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Attorney General Appoints Three New BIA Members |
On February 26, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch appointed three new members to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Two of the new Board members—Molly Kendall Clark and Ellen Liebowitz—previously served as senior legal advisors to the chairman and as temporary Board members. The third new member, Blair T. O’Connor, previously served as an assistant director in the Office of Immigration Litigation.
With the new appointments, the Board will have seventeen permanent members. The Board had been operating with fourteen permanent members since 2011. Federal regulations require the votes of a majority of permanent Board members to issue precedential decisions.
Further Restrictions on Visa Waiver Program Announced
On February 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security announced the designation of Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as countries of concern under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015.
As a result of the designation, foreign nationals who have visited Libya, Somalia, or Yemen since March 1, 2011, may be unable to enter the United States pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program. DHS may waive such restrictions on a case-by-case basis.
Previously, the restrictions applied only to foreign nationals who had visited Iraq, Iran, Sudan, or Syria.
State Department Announces Investor Assistance Desk
The State Department’s National Visa Center has created an investor assistance desk for beneficiaries of approved EB-5 petitions. They can write to NVCeb5@state.gov.
Appointments for E-1 and E-2 Visas in Canada
On February 26, 2016, the U.S. consulate in Toronto announced that appointments for E-1 and E-2 visas may now be made at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and at the U.S. Consulates General in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal. Previously, all appointments were scheduled at the consulate in Toronto.
Updated N-565 Released
USCIS has published an updated edition of Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document. Previous editions of the form will not be accepted after April 4, 2016.
[This is an excerpt from the March 15, 2016, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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