Labor & Employment International Trade Immigration

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Pilot Program May Soon Help Streamline Employment-based Visa Process

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a pilot program called “Known Employer” to streamline the process by which employers who sponsor foreign national workers send documents and...more

Innocents Abroad: Emergency at the Border—Key Considerations

What an afternoon! When Winston Wild’s manager called me, indicating that he was detained at Pearson International Airport, we did not know what to do, which is why I called you. Thank you for calling Winston Wild so...more

Resource for Doing Business in the U.S. – Installment #6 – Immigration Matters

You have a plan for doing business in the U.S. Now who is going to help make that happen? As companies get ready to do business in the U.S. they often delay in thinking about one key matter: making sure the people needed to...more

USCIS Announces FY 2017 H-1B Visa Cap Reached

On April 7, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory quota of 65,000 standard H-1B petitions and the cap exemption of...more

Emergency H-2B Processing Available For Another Month

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it will continue to accept emergency requests until midnight on April 29, 2016, for H-2B applications filed on or between April 2 and April 29, 2016. This extension is due to...more

New STEM OPT Rules: More than Just an Extra Seven Months of Work Authorization

On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule on enhancements to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for F-1 international students in science, technology, engineering...more

H-1B Cap Reached — Lottery Initiated and Premium Processing Delayed

On April 7, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it reached the statutory cap of H-1B petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2017. As predicted, the USCIS received a heavy demand for the...more

USCIS Guidance on “Same or Similar” Occupations

USCIS has issued a new policy memorandum (PM) outlining relevant considerations in assessing whether a position qualifies as a “same or similar” occupation to the foreign national’s previously approved job for purposes of...more

DHS Issues STEM OPT Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") recently issued its long-awaited F–1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (“OPT”) for certain students with degrees in science, technology,...more

I-9 Like Your Cereal: Valid Past Expiration, For Now

Clients who pay attention might worry that they have missed something when they see that the OMB expiration date of March 31 has come and gone. But just like some items in your refrigerator or pantry, the Form I-9 for...more

USCIS Allows Additional 30-Day Comment Period on Proposed Changes to Form I-9, Employers Must Continue Using Form I-9 with March...

On Monday, March 28, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published notice in the Federal Register to allow an additional 30 days for public comment on its proposed changes to Form I-9, Employment...more

USCIS: Form I-9 Remains in Effect After Expiration Date

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that until further notice employers should continue to use the existing Form I-9 for employment eligibility verification. The current version of the form will...more

Recent Amendments to the Cuba Sanctions Ease Restrictions for Travel and Shipping Sectors

This client alert addresses the recent amendments to the Cuba sanctions regime in the wake of President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba. The recent changes represent the increasing efforts of the U.S. government to restore...more

Easy Come, Easy Go: Latest Developments in US Sanctions

Making regular updates to policies and procedures related to international trade compliance has always been an important aspect of ensuring their effectiveness, and particularly in light of the myriad changes to various U.S....more

Recent Changes to the Trade Embargo May Facilitate Cuban Baseball Players Being Able to Legally Play for MLB Teams

Last week, President Obama authorized the elimination of a ban on Cuban access to the international banking system, which in turn would allow a Cuban national to make a living in the United States without requiring that...more

Final STEM OPT Rule Released - Effective May 10, 2016

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a final rule that allows foreign graduates of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (“STEM”) programs from U.S. universities an additional 24 months of F-1 Optional...more

Immigration Bulletin – USCIS Announces New STEM OPT Regulations

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued new F-1 student visa regulations that increase the amount of Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment authorization available to foreign students with...more

New DHS Rule Creates Extended Work Authorization for STEM Graduates - Side Benefit is a Potential H-1B Workaround

On March 11, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security issued a long-anticipated final rule allowing certain foreign students with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees earned in the U.S. to extend their...more

Immigration Implications of ‘Brexit’

A “leave” vote on 23 June 2016 could have significant impact on employee and individual mobility, immigration, and UK citizenship status. Considering the charged political atmosphere around immigration issues and EU free...more

Breaking News: DHS Publishes New STEM OPT Rule with effective date of May 10, 2016

On March 10, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security published the new STEM Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) final rule in the Federal Register. The effective date of this new final rule is May 10, 2016, the date that...more

Last Call for New Cap H-1Bs and International Student STEM Optional Practical Training Changes

April 1 is the filing date for new H-1B cap subject applications. There is a 7-day process that must be completed through Department of Labor prior to filing. If you have any potential H-1B petitions (foreign students on...more

New 24-month F-1 STEM OPT Rule Effective May 10, 2016

On March 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted to the Federal Register an advance copy of its final rule regarding certain F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) extensions. The new rule replaces the...more

Prepare H-1B Visa Petitions Now to Meet April 2016 Filing Deadline

The H-1B visa filing period for Fiscal Year 2017 begins on April 1, 2016, and filing H-1B visa petitions on that date is the best plan for U.S. employers interested in hiring degreed skilled foreign workers....more

Innocents Abroad: Business Traveler Troubles

At 4:50 p.m. today, one of our top software developers, Ben Bedraggled, stumbled into my office. He dropped his suitcase and computer bag on the floor and slumped into a chair looking like he had been on an airplane for...more

Immigration Update: Trying to Cut the Red Tape: Department of Labor Announces Emergency Procedures for Backlogged H-2B...

The Department of Labor (DOL) has recently been experiencing considerable delays in its processing of applications for H-2B status for temporary nonimmigrant workers. The H-2B program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign...more

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