Lori Chesser

Lori Chesser

Davis Brown Law Firm

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What is going on with STEM OPT?

A recent federal court ruling has created uncertainty and speculation about the STEM OPT program. This summary is provided to inform employers and F-1 STEM students of the facts about the effect of this decision....more

8/27/2015 - Administrative Procedure Act DHS Educational Institutions Foreign Relations Hiring & Firing Human Resources Professionals Notice and Comment OPT Rulemaking Process STEM USCIS

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Update on Visa Delays and H-1B News

Visa Delays World Wide - The Department of State (DOS) has announced that due to a central computer hardware problem, visa issuance has temporarily stopped. Applicants interviewed after June 9 will experience...more

6/19/2015 - Delays Department of State Employee Relocations H-1B Hiring & Firing Human Resources Professionals USCIS Visa Caps Visas

EADs for H-4 Spouses Rule Announced

As promised since President Obama’s Executive Action of November 20, 2014, USCIS is amending its rules to allow work authorization for H-4 spouses in certain instances effective May 26, 2015. H-4 spouses (spouse...more

2/26/2015 - Employment Authorization Document H-1B H-4 Spouses USCIS Visas

Initial Outline of the President's Executive Action on Immigration

We reviewed the outlines of the President's plan on immigration that he announced last week. These are broad outlines gained from a meeting with the White House that included staff of the American Immigration Lawyers...more

11/24/2014 - Barack Obama DACA Enforcement H-1B Immigration Reform L-1 Visas STEM Work Permits

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Possible Executive Action - How to prepare

The news is abuzz with speculation about executive action by President Obama in the coming days. Despite these “leaks” no one really knows whether action will be taken or what any plan may contain. ...more

11/18/2014 - Barack Obama DACA Executive Orders Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Hiring & Firing Immigration Reform

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: L-1 Visa Inspections Have Begun

The Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit of USCIS has begun inspecting L-1 visa holders as planned. FDNS has inspected (and likely is continuing to inspect) H-1B holders for several years. L-1s are the latest...more

8/5/2014 - FDNS Immigrants L-1 USCIS Visas

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Visa and Passport Delays

The U.S. Department of State issued a statement yesterday regarding the continuing technical problem that is causing delays in both passport and visa issuance. Although they are working on the problem, which was first...more

8/1/2014 - Delays Department of State Immigrants Passports Visas

Rule Allowing Work for Some H-4s, Expansion of EB1 OR Category Criteria and Automatic Work Extension for Others Progresses at...

Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is publishing two proposed rules that are meant to help “attract and retain highly skilled workers”. Proposed rules do not go into effect until notice and...more

5/7/2014 - DHS EB-1 Employment Authorization Document Extensions H-1B H-4 Spouses Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Proposed Regulation USCIS

Affidavit of Support (I-864) Enforceable Despite Pre-Nup, Divorce and Potential Marriage Fraud per California Court

Most people who immigrate through family sponsorship (and a few that immigrate through employment sponsorship) must have a sponsor that agrees to make sure they do not rely on public benefits. This sponsorship is...more

3/28/2014 - Divorce Fraud Prenuptial Agreements

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: H-1B Filing Date Almost Upon Us: Considerations for Employers and Employees

With April 1 fast approaching, it is time to take a breath and make sure we have not overlooked anything in the rush to file the “cap” H-1Bs. Our office has made our list and is checking it twice – or three times (Santa has...more

3/24/2014 - Filing Deadlines H-1B Immigrants USCIS

Fraudulently-Used SSNs Can Now Be "Locked"

In an update that addresses one glaring gap in E-Verify, USCIS has announced that Social Security numbers that are used fraudulently (stolen, borrowed or purchased from someone else) will be “locked” in the system, generating...more

11/19/2013 - E-Verify Fraud Social Security Social Security Numbers Tentative Nonconfirmation USCIS

Visa Bulletin for December: Mostly Good News, But One Dark Spot

The December Visa Bulletin (the infamous “waiting line”) shows forward movement or at least no backward movement for all family-based categories. The continued short waiting line for spouses and minor children for permanent...more

11/13/2013 - Immigrants Visas

Border Entry Blog Series: Part 5 - Caution Regarding Use of "Automatic Visa Revalidation" for Mexican E Visa Applicants

In our final note on the CBP/AILA liaison minutes published this week, we are providing a caution regarding CBP’s interpretation of the automatic visa revalidation rules that could be yet another trap for the unwary, albeit...more

11/11/2013 - Customs and Border Protection Immigrants Mexico USCIS Visas

Border Entry Blog Series: Part 4 - CBP's Creative Interpretation of Status Violations

In the CBP/AILA liaison meeting, the minutes of which were published this week (see previous posts for more info), we note another (and even more) disturbing interpretation of immigration law by CBP that could take people by...more

11/8/2013 - Adjustment of Status Customs and Border Protection Deportation USCIS

Border Entry Blog Series: Part 3 - Entrants from Canada - Beware Unlawful Presence

The recent CBP/AILA liaison (referenced in earlier posts) highlights a disturbing interpretation of Canadian entry rules. Although CBP is not always the ultimate arbiter of this issue, it is a development to watch....more

11/7/2013 - Canada Customs and Border Protection Unlawful Aliens Unlawful Presence Waivers

Border Entry Blog Series: Part 2 - CBP Also Pulls Down the Shades

In the recent CBP/AILA liaison meeting (see part 1 of this series for definition of these terms), CBP confirmed that it will be transitioning from the Inspectors Field Manual to an Officer’s Reference Tool to provide guidance...more

11/6/2013 - Immigrants

Visa Bulletin for November - Good News Again

The immigrant visa numbers are out for November and fortunately no “retrogression” in the major categories will be seen. (“Retrogression” is when the waiting line moves backward – not a good thing.) Instead many categories...more

10/15/2013 - China EB-2 EB-3 India Visa Bulletins Visas

Special Program for Iraqis Employed by the US Government Extended

President Obama signed into law on October 4, 2013, an extension of the visa program for certain Iraqi nationals to obtain “special immigrant visas”. To qualify, you must have worked for or on behalf of the U.S....more

10/11/2013 - Contractors Middle East Special Immigrant Visas Visas

Is Immigration Reform Over Now That the Government is Shut Down? NO!

While the government shut-down is a big distraction from other issues, the push for immigration reform continues. A new bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives, H.R. 15, "The Border Security, Economic...more

10/7/2013 - Border Security Government Shutdown Immigration Reform

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: The Government Shut Down: Is Immigration "Essential"?

In our view, yes. But in the federal government world, only parts of the immigration process are considered “essential” enough to proceed despite the lack of an approved budget. Even so, many immigration services continue to...more

10/2/2013 - DOL E-Verify Government Shutdown I-9 ICE USCIS

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: September Visa Bulletin Continues Good News

The Visa Bulletin for September advances many categories and does not “retrogress” the gains from August....more

8/14/2013 - Immigration Reform Visas

CBP awaiting "guidance" to form policy on same-sex marriage derivative admissions

Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services have taken active steps to prepare their agencies to receive applications relating to same-sex couples based on the Windsor decision....more

8/7/2013 - Department of State Derivatives DOMA Form I-130 Marriage Same-Sex Marriage US v Windsor USCIS Visas

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: August Recess - Contact Your Member of Congress!

Congress takes a holiday in August. But the members do not go fishing – at least not the whole month! They are conducting town hall meetings, in-person visits with constituents, and in all ways reconnecting with their...more

8/1/2013 - Immigration Reform Proposed Legislation

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: USCIS Clarifies Same-Sex Marriage Immigration Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. On the immigration front, this means that a U.S. citizen same-sex spouse who is married to a non-citizen may now...more

7/29/2013 - DOMA Immigration Procedures Lawful Permanent Residents Permanent Residence Cards Same-Sex Marriage USCIS

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Employees Will Now Receive Confirmation of TNCs by Email

If you are an E-Verify user, you know what a “TNC” is. It is a “tentative non-confirmation” provided when information entered in E-Verify cannot immediately be verified in the USCIS/SSA databases....more

7/25/2013 - E-Verify Email Employer Mandates SSA Tentative Nonconfirmation USCIS

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