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Major Immigration Changes

On Thursday evening, November 20, 2014, President Obama summarized his Immigration Accountability Executive Actions. This will signal the beginning of contentious political debate that should go on for at least the next few...more

11/24/2014 - Barack Obama Customs and Border Protection DACA DAPA Deportation DHS Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Executive Orders Immigration Reform STEM USCIS

SEVP Deploys More Field Representatives to Schools

As previously reported, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the deployment of field representatives to serve as direct day-to-day liaisons...more

11/24/2014 - Educational Institutions ICE SEVP

The United States and China To Extend Visas for Short-term Business Travelers, Tourists, and Students

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that starting November 12, 2014, the United States and the People’s Republic of China will reciprocally increase the validity of short-term business and...more

11/13/2014 - China Department of State Reciprocity Rules Visas

DOL Issues iCERT Password Reactivation Reminder

On November 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an alert reminding stakeholders that, as of September 30, 2014, iCERT users needed to have updated their passwords to meet the new enhanced password security...more

11/6/2014 - DOL iCERT Passwords

USCIS Policy Alert on Effect of Assisted Reproductive Technology on Immigration and Citizenship

USCIS recently issued policy guidance, published in the USCIS Policy Manual and Adjudicator’s Field Manual, related to the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and its effect on immigration petitions and derivative...more

10/30/2014 - Artificial Reproduction Citizenship Family Members Immigration Procedures USCIS

DOL Issues FAQ on Foreign National Qualifications

A permanent labor certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign national to work permanently in the United States. The application for a labor certification is filed via the...more

10/23/2014 - Certifications DOL Foreign Nationals Hiring & Firing

USCIS Launches New E-Verify Website

E-Verify is the internet-based system through which employers can verify the work eligibility of new hires. Upon hiring a new employee, the employer checks the employee’s information against Department of Homeland Security...more

10/9/2014 - DHS E-Verify Immigrants Social Security Adminstration USCIS Visas

2016 Diversity Visa Lottery Opens Oct 1

The registration period for the 2016 Diversity Visa Program opened on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT -4). The period will close at noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST), Monday,...more

10/2/2014 - Department of State DIversity Lottery Immigrants Visas

USCIS Alert for Employers Regarding Certain Secure Stamps

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently alerted that on July 1, 2014, it began using blue ink for many of its secure stamps. The older secure red ink was retired and is no longer used by USCIS. ...more

9/25/2014 - DHS Form I-94 Political Asylum Refugees USCIS

OCAHO Significantly Reduces Fine After Finding No Unauthorized Employees

On June 30, 2014, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), which is responsible for review of penalties imposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for I-9 compliance violations,...more

9/12/2014 - I-9 ICE Immigrants OCAHO Visas

DOS Alert: China EB-5 “Unavailable” for Remainder of FY2014

According to the U.S. Department of State, effective Saturday, August 23, 2014, the China Employment Fifth (EB-5) preference category has become "Unavailable" for the remainder of the fiscal year 2014. This action is...more

8/29/2014 - China Department of State EB-5 Immigrants Visas

"Surge Docket” for New York Minors

An immigration court in New York has begun what it is calling “surge docket” proceedings for unaccompanied minors. The court, which typically sees less than 100 minor cases per month, is now taking on around at least 30 cases...more

8/22/2014 - Minors Unaccompanied Minors

BALCA Holds That, Despite Typographical Error on ETA 9089, Audit Materials Demonstrated Compliance

Before an employer may file an application under the Permanent Employment Certification (PERM) process, it must test the labor market to ensure that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and...more

8/18/2014 - Audits BALCA DOL PERM

What’s Going On With Consular Delays? (Part 2)

As we previously reported, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs has been experiencing technical problems with its passport and visa system causing delays. The Department reports that it has made significant...more

8/7/2014 - Delays Department of State Passports Visas

What’s Going On With Consular Delays? (Part 1)

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with its passport and visa system. Consular services are operational, but currently issuing documents at a reduced capacity....more

7/31/2014 - Delays Department of State Passports Visas

Immigration Court Backlog Reaches All-Time High Due to Influx of Juvenile Immigrants

According to data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, as of the end of June 2014, the number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts has reached 375,503...more

7/18/2014 - Immigrants Unaccompanied Minors USCIS

Duplicate E-Verify Entries

A new feature in E-Verify will now provide a notification to users when a case is entered that includes the same Social Security number as another case entered in the previous 30 days. Oftentimes duplicate cases are entered...more

6/27/2014 - E-Verify Immigrants USCIS Visas

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $90K to $25K

The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) has jurisdiction to review penalties imposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for I-9 compliance violations. In calculating the amount of the...more

6/20/2014 - Audits Fines I-9 ICE Jurisdiction OCAHO

No Immigration in House Plans for June

Proponents of immigration reform have been waiting with bated breath to see whether the topic will be taken up in the House any time soon. It looks like that will not happen, at least not in the month of June. ...more

6/13/2014 - Immigration Reform Legislative Agendas

Revised USCIS Guidance: Form I-693 No Longer Required As Initial Evidence

Generally, all applicants for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident must submit Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, completed by a physician designated by the U.S....more

6/6/2014 - Evidence Immigrants Medical Examinations USCIS Visas

Military Attempts to Expand Recruitment Beyond Residents and Citizens

The Pentagon announced recently that it is considering ways in which to expand its ability to recruit beyond lawful permanent residents (“LPRs”) and U.S. citizens. Typically, enlistment is only open to LPRs and citizens....more

5/30/2014 - Citizens DOD Immigrants Lawful Permanent Residents

OCAHO Finds E-Verify Participation Does Not Provide Blanket Protection

E-Verify is the internet based system through which employers can verify the work eligibility of new hires. Upon hiring a new employee, the employer checks the employee’s information against Department of Homeland Security...more

5/22/2014 - E-Verify OCAHO Social Security Social Security Adminstration

Surprise Site Visits for L-1 Employers Expected

Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS), a faction of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), confirmed recently in a stakeholder teleconference that the FDNS plans to start making surprise visits to employers...more

5/16/2014 - Fraud H-1B Immigrants Inspections L-1 USCIS Visas

OCAHO Fines Construction Company $228,000 for I-9 Violations

A recent assessment by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) resulted in a fine of $228,000 against M&D Masonry, a Georgia construction contractor, for I-9 violations. Immigration and Customs...more

5/2/2014 - Construction Workers Contractors Fraud I-9 ICE Immigrants OCAHO

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

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