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News & Analysis as of

Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas,...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

You Down with OPT? DHS Proposes Longer Post-Graduate Work Authorization for STEM Graduates, with a Catch

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that would amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations regarding optional practical training (OPT) for students with higher education degrees...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

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

Department of Homeland Security Regulation Benefitting STEM Employers Thrown into Question

A federal district judge recently issued a 37-page decision vacating a 2008 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation that has helped thousands of U.S. companies hire and retain foreign students holding U.S. degrees in...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Obama’s Executive Immigration Reform: Shining a Spotlight on Reforming Optional Practical Training “OPT”

As a part of President Obama’s recent announcement regarding his executive action on immigration, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson issued several memoranda to the directors of US Citizenship and...more

Immigration Developments for Highly Skilled Workers: Changes the Business Community Can Expect as a Result of President Obama’s...

On Thursday, November 20th, coinciding with President Obama’s announcement regarding his forthcoming executive action on immigration, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a memo to the directors...more

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