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Obama Administration Announces $100 million in TechHire Grants to Support IT, Cybersecurity, Broadband Sector Training

On November 17, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the White House issued a funding announcement releasing $100 million in grants as a part of the Obama Administration’s TechHire Initiative, which specifically calls out...more

New Department of Homeland Security Regulation Aims to Preserve and Enhance STEM OPT Program for Nonimmigrant Students and U.S....

On October 19, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register regarding optional practical training (OPT) extensions for F-1 students with U.S. degrees...more

F-1 Optional Practical Training Proposed Rule Released; Work Authorization Expanded for STEM Students

The long-awaited proposed rule on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) was published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The proposed rule is titled “Improving and...more

Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas,...more

DHS Publishes STEM OPT Rule - Potential New Benefits and Requirements

On Monday, October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published its eagerly anticipated STEM Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) rule in the Federal Register for a 30-day comment period ending on November...more

You Down with OPT? DHS Proposes Longer Post-Graduate Work Authorization for STEM Graduates, with a Catch

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that would amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations regarding optional practical training (OPT) for students with higher education degrees...more

Proposed New Rule May Save the STEM OPT Program

The optional practical training (OPT) program allows students here on an F-1 visa (who have either graduated or been pursuing a degree for 9 months) to work in their chosen field of study for one year. In 2008, the U.S....more

DHS Submits New STEM OPT Rule for Comment

Today, October 19, the Department of Homeland Security submitted a proposed rule modifying the existing optional practical training (“OPT”) available to certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...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

Update on STEM OPT Work Permit Extension: Administrative Process for Regulation Is Underway

In response to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruling in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015) that vacated the previous regulations on STEM...more

Employers Must Withhold FICA Taxes for Students who Change Status to H-1B Starting October 1

As students and scholars’ status change from F-1, J-1 or other FICA exempt statuses to H-1B starting October 1, these employees will become subject to FICA taxes upon the effective date of their H-1B status....more

Federal Court Vacates STEM Extension Program

Current STEM OPT holders not affected until February 2016. A federal judge's ruling earlier this month invalidated the 17-month extension of optional practical training (OPT) for international students in the science,...more

What is going on with STEM OPT?

A recent federal court ruling has created uncertainty and speculation about the STEM OPT program. This summary is provided to inform employers and F-1 STEM students of the facts about the effect of this decision....more

Work Program for Foreign Students: Changes are in the Offing After a Federal Judge Curtails the Program

On August 12, 2015, a federal judge in Washington D.C. ruled that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) improperly enacted a 2008 rule extending “Optional Practical Training” (OPT) for eligible foreign students in STEM...more

Federal Court Ruling Puts STEM OPT Extension in Jeopardy

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) did not follow required procedures when it promulgated regulations allowing for...more

District Court Vacates F-1 STEM OPT Rule and Provides DHS With Six Months to Cure Defect

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle of the District of Columbia vacated the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 rule allowing F-1 students in the U.S. with college-level degrees in...more

Extension of post-graduation OPT for STEM students on F-1 visas invalid

On August 12, 2015, in the case of Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia held that a 2008 DHS interim final rule extending...more

Guide To Doing Business In New Zealand: Entry to New Zealand (Updated)

ENTRY TO NEW ZEALAND - A visa or permit is not required to visit New Zealand if the visitor is an Australian citizen, British citizen, or a citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand...more

J-1 Training Plan Updates: What Host Companies Should Know

The Department of State issued an updated Form DS-7002, Training/ Internship Placement Plan for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based information system maintained by the Department of...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Budget Approved by Legislature - Early Wednesday morning the Maine House and Senate...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 filing on your behalf has been accepted by US Citizenship and...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly had a full schedule this week, considering bills on everything from taxes and job incentives to whether the governor should be elected on a team ticket. Both chambers are slated...more

OPT Program Under Attack

While a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive action has garnered headlines recently, another lawsuit that could negatively impact the labor supply and increase the cost of doing business for employers has largely...more

How Will Immigration Executive Action Impact Higher Education Institutions?

Multi-national personnel and students are uniquely important to the mission and objectives of higher education institutions. The recent focus on immigration reform at the federal level raises the potential for broader...more

eAlert -- H-1B Visas - Time to Get Started!

February has rolled around again, so it's time to start working on H-1B petitions that must be filed on April 1 for eligibility under the H-1B cap. Many of our clients are exempt from the H-1B cap: colleges,...more

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