Nelson Mullins immigration team of attorneys has assembled some of the key developments so far. 

USCIS Announces Flexibility for RFE, Notices of Intent to Deny

  • USCIS announced that it is adopting a measure to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020.  
  • For applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID during this period, any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE or NOID will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken. 

USCIS Temporary Office Closure Extended until at least April 7

USCIS Temporarily Closes Rome and Nairobi Offices to the Public (March 25, 2020) 

  • USCIS has temporarily closed its offices in Rome, Italy, and Nairobi, Kenya, to the public, due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In February, USCIS  suspended offices in Beijing and Guangzhou, China. 
  • USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance. Please also visit the USCIS Coronavirus page for updates.

New DHS guideline on Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification 

  • Until May 19, 2020 or within 3 business days after the termination of the COVID-19 National Emergency , whichever comes first, administration of Form I-9 has some flexibility on the physical verification requirement. 
    • Employers can virtually inspect the eligibility documents (video, fax or email);
    • Once normal operation resumes, obtain, inspect, and retain copies the documents within 3 days of returning to normal operation;
    • Annotate on the “Additional Information Field” on Sections 2 or 3 of Form I-9 with “documents physically examined” and add date of inspection.

H-1B CAP REGISTRATION:

  • The initial H-1B CAP Lottery registration for the fiscal year 2021 has closed on March 20. 
  • USCIS will randomly select the number of registrations that are needed to reach the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations and send selection notifications via users’ online accounts by March 31, 2020, that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition.
  • An H-1B CAP case selected for filing must be properly filed  within 90 days.

BORDER CLOSINGS

  • Land ports from Canada into the US closed until 11:59 PM EDT April 20, 2020.
  • Talks on Mexican border travel restrictions are also ongoing.

SUSPENSION OF ROUTINE VISA SERVICES

  • All routine visa interviews are canceled in most countries as of March 18, 2020.
  • Check the website of the embassy or consulate for its current operating status.
  • As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services, including urgent E-1/E-2 cases.
  • For more information click here

GLOBAL LEVEL 4 TRAVEL ADVISORY

  • The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Many countries are implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.
  • For more information click here

PREMIUM PROCESSING SUSPENDED

ORIGINAL SIGNATURES NOT REQUIRED

  • USCIS announced that it will not require original signatures but will accept reproductions for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond.