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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

What is going on with STEM OPT?

A recent federal court ruling has created uncertainty and speculation about the STEM OPT program. This summary is provided to inform employers and F-1 STEM students of the facts about the effect of this decision....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

Didn’t Make the H-1B Cut? Here are Some Alternatives

As previously reported, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap, including the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption for...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

Alternative Visa Strategies in The Aftermath of The Record-Breaking April 2015 H-1B Lottery

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service announced yesterday that it received nearly 233,000 H-1B visa petitions in the first week of the application window for the 85,000 cap-subject visas available for fiscal...more

OPT Program Under Attack

While a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive action has garnered headlines recently, another lawsuit that could negatively impact the labor supply and increase the cost of doing business for employers has largely...more

How Will Immigration Executive Action Impact Higher Education Institutions?

Multi-national personnel and students are uniquely important to the mission and objectives of higher education institutions. The recent focus on immigration reform at the federal level raises the potential for broader...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

Employers: Start the New Year Off on the Right Foot with respect to Immigration Policies

Now is a good time for employers to take a look at their immigration policies to make sure that they are starting 2015 off on the right foot. For instance, employers should...more

The Immigration State of the Union: Obama Declares “We’ve Got a System to Fix”

On January 20, 2015, President Obama addressed the nation in the annual State of the Union address. Among the many topics that the president touched upon in his speech was immigration. After more sweeping immigration reform...more

Bipartisan I-Squared Act Introduced to Reform Business Immigration System

On January 13, 2015, Senators Hatch (R-Utah), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Rubio (R-Fla.), Coons (D-Del.), Flake (R-Ariz.), and Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the Immigration Innovation (“I-Squared”) Act of 2015, a major immigration...more

Will the New Technology-Focused Immigration Bill Succeed?

Technology companies, industry groups, and trade associations are enthusiastically supporting a new Senate bill that would make it easier for foreign nationals working in the technology sector to stay and work in the United...more

Skilled Immigration Reform: Will 2015 Be the Year?

On January 13, 2015 Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 into the...more

How the President’s Immigration Executive Actions Will Impact Employers

As we reported, on November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a number of executive orders impacting US immigration policy, some of which will have a direct and significant impact on employers. For instance, among other...more

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