Immigration Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Immigration issues written by leading professionals.
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New Requirements for Employers of STEM OPT Students — Seven Extra Months for Seven Extra Requirements

The new STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) regulation extends the practical training for F-1 students with qualifying degrees from 17 months to 24 months. It also introduces an employer requirement to complete a training...more

Report Shows Better Oversight Needed for DHS Fee-Collecting Programs

Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report after examining the way the U.S. Department of Security (DHS) manages the billions of dollars it collects from its various programs. In FY 2014, DHS...more

California Legislative Update: Heading Into The 2016 Session's Final Month

The California Legislature will return from its July recess on August 1, and will devote that month to final consideration of legislation for 2016. The session has entered a somewhat anticlimactic stage for employment...more

Form 1095-C and I-9 Compliance: How to handle "mismatches"

Employers complying with the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) by filing Form 1095-C increasingly face another question: Are they in compliance with their I-9 obligations? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with...more

Prevailing in an Era of Regulatory Enforcement – Balancing Risk and Compliance [Expect Focus – Vol. II, July 2016]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - - SEC Sanctions Unregistered EB-5 Investments Broker SECURITIES - - FINRA to Assess Member Firms’ Culture - SEC Seeks Fund Responses to Distribution-In-Guise Guidance...more

Summer Travel Tips Released by CBP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske released the agency’s summer travel tips for international travelers....more

Broken Dreams - How Tax Non-Compliance Can Destroy the American Dream of Undocumented Immigrants - Part 1

Overview - The U.S. Presidential Elections have shifted into overdrive with both the Republican and Democratic holding their conventions over the next two weeks to select Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as their...more

Immigration Penalties Adjusted for Inflation Increases to Take Effect August 1

On June 30 and July 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) each published separate interim final rules in the Federal Register to...more

The Justice Dept. Petitions the Supreme Court to Rehear United States v. Texas

Last month, the Supreme Court issued a one-sentence opinion after a 4-4 split on United States v. Texas. This decision was devastating for millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States because it left in...more

CFPB releases issue brief on financial education programs serving immigrant populations

The CFPB has released an “issue brief” entitled “Financial Education Programs Serving Immigrant Populations.”  The report is intended “to raise visibility about the financial education challenges that many immigrants face.”...more

USCIS Returns Unselected Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

Employers with FY 2017 H-1B cap cases not chosen for processing should have received their returned petition packages with fee checks by July 8. The agency continues to process receipted non-premium H-1B cap petitions and...more

Increased Fines for I-9 and Other Immigration Violations Effective August 1, 2016

The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), and Labor (DOL) announced increased civil fines against employers who commit immigration-related offenses, such as Form I-9 and E-Verify violations, H-1B visa...more

August 2016 Visa Bulletin: Retrogression in Certain Employment-Based Categories

The Department of State (DOS) has issued its August 2016 Visa Bulletin which reflects retrogression in Employment-Based First Preference (Priority Workers such as Multinational Managers) and Employment-Based Second Preference...more

Immigration Compliance Alert: Increase in Fines for Immigration Related Violations Take Effect on August 1, 2016

Up until 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) focused its enforcement efforts almost exclusively on undocumented workers. For instance, ICE made 6,000 workforce enforcement strategy-related arrests in 2008; only...more

Increased Wait Times at U.S. Consular Posts in India

U.S. Consular Posts in India are currently experiencing extraordinary wait times for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) interview appointments. In July 2016, the current wait times for all non-immigrant visa categories (other than...more

U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services Releases E-Verify Compliance Activities For Fiscal Year 2015

E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to...more

Getting It Right: Maximizing Yield While Minimizing the Risk in Hiring Farm Labor

Agricultural producers and processors throughout the United States face significant pressure to ensure their operations comply with federal and state labor laws. Increasing demand for U.S.-grown goods and local labor...more

SEC Sanctions Unregistered EB-5 Investments Broker

We previously warned that some individuals involved with arranging EB-5 investments may be required to register as broker-dealers (see "Immigrant Investor Program Raises SEC Broker Registration Issues" in the Summer 2014...more

New Electronic Visa Update System (“EVUS”) required by U.S.A. for B-1/B-2 & B-2 Chinese Nationals after November, 2016 | Industry...

Effective November, 2016, Chinese nationals, including nationals from People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau will be required to use an on-line enrollment system, referred to as EVUS to update biographic...more

I-9:  Ways to Avoid Identity Theft

Employers are increasingly being contacted by individuals, their insurance and payroll providers, the IRS and/or police about employees who are possibly involved in identity theft. If an employee steals a name and matching...more

Department of State Releases August 2016 Visa Bulletin

The EB-2 Worldwide category and the EB-1 China and India categories have retrogressed. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its August 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date...more

Special Professional Visas for Mexico and Canadian Citizens

The North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) created a new class of work visa that is available only to citizens from Canada and Mexico. It allows citizens (not permanent residents) to apply for a renewable visa to work...more

Canadian Immigration Updates

The following alert is directed to organizations with a presence in Canada or who anticipate the need to place talent at a Canadian work site. 1. Beginning December 1, 2016, Mexican Citizens Will Not Need a Visa for...more

Brexit – Real Estate Update

In the run-up to the referendum, many of the headlines focused on the economy and immigration. Little was made of the real estate market, which is surprising given that it is reported to be worth nearly £7 trillion; account...more

Department of State Releases August 2016 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State released the visa bulletin for August 2016 and set cutoff dates for employment-based first preference Chinese and Indian chargeable applicants as well as second preference categories for “all other”...more

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