Highly-Skilled Workers Visa

News & Analysis as of

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

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

A HYPOTHETICAL: Testimony of a U.S. Business Owner Before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Immigration and Border...

Mr. Chairman, I’m pleased to provide my testimony today as a follow-up to previous appearances before this committee. I’ve testified on two other occasions to explain the need for a more certain and predictable way to attract...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

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

UK Skilled Worker Cap Hit For 1st Time

Many US employers are exploring opportunities to expand globally. Due to the English-speaking special relationship between the US and the UK, employers may first look to the UK to for international exapansion. However,...more

The TN visa category: An oasis in the desert of dried up international talent pools

During the first week of April, when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepted new H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, USCIS received approximately 233,000 petitions for only 85,000 available H-1B visas...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

Recent changes to employing foreign workers

This month, we take a survey of recent changes affecting employers’ ability to attract and retain foreign workers. L-1B visa denials According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) data released under a...more

Guide To Doing Business in Australia: Entry to Australia (Updated)

ENTRY TO AUSTRALIA - Before reading this information, please be aware the information provided is not intended to be legal advice or to be acted upon without further consultation. Because of the complex maze of...more

The 2015 STAPLE Act: Will Relief Finally Come for U.S. Employers in Need of Foreign Talent?

USCIS announced May 4, 2015, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in its computer-generated lottery. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that...more

What H-4 Visa Holders Need to Know about Employment Authorization

Under new rules announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the end of February, beginning May 26, 2015, H-4 visa holders who are the dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders will be eligible for employment...more

Overcoming H-1B Challenges – Qualifying Through Work Experience and the Three-for-One Rule

The most common H work visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.” In simple terms, “specialty occupation” means an occupation which requires at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a professional field. ...more

Navigating H-1B Requirements: The Degree Must Relate to the Specialty Occupation

To obtain an H-1B visa, a petitioner must demonstrate that the proposed position it intends for the beneficiary to fill qualifies as a specialty occupation and that the beneficiary is qualified for that position. As defined...more

H-1B Quota for October 1: Prepare Labor Condition Applications by March 16

The U.S. government’s H-1B temporary professional worker program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign nationals in “specialty occupation” positions that require a bachelor's degree or the equivalent. Under current law, the...more

USCIS Announces Employment Authorization Eligibility For Certain H-4 Spouses

As part of President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced eligibility for select H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders to obtain employment...more

DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants

On February 24, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule that extends eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based...more

DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Holders Seeking Permanent Residence

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced earlier this week that, pursuant to a published regulation effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending...more

Now Is The Time To Initiate H-1B Cap Petitions For Foreign Students Or National Candidates Currently Abroad

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2016 starting April 1, 2015. The allotted number of H-1B petitions that the USCIS will accept, known as...more

Annual H-1B Visa Quota Will Open on April 1, 2015

For employers looking to bring non-U.S. citizens into the United States, an important immigration deadline is around the corner. Failure to plan properly for and meet this deadline may result in the employer’s inability to...more

Reasons to Increase the H-1B Visa Cap

The H-1B visa is one of the most highly sought-after – and most difficult to obtain – work visas. Only 65,000 general H-1B visas, and 20,000 advanced degree H-1B visas, are available each year. Given that U.S. Citizenship and...more

H1-B Cap 2016 Filings Due In April, Competition Remains Steady

Time to start preparing for the H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2016! Demand for the H-1B visa category has steadily increased. Last year, USCIS received 172,500 petitions for 85,000 H-1B spots. Although USCIS issues receipts in...more

Overcoming H-1B Challenges – How to Prove Specialty Occupation Eligibility

The most common H work visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.” Specialty occupation means an occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in fields...more

Immigration Law Update

The filing period for the fiscal year 2016 H-1B visa cap commences on April 1, 2015. It is expected, as has happened the last several years, that there will be a lottery based on submissions received the first week of the...more

H-1B Season is Almost Upon Us

As a reminder to all U.S. employers, H-1B season is on the horizon! United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will start accepting new H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2016 on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. As such,...more

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