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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
News travels fast, so you may have already heard that the waiting line for the EB2 (advance degree professional) category for India jumped from September 1, 2004, in July to January 1, 2008, for August....more
The waiting line for immigration of family members and those sponsored by their employers moves according to determinations made by the Department of State (DOS) each month....more
On April 5, 2013, USCIS announced that it had received more than the allotted 65,000 “regular” and 20,000 US master’s degree applications for H-1B status. ...more
One of the four main processing centers for immigration benefits applications has temporarily closed because of flooding from plumbing problems, USCIS announced today, March 26.
Deliveries by UPS and Fed Ex during the...more
USCIS has announced it expects that all 65,000 “regular” and all 20,000 U.S. master’s degree H-1B slots will be filled in the first five days of filing (April 1 – 5) for the first time since 2008. The government estimate was...more
USCIS has published a new I-9 form and instructions effective as of March 8, 2013. You may begin using the new form now, but you may continue to use the old form until May 7, 2013. After that date the new form is mandatory....more
Immigration is working to improve its forms.
The main point is to prepare forms for electronic filing.
We applaud the waive to customer service and agree that e-filing is the future....more
Our Valentine from USCIS this year was the release of a draft EB5 policy memo. EB5 is the “million dollar investment/10 jobs” category. It does not always require $1 million ($500,000 in rural areas or designated high...more
Starting February 1, people immigrating through a U.S. Consulate abroad will be required to pay a $165 fee to USCIS to recoup its processing costs for these applications....more
Realizing that the current immigration laws are not start-up friendly, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) launched an “entrepreneur-in-residence” (“EIR”) program in October 2011....more