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February 2021 Newsletter


The Sostrin Immigration Lawyers, LLP monthly newsletter provides our clients with immigration news, announcements, helpful links, and information regarding changes in immigration law, procedures, and regulations.
We hope that everyone has had a wonderful beginning to 2021 and are looking forward to a safe and productive February.
Over the last couple weeks the immigration landscape has begun to change significantly as President Joe Biden has started implementing his administration’s immigration policies. On his first day in office, President Biden signed six executive orders relating to immigration and travel. These orders included ending the so-called “Muslim ban” and calling on Congress to grant permanent status and a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.
President Biden also sent an extensive immigration reform proposal to Congress, which includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and strengthened protections for foreign workers. Although the reforms in this proposal will require Congressional action and face significant hurdles, many immigration advocates are hopeful that Congress will take action on immigration reform in the months ahead.
Last week, President Biden reinstated the restrictions on most foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. from the Schengen Area of Europe, the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), Ireland, and Brazil, as well as adding restrictions on travelers from South Africa. Although these restrictions will cause hardship to many foreign nationals, we are hopeful that they are temporary in nature and note that exceptions remain available in certain cases.
The Biden administration has also placed a 60-day regulatory freeze on any regulations that were issued by the previous administration but had not yet been published in the Federal Register, allowing for time to review the regulations passed at the end of the previous President’s term, including regulatory changes in the H-1B selection process. And this week, Mr. Biden issued an order directing officials to review "public charge" rules relating to receipt of government benefits, as well as the naturalization process.

White House officials have indicated that further actions on immigration will follow, such as an executive order that will rescind the Trump proclamation suspending certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Specifically, the affected nonimmigrant visa categories are H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1.  These changes should streamline immigration processes for businesses and individuals.
Sostrin Immigration will continue to track these changes and remains dedicated to assisting our clients with their immigration needs. As always, please reach out to the attorney and case manager you have been working with if you have any questions or concerns about your case. 

Sostrin Client Spotlight: Dr. Masashi Okubo

Patients who visit an emergency room may be experiencing a wide variety of medical emergencies, from severe burns to cardiac arrest. As an emergency physician, it is Sostrin Client Dr. Masashi Okubo’s responsibility to take care of these patients and respond to their health issues.
Dr. Okubo began his medical training in his native Japan, earning his medical degree from Osaka City University and then completing an Emergency Medicine Residency at Okinawa Chubu Hospital. Afterwards, Dr. Okubo remained at Okinawa Chubu Hospital and served as an Attending Physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine.
Still, Dr. Okubo wanted to continue learning, and in 2013, came to the United States to do just that. “I was interested in the medical training and clinical research in the United States,” he explains, because “people believe the best in the world.” He went on to complete an Emergency Medicine Residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
In 2016, Dr. Okubo joined the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh as a Research Fellow. Today, Dr. Okubo holds a position as Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at University of Pittsburgh and conducts research on cardiac arrest—one of the leading causes of death in the United States and a topic of increased concern as scientists learn more about how COVID-19 can impact the heart.
Dr. Okubo explains, “Cardiac arrest is the most critical condition among various emergent conditions. Through clinical and research activities, it is an honor to fight against the challenges.”
In addition to his research duties, Dr. Okubo serves as an emergency physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Of course, working as an emergency physician, especially during a pandemic, is not without its own concerns. Dr. Okubo admits, “I sometimes have a fear to be infected in spite of proper PPE use.”
During times of concern, Dr. Okubo draws inspiration from the 32nd president of the United States: “I remember a quote of FDR, ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear,’ which reminds the importance of our profession.”  He continues, “It is a privilege to contribute to and use my expertise for people who are suffering from COVID-19.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently approved Dr. Okubo’s National Interest Waiver, recognizing that his work improves and benefits America’s medical and scientific interests nationwide. We at Sostrin Immigration Lawyers feel honored to have worked with such a dedicated physician and are excited to follow his future endeavors.

President Biden Signs Three Executive Orders Relating to Immigration, Including a Review of Public Charge Rule
February 2, 2021

Schengen, U.K., Ireland, and Brazil Travel Restrictions Reinstated; South Africa Added
January 25, 2021

President Biden Signs Multiple Executive Orders on Immigration On First Day in Office
January 21, 2021

Travelers to the U.S. Must Show Proof of a Negative COVID-19 Test, Effective January 26, 2021
January 15, 2021

USCIS Will Issue Notices of Action to Replace Sticker that Extends Validity of Green Cards
January 13, 2021

USCIS Announces Changes to H-1B Selection Process
January 8, 2021

We are excited to announce that Sostrin Immigration Lawyers is hiring! We are looking for a Paralegal/Case Manager with experience in nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, including H-1B, TN, L-1, E-2, and PERM. If you know someone who may be interested, please encourage them to apply. For more information and to apply, please see the job listing

Partners Rita Sostrin and Alex Dgebuadze have both been nominated for the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

On January 14, Rita Sostrin presented a seminar on travel restrictions for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization are both monitoring and providing regular updates about the current coronavirus outbreak.

For more information, guidance, and updates, please visit the CDC and WHO websites. 
The State Department issues a monthly visa bulletin summarizing the availability of immigrant numbers, indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center. 

To see February's monthly visa bulletin, please Click Here.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") provides estimates of how long each office is taking to process different types of cases. USCIS updates this page every month (around the 15th of each month). Please note that these dates may change without notice.

For Processing Time information, please Click Here.
Copyright © 2021 Sostrin Immigration Lawyers, LLP. All rights reserved.
Contact Us:
Sostrin Immigration Lawyers, LLP
21700 Oxnard Street, Suite 860
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
T: 818.435.3500
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