Immigration Administrative Agency

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a policy memorandum in the decision of Matter of Z-A, Inc.

On April 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a policy memorandum designating the decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of Z-A-, Inc. as an adopted decision...more

High Fines Continue to Provide “Additional Motivation” for I-9 Compliance

Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently eased off of its record pace for commencing new I-9 inspections, employers can take no comfort. ICE continues to use these inspections as a key enforcement tool...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

Department of Homeland Security Regulation Benefitting STEM Employers Thrown into Question

A federal district judge recently issued a 37-page decision vacating a 2008 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation that has helped thousands of U.S. companies hire and retain foreign students holding U.S. degrees in...more

DHS Sends New STEM OPT Rule to OMB For Review

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent its proposed regulation on the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week. A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is...more

Court Determines that Stepchild Does Not Fall Under Definition of Child

The Ninth Circuit upheld the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of the petitioner’s claim that he derived citizenship under INA §320(a) from his U.S. citizen stepfather, who married his non-citizen mother after he was born...more

Federal Court Rules on OPT Extension

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

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

Final USCIS Guidance on When to File Amended H-1B Petitions for Worksite Changes

As previously reported, on May 22, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted draft guidance on when to file an amended H-1B petition after the decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions. On July 21, 2015,...more

Check Up or Pay Up: I-9 Compliance Fines Hit CA Company

On July 8, 2015, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), issued a decision finding Hartmann Studios, Inc. “liable for 808 violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B)”, namely hiring workers in the United...more

Immigration Update: Precedent Decision Impacts H-1B Workers & Employers

USCIS has issued a final guidance memorandum in regards to the precedent AAO decision in the Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC. Per the Simeio decision, an amended H-1B petition must filed with USCIS when there is a material...more

USCIS Releases Final Guidance on H-1B Job Site Changes

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released final guidance on a recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision requiring amended or new H-1B petitions for workers who change job sites. These requirements...more

USCIS Releases Final Guidance on H-1B Job Site Changes

On Tuesday July 21, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released final guidance on a recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision requiring amended or new H-1B petitions for workers who change job...more

BALCA Applies Recent Legal Decision to PERM Case Denied Five Years Ago

The permanent labor certification process (PERM) allows employers to hire foreign nationals to work permanently in the United States. Prior to filing a PERM application for a foreign worker with the U.S. Department of Labor...more

Events Planning Company Fined over $600,000 for Serious I-9 Paperwork Violations

On July 8, 2015, an administrative law judge (ALJ) ordered Hartmann Studios to pay a fine of over $600,000 for more than 800 I-9 paperwork violations, the largest fine awarded by an ALJ for paperwork violations to date. In...more

SEC Files Complaint Against U.S. Company for Ponzi Scheme - Includes EB-5 Investors

On Monday July 6, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") charged Luca International Group, LLC, a San Francisco area oil and gas company, and its affiliated companies ("Luca") and certain of its executives,...more

Employers Beware: If You Moved an H-1B Worker Without Advising USCIS, You Have Until August 19, 2015 to Make Amends

A recent binding decision issued by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) has complicated even further the confusing rules governing employer obligations in the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program. Part of U.S....more

SEC Charges Companies with Unregistered Broker-Dealer Activity Related to EB-5 Investment

On June 23, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged two companies with unregistered broker activity related to EB-5 visa investments. SEC alleged that the companies brokered more than $79 million in EB-5...more

Supreme Court Decides Mata v. Lynch

On June 15, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Mata v. Lynch, No. 14-185, holding that federal courts of appeals have jurisdiction to review the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (Board) rejection of an alien’s motion...more

U.S. Embassies and Consulates Unable to Issue Passports and Visas

The Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is experiencing technical outages that prevent the issuance of passports and visas at every consulate and embassy around the world....more

Resource Update: USCIS Issues Flawed Guidance on Filing Amended H-1B Petitions Post Matter of Simeio

USCIS recently published Guidance purporting to rely on Matter of Simeio Solutions, addressing when employers must file an amended H-1B petition on behalf of H-1B workers who are transferred to a new work location not listed...more

USCIS Draft Guidance on When to File an Amended H-1B Petition after the Simeio Solutions Decision

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued draft guidance on when to file an amended H-1B petition pursuant to the USCIS Administrative Appeal Office (AAO) precedent decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC....more

The Supreme Court Takes the BIA to Task

Yesterday, in an opinion authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court brought a measure of hope to non-citizens facing deportation on the basis of certain minor criminal convictions. In Mellouli v. Lynch,...more

USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions

Effective May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015. Petitioners will not be able to file Form...more

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