Marcy Stras

Marcy Stras

Cozen O'Connor

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Public Law 111-230 H-1B, L-1 Additional Fees Expire

H-1B and L-1 petitions filed on or after Oct. 1, 2015, should not include the additional fee that was previously required by Section 402 of Public Law 111-230, as amended by Public Law 111-347, for certain H-1B and L-1...more

10/14/2015 - ACWIA Fees H-1B L-1A L-1B USCIS Visas

Court Determines that Stepchild Does Not Fall Under Definition of Child

The Ninth Circuit upheld the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of the petitioner’s claim that he derived citizenship under INA §320(a) from his U.S. citizen stepfather, who married his non-citizen mother after he was born...more

8/27/2015 - Board of Immigration Appeals Immigration and Nationality Act Stepchildren

USCIS Revises Preparer’s Declaration on Form I-129

USCIS recently published a new Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The new Form I-129 contains a revised “Petitioner’s Declaration” and revised “Preparer’s Declaration,”...more

8/21/2015 - Declaration Form I-129 USCIS

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions

USCIS announced today that it will resume accepting Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all H-1B extension of stay petitions. However, all premium processing requests received by USCIS before July 13, 2015...more

7/15/2015 - H-1B USCIS

Visa-Issuing Embassies and Consulates Back Online

The State Department advised that all visa-issuing embassies and consulates are back online, though problems are still occurring with some online immigrant visa application forms....more

7/1/2015 - Consulate U.S. Embassies US Department of State Visas

Update on Pre-Clearance at Airports

Airline travel can be a long, unpleasant process. Long lines are part of the problem. In the past, frequent fliers received complimentary TSA PreCheck status, but no more....more

5/12/2015 - Airlines Airports DHS TSA

Cuba Update

President Obama has asked Congress to take Cuba off the list of countries that sponsor terrorism. The President made a formal recommendation to Congress, setting in motion a 45-day review process during which lawmakers can...more

4/16/2015 - Barack Obama Congressional Investigations & Hearings Cuba Embargo Sanctions State Sponsors of Terrorism

USCIS Reaches FY 2016 H-1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for the fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS will use a lottery system in order to randomly select the petitions needed...more

4/10/2015 - H-1B Lottery USCIS Visa Caps Visas

Cuba Today

One week ago, I visited Cuba with a delegation from the American Bar Association’s International Law Section. During our visit, we met with government officials, attorneys, law professors, foreign businessmen, journalists...more

3/9/2015 - American Bar Association (ABA) Cuba Economic Development Foreign Relations Popular

Congress Finally Funds DHS & USCIS

Congress finally passed a funding bill to keep the Department of Homeland Security (including USCIS) open. It will now be sent to President Obama’s desk for his signature (he is expected to sign the bill). The bill will fund...more

3/5/2015 - Appropriations Bill DHS USCIS

DAPA Program Implementation Halted by Federal Judge

On February 16th, a federal district court in Brownsville, Texas, entered an order prohibiting enforcement of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. Intended to go...more

2/20/2015 - Barack Obama DACA DAPA Executive Orders Immigration Reform Preliminary Injunctions

USCIS to Run Out of Funds February 27th

On February 4, 2015 the Senate held a vote to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) but the vote failed. This was the second vote on DHS funding, which will run out on February 27, 2015....more

2/7/2015 - DHS Federal Funding USCIS

Mayors File Amicus Brief in Support of Obama’s Immigration Executive Order

On January 26th, a coalition of over 30 mayors, along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities, filed an amicus – or “friend of the court” – brief in the Texas v. United States lawsuit that challenges...more

2/3/2015 - Barack Obama Executive Orders Immigration Reform

Visa Bulletin for January 2015 Issued

The Visa Bulletin for January 2015 has been issued and can be found here. The cutoff date for the EB-2 India category has not changed, however...more

1/14/2015 - Deadlines USCIS Visa Bulletins

2014/2015 Labor and Employment Observer

In This Issue: - Message from the Chair - On the Horizon: Is Obama Remaking the Workplace While Leaving Congress Behind? - The 2014 Supreme Court Decisions Every Employer Should Know - What to Expect from the...more

1/2/2015 - Affordable Care Act Barack Obama Big Data Cybersecurity E-Verify EEOC Employer Liability Issues Employer Mandates I-9 Immigration Procedures Legislative Agendas LGBT Marijuana Medical Marijuana NLRB PDA Pregnancy SCOTUS Social Media Social Media Policy Strategic Enforcement Plan Unpaid Interns Whistleblowers

Cuba Revisited

On December 17 President Obama announced a plan to normalize relations with Cuba and open a US Embassy in Havana. The President also asked Congress to reconsider the trade embargo with Cuba which has been in place since...more

12/19/2014 - Barack Obama Cuba Embargo Foreign Relations Sanctions

USCIS Issues Outdated & Erroneous Case Status Emails

Lately we have been receiving outdated and/or erroneous USCIS case status emails for pending applications and adjudicated petitions. Some, but not all, emails were followed by an email confirming that the first email was in...more

12/12/2014 - Email Immigration Procedures USCIS

President Obama Announces Immigration Bills: Real Reform or Band-Aid Fixes?

On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced a series of executive actions to reform the “broken” immigration system after Congress failed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year. These initiatives have...more

12/4/2014 - Barack Obama DACA DAPA Deportation DHS Executive Orders Green Cards Immigration Procedures Immigration Reform STEM USCIS

Details on President Obama’s Immigration Executive Orders

On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions dealing with immigration. These initiatives have not been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. Be...more

11/25/2014 - Barack Obama DACA DAPA Deportation DHS Executive Orders Immigration Reform STEM USCIS

TIPS Extended For Nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua

DHS has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TIPS) for 18 months for Honduras and Nicaragua. The extension is from January 5, 2015 through July 5, 2016. TIPS was first designated for these countries in 1999, and has...more

11/4/2014 - DHS Immigrants Temporary Protected Status Visas

November 2014 Visa Bulletin Issued

Although there was a slight forward movement in most categories, the EB-2 for Indian nationals regressed significantly from May 1, 2009 to February 15, 2005....more

10/15/2014 - EB-2 Immigrants India Visas

Test Your Knowledge on OFAC Sanctions

Global sanctions have shot up the scale of high risks to be prioritized by international companies and financial institutions, including real estate, corporate and trust service provider businesses. The battle against...more

10/13/2014 - Banks Financial Institutions Multinationals OFAC Sanctions

Diversity Lottery Opens Today (October 1, 2014)

The 2016 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2016) opened at noon today October 1, 2014, and will close at noon (EST) on November 3, 2014....more

10/2/2014 - Diversity Lottery Registration US Department of State

Duplicate Biometrics Appointment Notices

There are reports that USCIS is issuing a second biometrics appointment notice after receiving a prior notice over the past several weeks and appearing for biometrics capture. We understand that the American Immigration...more

9/4/2014 - Biometric Information Immigrants USCIS

Problems With Availability of EB-5 Visas for Chinese Nationals

On August 23, 2014, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that the EB-5 visa category for Chinese nationals will be unavailable in the upcoming September 2014 Visa Bulletin because the maximum number of EB-5 visas for...more

8/28/2014 - China EB-5 US Department of State Visas

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