Photo of Elizabeth (Liz) Espín Stern

Elizabeth Espín Stern, a partner in Mayer Brown's Washington DC office, leads the firm’s Global Mobility & Migration practice, which forms part of the Employment & Benefits group. She is a seasoned veteran, advising on US and global immigration, HR and mobility services. She is consistently ranked as a leading business immigration lawyer by Chambers GlobalChambers USAWho's Who LegalThe International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, and national and local publications. In addition, she has been named in Best Lawyers in AmericaSuper Lawyers and "Women in Law Awards 2014" by Lawyer Monthly and named one of National Law Journal’s “Outstanding Women Lawyers 2015.” She spearheads Mayer Brown's new global worksite management initiative. This "Global People Solution" offers multinational clients, in a variety of sectors including financial services, IT, defense, telecommunications and multimedia, a comprehensive compliance and risk management program in connection with their mobile workforce. Liz regularly speaks and writes about immigration policies and contributes to major news agencies and publications, including Law 360, Quartz.com, Global Business News and a host of global HR publications.

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US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency within Homeland Security responsible for adjudicating applications and petitions seeking immigration and naturalization benefits, announced on Friday that staffing furloughs originally planned to begin August 3, have been delayed until August 31.  The delays, which could have affected some 70% of USCIS staff engaged in processing these

Some 70% of the 20,000 employees of US Citizenship & Immigration Services, the agency within Homeland Security that adjudicates visa-related benefits for all foreign workers, could face furloughs starting as early as August 3, 2020, unless Congress provides $1.2 billion in emergency funding. This budget shortfall was caused by a dramatic decrease in the number

In a media release issued on July 6, 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) announced a rollback of the protections it afforded to foreign students in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. The July 6 release announced that foreign students will no longer be eligible for F-1 visas or to remain in the United States

Effective Wednesday, June 24, 2020, the US President issued a Proclamation that restricts travel to the United States for certain temporary visa holders in three relevant categories of substantial importance to companies, for the remainder of the year: Please see below for Japanese summary.

トランプ米政権は、多くの企業が使用している下記の就労ビザを使った外国人のアメリカへの入国を今年年末まで停止する大統領令を発表した。本大統領令は、本年6月24日から効力を持つ。

  • H-1B(専門職用ビザ。様々な階級の従業員向けで多く利用される。)
  • L-1(企業内役員、管理職、専門職などの従業員向けビザ。シニアの従業員に利用されることが多い。)
  • J-1(インターン、研修生、教師、キャンプカウンセラー、オーペア、サマー・ワーク&トラベルプログラム参加者向けビザ。利用はそこまで多くなく、ジュニアレベルの従業員に用いられることが多い。)

本大統領令は、各国に所在する米国大使館の各種の新規移民ビザ発給手続きを60日間停止した本年4月22日付大統領令(“Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,”)の条項を延長するものでもある。ただし、米国国内に滞在し、企業のスポンサーを受けて、米国市民権・移民業務局(USCIS)で「グリーン・カード」(米国永住権)の取得手続中の当事者(つまり、海外に所在する米国大使館を通じて手続を行っていない当事者)に影響はない。


Continue Reading トランプ米政権による米国就労ビザ発給停止について 概要

In a sweeping attempt to curb legal immigration, the Trump administration issued a proclamation on June 22, 2020, applying a ban through the end of the calendar year on four visa categories of significance to US companies: the H-1B visa for specialty occupation professionals, the L-1 visa for intracompany executives and managers, the H-2B visa

President Trump is expected to issue an executive order in the next several days either eliminating, or significantly limiting, the availability of non-immigrant visas in categories of substantial importance to US companies (H-1B visas for specialty occupation workers, L visas for intra-company assignees, and other related categories), as well as eliminating or substantially curtailing the

Mayer Brown partner Terence Tung is quoted in The Times regarding China’s recent steps using the pandemic to impose a national security law that may threaten Hong Kong’s special legal status.

International firms with broad legal service offerings will be resilient and rise above any challenges
— Terence Tung

Read the full article (subscription required).

On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to pause issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States for 60 days.  As reported on this blog, although the proclamation is currently limited to aspiring immigrants who are outside the United States and do not yet have a valid immigrant visa, it has the potential to affect other visa categories. Specifically, the proclamation requires the Secretary of Labor (“DOL”) and the Secretary of Homeland Security (“DHS”), in consultation with the Secretary of State, to review nonimmigrant programs within 30 days and to recommend “other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”

Continue Reading Suspension of H-1B, L-1 and H-2B Visas Reported To Be Under Consideration by the White House

Social-distancing rules are still the order of the day in most US cities, and sticking to daily routines is tough when we’re all stuck inside. This can be especially true for exercise (where’s the motivation to break a sweat when a comfy couch is always close by?).

While we may still be physically apart, Mayer

President Trump signed an executive order, the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to pause issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States for 60 days.  The order, which takes effect at 11:59 pm Eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020, is limited in its current scope, as it only affects individuals who are outside the United States and do not have a valid visa.

As reported in our post yesterday, the order thus does not currently impact temporary workers, such as H-1B specialty occupation workers, L-1 intra-company executives and specialized knowledge transferees from overseas, treaty visa holders including NAFTA entrants, O-1 extraordinary ability aliens, and F-1 students. Nine categories of aliens also are exempt from the order’s suspension and limitations on entry:

  1. lawful permanent residents;
  2. health care workers, medical research personnel, and other workers deemed essential to combat the spread of COVID-19, and their accompanying spouse and children, seeking to enter on immigrant visas;
  3. EB-5 immigrant investor visa candidates;
  4. spouses of US citizens;
  5. children under 21, including prospective adoptees, of US citizens;
  6. individuals whose work is deemed to further law enforcement objectives;
  7. US military personnel and their spouse and children;
  8. certain holders of Special Immigrant Visas and their spouse and children; and
  9. individuals whose work is deemed to further national security interests.

In addition, the order allows applications for asylum, refugee status, withholding of deportation, or other relief under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to continue without limitation.
Continue Reading Trump Signs Executive Order Imposing 60-Day Pause on Green Card Issuance