F-1 Visas

News & Analysis as of

Holiday Planning Should Include H-1B Cap Planning

While it may seem early, the holiday season is a good time for employers to start preparing for the H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins October 1, 2016. Demand for the H-1B has steadily increased so that last year,...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

DHS Publishes STEM OPT Rule - Potential New Benefits and Requirements

On Monday, October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published its eagerly anticipated STEM Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) rule in the Federal Register for a 30-day comment period ending on November...more

New STEM OPT Extension Rules to Extend the Program Have Been Proposed

On October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published eagerly anticipated proposed STEM OPT Extension rules that, if adopted would allow U.S. employers greater flexibility for employing foreign nationals...more

DHS Proposes New Rule for STEM OPT Extension

New rule would extend STEM optional practical training to 24 months. On October 19, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student...more

Proposed New Rule May Save the STEM OPT Program

The optional practical training (OPT) program allows students here on an F-1 visa (who have either graduated or been pursuing a degree for 9 months) to work in their chosen field of study for one year. In 2008, the U.S....more

DHS Submits New STEM OPT Rule for Comment

Today, October 19, the Department of Homeland Security submitted a proposed rule modifying the existing optional practical training (“OPT”) available to certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...more

Update on STEM OPT Work Permit Extension: Administrative Process for Regulation Is Underway

In response to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruling in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015) that vacated the previous regulations on STEM...more

Employers Must Withhold FICA Taxes for Students who Change Status to H-1B Starting October 1

As students and scholars’ status change from F-1, J-1 or other FICA exempt statuses to H-1B starting October 1, these employees will become subject to FICA taxes upon the effective date of their H-1B status....more

US Visa Options for Foreign Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 400,000 new businesses are started annually in the United States. If you’re a foreign citizen who is interested in launching a new business in the United States, a corporate...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

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

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

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

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

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

OSC Provides Guidance on Whether an Employer May Decline to Hire an F-1 Student

On April 30, 2014, the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) issued a Technical Assistance Letter (TAL) discussing whether an employer may decline to hire an F-1 student visa holder on Optional Practical Training...more

Overview of U.S. Immigration Law & Procedures for Employers

In This Presentation: - Government Agencies Involved - Terms & Definitions - U.S. Citizens - Lawful Permanent Residents (Immigrants or “Green Card” Holders) - Paths to Permanent Residency -...more

Immigration Corner: Travel History with the Click of a Button; A Quick-Reference Guide for I-9; Hiring Decisions Impacting F-1...

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced a new webpage on May 1 that gives travelers access to the date and port of entry of all arrivals and departures for the last five years. Travel history includes entries made with...more

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