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Michigan Becomes Second State Approved EB-5 Regional Center

The State of Michigan announced last week that it received approval by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to operate a government run EB-5 regional center. The regional center will be the second state-run...more

4/18/2014 - EB-5 Economic Development Foreign Nationals Investors USCIS

Chilean Visa Waiver Implementation Accelerated

Recently, the United States announced that Chile would be added to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”). May 1, 2014, was the original implementation date,...more

4/14/2014 - Immigrants Visas Waivers

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Immigration Enforcement Case

The Supreme Court is refusing to hear a Maryland immigration enforcement dispute. The Court announced it won't hear Frederick County’s appeal of a ruling last August by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The dispute now...more

3/27/2014 - Immigration Enforcement SCOTUS

Chile Newest Visa Waiver Country

Beginning May 1, 2014, Chile will become the latest country to join the US' Visa Waiver program. This means that Chilean passport holders with 1) an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”) and 2) an...more

3/18/2014 - ESTA Travel Visas Visitors

How Do I Correct My Immigration Records After Resolving a Tentative Non-confirmation?

E-Verify compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to information compiled from various government agencies. If the information matches, the employee is eligible to work in the...more

3/4/2014 - E-Verify Immigration Records Recordkeeping Requirements Tentative Nonconfirmation USCIS

Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program Ends, Increases U.S. Opportunities

Earlier this month, Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 announced that the country would be ending its Immigrant Investor Program (IIP). The Canadian government made the decision to end the program in order to eliminate a...more

2/27/2014 - Canada Immigrants Investors Visas

Important Announcement for DACA Recipients

If you were granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (“DACA”) status by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement prior to August 15, 2012, or if you are a DACA recipient...more

2/25/2014 - DACA ICE Immigrants

Employers Beware

As regularly reported in the news, the crackdown on employers by the federal government continues. If your company is targeted and I-9 violations are discovered, fines for simple paperwork violations, even if no undocumented...more

2/25/2014 - Employer Liability Issues I-9 Penalties Undocumented Immigrants USCIS Visas

Fiscal Year 2015 H-1B Filings

A reminder that filings requesting an H-1B number for Fiscal Year 2015 (beginning October 1, 2014) can be submitted to USCIS starting April 1, 2014. ...more

2/14/2014 - Filing Requirements H-1B Immigrants USCIS Visas

OPT STEM Extension Applications Denied in Error

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced recently that it has come to the attention of its Service Center Operations (SCOPS) that certain optional practical training (OPT) science, technology,...more

2/14/2014 - STEM USCIS

New Centralized Process for Civil Surgeon Designation

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced recently that it will be implementing a new process to receive and adjudicate applications for civil surgeon designation centrally at the National Benefits...more

2/7/2014 - Civil Surgeons USCIS

Discussion on Immigration Reform Revived

On January 30, 2014, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives released a set of broad “standards” for immigration reform. Issued in draft form, the standards would allow many undocumented immigrants to live legally...more

2/4/2014 - Border Security Immigration Reform

USCIS Issues Guidance Clarifying “Reason to Believe” Standard for I-601A Waivers

On January 24, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum clarifying the “reason to believe” standard for denying I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver applications involving...more

1/30/2014 - Criminal Prosecution Deportation I-601A Immigrants USCIS Visas

Preparing for the 2014 H-1B Season and the April 1 Filing Date

Employers who wish to employ workers in the H-1B “specialty occupation” category starting on October 1, 2014, cannot file those applications earlier than six months in advance, or prior to April 1, 2014. The government has...more

1/28/2014 - Filing Deadlines H-1B Immigrants USCIS Visas

New Countries Eligible to Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State have added four countries to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs for the coming year. The...more

1/23/2014 - Department of State DHS H-2A H-2B Immigrants Visas

Non-Immigrant Visa Interview Waiver Program Now Permanent

In January 2012, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) introduced a pilot program waiving visa interviews for certain types of visa applicants. The DOS has announced that the visa interview waiver program is now permanent. ...more

1/23/2014 - Department of State Non-Immigrant Visas Visas Waivers

BIA Holds Pending Application for H-1B Extension Does Not Confer Lawful Status

On November 7, 2013, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), issued an unpublished decision sustaining the denial of an adjustment application and holding that the respondent had failed to maintain lawful status during the...more

1/13/2014 - F-1 Foreign Nationals Green Cards H-1B Human Resources Professionals Labor Certifications PERM Residency Requirements Residency Status USCIS Visas

Unpublished BIA Decision: E-2 Spouses Not Required to Obtain EAD

On November 5, 2013, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), issued an unpublished decision reversing the denial of an adjustment application and holding that the respondent was not required to obtain an employment...more

1/6/2014 - E-2 Employment Authorization Document Hiring & Firing Immigration Procedures USCIS

Jeh Johnson Confirmed as Next Secretary of Homeland Security

On Monday, the Senate confirmed Jeh Johnson as the next Secretary of Homeland Security. Johnson won confirmation with a bipartisan vote of 78 to 16, winning the vote of all Democratic senators and a majority of GOP senators....more

12/19/2013 - Confirmation Proceedings DHS Jeh Johnson

Prior Noncompliance with E-Verify Does Not Render Federal Contractors Ineligible for Future Work

Participation in E-Verify is mandatory for certain businesses such as those having contracts with federal agencies. One of the requirements is that the “FAR clause,” which provides that a contractor not enrolled in E-Verify...more

12/13/2013 - DHS E-Verify FAR Federal Contractors GAO Hiring & Firing Mandatory Verification Systems

BALCA Finds That H-2B Employers Have No Obligation to Comply With a PWD Issued After Certification

On December 3, 2013, the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) issued a decision, in the Matter of Island Holdings LLC, vacating supplemental prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) and increased wages imposed on...more

12/10/2013

New E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be releasing a new set of E-Verify memoranda of understanding (MOUs), which will become effective on December 8, 2013. The MOU is the legal document that must be executed...more

12/6/2013 - Compliance DHS E-Verify Immigrants Memorandum of Understanding USCIS Visas

USCIS Policy Memorandum on Family-Based Automatic Conversion and Priority Date Retention

On November 21, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum (Memorandum), providing guidance for properly assigning family-based priority dates in certain instances where a petitioner...more

11/26/2013 - CSPA Family Members Immigrants Immigration Reform Minors USCIS

International Company Settles for Millions for Immigration Violations

An Indian company with offices in 30 countries, including the U.S., recently agreed to a record civil settlement of $34 million for allegations of immigration fraud and abuse of immigration procedures. The company, Infosys...more

11/22/2013 - B-1 Fraud H1-B India Infosys Settlement Visas

Florida Possession With Intent to Deliver Controlled Substance Not An Aggravated Felony

Convictions of certain types of crimes, referred to as “Aggravated Felonies,” carry severe immigration consequences for foreign nationals seeking permanent residence, citizenship, asylum, and relief from removal. The types...more

11/12/2013 - Aggravating Factors Controlled Substances Act Drug Trafficking Felonies Immigration and Nationality Act Intent

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