The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly... more +
The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent." Examples of specialty occupations include chemistry, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and architecture, to name a few. Individuals may not apply for H-1B visas; they are distributed only through the approval of employer petitions. In order to protect U.S. workers from unfair competition resulting from the program, the rules require that employers pay nonimmigrant workers equivalent wages to similarly-situated U.S. workers or the industry's prevailing wage. H-1B visas are subject to a yearly cap which is currently set at 85,000.   less -
News & Analysis as of

When Transferring Employees to the U.S., Foreign Employers Should Consider Impact if Proposed Changes to Overtime Exemption Are...

On July 6, 2015, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed a revision to the “white collar” overtime exemption rule. As explained by Littler when it testified before the House Subcommittee, “the proposed white collar...more

DHS Sends New STEM OPT Rule to OMB For Review

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent its proposed regulation on the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week. A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is...more

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 on April 1, 2016

The filing period for new H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (or H-1B cap) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 will begin on Friday, April 1, 2016. Cap-subject H-1B petitions will have an employment start date...more

Filing Fees Lowered for H-1B and L-1 Dependent Employers

Since 2010, dependent employers have been required to pay an additional filing fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions. Dependent employers are those employers who employ 50 or...more

A Potential Federal Government Shutdown: The Immigration Implications for Employers

Congress has until September 30, 2015 to reach an agreement on the 2016 Fiscal Year federal budget. If an agreement to fund the federal government is not reached, immigration processes are expected to be impacted as they were...more

USCIS Issues New Procedures for Determining Time for Filing Green Card Application

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) promulgated new procedures for determining the visa availability date for individuals waiting to file employment- and family-based applications for...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

H-1B Alternatives Series: Concurrent H-1B Employment

In 2014, Massachusetts created the Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program (GEIR), a program meant to capitalize on the opportunities provided by concurrent H-1B employment. Under this program, universities partnered with...more

My Company Wishes to Hire Foreign National Workers – Now What? Navigating the U.S. Visa Alphabet Soup

Many employers are reluctant to hire foreign national workers because they are intimidated by the difficult and uncertain nature of immigration law. Our clients often find that with proper strategic direction from counsel and...more

Department of State Releases October 2015 Visa Bulletin

A new category of “filing” cutoff dates has been introduced to allow for earlier filing of adjustment of status applications and immigrant visa applications. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its October 2015...more

Immigration Laws Impacting the Workplace

The H-1B visa program has been one of the most successful programs in U.S. immigration history, allowing for U.S. entities to hire and place highly skilled workers, holding at least a bachelors’ degree or the equivalent, into...more

H-1B Alternative Series: Flexibility in Foreign Trade and Treaty Visas

Our series exploring alternatives to the H-1B continues with foreign trade and treaty visas. Was your petition one of the estimated 148,000 not selected in this year’s H-1B lottery? Is your client from one of the 79...more

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

Obergefell Expands The Number Of Individuals Potentially Eligible To Apply For Immigration Benefits

Obergefell effectively expands the number of individuals who would be eligible to submit immigration applications on behalf of a same-sex spouse because same sex marriage is now legal across the country, rather than in a...more

Changes to Obligations for Filing H-1B Amendment Petitions Under Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC

As of August 19, 2015, full enforcement of a recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015) will commence. On April 9, 2015, the AAO—the appellate body...more

Employment Law - August 2015 #2

The Customer Isn't Always Right—Especially When He Harasses Employees: Why it matters - Providing an important reminder about the potential for liability from customers, a new lawsuit was filed against a supermarket...more

Immigration Corner: Time to Get Simeio-Compliant, Faster H-1Bs, a Permanent Resident Card Refresher and Increased Security...

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now published a final policy memorandum designed to bring employers into compliance with the ruling in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC and to assess whether H-1B...more

H-1B Alternatives Series: The little known but useful B-1 in lieu of H-1B

Was your petition one of the estimated 148,000 not selected in this year’s H-1B lottery? In a series of posts we will explore alternatives to the H-1B. The B-1 visa category traditionally permits foreign individuals...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 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

August 2015 Immigration Alert

I. USCIS Issues Guidance on When an Amended H-1B Petition Is Required After Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC - On July 21, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a policy memorandum...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

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