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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

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

#SOTU2015: Employment, Immigration, Cyber Safety, and Education in a New Era

On the evening of January 20, 2015, President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives with Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, the president’s...more

Why Employers Should Think About H-1B Petitions Now

The H-1B filing deadline will soon be approaching on April 1, 2015. Accordingly, employers should begin preparations to file their H-1B applications for any new F-1 students who are working for them under an Occupational...more

New J-1 Visa Provisions Effective January 5, 2015

In October 2014, the Department of State (“DOS”) amended Subpart A of the J exchange visitor regulations. These new regulations go into effect in 2015 and apply to all exchange visitor programs and program categories. There...more

President Obama’s Executive Immigration Reform: Shining a Spotlight on Reforming Optional Practical Training “OPT”

As a part of President Obama’s recent announcement regarding his executive action on immigration, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson issued several memoranda to the directors of US Citizenship and...more

The President’s immigration orders: 5 measures that will impact higher ed

As employers and educators of hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals each year, U.S. colleges and universities will be uniquely impacted by President Obama’s new actions targeting the U.S. immigration system....more

Extensions of Visa Validity Periods for Chinese Nationals

This week, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released additional changes to its Reciprocity Table following President Barack Obama’s announcement of a new, reciprocal 10-year visa policy between the United States and China....more

Cap Gap Expiration Approaching: Some Employees' Work Authorization May End on October 1, 2014

Fiscal year 2015 cap-subject H-1B petitions selected and approved by USCIS will be valid starting October 1, 2014. However, as October 1, 2014 approaches, many cap-subject H-1B petitions remain pending at both the California...more

Expect Stricter Scrutiny of Foreign Student Enrollment and Work Authorization Programs in 2014

In light of both a recent Government Accountability Office report on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Optional Practical Training (OPT) program as well as the newly-launched Student and Exchange Visitor Program...more

Could Einstein Get a Green Card? Proposed DHS Changes Signal New Opportunities for American Colleges and Universities

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to expand the current list of evidentiary criteria for employment-based first preference (EB-1) outstanding professors and researchers to include a “comparable...more

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