United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. The USCIS... more +
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. The USCIS performs a broad variety of administrative functions, including processing visa and naturalization petitions, as well as applications for asylum and refugee status.  less -
News & Analysis as of

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Issues New Guidance on H-1B Status for Nurses

On July 11, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum to provide updated guidance on the adjudication of H-1B petitions for nursing positions. The memorandum was issued in response to...more

Ebola Outbreak-related Immigration Relief Measures to Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Currently in the United States...

On August 15, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a press release addressing humanitarian relief that may potentially be available to nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who are currently...more

Lesser Known DOL Regulations: "Bona Fide" Terminations for H-1B Workers

Last week, we discussed whether you might be running a construction business. As I explained then, you have to look beyond the FLSA to comply with your wage and hour obligations, and that’s doubly true for employers who rely...more

E-Verify Update and Improvements

E-Verify has been operational since 1997 as part of a Basic Pilot Program to assist employers to verify electronically that a newly hired employee is authorized to work in the US. A number of states have made use of E-Verify...more

White House Immigration Update

On August 5th, the White House released a comprehensive update on President Obama’s efforts relating to immigration these past few months, including traveling to Texas in July to meet with local officials, faith leaders, and...more

Does the recognition of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania have any effect on immigration visa petitions for Pennsylvania citizens?

Immigration visas, unlike marriage recognitions, are regulated by the federal government, not the individual states. This means that the Pennsylvania Whitewood decision, albeit groundbreaking on a state level, has no effect...more

Hotel development & EB-5 financing: Why you don’t want to form your own regional center

How should hotel developers go after EB-5 financing? Although the EB-5 immigrant visa program has been around since 1990, the current trend of using this as a source of financing for hotel development began only three...more

The 5 questions every hotel developer is asking about EB-5 financing

In seeking to access EB-5 financing, our developer clients have asked a lot of questions, but most of them can really be summed up in the following 5 questions: 1. Will EB-5 work for me on my project? 2. How much...more

Special Immigration Alert: USCIS Releases Updated Guidance on H-1B Eligibility for Nurses

On July 21, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") released a policy memorandum ("PM"), dated July 11, 2014, which provided the first new guidance on H-1B eligibility for nurses in 12 years!...more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: L-1 Visa Inspections Have Begun

The Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit of USCIS has begun inspecting L-1 visa holders as planned. FDNS has inspected (and likely is continuing to inspect) H-1B holders for several years. L-1s are the latest...more

August 2014 Visa Bulletin: Advancement of EB-3 China and EB-2 India Cut-off Dates

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority date cut-offs that regulate when an individual can begin the final phase of the lawful permanent residence (“green card”) process, either...more

What is Happening Now in the Market for EB-5 Financing for Hotel, Multi-Family and Mixed Use Real Estate Developments

Competition for EB-5 Financing is Strong. Demand for EB-5 financing among U.S. real estate developers is at record high levels, and demand for high quality EB-5 investments in China remains strong. Marketing agents in...more

Discrimination Enforcement: Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim

The Department of Justice (DOJ), through its Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), recently settled a claim alleging discrimination, based on unfair documentary practices during...more

Approved H-1B? Get the Ball Rolling on Your Consular Application Now!

Getting an H-1B nonimmigrant visa for new employment with a private employer in the United States has become an obstacle course that now even requires winning a lottery. The process has become so complicated that H-1B...more

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum Regarding H-1B Petitions for Nursing Occupations

As a general matter, most registered nurse (RN) positions do not qualify as H-1B specialty occupation positions because they do not normally require a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in nursing or its equivalent as the...more

USCIS Rolls Out Full-Scale Implementation of L-1 Site Visit Program: Employers of L-1 Transferees Should Now Set up Processes to...

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Directorate has recently begun implementation of an L-1 site inspection program in response to an August 2013 report released by...more

Immigration Compliance Alert: Use Caution When Terminating H-1B Employees

An employer planning to terminate an employee on H-1B visa status needs to ensure that the termination is undertaken in compliance with not only the employment contract and applicable state and federal law, but also in...more

Florida Driver’s Licenses Issued to Individuals With Approved I-601A Provisional Waivers

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (“FLHSMV”) regularly publishes a list of documents that it will accept as proof of immigration status in connection with an application for a Florida Driver’s...more

Immigration Court Backlog Reaches All-Time High Due to Influx of Juvenile Immigrants

According to data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, as of the end of June 2014, the number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts has reached 375,503...more

Immigration Corner: "Extraordinary Circumstances" Under the Child Status Protection Act, E-Verify Listens to You, and It's Time to...

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an Interim Policy Memorandum (PM-602-0097) on June 6, 2014, supplementing Chapter 21.2(e) of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual regarding exercising discretion...more

Deficient Approval Notices Issued

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has reported that a recent problem resulting in the issuance of deficient approval notices has been resolved. The error occurred at the California Service Center (“CSC”)...more

USCIS Branch Quietly Turning E-Verify Mistakes into DOJ, ICE Enforcement Actions

If you have been following their press releases, complaints, and settlement agreements over the past several months, the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices...more

Importance of Hiring a Lawyer in the Immigration Process

When a foreign national wishes to come into the United States – whether for school, to work, or with family – certain immigration documents must be obtained. Depending on your reason for coming to the U.S., the duration of...more

Additional Movement for EB-2 India Released in Department of State's August 2014 Visa Bulletin

The August 2014 Visa Bulletin was recently released by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). As outlined in our June 10, 2014, legal update on this issue, the EB-2 category for foreign nationals from India pursuing the...more

USCIS Issues Guidance on “Extraordinary Circumstances” Under CSPA

On June 27, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum on evaluating claims of “extraordinary circumstances” for late filings when the applicant must have sought to acquire lawful...more

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