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Immigration Update: State Department Announces Longer Delay in Visa Processing Times

Last week, the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) visa processing database, which controls the issuance of visas and passports at the U.S. consulates abroad, experienced system performance issues (including outages) leading to...more

8/4/2014 - Delays Department of State Passports Visas

Beware of H-1B Wage Law Violations: Company to be Debarred, Ordered to Pay Over $120,000 in Penalties and Back Pay for H-1B/LCA...

A recent case before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) is a compelling reminder that violations of H-1B wage requirements can result in significant financial penalties and fines. Moreover, violations of H-1B...more

8/4/2014 - DOL Employer Liability Issues H-1B Visas Wage and Hour Wages

August 2014 Visa Bulletin: Advancement of EB-3 China and EB-2 India Cut-off Dates

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority date cut-offs that regulate when an individual can begin the final phase of the lawful permanent residence (“green card”) process, either...more

8/4/2014 - China Department of State EB-2 EB-3 Foreign Nationals Green Cards Hiring & Firing India Priority Date Cutoff USCIS Visas

TCN Visa Processing in Canada “Extremely Limited” Over the Summer

U.S. visa processing posts in Canada are urging third-country national (TCN) applicants to seek appointments at other U.S. Embassies and Consulates, such as those located in the applicants’ home countries. A TCN is an...more

8/4/2014 - Canada Immigrants TCN Visas

Discrimination Enforcement: Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim

The Department of Justice (DOJ), through its Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), recently settled a claim alleging discrimination, based on unfair documentary practices during...more

8/1/2014 - DHS Discrimination DOJ Employment Policies Foreign Workers Hiring & Firing OSC Settlement USCIS Verification Requirements

New Law Signed Modifying California’s Anti-Retaliation Protections

In the December 2013/January 2014 issue of the Immigration eAuthority, we reported that California had enacted several new laws that provide California workers, who are seeking to change their personal information, engage in...more

8/1/2014 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Employer Liability Issues Retaliation Whistleblowers

Global Visa Delays Follow Technical Difficulties with State Department System

Last week, the U.S. Department of State’s visa processing database, which controls the issuance of visas and passports at the U.S. consulates abroad, experienced system performance issues (including outages) leading to...more

7/30/2014 - Databases Department of State Passports Visas

DOS Forecasts Significant Advancement of EB-2 India Cut-off Date; Slow Down in EB-3

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority date cut-offs that regulate when an individual can begin the final phase of the lawful permanent residence (“green card”) process...more

6/6/2014

U.S. Consulates in Canada Temporarily Suspend TCN Visa Processing Over the Summer

U.S. visa processing posts in Canada are urging third-country national (TCN) applicants to seek appointments at other U.S. Embassies and Consulates, such as those located in the applicants’ home countries. A TCN is an...more

6/5/2014 - Canada Non-Immigrant Visas TCN

DHS Announces Chile’s Admission into the Visa Waiver Program

On February 28, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Chile became the latest country to be eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Although originally scheduled for May 1, Vice...more

6/3/2014 - Chile DHS Joe Biden Tourists Travel Visa Waiver Program

USCIS Issuing Requests for Evidence for Expiring Medical Examinations

All applicants filing for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident, the final stage in the permanent residence or “green card” process, are generally required to file Form I-693, Report of Medical...more

6/3/2014 - Green Cards Medical Examinations Resident Status USCIS Vaccinations

Watch Out! Telephone Scams Targeting Foreign Nationals on the Rise

In recent weeks there has been an increase in telephone scams that are designed to fraudulently elicit money and personal information from foreign nationals. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has warned...more

6/3/2014 - Foreign Nationals Fraud I-94 Cards IRS Personally Identifiable Information Scams Telephone Sales USCIS

DHS Publishes Proposed Rules to Attract and Retain Highly-Skilled Immigrants

On May 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the publication of two proposed rules that reflect the Obama Administration’s “continuing commitment to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants.” ...more

6/3/2014 - CW-1 DHS E-3 H-1B H-1B1 H-4 Spouses Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Hiring & Firing NPRM Obama Administration Proposed Regulation Visas

J-1 Meet and Greets — A Precursor to Site Visits?

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Office of Private Sector Exchange (OPSE), which designates, monitors, and partners with U.S. organizations to administer the Exchange Visitor Program, has been notifying...more

5/30/2014 - Department of State Hiring & Firing Internships J-1 Visas OPSE Training

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that it had reached an agreement with a Dallas-based company resolving claims that it violated the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision by...more

5/30/2014 - Discrimination DOJ Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Immigration and Nationality Act Popular

FDNS Site Visit Program: Coming Soon to an L-1 Employer Near You

In the February/March 2014 issue of the Immigration eAuthority, we reported on the expansion by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of site visits to certain L-1 employers under the Administrative Site Visit and...more

5/30/2014 - Employer Mandates FDNS L-1 L-1 Visas Notice of Intent USCIS Verification Requirements

Expect Stricter Scrutiny of Foreign Student Enrollment and Work Authorization Programs in 2014

In light of both a recent Government Accountability Office report on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Optional Practical Training (OPT) program as well as the newly-launched Student and Exchange Visitor Program...more

5/30/2014 - Colleges DHS F-1 Form M-1 GAO ICE Popular SEVP Student Enrollments Universities

Justice Department Remarks on Potential Discrimination Claims Arising from the Non-Hire of Work-Authorized Foreign Nationals

In a recent Technical Assistance Letter, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) comments on whether (1) an employer may, without engaging in...more

5/30/2014 - Discrimination DOJ Employer Liability Issues F-1 Foreign Nationals Hiring & Firing Job Applicants OSC

USCIS Completes Data Entry For All FY 2015 H-1B Cap Petitions

On May 2, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that data entry for all FY 2015 H-1B cap petitions has been completed. The agency will now begin to reject and return all H-1B cap-subject petitions...more

5/7/2014 - H1-B Lottery USCIS Visa Caps Visas

USCIS Receives Around 172,500 H-1B Petitions, Completes Selection Lottery

On April 7, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stated that it had received sufficient H-1B cap-subject petitions to reach the annual 65,000 “regular cap” limit for fiscal year (FY) 2015. USCIS also...more

4/11/2014 - H-1B USCIS Visa Caps

FY 2015 H-1B Cap Reached, Selection Lottery To Be Conducted

On April 7, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received sufficient H-1B cap-subject petitions to reach the annual 65,000 “regular cap” limit for fiscal year (FY) 2015. USCIS also...more

4/8/2014 - H-1B USCIS Visa Caps Visas

Is 2014 The Year For Immigration Reform?

Last year saw renewed efforts at a comprehensive immigration reform bill with the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744), a bill that...more

3/28/2014 - Border Security Immigrants Immigration Modernization Act Immigration Reform

USCIS Delivers On Its Promise To Conduct L-1 Employer Site Visits

In the August/September 2013 issue of the Immigration eAuthority, we reported on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) plans to have its Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit conduct...more

3/28/2014 - Immigrants L-1 USCIS Visas

Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions For FY 2015 Should Be Filed On March 31, 2014 To Be Received By USCIS On April 1, 2014

The filing period for “new” H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (the “H-1B cap”) for FY 2015 begins on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Note that petitions need to be mailed on March 31 to ensure receipt by the...more

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

Heavy Demand Results In Untimely Retrogression For EB-2 India

Employers and their attorneys monitor the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin to determine when sponsored employees may file adjustment of status applications on Form I-485 (the last step in the permanent residence...more

1/24/2014 - Department of State EB-2 I-485 Applications Immigrants Retrogression Visas

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