Melanie Walker

Melanie Walker

Baker Donelson

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Immigration Filing Fees to Increase in December 2016

On October 24, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that increased fees for most immigration applications and petitions will be effective December 23, 2016. The fees will increase by an average of...more

11/9/2016 - EB-5 Filing Fees Form I-130 I-129 I-140 I-485 Applications USCIS Visas

USCIS: New Form I-9 Version Mandatory in January 2017

On September 12, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Office of Management and Budget approved a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. USCIS must publish a revised form...more

11/9/2016 - Employer Liability Issues I-9 Popular USCIS

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

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 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

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: 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: "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

Immigration Corner: H-1B CAP Reached!

The H-1B CAP season has come to a close and both employers and employees now anxiously await confirmation that their filings have been accepted for processing. The statutory cap of 65,000, as well as the 20,000 cap under the...more

4/17/2014 - E-3 H-1B Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Hiring & Firing Investors Students USCIS Visa Caps

Immigration Corner: Giving Hiring Preference to Laid-Off Employees and More New Customer Service Tools at USCIS

In November's newsletter, we discussed the challenges to the Department of Labor's (DOL) layoff regulation for PERM applicants. DOL has responded by clarifying what is required of an employer to properly notify and consider...more

3/14/2014 - DOL Immigrants Layoffs PERM USCIS

Immigration Corner: Snapshots of Both Big Picture and Meaningful Small-Scale Developments in the World of Immigration

On November 18, 2013, E-Verify announced an enhancement to combat identity fraud. USCIS can now “lock out” social security numbers that appear to have been used fraudulently. Once locked out, “tentative non-confirmations”...more

12/13/2013 - E-Verify Identity Theft Immigration Reform Memorandum of Understanding Social Security Numbers Undocumented Immigrants USCIS

Immigration Corner - November 13, 2013

Snapshots of both big picture and meaningful small-scale developments in the world of immigration. This month: a technology giant's hefty immigration fine and its implications, an improved interactive website for...more

11/13/2013 - B-1 DOL Fines Fraud H-1B India Infosys Layoffs PERM USCIS Visas

Snapshots of Big Picture and Meaningful Small-Scale Developments in the World of Immigration

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) E-Verify system will now contact employees directly in the event of a Social Security Administration (SSA) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Tentative...more

7/12/2013 - DHS DOMA E-Verify I-9 Immigrants Immigration Reform Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Social Security Administration (SSA) Tentative Nonconfirmation US Department of State US v Windsor USCIS Visas

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