Melanie Walker

Melanie Walker

Baker Donelson

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Visiting Canada? Better Pack Your eTA or Visa!

Canada has a new entry requirement. Effective March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals must now have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. A result of the Perimeter Security and...more

5/11/2016 - Canada Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Electronic Travel Authorization Program (eTA) Foreign Official International Travel Passports Travel Permits Visas

Immigration Update: H-1B Cap FY2017 and Aftermath; Adjudicating the L-1A Functional Manager Petition Requires Consideration of...

The USCIS received more than 236,000 H-1B petitions during this year's FY2017 filing period for the annual supply of 85,000 new H-1B visas (65,000 for regular cap plus an additional 20,000 for workers with a U.S. master's...more

5/10/2016 - Foreign Workers Form F-1 H-1B H-4 Spouses OPT STEM Visas

Emergency H-2B Processing Available For Another Month

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it will continue to accept emergency requests until midnight on April 29, 2016, for H-2B applications filed on or between April 2 and April 29, 2016. This extension is due to...more

4/8/2016 - DOL Foreign Nationals Foreign Workers H-2B Immigration Procedures Temporary Employees Visas

New STEM OPT Rules: More than Just an Extra Seven Months of Work Authorization

On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule on enhancements to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for F-1 international students in science, technology, engineering...more

4/8/2016 - DHS Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) Foreign Students Form F-1 H-1B OPT STEM Training Requirements USCIS

USCIS Guidance on “Same or Similar” Occupations

USCIS has issued a new policy memorandum (PM) outlining relevant considerations in assessing whether a position qualifies as a “same or similar” occupation to the foreign national’s previously approved job for purposes of...more

4/8/2016 - DOL Foreign Nationals Hiring & Firing I-140 I-485 Applications Immigration and Nationality Act Portability USCIS Visas

Revised Rules for H-1B1, E-3 and CW-1 Workers and EB-1 Petitioners

DHS recently published amended regulations affecting certain highly skilled workers in specialty occupations from Chile, Singapore (H-1B1) and Australia (E-3), nonimmigrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana...more

3/9/2016 - CW-1 DHS E-3 EB-1 H-1B1 Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Hiring & Firing USCIS

Visa Waiver Changes – Answers to your ESTA-cancellation Questions

UPDATE: CBP has announced that Libya, Somalia, and Yemen are now included with Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria as countries of concern, so that individuals who have traveled to these countries since March 1, 2011 are not eligible...more

2/26/2016 - DHS ESTA Libya Somalia Terrorist Threats Travel Restrictions US Department of State Visa Waiver Program Yemen

H-1B Season and a Lesson from Disney

H-1B Cap season is approaching, and, with a similar flurry to file petitions for eligible specialized knowledge workers expected for April 1 as we experienced in 2015, H-1B employers should carefully consider the obligations...more

2/19/2016 - Disney DOL Foreign Workers H-1B Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Popular Racketeering USCIS

Changes to the Visa Waiver Program

In the aftermath of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) was amended significantly on December 18, 2015, when the enactment of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2029) was signed...more

1/29/2016 - Iran Iraq Sudan Syria Terrorist Acts Visa Waiver Program

Changes Ahead for Highly Skilled Workers

On December 31, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register in furtherance of President Obama’s executive action to modernize, improve and clarify certain...more

1/26/2016 - EB-1 EB-2 EB-3 H-1B Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Immigration Reform USCIS

Immigration Corner: January 2016

On December 31, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register in furtherance of President Obama’s executive action to modernize, improve and clarify certain...more

1/16/2016 - ACWIA Barack Obama Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Non-Immigrant Visas Proposed Regulation USCIS Visa Waiver Program

I-9 Guidance on H-1B Petition/I-94 Mismatch and Short Term Workers

In a recent meeting between the Verification and Document Liaison Committee within American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and USCIS’s Verification Division and ICE Homeland Security Investigations, further guidance...more

12/30/2015 - E-Verify Form I-94 Guidance Update H-1B ICE USCIS

Where is the Foreign Affairs Manual?

As of November 19, 2015, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) Chapter 9 “9 FAM” has been revised, rewritten, renumbered and relocated to 9 FAM-e on the Department of State website. This 9 FAM-e is now the authoritative source for...more

12/23/2015 - Enforcement Guidance Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) Visas

Immigration Corner: December 2015

Where is the Foreign Affairs Manual? As of November 19, 2015, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) Chapter 9 “9 FAM” has been revised, rewritten, renumbered and relocated to 9 FAM-e on the Department of State website. This...more

12/21/2015 - Audits B-1 Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) H-1B I-9

Immigration Corner: USCIS Elaborates on When to File Amendment Under Simeio

We previously provided an alert on the precedential decision Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC and its holding that an H-1B amendment must be filed whenever a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) is required to change an H-1B...more

6/17/2015 - Compliance Filing Requirements Foreign Workers H-1B H-2B H-4 Spouses Immigration Immigration Reform LCA Relocation USCIS Visas

Immigration Corner: H-1B Cap FY2016 and Aftermath, "Doing Business" for Multinational Managers, myE-Verify Available Nationwide

If you filed an H-1B petition that did not get accepted for processing under the FY2016 Cap, you are not alone. This year a record number of 233,000 petitions were filed in a mad scramble for the annual supply of 85,000 new...more

5/20/2015 - Doing Business E-Verify H-1B Multinationals USCIS Visa Caps

H-1Bs, H-4s and H-2Bs – Oh, My! Big developments in the H Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications, and Expanded DACA and DAPA are...

Effective May 26, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting work authorization for H-4 spouses of two groups of H-1B nonimmigrant workers: those who have an approved I-140 petition...more

3/18/2015 - DACA DAPA H-1B H-2B H-4 Spouses Popular USCIS Visas

Immigration Corner: Helpful Guidance in a Tricky I-9 Situation, and a "Known Employer" Program in Development

This month: Helpful guidance in a tricky I-9 situation, and a "Known Employer" program in development. I-9 Guidance and Handling Former Documents that are Not Genuine - On February 18, 2015, the United States...more

2/18/2015 - DACA Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) I-9 USCIS

Immigration Corner: Scams Abound, Getting Acquainted with the Business Visitor, and CBP Eases Your Next U.S. Entry

New Initiatives = New Targets for Scams - Unfortunately, where there is uncertainty, there are those who will use scams to target those individuals looking for clarity. On November 20, 2014, the President announced a...more

1/28/2015 - B-1 Barack Obama Business Travel Cuba Customs and Border Protection DHS Executive Orders Foreign Nationals Fraud Mobile Apps Ports Scams Travel Permits USCIS

Immigration Corner

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently implemented security measures for the application for Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) required for those traveling to the United States under the Visa...more

11/18/2014 - Airlines Customs and Border Protection DHS ESTA L-1B Travelers Visa Waiver Program

Immigration Corner: Time to Play the Lottery, New myE-Verify Website Provides Tools and an Education, Free Webinar on Form I-9 and...

Applications for the 2016 Diversity Visa Lottery are now being accepted and must be submitted electronically by noon, Eastern Standard Time, on Monday, November 3, 2014, to be considered. Each year, the United States...more

10/21/2014 - Diversity Lottery E-Verify I-9 Immigrants USCIS Visas

Immigration Corner: Chinese EB-5 Applicants are Beginning to Form a Line, PERM Passwords, Changing Visa Fees

On Saturday, August 23, 2014, the Department of State dramatically announced that EB-5 visas (for immigrant investors) were no longer available for the remainder of the fiscal year for individuals from mainland China. This...more

9/15/2014 - China EB-5 PERM Visas

Immigration Corner: Global Printing Problems for Immigrant Travel Visas, and More Road Signs on the Foggy PERM Highway

A printing problem usually can be fixed in minutes by swapping out a toner cartridge or adding some paper, or it could take a little longer to clear a complex paper jam. Right? Not at the U.S. Department of State! Apparently...more

8/19/2014 - BALCA Hiring & Firing OFLC PERM US Department of State Visas

Immigration Corner: "Extraordinary Circumstances" Under the Child Status Protection Act, E-Verify Listens to You, and It's Time to...

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an Interim Policy Memorandum (PM-602-0097) on June 6, 2014, supplementing Chapter 21.2(e) of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual regarding exercising discretion...more

7/17/2014 - BIA CSPA E-Verify H-1B Memorandum of Guidance USCIS

Immigration Corner: E-Verify Not an Impenetrable Shield, H-4 Spouses May Soon be Looking for Work, More Trips to the Doctor for...

E-Verify offers a tool to assist employers in verifying employment/immigration status for prospective employees, but it should not be mistaken for protection during an I-9 audit. On March 26, 2014, the Office of the Chief...more

6/13/2014 - E-Verify H-4 Spouses Immigrants OCAHO USCIS Visas

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