Immigration Labor & Employment

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Exceptions to Restrictions - Using the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

In our last post, we discussed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015 (the “Act”). It prevents a citizen of one of 38 VWP countries (Australia, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, etc.) who is also a...more

A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: H-1B

From proposals to slash the H-1B cap to overhauling the EB-5 investor program, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of...more

DHS Enhances Opportunities for H-1B1, E-3, CW-1 Nonimmigrants and Certain EB-1 Immigrants

On January 15, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a final rule in the Federal Register which revises its regulations affecting highly skilled workers in the nonimmigrant classifications for specialty...more

Hybrid Visa Offers Alternative to Limited H-1B Visa

For an ever-increasing number of U.S. employers, the start of another calendar year also means H-1B season has arrived. However, given the competitive nature of the H-1B program, many employers are turning to an alternative...more

Taking the Temperature of Immigration Policy for Nurses

As we enter the throes of cold and flu season, thoughts naturally turn to matters of health and so it seems fitting that HRLegalist takes a look at visa options for foreign RNs, which has traditionally been more difficult...more

USCIS Processing Delays for H-1B Extensions Continue

As many have noticed, the processing of H-1B extensions at the California Service Center and Vermont Service Center continue to be extremely slow, and the backlog is causing significant hardships for those affected...more

H-1B Helps Employers Obtain Workers with Specialty Skills

Locating highly skilled, uniquely talented workers can be very difficult for some employers in the United States. In fact, year after year the demand for workers with so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering and...more

60 Day Comment Period on Proposed Changes to Form I-9 Ended on January 25, 2016

On November 24, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a 60 day notice of proposed changes to the Form I-9 in the Federal Register. The 60 day public comment period ended on January 25, 2016....more

April 1 Deadline for Filing H-1B Visa Petitions Approaches

As of April 1, 2016, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY2017). Upon approval, petitions for FY2017 will allow foreign nationals to work for...more

Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap Season Quickly Approaching

On Friday, April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2017 cap (FY 2017)....more

FY17 H-1B Cap Filings Begin April 1, 2016

U.S. employers who sponsor foreign workers for temporary H-1B work visas should be aware that April 1, 2016, is the earliest date that new H-1B petitions may be filed to count against the upcoming FY17 quota (or “cap”)....more

Travel to the United States in 2016: The Year of Fear – Restrictions on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) ESTA

On January 21, 2016, the United States began implementing changes under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. Nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries who have traveled to...more

Department of State Releases February 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based adjustment of status applicants must file using the Application Final Action Dates chart. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its February 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out...more

To Audit, or Not to Audit: That is the I-9 Question

For some time, employers have been confused about how to handle situations relating to potential undocumented workers in their workforces. On December 14, 2015, to address some of this confusion, the U.S. Department of...more

Court Extends Vacatur on OPT Extensions for STEM Students

One of the major immigration developments for 2016 is a proposed rule from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would allow certain F-1 students to extend their period of “optional practical training” (OPT) if they...more

Canadian Immigration: Revisiting Canada’s Tough New Employer Compliance Regime

Strict New Penalties for Non-Compliant Employers - The Government of Canada is increasingly focused on employer compliance and has implemented a number of initiatives since 2014, including the overhaul of the Temporary...more

Emergency Action Taken to Extend STEM OPT Program Rule Through May 2016

As reported in our November 2, 2015 blog post, the present STEM OPT rule which allows F-1 students with U.S. degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) to extend their optional practical training (OPT)...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

DOJ Warns That Employers Using Labor Contractors That Violate Anti-Discrimination Laws May be Held Liable

The Department of Justice's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) recently issued an opinion letter clarifying that employers that carry out discriminatory employment practices,...more

DHS’s Deadline to Promulgate Final STEM OPT Regulations Extended to May 10, 2016

On January 23, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) request to extend the deadline to finalize the new set of Optional Practical Training (OPT)...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

April 1, 2016 - H-1B “Lottery” Begins Again!

USCIS to accept new H-1B filings beginning April 1, 2016. Filing by April 7th will be critical: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will start accepting filings of new H-1B petitions on April 1st for the fiscal year...more

January 2016 Immigration Alert

I. U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Obama Immigration Plan - On January 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the Obama administration’s appeal from the Fifth Circuit decision that enjoined implementation of its...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

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