Department of Homeland Security United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

The Department of Homeland Security is a federal executive department established in 2002 in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. DHS was formed by combining twenty-two existing federal departments... more +
The Department of Homeland Security is a federal executive department established in 2002 in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. DHS was formed by combining twenty-two existing federal departments and agencies. The consolidation was aimed at creating a better integrated, more effective organization to respond to terrorist attacks and other varied threats facing the United States and its territories.  less -
News & Analysis as of

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

DHS Releases Published F-1 Visa STEM OPT Regulation

On March 11, 2016, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the final regulation for F-1 nonimmigrant students on optional practical training (OPT) with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...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

Converting 17-Month STEM OPT to 24-Month STEM OPT Under New Regulations Commencing May 10, 2016

Starting May 10, 2016, a new regulation published last month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes effect which increases the work authorization extension period from 17 to 24 months for F-1 students holding...more

STEM OPT Period Extended to Three Years

Department of Homeland Security has issued a final rule, effective May 10, 2016, allowing foreign students with science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degrees to extend their optional practical training or "OPT"...more

New STEM OPT Extension Rule Brings Welcomed Relief to Employers and International Students

On March 9, 2016, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an advance copy of the final rule pertaining to optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...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

Revised Rules for H-1B1, E-3 and CW-1 Workers and EB-1 Petitioners

DHS recently published amended regulations affecting certain highly skilled workers in specialty occupations from Chile, Singapore (H-1B1) and Australia (E-3), nonimmigrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana...more

DHS Tests Known Employer Program for Certain Immigration Petitions

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a pilot program intended to streamline the employment-based immigration process in certain visa categories. The program will modify the process U.S....more

DHS Launches Trial Program to Streamline Employment Visa Applications

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its launch of the Known Employer Program, under which certain employers are eligible to use an online platform to submit information that can be used...more

USCIS Launches Known Employer Pilot for Preselected Employers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has created the Known Employer pilot, which is only limited to nine preselected employers and is not available to other employers yet. The pilot seeks to assess a way to...more

A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: Proposed Immigrant Visa Reforms (Part 3/6)

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 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 the cases,...more

Immigration Update: H-1B Cap Season and a Cautionary Fairy Tale; Changing ESTA/VWP Questions Answered; Improvements to E-3, H-1B1,...

H-1B Cap season is approaching, and, with a similar flurry to file petitions for eligible specialized knowledge workers expected for April 1 as we experienced in 2015, H-1B employers should carefully consider the obligations...more

The Failures and Future of the EB-5 Regional Center Program: Can it be Fixed?

Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing - The Senate Committee on the Judiciary (“Committee”) held a hearing on February 2nd regarding the future of the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The hearing was led by Senators...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

Breaking Immigration News: F-1 OPT STEM Decision Extended Until May 10, 2016; Gives DHS Additional Time to Implement Final Rule

On January 23, 2016, Judge Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion to extend the current stay of her prior order which will allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to utilize...more

Good News for F-1 International Students: STEM OPT Authorization Allowed Beyond February 12

Federal court rules to allow limited relief of court’s order to May 10, 2016. On January 23, Federal Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle granted a request by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to delay the possible...more

High-Skilled Foreign Workers: New Rules From USCIS on H-1B Work Visas, AC21, I-140 Petitions and EADs

The long-awaited proposed rule — “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers” (aka I-140/AC21/EAD Proposed Rule) — was published in the Federal...more

DHS Proposes New Rule for Increased Job Flexibility: Part 1

On December 31st, the Department of Homeland Security issued a proposed rule addressing and extending employment flexibility for certain classes of nonimmigrants and prospective immigrants. The new rule proposes to amend...more

DHS Proposes Rule Affecting Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Applications

On December 31, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, entitled “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled...more

Immigration Law Updates - January 5, 2016

Following are recent and/or anticipated changes to United States immigration laws, which may impact our clients: Proposed Changes to the Visa Waiver Program Following Terror Concerns - In the aftermath of the Paris...more

Final Reminder: Employers Using E-Verify: Get Ready to Download Your “Historic Records Report” by Year-End

U.S. employers enrolled in E-Verify -- the electronic system of employment eligibility verification -- should prepare to download and preserve all E-Verify data submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)...more

The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Highlights of the Resettlement Process and Tips for Employers

The terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th have heightened Americans’ concern over security as President Obama has pledged to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees fleeing that troubled, violent, and oppressive land. A number...more

F-1 Optional Practical Training Proposed Rule Released; Work Authorization Expanded for STEM Students

The long-awaited proposed rule on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) was published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The proposed rule is titled “Improving and...more

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