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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

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

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

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

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 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

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

April 1 Deadline for Filing H-1B Visa Petitions Approaches

As of April 1, 2016, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY2017). Upon approval, petitions for FY2017 will allow foreign nationals to work for...more

Premium Processing Delayed for FY16 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions on April 1, 2015, for start dates of October 1, 2015 or later. ...more

3/18/2015  /  H-1B , USCIS , Visa Caps , Visas

Department of Homeland Security Shutdown 2015: The Effect on Immigration Services

The Senate remains at a stalemate over funding of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), with funding running out on Friday, February 27. A full budget was passed for the rest of the US government in December. However,...more

H-2B Cap Reached for the First Half of Fiscal Year 2015

On February 2, USCIS announced that the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year 2015 has been reached. January 26, 2015 was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an...more

DHS Issues Final Rule Permitting Attorneys to Receive Immigration Correspondence/Documents Previously Sent Directly to Applicants

The Department of Homeland Security announced this week that the final rule, Notices of Decisions and Documents Evidencing Lawful Status, published for comment on October 29, 2014, is effective as of January 27, 2015....more

It’s Time to Prepare H-1B Visa Petitions for Fiscal Year 2016

This alert is a reminder of the rapidly approaching April 1, 2015 deadline for the filing of H-1B visa petitions for Fiscal Year 2016. Petitions for the new fiscal year, which starts on October 1, 2015, will be accepted by...more

Employment-based Visa Petitions: Why Dun and Bradstreet Can Make or Break a Petition

It’s a little known fact that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) won’t approve an employment-based visa petition before checking the company information against the Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) database via the...more

12/12/2014  /  USCIS , Visas

Immigration Developments for Highly Skilled Workers: Changes the Business Community Can Expect as a Result of President Obama’s...

On Thursday, November 20th, coinciding with President Obama’s announcement regarding his forthcoming executive action on immigration, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a memo to the directors...more

President Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration

During last week's primetime television broadcast, President Obama announced steps to fix what he termed the “broken” US immigration system. The president focused his speech on increasing border security and providing a...more

Recent Changes in US Immigration Processes and Technology

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented changes recently that affect many individuals seeking to travel to the United States, US employers of H-1B and L-1 workers, and users of some USCIS services. This...more

11/20/2014  /  Corporate Counsel , DHS , ESTA , H-1B , L-1 Visas , Popular , USCIS , Visas
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