US Bans Iranian Nationals E-1 and E-2 Visas

USCIS Ends E-1 and E-2 Visas for Iranians

The U.S. offers E visas (E-1 or E-2 visas) to qualifying individuals from countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States. Many countries maintain such treaties with the U.S. for many years. An E visa typically allows individuals from treaty countries to travel to the U.S. for investment and international trade purposes.

Occasionally, there are instances when the decision is made to end a treaty of commerce and navigation. This is what happened on October 3, 2018, when the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights between the U.S. and Iran was terminated. Since there are no other qualifying treaties between the U.S. and Iran, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is now in the process of ending all E visa operations for individuals applying from Iran.

All Iranians currently in the U.S. on E visas are allowed to remain in the U.S. until their current E visa expires or they obtain another visa that allows them to stay in the U.S.

All Iranians who currently have a pending E visa extension or a pending change of status to an E-1 or E-2 visa will receive a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) that explains their current E visa immigration issue. Any currently pending E visa application filed after October 3, 2018 will be denied.

Given the current climate between the U.S. and Iran, it is necessary and wise for individuals and families to seek immigration assistance from qualified and experienced immigration attorneys. If you are looking for a way to lawfully stay in or immigrate to the U.S., contact the experienced immigration attorneys at David Hirson & Partners, LLP today. Our team of licensed immigration attorneys will help you create a plan to reach your immigration goals.

Tel: +1-949-383-5358 Web:

Recent policy update from USCIS in January 2020

USCIS Updates and News – January 16, 2020

USCIS Policy Manual Update

USCIS has recently issued new policy guidance regarding eligibility requirements, filing, and adjudication of requests to replace Permanent Resident Cards (PRC) using Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

Highlights of this new policy include:

  • Eligibility requirements for replacing a PRC are reaffirmed in this new policy guidance.
  • Clarifies that I-551 stamps issued for temporary proof of lawful permanent resident (LPR) status may only be placed on an Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) (with photo) or in a valid/unexpired passport.
  • Provides guidance for LPRs seeking commuter status and for those in commuter status seeking to take up residence in the United States.

The public has until January 30, 2020 to provide comments through the standard comment process.

USCIS Final Fiscal Year 2019 Statistics Available

USCIS has released its various fiscal year (FY) 2019 statistics online. These statistics provide data regarding USCIS’ operations during the last fiscal year, including data on naturalizations, green cards, employment authorizations, protected populations, and many more.

Highlights from USCIS’ FY 2019 data include:

  • 834,000 new citizens were naturalized during FY 2019, representing the largest number of naturalizations over the past 11 years.
  • 577,000 individuals were granted lawful permanent residence in the U.S. in FY 2019.
  • The number of pending green card applications were reduced by 14% and naturalization applications were reduced by 12%.
  • 2,200,000 employment authorization applications were reviewed.
  • More than 500,000 non-immigrant worker petitions were approved.
  • 40,000,000 cases were processed through E-Verify.
  • 25,000 individuals were granted immigration relief. This included individuals who are victims of trafficking, crime, and Violence Against Women Act recipients.
Preparing for the upcoming FY2021 H-1B Cap Season

Preparing for the Upcoming FY2021 H-1B Cap Season

As of April 1, 2020, the yearly slots available for the H-1B employment visa for specialty occupations will become available. These visas are exclusively for “specialty occupations,” and the available allotment is expected to be much lower than demand, as has been the trend for many years.

Because of the high demand for H-1B visas, employers are encouraged to identify employees or prospective employees who may need an H-1B visa now, to get started on the application process. 

Having everything ready will help get your application submitted as soon as an H-1B applicant is selected from this year’s new H-1B registration-lottery system and the application submission window opens to submit required paperwork.

Who Qualifies for an H-1B Visa?

When assessing company needs, employers may consider the following types of employees as good candidates for H-1B visas as long as the potential new employee is qualified to work in a specialty occupation:

1. F-1 visa students with degrees that are required to work in a specialty occupation

2. L-1 employees experiencing long green card delays

3. Former J-1 trainees who you would like to retain on a more permanent basis

Keep in mind that H-1B visas are specifically for “graduate-level” workers (meaning a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher or the foreign equivalent) in specialty occupations. These occupations require expertise that is not necessary for other types of jobs. 

(Note: Certain foreign workers who are working with the U.S. Department of Defense may qualify to apply for H-1B2 visas while individuals who are international fashion models of prominence may apply for H-1B3 visas.)

Typical H-1B fields include:

  • Technology
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Science 
  • Medicine
  • Engineering 
  • Architecture

Starting the process now will put you in a good position to apply when the flood gates open at the end of March.  

H-1B Caps in FY2021: What to Expect

Keep in mind that anyone who does not get a slot in the current lottery will have to wait to apply for available spaces next year. 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented its new registration system this year, which will affect H-1B visas obtained in FY2021. 

Under this new system, there is no need to submit a full application before the lottery. Instead, employers will only need to submit a simple online registration for each employee.

This year’s initial registration period will be from March 1 through March 20, 2020.

Once the submissions reach 85,000, the USCIS will conduct a computer-generated lottery to select registrants. If an employee is selected, the employer must submit a complete H-1B application within the next 90 days.

Preparing for FY2021 H-1B Registration

The new H-1B registration system requires employers to electronically register in order to be able to submit a registration for the H-1B visa in FY2021. 

The employer must also pay the new $10 registration fee for each H-1B beneficiary employee that is registered. The registration period is set to open March 1, and employers should create a game plan with a licensed immigration attorney so that everything will be ready at the appropriate time.

Get Help with an H-1B Visa Application

To learn more about what you should do to get electronically registered and prepare for H-1B registration this March, give our team a call now to schedule a consultation. 

David Hirson & Partners, LLP, can walk you through all of the steps you need to get ready for submitting your H1-B registration today. 

Tel: +1-949-383-5358                Web:               Email:

This blog post is general information and is not legal advice.

TEA Designation changes for EB-5 program

New Rules for Targeted Employment Area (TEA) Designations in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Targeted Employment Area (TEA) Designations for EB-5 Projects [infographic]

On July 24, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published the final rule for The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization. The final rule for The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization went into effect on November 21, 2019.

However, this new rule still leaves some uncertainty and risks, particularly with Targeted Employment Area (TEA) designations. TEA designations are important because a project that is designated as being in a TEA can accept EB-5 investors at the lower investment amount of $900,000.


Changes to TEA Designations EB-5 Program

USCIS changing immigration application fees

USCIS Changing Immigration Application Fees

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: New Regulations [infographic]

On November 21, 2019,  new regulations went into effect, dramatically altering the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Here’s what you need to know:


New regulations for EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Breaking Down the New “Public Charge” Rule [infographic]

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  proposed a final rule, drastically redefining the definition of “public charge,” while expanding the list of public benefits that could render many immigrants inadmissible for entry into the U.S.

Originally set to go into effect on Oct. 15, 2019, multiple lawsuits across the U.S. along with Federal judges in New York and California have ordered a nationwide block.

Scroll down to see what could change should this final ruling go into effect.

Breaking down the new public charge rule