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DHS Site Visits and Inspections — Be Prepared

From time to time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducts site visits at the offices of employers petitioning for temporary work visas on behalf of their employees. These visits are funded by the $500 “anti-fraud”...more

3/13/2017  /  DHS , H-1B , I-9 , ICE , L-1 , Site Visit Program , USCIS , Visas , Work Visas

Efforts Underway to Suspend Visa-Free Travel to Europe for U.S. Citizens

The European Commission is being urged to require U.S. citizens to obtain visas for travel to Europe in an effort to obtain full visa waiver reciprocity for all European Union (EU) nations. Currently, five EU nations are...more

Obama’s parting gift to foreign entrepreneurs: A new way to stay in the U.S.

Back in 2014, when it was clear that Congress was not going to pass bipartisan immigration reform, President Obama vowed to take whatever steps he could, short of legislation, to advance his immigration agenda, including...more

Matter of Dhanasar Breathes New Life into NIW Green Card Category

At the end of the 2016 calendar year, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) published a welcome precedent decision, Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016). In this case, the AAO has significantly revised the...more

Cap-Exempt H-1B Employment Clarified by DHS

In light of the general unavailability of H-1B visas due to the limited and inadequate H-1B visa quota, it is more important than ever that U.S. employers and highly skilled foreign nationals be able to take maximum advantage...more

11/23/2016  /  ACWIA , DHS , H-1B , USCIS , Visa Caps , Visas

DHS Codifies and Clarifies the Parameters of Cap-Exempt H-1B Employment

In a final regulation published on November 18, 2016 which takes effect on January 17, 2017, DHS has clarified the requirements and parameters associated with cap-exempt employment of H-1B workers by nonprofit entities that...more

11/22/2016  /  DHS , Exemptions , Filing Fees , H-1B

Long-Awaited High Skilled Worker Regulations Published by the Department of Homeland Security

In a welcome development, on November 18, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule benefitting many highly skilled nonimmigrant foreign workers and EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 employment-based immigrant...more

USCIS Revises Form I-9

On November 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Beginning January 22, 2017, employers must use only the new version of...more

DHS to Increase Filing Fees Effective 12/23/2016

Effective December 23, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be adjusting the fee schedule for immigration and naturalization benefit requests processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). DHS...more

10/25/2016  /  Applications , DHS , Filing Fees , USCIS , Visas

Immigration Relief for Foreign Entrepreneurs

On August 26, 2016, USCIS released the text of a proposed rule to be published in the Federal Register shortly, that provides temporary immigration relief to qualifying foreign entrepreneurs whose presence in the U.S. would...more

Higher Immigration Penalties for I-9 and Other Violations Going Into Effect August 1, 2016

As a result of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, higher immigration fines and penalties will go into effect on August 1, 2016. The fines and penalties cover Form I-9 paperwork...more

Department of State Releases August 2016 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State released the visa bulletin for August 2016 and set cutoff dates for employment-based first preference Chinese and Indian chargeable applicants as well as second preference categories for “all other”...more

Innocents Abroad: Creating a Company’s Global Mobility & Immigration Policy

Carrie, I appreciate the guidance you have provided regarding the documents the company needs to have in place when sending an employee on an assignment abroad. Now I have a related question about immigration risks...more

6/29/2016  /  Foreign Workers , Visas

Work and Travel Guidance for F-1 Students with Pending H-1B “Change of Status” Applications and “Cap-Gap” Employment Authorization...

This advisory summarizes key travel and employment issues if you are an F-1 student with Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment eligibility and an H-1B change of status filing on your behalf has been accepted by US...more

New STEM OPT Extension Rules: Critical Takeaways, Part 3

FEIN and E-Verify - In order to employ an F-1 student for the duration of his or her 24-month STEM OPT extension, employers must have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and be enrolled in E-Verify....more

4/25/2016  /  E-Verify , Form I-983 , Hiring & Firing , OPT , STEM

New STEM OPT Extension Rules: Critical Takeaways, Part 2

In this short series on the new STEM OPT rules, Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz Levin’s Immigration Section will examine the top takeaways for students and their employers. The second post will focus on the expansion of the...more

4/21/2016  /  F-1 Visa , OPT , SEVIS , STEM , USCIS

New STEM OPT Extension Rules: Critical Takeaways, Part 1

In this short series on the new STEM OPT rules, Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz Levin’s Immigration Section will examine the top takeaways for students and their employers. The first post will focus on the timing rules related to...more

4/20/2016  /  OPT , STEM , USCIS

H-1B Cap Hit for Fiscal Year 2017

On April 7, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received more than enough H-1B petitions to meet the numerical limit for fiscal year 2017 cap-subject H-1B visas, which includes both...more

4/8/2016  /  Fiscal Year , H-1B , USCIS , Visa Caps , Visas

USCIS Guidance on “Same or a Similar” Occupation for AC21 Welcomed

In a welcome move, on March 18, 2016 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released policy guidance for its officers to help them decide “green card portability” cases....more

3/28/2016  /  AC21 , Green Cards , I-140 , PERM , Portability , USCIS , Visas

The Department of Homeland Security Previews Final Rule Governing STEM OPT

Yesterday, March 9, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security previewed the final rule governing STEM OPT, to be released on Friday. This rule is effective May 10, 2016, except the addition of 8 CFR 214.16, which is effective...more

3/10/2016  /  DHS , E-Verify , F-1 Visa , Foreign Students , H-1B , OPT , STEM , Visas

USCIS Launches Known Employer Pilot

On October 1, 2015 USCIS announced the launch of the Known Employer Pilot Program. Yesterday, March 3, USCIS confirmed the participation of five employers in the pilot. The purpose of the Known Employer Program is to expedite...more

3/5/2016  /  E-12 , E-13 , Federal Pilot Programs , H-1B , L-1A , L-1B , Visas

A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: Modernizing PERM (Part 6/6)

A Brief History of PERM - 2015 marked the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the Program Electronic Review Management (“PERM”). The regulations, first published in 2014, govern the labor certification process for...more

3/3/2016  /  DOL , Immigration Reform , OPT , PERM

A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: Visa Bulletin Controversy Continues (Part 5/6)

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of the cases,...more

A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: Proposed Immigrant Visa Reforms (Part 3/6)

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of the cases,...more

A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: OPT (Part 2/6)

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of the cases,...more

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