F-1

News & Analysis as of

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

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

Court Strikes Down DHS Rule Extending STEM OPT but Stays Action until February 2016

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently ruled that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not follow required procedures when it promulgated regulations allowing for 17-month extensions of...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

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 Rules on OPT Extension

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

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

Special Immigration Alert: Federal District Court Overturns Regulation Permitting 17-Month F-1/OPT STEM Extensions

On August 12, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rendered its decision in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Civil Action No. 14-529 (D.D.C. Aug. 12,...more

Court Finds STEM OPT Extension Rule to Be Deficient: Vacatur Stayed Temporarily to Allow DHS to Cure

On August 12, 2015, in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015), Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia...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

Dealing with Rejection: Options for Applicants Not Selected in the FY2016 H-1B Lottery

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)’s announcement last month that it received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2016 beginning October 1, 2015—a record total, and a 35% increase over last...more

FY 2016 H-1B Cap Petition Not Selected: What Are the Options?

Most “new” H-1B petitions must be counted against an annual H-1B cap. This limit, or “cap,” administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is currently set at 65,000 plus an additional 20,000 reserved...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

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Preliminary Injunction Allowing International High School Student to Play Sports

Recently, in Makindu v. Illinois High School Student Association, the Second District of the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed a trial court’s grant of a preliminary injunction in favor of an international high school...more

DHS Adopts Regulations Giving Universities and Foreign Students Greater Flexibility

Effective May 29, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security will amend its regulations under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). The change will (1) eliminate existing limits on the maximum number of designated...more

2016 H1B Cap Reached - Alternatives to the H-1B Visa Category

On April 7, 2015, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it received sufficient H-1B petitions to meet the Master's and regular H-1B quotas (or "caps") for Fiscal Year 2016, which begins on October...more

Férias de Verão! - Pensando nas posibilidades do Visto Estudantil

Resumo - Quando se trata de America Latina temos o ditado, “ Por mais que as coisas mudem, mais ficam iguais. Uma das consequências dessa instabilidade política e econômica e incerteza é que os latinos buscam qualquer...more

School’s Out for Summer! Pondering the Possibilities of the Student Visa

Readers are most likely tired of me reminding everyone how I grew up in the Panama Canal Zone and what a unique and excellent experience it was. It is a fact and experience that lives with me every day that I am on the...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

Obama Legalizes Undocumented, Tweaks EB Categories

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a bold series of measures to change removal priorities, temporarily legalize and grant work authorization to millions of undocumented persons, and make some other changes to...more

FICA Payroll Taxes Must Be Withheld From Employees Switching From F-1 To H-1B Status*

As a reminder, employers need to be mindful when foreign national employees change from a nonimmigrant status exempt from Social Security and Medicare withholding under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) to a...more

Taking 221(g) Adminstrative Processing Too Far?

The Obama administration has touted a number of new initiatives aimed at encouraging immigrant entrepreneurship and retention of high-tech workers in the U.S. These are commendable and this author applauds these efforts....more

SEVP Draft Guidance on Pathway Programs

On September 26, 2014, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) posted draft guidance on pathway programs, seeking comment from stakeholders. It is the third in a series of related...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

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