News & Analysis as of

Form F-1 Visas

Work and Travel Guidance for F-1 Students with Pending H-1B “Change of Status” Applications and “Cap-Gap” Employment Authorization

by Mintz Levin on

This advisory summarizes key travel and employment issues if you are an F-1 student with Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment eligibility valid to April 1, 2017 or later, and an H-1B filing on your behalf has been...more

No Premium Processing for April 2017 H-1B Petitions

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services announced on Friday, March 3, 2017, that effective April 3, 2017, it will suspend premium processing of H-1B petitions, for an expected six months. Its stated reason for...more

Immigration Update: H-1B Cap FY2017 and Aftermath; Adjudicating the L-1A Functional Manager Petition Requires Consideration of...

by Baker Donelson on

The USCIS received more than 236,000 H-1B petitions during this year's FY2017 filing period for the annual supply of 85,000 new H-1B visas (65,000 for regular cap plus an additional 20,000 for workers with a U.S. master's...more

Holiday Planning Should Include H-1B Cap Planning

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

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

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

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

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

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

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

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

by Morgan Lewis on

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

by Mintz Levin on

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

by Ronald Shapiro on

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

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

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

by Mintz Levin on

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

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

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

by Kirton McConkie PC on

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

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

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

by Barley Snyder on

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

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

by Gerald Nowotny on

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

by Ronald Shapiro on

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

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