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How Do Recent Government Announcements and Actions Affect the H-1B Visa Program?

Speaking at his Joint Address to Congress in February 2017, President Donald Trump expressed his intention to tackle legal immigration beyond his Executive Orders on border security and international travel. Recent...more

USCIS Will Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions Beginning on April 3, 2017

On March 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, beginning on April 3, 2017, it will temporarily suspend Premium Processing for all H-1B visa petitions. Premium Processing is a USCIS...more

3/7/2017  /  Form I-129 , H-1B , USCIS , Visas

Appeals Court Affirms Block on Immigration Travel Ban

As previously reported, on January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order, which effectively banned travel to the United States by foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen...more

Travel Considerations for Foreign Nationals Affected by President Trump’s Executive Order

As previously reported, on January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals.” The Order proclaims, among other...more

Important Immigration Updates and Reminders – January 2017

President Trump’s Executive Orders - Throughout his campaign, and now as President, Donald Trump has indicated that his immigration reform efforts will focus mainly on illegal immigration, as well as tighter immigration...more

DHS Finalizes Entrepreneur Parole Rule, Expanding Options for Foreign National Entrepreneurs

On January 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule entitled “International Entrepreneur Rule.” This rule follows President Obama’s November 14, 2014 promise to use existing statutory...more

USCIS Establishes New Standard for EB2 National Interest Waiver Cases for Certain Individuals Whose Work is of National Importance

On December 27, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) issued a decision in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016), addressing the National Interest Waiver (NIW)...more

Immigration Consequences of DUI Offenses

One of the most sacred principles of the U.S. criminal justice system holds that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This principle is not necessarily true under U.S. immigration law. A non-citizen who is...more

Unlawful Use of Requirements Relating to Immigration Status in Recruitment May Lead to Discrimination Claims

U.S. employers must carefully screen their recruitment process and advertisement language relating to the citizenship status of job applicants. The Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related...more

2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program Announced

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has announced the opening of the registration period for the 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program enables foreign nationals to apply for permanent...more

DHS Proposes Rule That Would Expand Immigration Options for Certain Foreign Entrepreneurs

On August 26, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed an advance copy of its notice of proposed rulemaking, entitled “International Entrepreneur Rule.” This rule follow President Obama’s promise in...more

8/30/2016  /  DHS , Entrepreneurs , NPRM , USCIS

Certain Immigrant Categories Delayed Beginning in August, Likely to Return to Normal in October

The U.S. Department of State has published the monthly “Visa Bulletin” for August 2016. The Visa Bulletin is a government publication, the primary purpose of which is to provide an updated waiting list for immigrants that are...more

Company Fined $100,000 for Export Violation Involving H-1B Employee

Microwave Engineering Corp., a Massachusetts-based microwave components company, has agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty to the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) for allowing an H-1B...more

Lengthy Delays for Nonimmigrant Visas at U.S. Consulates in India

Applicants for nonimmigrant visas in India are currently experiencing increased wait times for interview appointments at the U.S. Consular Posts. The Consulates in India are dealing with an extraordinary backlog that is not...more

I-9 Compliance Wisdom from Meeting Between AILA, USCIS and ICE

On May 3, 2016, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Verification and Document Liaison Committee met with USCIS’ Verification Division and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security...more

Government Filing Fee Changes May Be Coming Soon

On May 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that seeks to increase filing and processing fees for certain applications. The proposed rule will be open to comment from the public until...more

DHS Publishes Final New STEM OPT Rule

On Friday, March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the long-awaited final rule relating to Optical Practical Training (OPT) extensions for foreign students with science, technology,...more

3/16/2016  /  DHS , Final Rules , Foreign Students , OPT , STEM

USCIS Launches Known Employer Pilot for Preselected Employers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has created the Known Employer pilot, which is only limited to nine preselected employers and is not available to other employers yet. The pilot seeks to assess a way to...more

Time to Get Ready for the H-1B Season

The most common H work visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.” A specialty occupation is one that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specific field of study as a minimum for entry into...more

DOJ States That Replacing U.S. Workers with Temporary Contract Workers May Constitute Unlawful Discrimination

The Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) recently released a Technical Assistance Letter (TAL) with guidance on replacing U.S. workers with temporary...more

DHS Proposes Rule Affecting Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Applications

On December 31, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, entitled “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled...more

DOJ and ICE Publish Joint Guidance on Internal I-9 Audits

On December 14, 2015, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division issued joint guidance for employers conducting internal Form I-9 Audits. The two agencies...more

USCIS Unveils Proposed Changes to Form I-9

On November 24, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a notice in the Federal Register to inform the public of proposed changes to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Many of the...more

BALCA: Error Caused by Deficient PERM Form Not a Proper Reason for Denial

The permanent labor certification process (also referred to as PERM) allows an employer to hire a foreign national to work permanently in the United States. Prior to filing a PERM application for a foreign worker with the...more

Proposed DHS Rule May Save OPT STEM Extension

Foreign national students in F-1 status are generally allowed to apply for and obtain a one-year work permit, referred to as Optional Practical Training (OPT). Certain students degrees from U.S. universities in specific...more

10/19/2015  /  DHS , Form F-1 , OPT , Proposed Regulation , STEM , USCIS , Work Permits
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