A. James Vázquez-Azpiri

A. James Vázquez-Azpiri

Morgan Lewis

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A Closer Look at the USCIS Final Rule on High-Skilled Immigration

On November 18, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule that significantly affects the ability of employers to employ and retain foreign national workers in the United States (Final Rule)....more

12/2/2016 - Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) Final Rules Foreign Nationals Foreign Workers Grace Period Green Cards H-1B Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Post-Termination Acts Renewal Options USCIS

Long-Awaited DHS Regulation to Ease Job Portability Announced

The final regulation, which will take effect on January 17, 2017, clarifies USCIS policies and improves job portability for highly skilled foreign workers....more

11/23/2016 - Beneficiaries DHS Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) Grace Period H-1B I-140 Skilled Laborers USCIS

Department of State Releases December 2016 Visa Bulletin

No change in Dates for Filing chart; small gains in Final Action Dates chart. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its December 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs...more

11/15/2016 - China EB-1 EB-2 EB-3 EB-5 Filing Deadlines India Mexico Philippines US Department of State USCIS Visa Applications Visa Bulletins Visas

US CBP Clarifies Policies for Certain Nonimmigrant Admissions

The agency confirms the admissibility of certain nonimmigrants who hold visas from different employers. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently clarified its policy on admissions to the United States after an...more

10/27/2016 - Customs and Border Protection Employment Terms Foreign Workers Non-Immigrant Visas Visas

US Customs and Border Protection Announces Electronic Visa Update System

Enrollment is mandatory for those who hold certain visitor visas from China. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced a new online system for China nationals to use who hold a 10-year B1/B2, B1, or...more

10/21/2016 - China Customs and Border Protection Enrollment EVUS International Travel Visas Visitors

Department of State Releases October 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based China and India First Preference and Worldwide Second Preference cutoff dates become “current” once again. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its October 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin...more

9/20/2016 - China EB-1 EB-2 EB-3 EB-5 Filing Deadlines Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines US Department of State USCIS Visa Applications Visa Bulletins Visas

Proposed Rule to Benefit Certain Immigrant Startup Entrepreneurs

Qualified applicants would be granted parole in United States for up to five years. On August 26, 2016, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an advance copy of a proposed rule that would extend...more

8/31/2016 - EB-5 Entrepreneurs Parole Employment Authorization Proposed Rules Startups USCIS

Department of State Releases September 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based final action dates reflect modest advancement for the end of the fiscal year. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its September 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country...more

8/13/2016 - China EB-1 EB-2 EB-3 EB-5 Filing Deadlines India Mexico Philippines US Department of State USCIS Visa Applications Visa Bulletins Visas

Department of State Releases August 2016 Visa Bulletin

The EB-2 Worldwide category and the EB-1 China and India categories have retrogressed. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its August 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date...more

7/14/2016 - China EB-1 EB-2 India Mexico Philippines US Department of State USCIS Visa Bulletins

Mission India Announces Significant Delays in US Nonimmigrant Visa Processing

Expect further delays throughout the summer. The US Department of State recently announced that US consular posts in India are experiencing unusually long wait times for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) interview appointments....more

6/29/2016 - India Non-Immigrant Visas US Department of State Visas

Department of State Releases July 2016 Visa Bulletin

July sees minor advancements in EB-3 categories following a retrogression in June. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its July 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs...more

6/13/2016 - China EB-1 EB-2 EB-3 EB-5 India Mexico Philippines US Department of State USCIS Visa Bulletins Visas

Department of State Releases June 2016 Visa Bulletin

The bulletin shows significant retrogression in EB-2 for China and India and EB-3 China. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its June 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date...more

5/12/2016 - China EB-2 India US Department of State USCIS Visa Bulletins

USCIS Has Completed Data Entry for FY 2017 Cap-Subject Petitions

Some cap-subject cases will be transferred to speed up processing. On May 2, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed data entry of all FY 2017 H-1B cap-subject...more

5/3/2016 - H-1B USCIS Visa Caps

Department of State Releases May 2016 Visa Bulletin

A new geographic sector that includes El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has been added. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its May 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date...more

4/22/2016 - US Department of State USCIS Visa Bulletins Visas

Availability of New STEM OPT Extensions Limited to Certain Students

Students with existing OPT grants must have at least 150 days of this grant remaining before seeking a further extension under the new rule....more

3/25/2016 - Corporate Counsel DHS Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) Foreign Students Form F-1 OPT STEM

DHS Announces Final Rule on STEM OPT Employment Authorization

The final rule adds employer obligations to the STEM OPT program. The US Department of Homeland Security has released an advance version of its long-anticipated final rule that expands employment authorization for...more

3/10/2016 - DHS Foreign Students H-1B OPT STEM

Department of State Releases March 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based second- and third-preference China categories show significant advancement. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its March 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority...more

2/19/2016 - Adjustment of Status Priority Date Cutoff US Department of State USCIS Visa Applications Visa Bulletins

Department of State Releases February 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based adjustment of status applicants must file using the Application Final Action Dates chart. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its February 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out...more

1/29/2016 - Adjustment of Status EB-2 EB-3 EB-5 Priority Date Cutoff US Department of State USCIS Visa Bulletins

Good News for F-1 International Students: STEM OPT Authorization Allowed Beyond February 12

Federal court rules to allow limited relief of court’s order to May 10, 2016. On January 23, Federal Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle granted a request by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to delay the possible...more

1/26/2016 - DHS E-Verify Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) OPT STEM Students USCIS

USCIS Issues Major Proposed Rule on Employment-Based Immigration

The Proposed Rule would implement provisions of the AC21 and introduce significant reforms to the employment-based immigration process. On New Year’s Eve 2015, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a...more

1/11/2016 - Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) Green Cards H-1B Portability Proposed Regulation USCIS

H-1B Filing Season Is Here

Now is the time for employers to assess their FY2017 H-1B needs and to start preparing their petitions for submission on April 1. On April 1, 2016, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting...more

1/9/2016 - Filing Season Foreign Nationals Form F-1 H-1B H-1B1 L-1B TN-Visas USCIS Work Visas

Congress Passes Legislation Affecting Visa Waiver Program

Certain key provisions of the omnibus spending bill will affect travel without visas, e-Passport requirements, EB-5 investors, and H-1B and L-1 “dependent” employers. Included in the omnibus spending bill, which the US...more

12/22/2015 - E-Verify EB-5 Regional Centers H-1B International Travel L-1 Passports Pending Legislation Visa Waiver Program

Department of State Releases January 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based adjustment of status applicants must file using the Application Final Action Dates chart. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its January 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out...more

12/18/2015 - Adjustment of Status Priority Date Cutoff US Department of State USCIS Visa Bulletins Visas

CBP Announces the Expansion of Global Entry to UK Citizens

Registration begins December 3. On November 3, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner announced the expansion of Global Entry to UK citizens. Global Entry, a CBP Trusted Traveler program, allows for...more

11/11/2015 - Customs and Border Protection International Travel Travel Permits Travelers TSA UK

DHS Proposes New Rule for STEM OPT Extension

New rule would extend STEM optional practical training to 24 months. On October 19, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student...more

10/21/2015 - Adjustment of Status Colleges Comment Period DHS E-Verify Foreign Students Form F-1 H-1B Non-Immigrant Visas OPT Proposed Regulation STEM Time Extensions Universities Visas

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