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Lifting of the Travel Bans, Holiday Travel & Planning: What to Expect in the Coming Months

Sponsor(s):  BAL

As employers ease travel policies and the Biden administration has announced it will lift the U.S. travel bans in early November for “fully vaccinated” travelers, how should your company approach international travel this holiday season? Whether your employees and their families are traveling outside the U.S. for work or for the holidays, what considerations and recommendations do you need to weigh to reduce complications and risks of your employees being stranded abroad or denied re-entry to the U.S.? How will backlogged consular services around the world impact visas for your foreign-national employees?

Hear from BAL attorneys who will discuss:

• The latest on the U.S. travel bans: What you need to know about the lifting of the travel bans, new vaccination and testing protocols for international travelers, and how to plan for them.

• Update on U.S. consular operations and delays in visa processing impacting employment-based visa issuance.

• Ongoing considerations and risks of international travel for foreign-national employees.


Ruth Clark | BAL Partner

Adam Smith | BAL Senior Associate

Kari Blackman | BAL Senior Associate

CE Credit (fees may apply): CRP, GMS, SHRM

The Speakers


Ruth Clark


Ruth is a Partner in the Houston office of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Ruth focuses her practice on corporate and business immigration matters related to temporary work visas, employment-based immigration, naturalization and consular processing. She represents multinational corporations in a variety of industries, including energy, technology, and engineering, advising on development of corporate immigration policies, and immigration effects of corporate restructuring, mergers, and acquisitions.

She has extensive experience in developing strategies related to PERM labor certification, as well as in managing PERM labor certification programs. She also advises clients on I-9 program compliance and improvements.

Senior Associate

Kari Blackman


Kari Konikowski Blackman is a Senior Associate in Houston, TX. She works primarily in employment-based immigration, including I-9 and E-verify compliance.

She is a founding member of the State Bar of Texas Section on Immigration and Nationality Law and served as the Vice President, Employment-based Issues for the Section. Mrs. Blackman regularly speaks on matters related to corporate immigration law and I-9 compliance. She has contributed to the Immigration Law and Procedure treatise, published nationally, and has authored articles related to The Trump Administration’s travel ban, I-9 compliance and strategies for responding to Requests for Evidence for nonimmigrant visa petitions. Mrs. Blackman received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.


Senior Associate

Adam Smith


Adam is a Senior Associate in the Houston office of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. He provides strategic counsel to clients on all aspects of corporate and business immigration, working with organizations in the oil and gas, aerospace, and technology industries. His practice focuses on employment-based immigration matters, including assisting companies and their employees with all facets of non-immigrant and immigrant visa matters before the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, and the State Department. Adam also provides counsel to employers in the areas of immigration compliance, program management, and immigration strategies related to corporate reorganizations. He also helps clients resolve tough questions around technology and data standards, security and controls, and organizational strategy to drive customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

Prior to joining Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, Adam worked as a Senior Manager in a large multinational professional services firm focusing entirely on the delivery of U.S. business immigration solutions. He managed the development of intelligent process automation platforms and identified immigration patterns to optimize automated workflows.