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Mechelle Zarou to speak at ABA Young Lawyers Division’s webinar “Business Immigration Issues and COVID-19: Addressing Central Concerns for Employers, Employees and Their Families”

Zarou.Mechelle_300dpiMechelle Zarou, partner in the Toledo office and co-chair of the firm’s Immigration and Labor & Employment practice groups, will be speaking at the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers Division’s webinar “Business Immigration Issues and COVID-19: Addressing Central Concerns for Employers, Employees and Their Families” on Wednesday, April 8 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET.

Join this free webinar if you are interested in learning more about how the coronavirus can impact nonimmigrant workers.

Click here to learn more or to register.

CBP Updates Satisfactory Departure Process for Travelers Unable to Depart the Country due to COVID-19

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) now allows travelers admitted under the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”)/ Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”) to make Satisfactory Departure requests at some airports and other ports of entry. (more…)

Suspension of Routine Visa Services


• In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020. As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services. Our overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.

• Services to U.S. citizens continue to be available. More information is available on each Embassy’s website.

• This does not affect the Visa Waiver Program. See for more information.

• Although all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments are cancelled, the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee is valid and may be used for a visa appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment.

• Applicants with an urgent matter and need to travel immediately should follow the guidance provided at the Embassy’s website to request an emergency appointment.

Click here for the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) website.  

The U.S. State Department Announces Suspension of Non-Immigrant Visa Operations Across Russia

Mechelle Zarou

Due to the Russian government’s personnel cap imposed on the U.S. Mission, all nonimmigrant visa (“NIV”) operations across Russia will be suspended beginning August 23, 2017. Beginning September 1, visa processing will resume on a greatly reduced scale at the U.S. Embassy Moscow, while NIV interviews at the U.S. Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladistok are suspended until further notice.  Beginning August 21, the U.S. Mission will be canceling current nonimmigrant visa appointments countrywide. (more…)

USCIS Resumes H-1B Premium Processing for Conrad Waiver Program Physicians

Mechelle Zarou

On Monday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed for physicians under the Conrad Waiver program, as well as interested government interagency waivers. (more…)