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Immigration Update: Rule Changes for International Student Workers

Many of our clients employ international students in a status known as "F-1/OPT," which is "Optional Practical Training," a program similar to an internship that allows international students to get practical work experience...more

Ready or not, the new STEM OPT rule is in play!

As higher education institutions with international students should already be aware, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) recently published a new regulation that provides eligible F-1 graduates from STEM programs in...more

New STEM OPT Extension Program Requirements

The new 24-month STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) Optional Practical Training (OPT) program will take effect on May 10, 2016. The substantially revised STEM OPT program expands total OPT time to 36 months for...more

H-1B Cap FY2017 and Aftermath

The USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during this year’s FY2017 filing period for the annual supply of 85,000 new H-1B visas (65,000 for regular cap plus an additional 20,000 for workers with a U.S. Master’s degree)....more

New OPT STEM Rule Extends Employment Period for Foreign Students; Imposes New Obligations on Employers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a revised rule which allows foreign students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to extend their 1-year period of Optional Practical...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. Maine Legislative Session in Recess Until April 29 - In late night sessions ending at 2:30...more

New STEM OPT Rules: More than Just an Extra Seven Months of Work Authorization

On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule on enhancements to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for F-1 international students in science, technology, engineering...more

DHS Issues STEM OPT Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") recently issued its long-awaited F–1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (“OPT”) for certain students with degrees in science, technology,...more

Tidewater Community College hit with phishing scam exposing data of 3,193 employees

Tidewater Community College (Tidewater) has announced that the personal information, including names and Social Security numbers of 3,193 current and former faculty and staff members was compromised in a phishing scheme and...more

New 24-month F-1 STEM OPT Rule Effective May 10, 2016

On March 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted to the Federal Register an advance copy of its final rule regarding certain F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) extensions. The new rule replaces the...more

Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration: An Update to Two Key Initiatives Designed to Enhance the Employment of Highly Skilled...

In November 2014, President Obama issued a number of executive actions designed to make significant changes to the U.S. immigration system. The most controversial initiatives were the deferred action policies aimed at...more

STEM OPT Update: Program Remains Valid Through May 10, 2016

On January 23, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion to extend the stay of vacatur of the current STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program until May 10, 2016, providing the...more

Court Allows DHS Until May 10, 2016, to Issue New STEM OPT Rule

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia gave the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until May 10, 2016, to correct the procedural defects to its STEM OPT rule. The prior deadline had been February 12, 2016, to...more

DHS is granted an extension of existing STEM OPT rule through May 12, 2016

To the relief of thousands of foreign nationals and many U.S. businesses and higher education institutions, on January 23, 2016, the federal district court in Washington D.C. presiding over Washington Alliance of Technology...more

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

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

LinkedIn acquires Lynda.com for $1.5 billion

LinkedIn has announced that it will acquire Lynda.com, a subscription online education service that offers hundreds of thousands of educational videos and over 6,000 online courses to its customers....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

Annual H-1B Visa Quota Available But Expected to Be Exhausted in Early April

On April 1, 2015, the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions for H-1B visas that are subject to annual quotas for the 2016 fiscal year (which would allow employees to start...more

Phishing Attacks Target University Employee Payroll Information

In a recent advisory, the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) warned higher education institutions about sophisticated phishing attacks that target faculty and staff...more

White Collar Watch - June 2014

In This Issue: - Whistleblower’s one-two punch: Confidential informant/employee spurs criminal investigation, then successfully sues individual company owner in qui tam action - Alleged illegal recruiting for...more

Paying for Family Vacations With NIH Funds Triggers FCA Lawsuit and Settlement

Northwestern University will pay $2.93 million to settle a federal False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit brought by a former employee who alleged Northwestern allowed a researcher to submit false claims under certain cancer research...more

Northwestern University Settles Cancer Research False Claims Act Lawsuit

On July 30, 2013, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced that Northwestern University entered a settlement agreement to pay the United States $2.9 million to settle False Claims...more

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