Labor & Employment Immigration

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H-1B Alternative Series: Flexibility in Foreign Trade and Treaty Visas

Our series exploring alternatives to the H-1B continues with foreign trade and treaty visas. Was your petition one of the estimated 148,000 not selected in this year’s H-1B lottery? Is your client from one of the 79...more

Immigration Law for Startups: Prime Visa Options

This is the second in a three-part series that provides guidance to new or foreign companies that are entering the U.S. market and seeking to employ either foreign nationals already in the United States on non-working visas,...more

L-1B Specialized Knowledge Visa Category Guidance Goes into Effect August 31, 2015: Brave New World?

While the L-1B Adjudications Policy Memorandum published by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on August 17, 2015, effective as of August 31, 2015, has many positive components, petitioners and practitioners...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

New Specialized Knowledge Standards Coming for L-1B Transfers

Multinational companies wishing to transfer foreign national employees to the U.S. under the L-1B program will have to show the employee’s “specialized knowledge” by a “preponderance of evidence” under new guidance published...more

The New L-1B Adjudications Policy, Effective August 31

The recently issued U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) final policy memorandum on L-1B visas clarifies the requirements for a sponsoring multinational organization transferring international personnel to the...more

Are Independent Contractors Always Exempt From I-9 Requirements?

Employers rarely question the general rule that independent contractors are not required to complete a form I-9. Most employers believe that, if an individual is labeled as an independent contractor, a form I-9 is not...more

A HYPOTHETICAL: Testimony of a U.S. Business Owner Before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Immigration and Border...

Mr. Chairman, I’m pleased to provide my testimony today as a follow-up to previous appearances before this committee. I’ve testified on two other occasions to explain the need for a more certain and predictable way to attract...more

Cap Gap Expiration Approaching: Some Employees' Work Authorization May End on October 1, 2015

Fiscal year 2016 cap-subject H-1B petitions selected and approved by USCIS will be valid starting October 1, 2015. However, as October 1, 2015 approaches, many cap-subject H-1B petitions remain pending at both the California...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

USCIS Memorandum on Specialized Knowledge Workers to Go into Effect August 31st

In my HRLegalist blog post on April 2, 2015 I shared with our readers the news of the USCIS draft Policy Memorandum (“L-1B Memo” or “Memo”) offering clarification on the definition of “specialized knowledge.” The Memo...more

USCIS Finalizes New Guidance on L-1B Specialized Knowledge Petitions

On August 17, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a final Policy Memorandum on L-1B visa adjudications (L-1B Memo). The L-1 (intracompany transferee) nonimmigrant visa classification permits...more

Compliance Corner: Hiring and Maintaining a Legal Workforce

We’re all busy and regardless of your industry, those responsible for hiring our workforce are pulled in many different ways and have to keep abreast of countless local, state and federal workplace related laws and...more

Obergefell Expands The Number Of Individuals Potentially Eligible To Apply For Immigration Benefits

Obergefell effectively expands the number of individuals who would be eligible to submit immigration applications on behalf of a same-sex spouse because same sex marriage is now legal across the country, rather than in a...more

Changes to Obligations for Filing H-1B Amendment Petitions Under Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC

As of August 19, 2015, full enforcement of a recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015) will commence. On April 9, 2015, the AAO—the appellate body...more

Immigration Law for Startups: Best Practices

This is the first in a three-part series that provides guidance to new or foreign companies that are entering the U.S. market and seeking to employ either foreign nationals already in the United States on non-working visas,...more

Cash Payments to Workers; Convenience or Crime?

A common technique used to pay immigrants who are ineligible to lawfully work and to pay lawful workers "offbook" in order to reduce reported payroll for workers compensation and other purposes is to pay workers wholly or...more

USCIS Final Guidance on L-1B Adjudications Offers Some Comfort—But No Cure—for Employer Concerns

On August 17, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a policy memorandum aiming to clarify the standard required for L-1B specialized knowledge visas. The memorandum notably begins by reminding...more

Employment Law - August 2015 #2

The Customer Isn't Always Right—Especially When He Harasses Employees: Why it matters - Providing an important reminder about the potential for liability from customers, a new lawsuit was filed against a supermarket...more

Best Practices for Best Employers: How to Become a Best Workplace Starting Today! - August 2015

Top 5 Legal Developments Every Employer Needs to Know Now - Laws affecting employers are changing faster than ever. If you don’t keep up, you can get burned. Here are a few of the most recent big changes every employer...more

Immigration Corner: Time to Get Simeio-Compliant, Faster H-1Bs, a Permanent Resident Card Refresher and Increased Security...

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now published a final policy memorandum designed to bring employers into compliance with the ruling in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC and to assess whether H-1B...more

No More “Aliens”: Outdated Term Shipped Back to Home Planet

Did you know that California law currently allows employers in certain circumstances to give preferential treatment to candidates who aren’t “aliens”? No, you didn’t miss the new Independence Day movie (what took so long?) or...more

H-1B Alternatives Series: The little known but useful B-1 in lieu of H-1B

Was your petition one of the estimated 148,000 not selected in this year’s H-1B lottery? In a series of posts we will explore alternatives to the H-1B. The B-1 visa category traditionally permits foreign individuals...more

Treat Your Immigration Goals Like You Treat Your Finances – Plan, Plan, Plan

Whether you are an employer or an individual – when it comes to your immigration goals it pays to look at all of your options. Everyone takes their financial picture seriously — from the simplest budgeting of having to live...more

Immigration Alert: Decision Overturning 17-month OPT/STEM Extensions is stayed as USCIS scrambles to cure deficiencies

On August 12, 2015, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dealt a blow to employers by vacating the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 interim rule expanding the...more

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